Sunday, May 08, 2016

Saadia Gaon and the Arabic Bible

Saadia Gaon’s Bible Commentary and Translation

It was important to Saadia that his work became known to Muslims. It would have little polemical value if it simply remained a text used by the Jews. He had been educated in a Muslim environment and spent his life surrounded by Islamic culture; he knew how to make his translation acceptable to the aesthetic refinements of literary Arabic. His purpose may have been to rebut Muslim criticism of the Bible but he deferred to Islamic grammarians and philologists when it came to matters of style.

See Also: The Murderous History of Bible Translations (Bloomsbury Press, 2016)

By Harry Freedman
April 2016
There's more on Saadia Gaon here and more on Arabic translations of the Bible here, here, and here.