Targums from the files of the Comprehensive Aramaic Lexicon Project (CAL)

An Introduction to the Libronix DLS edition of the Targums from the files of the Comprehensive Aramaic Lexicon Project (CAL)


There are a few organizational differences between the LDLS edition of the CAL Targums and what appears on the CAL website or in other implementations of these texts. The first major difference is the use of an interlinear display to organize variant readings underneath the main line text. This allows the main line to work more intuitively with phrase searching and proximity searching, because variant words are not inserted between words in the main line. This organization allows the main line to function well as a Bible in a wide variety of reports within LDLS. The mechanical transcriptions of manuscripts such as the Cairo Geniza fragments and the Dead Sea Scroll fragments don’t typically have variant readings, but many of the other Targums do. In most cases, there are only one or two variants at any one given location, but in a few places there are as many as five variant reading lines. In the current release of LDLS wherever there is one interlinear cell, all rows that are turned on for display will show up, even if they are empty. By default only one interlinear variant line is turned on for display. This prevents a large amount of white space from displaying everywhere there is only a single variant. However, you can select View | Interlinear when a Targum is open to turn on or off additional lines.


The CAL database uses sigla such as < >, << >>, { }, {{ }}, and [ ] to indicate emendations and reconstructions. For the most part, these symbols have been retained, however where those symbols appear in the middle of words, for example indicating the deletion or insertion of an individual letter, they have been removed, and the form actually analyzed is displayed in the main line. Parenthesis are placed around the analyzed word, and clicking on the parenthesis will display the manuscript form of the word, and indicate which letters of the manuscript form changed to create the analyzed form of the word. This makes it possible to search for the analyzed form, because no punctuation marks or extra letters break the word. This approach allows the manuscript forms to be searched as well, since they are reconstructed without the emendations within the footnote. However, the Morphological Search Dialog, the default dialog that launches when clicking ‘Search’ with any of the Targums active, does not search text within footnotes. To find forms in footnotes, one must use the Basic Search Dialog or the Advanced Search Dialog, not the Morphological Search Dialog or the Bible Search Dialog.

The [ ] marks, used to indicate where text is questionable or broken text has been reconstructed, have been replaced by the use of a dot above each letter within the brackets. Again, this facilitates easier searching because bracket characters aren’t breaking up the words.


There’s a fair bit of documentation already in the help files on the various search dialogs and operators used in LDLS, but there are a few notes specific to this resource that might prove useful supplements to the application documentation, mainly to do with the mechanics of phrase and proximity searches and the limitations of searches run against the variant readings.

The second and subsequent lines of an interlinear column are indexed at the same location as the top line. This has an advantage for phrase searching for the most common, one word variants, because a phrase can be found in the main line or a variant line with a single search. For example, searching for “בליבך ומנדעא בגבך” or “בליבך וידיעתא בגבך” will both get a hit at:


However, in the current release of LDLS, if the main line is empty—indicating an insertion by an alternate reading, a regular phrase search will not span the empty top cell, so a more forgiving search operator must be used if this is a concern. BEFORE 7 CHARS or BEFORE 2 WORDS typically allow enough flexibility to span empty cells between terms, while still picking up if one of the terms is contained in a variant reading.

At the time of writing, the current release of LDLS does not allow phrase searching within a variant reading—all words on the second and subsequent interlinear lines are indexed internally at the same location, so there is no way for the application to know what word comes before or after another word within the same interlinear cell (excepting the main line). The ANDEQUALS operator can be used to find terms that share the same cell (or even the same column), but variants longer than one word that are within the same interlinear cell will not always play well with the phrase search or proximity operators.

Resource Associations

While each Targum is presented as a separate digital book, there is a default Resource Association set up so that Targum Onqelos to the Pentateuch and Targum Jonathan to the Prophets—the two Targums that achieved a semi-official status—are linked together with each other and with the Targums to each of the Writings. From within any of these Targums you can navigate almost anywhere in the Hebrew Bible and one of the other Targums will open up if the open Targum does not cover that range of the Hebrew scriptures. This makes it easy to link a Targum to your Hebrew or English Bible and scroll the Bibles together without manually opening a new Targum every time you go to a new section of the Hebrew Bible. For the default Resource Association, the First Targum to Esther and the Western Text of Targum Lamentations were selected. To use a different text for these books, or to form your own associations with any of the remaining Targums, you can download the Power Tools Addin from the Logos website, and click Tools | Power Tools | Define Resource Associations | select Serial and click New. Because portions of Daniel and Ezra-Nehemiah were originally written in Aramaic, there are no Targums for these books, so the default Resource Association will not navigate anywhere on references to these books.


While each individual Targum is a separate resource, it is possible to search all the Targums at once in the Morphological Bible Search dialog by selecting the option ‘All Resources with Aramaic Morphology (CAL)’ in the ‘Bibles’ drop down menu. In the Advanced Search and Basic Search dialogs, you can search all the Targums by creating a collection of Targums. It is also possible to create collections of Targums by dialect. If you wish to organize your collections by dialect, the CAL website divides them up as follows:

Middle Aramaic



Palestinian Aramaic

Targum Onqelos

Targum Jonathan

Targum Neofiti and Marginalia

Geniza Targum Fragments

Fragment Targums to the Pentateuch

Late Jewish Literary Aramaic

Targum Pseudo-Jonathan

Targum Psalms

Targum Job

Targum Song

Targum Ruth

Targum Qoheleth

Targum Lamentations

Targum Esther (1, 2, Supplements to 2, and 3)

Targum Chronicles

Targum Lamentations (Western and Yemenite texts)

Targum Proverbs

Targumic Toseftot to the Prophets


While each of the Geniza and Fragment Targums are presented here as separate resources — in order to facilitate easier comparisons in tools such as the Passage in All Versions, Parallel Bible Versions and Compare Parallel Bible Versions reports — one can also create collections to group these fragments together for ease of searching.

Transliteration Scheme

Nearly all Aramaic, Hebrew and Syriac characters have been converted to their proper scripts, but there are some places in the lexicon where Semitic words are transliterated, so the CAL transliteration scheme is provided below:

)    א

b    ב

g    ג

d    ד

h    ה

w    ו

U, wu    וּ

O    וֹ

z    ז

x    ח

T    ט

y    י

k    כ

K    ך

l    ל

m    מ

M    ם

n    נ

N    ן

s    ס

(    ע

p    פ

P    ף

c    צ

C    ץ

q    ק

r    ר

&    שׂ

$    שׁ

t    ת

a    ַ

A    ָ

E    ֵ

e    ֶ

o    ֹ

i    ִ

u    ֻ

:a    ֲ

😮    ֳ

:e    ֱ

:    ְ

”    ״

‘    ׳


Dead Sea Scrolls

The two Targum fragments from Qumran, 4QtgJob and 11QtgJob, have been tagged with the Qumran Sectarian Manuscripts data type and the Dead Sea Scrolls Study Edition data type to make it easy to use other LDLS tools for Dead Sea Scroll study in conjunction with these CAL Targum fragments.

Published: March 21, 2015, 10:06 | Comments Off on Targums from the files of the Comprehensive Aramaic Lexicon Project (CAL)
Category: ArchBishop, ROSARY 4 z Bishop

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