The Five Books of Moses,
by Everett Fox ISBN 186046-142-5.
This is to date the best
translation there is of the Tora. He is not influenced by Rabbinic
understandings of the Halakha and intends to translate according to the
plain meaning of the text. In his translation, he tries to reproduce in
English the rhythm and the distinctive Hebraic quality of the Hebrew text.
For our bible reading schedule for the course
please click here.
1) An Introduction to
Biblical Hebrew, by Thomas O. Lambdin, ISBN: 0232513694. I highly recommend this book as it is probably the best
there is on its subject. It has very few mistakes, I have only noticed about
five, and other books on Biblical Hebrew are usually riddled with mistakes.
2) A History of the
Hebrew Language by Angel Saenz-Badillos, ISBN 0-521-55634-1. A very thorough history of the Hebrew language.
Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon,
ISBN 1-56563-206-0. Probably the best Hebrew and English lexicon
there is, a must.
KARAITE HISTORY AND THEOLOGY
1) As it is Written: The Brief Case For Karaism, by
Lichaa, Rekhavi, Gordon, ISBN: 123456789789. A concise pamphlet detailing
the foundations of Karaite Judaism.
2) Karaites in Byzantium:
the formative years, 970-1100,
by Zvi Ankori, ISBN:0-404-51597-5 / 040451597.
The author is not a Karaite,
hence the book should be used with
3) History of the
Karaites, by Nathan Schur, ISBN: 3-631-44435-4.
An interesting book with lots of facts, again written by a Rabbanite should
also be used with caution especially the section on the origins of Karaism.
4) The Karaite Jews of
Egypt from 1882-1986, by Mourad el-Kodsi, ISBN: 0962005207. The author is himself an Egyptian Karaite.
Chapter VI, 'A new Light on the Rise of Karaism' p. 93 to 116 in
The Rise of the Karaite Sect,
by Dr. Zvi Cahn. An orthodox Jew explores the history related to
Karaite Judaism. Right click on hyperlink and use "save target as" to save
the adobe version of this out of print, no longer subject to copywrite book.
COMPLETE KARAITE WORKS
TRANSLATED INTO ENGLISH.
Faith Strengthened: The Jewish
Answer to Christianity by Isaac
Troki (Author), Moses Mocatta (Translator)
The author was a 15th
Century Lithuania Karaite. The book is one of the best anti-missionary works
ever written. He critically analyses every christological passage of the Mikra. Faith
Strengthened: is available online at:
2) A Commentary on the
Book of Daniel, by Yepheth ibn Ali the Karaite.
3) Jewish Sects and Christianity,
by Ya'qub al-Qirqisani a translation by Bruno Chiesa and Wilfrid
Lockwood, ISBN 3-8204-8061-7. This is not a complete
work but a translation of the first section of Ya'qub al-Qirqisani's Book of
Lights and Watchtowers.
Twenty Chapters: Ishrun Maqala (Ishrun
Al-Muqammis (first half
of the 9th Century) was a Karaite Bible commentator and philosopher. His
book "Twenty Chapters" was the first Jewish work on Mutazilite
Wisdom of Ben Sira 1916, by
ISBN: 1417980621 and
Ecclesiasticus: Sirach, by ISBN:
This is a Second Temple
work the author was with out doubt a Sadducee as can be seen from the work
itself. It is therefore one of the few surviving Sadducean works. The book
can be found in the Apocrypha, but most translations are made from the Greek
translation of the Hebrew original. If the translation contains a psalm that
the first and every other line is "Give thanks...", inserted in the middle
of chapter 51 or at the end of chapter 51 it is based on the Hebrew
Karaite Anthology: Excerpts from the Early
by Leon Nemoy, ISBN: 0300039298.
Recommended even if the author is a Rabbanite and does get some
2) Text and Studies Karaitica,
by Jacob Mann, Jewish Publication Society. This book is a must, but I
am sure that it has been out of print for almost 50 years.
The second volume of the present
TEXTS & STUDIES is devoted to the affairs of the Karaites (a Jewish minority
that began in the 8th century) and their affairs in the Near East, Turkey
and the Crimea, and Lithuania and Poland. The manuscript material
incorporated is from the 9th to the 19th centuries.
3) Karaite Studies edited
by Philip Birnbaum. An interesting anthology.
4) The Judean Scrolls and Karaism by Naphtali Wieder. Horovitz Publishing Co. Ltd London, East and
West Library, 1962. xii, 296 pages.
The first chapter is not
really relevant to Karaism but the rest is. I read this book while I was at
Yeshiva and starting to go over to Karaism. This is the book that helped me
to realize that Karaism is correct and to finally abandon Rabbanism.
1) Ancient Israel its
Life and Institutions by Roland de Vaux, ISBN
0-232-51219-1. This is a good book but
should be used with much caution. The author was a Catholic Monk, was
originally in charge of the excavations at Qumran, he believed in the
garbage of the J,E,P,D theory and was anti-Semitic, but it is still a good
2) The Prophets by
Abraham J. Heschel, ISBN: 0061315575.
This book is excellent. The words of the Prophets pulsate through it.
3) Theology of the Old
Testament, by Walther Eichrodt, ISBN 334-01632-0. This a good book but
should be used with caution. The author was a Protestant Theologian and
believed in the documentary hypothesis theory.
4) Plants of the Bible, by
Michael Zohary, ISBN 0521-24926-0. This is a good book and
is very helpful in determining the correct translation for the flora
mentioned in the Mikra.
5) The Modern Bible Atlas,
by Yohanan Aharoni and Michael Avi-Yonah. ISBN 0-04-22008-3.
1) Near Eastern Mythology:
Mesopotamia, Syria, Palestine,
by John Gray, ISBN:0600036383.
The book is a good introduction to the Religions and Mythologies of Mesopotamia and
Canaan. Knowledge of the religions of these places enables us to understand
certain miswoth of the Tora that are against idol worship and why YHWH finds
these religions so detestable.
2) History of the Arabs,
by Philip K. Hitti. Macmillan ISBN 0-333-09871-4. One of the best works on
Arab history. The bulk of the book concentrates on the Medieval Period and
it is therefore a good source for the political and cultural environment
that Karaism found itself in during its "Golden Age".
1) The Disputation,
ISBN: 0714543179 the
author is anonymous, Scholarly Publications England. A
very good work.
2) Jesus Versus
Christianity, by Alfred Reynolds, ISBN
0-946101-03-5. This is a very good counter-missionary work written by a
TORA AND SCIENCE.
1) Genesis and the Big
Bang, by Gerald L. Schroeder, Ph.D. ISBN 0-553-07083-5. The author is a religious
2) In the Beginning...
Biblical Creation and Science, by Nathan Aviezer, ISBN 0-88125-328-6. The author is a religious
3) God and Evolution by R.J Berry, Hodder and Stroughton ISBN 0-340-34249-8. The author is a devout
Christian and therefore should be used with caution.
4) Life after Life, by
Raymond A. Moody M.D, Bantam Books. ISBN 0-553-20433-5. This is an excellent
book, I read it at Yeshiva, and it was another book that influenced me. The
author proves by case records that life after physical death is a reality. A
OTHER SCHOLARLY WORKS RECOMMENDED:
L. Nemoy, "The Pseudo-Qūmisī an
Sermon to the Karaites",
Proceedings of the American Academy of Jewish
Research 43 (1976), pp.49–105
M. Polliack, "Major Trends in Karaite Biblical
Exegesis in the Tenth and Eleventh Centuries", in: M. Polliack (ed.),
Karaite Judaism: A Guide to its History and Literary Sources,
Boston: Brill, 2003 [The readers attention is directed to an article by
Hakham Magdi Shamuel]
The Karaite Tradition of Arabic
E.J. Leiden: Brill 1997
ADDITIONAL SUGGESTED READING LIST:
“The First Section of the Book
of Lights and Watchtowers by Abū Yūsuf Ya‘qūb al-Qirqisānī”,
in: B. Chiesa and W. Lockwood, Ya‘qūb al-Qirqisānī on
Jewish Sects and Christianity, Frankfurt: Peter Lang,
1984, pp. 91–188
of Biblical Exegesis”,
in: L. Nemoy, Karaite Anthology,
New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1952, pp. 53–68
H. L. Strack and G.
Introduction to the Talmud and Midrash,
Minneapolis: Fortress Press,
Scripture Well: Karaite Exegetes and the Origins of the Jewish Bible
Commentary in the Islamic East,
Leiden: Brill, 2004
M. Polliack and E.
Schlossberg, “Historical-Literary, Rhetorical and Redactional Methods of
Interpretation in Yefet Ben ‘Eli's Introduction to the Minor Prophets”,
in: G. Khan (ed.),
Exegesis and Grammar in Medieval Karaite Texts, Oxford: Oxford University
Press 2001, pp. 1–39
Doctrine of the Two Messiahs Among the Karaites”,
Journal of Jewish Studies 6
(1955) pp. 14–23
Mourners of Zion (“’Avelei Siyyon”): Karaite Aliyah Movement of the Early
Arab Period”, in:
M. Mor (ed.), Eretz Israel, Israel and the Jewish
Diaspora: Mutual Relations, Lanham, Md.: University Press of America, 1991,
Karaite Controversy: Scripture and Tradition in Early Karaism”, in:
Lewis and F. Niewöhner (eds.), Religionsgespräche im Mittelalter, Wiesbaden:
O. Harrassowitz, 1992, pp. 11–26
of Daniel al-Qūmisī’s Commentary on the Book of Daniel as a Historical
Henoch 8 (1991) pp. 259–281
Y. Erder, “The Karaites’
Sadducee Dilemma”, Israel Oriental Studies 14 (1994) pp. 195–226
Neriah HaRoe's Reading Suggestion:
Controversial Points in the Karaite Law of Incest"