This LOY Excursus is a compendium of our observations regarding the redactional changes the author of Mark typically made to his sources and discusses the image of Jesus he wanted to portray in writing his Gospel.
I appreciate this opportunity to return to some issues concerning the Targum of Job that I raised in Where Is the Aramaic Bible at Qumran? Scripture Use in the Land of Israel and to evaluate Jack Poirier’s response entitled, The Qumran Targum of Job as a Window into Second Temple Judaism: A Response to Randall Buth.
The documents at Qumran allow us to reconstruct Scripture access in the Province of Judea in the first century. From the evidence, we must assume that the Qumran community and the other Jewish communities in the land had direct access to the Hebrew Bible, generally understood it, and were interested in teaching that related directly to the Hebrew text.
The King James Version translates Genesis 29:17 as follows: “Leah was tender eyed; but Rachel was beautiful and well favoured.” The New International Version has, “Leah had weak eyes,” while the New American Bible reads, “Leah had lovely eyes.” What did the Hebrew original mean to say?
The viewpoint of scholars toward the Gospel of John has changed considerably during the last generation. (See “Scholarly Attitudes to John” below.) Thanks to several recent discoveries, we are now able to appreciate a number of literary allusions in the Gospel’s introductory verses (1:1-18) that had previously escaped attention. We will discuss the background of a few of these allusions, and then consider some implications for translation.
When the argument is advanced for a Hebrew “undertext” behind the Greek of the Synoptic Gospels, the evidence may be separated into two categories: internal and external. Internal evidence refers to evidence that is contained within the Greek text such as Hebraisms and the presence of parables or other types of rabbinic literary forms. External evidence refers to statements preserved in other ancient literature that affirm that Jesus’ life was originally recorded in Hebrew. The most important external evidence is a statement made by Papias, bishop of Hierapolis.
One of the titles given to Jesus was “Nazarene.” Where did the title come from, and did it have any special significance? Ray Pritz traces the title’s origins.
From the third to the seventh century A.D., the Jews of Palestine used Aramaic as their primary spoken and written language. This dialect has been of considerable interest to Christian scholars, and some have argued that it is the closest dialect to the Aramaic which Jesus would have spoken.
According to the Greek texts of Matthew 12:42 and Luke 11:31, Jesus used the expression “queen of south.” Why didn’t Jesus use “Queen of Sheba,” which is found in the Bible, and second, why is there no definite article before “south” (i. e., queen of the south)? More importantly, how can “south” be an equivalent for “Sheba”?