The Jewish Targums and John’s Logos Theology

The always awesomely kind folk at Hendrickson have sent along a copy of John Ronning’s new volume, The Jewish Targums and John’s Logos Theology.  You can download a pdf of the table of contents and the intro as well as chapter one.  According to the publisher

John Ronning makes a case that the Jewish Targums—interpretive translations of the Old Testament into Aramaic that were read in synagogues—hold the key to understanding John’s Logos title. Examining numerous texts in the fourth gospel in the light of the Targums, Ronning shows how connecting the Logos with the targumic Memra (word) unlocks the meaning of a host of theological themes that run throughout the Gospel of John.

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4 thoughts on “The Jewish Targums and John’s Logos Theology

  1. The theme behind this book is spot-on. The Aramaic Targums provide a whole treasure-trove of interpretation and background behind the New Testament, yet they are almost entirely ignored by Bible students (except Jews). This is a pity, because understanding the Aramaic background behind the New Testament is essential.

    • my major concern is that the aramaic texts post date the new testament by centuries. how can we rely on them for useful information if they are so much later than the documents under consideration?

  2. Mike K

    I know Daniel Boyarin also makes much of the Memra in the Targums as equivalent to the Johannine Logos in trying to deconstruct the boundaries between “Christianity” and “Judaism” in his book Border Lines, but a friend who is a Targums scholar did not find the argument at that point convincing (he still thinks it more of a circumlocution). I would be interested in your review.

  3. Fitzmyer’s fault for announcing all Aramaic post DSS useful. Chilton has shown us many of the Targum traditions go back very early and more work needs to be done on this.

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