Cook, Edward M, “The ‘Kaufman Effect’ in the Pseudo-Jonathan Targum,” Aramaic Studies 4.2 (July 2006), 123-132.

Ed Cook has coined the name the ‘Kaufman Effect’ for a text-critical principle suggested by Stephen A Kaufman. In short, Dr Kaufman noticed that in a frequently copied text, the end of the text seems to have fewer scribal improvements than its beginning. Dr Kaufman noticed this principle when comparing the texts of Ex 20 and Dt 4 in Targum Neofiti. In this article, Cook has applied the same principle to Targum Pseudo-Jonathan. He notes that several archaisms, such as the 3mp suffix הום- for the expected הון- and the conjunction כדי for כד among others, have a much higher distribution in Genesis than the rest of the books of the Pentateuch.

Also of interest, the form of the 2ms independent pronoun is אנת in Pseudo-Jonathan (as well as in the Targum to Psalms and in Syriac orthography) but את in Onkelos and Neofiti. However, Pseudo-Jonathan shows a telltale ‘Kaufman Effect’ distribution of את in Genesis, suggesting that אנת is not an artificial archaism but the genuine form for the dialect of Pseudo-Jonathan which began to be corrected to את.

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One Comment on “Cook, Edward M, “The ‘Kaufman Effect’ in the Pseudo-Jonathan Targum,” Aramaic Studies 4.2 (July 2006), 123-132.”


  1. [...] Criticism Peter Bekins notes and summarizes an interesting article by Ed Cook, “The ‘Kaufman Effect’ in the Pseudo-Jonathan [...]


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