Paul E. Kahle

Paul Ernst Kahle (January 21, 1875 in Hohenstein, Prussia – September 24, 1964 in Düsseldorf) was a German orientalist and scholar.

Paul E. Kahle
Born(1875-01-21)January 21, 1875
Died(1964-09-24)September 24, 1964
EmployerGießen University
Known for
Editor of the Hebrew Bible
Notable work
The Cairo Geniza
TitleOrdinary professor


Kahle studied orientalism and theology in Marburg and Halle. He attained his doctorate in 1898. His dissertation on the Samaritan Pentateuch was supervised by Franz Praetorius [de].[1] Kahle worked as a Lutheran pastor. He studied semitic philology in Cairo, between 1908 and 1918. In 1918, he was promoted to a full professorship (Ordinary professor) at Gießen University, a chair previously held by Friedrich Schwally. In 1923, he switched to Bonn University, where he developed the Eastern Studies curriculum by adding a Chinese and a Japanese class.

After his wife helped a Jewish neighbor whose shop was ransacked during the Kristallnacht of 1938, the family was persecuted by the Nazis. Kahle immigrated to England where he joined the University of Oxford in 1939, having been dismissed from his university post in Bonn, owing in great part to the fact that he had a Polish rabbi (Yechiel Yaakov Weinberg) as an assistant. At Oxford he gained two further doctorates. During this period at Oxford he suffered the personal tragedy of his son Paul's early death.

Kahle returned to Germany after the war, where he pursued his research as professor emeritus. His principal academic renown is as editor of the Hebrew Bible.

Part of his work is published in the book What the Koran Really Says, edited by Ibn Warraq.



  1. ^ Black, Matthew (1966). "Paul Ernst Kahle, 1875–1965" (PDF). Proceedings of the British Academy. 51: 485–495.
  2. ^ "Paul Kahle". Catalogus Professorum Halensis, Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg. (in German)

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