The Mishna, etc

Discussion about the Hebrew Bible, Septuagint, pseudepigrapha, Philo, Josephus, Talmud, Dead Sea Scrolls, archaeology, etc.
Post Reply
User avatar
MrMacSon
Posts: 5672
Joined: Sat Oct 05, 2013 3:45 pm

The Mishna, etc

Post by MrMacSon » Wed Nov 01, 2017 1:44 am

.

This thread is a repository of information about the Mishna, particularly information that might help understand it during the 1st to 4th centuries, and possible influences it or its development might have had on the development of Christianity.

The Jewish community of Palestine suffered horrendous losses during the Great Revolt and the Bar-Kokhba rebellion. Well over a million Jews were killed in the two ill-fated uprisings, and the leading yeshivot, along with thousands of their rabbinical scholars and students, were devastated.

This decline in the number of knowledgeable Jews seems to have been a decisive factor in Rabbi Judah the Prince's decision around the year 200 C.E. to record in writing the Oral Law [though it probably started in the first century; see below]. For centuries, Judaism's leading rabbis had resisted writing down the Oral Law. Teaching the law orally, the rabbis knew, compelled students to maintain close relationships with teachers, and they considered teachers, not books, to be the best conveyors of the Jewish tradition. But with the deaths of so many teachers in the failed revolts, Rabbi Judah apparently feared that the Oral Law would be forgotten unless it were written down.

In the Mishna, the name for the sixty-three tractates in which Rabbi Judah set down the Oral Law, Jewish law is systematically codified, unlike in the Torah ...

... in order to know everything the Torah said on a given subject, one either had to read through all of it or know its contents by heart. Rabbi Judah avoided this problem by arranging the Mishna topically ...

http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/the ... and-mishna

Mishna (mĬsh´nə), in Judaism, codified collection of Oral Law—legal interpretations of portions of the biblical books of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy and other legal material. http://www.encyclopedia.com/philosophy- ... ism/mishna
The Mishna supplements the written, or scriptural, laws found in the Pentateuch.

The Mishnah consists of six orders (sedarim, singular seder סדר), each containing 7–12 tractates (masechtot, singular masechet מסכת; lit. "web"), 63 in total, and further subdivided into chapters [peraqim, singular pereq], and paragraphs [mishnayot, singular mishnah] or verses. The word Mishnah can also indicate a single paragraph or a verse of the work itself, i.e. the smallest unit of structure in the Mishnah. For this reason the whole work is sometimes called by the plural, Mishnayot.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mishnah


Because of the division into six orders, the Mishnah is sometimes called 'Shas' (an acronym for Shisha Sedarim – the "six orders"), though that term is more often used for the Talmud as a whole.

The six orders are:
  • Zeraim ("Seeds"), dealing with prayer and blessings, tithes and agricultural laws (11 tractates)
  • Moed ("Festival"), pertaining to the laws of the Sabbath and the Festivals (12 tractates)
  • Nashim ("Women"), concerning marriage and divorce, some forms of oaths and the laws of the nazirite (7 tractates)
  • Nezikin ("Damages"), dealing with civil and criminal law, the functioning of the courts and oaths (10 tractates)
  • Kodashim ("Holy things"), regarding sacrificial rites, the Temple, and the dietary laws (11 tractates) and
  • Tohorot ("Purities"), pertaining to the laws of purity and impurity, including the impurity of the dead, the laws of food purity and bodily purity (12 tractates).
Authorship
. . <snip> . .
There are .. references to the "Mishnah of Rabbi Akiva", suggesting a still earlier collection [David Zvi Hoffman, Herbert Danby]. On the other hand, these references may simply mean his teachings in general. Another possibility is that Rabbi Akiva and Rabbi Meir established the divisions and order of subjects in the Mishnah, making them the authors of a school curriculum rather than of a book.

Authorities are divided on whether Rabbi recorded the Mishnah in writing or established it as an oral text for memorisation. The most important early account of its composition, the Iggeret Rav Sherira Gaon (Epistle of Rabbi Sherira Gaon) is ambiguous on the point, although the Spanish recension leans to the theory that the Mishnah was written. However, the Talmud records that, in every study session, there was a person called the tanna appointed to recite the Mishnah passage under discussion. This may indicate that, even if the Mishnah was reduced to writing, it was not available on general distribution.
During the centuries following Rabbi Judah's editing of the Mishna, it was studied exhaustively by generation after generation of rabbis. Eventually, some of these rabbis wrote down their discussions and commentaries on the Mishna's laws in a series of books known as the Talmud.

The rabbis of Palestine edited their discussions of the Mishna about the year 400: their work became known as the Palestinian Talmud (in Hebrew, Talmud Yerushalmi, which literally means "Jerusalem Talmud").

More than a century later, some of the leading Babylonian rabbis compiled another editing of the discussions on the Mishna. By then, these deliberations had been going on some three hundred years. The Babylon edition was far more extensive than its Palestinian counterpart, so that the Babylonian Talmud (Talmud Bavli) became the most authoritative compilation of the Oral Law. When people speak of studying "the Talmud," they almost invariably mean the Bavli rather than the Yerushalmi.

The Talmud's discussions are recorded in a consistent format. A law from the Mishna is cited, which is followed by rabbinic deliberations on its meaning. The Mishna and the rabbinic discussions (known as the Gemara) comprise the Talmud, although in Jewish life the terms Gemara and Talmud usually are used interchangeably.

The rabbis whose views are cited in the Mishna are known as Tanna'im (Aramaic for "teachers"), while the rabbis quoted in the Gemara are known as Amora'im ("explainers" or "interpreters"). Because the Tanna'im lived earlier than the Amora'im, and thus were in closer proximity to Moses and the revelation at Sinai, their teachings are considered more authoritative than those of the Amora'im. For the same reason, Jewish tradition generally regards the teachings of the Amora'im, insofar as they are expounding the Oral Law, as more authoritative than contemporary rabbinic teachings.

In addition to extensive legal discussions (in Hebrew, halakha), the rabbis incorporated into the Talmud guidance on ethical matters, medical advice, historical information, and folklore, which together are known as aggadata.

http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/the ... and-mishna
Last edited by MrMacSon on Wed Nov 08, 2017 6:02 pm, edited 4 times in total.

User avatar
MrMacSon
Posts: 5672
Joined: Sat Oct 05, 2013 3:45 pm

Re: The Mishna, etc

Post by MrMacSon » Wed Nov 01, 2017 2:04 am

.
Nashim -

The traditional reasoning for the order of tractates [of the Nashim] according to Maimonides is as follows:
  • Yevamot is first because unlike the others, it is largely concerned with a compulsory commandment (levirate marriage) as opposed to a voluntary one.
  • Ketubot follows as it signifies the beginning of married life.
  • Nedarim follows because once a man is married to a woman, he has the legal right (under certain conditions) to annul her vows.
  • NazirN, dealing with a special type of vow is a continuation on the subject of vows.
  • The penultimate sections deal with the end of a marriage with Sotah which is concerned with infidelity and Gittin which is about actual divorce (Rambam's order swaps these two).
  • Kiddushin is at the end because it follows the Scriptural order that once a woman is divorced, she can get betrothed to any man, this subsequent betrothal symbolised by the placement of Kiddushin.

N Nazir (Hebrew: נזיר‎‎) is a treatise of the Mishnah and the Tosefta and in both Talmuds, devoted chiefly to a discussion of the laws of the Nazirite laid down in Numbers 6:1-21. In the Tosefta its title is Nezirut ("Nazariteness"). In most of the editions of the Mishnah this treatise is the fourth in the order Nashim, and it is divided into 9 chapters, containing 48 paragraphs in all.


The different kinds of vows

Chapter 1: The different kinds of vows which involve compulsory Nazariteship (§§ 1-2); Nazariteship for life, Samson's Nazariteship (compare Judges 12:4 et seq.), and the difference between these two kinds (§ 2); Nazariteship is calculated by days only, not by hours, and generally lasts thirty days if no definite period is given (§ 3); different expressions which make a sort of lifelong Nazariteship compulsory, although the hair may be cut once in thirty days (§ 4); peculiar indefinite expressions used in connection with the vow (§§ 5-7).

Chapter 2: Whether vows which are expressed in a peculiar, incorrect manner are binding (§§ 1-2); cases in which a clearly expressed vow of Nazariteship is not binding (§ 3); vows made under conditions incompatible with Nazariteship (§ 4); combination of two Nazariteships, or of one with the vow to bring an additional sacrifice for a Nazarite; conditional vows (§§ 5-9).

Chapter 3: When a Nazarite may cut his hair in case he has vowed only one term of Nazariteship, or when he has vowed two successive terms (§§ 1-2); whether a Nazarite who has become unclean on the last day of his term must recommence his Nazariteship, and the cases in which he must do so (§§ 3-4); the case of one who vows Nazariteship while in a burial-place (§ 5); Nazariteship may be observed only in the Holy Land; Helena, Queen of Adiabene, once vowed Nazariteship for seven years, and fulfilled her vow; but when she went to the land of Israel at the end of the seventh year, the Bet Hillel decided that she must observe her vow for another period of seven years, since the time which she had spent outside of the land of Israel could not be taken into account (§ 6).


Chapter 5: Cases in which a person dedicates or vows something by mistake; Nazarites who had made their vows before the destruction of the Temple, and, on coming to Jerusalem to offer their sacrifices, had learned that the Temple had been destroyed (§ 4); conditional Nazaritic vows (§§ 5-7).

Sacrifices of Nazarites
Chapter 6: Things forbidden to the Nazarite; enumeration of the different things coming from the vine; cases in which a Nazarite is guilty of trespassing against the interdiction prohibiting the drinking of wine (§§ 1-2); cases in which he is guilty of trespassing against that concerning the cutting of his hair (§ 3); in what respects the interdiction against defilement by a corpse is more rigorous than those against drinking wine and cutting the hair, and in what respects the last two interdictions are more rigorous than the first (§ 5); sacrifices and cutting of the hair if the Nazarite has become unclean (§ 6); sacrifices and cutting of the hair when the Nazariteship is fulfilled; burning of the cut hair under the pot in which the flesh of the sacrifice is cooked; other regulations regarding the sacrifices by Nazarites (§§ 7-11).

Chapter 7: The Nazarite and the Kohen Gadol may not defile themselves through contact with corpses even in the case of the death of a near relative; discussion of the question whether the Nazarite or the high priest defiles himself if both together find a corpse which must be buried and no one else is there to do it (§ 1); things which defile the Nazarite, and other regulations regarding the uncleanness of a person entering the Temple (§§ 2-3).

Chapter 8: Regulations in cases where it is doubtful whether the Nazarite has become unclean.

Chapter 9: Unlike slaves and women, "Kutim" may not make a Nazaritic vow; in what respects Nazaritic vows of women are more rigorous than those of slaves, and vice versa (§ 1); further details regarding the defilement of a Nazarite; the examination of burial-places, and, in connection therewith, rules for the examination of a person suffering from discharges or tzaraath (§§ 2-4); discussion of the question whether Samuel was a Nazarite (§ 5).

Tosefta
The Tosefta to this treatise is divided into six chapters. Noteworthy is the story it narrates of the high priest Simeon the Justs, who never partook of the sacrifice offered by a Nazarite, with the exception of that offered by a handsome youth from the south, since in this case he could assume that the young man had made his vow with the best intentions and acceptably to God. When Simon asked why he had decided to clip his hair, the youth replied that on beholding his image in a pool he had become vain of his own beauty, and had therefore taken the Nazaritic vow to avoid all temptations (4:7).

The Babylonian Gemara, whose introductory passage explains, by a reference to the Bible (Deuteronomy 24:1; comp. Rashi ad loc., and Sotah 2a), why the treatise Nazir belongs to the order Nashim, contains also many interesting sentences, a few of which may be quoted here:
  • "The forty years (Samuel II 15:7) are reckoned from the time when the Israelites first asked for a king" (5a).

    "The Nazarite has sinned (Numbers 6:11) by denying himself wine; and if one who denies himself wine, which is not absolutely necessary, is deemed a sinner, one who denies himself other things which are needful for the sustenance of life is a much greater sinner" (19a).

    "An infringement of the Law with good intentions is better than its fulfilment without good intentions. Still one must study the Torah and observe its commandments, even though he is not in the proper mood, since he will gradually acquire thereby a sympathetic frame of mind" (23b).

s Simeon the Righteous or Simeon the Just (Hebrew: שמעון הצדיק‎‎ Shimon HaTzaddik) was a Jewish High Priest during the time of the Second Temple ... either Simon I (310–291 or 300–273 BCE), son of Onias I, and grandson of Jaddua, or Simon II (219–199 BCE), son of Onias II ... The scholarly consensus of the late 20th century has fallen on Simon II.[1]

The Talmud, Josephus (who identifies him as Simon I), Sirach, and the Second Book of Maccabees all contain accounts of him. He was termed "the Righteous" because of the piety of his life and his benevolence toward his compatriots (Josephus, Antiquities, 12:2, § 5). He was deeply interested in the spiritual and material development of the nation. According to Sirach 50. 1-14, he rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem, which had been torn down by Ptolemy I Soter, and repaired the damage done to the Temple in Jerusalem, raising the foundation-walls of its court and enlarging the cistern into a pool.

According to the Talmud and Josephus, when Alexander the Great marched through Land of Israel in the year 332 BCE, Simeon the Just, dressed in his priestly garments went to Antipatris to meet him (Yoma 69a), although Josephus (l.c. xi.8, § 4) states that Alexander himself came to Jerusalem. As soon as Alexander saw him, he descended from his chariot and bowed respectfully before him. When Alexander's courtiers criticized this act, he replied that it had been intentional, since he had had a vision in which he had seen the high priest, who had predicted his victory. Alexander demanded that a statue of himself be placed in the Temple, but the high priest explained that this was impossible. He promised instead that all the sons born of priests in that year would be named Alexander (Lev. R. xiii, end; Pesikta Rabbati section "Parah"). This story appears to be identical with 3 Maccabees ii, where Seleucus (Kasgalgas) is mentioned (Soṭah 33a; Jerusalem Talmud. Soṭah 4:3; Cant. R. 38c; Tosef., Soṭah, xiii).

The Mishnah (Parah 3:5) records that during the priesthood of Simeon the Just two red heifers were burnt at the sacrificial place built on the Mount of Olives in the days of Ezra.

In his views, Simeon was midway between the Hasmoneans and the Hellenists. He was an opponent of the Nazirites and ate of the sacrifice offered by that sect only on a single occasion.


Priesthood
During Simeon's administration seven miracles are said to have taken place. A blessing rested (1) on the offering of the first fruits, (2) on the two sacrificial loaves, and (3) on the loaves of showbread, in that, although each priest received a portion no larger than an olive, he ate and was satiated without even consuming the whole of it; (4) the lot cast for God (see Lev. xvi.8) always came into the right hand; (5) the red thread around the neck of the goat or ram became white on the Day of Atonement; (6) the light in the Temple never failed; and (7) the fire on the altar required but little wood to keep it burning (Yoma 39b; Men. 109b; Yer. Yoma vi.3).
Last edited by MrMacSon on Wed Nov 01, 2017 2:30 am, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
MrMacSon
Posts: 5672
Joined: Sat Oct 05, 2013 3:45 pm

Re: The Mishna, etc

Post by MrMacSon » Wed Nov 01, 2017 2:15 am


Published at the end of the second century CE, the Mishnah is an edited record of the complex body of material known as oral Torah that was transmitted in the aftermath of the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE.

Rabbi Judah the Patriarch, also known as Rabbi Judah the Prince and Yehudah HaNasi, undertook to collect and edit a study edition of these halachot (laws) in order that the learning not vanish.

Although the Temple had been destroyed 130 years prior to its publication, in the world described by the Mishnah the Temple still exists and the laws that governed it are expressed in the present tense. While the Talmud (the compendium of the Mishnah and the Gemara, which interprets and comments on the Mishnah) refers to the Bar Kochba rebellion and the defeat by the Romans, the Mishnah itself ignores the events of the Roman occupation of the land of Israel. In this way, the Mishnah is a document that describes a life of sanctification, in which the rituals of the Temple are adapted for communal participation in a world that has no Temple, which escapes the ups and downs of history.

Disputes Between Rabbis
This idyllic world of the Mishnah, however, is not a world of uniformity; far from it. Most passages in the Mishnah contain a dispute between different rabbinic sages. When does one begin the morning prayers? How does one treat produce that may or may not have had the priestly gifts separated from it? How does one constitute a Jewish marriage? What are the limitations of the liability of someone who watches another’s property? Can cheese and meat be on the same table? How much drawn water invalidates a ritual bath? On all of these issues and on thousands of similar issues, the Mishnah includes various opinions.

Code of Law vs. Study Book
This is because the Mishnah is not a code of Jewish law; it is a study book of law. As the Mishnah itself describes, in a rare self-reflective comment: Why are the opinions of the minority included with the opinions of the majority even though the law is not like them? So that a later court can examine their words and rely upon them? (Mishnah Eduyot 1:3). While one could determine law based upon the Mishnah, its intention was to train the sages in thinking through the legal issues that inform the halacha (Jewish law).

In editing the Mishnah, Rabbi Judah the Patriarch worked with a variety of materials. Some halachot (laws) of the Tannaim, the sages from the time of the Mishnah, had been transmitted to him organized around a particular sage, some around particular verses, and others according to certain formal characteristics. Signs of these pre-existing collections are still apparent in the Mishnah. On the other hand, it is also clear that Rabbi Judah was not simply a collector ....

https://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/mishnah/
Last edited by MrMacSon on Wed Nov 08, 2017 6:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
MrMacSon
Posts: 5672
Joined: Sat Oct 05, 2013 3:45 pm

Re: The Mishna, etc

Post by MrMacSon » Wed Nov 01, 2017 2:37 am

1. Midrash aggadah - narrative midrash: "interpreting biblical narrative, exploring questions of ethics or theology, or creating homilies & parables based on the texts"; and

2. Midrash halacha - attempting "to clarify or extend a law beyond the conditions assumed in the Hebrew Bible, and to make connections between then current practice and the biblical text. It made possible the creation and acceptance of new liturgies and rituals which de facto replaced sacrificial worship after the fall of the Second Temple" (and, for Judaism, "the maintenance of continuity by linking those practices to the words of the Torah", but that would not have happened in the development of or application to Christianity).

These are general categorisations: each tends to contain components of the other.

Interestingly, "Midrash halacha from the two centuries following the fall of the Temple was collected in three books — the Mekhilta on Exodus, the Sifra [book] on Leviticus, and the Sifrei [books] on Numbers and Deuteronomy — known as the tannaitic midrashim. (The tannaim [tanna, sing.] were the rabbis from the time of the Mishnah, edited in approximately 200 CE.)" - https://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/midrash-101/

and, 'Midrash Aggadah', "The type of midrash most commonly referred to (as in, “There is a midrash which says…”) is from the collections of midrash aggadah, most of which were compiled between about 200 and 1000 C.E. (Many midrashim circulated orally before then). Midrash aggadah may begin its exploration with any word or verse in the Bible. There are many different methods of interpretation and exposition."
  • and, ".. midrash aggadah also appears throughout the two Talmuds. Midrash Rabbah, the “Great Midrash,” is the name of the collections linked to the five books of the Torah and the “Five Scrolls” (Esther, Song of Songs, Ruth, Lamentations, and Ecclesiastes) read on holidays. Some of these works read like verse-by-verse commentaries. Others may have originated in sermons linked to the weekly Torah reading."
    https://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/midrash-101/

Much Aggadah, often mixed with foreign elements, is found in the Apocrypha, the Pseudepigrapha, the works of Josephus and Philo, and the remaining Judæo-Hellenistic literature; but aggadic exegesis reached its highest development in the great epoch of the Mishnaic-Talmudic period, between 100 and 550 CE.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aggadah#Development

User avatar
MrMacSon
Posts: 5672
Joined: Sat Oct 05, 2013 3:45 pm

Re: The Mishna, etc

Post by MrMacSon » Thu Nov 02, 2017 1:08 am


.
Akiva ben Yosef (Hebrew: עקיבא בן יוסף‎‎‎, c. 50–135 CE) widely known as Rabbi Akiva (רבי עקיבא‎), was a tanna of the latter part of the first century and the beginning of the second century (the third tannaitic generation). Rabbi Akiva was a leading contributor to the Mishnah and to Midrash halakha. He is referred to in the Talmud as Rosh la-Hakhamim, "Chief of the Sages". He was executed by the Romans in the aftermath of the Bar Kokhba revolt ...


The greatest tannaim of the middle of the second century came from Akiva's school, notably Rabbi Meir, Judah bar Ilai, Simeon bar Yochai, Jose ben Halafta, Eleazar ben Shammai, and Rabbi Nehemiah. Besides these, Akiva had many disciples whose names have not been handed down, but the Aggadah variously gives their number as 12,000, 24,000, and 48,000.


Biblical Canon
Akiva was instrumental in drawing up the canon of the Tanakh. He protested strongly against the canonicity of certain of the Apocrypha, the Wisdom of Sirach, for instance, in which passages קורא is to be explained according to Ḳid. 49a, and חיצונים according to its Aramaic equivalent ברייתא; so that Akiva's utterance reads, "He who reads aloud in the synagogue from books not belonging to the canon as if they were canonical," etc. But he was not opposed to a private reading of the Apocrypha, as is evident from the fact that he himself makes frequent use of Sirach. Akiva stoutly defended, however, the canonicity of the Song of Songs, and Esther ...

Aquila, meanwhile, was a disciple of Akiva and, under Akiva's guidance, gave the Greek-speaking Jews a rabbinical Bible. Akiva probably also provided for a revised text of the Targums; certainly, for the essential base of the Targum Onkelos, which in matters of Halakah reflects Akiva's opinions completely.


Akiva as systematizer

Akiva worked in the domain of the Halakha, both in the systematization of its traditional material and in its further development. The condition of the Halakah, that is, of religious praxis, and indeed of Judaism in general, was a very precarious one at the turn of the 1st century of the common era ... The Jewish Encyclopedia states that according to a tradition which has historical confirmation, it was Akiva who systematized and brought into methodic arrangement the Mishnah, or Halakah codex; the Midrash, or the exegesis of the Halakah; and the Halakot, the logical amplification of the Halakah.

modified from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rabbi_Akiva


Akiva's Halakha

The enormous difference between the Halacha before and after Akiva may be briefly described as follows: The old Halacha was, as its name indicates, the religious practice sanctioned and bound by tradition, to which were added extensions, and, in some cases, limitations, of the Torah, arrived at by strict logical deduction. The opposition offered by the Sadducees —which became especially strenuous in the last century BC.— originated the halakhic Midrash, whose mission it was to deduce these amplifications of the Law, by tradition and logic, out of the Law itself.[2]

It might be thought that, with the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem (which led to an end of Sadduceeism), the halakhic Midrash would also have disappeared, seeing that the Halacha could now dispense with the Midrash. This probably would have been the case had not Akiva created his own Midrash, by means of which he was able "to discover things that were even unknown to Moses." Akiva made the accumulated treasure of the oral law —which until his time was only a subject of knowledge, and not a science— an inexhaustible mine from which, by the means he provided, new treasures might be continually extracted.

If the older Halacha is to be considered as the product of the internal struggle between Phariseeism and Sadduceeism, the Halacha of Akiva must be conceived as the result of an external contest between Judaism on the one hand, and Hellenism on the other [and likely other concurrent [pagan] religions; Hellenistic Christianity may have had an influence, but likely later] . Akiva no doubt perceived that the intellectual bond uniting the Jews —far from being allowed to disappear with the destruction of the Jewish state— must be made to draw them closer together than before.

* He pondered also the nature of that bond. The Bible could never again fill 'the place' alone (for the Christians also regarded it as a divine revelation [but that may have happened after Akiva's time]). Still less could dogma serve the purpose, for dogmas were always repellent to rabbinical Judaism, whose very essence is development and the 'susceptibility to development'.
  • Mention has already been made of the fact that Akiva was the creator of a rabbinical Bible version elaborated with the aid of his pupil, Aquila of Sinope (though this is traditionally debated), and designed to become the common property of all Jews.[2]

Religious philosophy

A tannaitic tradition mentions that of the four who entered paradise, Akiva was the only one that returned unscathed. This serves at least to show how strong, in later ages, was the recollection of Akiva's philosophical speculation (see Elisha b. Abuya).

Akiva's utterances may serve to present the essence of his religious conviction. They run:
  • How favored is man, for he was created after an image; as Scripture says, "for in an image, Elohim made man."[2][55]
  • Everything is foreseen; but freedom [of will] is given to every man.[2]
  • The world is governed by mercy... but the divine decision is made by the preponderance of the good or bad in one's actions.[2]
Akiva's anthropology is based upon the principle that man was created בצלם, that is, not in the image of God —which would be בצלם אלהים— but after an image, after a primordial type; or, philosophically speaking, after an Idea —what Philo calls in agreement with Judean theology, "the first heavenly man" (see Adam ḳadmon - the first spiritual World that came into being after the contraction of God's infinite light. Adam Kadmon is not the same as the physical 'Adam Ha-Rishon' (Adam, the first man)).
  • Strict monotheist that Akiva was, he protested against any comparison of God with the angels, and declared the plain interpretation of כאחד ממנו as meaning "like one of us" to be arrant blasphemy.[2][56][57]

In his earnest endeavors to insist as strongly as possible upon the incomparable nature of God, Akiva indeed lowers the angels somewhat to the realms of mortals, and, alluding to Ps. lxxviii. 25, maintains that manna is the actual food of the angels.[2][58] This view of Akiva's, in spite of the energetic protests of his colleague Rabbi Ishmael, became the one generally accepted by his contemporaries, as Justin Martyr, Dial. cum Trypho l.c., lvii., indicates.[2]

This sentence was at the start of the previous paragraph, but it seems "Jewish heretical one" is not in i]Dial. cum Trypho[/i] lxii (not in the English translation, anyway) -
  • It is quite instructive to read how a Christian of Akiva's generation, Justin Martyr, calls the literal interpretation —thus objected to by Akiva— a "Jewish heretical one" (Dial. cum Trypho lxii.).
.

Last edited by MrMacSon on Sat Jan 06, 2018 4:52 pm, edited 10 times in total.

User avatar
MrMacSon
Posts: 5672
Joined: Sat Oct 05, 2013 3:45 pm

Re: The Mishna, etc

Post by MrMacSon » Thu Nov 02, 2017 1:11 am


User avatar
MrMacSon
Posts: 5672
Joined: Sat Oct 05, 2013 3:45 pm

Re: The Mishna, etc

Post by MrMacSon » Thu Nov 02, 2017 1:44 am

via https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aquila_of_Sinope -

Aquila "Ponticus" (fl. 130 AD) of Sinope was a translator of the Old Testament into Greek1, proselyte, and disciple of Rabbi Akiva (& assumed to have been known as Onkelos).

1 Aquila's version is said to have been used in place of the Septuagint in Greek-speaking synagogues. The Christians generally disliked 'it'[?], alleging that it rendered the Messianic passages incorrectly, but Jerome and Origen 'spoke' in its praise. Origen incorporated it in his Hexapla.

Fragments of this translation have survived in

(i) what remains of fragmentary documents taken from the Books of Kings and the Psalms found in the old Cairo Geniza in Fustat, Egypt; and

(ii) excerpts taken from the Hexapla written in the glosses of certain manuscripts of the Septuagint (published by Frederick Field in his momentous work, Origenis Hexaplorum quæ Supersunt, Oxford, 1875).


Epiphanius (De Ponderibus et Mensuris, chap. xiii-xvi.; ed. Migne, ii. 259-264) preserves a tradition that he was a kinsman of the Roman emperor Hadrian, who employed him in rebuilding Jerusalem as Aelia Capitolina, and that Aquila was converted to Christianity but, on being reproved for practicing astrology, 'apostatized' to Judaism.[4].

See http://www.earlywritings.com/forum/view ... 461#p78461



Aramaic Targum

The leading Aramaic Targum (translation) of the Pentateuch, as appended to most printed Hebrew texts of the Five Books of Moses, is known as Targum Onkelos. The names "Onkelos the proselyte" and "Aquilas the proselyte" are used interchangeably between the Babylonian Talmud and Jerusalem Talmud, with the reference being to the same person.[8] It is not clear how much (if any) of the Aramaic translation was based on the Greek.


Early Rabbinic reference to Aquila's conversion

The following story is related about Aquila’s conversion in the Midrash Rabba (Exodus Rabbah 30:9):

Once, Aquilas said to Hadrian the king, ‘I wish to convert and to become one of Israel.’

He answered him, ‘You are seeking [to join] that nation? How have I despised it! How have I killed it; the most downtrodden of the nations you are asking to join!? What have you seen in them that you wish to be made a proselyte?’

He replied, ‘The smallest of them knows how the Holy One, blessed be He, created the universe; what was created on the first day and what was created on the second day, and how many [years] have passed since the universe was created, and by what [things] the world is sustained. Moreover, their Divine Law is the truth.’

He said to him, ‘Go and study their Divine Law, but do not be circumcised.’

Aquilas then said to him, ‘Even the wisest man in your kingdom, and an elder who is aged one-hundred, cannot study their Divine Law if he is not circumcised, for thus is it written: He makes known his words unto Jacob, even his precepts and judgments unto Israel. He has not done the like of which to any other nation, (Ps. 147:19-20). Unto whom, then, [has he done it]? Unto the sons of Israel!’




Aquila Romanus was a Latin grammarian who flourished in the second half of the 3rd century AD.

He was the author of an extant treatise De Figuris Sententiarum et Elocutionis, written as an installment of a complete rhetorical handbook for the use of a young and eager correspondent. While recommending Demosthenes and Cicero as models, he takes his own examples almost exclusively from Cicero. His treatise is really adapted from that by Alexander, son of Numenius, as is expressly stated by Julius Rufinianus, who brought out a supplementary treatise, augmented by material from other sources.


"De Figuris Sententiarum et Elocutionis". In: Halm, Carl Felix. Rhetores Latini minores, p. 22, at Google Books. Leipzig: B. G. Teubner, 1863

P. Rutilii Lupi de figuris sententiarum et elocutions libri duo, accedunt Aquilae Romani et Julii Rufiniani de eodem argumento libri, David Ruhnken (ed.), Lugduni Batavorum, apud Samuelem et Joannem Luchtmans, 1768, pp. 139 ff. https://books.google.be/books?id=Hh4PAAAAQAAJ
Last edited by MrMacSon on Sat Jan 06, 2018 4:50 pm, edited 4 times in total.

User avatar
Secret Alias
Posts: 9964
Joined: Sun Apr 19, 2015 8:47 am

Re: The Mishna, etc

Post by Secret Alias » Thu Nov 02, 2017 6:26 am

If we want to speculate (and who doesn't) the question obviously arises - given the existence of the Samaritans and the known opposition of the Jewish Sadducees (undoubtedly related to the Samaritans) - where did the idea of a 'second Law' come from?

The gospel is in a sense a 'second Law.' But now the Jewish terminology is interesting. First 'mishnah' is Hebrew not Aramaic. Second it derives its origin from the idea of a 'second power.' Look at the King James translation of Genesis 41:32

And for that the dream was doubled (הִשָּׁנ֧וֹת) unto Pharaoh

In Aramaic the noun was borrowed to mean second power or lieutenant:

http://cal1.cn.huc.edu/showjastrow.php?page=857

So when all these authorities say that Mishnah comes from a verb which means to learn that not exactly correct. The terminology was really rooted in the concept of being 'second' or doing again (a second time). Look at Jastrow to see how Deuteromony (in Greek the 'second' Law) is identified as mishnah. There is a long history in Jewish scholarship - not academic but religious scholarship - that Deuteronomy represents something distinct or 'secondary' to the previous 4 books. The Hebrew is noticeably different. It was written by someone else.

I think that when it was introduced the Mishnah was understood to be a 'second' Law in the manner that Deuteronomy had originally been introduced as a 'second' Law and this notion of 'second' was somehow - though I haven't figured that out yet - associated with a 'lieutenant' or 'second' power in heaven. The gospel is tied in here too. The gospel is announcement of the 'second' Law of the better god. Look at the theophany on Sinai. There are two laws too. It's not just that there are two dispensations of the same law. There are two laws after the Golden Calf. This is very murky of course. But there is something to this. Two powers, two laws. Even the rabbinic statement that in the first century 'it was as if there were two laws.' I am telling you this isn't that crazy.
“Finally, from so little sleeping and so much reading, his brain dried up and he went completely out of his mind.”
― Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote

User avatar
MrMacSon
Posts: 5672
Joined: Sat Oct 05, 2013 3:45 pm

Re: The Mishna, etc

Post by MrMacSon » Thu Nov 02, 2017 6:46 pm

Secret Alias wrote:
Thu Nov 02, 2017 6:26 am
The gospel is in a sense a 'second Law.' But now the Jewish terminology is interesting. First 'mishnah' is Hebrew not Aramaic. Second it derives its origin from the idea of a 'second power.'
Wasn't Hebrew the language the Jewish Bible had been written in? and, after the fall of the 2nd Temple, Mishnah Hebrew developed? -
.. further sub-divided into Mishnaic Hebrew proper (also called Tannaitic Hebrew, Early Rabbinic Hebrew, or Mishnaic Hebrew I), which was a spoken language, and Amoraic Hebrew (also called Late Rabbinic Hebrew or Mishnaic Hebrew II), which was a literary language only.


Historical occurrence

Mishnaic Hebrew developed under the profound influence of spoken Aramaic. Also called Tannaitic Hebrew or Early Rabbinic Hebrew, the dialect is represented by the bulk of the Mishnah (משנה‎, published around 200) and the Tosefta within the Talmud, and by some of the Dead Sea Scrolls, notably the Copper Scroll and the Bar Kokhba Letters.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mishnaic_Hebrew

Secret Alias wrote:
Thu Nov 02, 2017 6:26 am

Look at the King James translation of Genesis 41:32

And for that the dream was doubled (הִשָּׁנ֧וֹת) unto Pharaoh [twice; it is because the thing is established by God, and God will shortly bring it to pass.]

In Aramaic the noun was borrowed to mean second power or lieutenant:

http://cal1.cn.huc.edu/showjastrow.php?page=857
I can't open that link. What noun are you referring to? dream?

Secret Alias wrote:
Thu Nov 02, 2017 6:26 am

... The terminology was really rooted in the concept of being 'second' or doing again (a second time). Look at Jastrow to see how Deuteromony (in Greek the 'second' Law) is identified as mishnah. There is a long history in Jewish scholarship - not academic but religious scholarship - that Deuteronomy represents something distinct or 'secondary' to the previous 4 books. The Hebrew is noticeably different. It was written by someone else.

I think that when it was introduced the Mishnah was understood to be a 'second' Law in the manner that Deuteronomy had originally been introduced as a 'second' Law and this notion of 'second' was somehow - though I haven't figured that out yet - associated with a 'lieutenant' or 'second' power in heaven.

The gospel is tied in here too. The gospel is announcement of the 'second' Law of the better god. Look at the theophany on Sinai. There are two laws too. It's not just that there are two dispensations of the same law. There are two laws after the Golden Calf. This is very murky of course. But there is something to this. Two powers, two laws. Even the rabbinic statement that in the first century 'it was as if there were two laws.' I am telling you this isn't that crazy.
Cheers. I've just started reading Robert Price's The Amazing Colossal Apostle. He make a few references to midrash, and how a few narrates evolved, often as new versions, via repetition, along these lines.

semiopen
Posts: 419
Joined: Sat Mar 08, 2014 6:27 pm

Re: The Mishna, etc

Post by semiopen » Fri Nov 03, 2017 7:23 am

MrMacSon wrote:
Thu Nov 02, 2017 6:46 pm
Secret Alias wrote:
Thu Nov 02, 2017 6:26 am

Look at the King James translation of Genesis 41:32

And for that the dream was doubled (הִשָּׁנ֧וֹת) unto Pharaoh [twice; it is because the thing is established by God, and God will shortly bring it to pass.]

In Aramaic the noun was borrowed to mean second power or lieutenant:

http://cal1.cn.huc.edu/showjastrow.php?page=857
I can't open that link. What noun are you referring to? dream?
Mr Alias's post was quite interesting, if obscure. The link opened for me, but it took some time.

The verse starts -

וְעַ֙ל הִשָּׁנ֧וֹת הַחֲל֛וֹם (Gen. 41:32 WTT)

At first glance, the middle word seems to be a feminine plural form of ‎ שָׁנָ֔ה (Shanah) which usually means year. However the plural of year is masculine ‎ שָׁנִ֖ים (Shanim) - although making year plural seems somewhat optional in the Torah.

https://www.biblestudytools.com/lexicon ... shneh.html looks like a good link.

Mishneh (or Mishnah, etc.) is a Mem followed by Shanah - Prefixes_in_Hebrew

The link gives many examples of this word in the bible -
And take with you double the money, carrying back with you the money that was replaced in the mouths of your bags; perhaps it was a mistake. (Gen. 43:12 TNK)
Where ‎ וְכֶ֥סֶף מִשְׁנֶ֖ה is double the money.

Like I said, quite an interesting post by Secret.

PS. The link I gave links to https://www.biblestudytools.com/lexicon ... hanah.html

They consider this a different word than the word for year even though they are spelled exactly the same. I guess the feminine plural is a tip off.

Post Reply