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[XTalk] Re: Parables in Aramaic?

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  • Lewis Reich
    ... Even if this were true, it would seem to me that the fact that Rabbinic parable material is in Hebrew so near to the transition to Aramaic as the lingua
    Message 1 of 8 , Oct 28, 1999
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      On 27 Oct 99, at 20:53, Jack Kilmon wrote:

      > The Rabbinic literature is primarily 2 centuries and more *after*
      > the time of Jesus when the praxis of writing Targumim became even more
      > developed to translate texts in Hebrew into the common language
      > (Aramaic).
      > The commentaries of the Talmud ARE in Aramaic.

      Even if this were true, it would seem to me that the fact that
      Rabbinic parable material is in Hebrew so near to the transition to
      Aramaic as the lingua franca of study argues that earlier material a
      fortiori would have been in Hebrew. The Mishnah is redacted in
      Hebrew around the close of the second century CE, while the
      Babylonian Talmud's discussions (which start from just afterward)
      are in Aramaic. However, I'm not sure that we can say that the
      Rabbinic literature is "primarily" 2 centuries and more after the time
      of Jesus. The Mishnah preserves a great deal of material from
      contemporaries of Jesus (Rabban Gamaliel) and other pre-70
      tannaim.

      > How Prof. Safrai can draw parallels between the late 2nd temple period
      > and Rabbinical times is beyond me. The Parable, in fact, was very rare
      > until Jesus.

      How do you know that the parable form was rare until the time of
      Jesus? The aggadic material preserved in the rabbinic collections
      such as Genesis Rabbah is rich in parables. Although these
      compilations themselves date to the time just after the Mishnah,
      Genesis Rabbah, for example, contains aggadic material also
      found in the Apocrypha, the Pseudepigrapha, and the works of
      Philo and Josephus. Why should we rule out the possibility that
      other material in the collection may date from equally early times?

      Lewis Reich
      lbr@...
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