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A Comparative Dialectical Study of Genitive Constructions in Aramaic Translations of Exodus


This book uses the multiple Aramaic translations of Exodus to reveal important similarities and differences between five Aramaic dialects in the use of genitive constructions: the Syriac Peshitta, Targum Onkelos, three corpora of the Palestinian Targum, the Samaritan Targum, and fragments of a Christian Palestinian Aramaic translation of Exodus.
Publisher: Gorgias Press LLC
Availability: In stock
SKU (ISBN): 978-1-61143-002-8
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Publication Status: In Print

Publication Date: Oct 19,2012
Interior Color: Black
Trim Size: 7 x 10
Page Count: 214
Language: English
ISBN: 978-1-61143-002-8
$219.00

The purpose of this book is to “mine the gold” in multiple Aramaic translations of the biblical book of Exodus. The pages within reveal important similarities and differences between five Aramaic dialects in the use of genitive constructions: the Syriac Peshitta, Targum Onkelos, three corpora of the Palestinian Targum, the Samaritan Targum, and fragments of a Christian Palestinian Aramaic translation of Exodus.

The book argues that there are three primary Aramaic genitive constructions that translate the construct phrase in Hebrew: the construct phrase, the genitive adjunct phrase with d-, and the genitive phrase with d- anticipated by a possessive suffix on the head noun (cataphoric construction). One important finding is that all the Aramaic dialects, except Samaritan Aramaic, use the adjunct genitive construction when the second member denotes the material composition of the first member.

It appears that the percentage of adjunct genitive constructions and cataphoric genitive constructions increased over time, with the highest percentage occurring in the latest writings. Regarding geography, since Peshitta has the lowest percentage of construct genitive constructions (with the exception of Christian Palestinian Aramaic), this research confirms that a tendency to use adjunct genitive constructions and cataphoric genitive constructions developed to a greater extent in Eastern Aramaic than in Western Aramaic. The evidence of the Aramaic dockets on Assyrian tablets from the 7th century B.C.E. supports the conclusion that the use of adjunct genitive constructions and cataphoric genitive constructions in Aramaic spread throughout time, especially east of Palestine, influenced by the use of ša in Akkadian.

Mark R. Meyer (B.S.E.E., North Carolina State University; M.S.E.E., The John Hopkins University; M.Div., Capital Bible Seminary; M.A., Ph.D., The Catholic University of America) is Professor of Old Testament Literature and Exegesis at Capital Bible Seminary in Lanham, Maryland, where he has been teaching since 1993. He is conversant in the Semitic languages and has taught nearly all of them throughout his tenure at the seminary. Dr. Meyer is also an ordained minister who has served as pastor in three different churches and also served on the top leadership team of two other churches. He is currently translating the biblical book of Exodus from the Syriac Peshitta into English for the Antioch Bible project.

The purpose of this book is to “mine the gold” in multiple Aramaic translations of the biblical book of Exodus. The pages within reveal important similarities and differences between five Aramaic dialects in the use of genitive constructions: the Syriac Peshitta, Targum Onkelos, three corpora of the Palestinian Targum, the Samaritan Targum, and fragments of a Christian Palestinian Aramaic translation of Exodus.

The book argues that there are three primary Aramaic genitive constructions that translate the construct phrase in Hebrew: the construct phrase, the genitive adjunct phrase with d-, and the genitive phrase with d- anticipated by a possessive suffix on the head noun (cataphoric construction). One important finding is that all the Aramaic dialects, except Samaritan Aramaic, use the adjunct genitive construction when the second member denotes the material composition of the first member.

It appears that the percentage of adjunct genitive constructions and cataphoric genitive constructions increased over time, with the highest percentage occurring in the latest writings. Regarding geography, since Peshitta has the lowest percentage of construct genitive constructions (with the exception of Christian Palestinian Aramaic), this research confirms that a tendency to use adjunct genitive constructions and cataphoric genitive constructions developed to a greater extent in Eastern Aramaic than in Western Aramaic. The evidence of the Aramaic dockets on Assyrian tablets from the 7th century B.C.E. supports the conclusion that the use of adjunct genitive constructions and cataphoric genitive constructions in Aramaic spread throughout time, especially east of Palestine, influenced by the use of ša in Akkadian.

Mark R. Meyer (B.S.E.E., North Carolina State University; M.S.E.E., The John Hopkins University; M.Div., Capital Bible Seminary; M.A., Ph.D., The Catholic University of America) is Professor of Old Testament Literature and Exegesis at Capital Bible Seminary in Lanham, Maryland, where he has been teaching since 1993. He is conversant in the Semitic languages and has taught nearly all of them throughout his tenure at the seminary. Dr. Meyer is also an ordained minister who has served as pastor in three different churches and also served on the top leadership team of two other churches. He is currently translating the biblical book of Exodus from the Syriac Peshitta into English for the Antioch Bible project.

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Contributor Biography

Mark Meyer

Mark R. Meyer (B.S.E.E., North Carolina State University; M.S.E.E., The John Hopkins University; M.Div., Capital Bible Seminary; M.A., Ph.D., The Catholic University of America) is Coordinator of the Ph.D. in Biblical Studies program and Full Professor of Bible and Theology at Lancaster Bible College | Capital Seminary & Graduate School, where he has been teaching since 1993. He is conversant in the Semitic languages and has taught nearly all of them throughout his tenure at the seminary. Prof. Meyer is the author of A Comparative Dialectical Study of Genitive Constructions in Aramaic Translations of Exodus (Gorgias Press, 2012), and has translated the Exodus volume of the Antioch Bible.

  • Acknowledgments (page 11)
  • Chapter One: Introduction (page 13)
    • A. Purpose (page 13)
    • B. Methodology (page 13)
    • C. Selection of Categories of Syntactic Relationship between the First and Second Member (page 14)
    • D. The Phases of Aramaic (page 14)
    • E. The Dialects of Aramaic (page 16)
    • F. History of Research (page 28)
    • G. Summary of Research (page 38)
  • Chapter Two: The Use of Genitive Constructions in Syriac Peshitta (page 41)
    • A. Introduction (page 41)
    • B. Classification by Combinations (page 41)
    • C. Analysis by First Members (page 49)
    • D. Analysis by Second Members (page 62)
    • E. Combinations Where Both Members Are the Same but a Different Construction Is Used (page 75)
    • F. Conclusions (page 75)
    • G. A Survey of the Use of Genitive Constructions in Early and Later Syriac Texts (page 77)
  • Chapter Three: The Use of Genitive Constructions in Targum Onkelos (page 83)
    • A. Introduction (page 83)
    • B. Classification by Combinations (page 83)
    • C. Analysis by First Members (page 97)
    • D. Analysis by Second Members (page 108)
    • E. Conclusions (page 123)
    • F. A Comparison of the Use of Genitive Constructions in Imperial Aramaic with Their Use in TO Exodus (page 124)
  • Chapter Four: The Use of Genitive Constructions in Targum Neofiti I (page 129)
    • A. Introduction (page 129)
    • B. Classification by Combinations (page 129)
    • C. Analysis by First Members (page 142)
    • D. Analysis by Second Members (page 158)
    • E. Conclusions (page 172)
  • Chapter Five: The Use of Genitive Constructions in the Fragments of the Palestinian Targumim (page 173)
    • A. Introduction (page 173)
    • B. Differences Between TN and the Geniza Mss and Fragment Targums (page 174)
    • C. Conclusions (page 179)
  • Chapter Six: The Use of Genitive Constructions in Christian Palestinian Aramaic (page 181)
    • A. Introduction (page 181)
    • B. Classification by Combinations (page 181)
    • C. Complete Agreement between CPA, P, and LXX (page 185)
    • D. Disagreement between CPA and LXX (page 186)
    • E. Disagreement between CPA and P (page 187)
    • F. Conclusions (page 190)
  • Chapter Seven: The Use of Genitive Constructions in the Samaritan Targum (page 191)
    • A. Introduction (page 191)
    • B. Classification by Combinations (page 192)
    • C. Conclusions (page 195)
  • Chapter Eight: Conclusion (page 197)
    • A. Major Determinative Criteria (page 197)
    • B. Spectrum of Dialects (page 202)
  • Bibliography (page 209)
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