The Old Spanish Bible of Rabbi Moshe Arragel

Collaborative Group

Professor Luis M. Girón-Negrón, Dr. Andrés Enrique-Arias


Comparative Literature / Romance Lang. and Lit.


The fifteenth-century Biblia de Arragel stands out among Spanish translations of the Bible as a monumental work of Hispano-Jewish scholarship, a luxurious cultural artifact of art-historical value, and one of the most important vernacular Bibles of the European Middle Ages. The Arragel codex contains a complete translation of the Hebrew Bible into Old Spanish, over a thousand exegetical glosses on its Jewish interpretations—supplemented with Christian materials—and a visual repertoire of over 300 exceedingly rare Biblical illustrations. The ACLS Collaborative Research Fellowship brings together for a first-time collaboration Luis Girón-Negrón’s expertise in Old Spanish literature and Hispano-Jewish studies and Andrés Enrique-Arias’s specialization in linguistics and the history of Spanish. With two additional collaborators, Ángel Sáenz-Badillos and Francisco Javier Pueyo-Mena, the team bridges historical linguistics, comparative literature, Jewish studies, history of religions, Biblical studies, and Semitic and Romance philology in order to prepare the first annotated critical edition of Arragel’s translation and glosses and a book-length study of its content, language, and significance in the cultural and religious history of late medieval Spain. The immediate goal for the duration of the ACLS fellowship is the annotation and edition of Arragel’s commented Pentateuch. The long-term outcome is the printed edition and study of the entire Arragel codex and a web-version with supporting electronic materials, integrated into a digitalized corpus of Old Spanish Bibles for computer-assisted linguistic and textual comparative analyses. Award period: July 1, 2011 – June 30, 2013