The Society of Biblical Literature
is the oldest and largest international scholarly membership organization in the field of biblical studies. Founded in 1880, the Society has grown to over 8,500 international members including teachers, students, religious leaders and individuals from all walks of life who share a mutual interest in the critical investigation of the Bible.
In the Muslim world, from the ninth to the thirteenth
century, there was a burgeoning of interest in the Bible. It was in Islamic
Tiberias that the first critical edition of the Hebrew Bible—the Masoretic Text—was
produced, yet this is only one of many achievements during this extraordinarily
productive era. In Iraq, Syria, Palestine, Yemen, Egypt, North Africa, and
Spain Jews, Christians, and Samaritans produced multiple, often competing,
translations of the Bible into Arabic. They also penned hundreds of linear,
verse-by-verse, word-by-word commentaries, written from multiple perspectives
and representing different traditions. This focus on the Bible generated a
large cognate literature as well, including lexicons and grammars; legal
monographs and codes; systematic works of theology and philosophy; polemical
tracts and heresiographies. Muslims and Zoroastrians also showed increasing
awareness of and interest in the Bible, as exemplified by the “Legends of the
Prophets” anthologies produced during the period and the appeal to biblical
verses in anti-Jewish and anti-Christian polemics.
To help create a foundation for the study of this, one
of the last frontiers in the history of biblical studies, the Writings from the
Islamic World (WIW) series makes available original sources from the Arabic
tradition, including translations of the Bible and commentaries, as well as
texts, translations, and studies related to the cognate literature. Texts in
Arabic will be the primary focus, but works produced in other languages will be
included as well, especially Armenian, Hebrew, Persian, and Syriac. Volumes,
which typically include an Introduction, the original text with English
translation, explanatory or textual notes, bibliography, and indices, are ideal
for both scholars and students of religion, culture, and the history of
exegesis during the medieval period.
For more information about publishing a book in this series, contact general editor James T. Robinson.
Nonnus of Nisibis, Commentary on the Gospel of Saint John
Robert W. Thomson, 2014 (forthcoming), WIW 1