Tavus, Jacob ben Joseph

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TAVUS, JACOB BEN JOSEPH (16th century), author of a Judeo-Persian translation of the Pentateuch, written in Hebrew characters. This work was included in one edition of the polyglot Bible printed in Constantinople in 1546 by Eleazar b. Gerson *Soncino together with the Hebrew original, the Aramaic Targum, and the Arabic version of *Saadiah Gaon. Another edition comprises Judeo-Greek and Judeo-Spanish. It has not been established whether Tavus actually worked in Constantinople, for nothing else is known of his life. The Tavus Pentateuch translation was based on a long tradition of Judeo-Persian Bible translations. Transcribed into Persian characters, it was incorporated in Bishop Walton's polyglot Bible (London, 1654–57).


S. Munk, Notice sur R. Saadia Gaon… et sur une version persane (1838), 62–87; A. Kohut, Kritische Beleuchtung der persischen Pentateuch-Uebersetzung des Jacob ben Joseph Tawus (1871); Fischel, in: htr, 45 (1952), 3–45.

[Walter Joseph Fischel]