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An Aramaic Approach to the Gospels and Acts

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  • #91
    Continued from the last post above ↑

    Continuation of excerpts from the "Recent Discoveries and Developments in Palestinian Aramaic" chapter of the out-of-print third edition of An Aramaic Approach to the Gospels and Acts (Great Clarendon Street, Oxford, Great Britain: Oxford University Press, 1967), by Matthew Black:
    From this it will be seen how important it is that this summer I successfully identified in the Targumic School at Barcelona a complete copy of the Palestinian Targum of the Pentateuch. Thanks to the good offices of Father Juan Arias we have managed to obtain from the Vatican library a microfilm of 'Cod. Neofiti I'. It was enlarged and handed over to my collaborator and colleague J. G. Larraya for study; he was able immediately to identify it as an excellent copy of the whole Jerusalem Targum. This splendid MS. contains 450 folios. From now on we shall not be able to speak of the Fragment Targum. Sr. Larraya has sent a brief description of the MS. to Paris to be published for the memorial to Renée Bloch. Just now I only wish to stress the importance of the entire discovery and that the text of 'Cod. Neof. I' represents a critical examination and revision of the Palestinian Targum, distinct from that of MS. 110 of Paris and akin to that of MS. 1440 at the Vatican. The marginal comments of the new MS. show a large number of variant readings many of them rabbinical script, some of them coinciding with those on the texts of MS. 110 of Paris or 440 of the Vatican but others are not to be found in these sources. A quick glance at the Aramaic of 'Cod. Neof. I' has shown us that in quite a few cases it is more purely Palestinian than the Aramaic of MS. 110 of Paris, although its purity of Palestinian [form] is not so complete as in the MS. Bereshith Rabba Vat. 30.

    The identification of the complete Palestinian Targum signifies an important step in our knowledge of the vocabulary and grammar of Palestinian Aramaic, Galilean Aramaic, the language spoken by our Lord'.

    To be continued...
    Last edited by John Reece; 08-28-2014, 12:07 PM.

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    • #92
      Continued from the last post above ↑

      Continuation of excerpts from the "Recent Discoveries and Developments in Palestinian Aramaic" chapter of the out-of-print third edition of An Aramaic Approach to the Gospels and Acts (Great Clarendon Street, Oxford, Great Britain: Oxford University Press, 1967), by Matthew Black:
      I have been in correspondence with Dr. Díez Macho and have also been able to obtain a microfilm of this important codex.

      Díez Macho wrote to me on 18 March 1957:
      'As for the MS. Neofiti I, I think, too, that it is an important MS. for the knowledge of Palestinian Aramaic. It contains the complete text of the Palestinian Targum with a critical apparatus of continuous variant readings written in the margins. The 450 folios are in excellent state of preservation and not a single verse is missing. Only the marginal notes in some pages are difficult to read (they are not only in cursive script but also written with poor ink). I am dealing now with the facsimile edition of this MS. In the next issue of Sefarad will appear a short note, similar to that which has already appeared in Estudios Biblicos, next issue. The Aramaic of Neofiti I is of the same kind as that of the Palestinian Targum of Masoreten des Westens, ii. But the recensions do not entirely agree. The MS. has been copied in Rome, probably in the fifteenth century, by an Italian Jew.'


      To be continued...

      Comment


      • #93
        Continued from the last post above ↑

        Continuation of excerpts from the "Recent Discoveries and Developments in Palestinian Aramaic" chapter of the out-of-print third edition of An Aramaic Approach to the Gospels and Acts (Great Clarendon Street, Oxford, Great Britain: Oxford University Press, 1967), by Matthew Black:
        An examination of two sample passages, Gen. xxiii. 16-xv. 1 and Exod. xxxiii. 3-xxxiv. 6 (four double columns), shows clearly that we have to do with a Targum differing widely from Onkelos, agreeing in a number of readings with the Pseudo-Jonathan Targum and with the Fragment Targum where extant for these verses and against the Onkelos text. For instance, the King of Bela (מלך בלע) at Gen. xiv. 2 is rendered 'the king of the city which swallowed up (בלע) its inhabitants' as in P-J contra Onkelos.

        To be continued...

        Comment


        • #94
          Continued from the last post above ↑

          Continuation of excerpts from the "Recent Discoveries and Developments in Palestinian Aramaic" chapter of the out-of-print third edition of An Aramaic Approach to the Gospels and Acts (Great Clarendon Street, Oxford, Great Britain: Oxford University Press, 1967), by Matthew Black:
          An illustration of the character and antiquity of this new Targum occurs in the halakha of Exodus xxii. 5, 6. According to the Mishnah these two verses refer to the damage done to a neighbor's field, etc. The Hebrew of verse 4, however, is ambiguous, and can be taken to mean that fire (not a beast) had strayed or spread into a neighbor's field. This is how the Geniza Targum understood the words, and thus both verses refer to damage wrought by fire. The Neofiti MS. agrees with the Geniza Targum, and, if anything, is even more explicit.

          To be continued...

          Comment


          • #95
            Continued from the last post above ↑

            Continuation of excerpts from the "Recent Discoveries and Developments in Palestinian Aramaic" chapter of the out-of-print third edition of An Aramaic Approach to the Gospels and Acts (Great Clarendon Street, Oxford, Great Britain: Oxford University Press, 1967), by Matthew Black:
            On this halakha Dr. Kahle writes (ibid.): '. . . this interpretation is in clear contrast to all the official Jewish authorities and can be understood in an old Jewish text only on the assumption that it goes back to very ancient times, before the oral law codified in the Mishnah had any validity. That such a translation is preserved in an old scroll of the Palestinian Targum is certainly of importance. It shows that written Targums must have existed in very ancient times.'

            To be continued...

            Comment


            • #96
              Continued from the last post above ↑

              Continuation of excerpts from the "Recent Discoveries and Developments in Palestinian Aramaic" chapter of the out-of-print third edition of An Aramaic Approach to the Gospels and Acts (Great Clarendon Street, Oxford, Great Britain: Oxford University Press, 1967), by Matthew Black:
              All interested in this important discovery look forward to the publication of Professor Díez Macho's edition, the publication of which, it is hoped, will not be much longer delayed; and he is to be congratulated on a first-class discovery, second only to the Qumrân scrolls, to a consideration of which I now turn.

              To be continued...

              Comment


              • #97
                Continued from the last post above ↑

                Continuation of excerpts from the "Recent Discoveries and Developments in Palestinian Aramaic" chapter of the out-of-print third edition of An Aramaic Approach to the Gospels and Acts (Great Clarendon Street, Oxford, Great Britain: Oxford University Press, 1967), by Matthew Black:
                In comparison with the extensive Hebrew discoveries, only a small number of Aramaic texts have so far come to light at Qumrân. They consist, for the most part, of small fragments, miscellaneous 'bits and pieces', sometimes containing no more than one word or even just a single letter, and only occasionally extending to several lines of a text, as, for instance, in the fragments from 'apocryphal works' (from the Book of Enoch, or the Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs). Where, in one case, a longer text has existed, it has been preserved in so dilapidated a condition as to be at times barely legible. In view of this situation, the discovery at Qumrân of an entire scroll of twenty-two columns, with approximately thirty-five lines to each column, makes a welcome and significant addition to the Qumrân library, and, in particular, to its sadly decimated Aramaic contents.

                To be continued...

                Comment


                • #98
                  Continued from the last post above ↑

                  Continuation of excerpts from the "Recent Discoveries and Developments in Palestinian Aramaic" chapter of the out-of-print third edition of An Aramaic Approach to the Gospels and Acts (Great Clarendon Street, Oxford, Great Britain: Oxford University Press, 1967), by Matthew Black:
                  The new Aramaic document is a kind of midrash on Gen. xii and xiv. The date is not absolutely certain, but, if we accept the general conclusions of the archaeologists, the scroll itself must have been written before A.D. 70. Affinities with the apocrypha and pseudepigrapha (especially the Book of Jubilees) support this early dating. Before a sufficient number of characteristic Aramaic idioms of a particular period can be adduced to identify the period of the scroll by linguistic criteria, we shall have to await publication of the whole text. The published folios, however, already yield one important philological fact: the scroll makes use of the Aramaic temporal conjunctions אדין and בדין (e.g., col. xxii, lines 2, 18, 20), found no less than 26 times in Daniel alone, but never in Targum Aramaic. In several other cases we meet with non-Targumic usage, e.g., חלתא (col. xxii, line 4) in the sense of 'valley'; Targumic חללא means 'cavern'; Syriac [....], the 'sheath' of a sword. The verb אתחלם (line 5) in the meaning 'grow strong' is attested in Syriac, but not in Targumic Aramaic. Linguistically the scroll would seem, therefore, to belong to the age of the 'old Aramaic'. Both from a linguistic and literary point of view, it is an invaluable witness to the Aramaic language and literature of the time of Christ.

                  To be continued...

                  Comment


                  • #99
                    Continued from the last post above ↑

                    Continuation of excerpts from the "Recent Discoveries and Developments in Palestinian Aramaic" chapter of the out-of-print third edition of An Aramaic Approach to the Gospels and Acts (Great Clarendon Street, Oxford, Great Britain: Oxford University Press, 1967), by Matthew Black:
                    Some parts of the text have a considerable literary merit, e.g., the description of Sarah's beauty at col. xx and the Parable of the Cedar at col. xix. The second (in Avigad and Yadin's English version) reads:
                    And I, Abram, dreamed a dream . . .
                    and lo! I saw in my dream one cedar tree
                    and one palm
                    . . . and men came and sought to cut down
                    and uproot the cedar and to leave the palm
                    And the palm cried out and said, 'Cut not
                    down the cedar . . . '
                    And for the sake of the palm the cedar was saved.

                    (The cedar is Abraham, the palm Sarah, through whose offer of herself Abraham was saved in Egypt.) These are probably the closest literary parallels we possess in Aramaic to the original (poetic) parables and poems of Jesus.

                    To be continued...

                    Comment


                    • Continued from the last post above ↑

                      Beginning of excerpts from the "The Aramaic Targums and the Language of Jesus" section of the out-of-print third edition of An Aramaic Approach to the Gospels and Acts (Great Clarendon Street, Oxford, Great Britain: Oxford University Press, 1967), by Matthew Black:
                      The Aramaic Targums and the Language of Jesus

                      Since the publication of Kahle's views in Masoreten des Ostens and Masoreten des Westens, ii, and subsequently in his Schweich lectures, on the history and relationships of the Targums, a new edition of the Aramaic Targums has appeared, and other important studies have been published. Sperber's magnificent work has resulted in an edition of Onkelos and Jonathan which must remain a model of its kind: Sperber did not, however, concern himself with questions of the history and development of the Targum tradition. The same is true of other scholars, like Díez Macho, who edited fragments of the Targum to the Prophets, and in 1956 announced the discovery of the new Targum to the Pentateuch, Codex Neofiti. The question of the Überlieferungsgeschichte of the Aramaic Targum has been raised recently by E. Y. Kutscher, and Kahle's view challenged. Kutscher's arguments, however, which will be considered later, were anticipated by the work of a younger scholar, Dr. Gerald J. Kuiper, now Associate Professor of New Testament at the Theological Seminary, Johnson C. Smith University, Charlotte, North Carolina. Dr. Kuiper undertook, under my supervision, an investigation into the relationship between the different strands of the Targum tradition, and in particular the question of the relationship of the Pseudo-Jonathan Targum and Targum Onkelos. The results, which it is hoped will be published soon, have proved surprisingly interesting: Onkelos, while admittedly showing traces of Babylonian influence, appears nevertheless to have been an authoritative redaction of the same kind of Palestinian Targum tradition as is preserved, still in its fluid state, in the Fragment Targum, the Geniza Fragments, Pseudo-Jonathan, and Targum Neofiti I.

                      To be continued...

                      Comment


                      • Continued from the last post above ↑

                        Continuation of excerpts from the "The Aramaic Targums and the Language of Jesus" section of the out-of-print third edition of An Aramaic Approach to the Gospels and Acts (Great Clarendon Street, Oxford, Great Britain: Oxford University Press, 1967), by Matthew Black:
                        We need not, therefore, be so skeptical about the value of Dalman's Aramaic Grammar as Kahle was: at the same time, it must be admitted with Kahle that the more idiomatic and freer Aramaic of the pre-Onkelos Palestinian Targum tradition uninfluenced by the Babylonian dialect or the need to translate the Hebrew word by word, is a much better source of knowledge for the Aramaic of the New Testament period.

                        To be continued...

                        Comment


                        • Continued from the last post above ↑

                          Continuation of excerpts from the "The Aramaic Targums and the Language of Jesus" section of the out-of-print third edition of An Aramaic Approach to the Gospels and Acts (Great Clarendon Street, Oxford, Great Britain: Oxford University Press, 1967), by Matthew Black:
                          Work on the problem of the connexions and interrelationships of the different strands in the Palestinian Targum tradition is still in progress, and must inevitably be delayed until the (long awaited) publication of the editio princeps of Neofiti I, promised by Professor Díez Macho of Barcelona as part of the great modern Spanish Polyglot project. Nothing, so far, however, has led anyone to cast serious doubts on Kahle's view that what we have in the extant Palestinian Targum is a free, developing tradition with very substantial differences between the different manuscripts: indeed, this has, if anything, been confirmed by the text of the Neofiti manuscript, which seems to represent an entirely different and independent translation from anything we know of in the Geniza fragments or the Fragment Targum. The importance of this work cannot be over-emphasized, since it forms an essential preparation for an edition (or editions) of the Palestinian Targum (or Targums), without which the study of their vocabulary, grammar, syntax, etc., is premature. Professor Kahle himself was convinced of the need for a new edition of his Geniza fragments, and entrusted this task several years ago to his pupil Pater Georg Schelbert. My own pupil, Dr. Malcolm C. Doubles of Lebanon, Virginia, worked, under the joint supervision of myself and Dr. Kahle, on the problem of the Ginsburger edition of the Fragment Targum: that edition did much less than justice to the Vatican manuscripts of these fragments, and the full text of this is now available in Double's work. There is still an enormous amount of preparatory work to be done, but some rough pattern of relationships appears to be emerging. As Kuiper's work seems to point to Onkelos as an official redaction of one Palestinian tradition, so the close connexion of the Paris, Nürnberg, Leipzig, and Vatican manuscripts of the Fragment Targum seem to point to a likewise official rabbinical redaction undertaken in the Middle Ages, with the purpose of preserving something (in addition to the official Onkelos) from the previous Palestinian Pentateuch Targumic tradition. Neofiti I is still a vast open question, and its marginalia, some of which can be traced in the Fragment Targum, may further enrich our knowledge of the Palestinian Pentateuch Targum.

                          To be continued...

                          Comment


                          • Continued from the last post above ↑

                            Continuation of excerpts from the "The Aramaic Targums and the Language of Jesus" section of the out-of-print third edition of An Aramaic Approach to the Gospels and Acts (Great Clarendon Street, Oxford, Great Britain: Oxford University Press, 1967), by Matthew Black:
                            So far as the language of the Targums was concerned, Kahle was firmly convinced that Dalman was wrong in taking Onkelos and the related Targum to the Prophets as his main authorities for first-century Palestinian Aramaic, the so-called 'Jerusalem' Targums having been relegated to a secondary position: the latter, together with such close relatives as Samaritan and Christian Palestinian Syriac, seemed to Kahle to be much closer to the original language of Jesus and the best post-Christian sources for the reconstruction of the Aramaic of the verbi Christi. This he sought to demonstrate by his now well-known discovery that ribboni (my Lord) in Onkelos was pronounced rabbouni in the Geniza fragment targum, exactly as at John xx. 16 (cf. Mark x. 51). In view of this, Kahle held that a study of the grammar, syntax, and vocabulary of his Geniza fragments, and indeed of the whole of the Palestinian Targum tradition, so far as it was extant, was the next urgent task in Aramaic studies. This view was shared―and to a large extent reached independently through the study of Masoreten Westens, ii―by the late Professor A. J. Wensinck, who carried his work to the point of preparing, on the basis of existing editions of the Palestinian Pentateuch Targum, a lexicon of these texts to supplement Levy's Chaldäisches Lexicon (or the smaller lexica of Jastrow or Dalman).

                            To be continued...

                            Comment


                            • Continued from the last post above ↑

                              Continuation of excerpts from the "The Aramaic Targums and the Language of Jesus" section of the out-of-print third edition of An Aramaic Approach to the Gospels and Acts (Great Clarendon Street, Oxford, Great Britain: Oxford University Press, 1967), by Matthew Black:
                              No one will deny the urgency or the need for grammatical and lexicographical studies in those particular areas if we are to extend our knowledge of the Aramaic language, and particularly of the language as it was spoken and written in the New Testament period. The situation, however, has changed in some important respects since the publication of Masoreten des Westens (or The Cairo Geniza). There are the new Qumrân Aramaic texts to study, for the most part exhibiting a language closer to the old Reichsaramäisch, but also in their literary form and character, no less than in language, exhibiting literature which serves as a much closer prototype of the Aramaic portions and especially the original Aramaic poetry of the Gospels. There is also the inestimably valuable text (450 folios) of Neofiti, which will also have to be scrutinized by the philologist, once an edition is available. In fact, it is this last difficulty, applying to all the Palestinian Pentateuch Targums, which makes grammatical investigation or lexicographical studies at present difficult, if not impossible. Our first and most urgent needs are for editions of the Palestinian Pentateuch Targum (or Targums) similar to Dr. Sperber's splendid edition of Onkelos and Jonathan, which must also, however, not be overlooked in any full study of early Palestinian Aramaic.

                              To be continued...

                              Comment


                              • Continued from the last post above ↑

                                Continuation of excerpts from the "The Aramaic Targums and the Language of Jesus" section of the out-of-print third edition of An Aramaic Approach to the Gospels and Acts (Great Clarendon Street, Oxford, Great Britain: Oxford University Press, 1967), by Matthew Black:
                                It was characteristic of Kahle that he lost no opportunity of presenting positions with which he had once identified himself in the light of the latest developments in his field. Thus, just shortly before the second edition of his Cairo Geniza was published, he wrote a long article in Z.N.T.W. entitled 'Das palästinische Pentateuchtargum und das zur Zeit Jesu gesprochene Aramäische' in which he took cognizance of the new Qumrân discoveries, in particular of the so-called Genesis Apocryphon (or Genesis Midrash, as he himself preferred to describe it). The article (which forms most of chapter III of The Cairo Geniza brought inter alia an up-to-date report on work on the Targums and the scrolls by W. H. Brownlee, Naftali Weider, Díez Macho, etc. In the course of the article Dr. Kahle had occasion to criticize some of the methods of Professor E. Y. Kutscher of Jerusalem in his dating and localizing of the Genesis Midrash, and this criticism drew a lively rejoinder from Dr. Kutscher in which he not only replied to the points of Kahle's criticism but called in question Kahle's general position on the relation of the Palestinian Pentateuch Targum to Targum Onkelos, and on its value linguistically as a primary source of the language of Jesus. Kutscher's reply called forth in turn an equally lively riposte from Kahle.

                                To be continued...

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