News / News

The project “Aramaic Bible”

The main goal of the project “Aramaic Bible” is introduction, translation and critical edition of the text of Targums. The final effect of this project will be the full text of Targums to Pentateuch (Targum Neofiti 1, Targum Pseudo-Jonathan, Targum Onkelosa), Prophets and Writings in Polish language. This text contains old Jewish traditions which have essential influence for understanding and interpretation of the biblical (Old Testament, New Testament) and extra-biblical texts (pseudoepigraphy literature, rabbinic and patristic texts).

The translation of Targums from Aramaic into Polish language makes possible the access to Jewish literature containing old traditions which were used by the New Testament authors and rabbinic Judaism. The present project can be seen in larger context of the Church teaching after II Vatican Council about dialogue between Judaism and Christianity (declaration Nostra aetate – 1965; Indications and suggestions regarding declaration Nostra aetate – 1974; The attitude of the Church towards other religions -1984; Jews and Judaism in the preaching of the God’s Word and in catechesis of Catholic Church – 1985; document: We remember: Reflections on Shoah – 1998; document of Pontifical Biblical Commission, Jewish nation and its sacred Scriptures in the Christian Bible – 2001; the speech of pope Benedict XVI in the Synagogue in Rome – 2010; adhortation of Benedict XVI – Verbum Domini – 2010; document of Pontifical Biblical Commission, The Truth and Inspiration of Holy Scripture - 2014). The lack of the Polish translation of these Targums in our country is one of the main motives for the present project. It is necessity to provide these precious sources for further studies on the influence of targumic traditions on Christian writers (New Testament, patristic writings) and on rabbinic writings (Mishna, Tosefta, Gemara, Talmud). The access to the Targums to Pentateuch in Polish language enables better understanding of ancient Jewish traditions for many scholars. Thanks to that it will be possible to develop further studies on influence of these traditions for other ancient texts. In many cases targumic texts can be an interpretative key for better understanding of canonical and extra-canonical texts. The term “targum” is used to Aramaic translation of Hebrew Bible. After Babylonian exile the Aramaic language was very popular among the people who speak in it. It was need to translate Hebrew books of the Bible into Aramaic mainly for liturgical purpose. Rabbinic Judaism transmitted the Targums to almost all books of Hebrew Bible (except of Book of Daniel and Book of Ezra and Nehemiah which contain some fragments in Aramaic). At the beginning of XX century the scholars are interested to investigate targumic literature.