Wednesday, February 6, 2013


I'm really loving the Targum Onkelos.  It basically gives you an ancient Israelites take on each passage of Scripture.  I'll give you the background and then an example from a One-Law passage:

"Historical necessity thus required that the Bible be translated for Jews into Aramaic, the lingua franca of the Judean community, in a manner that reflected the Jewish normative understanding of the Hebrew Scriptures at that time.  In fact, a number of Aramaic translations (Targums) emerged, but the most authoritative of them was the Targum Onkelos..."  from page xviii of the preface.

Here's an example:

Exodus 12:48  "48.  If a proselyte should convert to you and observe a Passover before the Lord, let all his males be circumcised.  Then he may be admitted to make it, and he will then be as a native of the land."

Now compare that with the actual verse:

"And when a stranger shall sojourn with thee, and will keep the passover to the LORD, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near and keep it; and he shall be as one that is born in the land: for no uncircumcised person shall eat thereof."

As you can see, the Onkelos shows you how the Jews of that era  interpreted "ger" in that passage.  So Onkelos has its uses.

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