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  • Cited by 1
  • Print publication year: 2013
  • Online publication date: May 2013

10 - The Aramaic Targums

from Part II - The Hebrew Bible and Old Testaments


There are Targums for all the books of the Hebrew Bible except Daniel, Ezra and Nehemiah. As a rule, all these Targums translate each word of their Hebrew base text into Aramaic. The Pentateuch has three complete Targums namely, Targum Onqelos, MS Neophyti 1 and Pseudo-Jonathan. It must be noted that the Targumim are capable of presenting more than one interpretation of individual Hebrew words and expressions. Critical and judicious use of the guidelines suggested by Renée Bloch and Vermes has enabled students of Targum to suggest dates for individual traditions in Targum. There is clear evidence that Aramaic translations of at least parts of the Bible were known in the days of the Second Temple: the Qumran caves have yielded small fragments of an Aramaic translation of Leviticus, and more substantial portions of an Aramaic version of Job.