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Palestinian Targum And Synagogue Mosaics

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Chapter Summary

The Targums-or early Aramaic translations of the Bible-have their origin in the synagogue, in a period when the Aramaic-speaking masses of Jewish people no longer understood biblical Hebrew, and had to have the weekly Pentateuchal reading translated into their vernacular. The Palestinian Targums are particularly expansive in theological matters such as Gods providence and direct intervention in the world, sin and the Day of Judgement, reward and retribution, Gods daily work schedule, the Messiah and End of Days. The Palestinian Targums are extremely important for the study of Western Aramaic. The Roman-Byzantine synagogues have been categorized into three architectural types: a) the monumental stone basilica with the flagstone pavement; b) the broadhouse with either flagstone or mosaic pavement; and c) the modest simplified basilica structure with an elaborate mosaic floor. That these architectural types correspond to a chronological sequence, as had long been assumed, has recently come under question.

Keywords: Aramaic translations; Hebrew; Palestinian Targum; Roman-Byzantine synagogues



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