Targum Neofiti is believed by scholars to be an ancient translation of the torah.

Does the average orthodox rabbi consider it as a valid and reliable resource to translate or explain a word, the way AFAIK he would consider Onkelos and pseudo-Yonatan? This would be in contrast with perhaps the Septuagint which, AFAIK the average orthodox rabbi would not consider as an valid and reliable resource to translate or explain a word.

(where to find it online)

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    Try to include as much info in the question as possible, and keep reliance on links to a minimum. This will also help pique the interest of people who may not otherwise look twice at your question. Then you get better answers, more interaction (and more upvotes ;)) These are general rules to keep in mind. It's better to explain too much, than to assume that everyone will know what you mean.
    – HodofHod
    Commented Jul 31, 2014 at 0:48
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    The wiki article you linked would imply otherwise, as one of the scholars is mentioned to have noticed that it was anti-rabbinic in nature. Commented Aug 1, 2014 at 0:41
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    Rather than asking about the "average Orthodox rabbi" which is inherently ill-defined and also suffers from the fact that many Orthodox rabbis have probably never heard of this translation (I've never, that I can recall, heard of one mentioning it.), I recommend that you switch to asking whether [Orthodox] sources address its legitimacy.
    – Isaac Moses
    Commented Aug 1, 2014 at 13:11

1 Answer 1


I'm just going to assume that when you say "authoritative", you mean "valid interpretations of Rabbinic Judaism", and not that it was given to Moshe at Har Sinai or something like that.

From my own experiences, I think that the "average" Orthodox Rabbi probably isn't aware of the Targum Neofiti or of its history, and is thus likely to dismiss it out of hand considering how recently it was discovered (see this answer on the use of unearthed genizah documents or recently revealed manuscripts). While Diez Macho (first publisher of the targum), as quoted on the Wikipedia article, says that it contains "anti-halakhic" material, modern scholars who have studied this targum have found that it seems to fit well with the Rabbinic/Talmudic requirements for being a valid (Orthodox/Rabbinic) translation.

What many people (of those who have heard of 'Targum Neofiti') fail to realize though, is that this exact Targum was actually published under a different name by someone who few would doubt his Orthodox credentials (despite his Zionism): Rabbi Menachem Mendel Kasher. Many volumes of R' Kasher tremendous work, the Torah Shelaima contain a "Targum Yerushalmi", which is the same work that is today referred to as the Targum Neofiti by the scholarly community. The Targum is the main subject of volume 35 of the Torah Shelaima, and volume 24 includes an article by R. Aharon Greenbaum discussing the discovery of this Targum and its importance. (He also mentions the source for its alternative name, though he spells "Neofiti" as ניעאופיטי, unlike the now common ניאופיטי). Besides for these Rabbis, R. Reuvain Margolios mentions this targum in his commentary to Bava Basra 99a (and even believes that this Targum was used by the Rashbam).

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    Is the Targum Yerushalmi that you mentioned the same as the one printed in Mikros Gedolos chumashim?
    – user6591
    Commented Nov 10, 2014 at 19:42

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