Targumim (or: Targums) are translations of the Hebrew Bible into Aramaic. They were translated and used when Jewish congregations increasingly could not understand the biblical Hebrew anymore. Targum Onqelos (also: Onkelos) is the name of the Aramaic translation of the Torah (the first five books of the Hebrew Bible) probably composed in Israel/Palestine in the 1st or 2nd century CE and later edited in Babylon in the 4th or 5th century, making it reflect Jewish Babylonian Aramaic. It is the most famous Aramaic translation and was widely used throughout the Jewish communities.
In many, but not all, cases the translation of Targum Onqelos avoids anthropomorphisms (attribution of human traits, emotions, or intentions) as they relate in the original Hebrew text to God.
The Hebrew of Genesis 17:1 and 24:40 that is translated in English as “walk before me” is translated in Targum Onqelos as “worship before me.” (Source: Schochet 1966, p. 27.)
See also walks amidst your camp, walk among you and walk with God.
The Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic that is translated as “angel” in English versions is translated in many ways:
- Pintupi-Luritja: ngaṉka ngurrara: “one who belongs in the sky” (source: Ken Hansen quoted in Steven 1984a, p. 116.)
- Shipibo-Conibo: “word-carriers from heaven”
- Tetela, Kpelle, Balinese, and Chinese: “heavenly messengers”
- Shilluk: “spirit messengers”
- Mashco Piro: “messengers of God”
- Batak Toba: “envoys, messengers”
- Navajo: “holy servants” (source for this and above: Bratcher / Nida 1961)
- Central Mazahua: “God’s workers” (source: Ronald D. Olson in Notes on Translation January, 1968, p. 15ff.)
- Tonga (Zambia): “messenger from heaven” (source: Loewen 1980, p. 107)
- Saramaccan: basia u Masa Gaangadu köndë or “messenger from God’s country” (source: Jabini 2015, p. 86)
- Mairasi: atatnyev nyaa or “sent-one” (source: Enggavoter 2004)
- Shipibo-Conibo; “word bringer” (source: James Lauriault in The Bible Translator 1951, p. 32ff.)
- Apali: “God’s one with talk from the head” (“basically God’s messenger since head refers to any leader’s talk”) (source: Martha Wade)
- Michoacán Nahuatl: “clean helper of God” (source: B. Moore / G. Turner in Notes on Translation 1967, p. 1ff.)
- Nyongar: Hdjin-djin-kwabba or “spirit good” (source: Warda-Kwabba Luke-Ang)
- Iwaidja: “a man sent with a message” (Sam Freney explains the genesis of this term [in this article.): “For example, in Darwin last year, as we were working on a new translation of Luke 2:6–12 in Iwaidja, a Northern Territory language, the translators had written ‘angel’ as ‘a man with eagle wings’. Even before getting to the question of whether this was an accurate term (or one that imported some other information in), the word for ‘eagle’ started getting discussed. One of the translators had her teenage granddaughter with her, and this word didn’t mean anything to her at all. She’d never heard of it, as it was an archaic term that younger people didn’t use anymore. They ended up changing the translation of ‘angel’ to something like ‘a man sent with a message’, which is both more accurate and clear.”)
See also angel (Acts 12:15).