תמונות בעמוד


generally binding (ib. 8 a). *These two dicta were especially instrumental in authorizing the custom of reciting the Targum. Thus we may gather how the practice of interpreting the Hebrew Scriptures in Aramaic, at one time presumably dependent upon the extempore skill of the individual Methurgeman, gradually assumed a fixed form ; first, no doubt, orally, then in written shape.

The principal Targums which concern us are as follows:

The so-called Targum of Onkelos t on the Pentateuch. This is sometimes called the Babylonian Targum, as adopted and standardized in Babylonia not later, as we have seen, than the third century A.D. While exhibiting certain Babylonian peculiarities in diction, it ‘is composed in a dialect fundamentally Palestinian'. I Its contents prove that it must have been drawn up in Palestine in the second century, since both its Halakhic and Haggadic elements & exhibit the influence of the school of Akiba (who perished in the rebellion of Bar Cokhba, A.D. 135) and other prominent Tannaim.||

The Palestinian Targum of the Pentateuch is, as it has come down to us, much later in date. The Targum of Pseudo-Jonathan is wrongly assigned to Jonathan (the reputed author of the Targum of the Prophets), possibly through mistaken interpretation of the abbreviation n = Targum Yerushalmi, Jerusalem Targum, as Targum Yehonathan. As finally redacted it is not earlier than the seventh century A.D., but it is thought to contain many elements which are older than the Targum of Onkelos. I Comparison of these two Targums yields evidence that they were originally identical, their agreement being often verbatim.

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* Cf. Bacher, op. cit. p. 58.

+ The name DSpi Onķelos appears to have arisen through confusion made in Bab. Megilla iii. I of a reference in Jerus. Megilla i. 11 to the Greek translation of Aquila DS"py Aķylas. Cf. Berliner, op. cit. pp. 92 ff.

| Nöldeke, Mandäische Grammatik, p. xxvii, quoted by Bacher, op. cit. p. 59 a.

§ Hălākhă (walking' or 'way’; so'custom') is the exposition and application of the legal elements of Scripture ; Haggādā (“ narration ') the elaboration of its historical and didactic portions.

|| Cf. Berliner, op. cit. p. 107.

1 Dalman, Gramm, pp. 21 ff., and WJ. pp. 84 f., disputes this inference, holding the most primitive elements to be exactly the parts taken from the Onkelos Targum'.

In addition to the complete Targum of Pseudo-Jonathan there survive fragments of a Jerusalem Targum, apparently not all contemporaneous. In the view of Dr. Bacher, ‘Both the Pseudo. Jonathan and the fragments contain much that has survived from a very early period; indeed the nucleus of the Palestinian Targum is older than the Babylonian which was redacted from it' (op. cit.

p. 61 a).


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The Targum of Jonathan on the Prophets * is assigned by tradition to Jonathan ben Uzziel, who was Hillel's most famous pupil. The history of its transmission appears to follow the same lines as that of the Targum of Onkelos. Palestinian in origin (as is expressly stated in the Bab. Talmud), it gained official recognition in Babylonia in the third century A. D. It is frequently quoted by Joseph, the head of the Academy of Pumbeditha in Babylonia in the early part of the fourth century A. D., who, in referring to Isa. 86 and Zech. 12", remarks that if there were no Targum to it, we should not know the meaning of these verses (Sanhedrin 946; Moed ķațon 28 b; Megilla 3 a). Such reference implies the recognition of the Prophetic Targum as an ancient authority.

These Targums—and especially the Targums of Onkelos and of Jonathan on the Prophets-are of great value to us as illus. trating the Palestinian Aramaic of the early centuries of the Christian era. Though, in the form in which we know them, they are later than the first century, they embody material whichwhether in written or oral form-must have come down from that period; and from the linguistic point of view it is clear that they are faithful witnesses. Their dialect is closely allied to the dialect of the Book of Daniel, such slight differences as exist being mainly orthographical.* The only drawback to their use is that, being translations of Hebrew, they tend at times to Hebraize their Aramaic; but instances of this tendency are not difficult to detect, and are unlikely, therefore, to lead us astray. I

* The term 'Prophets' is of course used in the Jewish sense, including the four historical books known as “the Former Prophets', viz. Josh., Judg., Sam., and Kgs.

+ Cf. Driver, Introd. to Lit. of 0.T.9 p. 503 ; Nöldeke in Encycl. Bibl. 283.

I Cf. e.g. the passages cited on pp. 61 ff. On Hebraisms in the Targums cf. Dalman, WJ. p. 83.

3. The Palestinian (so-called Jerusalem) Talmud and the Midrashim contain short sections—stories and the like-in Aramaic interspersed amid the New Hebrew in which they are for the most part written. These Aramaic sections are the latest portions of these works, dating from the fourth to the sixth centuries A. D. They are clearly in the dialect of the people, and such linguistic peculiarities as this dialect exhibits connects it with Galilee rather than with Judaea.*

4. The Palestinian Syriac Lectionary, of unknown date, exhibits an Aramaic dialect akin to that of the Palestinian Talmud and Midrashim. As offering us the text of a great part of the Gospels translated into Palestinian Aramaic this Lectionary is of considerable interest. Like the Targums, however, in relation to the Hebrew text, it shows a certain tendency to adapt its language to its Greek original.

In addition to these Palestinian Aramaic sources, we may gain not inconsiderable aid through comparison of the ancient Syriac versions of the O. and N.T., making, of course, such allowances as are necessary for the dialectical differences between Eastern and Western Aramaic. The Peshittā translation of the O.T. is undoubtedly very ancient. Made directly from the Hebrew, it exhibits the traditions of Jewish exegesis, as appears from the points of connexion which it offers with Targumic renderings." It may well have been the work of Jewish scholars, and can hardly be later than the early second century A.D., if so late. As compared with the Targums, it exhibits less of a tendency to accommodate its language to the Hebrew constructions of the original.

No Syriac version of the N.T. is as old as that of the O.T. We know that Tatian made his Diatessaron, or Harmony of the Four Gospels (rò dià teorápwv eủayyé cov), in Greek, and that this was translated into Syriac during his lifetime, c. A.D. 170. It

* Cf. Dalman, Gramm. pp. 12 ff., 31 ff.

+ Cf. the illustrations of this tendency collected by Dr. Driver in his Notes on the Heb. Text of the Books of Samuel?, pp. Ixxi f., and by the present writer in his Notes on the Heb. Text of the Books of Kings, pp. xxxiv f., and Book of Judges,

p. cxxviii.

For authorities cf. Dr. Nestle's article ‘Syriac Versions’in Hastings's Dictionary of the Bible, iv, p. 646 a. The view that the Diatessaron was first composed in

continued in use at Edessa till the fifth century, when Rabbula, bishop of Edessa (A. D. 411-35), prepared a revision of the text of the separate Gospels (called Evangelion da-Mopharr'shé, 'Gospel of the Separate '), and ordered its substitution for the Diatessaron (Evangelion da-M®ħalletê, 'Gospel of the Mixed'), and the collection and confiscation of the copies of the latter. This was carried out with such thoroughness that no copy of the Syriac Diatessaron has survived, and we only know the work through an Armenian translation of St. Ephrem's Commentary upon it, and a late Arabic translation in which the text has been accommodated to that of the Peshittā.

Dr. Burkitt has shown that Syrian writers prior to Rabbula used the Evangelion da-Mopharroshé,* which has survived to us in the fragmentary remains of a recension of the Four Gospels discovered and edited by Dr. Cureton in 1858, and in the (nearly complete) palimpsest of the Gospels discovered by Mrs. Lewis at the convent on Mount Sinai in 1892; and further, that Rabbula, when he forbad the use of the Diatessaron, made a revision of this separate version of the Gospels in conformity with the Greek text current at Antioch at the beginning of the fifth century. This appears to have been the origin of the N.T. Peshîţtā. He has also shown that the Evangelion da-M pharroshe used the O.T. Peshîţtā, and must therefore be later than it.+ His conclusion is that the Diatessaron was the earliest form of the N.T. possessed by the Syrian Church, the Evangelion da-Mopharr'shể being dated by him c. A.D. 200. According to this view the early Christian Church at Edessa had no N.T. prior to the Diatessaron in A. D. 170.

• For the first generation of Syriac-speaking Christians the Law and the Prophets sufficed.' | This is a conclusion which is open to question, and it may be that the old version represented by the Sinaitic and Curetonian should be placed at an earlier date.

The Old Syriac and Peshîţtā versions of the N.T., as well as

Greek and then translated into Syriac appears to be more probable than that it was originally composed in Syriac. Cf. Burkitt, Evangelion da-Mepharreshe, ii, p. 206. For the latter view cf. J. F. Stenning in Hastings's DB., V, p. 452.

* Burkitt, Evangelion da-Mepharreshe, ii, pp. 101 ff. + op. cit. pp. 201 ff. I op. cit. p. 212.

the Palestinian Syriac Lectionary, are of great value to our inquiry as illustrating Aramaic constructions in relation to the Greek of the Gospels. When, for example, we get a varying Greek construction, one form of which we suspect of being an Aramaism, and the Syriac versions render both alike in accordance with our suspected Aramaism, our primary inference receives strong confirmation. There are many instances of this in the Fourth Gospel (cf. e. g. pp. 72 ff.).

The Acta Thomae, an original Syriac work * of fairly early date (early third century A. D.t) is sometimes used in the following pages for purposes of illustration.

The evidence which is brought forward in this volume in proof that the Greek text of the Fourth Gospel is a translation from Aramaic is concerned with the broad general characteristics of the Aramaic language, and does not depend upon dialectal details. Though dialects of the language may be distinguished, belonging to different places and different periods, their distinctive characteristics (if we except the earliest monuments of the language, of the 9th-8th centuries B.c.) are but slight in comparison with the common features which unite all branches of the language. Thus the exact dialectal form of the original which we presuppose is a matter of minor importance. We may have doubts as to the precise word or verbal termination or suffix which we should select; we can have no reasonable doubt as to constructions which properly characterize the language as a whole.

* The fact that this work was originally written in Syriac has been conclusively proved by Dr. Burkitt in Journal of Theol. Studies, i, pp. 280 ff. ; ii, p. 429 ; iii, p. 94.

+ Cf. R. Duval, La Littérature syriaque, pp. 98 ff.

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