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The Pentateuchal Targums: a redaction history and Genesis 1: 26-27 in the exegetical context of formative Judaism

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dc.contributor.advisor Prof. J.F. Janse van Rensburg en
dc.contributor.author Lier, Gudrun Elisabeth
dc.date.accessioned 2010-04-01T05:27:44Z
dc.date.available 2010-04-01T05:27:44Z
dc.date.issued 2010-04-01T05:27:44Z
dc.date.submitted 2008
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10210/3146
dc.description D.Litt. et Phil. en
dc.description.abstract This thesis combines Targum studies with Judaic studies. First, secondary sources were examined and independent research was done to ascertain the historical process that took place in the compilation of extant Pentateuchal Targums (Fragment Targum [Recension P, MS Paris 110], Neofiti 1, Onqelos and Pseudo-Jonathan). Second, a framework for evaluating Jewish exegetical practices within the age of formative Judaism was established with the scrutiny of midrashic texts on Genesis 1: 26-27. Third, individual targumic renderings of Genesis 1: 26-27 were compared with the Hebrew Masoretic text and each other and then juxtaposed with midrashic literature dating from the age of formative Judaism. Last, the outcome of the second and third step was correlated with findings regarding the historical process that took place in the compilation of the Targums, as established in step one. The findings of the summative stage were also juxtaposed with the linguistic characterizations of the Comprehensive Aramaic Lexicon Project (CAL) of Michael Sokoloff and his colleagues.The thesis can report the following findings: (1) Within the age of formative Judaism pharisaic sages and priest sages assimilated into a new group of Jewish leadership known as ‘rabbis’. Under the direction of these scholars, Pentateuchal Targums were collectively and purposefully redacted for use in liturgical, educational or halakhic contexts. This finding counters the alternative view that priestly groups remained distinct from rabbinic circles until the fourth century C.E. and that priests alone were responsible for the compilation of Targum Pseudo-Jonathan. (2) The analysis of midrashic literature revealed different modes of exegesis used by Tannaim and Amoraim, thus providing information on the time and context wherein midrashic passages were compiled. When midrashic passages were then juxtaposed with individual renderings of Genesis 1: 26-27, it became possible to obtain more specific information on the dating and purpose for which extant Pentateuchal Targums were compiled. (3) The comparison of targumic renderings of Genesis 1: 26-27 with the Hebrew Masoretic Text and each other challenges the assumption that all extant Targums were compiled for the Synagogue. In Fragment Targum and Neofiti 1, haggadic rendering goes together with the popular Aramaic dialect used in Synagogue services, while the use of Standard Literary Aramaic employed in the context of halakhic decision-making characterizes the literal rendering of Targum Onqelos. The use of different dialects in Targum Pseudo-Jonathan (PJ) in conjunction with an expansive rendering of Genesis 1: 26-27, which concurs with rhetorical arguments of Palestinian Amoraim in the Palestinian Talmud and Genesis Rabbah, may be an indication that PJ was used for educational purposes. en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.subject Judaism history en
dc.subject Bible O.T. Pentateuch, Aramaic en
dc.subject Bible O.T. Genesis 1, 16-27 en
dc.title The Pentateuchal Targums: a redaction history and Genesis 1: 26-27 in the exegetical context of formative Judaism en
dc.type Thesis en


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