The volume contains critical editions of the extant parts of two hitherto unknown theological works by the
Būyid vizier al-Ṣāḥib b. ʿAbbād (d. 385/925), who is well known to have vigorously promoted the teaching of
Muʿtazilī theology throughout
Būyid territories and beyond. The manuscripts on which the edition is based come from Cairo Geniza store rooms. They consist of two manuscripts for each of the two texts—testimony to the impact of al-Ṣāḥib’s education policy on the contemporaneous Jewish community in Cairo. The longer treatise of al-Ṣāḥib of ca. 350/960, possibly his
Kitāb Nahj al-sabīl fī uṣūl al-dīn, appears to be the earliest
Muʿtazilī work preserved among the Jewish community. The second, briefer treatise also contains a commentary by ʿAbd al-Jabbār al-Hamadānī (d. 415/1025).
This work offers a seminal research into Arabic translations of the Pentateuch. It is no exaggeration to speak of this field as a terra incognita. Biblical versions in Arabic were produced over many centuries, on the basis of a wide range of source languages (Hebrew, Syriac, Greek, or Coptic), and in varying contexts. The textual evidence for this study is exclusively based on a corpus of about 150 manuscripts, containing the Pentateuch in Arabic or parts thereof.