Targum pseudo jonathan dating

This book analyzes Targum Pseudo-Jonathan’s unique aspects among Palestinian targums: namely, its expansions that find no targumic parallels.It constitutes a source analysis, which focuses upon PJ’s predominant source: PJu.

After the Babylonian exile, most Jews spoke Aramaic as their first language, so translation became necessary to understand the Biblical readings.

Onkelos is thus a Babylonian equivalent of the name Aquilas.

There are indicators that suggest, although admittedly they do not prove, that Targum Onkelos could not have been composed in the second century.

This dating is supported by seeing the consistent use of the targumist of the final version of tannaitic Midrashim that were not edited until the late fourth century. There is good authority confirming that Aquilas translated the Bible into Greek about 130 CE. They ascribed their Aramaic version to him as well.

There is, however, no corroboration for connecting the Aramaic translation currently called Targum Onkelos with a person named Onkelos other than the single statement in the tractate Megillah. The only essential difference between the names of Onkelos and Aquilas in Hebrew script is the addition of the letter nun, a characteristic insertion in Babylonian Aramaic.

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At that time a complete 16th century manuscript of the entire torah in that tradition was discovered in a library at the Vatican, now referred to as Targum Neophyti.

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