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Christian Arguments for Including Targums in Polyglot Bibles

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Chapter Summary

Several scholars and printers in the sixteenth and seventeenth century made plans to produce a polyglot Bible. They were all Christians, some of them aided by converted Jews. Nevertheless, most of them included, or planned to include, the Aramaic text of one or more Targums. That choice was not self-evident, because many Christian scholars opposed the dissemination and study of Jewish literature. This chapter focuses on what arguments did the makers of polyglot Bibles give to include the Targum? It considers the arguments why Jewish literature, and specifically the Targum, would not have been fit for the Christian readership. These objections form the background against which the editors defend themselves in their prologues and letters. The chapter groups the arguments in ten categories, which discusses in their order of appearance in the letters of the editors. The conclusion reviews the arguments by country, Christian denomination, and other features.

Keywords: Aramaic text; Christians; Jewish literature; polyglot Bible; Targum



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