The Aramaic Renderings of the Torah as the Witnesses of Interpretation of the Biblical Text in the Jewish Tradition Cover Image
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Aramejskie przekłady Tory jako świadectwo interpretacji tekstu biblijnego w tradycji żydowskiej
The Aramaic Renderings of the Torah as the Witnesses of Interpretation of the Biblical Text in the Jewish Tradition

Author(s): Anna Kuśmirek
Subject(s): Language and Literature Studies, Jewish studies, Studies of Literature, Theology and Religion, Jewish Thought and Philosophy
Published by: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Jagiellońskiego
Keywords: aramaic translations of the Torah; targums to the Torah; ancient actualization the Torah; Jewish interpretation of the Hebrew Bible

Summary/Abstract: The Targums are early Jewish translations of books of the Hebrew Bible into Aramaic. According to the definition, but also in practice, Aramaic translations operate at two levels: translation of the Hebrew text and its interpretation. The Pentateuch is at the centre of Jewish life, therefore more than one Aramaic versions of the Torah have been created: Targum Onqelos, Palestinian Targum (Targum Neofiti, fragments from Cairo Geniza, Fragment Targums, and Targum Pseudo-Jonathan). The character of these versions depends on the date, place and dialect of at the original targumic tradition. The targumists read the Torah as the Scripture transmitted to them and their contemporaries. Their reflection on the text led to the contribution of new elements to it. The material was added to the Aramaic translations of the biblical text not for linguistic reasons, but because of current theological exegesis, formed inside Jewish religious communities. The Aramaic translators used a variety of methods and techniques of translation. Significantly, they resorted to contemporarization of the Sacred texts, which occurred at three levels: historical, cultural, and religious. The targumists tried not only to convey the text of the Pentateuch, which included the law of Moses, but also to solve problems associated with the interpretation of the meaning of the Torah. Thus the Targums can be seen as an attempt to adapt the Scripture to the official Jewish law (halakah). With regard to the liturgical context, the Aramaic translations became midrashic and exgegetical commentaries. The targumists aimed at reconciling the ancient text books of the Hebrew Bible with its later theological vision. This phenomenon is defined as the targumization or ideologization of the Biblical Hebrew text. The aim of this article is to describe the characteristics of targumic literature and present selected examples of different Aramaic “actualizations” of the Torah.

  • Issue Year: 2014
  • Issue No: 29
  • Page Range: 23-40
  • Page Count: 18
  • Language: Polish