Biblical Aramaic Tools

4QDana from the Leon Levy Dead Sea Scrolls Digital Library

4QDana includes portions from Daniel chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10, and 11 (image from the Leon Levy Dead Sea Scrolls Digital Library).

Though most of the Bible is written in Hebrew (roughly 75%), there are some passages which appear in Aramaic – 269 verses in the Tanakh.  These amount to roughly 7000 occurrences (sum total) of just over 700 unique words from that language.

The largest contiguous Biblical passage in this language spans from Daniel 2:4b through the end of Daniel chapter 7.  There are also 4 chapters of Ezra which rely on Aramaic, as well as brief appearances in Jeremiah and Genesis.  Beyond the Tanakh, we also find Aramaic represented prominently in the Elephantine (Crowley) Papyri, the Targumim, both Talmuds, the Mishnaic literature, and the Peshitta and Peshitto manuscripts.

These tool listings and (wherever available) links are intended to aid readers in their study of this important Biblical language.

Recommended Grammar

  • Van Pelt, Miles V.  Basics of Biblical Aramaic.  Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan, 2011.

Other Aramaic Grammars

  • Greenspahn, Frederick E.  An Introduction to Aramaic.  Corrected 2nd ed.; SBL, 2003. [online]
  • Johns, Alger F.  A Short Grammar of Biblical Aramaic.  Berrien Springs, Mich.: Andrews University Press, 1972. [online]
  • Reymond, Eric D.  Introductory Lessons in Aramaic.  Lecturers Professional Development Fund, n.d. [online]
  • Rosenthal, Franz.   A Grammar of Biblical Aramaic with an index of Biblical Citations.  Porta Linguarum Orientalium 5; Otto Harrassowitz, 2006 (orig. 1961). [online]
  • Schuele, Andreas.  An Introduction to Biblical Aramaic.  Louisville, Ky.: Westminster/John Knox, 2012.
  • Stevenson, Wm. B. Grammar of Palestinian Jewish Aramaic.  Oxford: Clarendon, 1924.  [online]

Online Resources

  • Aleph-Bet Resources
  • Alexander, Victor.  Reading and Translation of the Aramaic L-rd’s Prayer. Online: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ROM5EpCQUlg
  • Cook, Edward M. A Glossary of Targum Onkelos.  Leiden, Neth.: E. J. Brill, 2008. [online]
  • Jastrow, Marcus.  Dictionary of the Targumim, the Talmud Bavli and Yerushalmi, and the Midrashic Literature (New York: Title Publishing, 1943) – image scans of pages linked to index (also available in hardcover Hendrickson reprint).
  • Knudsen, Ebbe Egede.  A Targumic Aramaic Reader: Texts from Onkelos and Jonathan.  Leiden, Neth.: E. J. Brill, 1981. [online]
  • Margolis, Max L. A Manual of the Aramaic Language of the Babylonian Talmud. Muenchen: C.H. Beck’sche Verlagsbuchhandlung, 1910. [online]
  • Miles Van Pelt’s video lecture on chapter two (Aramaic vowel system)
  • aent.org (Andrew Gabriel Roth)
  • aramaicNT.com (David Bauscher)
  • peshitta.org (various contributors)

Original Resources

Lecture Notes

Translation Aides

Vocabulary Aides (based on Van Pelt’s grammar)

 


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