Comparing: New Testament / Targum

The Targums and the New Testament

While Hellenistic influence can by no means be excluded a priori, its importance should not be exaggerated. It may well be that what at first sight appears Greek may on more detailed analysis be shown as typically Jewish. And in point of fact such has often been the case, at least as far as the immediate source of the concepts in question go. In some cases there may be a remote Greek influence, in so far as Judaism had already assimi­ lated a number of Greek ideas. It is natural, in any event, that we should ex­ plore Judaism to the full to see what light it has to shed on the New Testa­ment. It is the most likely source for immediate influence on the New Testament writers, and so far it has proved by far the richest source for New Testament parallels.

It is not sufficient, however, to say that parallels to New Testament texts, to passages from the Gospels in particular, are to be sought in Ju­daism rather than in Hellenism. Judaism in the New Testament period had a variety of currents within it. One must also seek to determine to what particular form of Judaism the New Testament writings are most closely related, to see which form has influenced these writings the most. This approach will have a bearing not merely on the interpretation of in­ dividual texts but on our overall view of the New Testament and its rela­tion to the Jewish religion. Before this can be done, however, the relation of the New Testament to the individual forms of Jewish religion must first be considered.