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Author: Edward Cook
Targum Onkelos is the oldest complete Jewish Aramaic translation of the Pentateuch, and it has played a major role in Jewish exegesis throughout the centuries. Although the vocabulary of Onkelos has been included in the major rabbinic dictionaries, there has never been a volume devoted solely to the vocabulary of Onkelos. This glossary, based on the standard critical edition, includes all of the vocabulary of the targum, plus geographical names, with bibliographical references to cognates in other Aramaic dialects. It will be a major help both to students first encountering the language of the Targum, as well as to specialists seeking a thorough treatment of its lexical features.
Author: Edward Cook
This monograph deals with an important but unexplored document of Hellenistic Judaism. The question of "Hellenistic influence" is addressed on the basis of an analysis of a representative number of chapters of Septuagint Proverbs (1, 2, 6, 8, 9, 24, 29, 30 and 31). Scholars have argued that this book was influenced extensively by Greek philosophy.
The author follows a contextual cultural method. The Greek text is analysed on four levels: the semantic, syntactical, stylistic (which represents the translation technique of the translator), and finally the "theological" level.
This study represents the first exhaustive analysis of the theme. The conclusion is that the impact of Stoicism on this Greek version has been overestimated in the past. Novel views are also formulated concerning the role of the law in LXX Proverbs, its historical setting and its text-critical value.
In: Vetus Testamentum

S.A. Kaufman has recently enunciated a rule of textual criticism that he has applied to certain targum texts-namely, that a frequently copied work will have more changes due to copyist interference at the beginning than at the end. Therefore the best evidence for the original readings and language of such a text is in its latter portions. An examination of certain orthographical, grammatical, and lexical elements in Targum Pseudo-Jonathan confirms the presence of this 'Kaufman Effect' in that targum; archaic or 'classical' elements tend to cluster in Genesis and Exodus, but are much less frequent in the later books. This has implications for the understanding of Pseudo-Jonathan's grammar and textual development.

In: Aramaic Studies
Author: Edward M. Cook

Although the prevailing vocalism of the Aramaic causative internal passive is thought to be ‘Hophʿal’, there is some evidence for an alternative vocalism with short /a/ in the first syllable, therefore ‘Haphʿal’. The orthographic renderings of the causative passive in Qumran Aramaic suggest that the vocalism in that dialect was throughout ‘Haphʿal’. Although it is tempting to hypothesize that ‘Haphʿal’ was in fact the normal vocalism of the stem in all ancient Aramaic, it is possible that ‘Hophʿal’ was also used in some dialects. Finally, it is suggested that the vocalism of the ‘Ittaphʿal’ stem is based on the ‘Haphʿal’.

In: Aramaic Studies
Author: Edward M. Cook

The Aramaic of Qumran is sometimes claimed to be the best or only Aramaic dialect to use for understanding the Aramaic background of the New Testament. In fact, although it has its uses, the corpus of Qumran Aramaic is very small, and it is not a sufficient source on its own for the purposes of back-translating portions of the New Testament into “authentic” first-century c.e. Palestinian Aramaic. A consideration of the difficulties of retroversion when the translation technique of the Greek writer is unknown, combined with inadequate control of Aramaic among retroverters, suggests that largescale Aramaic retroversion of New Testament passages has no chance of reconstructing the original Aramaic of the Gospels.

In: Dead Sea Discoveries
In: Puzzling Out the Past