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Composition of Targums after the Decline of Aramaic as a Spoken Language

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image of Aramaic Studies

The eighth century is the latest many scholars feel comfortable with for the use of Aramaic as a living language, before it was supplanted by Arabic. Therefore, clearly late Targums were usually dated circa the eighth century. However, persuasive arguments have been made in the past generation for a later dating regarding some Targums. This justifies a re-evaluation of the assumption that an Aramaic speaking environment is necessary for the continued composition of Targums. This article offers a possible Sitz im Leben for Targum composition after the decline of Aramaic as a spoken language throughout most of the Jewish world.

Affiliations: 1: Bar-Ilan University, Israel


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