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Jewish Aramaic Translations of Hebrew Scriptures

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Chapter Summary

Pseudo-Yonatan ( = Ps-Y) is the most paraphrastic of all the Pentateuchal targumim: it is estimated to be about twice the length of the original Hebrew text. It is a highly mixed tradition, an amalgam of interpretations from widely different periods. The targumim have a tendency to 'update' Scripture. In converse translation, the targum appears to give a sense opposite to the plain meaning of Scripture. In type A targum, a viable one-to-one translation of the Hebrew can be extracted from the paraphrase by bracketing out the additions. In type B targum, a base translation cannot be recovered: the translation is dissolved in the paraphrase. The targumim translate the halakhic portions of the Pentateuch, and in doing so interpret the halakha. At some point, the Old Palestinian targumim in Standard Literary Aramaic were recast in the younger dialect of Galilean Aramaic.

Keywords: Hebrew text; Pseudo-Yonatan (Ps-Y); Scripture; Standard Literary Aramaic; type A targum; type B targum



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