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The Use of the Expressions ‘Prophetic Spirit’ and ‘Holy Spirit’ in the Targum and the Dating of the Targums

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image of Aramaic Studies

‭Among different expressions used by the targums to translate the Hebrew word meaning ‘spirit’, the terms ‘prophetic spirit’ and ‘Holy Spirit’ stand out. I will try to demonstrate (contra P. Schäfer, ‘Die Termini “Heiliger Geist” und “Geist der Prophetie” in den Targumim und das Verhältnis der Targumim zueinander’, VT 20 (1970), pp. 304–314) that both terms often have a basis in the Hebrew text (namely, the word ‮‮רוח‬‬), that both can have a similar relationship to prophecy and that the expression ‘Holy Spirit’ is as old as ‘prophetic spirit’ or even older. I will also outline the semantic contexts that underlie the use of one or other expression, which has nothing to do with the antiquity of either term.‬

Affiliations: 1: University of Barcelona, Spain


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