Saturday, September 21, 2013
The Targums are Aramaic translations of the Hebrew Bible that commenced at about the beginning of the synagogues (de Lange, Intro to Judaism, 2000). The Hebrew text would be read and an oral translation offered on the spot. In time the oral translations were written. Such translations were necessary because Hebrew had been eclipsed by Aramaic as the lingua franca of Jews. "Translations" is a bit of an understatement, because the Targums actually provided information where the Hebrew text was unclear as well as slight expansions. The Targums are thus fascinating examples of interpretation.
This website offers a number of resources for the study of Targums, including a critical introduction to Targum Samuel and a manuscript database.
Posted by Charles L. Echols at 5:11 PM