The Curious Case of the Targum by Willem Smelik

A great introductory piece by my friend and colleague Willem Smelik. It contains thoughtful reflections on the task of translating sacred writ and the uniqueness of Targum. Not least of which is that it was never to stand on its own.

ajs-fa15cover-translationtargum (an Aramaic translation of Scripture) is a translation that does not come alone: hardly ever is it left unattended by its parent text, the Hebrew Bible. While it may play, it is always supervised, its game subject to specific rules. A targum is not supposed to ever leave home and strike out on its own. The reasons for this peculiar and probably unique conception of translation as one part of a bilingual text are to be sought in contemporary rabbinic views on how to read and translate the Hebrew Bible.

Read it all! The Translation as a Bilingual Text: The Curious Case of the Targum

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