Original Source Unknown*
For much of Jewish history, Karaites (and their intellectual predecessors) and Rabbanites (and their intellectual predecessors) have argued over which movement represents the original form of Judaism.
Karaites believe that the original form of Judaism was characterized by adherence only to the written Tanakh, with no oral accompaniment.** Rabbanites disagree with this notion, and believe that God gave the Jewish people an oral law.
Regardless of who is correct about the divine-origin of the Oral Law, is it fair claim either movement is the original form of Judaism? Almost certainly not.
Can Karaites Finally Claim Victory?
Sometimes “I feel like I’m taking crazy pills.”
For thousands of years, Karaites (and their intellectual predecessors) have urged Jews to follow the “plain meaning” of the Scripture. This plain meaning, according to Karaite tradition, is the interpretation that the average Israelite would have had upon reading or hearing a verse 3500 years ago.
Karaites have long maintained that the plain meaning of the Scripture does not allow for many of today’s widely-held interpretations. And, apparently, prominent Rabbis agree.