‘One never knows what the past will hold tomorrow.’ – a Mongolian proverb quoted by Mohammad Ali Amir-Moezzi, The Spirituality of Shi‘i Islam: Beliefs and Practices (London and New York: I. B. Tauris Publishers, 2011), 83.
‘All literary works … are “rewritten,” if only unconsciously, by the societies which read them; indeed, there is no reading of a work which is not also a “re-writing”.’ – Terry Eagleton, Literary Theory: An Introduction (2d ed.; Minneapolis: The University of Minnesota Press, 1996), 11.
‘Each age’s vision of the past is formed by its present concerns. It is from the standpoint of the present that we look back on the past to tell us who we are, where we came from, how we became as we are today, where we may be going; but in this questioning, this effort at recollection, it is the present which is given, the past which is vague and amorphous. Hence each age rewrites the past in the image of its present.’ – Julie Meisami, “The Past in Service of the Present: Two Views of History in Medieval Persia,” Poetics Today 14 (1993): 247, with my emphasis.
An overview and comparative study of a broad variety of Jewish, Christian, gnostic, and Muslim literary traditions surrounding characters and narrative events featured in the biblical book of Genesis. The texts which we will examine encompass approximately 1800 years from the putative sources of the biblical book itself to medieval works like the Zohar and the Syriac language world chronicle of Bar Hebraeus. Careful consideration will be given to the cultural issues surrounding the generation (or is it the preservation?) and manipulation of both scriptural and canonically extraneous lore and legendry pertaining to Genesis.
Warning: In this class you will hear or read ideas which may disturb, shock, dismay, or outrage you, and you will be compelled to think using methodological paradigms which you may deem troubling, wrong-headed, blasphemous, or even sacrilegious. If you think you might be uncomfortable in this situation, then this is definitely not the class for you. On the other hand, if you think you can suspend your uncritical attachments to certain notions about scriptures, their meaning, and the circumstances surrounding their production, then you will undoubtedly learn a great deal about the symbiotic relationship between literature and culture as well as the historical and cultural matrices betwixt which Judaism, Christianity, and Islam arose and flourished.
You do not need to buy anything from the bookstore. Web links to many of the texts we will read are available on the course website. Other texts will be distributed by the instructor either in class or electronically as needed.
a. Readings. The nature of this course entails a significant amount of close reading and reflection both within and outside of class. Students are responsible for completing the reading assignments (outlined below or assigned in class) in a timely manner. Every student must read and critically engage substantial portions of Bible, Qur’ān, parascriptural works, commentaries, testimonia, folktales, and esoterica which have been englished from texts originally written in Hebrew, Aramaic, Syriac, Mandaic, Greek, Latin, Coptic, Arabic, Persian, and Ethiopic.
b. Take-home written exercises. An indeterminate number of written exercises (usually one per week; optimally one per class) will be prepared and submitted for in-class discussion and out-of-class evaluation. These exercises vary in length from less than one (1) to a maximum of five (5) pages. All of these exercises will be announced and explained by the instructor during the course of or at the conclusion of a class meeting. The instructor’s evaluation of the student’s collective written exercise performance (using a scale √+ = A-; √ = C+; √- = D) will comprise 75% of the course grade.
c. Take-home final examination. Instead of an in-class three-hour final examination, you will prepare a final essay wherein you will be expected to synthesize many of the major issues and themes discussed in class and in the required readings, as well as to demonstrate your knowledge of the specific source materials and facts which pertain to those issues and themes. Once its topic is assigned and distributed (on the final class meeting day), this essay will be e-mailed to the instructor before the date and time officially mandated for the final examination of this course by the UNC Charlotte administration. The final essay is worth 15% of the course grade.
d. Individual involvement. Almost perfect attendance (see below) is an essential requirement for this course. Each class meeting builds upon the knowledge gained during previous meetings. Moreover, in-class discussion and analysis comprises a significant portion of every class meeting. Preparation for every class usually involves the completion of a series of assigned readings and/or written assignment(s). Students are expected to contribute in an informed manner* to the public analysis and discussion of any assigned topic. The instructor’s assessment of one’s attendance, class preparation, and informed oral contributions will constitute 10% of the final course grade.
e. Zakhor (Remember!): Mastery of the assigned readings and diligent class attendance are necessary prerequisites for the successful completion of this course. Each student is responsible for all lectures, class discussions, assignments, and announcements, whether or not he/she is present when they occur.
f. It is the policy of UNC Charlotte for the Fall 2021 semester that as a condition of on-campus enrollment, all students are required to engage in safe behaviors to avoid the spread of COVID-19 in our community. Such behaviors specifically include the requirement that all students properly wear CDC-compliant face coverings in all indoor spaces on campus, including in this classroom, regardless of your vaccination status. Failure to comply with this policy in this classroom may result in dismissal from the current class session. If a student refuses to follow this policy, s/he will be referred to the Office of Student Conduct and Academic Integrity for charges under the Code of Student Responsibility.
*Note well Prov 15:28: לב צדיק יהגה לענות ופי רשעים יביע רעות, which I’m inclined to render as ‘the mind of the devoted (student) contemplates before answering, whereas the mouth of the clueless spews out worthless nonsense.’
a. The grading scale used in this course is as follows:
91-100 A = demonstrable mastery of material; can creatively synthesize
81-90 B = some demonstrable proficiency in control of material & analysis
71-80 C = satisfactory performance of assignments; little or no analysis
61-70 D = inadequate and/or faulty understanding of material
0-60 F = unacceptable work
b. One of the requirements of this course is to complete the work of the course on time. Sometimes there are legitimate reasons for late work—an illness or other emergency. ‘Emergency,’ however, does not include your social involvements, travel plans, job schedule, disk, wi-fi, and/or printer failures, the state of your love life, your obligations to other courses, or general malaise over the state of the world. The world has been in a mess as long as anyone can remember, and most of the world’s work is done by people whose lives are a mass of futility and discontent. If you haven’t learned yet, you had better learn now to work under the conditions of the world as it is. Therefore:
1) Homework exercises are due on the date announced by the instructor in class. They must be typed, double-spaced, and submitted by email to me in either Microsoft Word or Adobe format prior to the start of the class for which they have been assigned. No physical copies of homework will be accepted or returned. Since we will normally discuss these exercises together in class on that date, it would clearly be unfair to those who submitted their work on time for me to accept ‘late’ work from those who were privy to our in-class discussion. Hence I will not accept ‘late’ homework submissions (even from those of you who may be physically absent during our discussion); however, ‘early’ submissions (i.e., before the start of class) are always welcome and will receive full credit. These exercises are graded using a scale √+ = A-; √ = C+; √- = D; failure to submit = 0.
2) For accounting purposes, letter grades bear the following values: A=95; A-=92; B=85; C+=78; C=75; D=65; F=30. A paper or written exercise that is not typed automatically receives the grade F, as do any typed papers which violate the required formatting parameters or which the instructor deems physically unacceptable and/or grammatically incomprehensible.
3) Since your diligent physical participation is critical for the success of this course, attendance at class meetings will be monitored by the instructor. One or two absences are regrettable; three (3) is the limit of tolerability. Each successive absence lowers this portion of your course assessment by one letter grade; seven (7) or more results in an automatic F for the 10% of your course grade that is dependent upon attendance and class participation. Please note that, with the exception of religious holidays, the instructor does not distinguish ‘excused’ from ‘unexcused’ absences. Unsanctioned late arrivals and early departures will be tallied as absences.
4) I do not post grades on Canvas or use it for grading. You can easily determine your own course progress (or lack thereof) by paying attention to number and quality of the grades you earn and performing the arithmetic required (using the equivalency tables listed above) to generate a ‘rough’ grade average.
c. For absences related to COVID-19, please do the following:
- Complete your Niner Health Check (in your email) each morning.
- Do not come to class if you are sick. Please protect your health and the health of others by staying home. Contact your healthcare provider if you believe you are ill.
- If you are sick: If you test positive or are evaluated by a healthcare provider for symptoms of COVID-19, indicate so on your Niner Health Check to alert the University. Submit a copy of your Niner Health Check notification email to your instructors. Upon learning that you have tested positive or have been diagnosed for symptoms of COVID-19, either from your reporting or from Student Health Center testing or diagnosis, representatives from Emergency Management and/or the Student Health Center will follow up with you as necessary, and your instructors will be notified.
- If you have been exposedto COVID-19 positive individuals and/or have been notified to self-quarantine due to such exposure, indicate so on your Niner Health Check to alert the University. Representatives from Emergency Management and/or the Student Health Center will follow up with you as necessary. Submit a copy of your Niner Health Check notification email to your instructors. If you need any additional support verifying your absence(s) after you have communicated with your professors, contact Student Assistance and Support Services.
To return to class after being absent due to a period of self-quarantine, students should submit a copy of their Niner Health Check clearance email to their instructor(s). To return to class after being absent due to a COVID-19 diagnosis, students should submit an online request form to Student Assistance and Support Services (SASS). Supporting documentation can be attached directly to the request form and should be from a student’s health care provider or the Student Health Center, clearly indicating the dates of absences and the date the student is able to return to class. Instructors will be notified of such absences.
If you are absent from class as a result of a COVID-19 diagnosis or quarantine, I will try to help you continue to make progress in the course by providing remote learning resources and/or assignments. Please bear in mind that the final decision for approval of all absences and missed work in this course is determined by the instructor.
d. There will be no class meetings on the following days:
Tuesday, Sept. 7 (Rosh Hashanah)
Thursday, Sept. 16 (Yom Kippur)
Thursday, Sept. 23 (Founders Day)
Tuesday, Oct. 12 (Student Recess)
Thursday, Oct. 21 (in homage to the gods of football)
Thursday, Nov. 25 (Thanksgiving Day)
e. Assistance and solicitation of criticism is your right as a member of the class. It is not a privilege to be granted or withheld. Do not hesitate to request it nor wait too late in the course for it to be of help.
f. The standards, requirements, and procedures set forth in this syllabus are subject to modification at any time by the course instructor. Notice of such changes will be by announcement in class, or by email, or by changes to this syllabus posted on the course website at https://pages.charlotte.edu/john-reeves/course-materials/.
Rough Course Outline
1. Introduction: What is ‘scripture’?
a. publication, scripturalization, canonization
b. Genesis as ‘scripture’
c. the problematic notion of ‘rewritten scripture’
d. folktale analysis
2. A brief survey of ‘rewritten forms’ of Genesis, with some assessment/testing of their utility
a. compositional and expositional formats within rabbinic tradition
b. the Dead Sea Scrolls
c. Jewish apocryphal and pseudepigraphical sources
d. ‘gnostic’ counter-narratives to Genesis
e. Christian ‘historiography’ and the eastern Cave of Treasures cycle
f. the Qur’ān, Muslim ‘historiography,’ and the qiṣaṣ al-anbiyā’ traditions
3. Selected case studies for intensive study (not necessarily in this order!)
a. cosmogonic and cosmological issues (Gen 1:1-2:25 // Q 7:54; 10:3; 11:7; 21:30-33; 25:58-59; 32:4; 50:38; 57:4; cf. 41:9-12)
b. anthropogenesis (Gen 1:26-31; 2:4b-25 // Q 15:26-28; 16:4; 18:37; 23:12-16; 40:67-68)
c. the first human pair (Gen 3:1-24 // Q 2:30-39; 7:11-27; 15:26-50; 17:61-65; 18:50-51; 20:115-26; 38:67-88)
d. Satan/Samael/Iblīs (no specific Genesis lemma // Q 2:30-39; 7:11-27; 15:26-50; 38:71-85)
e. Cain and Abel (Gen 4:1-16 // Q 5:27-34)
f. the ‘sons of God’ and the ‘daughters of man’ (Gen 6:1-4 // Q 2:101-103)
g. the anonymous wife of Noah (Gen 6:18; 7:7; 8:18 // Q 65:10)
h. Abraham in Ur and Ḥarrān (Gen 11:27-32 // Q 6:74-84; 19:41-50; 21:51-73; 26:69-86; 29:16-27; 37:83-98; 43:26-27; 60:4)
i. Nimrod (Gen 10:8-10 // (?) Q 41:15-16; 46:21-25; 51:41-42; 54:18-21; 69:6-8)
j. Joseph and the wife of Potiphar (Gen 39:1-23 // Q 12:21-34)
4. Concluding remarks and reflections
Supplemental Bibliography for LBST 2212
In response to student requests for recommendations regarding useful and enlightening discussions of certain topics, themes, and personalities that are presented in class and/or readings, I offer the following suggestions for further study at the student’s leisure. I confine myself to materials which I myself have used with profit and which are currently available at Atkins Library.
It is often helpful for the student to begin with appropriate articles in the standard Bible dictionaries. The most up to date are The New Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible (5 vols.; ed. Katherine Doob Sakenfeld; Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2006-09) and The Anchor Bible Dictionary (6 vols.; New York: Doubleday, 1992). Dated but still reliable are The Interpreters’ Dictionary of the Bible (4 vols.) and its Supplementary Volume (ed. George A. Buttrick; Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1962 & 1976), and the Harper’s Bible Dictionary (ed. Paul J. Achtemeier; San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1985). Highly recommended are the relevant articles in the new Encyclopaedia Judaica (22 vols.; Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA/Thomson Gale, 2007), the Encyclopaedia of Islam (2d ed.; 11 vols.; Leiden: Brill, 1954-2002), the Encyclopaedia of the Qur’ān (6 vols.; ed. Jane Dammen McAuliffe; Leiden: Brill, 2001-06), and The Qur’ān: An Encyclopedia (ed. Oliver Leaman; London and New York: Routledge, 2006).
Traditional Commentaries and Midrashim (I give references to English translations only)
Chumash with Targum Onkelos, Haphtaroth, and Rashi’s Commentary (5 vols.; ed. A[braham]. M[aurice]. Silbermann and M[orris]. Rosenbaum; repr. Jerusalem: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1985). Only the biblical text and Rashi are translated into English.
Israel Drazin, Targum Onkelos to Genesis (Hoboken, N.J.: Ktav Publishing House, 1998).
Bernard Grossfeld, Targum Onkelos to Genesis (The Aramaic Bible 6; Wilmington, Del.: Michael Glazier, 1988).
Martin McNamara, Targum Neofiti I: Genesis (The Aramaic Bible 1A; Collegeville, Md.: The Liturgical Press, 1992).
Michael Maher, Targum Pseudo-Jonathan: Genesis (The Aramaic Bible 1B; Collegeville, Md.: The Liturgical Press, 1992).
Midrash Rabbah (5 vols.; ed. and trans. H[arry]. Freedman and Maurice Simon; repr. London and New York: Soncino Press, 1977). The first volume translates Genesis Rabbah.
Jacob Neusner, Genesis Rabbah, the Judaic Commentary to the Book of Genesis: A New American Translation (3 vols.; Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1985).
Pirkê de Rabbi Eliezer (trans. Gerald Friedlander; repr. New York: Sepher-Hermon Press, 1981).
Ramban (= Nachmanides), Commentary on the Torah (5 vols.; trans. Charles B. Chavel; New York: Shilo Publishing House, 1971-76).
The Zohar (5 vols.; trans. Harry Sperling and Maurice Simon; repr. London: Soncino Press, 1973).
The Zohar = [Sefer ha-Zohar] (12 vols.; trans. Daniel C. Matt; Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2004-17).
Modern Critical Commentaries to Genesis
Umberto Cassuto, A Commentary on the Book of Genesis (2 vols.; Jerusalem: Magnes Press, 1961). Regrettably unfinished; extends only to around Genesis 12.
Herman Gunkel, Genesis (3d ed.; Göttingen, 1910; Eng. trans. Mark E. Biddle, Macon: Mercer University Press, 1997).
Gerhard von Rad, Genesis: A Commentary (rev. ed.; Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1972).
Nahum M. Sarna, The JPS Torah Commentary: Genesis/Bereshit (Philadelphia, New York, and Jerusalem: The Jewish Publication Society, 1989).
John Skinner, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on Genesis (ICC; Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1910).
Ephraim A. Speiser, Genesis: Introduction, Translation, and Notes (Anchor Bible 1; Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1964).
Claus Westermann, Genesis 1-11; 12-36; 37-50 (3 vols.; Minneapolis: Augsburg, 1984-86).
Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha Resources
Gary A. Anderson and Michael E. Stone, eds., A Synopsis of the Books of Adam and Eve (2d rev. ed.; Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1999).
R. H. Charles, ed., The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament in English (2 vols.; Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1913).
James H. Charlesworth, ed., The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha (2 vols.; Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1983-85).
______, The Pseudepigrapha and Modern Research, With A Supplement (Chico, CA: Scholars Press, 1981).
John C. Reeves, ed., Tracing the Threads: Studies in the Vitality of Jewish Pseudepigrapha (Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1994).
H. F. D. Sparks, ed., The Apocryphal Old Testament (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1984).
Michael E. Stone, ed., Armenian Apocrypha Relating to Adam and Eve (SVTP 14; Leiden: Brill, 1996).
______, A History of the Literature of Adam and Eve (Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1992).
Michael E. Stone and Theodore A. Bergren, eds., Biblical Figures Outside the Bible (Harrisburg, Pa.: Trinity Press International, 1998). Relevant articles on Adam/Eve, Seth, Enosh, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Melchizedek, Levi, and Joseph.
Dead Sea Scrolls Resources
Moshe J. Bernstein, “Contours of Genesis Interpretation at Qumran: Contents, Context, and Nomenclature,” in James L. Kugel, ed., Studies in Ancient Midrash ([Cambridge, Mass.]: Harvard University Center for Jewish Studies, 2001), 57-85.
Florentino García Martínez, The Dead Sea Scrolls Translated: The Qumran Scrolls in English (2d ed.; Leiden and Grand Rapids, Mich.: Brill and Eerdmans, 1996).
Dorothy M. Peters, Noah Traditions in the Dead Sea Scrolls: Conversations and Controversies of Antiquity (Leiden: Brill, 2009).
Géza Vermès, The Complete Dead Sea Scrolls in English (New York: Penguin Books, 1998).
Classical and Syro-Mesopotamian Gnostic Resources
Jean Doresse, The Secret Books of the Egyptian Gnostics (repr. New York: AMS Press, 1970).
Werner Foerster, Gnosis: A Selection of Gnostic Texts (2 vols.; Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1972). Volume 1 features patristic testimonies to classical gnosis; volume 2 has translations of Coptic and, more importantly, Mandaic sources.
Marvin Meyer, ed., The Nag Hammadi Scriptures (New York: HarperOne, 2007).
John C. Reeves, Heralds of That Good Realm: Syro-Mesopotamian Gnosis and Jewish Traditions (Leiden: Brill, 1996). A plethora of traditions pertaining to Adam, Seth, Enosh, Enoch, and Shem.
James M. Robinson, ed., The Nag Hammadi Library in English (3d rev. ed.; San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1988).
Kurt Rudolph, Gnosis: The Nature and History of Gnosticism (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1983).
Jewish, Christian, and Islamic Traditions Pertaining to Genesis Figures and Events
Philip S. Alexander, “Jewish Tradition in Early Islam: The Case of Enoch/Idrīs,” in G. R. Hawting, et al., eds., Studies in Islamic and Middle Eastern Texts and Traditions in Memory of Norman Calder (JSSSup 12; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000), 11-29.
Gary A. Anderson, “The Exaltation of Adam and the Fall of Satan,” Journal of Jewish Thought and Philosophy 6 (1997): 105-34.
Carol Bakhos, Ishmael on the Border: Rabbinic Portrayals of the First Arab (Albany: State University of New York Press, 2006).
Shosh Ben-Ari, “The Stories about Abraham in Islam: A Geographical Approach,” Arabica 54 (2007): 526-53.
Marc S. Bernstein, Stories of Joseph: Narrative Migrations Between Judaism and Islam (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 2006).
Leigh N. B. Chipman, “Mythic Aspects of the Process of Adam’s Creation in Judaism and Islam,” Studia Islamica 93 (2001): 5-25.
______, “Adam and the Angels: An Examination of Mythic Elements in Islamic Sources,” Arabica 49 (2002): 429-55.
Reuven Firestone, “Comparative Studies in Bible and Qur’ān: A Fresh Look at Genesis 22 in Light of Sura 37,” in Benjamin H. Hary, et al., eds., Judaism and Islam: Boundaries, Communication and Interaction: Studies in Honor of William M. Brinner (Leiden: Brill, 2000), 169-84.
______, Journeys in Holy Lands: The Evolution of the Abraham-Ishmael Story in Islamic Exegesis (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1990).
Stephen Gero, “The Legend of the Fourth Son of Noah,” Harvard Theological Review 73 (1980): 321-30.
Louis Ginzberg, The Legends of the Jews (7 vols.; Philadelphia: The Jewish Publication Society, 1909-38). A very useful resource for investigating the aggadic development of biblical characters and events.
David M. Goldenberg, The Curse of Ham: Race and Slavery in Early Judaism, Christianity, and Islam (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2003).
Shalom Goldman, The Wiles of Women/The Wiles of Men: Joseph and Potiphar’s Wife in Ancient Near Eastern, Jewish, and Islamic Folklore (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1995).
Robert Graves and Raphael Patai, Hebrew Myths: The Book of Genesis (repr. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1966). Use this work with caution; Patai was sometimes unable to restrain Graves’s flights of fancy.
Emmanouela Grypeou and Helen Spurling, eds., The Exegetical Encounter between Jews and Christians in Late Antiquity (Leiden: Brill, 2009).
Etan Kohlberg, “Some Shī‘ī Views of the Antediluvian World,” Studia Islamica 52 (1980): 41-66.
James L. Kugel, The Bible As It Was (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1997).
______, The Ladder of Jacob: Ancient Interpretations of the Biblical Story of Jacob and His Children (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2006).
______, Traditions of the Bible: A Guide to the Bible As It Was at the Start of the Common Era (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1998). The expanded ‘scholarly’ version of The Bible As It Was.
Joshua Levinson, “Dialogical Reading in the Rabbinic Exegetical Narrative,” Poetics Today 25 (2004): 497-528.
Shari L. Lowin, The Making of a Forefather: Abraham in Islamic and Jewish Exegetical Narratives (Leiden: Brill, 2006).
Tilman Nagel, “Ḳiṣaṣ al-anbiyā’,” Encyclopaedia of Islam2 (Leiden: Brill, 1960-2002), 5:180-81.
John C. Reeves, ed., Bible and Qur’ān: Essays in Scriptural Intertextuality (Atlanta/Leiden: Society of Biblical Literature/Brill, 2003).
John C. Reeves and Annette Yoshiko Reed, Enoch from Antiquity to the Middle Ages, Volume I: Sources from Judaism, Christianity, and Islam (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018).
Gabriel Said Reynolds, The Qur’ān and Its Biblical Subtext (London & New York: Routledge, 2010). Must be used with caution.
Franz Rosenthal, The History of al-Tabarī, Volume I: General Introduction and From the Creation to the Flood (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1989). Stops with the introduction of Noah; Atkins unfortunately does not own Volume II (translated by William M. Brinner) which continues with the remaining Genesis characters.
Jeffrey L. Rubenstein, “The Exegetical Narrative: New Directions,” Jewish Quarterly Review 99 (2009): 88-106.
Haim Schwarzbaum, “Prolegomenon,” in Moses Gaster, The Chronicles of Jerahmeel (New York: Ktav Publishing House, 1971), 1-124. A rich bibliographical resource.
Shalom Spiegel, The Last Trial: On the Legends and Lore of the Command to Abraham to Offer Isaac as a Sacrifice, The Akedah (trans. Judah Goldin; New York: Pantheon Books, 1967).
Michael E. Stone, Aryeh Amihay, and Vered Hillel, eds., Noah and his Book(s) (SBLEJL 28; Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2010).
Georges Vajda, “Isrā’īliyyāt,” EI2 4:211.
Marilyn R. Waldman, “New Approaches to ‘Biblical’ Materials in the Qur’ān,” Muslim World 75 (1985): 1-16.
Brannon M. Wheeler, Prophets in the Quran (London & New York: Continuum, 2002).
Folklore Studies Pertinent to Genesis Tales
Antti A. Aarne and Stith Thompson, The Types of the Folktale: A Classification and Bibliography (Helsinki: Suomalainen Tiedeakatemia, 1961).
William Bascom, “The Forms of Folklore: Prose Narratives,” Journal of American Folklore 78 (1965): 3-20.
Dan Ben-Amos, ed., Folktales of the Jews (3 vols. to date; Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 2006- ).
Micha Joseph Bin Gorion, Mimekor Yisrael: Classical Jewish Folktales (3 vols.; trans. I. M. Lask; Bloomington, Ind.: Indiana University Press, 1976).
Alan Dundes, Holy Writ as Oral Lit: The Bible as Folklore (Lanham, Md.: Rowman & Littlefield, 1999).
James George Frazer, Folk-lore in the Old Testament: Studies in Comparative Religion, Legend and Law (3 vols.; London: Macmillan & Co., 1918).
Theodor H. Gaster, Myth, Legend, and Custom in the Old Testament (New York: Harper & Row, 1969). An updating of Frazer’s classic work.
Louis Ginzberg, Legends of the Jews (see above).
Hermann Gunkel, The Folktale in the Old Testament (trans. Michael D. Rutter; Sheffield: Almond Press, 1987).
______, The Legends of Genesis (trans. W. H. Carruth; Chicago: Open Court, 1901). A translation of the ‘Introduction’ to his magisterial commentary on Genesis.
Heda Jason, “Study of Israelite and Jewish Oral and Folk Literature: Problems and Issues,” Asian Folklore Studies 49 (1990): 69-108.
Heda Jason and Aharon Kempinski, “How Old Are Folktales?” Fabula 22 (1981): 1-27.
Susan Niditch, Folklore and the Hebrew Bible (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1993).
______, Oral World and Written Word: Ancient Israelite Literature (Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 1996).
______, A Prelude to Biblical Folklore: Underdogs and Tricksters (San Francisco, 1987; repr., Urbana, Ill.: University of Illinois Press, 2000).
Axel Olrik, “Epic Laws of Folk Narrative,” in Alan Dundes, ed., The Study of Folklore (Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1965), 129-41; also in Alan Dundes, ed., International Folkloristics: Classic Contributions by the Founders of Folklore (Lanham, Md.: Rowman & Littlefield, 1999), 83-97.
______, Principles for Oral Narrative Research (trans. Kirsten Wolf and Jody Jensen; Bloomington, Ind.: Indiana University Press, 1992). See especially his Appendix A ‘The Patriarchal History of Israel’ (pp. 116-33).
V[ladimir]. Propp, Morphology of the Folktale (trans. Laurence Scott; Austin: University of Texas Press, 1968).
Howard Schwartz, Tree of Souls: The Mythology of Judaism (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004).
Stith Thompson, The Folktale (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1977).
______, Motif-Index of Folk-Literature (6 vols.; Copenhagen: Rosenkilde & Bagger, 1955-58).
Francis Lee Utley, “The Bible of the Folk,” California Folklore Quarterly 4 (1945): 1-17.
Eli Yassif, The Hebrew Folktale: History, Genre, Meaning (trans. Jacqueline S. Teitelbaum; Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1999).