Targum Psalms

An English Translation
by Edward M. Cook

Notes on Translation

The following notes may be helpful in the use of this English translation of the Psalms Targum. An introduction to some of the issues involved in the study and translation of this Targum may be found in the forthcoming Ernest G. Clarke memorial volume, to which the interested reader is referred.

  1. The numbering of the chapters and verses is according to the Masoretic text.
  2. Certain conventions of translation should be noted. The prepositions QDM/MN-QDM are usually translated “in the presence of/from the presence of.” The noun MEMRA is not transliterated but is translated variously as “word,” “command,” “decree,” etc. The noun ORAYTA is translated “Torah.” The Tetragrammaton is translated as “LORD” in small caps.
  3. The translation was originally intended for New Testament scholars who wished to examine the text for its relevance to New Testament background. Therefore certain locutions of interest to NT scholars such as “abba” (my father) are indicated in the translation. In addition, the phrase “son of man/sons of men” is translated literally wherever it occurs.
  4. Text not represented in some way in the Hebrew original is signaled by italics. The absence of italics should not be construed to mean that the targum translates literally.
  5. Aramaic verbs are translated literally; that is, perfects are generally translated as past tense, imperfects as future or jussive, participles as general present.
  6. The text translated is that of Paul de Legarde in Hagiographa Chaldaice. It has been collated with only one other text, the MS published by Luis Diez Merino (Madrid, 1982). The footnotes give four kinds of information: (1) most frequently the variant readings of the Spanish MS; (2) alternative renderings of the translation; (3) remarks on the text critical value of a certain reading, if the reading has not been cited in the apparatus of Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia; (4) other kinds of information, such as references to lexicons or parallels in rabbinic literature. The latter two categories are very unsystematic and make no pretense of being comprehensive; more may be added in future editions.
  7. Variation in the two collated texts between the use of the names of God e.g., “God” instead of “the LORD” or vice versa is not noted.

The collation of the texts was carried out under the auspices of the Comprehensive Aramaic Lexicon.

In the Psalter issued by the International Commission on English in the Liturgy, the editors say, “This translation is offered for study and for comment.” The same is true of the present on-line publication. The author welcomes comments and corrections, which will be duly noted and credited in future versions. Please send them to Edward Cook, c/o The Office of the Newsletter for Targum and Cognate Studies (Editor, Christian Brady).

© 2001 Edward M. Cook

The Psalms Targum
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