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Targums Koralija, Srecko


The meaning of the Aramaic word תרגום 'targum' (pl. תרגומים 'targumim') is 'translation' or 'interpretation'. It derives from the Akkadian word targummanu(m) 'interpreter, translator', which first occured in the beginning of the second millenium BCE. The Aramaic word was later adopted in Hebrew and Arabic. The term generally refers to written translations in any language. In the context of biblical (and Jewish) studies, it primarily refers to renderings of biblical texts in Aramaic; i.e. Targums. The Targums are interpretative reproductions of the original (Hebrew) biblical text for the Aramaic-speaking Jewish audience. They consist of both translational renderings of the Hebrew text and additional material (additions, omissions, interpretative interpolations) which provide insights into ancient Jewish interpretation of biblical narratives. There are Targums to all books of the Bible except for Ezra and Daniel, the biblical books which include Aramaic portions. Targum Onqelos is a targum of the Pentateuch, and Targum Jonathan is a targum to the Prophets; In addition, there is also Targum Pseudo-Jonathan, Targum Neofiti and the socalled Fragment Targum. However, different books of the Writings were composed individually. From the Qumran we have evidence that some written Targums (eg. the Qumran Job Targum) existed in early times and that they were known to Rabbi Gamaliel I and Gamaliel II. More recent Targumic manuscripts come from the sixteenth century. However, the main period in which the Targumic tradition was - so to say - at its 'peak' is the period between the 1st and the 7th century (mainly the period of rabbinic Judaism).

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