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 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.
In the Logos edition, this volume is enhanced by amazing functionality. Scripture citations link directly to English translations, and important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.
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, Blanche and Irving Laurie Chair in Jewish History, Cornell University
Martin McNamara is emeritus professor of Scripture at Milltown Institute of Theology and Philosophy in Dublin.