<p>Abstract:</p><p>Building on medieval claims, modern scholars have long asserted that Saadia ben Joseph Gaon depicted the Oral Torah and extra-biblical institutions as rooted in divine authority primarily, if not exclusively, in order to parry Karaite claims. This essay argues that focus on Karaism obscures a cross-cultural factor that helped shape Saadia's claims, namely, that Muslim jurists prior to and contemporaneous with Saadia likewise jettisoned non-prophetic elements of religious law and attempted to root Islamic law solely in prophetic dictates. This article traces Saadia's emphasis on prophetic authority in his claims about the scope of revelation, his depiction of the role of the rabbis, and his portrayal of extra-biblical institutions. It underscores that contemporary Islamic depictions of religious law were decisive in Saadia's presentations of the sources of Jewish law.</p>
Jewish Quarterly Review – University of Pennsylvania Press
Published: Sep 26, 2018
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