Research Groups:From Creation to Sinai - Jewish, Christian, and Qur'anic Traditions in Interaction


[RG # 149]  From Creation to Sinai: Jewish, Christian, and Qur'anic Traditions in Interaction

September 1, 2016- July 1, 2017

Esther Eshel (Bar-Ilan University)
Menahem Kister (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem)

The Book of Genesis and the beginning of the Book of Exodus are of utmost importance for many fundamental issues in the study of Judaism, Christianity, and nascent Islam. The traditions related to the narrative passages of these books refer, inter alia, to the Creation of the World, Adam as bearer of God's image, angels and demons, Enoch, Divine election, the covenants with the patriarchs prior to Sinai, the establishment of monotheism, the formation of Israel as a nation, and the Exodus. These themes were highly significant in the formulation of the competing religious worldviews and self-understanding of Second Temple and rabbinic Judaism, early Christianity, Gnosticism, and eventually early Islam. It should be emphasized that the relevant material is not confined to works dedicated expressly to the exegesis of these biblical books; rather, themes of Genesis and the beginning of Exodus are part and parcel of the religious messages of Jewish, Christian and nascent Islamic thought.

Themes and traditions from Genesis and Exodus may be found in a vast array of sources in Antiquity. The Qur'an – unlike medieval Islamic traditions – is one of the latest products of Late Antiquity. While scholarship by and large has tended toward the study of the relevant biblical themes in each religion unto itself, comparative studies transcending the boundaries between the corpora of varying religious traditions are often mutually illuminating. The group’s purpose is not merely to map and compare divergent traditions, but also to elucidate the dynamics of transformation among them, considering the relationships (including polemics and influence) among the religious groups of Antiquity. The anticipated collaboration of scholars from diverse backgrounds in the proposed Research Group will be a rare opportunity for productive synergy.



William Adler

William Adler

North Carolina State University
William is a professor in the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies at North Carolina State University. His research interests are …

Hagit Amirav

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Hagit is a professor in the Faculty of Texts and Traditions at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. Her research interests are early Christianity and Patristics, …

Gary Anderson

University of Notre Dame
Gary is a professor in the Department of Biblical Studies/Christianity and Judaism in Antiquity at the University of Notre Dame. His research interests are the …

Esther Eshel

Bar-Ilan University
Esther is a professor in the Bible Department at Bar-Ilan University. Her research interests are Jewish literature of the Second Temple period, including later …

Menahem Kister

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Menahem is a professor in the Departments of Bible and Talmud at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. His research interests are the Jewish literature of the …

Joseph Witztum

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Joseph is a professor in the Department of Arabic Language and Literature at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. His research focuses on Quran and Hadith and …


Long Term Visiting Scholars

Long-Term Visiting Scholars:

Emmanouela Grypeou, Freie Universität Berlin

Christoph Markschies, Humboldt-Universität 

David T. Runia, University of Melbourne

James Kugel, Bar-Ilan University & Harvard University

Michael Stone, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem


TitleThe evolving tradition of the 3 groups on the red sea - midrash,psuedo-philo,philo and Josephus

Date: Thursday 08/09/2016 

Time And Speaker :Menahem Kister

TYPE: introductory Seminar