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The Aramaic Bible Series (22 vols.)
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Overview

This series represents the first time all the extant targums will have been translated into English. Scholars of both Jewish and Christian communities of the English-speaking world have given a warm welcome to the series, which is filling a large gap in the body of targums available in English.

While any translation of the Scriptures may in Hebrew be called a targum, the word is used especially for a translation of a book of the Hebrew Bible into Aramaic. Before the Christian era, Aramaic had in good part replaced Hebrew in Palestine as the vernacular of the Jews. It continued as their vernacular for centuries later and remained in part as the language of the schools after Aramaic itself had been replaced as the vernacular. The Aramaic Bible series provides a much-needed reference to the Aramaic translation of the Torah and Old Testament texts, as well as an important glimpse into Second Temple Judaism.

The value of having these volumes in Logos far surpasses having them in print. Read them side-by-side with other targums, fragments, or biblical texts in your library to compare translations and word usage, or perform powerful Bible word studies by investigating the meaning behind individual words. Fill your library with the best targums available in English today.

Interested in the targums in their original Aramaic form? We have them! Make sure to get the Aramaic targums to study along with these expert modern English translations.

Key Features

  • Rare translated-into-English targums on most of the Old Testament
  • Translations provided by experts in Aramaic and Hebrew

Praise for the Print Edition

The Aramaic Bible series, under McNamara’s able leadership, has brought the difficult world of Targum to a larger audience of biblical scholars.

—Gary A. Rendsburg, Cornell University

Individual Titles

The Aramaic Bible, Volume 1A: Targum Neofiti 1: Genesis

  • Translator: Martin McNamara
  • Publisher: Liturgical Press
  • Publication Date: 1991
  • Pages: 256

Beginning with an introduction of the “Palestinian Targums,” or “Targum Yerushalmi,” the author relates the history of the term, research in the field, and other background information on the Palestinian Pentateuch Targums before providing a verse-by-verse translation of Neofiti 1.

Martin McNamara is emeritus professor of Scripture at Milltown Institute of Theology and Philosophy, Dublin.

The Aramaic Bible, Volume 1B: Targum Pseudo-Jonathan: Genesis

  • Translator: Michael Maher
  • Publisher: Liturgical Press
  • Publication Date: 1992
  • Pages: 256

Incorrectly attributed to Jonathan ben Uzziel, this Targum, part of the Palestinian Targums, has been call Pseudo-Jonathan to rectify this mistaken identification. Pseudo-Jonathan provides us with a translation of almost every verse of the Pentateuch. Unique from other Targums of the Pentateuch in many ways, this Targum is also very much a composite work, but one composed with skill and initiative.

Michael Maher, a Professor of Management at the University of California-Davis, previously taught at the University of Michigan, the University of Chicago, and the University of Washington. He also worked on the audit staff at Arthur Andersen & Co. and was a self-employed financial consultant for small-businesses. He received his BBA from Gonzaga University (which named him Distinguished Alumnus in 1989), and his MBA and PhD from the University of Washington, and earned the CPA from the state of Washington.

The Aramaic Bible, Volume 2: Targum Neofiti 1: Exodus and Targum Pseudo-Jonathan: Exodus

  • Translator: Martin McNamara
  • Publisher: Liturgical Press
  • Publication Date: 1994
  • Pages: 344

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

The Book of Exodus speaks of central events in Jewish self-understanding: the Exodus from Egypt, the covenant with Moses, and the giving of the Law. It is part narrative, part religious law. This translation of the Palestinian Targums of Exodus will assist in understanding this biblical book which is, in itself, an elaborate redaction of the Jewish faith.

Martin McNamara is emeritus professor of Scripture at Milltown Institute of Theology and Philosophy, Dublin.

The Aramaic Bible, Volume 3: Targum Neofiti 1: Leviticus and Targum Pseudo-Jonathan: Leviticus

  • Translator: Martin McNamara
  • Publisher: Liturgical Press
  • Publication Date: 1994
  • Pages: 264

The importance of Leviticus for the Jews of the post-biblical period cannot be exaggerated. Leviticus contains laws which regulated almost all aspects of communal and individual life. These targums shed light on how Leviticus was understood and its laws practiced.

Martin McNamara is emeritus professor of Scripture at Milltown Institute of Theology and Philosophy, Dublin.

The Aramaic Bible, Volume 4: Targum Neofiti 1: Numbers and Targum Pseudo-Jonathan: Numbers

  • Translator: Martin McNamara
  • Publisher: Liturgical Press
  • Publication Date: 1995
  • Pages: 356

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

It is generally recognized that the Book of Numbers is one of the least unified books of the Bible. It is a collection of censuses, laws, and traditions concerning the sojourn of the people of Israel in the wilderness and of the first conquests of the territories promised to Israel. Yet it also carries narrative of notable events and lessons. Both aspects of Numbers benefit from their development in these targums.

Martin McNamara is emeritus professor of Scripture at Milltown Institute of Theology and Philosophy, Dublin.

The Aramaic Bible, Volume 5A: Targum Neofiti 1: Deuteronomy

  • Translator: Martin McNamara
  • Publisher: Liturgical Press
  • Publication Date: 1997
  • Pages: 214

The biblical book of Deuteronomy is one of the clearest examples of an articulating biblical tradition in dialogue with earlier biblical texts, in dialogue with itself and laying down principles for a continuation of this inner-biblical interpretative dialogue. The nature of the book is in part expressed in the name given in the Greek translation and in the traditions dependent on it. Targum Neofiti: Deuteronomy focuses on the last book of the Pentateuch and reveals the religious mind of the Jewish people from early Christian times. It is the translation into popular Palestinian Aramaic of the Hebrew text of the fifth book of Moses.

Students of the Aramaic translation of biblical interpretation, and of Jewish studies from New Testament times to the Middle Ages, will find this work an invaluable resource.

Martin McNamara is emeritus professor of Scripture at Milltown Institute of Theology and Philosophy, Dublin.

The Aramaic Bible, Volume 5B: Targum Pseudo-Jonathan: Deuteronomy

  • Translator: Ernest G. Clarke
  • Publisher: Liturgical Press
  • Publication Date: 1997
  • Pages: 136

This volume on Deuteronomy represents the last volume of the Pentateuch in the Pseudo-Jonathan series. It includes the translation and notes of Pseudo-Jonathan of Deuteronomy as well a complete index. Many of the methods of translation unique to Pseudo-Jonathan noted in the Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers volumes are also found in Deuteronomy. The editors of Targum Pseudo-Jonathan: Deuteronomy used a creative literary style that resulted in a text with a character independent of the other volumes. The question of when, where, and by whom the targum was composed is unanswerable. The present text of Pseudo-Jonathan is the result of much editing, reediting, copying, and recopying of the ‘original’ manuscript. The only certain fact is the sixteenth-century date of the present manuscript.

Those interested in the Aramaic tradition of biblical interpretation, and students of Jewish studies will find Targum Pseudo-Jonathan: Deuteronomy an invaluable resource.

Ernest G. Clarke (1927–1997) was a Canadian theologian and Bible scholar. He received his PhD from the University of Leiden, Netherlands, and was professor of Old Testament studies at Queen’s Theological College in Kingston, Ontario. He later taught at Victoria College as professor of Near Eastern studies at the University of Toronto.

The Aramaic Bible, Volume 6: The Targum Onquelos to the Torah: Genesis

  • Translator: Bernard Grossfeld
  • Publisher: Liturgical Press
  • Publication Date: 1988
  • Pages: 193

The Onquelos Targums are the most literal translations of the Targumim. When translated by Bernard Grossfeld—the foremost scholar of Aramaic in the United States—these Torah volumes represent some the most scholarly and accurate translations in existence.

Bernard Grossfeld served for many years as the chair of Hebrew studies at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee. He received his PhD from John Hopkins University and is one of the world’s leading authorities on Aramaic. He is currently an adjunct professor of Hebrew and Rabbinics at Spertus College of Judaica in Chicago.

The Aramaic Bible, Volume 7: The Targum Onquelos to the Torah: Exodus

  • Translator: Bernard Grossfeld
  • Publisher: Liturgical Press
  • Publication Date: 1988
  • Pages: 120

The Onquelos Targums are the most literal translations of the Targumim. When translated by Bernard Grossfeld—the foremost scholar of Aramaic in the United States—these Torah volumes represent some the most scholarly and accurate translations in existence.

Bernard Grossfeld served for many years as the chair of Hebrew studies at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee. He received his PhD from John Hopkins University and is one of the world’s leading authorities on Aramaic. He is currently an adjunct professor of Hebrew and Rabbinics at Spertus College of Judaica in Chicago.

The Aramaic Bible, Volume 8: The Targum Onquelos to the Torah: Leviticus and Numbers

  • Translator: Bernard Grossfeld
  • Publisher: Liturgical Press
  • Publication Date: 1988
  • Pages: 171

The Onquelos Targums are the most literal translations of the Targumim. When translated by Bernard Grossfeld—the foremost scholar of Aramaic in the United States—these Torah volumes represent some the most scholarly and accurate translations in existence.

Bernard Grossfeld served for many years as the chair of Hebrew studies at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee. He received his PhD from John Hopkins University and is one of the world’s leading authorities on Aramaic. He is currently an adjunct professor of Hebrew and Rabbinics at Spertus College of Judaica in Chicago.

The Aramaic Bible, Volume 9: The Targum Onquelos to the Torah: Deuteronomy

  • Translator: Bernard Grossfeld
  • Publisher: Liturgical Press
  • Publication Date: 1988
  • Pages: 126

The Onquelos Targums are the most literal translations of the Targumim. When translated by Bernard Grossfeld—the foremost scholar of Aramaic in the United States—these Torah volumes represent some the most scholarly and accurate translations in existence.

Bernard Grossfeld served for many years as the chair of Hebrew studies at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee. He received his PhD from John Hopkins University and is one of the world’s leading authorities on Aramaic. He is currently an adjunct professor of Hebrew and Rabbinics at Spertus College of Judaica in Chicago.

The Aramaic Bible, Volume 10: Targum Jonathan of the Former Prophets

  • Translators: Daniel J. Harrington and Anthony J. Saldarini
  • Publisher: Liturgical Press
  • Publication Date: 1987
  • Pages: 320

The attribution, by the Babylonian Talmud, of this Targum to Jonathan ben Uzziel is suspect on several counts: among others, the silence concerning Jonathan in the parallel passage in the Palestinian Talmud, and the fanciful suggestion that Onkelos=Aquila and Jonathan=Theodotion. The attribution, therefore, is not to be taken as historical fact. The Talmud may have been attempting to enhance the authority of the Targum by claiming authorship by a disciple of Hillel, which Jonathan was.

It is generally agreed that the author of the Targum Jonathan is unknown; in fact, it is preferable to consider multiple authorship. For while language and translation techniques are uniform, there is variety from book to book.

Anthony J. Saldarini (1941–2001) was a leading Christian scholar of Late Second Temple and Rabbinic Judaism.

Daniel J. Harrington, SJ, PhD, is professor of New Testament at Weston School of Theology in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and general editor of New Testament Abstracts. He wrote The Gospel of Matthew and is the series editor of the Sacra Pagina series.

The Aramaic Bible, Volume 11: The Targum Isaiah

  • Translator: Bruce D. Chilton
  • Publisher: Liturgical Press
  • Publication Date: 1987
  • Pages: 192

Designed for those who are beginning Targum study, this book also provides material for those who have already made some progress. Beginners will have recourse first of all to the Translation, and the Notes are intended to help orient them in the message conveyed by the Targum in its two levels. Students with recourse to Aramaic will perhaps require remarks of a linguistic and textual nature; these are given in the Apparatus. Additional material for more advanced students is also offered in the Notes, to help relate the exegesis of the Targum to the intertestamental document, Rabbinica, and the New Testament.

Bruce D. Chilton is the Bernard Iddings Bell Professor of Religion, college chaplain, and executive director of the Institute of Advanced Theology at Bard College in New York.

The Aramaic Bible, Volume 12: The Targum of Jeremiah

  • Translator: Robert Hayward
  • Publisher: Liturgical Press
  • Publication Date: 1987
  • Pages: 206

This Targum offers to the reader Jeremiah’s words among the Jewish people. Perhaps more than any other prophet, he communicates the majesty and excellence of the God of Israel, presenting the mysterious history, compounded of glory and tragedy, of his Chosen People. Here we have one of the most moving interpretations of one of the great figures of the ancient world.

The longest biblical book in the original Hebrew, Jeremiah became longer still in its translation into Aramaic because the translator(s), in trying to convey the precise meaning, often offered more than one translation of a word or phrase. The sheer length may account for the fact that, until now, it has never been translated into English.

Robert Hayward is professor in the department of theology and religion at Durham University

The Aramaic Bible, Volume 13: The Targum of Ezekiel

  • Translator: Samson H. Levey
  • Publisher: Liturgical Press
  • Publication Date: 1987
  • Pages: 145

The Targum of Ezekiel, when critically analyzed, offers a vivid insight into an area of Jewish theological speculation stretching far back into the history of Jewish religious thought. The complexity of the document, however, compounded by a difficult Mosoretic text, abundant grammatical and syntactical problems, and an infusion of strange language and linguistic peculiarities, challenges the most incisive biblical analysts. Like the Book of Ezekiel, it poses literary, exegetical, and theological problems.

The Targum belongs to the same genre as the other official Targumim, designated in Jewish Tradition as Onqelos on the Pentateuch and Jonathan on the Prophets. Its language, basically Palestinian Aramaic, was revised and edited in Babylon; its vocabulary, idiom, grammatical form, and rendering of the Hebrew text are essentially the same as we find in the official Targumim on the other books. But beyond this, the Targum of Ezekiel has some peculiarities distinctly its own.

Samson H. Levey graduated from the University of Chicago and the University of Southern California and taught both as professor and as rabbi. He was professor emeritus of Rabbinics and Jewish religious thought at Hebrew Union College. He passed away in 1998.

The Aramaic Bible, Volume 14: The Targum of the Minor Prophets

  • Translators: Kevin J. Cathcart and Robert P. Gordon
  • Publisher: Liturgical Press
  • Publication Date: 1990
  • Pages: 259

Although the term “minor prophets” is a familiar one in English Bible translations, it is not a felicitous one, since it applies as much to Hosea as to Haggai and to Amos as to Obadiah. The Targum offers no such pecking order. Nuggets of importance are as likely to be found in a Targumized “minor” prophet as a “major” one.

Included in this volume are the books of Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi. The authors’ apparatus in the introduction provides the translational characteristics, theology, life-setting, text and versions, language, rabbinic citations and parallels, dating, manuscripts, and bibliography. A series of indices is also included.

Kevin J. Cathcart is emeritus professor of Near Eastern languages at University College in Dublin.

Robert P. Gordon is regious professor of Hebrew at the University of Cambridge.

The Aramaic Bible, Volume 15: The Targums Job, Proverbs, and Qohelet

  • Translators: Celine Mangan, John Healey, and Peter S. Knobel
  • Publisher: Liturgical Press
  • Publication Date: 1991
  • Pages: 256

The Targum of Job is regarded as one of the most enigmatic of targums. The translation used is based on the Cambridge University MS Ee. 5.9, widely regarded as the most important of known manuscripts. This manuscript is followed as closely as possible, including the marginal readings and the Variant Targum[s] incorporated in the text.

The primary aim of the Proverbs Targum is to provide an English translation, none having yet been published. A secondary aim is to give an account of the relationship of this targum to the Hebrew text and the other ancient versions, especially the Syriac.

Targum Qohelet is a blend of literal translation and midrashic paraphrase. The purpose is didactic, seeking to convey the meaning which is implicit in the text. Thus Qohelet becomes a vehicle to emphasize the importance of Torah study, repentance, prayer, and charity.

Celine Mangan is associate professor of Scripture at Milltown Institute of Theology and Philosophy in Dublin.

John F. Healey is professor of Semitic studies at the University of Manchester.

Peter S. Knobel has been Rabbi Emeritus of Beth Emet the Free Synagogue since 2010. He earned his PhD from Yale University and is actively involved nationally and in communities in Chicago.

The Aramaic Bible, Volume 16: The Targum of Psalms

  • Translator: David M. Stec
  • Publisher: Liturgical Press
  • Publication Date: 2004
  • Pages: 272

This work provides the first translation into English of the Targum of Psalms, together with an introduction, a critical apparatus listing variants from several manuscripts and their printed editions, and annotations.

David M. Stec is a lecturer in full-time research for the Dictionary of Classical Hebrew, a project of the University of Sheffield. He has also published a critical edition of the Aramaic text of the Targum of Job.

The Aramaic Bible, Volume 17A: The Targum of Canticles

  • Translator: Philip S. Alexander
  • Publisher: Liturgical Press
  • Publication Date: 2003
  • Pages: 230

Written in the eighth century CE, Targum Canticles offers one of the classic interpretations of the Song of Songs. In the relationship between the bridegroom and the bride in the Song, with its rhythm of communion, estrangement and reconciliation, the Targumist discovers allegorical history of God's relationship to Israel from the first exodus from Egypt, to the final exodus from exile when the Messiah comes.

The Targum of Canticles was one of the most popular religious texts within Judaism, and it may have promoted the use of the Song of Songs as the special reading for Passover. It was adapted in the medieval and early modern periods by Christian scholars who saw in the Song a cryptic history of Christ’s relationship to the Church. Targum Canticles has played a central role in the interpretation of one of the most puzzling yet influential books of the Bible.

Philip S. Alexander is professor of post-biblical Jewish literature in the University of Manchester, England, and has published extensively in the fields of early Jewish Bible-interpretation (particularly the Targumim), early Jewish mysticism and magic, and the history of Rabbinic Judaism.

The Aramaic Bible, Volume 17B: The Targum of Lamentations

  • Translator: Philip S. Alexander
  • Publisher: Liturgical Press
  • Publication Date: 2007
  • Pages: 224

This work provides a definitive translation into English of the Targum of Lamentations, based on a critical reading of all the extant versions, with textual annotations and extensive notes. An appendix offers, in addition, a translation and annotation of the Yemenite version.

Philip S. Alexander is professor of post-biblical Jewish literature in the University of Manchester, England, and has published extensively in the fields of early Jewish Bible-interpretation (particularly the Targumim), early Jewish mysticism and magic, and the history of Rabbinic Judaism.

The Aramaic Bible, Volume 18: The Two Targums of Esther

  • Translator: Bernard Grossfeld
  • Publisher: Liturgical Press
  • Publication Date: 1991
  • Pages: 225

What is called the Magillat Esther (“Scroll of Esther”) is part of the biblical group of books in the Hagiographa known as the “Five Megillot,” designating Esther, the Scrolls of Canticles, Ruth, Lamentations, and Ecclesiastes. These five scrolls play an integral part in Jewish liturgy next to the Pentateuch; and yet Esther (as well as others of these five) had difficulty being included in the Hebrew canon as sacred Scripture.

Professor Grossfeld provides a straightforward, idiomatic translation of the original Aramaic for the Targum Rishon and the Targum Sheni, with comments on the so-called “Third Esther Targum.”

Bernard Grossfeld served for many years as the chair of Hebrew studies at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee. He received his PhD from John Hopkins University and is one of the world’s leading authorities on Aramaic. He is currently an adjunct professor of Hebrew and Rabbinics at Spertus College of Judaica in Chicago.

The Aramaic Bible, Volume 19: The Targums of Ruth and Chronicles

  • Translators: Derek R. G. Beattie and J. Stanley McIvor
  • Publisher: Liturgical Press
  • Publication Date: 1994
  • Pages: 270

One approach to Chronicles would suggest that it was not considered an altogether vital component in the canon, but later it came to play a specific interpretative role. Others suggest that it came to be regarded as the authorized version of the history of Israel.

In the Jewish liturgical tradition the Book of Ruth is read at the festival of Shavuot, or Pentecost, and it may be conjectured that the Targum originated in conjunction with this practice. The Targum of Ruth exists in a large number of manuscripts; the eight used in the present work are of European provenance.

Nothing can replace a scholar’s firsthand interaction with an ancient text in the original language. But insofar as this volume and the series as a whole can serve as a catalyst to direct attention to the targumim, they represent a worthy effort.

Journal of Biblical Literature

Derek Robert George Beattie is lecturer in Hebrew and Semitic studies at Trinity College in Dublin.

J. Stanley McIvor translated and edited the targums on the Chronicles in The Aramaic Bible series.

Product Details

  • Title: The Aramaic Bible
  • Translators: Martin McNamara, Michael Maher, Ernest G. Clarke, Bernard Grossfeld, Daniel J. Harrington, Bruce D. Chilton, Robert Hayward, Samson H. Levey, Anthony J. Saldarini, Kevin Cathcart, Robert P. Gordon, Celine Mangan, John Healey, Peter S. Knobel, David M. Stec, Philip S. Alexander, J. Stanley McIvor, and Derek R. G. Beattie
  • Publisher: Liturgical Press
  • Volumes: 22
  • Pages: 5,035

About the Series Editor

Martin McNamara is emeritus professor of Scripture at Milltown Institute of Theology and Philosophy, Dublin.