targums

Ian Hutchesson mc2499 at mclink.it
Sat May 15 06:21:25 EDT 1999


At 23.42 14/05/99 -0500, Jack Kilmon wrote:
>Targums are very Jewish, Dan.  They can be a paraphrase or a direct
>translation of a Hebrew text in the common language...Aramaic.  

Understand of course that this is only Jack's point of view -- and that of
many -- who want to believe that Hebrew was not a working language of the
day, despite the fact that there were three dialects of Hebrew evidenced at
Qumran, and a literature showing that Hebrew was seen as a spoken language,
ie phonetic decisions were being made by the scribes. (A perusal of
Qimron's book on DSS Hebrew should show the living nature of the
phonological decisions of the scribes.)

So it is unlikely that there was a simplistic situation in which one could
describe Aramaic as the "common language".


Ian


>Targums such as Onkelos were used in the synagogues to translate Torah 
>readings for Jews who spoke primarily Aramaic.  Later Targums such as 
>the Palestinian Targum and Pseudo-Jonathan were more midrashic in form.  
>The Leviticus Targum from the Dead Sea Scrolls was a literal translation 
>in Aramaic from the 2nd century BCE.  The Targum of Job, also from the 
>DSS and dated to the early 1st century is also primarily a literal 
>translation very close to the MT.




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