Settling into Slovenia and IOTS Abstracts

Hotel LevWell after a delayed flight I arrived in the capital of Slovenia, safe and sound. The room is very nice at Hotel Lev and I am settling in to finish my paper (with my socks and “things” hanging to dry in the bathroom; they wanted €2,80 to wash a pair of socks!). I have been hunting on Google maps to see where our conference will be. Why the first listed hotel, the one I choose, assuming that like the SBL that would mean it is closest to the conference, is the farthest from the university is beyond me. So here is my Google Map with the Hotel Lev an the Law School located on it.

I just received the abstracts from Willem Smelik who will be our acting chair since Paul Flesher will be unable to attend. These are posted below, just follow the link. The schedule of the papers can be found here.
Abstracts of IOTS Papers, Ljubljana 2007
(In alphabetical order of author.)

Yaacov Azuelos, Max Stern Academic College Of Emek Yezreel, Israel
Are Angels “Flesh and Blood”? A Study in the Pentateuchal Targums

The objective of this paper is to examine the manner of the Aramaic Targums on the Pentateuch as they translate the words “angel(s)” which appear in the Pentateuch. An examination of all the translations of “angel” shows that they differentiate between two types of angels, unlike the Bible.
The first type relates to a human messenger of flesh and blood. Such a messenger appears seven times in the Torah, and is translated by Targum Onqelos and Targum Pseudo-Jonathan as “izgada”, and by Targum Neophyti I as “shlichin”. The one exception to this rule appears in Genesis 32:7, where the word is translated as “mallelya/mallelhaya”—an expression stemming from the root “ALL”, meaning spying. This signifies a meaningful change —content based, not merely technical. Through this change the translator wishes to draw the reader’s attention to a change which has occurred in the angels sent by Jacob to soften his brother’s Esau’s heart in preparation for the meeting between them. These angels, when they left Jacob’s house, were “angels” as in “messengers”, whose role is to do their master’s bidding, yet when they returned, their mission was understood as a spying mission for their master.

The second type of angel is related to God and not of flesh and blood. This type has been translated by all versions as “malacha”. This messenger appears 33 times in the Torah, 26 of which are translated literally as “malacha”, while 7 are expanded upon in translation by adding details about the angel, despite the fact that in some cases these angels are identified by name, such as Michael and Gabriel, the angels sent to Sodom, and Metatron, the angel that shows itself to Abraham in the Sacrifice of Isaac story.

These expansions which appear in the Aramaic Targums on the Pentateuch, except Targum Onqelos which remains steadfast in its literal translation of “angel”, sometimes include its title its job description, such as “angel of mercy”, “angel of service”, or “angel of accompaniment”, a combination of a job description and a quantitative description or an addition of the angel’s name, like the angel Zaganzael, which appears before Moses in the burning bush.

These expansions are usually based on a well-known Midrash tradition or on as yet unfamiliar layers of the Midrash, and possibly on a different Biblical version than the one we have.

Christian M.M. Brady, The Pennsylvania State University, State College, Pennsylvania, USA
The Use of “Eschatological Lists” within the Targumim to the Megillot

Several of the targumim to the Megillot contain lists (songs, famines, kings, etc.) that culminate in the future or messianic era. For example, the Targum of Song of Songs opens with the list of Ten Songs and the Targum of Ruth opens with the list of Ten Famines. Such lists are well known from other midrashic texts and this paper will consider how and why these lists are used with the targumim to the Megillot and will propose that these additions are not merely the result of an opportunity presented by the Hebrew text but are being used specifically to further the overarching exegetical agenda of the targum in question.

Pere Casanellas, Barcelona University, Barcelona, Spain
Presentation of the Homage Volume to Prof. Josep Ribera Florit

A complete bibliography of all his works on the Targum and on Aramaic would be handed out to those present at the congress, with some brief comment on his works. The homage volume to Prof. Ribera Florit, which was edited by Prof. Luis Díez Merino and Dr Elisabeth Giralt-López and published by the University of Barcelona, will be presented.

Alinda Damsma, University College London, London, UK
The Language of the Tosefta-Targums to Ezekiel: JLA and/or LJLA?

This paper is based on part of my doctoral dissertation which focuses on those Tosefta-Targums which are related to the Targum of Ezekiel. The research’s central question is whether the toseftot are composed in an identifiable Aramaic dialect, and if so how to describe this dialect. The two primary possibilities are Jewish Literary Aramaic and Late Jewish Literary Aramaic. My study has found distinctive dialectal elements in these toseftot. The present paper will provide a few examples and explore the ramifications of my findings.

Luis Díez Merino, University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain
The Sephardic Targum Tradition and the missing Tosefta in the Antwerp Polyglot

The sources of the printed text of the Antwerpian Targum are as follows:
• Pentateuch: the Complutensian printed text for Targum Onqelos.
• Former Prophets, Esther, Job, Psalms and Qohelet: A manuscript bought in Rome by Andreas Massius.
• Latter Prophets: A manuscript belonging to B. Arias Montanus.
• Proverbs, Canticles, Lamentations: From the Rabbinic Bible.
The same Raphelengivs wrote on his main lines of transcriptions. To date TgEsther has been the only text studied in this tradition. Some of the Raphelengivs principles have been described.

Beate Ego, Universität Osnabrück, Osnabrück, Germany
Presentation of the Project Dictionary of the History of the Bible

The Dictionary of the Textual History of the Bible (DTHB) will provide information about the textual witnesses of each biblical book as well as information about all other fields of importance for the textual history of the Bible, for example, history of research, papyrology and codicology. Bible is defined as including both the Jewish and the Christian canons. The DTHB responds to the current paradigm change in textual research: textual witnesses are now recognized as texts in their own right. Furthermore, both LXX and Dead Sea Scroll studies have shown that in early stages each biblical book has its own individual history. Therefore, in addition to entries as “Masoretic Text” or “Targum” there will be entries as for example “LXX Text of the Book of Jeremiah” or the “Text of the Book of Samuel as attested in 4Q Sama”. An important interest of the DTHB will be the different Aramaic translations of biblical books such as early (4QTgLev; 11QTgJob) and the later Targums (Tg Onqelos, Tg Jonatan etc.).

The main editors of the DTHB are Armin Lange (Vienna) and David Trobisch (Bangor/Main). The targumic studies field editor is Beate Ego (Osnabrueck). DTHB will be published by E.J. Brill.

Andrew Fincke, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK
Targum Lamentations 1:1-4

Two of the problems with Targum Lamentations 1:1-4 are: (1) why the author uses a slur cast on Israel by its enemies: “Insurrection and rebellion are done in her” (Ezra 4:15) to justify the Babylonian captivity, and (2) what bearing Moses’ spies sent from the wilderness (Numbers 13) has on the condition of Jerusalem during the Babylonian captivity. The purpose of the paper is to address these questions and provide a framework for understanding the exegetical expansions that adorn the opening verses of the book. Answers will be sought for the two posed questions in a time-point chronologically between the extremes suggested above, namely, the period directly preceding the establishment the kingdom in Israel, as found in 1 Samuel 1-6.

Douglas Gropp, Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C., USA
The Aramaic of Targums Onkelos and Jonathan

This paper explores key characteristics of the Aramaic dialect found in Targums Onkelos and Jonathan. This dialect, known as Jewish Literary Aramaic, appears to be the capstone of linguistic development coming out of the breakup of Imperial Aramaic. Despite this history of development, the dialect has a high degree of internal consistency, although given its development as a literary language there are features of eastern and western Aramaic embedded in various layers of the language. This paper is based on my years of writing a grammar of these texts (to be published by Oxford University Press).

Robert Hayward, Durham University, Durham, UK
Targum Pseudo-Jonathan and the Chronology of the Giving of the Torah

The paper will consider Targum Pseudo-Jonathan’s chronology of the days leading up to the Giving of the Torah (Exodus 19 and 24), in the light of chronological material found in Mekhilta de R. Ishmael Bahodesh and b. Shabbat 86b ff, an attempt will be made to delineate distinctive concerns of PJ in his account of Mattan Torah which may be related to the Targum’s chronological precision, as opposed to the general vagueness of the other Pentateuchal Targumim about dates and times in these chapters.

David Kroeze, Theologische Universiteit Kampen, Kampen, Netherlands
Exploring the Targum Manuscripts Database

This year the website of the Targum Manuscripts Database will be launched. Its intention is to give world wide access to the descriptions of extant Targum manuscripts. The database is one of the results of the project History and Origin of Targum Jonathan to the Prophets of the Protestant Theological University in Kampen, the Netherlands, and will serve as one of the tools for the International Targum Text Edition Project. At the moment the database includes descriptions of more than 500 manuscripts containing text of the Targum to the Prophets. This paper will describe the development of the database and will give an introduction for users.

Simon Adnams Lasair, University of Manchester, UK
Selective Appropriation: A Translational Phenomenon in a Targumic Context

In her 2006 book, Translation and Conflict: A Narrative Account, Mona Baker identifies a translational phenomenon that she calls “Selective Appropriation”. According to Baker, this phenomenon is evident when translators select material to translate, omitting certain details of the original document for various reasons, be they intelligibility, relevance, or something else. Selective Appropriation is also evident when only certain texts from certain cultural contexts are presented to the target audience. Within the targumic translational context Selective Appropriation can be seen to be at work in two distinct ways. In the first instance, Selective Appropriation dictates which biblical verses will be presented as narrative expansions in the targums. Yet in the second instance Selective Appropriation can be seen to be at work in the Hebrew Bible narrative when read from a targumic perspective. Because the Bible seems to omit the details of certain events, the targums compensate for these perceived omissions by narrating fuller accounts of the said events. In this way the targums highlight and counteract the selectivity of the biblical narrative, creating narratives that contain more complete versions of the events narrated by the Bible. The targums thereby position themselves as reliable supplements to the Hebrew Bible, which makes it difficult for them to maintain their positions as inferior translations within the minds of their readers/audiences.

Gudrun E. Lier, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa
Targum Pseudo-Jonathan and the Rendition of Genesis 1:26-27

The assumption exists that Targum Pseudo-Jonathan was originally used in the context of the synagogue, since it has no less than twelve anti-halakhic passages and abounds with midrashic insertions. Nevertheless, Pseudo-Jonathan contains a considerable amount of halakhah as well. In fact, recent studies have revealed that this Targum has a dominant interest in the matters of priests. Priestly matters reflect a considerable concern in halakhah. On the basis of its priestly emphasis, some researchers have suggested that Pseudo-Jonathan was compiled by priests. However, this theory does not take into consideration that there are also numerous haggadic interpolations, which, for one, can not be explained from a priestly perspective and further, do not suit the context of the Synagogue either. Such an example is found in Genesis 1:26-27. This study establishes that Pseudo-Jonathan’s rendering of the Genesis passage shows aspects of rhetoric, which are reminiscent of scholarly debates. Taking this fact into account, the study reviews the existing debate on the rabbi/priest tension in the aftermath of the destruction of the Second Temple. The research results put forward a case that Pseudo-Jonathan represents a Targum which was compiled during the course of Talmudic discussions for the purposes of training prospective rabbis in the art of rebutting Gnostic, Trinitarian and other heretical teachings. The purpose for the compilation of Pseudo-Jonathan directly affects the proposal for its dating and Sitz-im-Leben, placing it not earlier than the middle of the fourth century C.E. into the context of oral rabbinic learning in Palestine.

David Shepherd, Queens University Belfast, Belfast, UK
What’s in a name? Targum and Taxonomy in the Caves of Qumran

Although Cave Four’s textual contribution to the Qumran corpus of ancient Aramaic Bible translations is quite limited when compared to that of Cave Eleven (11QarJob), the potential significance of these fragments should not be underestimated. In offering us evidence of two additional translations (4QarJob, 4QarLev), Cave Four presents us with the opportunity to not only assess the relationship between the Qumran Aramaic versions, but also locate with greater specificity the Qumran tradition(s) within the diversity of translational approaches which eventually emerged in Jewish and Christian communities in antiquity.

Arie van der Kooij, University of Leiden, Leiden, Netherlands
Targum Onkelos and Jonathan and Josephus: A discussion of some parallels

In this paper I want to deal with parallels, linguistic ones (Aramaic terms) but particularly exegetical ones, between Targums Onkelos and Jonathan, on the one hand, and the works of Josephus, on the other. Many scholars (Rappaport, Thackeray, and others) have pointed to several cases of agreements to which I would add other ones, including a reflection on the question of what the background of the parallels might have been. Did Josephus make use of a targum, as has been suggested, or is it more plausible to explain the agreements by way of an other hypothesis?

Eveline van Staalduine-Sulman, Theologische Universiteit Kampen, Kampen, Netherlands
Aramaic Branches Bursting into Leaves: Towards a Critical Edition of Targum Samuel

Whoever wants to make a new critical edition of the Targum to the Prophets, in this case to the Books of Samuel, must deal with at least five problems.

  1. The extant editions of the text are not sufficient and much extra work must be done. The extent of this work will be outlined in this lecture.
  2. A critical edition based on many manuscripts must make use of a transparent and not too complicated sigla system. A new system will therefore be presented, including the arguments behind the choices.
  3. There are several problems connected to the selecting of manuscripts. In the first place, it is not at all clear how many families of manuscripts exist. There is a tendency to divide the manuscripts into two main traditions—Eastern and Western—but both traditions can be subdivided. In the second place, how many manuscripts of one family must an editor use to give a representative image of that family in the critical apparatus. Furthermore, what is the status of all the codicological and palaeographical details of the manuscripts? And finally, are there grounds on which the editor may decide to exclude certain manuscripts from the edition? These questions have to be solved by thorough stemmatological investigation, the preliminary results of which are shown in this lecture.
  4. A decision must be made with regard to the aim of the edition. The aim determines the means and the ways in which the edition is fashioned. There are at least five movements in contemporary textual criticism of the Hebrew Bible, from heading for the most original text retraceable to representing all the traditions in their fullness. All have their advantages and disadvantages, but these are highly dependent on the aim of the editor.
  5. The decision on the edition’s aim also determines what to do with the extra Targumic material, such as Targumic toseftot, the many quotations in Jewish literature, and the Latin translations given in the Sefardic tradition and the polyglots. A proposal on this material is also developed.

In short, this lecture will present a good and passable way to achieve a full and representative edition of a Targumic text.

Jan-Wim Wesselius, Theologische Universiteit Kampen, Kampen, Netherlands
Targum Beginnings as Programmatic Introductions

This paper will deal especially with the expansive beginning of several targumim, in particular those of the Megilloth (Ruth, Esther, Ecclesiastes, Lamentations, Song of Songs). We will try to determine if there is a deliberate literary and religious program underlying the first verses of these targumim, both internally within the targumim to the Megilloth and in their mutual relationship. As a conclusion, we will think about the question whether, within the tight framework imposed by the genre, a proper “sense of a beginning” can be discerned in other targumim as well.


Leave a Reply