In the framework of the Working Group "The Learned Practices of Canonical Texts," this project "A Medieval Coptic Hebraism? Coptic Adaptations of Saadiah Gaon’s Judaeo-Arabic Translation of the Torah, their Transmission and Textual Practice" examined Saadiah’s Tafsīr, an Arabic translation of the Pentateuch of originally Jewish provenance, which became a foundational text also of the Coptic Church. Its study and preservation had to be cultivated vigilantly. The project explored which text-critical functions it fulfilled as a point of comparison to other Arabic versions of the Pentateuch, and which learned textual practices this kind of scholarship entailed. In a larger context, this research set out to investigate whether there is sufficient evidence to speak of medieval Coptic Hebraism, in which the Tafsīr and the scholarly, text-critical occupation with it, had the function of acquainting Coptic intellectuals with the otherwise inaccessible Hebrew Urtext of their own biblical text in Coptic.
A Medieval Coptic Hebraism? Coptic Adaptations of Saadiah Gaon’s Judaeo-Arabic Translation of the Torah
- Ronny Vollandt