There are various definitions of Targum. I'm interested in editions, translations, paraphrases, or retellings of the Tanakh in languages besides Aramaic which incorporate commentary and other traditional material.

As the Encyclopaedia Britannica describes:

"the Targums eventually took on the character of paraphrase and commentary, leaving literal translation behind. To prevent misconceptions, a meturgeman expanded and explained what was obscure, adjusted the incidents of the past to the ideas of later times, emphasized the moral lessons to be learned from the biblical narratives, and adapted the rules and regulations of the Scriptures to the conditions and requirements of the current age. The method by which the text was thus utilized as a vehicle for conveying homiletic discourses, traditional sayings, legends, and allegories is abundantly illustrated by the later Targums, as opposed to the more literal translations of the earlier Targums."

I'm interested in works which fit this description of the later Targums.

  1. Are there extant targums in languages besides Aramaic?
  2. Is there any evidence that targums or something like a targum ever existed in languages besides Aramaic?
  • 4
    Saadia Gaon's tafsir is in Judeo-Arabic.
    – magicker72
    Sep 13 '20 at 19:21
  • 4
    What do you mean by Targum? Would JPS's English translation count? How about Shadal's Italian translation, Jerome's Vulgate, or the Septuagint?
    – magicker72
    Sep 13 '20 at 19:22
  • 1
    Art Scroll seems to be a targum in English. The Rabbi Samson Refael Hirsch was originally a targum in German and is now also in English Sep 14 '20 at 1:51

The word Targum means "Translation". The previous answers are correct in that any translation of the Chumash or Tanach does qualify as a Targum. You might have meant to ask (1) are there other Targums of historic significance, or (2) are there other Targums of Halachic significance. The Halachic significance of a Targum is that it may, according to some opinions, if it is in the language that you speak, qualify for your weekly reading of "Twice in the Scripture (typically the Hebrew original) and once in Targum" However, some take the word Targum to also mean commentary - not sure why. Since they do that, they permit Rashi to serve as the Targum.

  • 1
    Translation is a large word, it can mean either directly translating the text from one language to another or it can mean translating the meaning of the text from one language to another. In the second case, a "commentary" could be considered a translation.
    – ezra
    Sep 17 '20 at 23:54

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .