targums

Jack Kilmon jkilmon at historian.net
Mon May 17 03:16:21 EDT 1999


I'm going to try to distill this down with considerable snipping to
address
some of the more relevent points.

> 
> The rest of the evidence you have provided, Jack doesn't exist for the
> period before Herodian times. And I am still working on the notion that the
> scrolls hit the caves in 63 BCE. I have seen nothing that contradicts this
> idea, nothing substantive to justify texts from any period after that.

This is where I think we are talking past each other.  I am addressing
the
Herodian period to the 2nd Jewish War.  This is the period I have
studied
epigraphically on the Aramaic issue.  My interest is the NT period.  We
continue to go round and round on the DSS issue which we view
differently
on a linguistic basis.  I have read your website treatment on the
"Essene
Hypothesis" and concede you make some salient arguments against the
consensus opinion.  I am also aware of the reception your challenges
has received by scholars in the other lists but am not sure that was due
as much to your position as to your manner of arguing it.  Suffice to
say
that I share some of your "cautions" on the Essene/Qumran/DSS
connections.
> 
> Do you get the basic idea, Jack. Hebrew is represented in all the text
> types listed here. Aramaic is represented in a *quarter* of the types. Am I
> misrepresenting the facts, Jack?

No, you are not misrepresenting...I've never known you to do that....My
point
is that at a time when Hebrew was the vehicle for the religious literate
that you DO have 20% of this material in Aramaic and an even higher
percentage
when the biblical texts are removed from the model.  This conforms to my
opinion that Hebrew continued to be the working language of the
religious
and literate (spoken and written) in certain social pockets while
Aramaic
was the spoken language of the illiterate class.  This does not pose
that
literate pietists also did not have Aramaic as a primary language and 
certain texts were produced for that purpose.  Some of the Hebrew texts
are obviously language exercises such as the lesser Isaiah scroll.  This
suggests that this dialect of Hebrew was being taught to
students/novitiates
to this group.

> 
> >> For some reason, Jack you are happily oblivious of the restricted range of
> >> text types in your list. Look at it. You have a few esoteric texts
> >> (apocalyptic and priestly) such as Amram, TLevi, NewJeru, and not much else
> >> other than one and a bit targums (which as you know is an anachronistic
> >> term here).
> >
> >The works that form a basis for Daniel/Enochian Judaism
> 
> As you have Enoch in Aramaic you have Jubilees in Hebrew. The pseudo-Daniel
> material is para-biblical and there are numerous parabiblical works in both
> languages.
> 
> >and the wisdom literature for that genre (such as WisSol)

I mentioned Wisdom of Solomon because of its influence in NT times.

> >and the
> >testimentary literature such as T12P are all in Aramaic.
> 
> Priestly material. Not at all for the common folk, Jack.

I am not speaking ONLY of the common folk (whom I claim spoke
Aramaic) but also bilingual literati.

 
> >These
> >works were also important to the early Jesus movement which can
> >be viewed as arising from the same subset.
> >
> >How can you say the targums are anachronistic?
> 
> The term was coined for a later era. It has merely been retrojected into
> the DSS. If you mean anything more than a translation from Hebrew into
> Aramaic -- and you pointedly do -- then the term is an anachronism.
> 
> >The DSS Targums clearly show this was a practice.
> 
> The plural is misleading. The so-called Leviticus Targum is only the Azazel
> text.
> 
> >TJob and TLev are LITERAL
> >translations in the COMMON tongue.
> 
> Your pointlessly repeating the dogma. You first assume that it is the
> common tongue, then all else follows.

It is an important point, Ian, that addresses your claim of anachronism.
11QtgJob has enough of the text preserved to show that the targum did
not engage in the expansion, commentary and paraphrase typical of the
later targums of the mishnaic period but is a literal translation of
the Hebrew text into Aramaic.  This means that the primary purpose of
this text was for lectionary purposes to Jews who did not understand
Hebrew.  The cave 4 fragment shows that this targum existed in multiple
copies.  It is true that the dating of TJob is based on Bill Albright
and Frank Cross although other palaeographers agree.  I have seen no
arguments against the late Herodian dating other than yours but I
realize a
late Herodium TJob conflicts with your thesis on the DSS.

> 
> >The Targums of the later
> >Tannaitic period such as Onkelos and Pseudo-Jonathan show a
> >DEVELOPMENT from those literal targums to an aggadic midrashic
> >form.
> >
> >You seem to want to make an issue that the TLev was just a
> >fragment
> 
> Fragment, maybe not. But there is not enough of the text to say that it was
> anything more than a translation of the Azazel text.

The two fragments contain Lev 16:12-15 and 18-21 and Milik was of the
opinion that they may have been fragments of an entire Pentateuchal
Targum.  The orthography suggests a "pre-Onkelos" targum.


> 
> >but this fragment was part of a larger complex work.
> >It matters not that there were but 3 targums found among
> >the surviving texts, Ian.
> 
> Sorry, yes, there was a small fragment of another dose of Job. Not enough
> to assume that it was a whole text however.

Are you of the opinion that these scribes produced fragments?


> Note for example that there
> were numerous commentaries on Isaiah, but no-one would be able to say that
> they each originally dealt with the whole text. You would just like the
> fragment of Job and that of Leviticus to have covered the whole text. There
> is no necessity from the evidence we have.

When I see a text from Job 17:14 to 42:11 my tendency is to yield Mr.
Ockham's sharpie and conclude that it was the Book of Job.  When I see
fragments of Leviticus 16, I conclude that it was from Leviticus.

Job and Leviticus..even the Genesis Apocryphon..are not texts
that are exclusively germaine to one group, hence it could very
well be that they were imported into the library from outside
Iin the Aramaic speaking world).

> 
> >They are STILL targumim
> 
> If you simply mean that they are a translation into Aramaic, then why don't
> you just call them "Aramaic translations" and we would have one less
> terminological problem.

Okay..they are Aramaic translations of Hebrew Biblical texts.

<commonly known as Targums> <g>

 
> >and the
> >function of a targum was to translate a Hebrew text for
> >lectionary purposes into the COMMON language.
> 
> Ahh, but you see, you do have more up your sleave and nothing that you can
> justify. This is unfortunately the retrojection of a later period into the
> DSS, which you cannot justify.

Until the discovery of the DSS the oldest copy of Isaiah was
from the 10th century.  Is the Great Isaiah Scroll a
"retrojection?"

 > >
> >Just as the Great Isaiah Scroll was very significant for the
> >study against the MT, the Targumim were significant because
> >they show that they were in use long before Tannaitic times.
> 
> You don't know how they were used.

A Hebrew text translated literally into Aramaic can only be
for the purpose of reading to/by the Aramaic speaking.
 
> You assume that there was only a small group that spoke Hebrew and wrote
> the majority of the texts. I have attempted to show that the texts deal
> with a wide range of subjects and interests including regulation of all
> aspects of all people's lives. There are no Aramaic texts that aim to deal
> with aspects of common people's lives.

Aramaic as the spoken language of the common folk is a separate
issue from Aramaic as the language of some Jewish pietists who
would be the audience for the Aramaic texts.

> >Not is you continue to think that the linguistic distribution
> >of these texts is parallel to the linguistic use of the
> >people of Palestine.
> 
> Have you got a better sample of language use for the period?

Yes, the ostraca, ossuarial and funerary inscriptions.

 >
> >Ian, even if ALL of the DSS were in Hebrew, it would not be
> >relevent to the common language of Palestine.
> 
> You have backed out -- during your post -- from the DSS argument. But you
> offer no tangible evidence to take its place as a representation of
> language use for the period.

No, I have not backed out at all. The DSS are relevent only because
of the Aramaic texts which are probative.
 
> >The DSS are not the only evidence here.  The epigraphy
> >of the time is most probative..as is the testimony of 1st
> >century authors.
> 
> The DSS is the largest collection of epigraphy we have. You want to ignore
> it because it doesn't suit your beliefs.

No, by epigraphy I am referring to permanent substrate inscriptions.
Ostraca, ossuarial, funerary....in addition to Aramaic epistolography.
I repeat that there is barely a Hebrew inscription from Palestine,
outside of the DSS, for all of the 1st century. The Bene Hezir tomb
inscription is the sole exemplar.  See Avigad's "Ancient Monuments
in the Kidron Valley."  Aramaic, on the other hand, is common.


> >No, they are a means of identifying the working language of
> >the group that owned the texts.....and that was Hebrew.
> 
> What group, Jack? The ones that spoke Hebrew or the ones that spoke
> Aramaic? The ones that spoke a Hebrew closer to Mishnaic Hebrew or the ones
> that spoke a Hebrew closer to biblical Hebrew? Or again the ones that spoke
> the Hebrew that a lot of the DSS were written in? We have at least three
> different speech communities in Hebrew. You for some unknown reason insist
> on making there be only one group.

Qumran Hebrew is a post-biblical Hebrew different from Biblical Hebrew
and Mishnaic Hebrew.  It is highly contaminated with colloquialisms.
The only example of anything like Mishnaic Hebrew is the Copper Scroll
which I do not believe had the same origin as the bulk of the texts.
The DSS cover a period somewhere between 200-300 years.  Over that
period of time not only do language patterns change but so would
a single group who may have owned them.

 
> >> >Those texts define the working language of the sect, not the general
> >> >populace.
> >>
> >> Sect? What sect?

Either Pharisees, Sadducees, Essenes ot first century Presbyterians..I
don't
care. They are all sects.


> You are preaching, Jack. You know that the texts weren't
> >> written in Qumran.

I also cannot see these texts having been written/scribed at
Qumran.  I don't even see them all as having been written by
those who owned them.  Some or many probably came from
various sources and were added to the texts that had been
written by the group that owned them.

> You know that there are such a linguistic range in the
> >> texts to see that they weren't written in one community. You know that
> >> there are so many scribal hands that they couldn't have come from a
> >> restricted origin -- not even over a period of hundreds of years: there is
> >> no small scribal tradition to be found in them.

There was nothing stopping the group that owned this library, and wrote
some of them, from going down to the local Ben Barnes and Bar Noble
Bookstore and charging many other texts on their Mastercards.

 
> >and is backed
> >up by Josephus.  Here are two ancient authors who claim that
> >Aramaic was the common tongue..and others that support it
> >indirectly.  Show me ONE ancient author who states that
> >Hebrew was the common language.
> 
> Josephus simply does not claim that Aramaic was the common language.

In Ant. 1.1.1 #33 Josephus calls the Aramaic word "sabbata" THN (EBRAION
DIALEKTON.  In Ant. 3.10.6 #252 he call the Aramaic "asartha" (EN
(EBRAIOI
ASARQA KALOUSI.  Josephus refers to Aramaic as the "Hebrew tongue."  So
does Luke...so does the author of 4G.

> 
> >> The
> >> later attacks on Marcion's gospel could easily indicate that. And then, you
> >> know that I believe that the DSS were in the ground in 63 BCE. There seems
> >> to be only one document that has been C-14 dated that causes trouble here
> >> and it was under the care of people who used castor oil to clean the texts.
> >> C-14 basically indicates first century BCE, no references to people after
> >> 63 BCE, so you can't claim that either Josephus or the writer(s) of GLk
> >> were contemporary.
> >
> >Maybe I haven't had enough coffee yet this morning but this
> >goes by me.
> 
> Read it again. It basically says that there is no evidence to indicate that
> the DSS were later than 63 BCE.

Well, the C-14 testing of scroll fragments (not all were contaminated
with castor oil), the C-14 dating of the linens and the dating of the
scroll jars can be considered evidence.  The mean of the linen dating
is 33 CE.  Having said that, I realize that there can be challenges.

> 
> >There are those who believe there is a literary
> >communication between Luke and Josephus...one direction or
> >the other.
> 
> Flight of fancy.

Well, I prescribe to the earlier dating of Luke...or at least
a proto-Luke.  I wouldn't call it fancy..just unprovable.
> 
> >> >>But you would probably be right to assume
> >> >> that the writer(s) had little or no knowledge of the original languages
> >> >> involved.
> >> >
> >> >Actually, since the Lukan scribe more accurately translates Aramaic
> >> >idiom in Greek it suggests strongly a competence in Aramaic.
> >>
> >> This is Albright. But you have so few examples in GLk. How can you actually
> >> make general statements about it? Statistics 101, Jack.
> >
> >Yes, it's Albright...he taught me...sue me.
> 
> Yeah, this is the guy that pushed the wandering Aramaean fantasy.

Wandering Aramaean is, in my view, a brilliant work.  Even if you
were a linguist of the calibre of Albright and Fitzmyer, I don't
see how you can call it "fancy."  You can disagree with them since
their works run counter to your theories but "fancy?"  naaaaah!

> 
> >And yes, I can
> >give linguistic exemplars from Luke that suggests he was
> >competent in Aramaic.
> 
> Please do.

One example is his handling of the "debts/sins" idiom in the LP.
If Luke was using Matthew..or Matthew's source, he would have
stayed with OFEILHMATA/OFEILHTAIS "debts/debtors."  Instead
he uses AMARTIAS/OFEILONTI "SINS/INDEBTED" using the idiomatic
meaning for the Aramaic xwbyn that is ONLY in Aramaic.

Another example, to me, is his use of "banquet" rather than
"wedding" in 14:8-10 for the Aramaic m$twt) capturing again
the exclusive Aramaic idiom.

There are also a number of parallels between Lukan phrases
and the Aramaic texts of the DSS as well as Aramaisms in
Lukan Greek.

But, of course, Luke is considered by many scholars to
have come from Syrian Antioch which was linguistically
Aramaic.

> 
> >You can't envision that
> >many of the DSS people themselves were Aramaic-speaking?
> 
> On what grounds should I?

Well, their having owned and written Aramaic texts like 4QTestimonia
might give you a clue.

Jack

-- 
______________________________________________

taybutheh d'maran yeshua masheecha am kulkon

Jack Kilmon
jkilmon at historian.net

http://www.historian.net



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