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Inconsistencies And Contradictions In Targum Pseudo-Jonathan: The Case Of Eliezer And Nimrod

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Chapter Summary

Since critical study of the Aramaic Targumim began, scholars have debated the date of Targum Pseudo-Jonathan ( PJ) and its relationship to the other Targumim of the Pentateuch. Those who consider this Targum an essentially ancient composition dating from Talmudic times or earlier have consistently been challenged by others, who regard PJ as having originated in the Islamic period. The Targum seems to offer inconsistent, contradictory, and even blatantly mistaken accounts of Eliezer, the servant of Abraham, and Nimrod the wicked tyrant. This chapter discusses whether this is truly the result of its alleged lateness, or whether other explanations are more probable. The difficulty and complexity of the verses which will be discusses are themselves good reasons for dealing with these passages, and serve to indicate that oversimple solutions to questions which the Targum raises are unlikely to tell the whole story.

Keywords: Abraham; Eliezer; Islamic period; Nimrod; Pentateuch; Pseudo-Jonathan (PJ); Targum



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