The non-literal, interpretative renderings in the Targums are a source of fascination.
This study examines translation techniques in the Targum to the books of Kings and other Targums, particularly in the areas of contemporization, reverential rendering, treatment of figurative language and halakic harmonization. Common theological concerns, for example, the uniqueness of God and the use of the innovative divine title, Memra, have been considered. Divergences from the biblical text have been systematically compared with translations in the other ancient versions.
Close examination of the text leads to the conclusion that the preponderance of apparently didactic readings would conform with the Targum's function as a tool in the synagogue and the school and for private study.
Carol A. Dray, Ph.D. (2002) in Hebrew and Aramaic, University of Cambridge, is a Lecturer at the Centre for the Study of Jewish-Christian Relations, Cambridge. She also teaches Hebrew and Aramaic and lectures in Old Testament Studies and Syriac Christianity.
All those interested in translation techniques and interpretation, the Targums, the Masoretic text, rabbinic thought, possible links with Josephus, and also Syriasts for the comparison with the Peshitta.