Judaism


Jesus, the Mamzer, and Ruth

I am reading Peter Schäfer’s creative reconstruction of the background for Jesus in the Talmud and a thought occurred to me that I do not see how I missed before (and a connection Schäfer does not seem to make). The Talmud addresses Jesus’ lineage (b Shab 104b), asserting that he is a bastard, a mamzer in the […]


Valmadonna Collection Purchased by the National Library of Israel 2

This is very good news! It appears the entire collection has been purchased by the Israeli National Library. As I shared several years ago Sotheby’s was exhibiting and the family seeking to sell this incredibly important collection. It is particularly important for Targum scholars because it includes Valmadonna 1 (formerly Sassoon 282). The Sotheby’s catalogue described […]


What is Targum?

It occurred to me this morning that I have never offered a definition or description of Targum and the Targumim on this site. Here is the entry I wrote for the Dictionary for Theological Interpretation of the Bible. The Hebrew term “targum” (plural “targumim”) literally means “translation,” but in the rabbinic period (c. 1st century – 7th century AD) the term came to refer specifically […]


Boaz: Centrally Marginalized 2   Recently updated!

This was a paper originally presented at the Mid-Atlantic SBL in 2010 and was going to be part of an article on the character of Boaz. Now that the book on Tg. Ruth is complete, this will not be making it into an article and so I thought I would make it available here. You can find a companion “close reading” of the character of Boaz that […]


Rabbinical views regarding marriage

Not trolling, genuinely rediscovered this during my research (see Tg. Ruth 4:6). Said Rab to R. Assi, “Don’t dwell in a town where horses don’t neigh and dogs don’t bark, don’t dwell in a town where the head of the community is a physician, and don’t marry two women, but if you do marry two, then […]