Sunday, December 09, 2012

Count the things wrong with this comment:

A moment ago I found this little comment on my blog
Remember, Onkelos is NOT a Pirush. Onkelos represents the authentic Masoretic translation. As a Ger who was learning initially with the children, he faithfully recorded how words were translated by the Tanoim. His is not his own Drush, so to speak.
I count at least six things wrong with it:

(1) Every translation, Onkelos included, is a pirush or interpretation. You can't translate without interpreting.
(2) There was never an "authentic Masoretic translation." Tannaim, remember, disagree about the meaning of words on virtually every page of the Talmud Bavli.
(3) The tradition, FWIW, says Onkelos follows Rabbi Eliezer's reading. Not one "official" interpreation.
(5) The Masoretes were scribes and scholars who did their work 6-10 centuries after Onkelos died.
(6) If Onkelos really is the official, true, authentic, translation, how is it that so many Rishonim and Achronim found the nerve to disagree with him?

Did I miss anything?

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1 comment:

The Bray of Fundie said...

You can't translate without interpreting.
pedantic objection. He meant in contrast to Rashi or the Ramban or even the Targum Yonoson who insert whole phrases and story-lines not evident in the text. Onkelos never does this.