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tioned in the Gospel of John, who wrote for the Gentiles, not in his epistles, not in all the writings of Paul, not in the epistles of Peter or Jude, and not in the book of Revelations,-I say this simple fact, outweighs all that you have said, or by the aid of Tai gums can say, on Gehenna. Because, if it had signified a future hell,
Gentiles would have been threatened with it. But these arguments are only three out of a long catalogue, which I have produced on this subject, and which you have not attempted to
But to the dates of the Targums. As the Targum of Onkelos does not contain the word Gehenna, or anything about future punishment, we will confine our remarks to that of Jonathan Ben Uzziel.
1. The older critics among the moderns, like Prideaux,generally ascribe it to about the Christian era, on the authority chiefly of Jewish traditions. The same is true of the English critics, even down to this day. This will account for the opinions which you have been able to collect. But apart from this, it must be confessed, that some of your authorities are far from being responsible on a critical subject like this. Who would think of quoting Buck, as authority in history or antiquity, or on anything except the single point of the orthodox notions which he held, and with which he was acquainted?Clarke may be a little more trust-worthy, but he followed the traditions of the Jews on this point. Brewster's, the Edinburgh and the American Encyclopaedias are mere compilations, and are never received as responsible
authorities on these or any critical points, and every respectable critic will be greatly surprised, that a man of your pretensions to learning, should quote them. Leusden (who was never distinguished as a judge of such questions, and whose province did not lay within this subject,) and Hottinger were both old authors, who lived before the era of Onkelos and Jonathan Ben Uzziel had been carefully inquired into. Horne, Calmet, and your other authorities have followed the traditions of the Jews. Hence on page 160 Horne says, 'According to the Talmudical traditions, Jonathan Ben Uzziel was chief of the eighty distinguished scholars of Rabbi Hillel, the elder, and a fellow disciple of Simeon the Just, who bore the infant Messiah in his arms.' I will here add, according to these traditions, Jonathan was contemporary with Malachi, Haggai, and Zechariah, and received his Targum from their lips. Not only so, according to these, while Jonathan was writing his Targum, there was an earthquake for 40 leagues around him, and if any bird happened to pass over him, or a fly alighted on his paper while writing, they were immediately consumed by fire from heaven, without any injury being sustained either by his person or paper. So much for the authority of Jewish traditions; and as these seem to have guided all your authorities on this subject, it shows just how much weight they are entitled to.
2. Let us now examine what a majority of the most eminent late German critics say on this subject. Higher authority than these cannot be given.
Jahn says, "From this it is evident, that he,
(the author of Jonathan's Targum) must have lived long before the time of the Talmudists, and not as some have supposed, in the 5th or 6th century, since in that case his history would have been better known. * * We may properly infer, that the work is a collection of the interpretations of several learned men, made towards the close of the 3d century, [N. B. In the preceding instances, Jalin seems to prefer the date of about A. D. 282.] and containing some of a much older date. Jahn's Introduction to the Old Testament, Gen. Introduction § 47, page 66.
Eichhorn, who in the beginning of the present century was probably accounted the first Biblical scholar of Germany and of the world, says 'first, that many refer the author of Jonathan Ben Uzziel's Targum, to a period a little before the birth of Christ; but,' continues he, 'he certainly lived later. His Targum, to judge by its style, is the work of some Palestine Jew; still the Jerusalem Talmud says nothing of it, any more than do Origen and Jerome. How could it remain unknown to those Talmudists as well as to those Christian fathers, who lived in Palestine, if it were already in circulation in their time? Moreover, it is full of such fables as first gained currency in Palestine at a later period. Finally, in its translation of passages, it strives to conceal all traces of the Messiah in those texts which the Christians applied to him; a manifest proof that the translator lived at a time, when the Christians were already in controversy with the Jews, to say nothing of the circumstance, that a Chaldaic translation
[i. e. Targum,] was not used in the synagogue at so early a period. Even if the Targum on the Chronicles, which mentions the Turks, should not be reckoned to belong to this, still it appears that no Targum on the Prophets [N. B. Jonathan's Targum is on the prophets.] was in use before the 4th century, or rather later.' Eich rn's Einleitun in das alle Testament. Kap. iii. § 226, Band. ii. S. 6364. Gottingen,
Bertholdt, a contemporary of Eichhorn, and one of the most eminent orientalists of the last generation in Germany, after having mentioned Onkelos's Targum says, 'Another Targum on the earlier and later prophets, bears the name of Jonathan, the Son of Uzziel. The Talmud reckons him among the Jerusalem disciples of the aged Hillel; and therewith agrees the tradition of the later Jews, who made him to have flourished 160 years before the destruction of the second temple. According to this reckoning, Jonathan would have been a cotemporary with Onkelos, only somewhat younger. But we cannot possibly carry him back to so early an age. The Talmudists must have confounded a Jonathan, who lived in Palestine in the end of the second or beginning of the third century with the earlier Jonathan. For the Targum which bears Jonathan's name cannot have been completed before the end the 2nd century. In it there are texts, (for example Isai. liii. and lxiii. 1-5,) universally regarded by the Jews, at the birth of Christ, as prophecies of the Messiah, which are here explained in another manner. This betrays the spirit of
the 2nd century, when the Jews were deeply engaged in controversy with the Christians, and when being pressed, and seeking relief on every hand, they adopted new principles in the explanation of many Old Testament passages. Moreover, the language of Jonathan's Targum, which abounds with foreign words, indicates the second or third century. Later than this however, we cannot place it, for when Morinus and J. Vossius thought it was not composed before the 7th or 8th century, they did not consider that its language is far purer than in the later Targums, or in all the Aramoan writings of this late period.' Bertholdt's Historischeritsche Einleitung in Schriften des alt. und neu Test. Zweyter. Th. § 173.
I might mention other German orientalists of reputation, as Bauer, &c. but I will only ૩ . that though Gessenius, a distinguished Hebrew scholar, decides in favour of the earlier date of Jonathan's Targum, placing it about the Christian era, his opinion docs not seem to have been considered authoritative in Germany; for Kuinoel, the celebrated commentator on the historical books of the New Testament, in his commentary on John, revised in 1825, since Gessenius advanced his opinion above noticed; Kuinoel, I say, relies on Eichhorn as authority, and quotes the Targums as the work of the 3d or 4th century. And he probably in such a work, took the prevalent opinion of the judges of such questions. Comment in Evangelium Johan. Prolegom p. 109. Lips. 1825.
Thus do we see, that the prevalent opinion among the German critics is, that Jonathan's