Tom’s Targum | Books and Culture

Tom’s Targum | Books and Culture.

Robert Gundry evaluates in this article NT Wright’s new Bible translation titled The Kingdom New Testament.

His conclusion is that this translation is like a targum – a particular way of rendering the Hebrew Old Testament into Aramaic. I quote:

‘…there is a body of religious literature characterized by all those traits, viz., the ancient Jewish targums, which rendered the Hebrew Old Testament into the Aramaic language. So KNT‘s similar combination of translation, paraphrase, insertions, semantic changes, slanted interpretations, and errant renderings—all well-intentioned—works beautifully as a targum. Which apart from the question of truth in advertising isn’t to disparage KNT. For the New Testament itself exhibits targumizing, as when, for example, Mark 4:12 has “lest … it be forgiven them” in agreement with the targum of Isaiah 6:10 rather than “lest … one heals them” (so the Hebrew), and as when 2 Timothy 3:8 has “Jannes and Jambres” in agreement with a targum of Exodus 7:11-8:19, which in the Hebrew original leaves Pharaoh’s magicians unnamed. Hence, Tom’s Targum. Trouble is, J&J won’t know they’re reading a targum.’

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Robert Gundry is a scholar-in-residence and professor emeritus at Westmont College. His Commentary on the New Testament, carried by Baker Academic, includes for the purpose of close study a literal translation of the New Testament.

Author: DanutM

Anglican theologian. Former Director for Faith and Development Middle East and Eastern Europe Region of World Vision International

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