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Online lecture on early Arabic Bibles

The Gotha Research Library of the University of Erfurt invites all interested parties to the next online lecture "The Bible in Arabic? A look at early manuscripts" by Professor Ronny Vollandt (Munich). The event will take place on Wednesday, 24 March, as part of the "Gotha Manuscript Talks" series and will begin at 5 pm.

In the lecture, Ronny Vollandt will present the state of research on Arabic versions of the Bible, of which there are estimated to be about ten thousand manuscripts. This corpus includes translations of the Hebrew Bible or the Old Testament, but also of the New Testament. A considerable number go back to deuterocanonical books. Some of these manuscripts have survived the ages as intact codices. However, a not insignificant part has survived only in fragments or in the form of objects that have been reused. They can be found in public or ecclesiastical collections worldwide. Bible manuscripts were produced from the 9th to the 20th century. Some Arabic versions are of Jewish origin, others are of Christian or Samaritan origin. Each religious group created and preserved its own corpus of Bible translations into Arabic, based on different source texts (the Masoretic text, but also Greek, Syriac, Coptic and Latin versions).

Ronny Vollandt discusses the state of affairs regarding the origins of Bible versions in Arabic, the various text types, models and translation strategies, the geographical and confessional distribution, as well as the nature of production, distribution and reception. Here, an attempt is made to bring together the different tendencies in a dynamic field of scholarship that has received significant impetus since the turn of the millennium and in which much of the recent research is based on hardly studied primary texts.

Vollandt is a professor of Jewish Studies at the Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich and currently the first chairman of the association "Judaisten in Deutschland e.V." He teaches rabbinic Judaism and the intellectual history of the Jews in the Islamic world. He researches Arabic versions of the Bible, Judaeo-Arabic literature and Jewish cultural heritage, especially manuscripts, in the Middle East.

Admission to the free event is via this link: https://uni-erfurt.webex.com/meet/veranstaltungen.fb.

Further information / contact:

Curator of the Oriental Manuscript Collection
(Gotha Research Library)
Gotha Research Library (Gotha, Schlossplatz 1)
Office hours
on appointment
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The Gotha Research Library preserves the third largest collection of Oriental manuscripts in Germany. These approximately 3,400 manuscripts, most of which came into the library around 1800, are relevant to all fields of scholarship and shed light on the most diverse aspects of manuscript cultures. By inviting renowned researchers to the Gotha Manuscript Talks, the Research Library Gotha would like to use the material in a webinar series to provide impulses for an increased exchange on manuscript cultures across disciplinary boundaries and to bring researchers and interested parties into conversation with each other about oriental manuscripts. The moderator is Dr Feras Krimsti, who is in charge of the library's collection of oriental manuscripts.