Early genizah fragments of saadya gaon's bible translation copied by samuel b. shechaniah b. amram

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The article presents a full transcription and discussion of eighteen early Genizah fragments of Saadya's Bible translation made of parchment (sixteen from the Pentateuch and two from the book of Daniel) and copied by the scribe Samuel b. Shechaniah b. Amram. Seventeen of them are long narrow pieces of parchment of uneven size, and some are two or more pieces sewn together. These fragments were bound in the form of a rotulus, that is, the pages are attached across their upper and lower margins to form a roll that is read vertically. The fragments are undated; nevertheless, codicological considerations, including their form and method of binding, the material onto which they were copied, and the type of handwriting allow us to assume that they were copied already in the tenth century, or at least no later than the beginning of the eleventh.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)435-472
Number of pages38
JournalJournal of Semitic Studies
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The findings discussed in this article are part of a larger research project supported by the ISRAEL SCIENCE FOUNDATION (grant No. 150/15) and conducted at the University of Haifa by Prof. Tamar Zewi with the assistance of Dr Amir Ashur and Dr Barak Avirbach on Early Genizah Fragments of Saadya Gaon's Translation of the Pentateuch. Tamar Zewi would like to thank Prof. Ronny Vollandt (Ludwig-Maximilian University of Munich), for his advice, and Prof. Mark Cohen (Princeton University), Prof. Marina Rustow (Princeton University), Prof. Martha Himmelfarb (Princeton University), Prof. Steven Weitzman (University of Pennsylvania), and Prof. Geoffrey Khan (Cambridge University), for sponsoring various visits to all relevant libraries, and Mr Boris Zaykovsky, curator of the Oriental collections in the Manuscript Department at the National Library of Russia.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Language and Linguistics
  • History
  • Religious studies
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Literature and Literary Theory


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