Anan ben David (änänˈ) [key], fl. 8th cent., Babylonian Jewish theologian, founder of the Ananites from whom the Karaites claim spiritual descent. He is said to have been a descendant of Bostanai ben Chaninai. Anan rejected the Talmudic tradition and in its place sought a return to Scripture as the sole source for God's Law. It is evident from those writings attributed to him that he made use of rabbinic methods of scriptural interpretation in the formulation of legal decisions to meet the needs of his age. These decisions often represent a quite ascetic attitude.
See L. Nemoy, Karaite Anthology (1952).
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