The Bible in its Near Eastern Contexts (Ancient, Medieval, Modern): Philological Perspectives on the Pentateuch, Syriac, Samaritan, and Arabic Bibles

A panel discussion with George A. Kiraz, Konrad Schmid, Sabine Schmidtke, and Stefan Schorch

Institute for Advanced Study
1 Einstein Drive, Princeton, New Jersey 08540 USA, West Seminar room

November 15, 4-6 pm

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George A. Kiraz is currently co-editing a new edition of the Syriac Bible (The Antioch Bible), fully vocalized and pointed, along with an English translation made by an international inter-faith committee of biblical scholars. He has been involved in biblical digital humanities projects since the late 1980s and produced a six-volume concordance to the Syriac New Testament (Brill, 1993) and a four-volume comparative edition of the Syriac Gospels, textually aligning the texts of the Old Syriac, Peshitta and Harklean versions (Brill, 1996). His SEDRA database of the Syriac New Testament, with full morphological analysis of every word, has been used in many biblical tools and websites.

Sabine Schmidtke is working on the Muslim reception of the Bible and its early translation history into Arabic. Among her recent publications are “Notes on an Arabic translation of the Pentateuch in the library of the Twelver Shīʿī scholar Raḍī al-Dīn ʿAlī b. Mūsā Ibn Ṭāwūs (d. 664/1266),” Shii Studies Review 1 (2017) <https://albert.ias.edu/handle/20.500.12111/ 29>. She is currently involved in a collaborative project, a critical edition of Ḥārith b. Sinān’s Arabic translation of the Pentateuch.

Konrad Schmid’s research focuses on the literary history of the Pentateuch and the reconstruction of the redactional processes that led to its final shape. He co-directed a research group on the formation of the Pentateuch at the Israel Institute of Advanced Study in Jerusalem. The proceedings of that group are published as Jan C. Gertz, Bernard M. Levinson, Dalit Rom-Shiloni, Konrad Schmid (eds.), The Formation of the Pentateuch: Bridging the Academic Cultures between Europe, Israel, and North America, FAT 111, Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2016.

Stefan Schorch fields comprise the literary and textual history of the Hebrew Bible and Jewish literature of the Hellenistic and Roman period, Hebrew linguistics, and the Samaritan literary tradition. Among his recent publications is “Dissimilatory reading and the making of Biblical texts: The Jewish Pentateuch and the Samaritan Pentateuch”, in: R.F. Person/R. Rezetko (eds.): Empirical models challenging biblical criticism (Atlanta 2016), 109–127. He is currently working on a critical editio maior of the Samaritan Pentateuch, and a history of early Samaritan theology (2nd century BCE - 11th century CE).