Volume 7 ()

Aramaic in Post-Biblical Judaism and Early Christianity Duke University, North Carolina, June 14 – July 23, 2004

Michael Philip Penn Lucas Van Rompay

[1] From June 14th to July 23rd 2004, Duke University hosted a National Endowment for the Humanities summer seminar entitled “Aramaic in Post-Biblical Judaism and Early Christianity.” This seminar gave fifteen scholars the opportunity to broaden and deepen their knowledge of Aramaic and to discuss major developments in recent Aramaic scholarship. Eric M. Meyers (Duke University) and Paul V.M. Flesher (University of Wyoming) co-directed the seminar. Lucas Van Rompay (Duke University) served as the third principal instructor. Guest seminar leaders and lecturers included Douglas M. Gropp (Catholic University of America, Washington, DC), George A. Kiraz (Beth Mardutho), Hayim Lapin (University of Maryland), Christine C. Shepardson (University of Tennessee, Knoxville), and Michael Sokoloff (Bar Ilan University).

[2] The seminar focused on three different literary languages: literary Aramaic of the post-Achaemenid period (including Qumran Aramaic and the language of the earliest Jewish translations of the Bible), Jewish Palestinian Aramaic, and Syriac. In addition to morning language training and reading sessions, evening seminars and lectures addressed several topics of broader literary and historical interest. The fifteen participants also worked on individual research projects in consultation with the three senior scholars. In the final week of the seminar, the participants presented interim reports of their research projects. A volume appearing in 2005 will publish final versions of these projects.

[3] As the following list of presentation titles suggests, the participants’ research reflected a diversity of backgrounds and interests.

  • Michael Carasik, Syntactic double translation in the Targumim.
  • Blane Conklin, Translation technique in the Peshitta and the Targumim in the case of Hebrew ky ’m.
  • David Everson, Targumic insertions of ml’k in the Pentateuch and their ideological significance.
  • Joseph Frankovic, Interdependence among Rabbinic texts and genres: the case of Targum Canticles and Song of Songs Zuta.
  • Madeline Kochen, Human and divine property in Rabbinic literature and in the Targumim.
  • Kyong-Jin Lee, A comparative analysis of the hapax legomena in the Targumim on Genesis.
  • Tarsee Li, The active participle and the renewal of the progressive in the Aramaic of Daniel.
  • Al Lukaszewski, Greek transliteration of Semitic words in the New Testament and first-century Judean Aramaic phonology.
  • Rachel Neis, Pilgrimage phantasies: visions of visits (in Rabbinic literature and Targumim).
  • Michael Penn, Possession, polemic, and the Syriac Qenneshrin fragment.
  • Theodore Perry, Targum Jonah as fantastical interpretation.
  • Sigrid Peterson, Syriac texts on the Maccabean martyrs and the concept of Jewish Syriac literature.
  • William Reader, The adverb ’ulay in TaNaK and early versions. Observations on translation policies and relationships and on the term’s ‘theological’ afterlife.
  • Stephen Reed, The usage of the first person in the Genesis Apocryphon.
  • David Rensberger, The Syriac Letter of Mara bar Serapion to his son.

[4] For many participants the seminar offered a rare opportunity to interact with other students and scholars of Aramaic and to read and discuss texts collaboratively. Because the academic study of early literary Aramaic, Jewish Palestinian Aramaic, and Syriac tends to develop into separate disciplines, the seminar served a particularly important role in emphasizing the interconnectedness of the various Aramaic traditions and highlighting the necessity for students of any specific branch of Aramaic to be aware of scholarship in other fields of Aramaic studies.


Syriac Lexeme

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Status: Uncorrected Transformation  
Publication Date: June 28, 2018
, "Aramaic in Post-Biblical Judaism and Early Christianity Duke University, North Carolina, June 14 – July 23, 2004." Hugoye: Journal of Syriac Studies 7.2 :.
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