The Mishna, etc

Discussion about the Hebrew Bible, Septuagint, pseudepigrapha, Philo, Josephus, Talmud, Dead Sea Scrolls, archaeology, etc.
User avatar
Secret Alias
Posts: 9423
Joined: Sun Apr 19, 2015 8:47 am

Re: The Mishna, etc

Post by Secret Alias » Thu Nov 09, 2017 2:28 pm

How am I going to explain why the author of a fiction like Acts in the second century developed the story line he did? Not a mind reader.
“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
John T
Posts: 1008
Joined: Thu May 15, 2014 8:57 am

Re: The Mishna, etc

Post by John T » Thu Nov 09, 2017 4:19 pm

Secret Alias wrote:
Thu Nov 09, 2017 2:28 pm
How am I going to explain why the author of a fiction like Acts in the second century developed the story line he did? Not a mind reader.
Tit for tat.

You mean like how Rabbi Yehuda ha-Nasi edited the oral Torah based on make-believe debates with the mysterious Antoninus?

*****************************

I was hoping that someone who started a thread on the Mishna would be familiar enough with the Mishna to explain how Paul's Jewish vow (hair cut) in Acts 18:18 would be judged by the Taharot, i.e., purities.

Does the Mishan even acknowledge contemporary Jewish rivals like the Christians and Essenes? :scratch:

John T
"It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into."...Jonathan Swift

User avatar
MrMacSon
Posts: 5397
Joined: Sat Oct 05, 2013 3:45 pm

Re: The Mishna, etc

Post by MrMacSon » Thu Nov 09, 2017 6:14 pm


Rabbi Judah was the son of Rabbi Simeon ben Gamliel and was elected "Prince" (Nassi) after the death of his father. He was born on the very day that Rabbi Akiba died in the hands of the Romans ...

Because of his high moral character and teachings, because of his refusal to enjoy selfishly his own great wealth, and because of his great personal qualities and piety, he was recognized everywhere as a holy person, and everyone called him "our saintly teacher" (Rabbenu Hakadosh). Our Sages used to say that all noble virtues were united in him and that even Elijah the Prophet, invisible though he was, sat among the students of "Rabbi" to listen to his teaching of the Torah ...
  • The Torah is likened to water. Just as, with water, an older person is not ashamed to ask someone younger to give him a drink, so should he not be ashamed to ask a younger person to quench his thirst for knowledge. And also, just as no one is too lazy to seek a drink when he is thirsty, so too, no student should be too lazy to seek after Torah in a Yeshiva.
There are many stories related in the Talmud and Midrash of the great friendship that existed between Rabbi Judah the Prince and [a Roman Emperor] Antoninus.
possibly the Emperor Antoninus Pius[14]; though it is more likely his famous friendship was with either Emperor Marcus Aurelius Antoninus[15][16]; or Antoninus who is also called Caracalla and who would consult Judah on various worldly and spiritual matters.[17]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judah_ha-Nasi
The Emperor used to visit "Rabbi's" house secretly in order to learn from him something of the wisdom of the Torah and to consult him about various difficult problems concerning the government of his Empire, for he greatly valued the good advice he received from the Jewish Sage.

In order that others should not suspect that he was asking the Rabbi for his counsel concerning matters of state, they often disguised questions or answers by means of a code or some action which the other alone understood. On one occasion Antoninus sent a messenger to "Rabbi" with the question: "The Imperial Treasury is empty. What shall I do?" Rabbi Judah called the messenger into his garden, where he uprooted some plants and replaced them with others. The messenger from the palace watched in amazement and then asked: "What reply shall I give to my royal master?" "Rabbi" replied that no answer was required. The puzzled Roman returned to the Emperor, informing him that the Rabbi had refused to answer the Emperor's question. Antoninus, however, asked the messenger whether Rabbi Judah had not performed any action in his presence. Thereupon the messenger described to the Emperor how the Jewish Rabbi had pulled up some plants in his garden and had put others in their place. The Emperor understood the message hidden in this action of the Rabbi. He dismissed several of his officials, whom "Rabbi" had suspected of being dishonest, and appointed others in their place. Soon the royal treasury was full again.

Later the friendship between the Emperor and the Rabbi was displayed openly. They began to visit each other and argued and discussed regarding G‑d and His Torah.
  • Once Antoninus asked "Rabbi": "How can the human soul be punished in the next world? The soul will be able to say: 'How can I be held to blame? I am a spiritual creation. It was the body that sinned, not I . . . .' On the other hand, the body will be able to say: 'How can I be guilty? Without the soul I could not have sinned, for it is the soul which gives life to the body.'"

    To this question of the Emperor, "Rabbi" replied with a clever parable (example), as follows: -A man once owned an orchard, over which he set two servants to guard it. One of the watchers was blind; the other was lame: The lame man, tempted by the sight of the ripe fruit which he could not reach, said to his blind companion: "Carry me on your shoulders and lead me to that tree, laden with rich fruit, to which I shall guide you. In this way both of us will enjoy the fruit"

    When the owner, noticing the loss of his fruit, later accused his two servants of the theft of his choicest fruit, the blind man protested his innocence. "How could I have seen where the fruit was growing?" And the lame servant said: "How could I have reached the fruit?"

    How did the owner act? He placed the lame man on the shoulders of the blind man and then punished them together.

    So, too, replied the Rabbi, does G‑d with the human body and soul when each falsely tries to avoid punishment for its guilt.
When Rabbi Judah the Prince became seriously ill and near to death, the Rabbis prayed to G‑d for him. Later they sent a Rabbi, called Bar Kappara, to see how "Rabbi" was progressing, but when he arrived he learned that the holy scholar had died. Bar Kappara rent his clothes as a sign of mourning and, returned to the Rabbis. He broke the sad news to them with this remark: "The angels have struggled with us human beings for 'the Holy Ark'! The angels have been victorious and have captured 'the Holy Ark.' . . ." The Rabbis asked: "Is he dead?" Bar Kappara replied: "You have spoken it. I did not want to let my lips utter the words."

V.

The most important achievement for which Rabbi Judah Hanassi is famous is his edition of the Mishnah. The Torah, given to us by G‑d on Mount Sinai, consists of two parts - the Written Law (known , as TaNaKh, the initials of which stand for Torah, Neviim and Ketuvim, that is, the Five Books of the Torah, the Prophets and the Holy Writings) and the Oral Law, the explanation of the Torah given by word of mouth to Moses, as well as the Laws of Israel (Halacha L'Moshe Mi-Sinai).

This Oral Law was handed down from generation to generation by word of mouth from Moses to Joshua, from Joshua to the Seventy Elders, from the Elders to the Prophets, from the Prophets to the Men of the Great Synagogue, and from them to the greatest scholars of every generation. All these laws, traditions and customs were learned by heart and memorized. They were not allowed to be written down.

Rabbi Judah the Prince saw, however, that as a result of the difficulties of the Exile which the Jewish nation had to endure and would have to suffer for many centuries until the coming of the Messiah, there was a strong probability that many of these sacred laws would be forgotten or accidentally changed, G‑d forbid. He therefore decided to gather together the laws and write them down, so that they might remain permanently recorded in what was called the "Mishnah" (the meaning of which is "learning by repetition").

This was, of course, a tremendous task, but "Rabbi" succeeded in his great undertaking ...

The Mishnah is written in Hebrew.

The later Rabbis, who discussed and expanded the Mishnah, were no longer called by the title of Tannaim (as the earlier Rabbis had been called), but were called Amoraim. The volumes which contain their learned discussions are called the Gemara, an Aramaic word which means "completion," or "explanation," and these are mainly written in Aramaic. About three centuries of such Rabbinic discussions passed by after the Mishnah had been written down, before the Gemara also was put down in writing. The Mishnah and Gemara together are known as the Talmud, for whose existence we owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to Rabbi Judah the Princ

http://www.chabad.org/library/article_c ... Prince.htm

eta: http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/hal ... ta-midrash


.
Last edited by MrMacSon on Sat Nov 11, 2017 2:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

John2
Posts: 2174
Joined: Fri May 16, 2014 4:42 pm

Re: The Mishna, etc

Post by John2 » Thu Nov 09, 2017 6:37 pm

Does the Mishan even acknowledge contemporary Jewish rivals like the Christians and Essenes?
Yes, the MIshan is a lost pre-70 CE proto-rabbinic text that was recently discovered near Tiberias and it does mention Christians and Essenes. ;)

Seriously though, I recall that the Mishnah mentions minim, which is a term that could include Christians and Essenes, but according to Cohen:
... the Mishnah is not fundamentally interested in minim or minut. These minim are a varied lot characterized by a variety of theological and ritual errors. One of the passages refers to Christianity. Among the events that will presage the arrival of the end of days is that "the kingdom [the Roman Empire] will convert to minut (Christianity)." This passage [m. Sot. 9:15] is obviously a post-Mishnaic addition, not earlier than the fourth century CE, when the Roman Empire in fact converted to Christianity. This passage aside, the Mishnah's minim are not Christians nor is there any sign of Christians anywhere else in the Mishnah.

https://books.google.com/books?id=R5e7B ... ah&f=false
I'm not sure what, if any, references to minim could apply to the Essenes though.
Trouble with you is the trouble with me, we got two good eyes but we still don't see.

User avatar
John T
Posts: 1008
Joined: Thu May 15, 2014 8:57 am

Re: The Mishna, etc

Post by John T » Fri Nov 10, 2017 4:53 am

John2 wrote:
Thu Nov 09, 2017 6:37 pm
Does the Mishan even acknowledge contemporary Jewish rivals like the Christians and Essenes?
Yes, the MIshan is a lost pre-70 CE proto-rabbinic text that was recently discovered near Tiberias and it does mention Christians and Essenes. ;)
But what version of the Mishnah did James the Just read to Paul which explained in detail how shaving one's head at the temple would grant purity and prove he was a still faithful to Rabbinic Judisam? Acts 21:21-24. Surely, Rabbi Yehuda na-Nasi had something to say about the purity ritual (head shaving) that Paul underwent. ;)

https://youtu.be/BoiTy4ifJA0

Keep in mind Paul claimed to be trained under Gamaliel and educated strictly according to ancestral law.

Or could it be the Mishnah was a contemporary revised Rabbinic version of the oral Torah that had lost most of the historical knowledge of what the oral Torah was under Gamaliel?

I see the Mishnah much like modern-day denominational doctrines, they are man-made doctrines (works) not found in the Bible/Torah, used to make the followers believe their sect is more pure and knowledgeable than all others.

But some of it, just like the creationist/fundamentalist doctrines, are just simply silly.

Baba Metzia 1:1.
"It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into."...Jonathan Swift

User avatar
Secret Alias
Posts: 9423
Joined: Sun Apr 19, 2015 8:47 am

Re: The Mishna, etc

Post by Secret Alias » Fri Nov 10, 2017 10:04 am

This is silly. Paul isn't likely a historical character at least as described in Acts. He wasn't friends with famous rabbis from rabbinic literature. You should be writing those shitty fictional narratives that profit off the incredulity of American evangelicals. Clearly - and I mean CLEARLY - someone in the middle of the second century wrote a fictional portrait of the author of the Pauline epistles which integrated the author into the Pharisaic stream of thought. There is nothing 'Pharisaic' about Paul's thought. Acts is a fiction and the Pauline epistles as we now have them have been corrupted by the same tradition that accepted Acts in order to make Paul seem palatable to audiences outside his original tradition (= Marcionism).

If you like outlandish suggestions, I wonder if in fact:

1. R Judah ha Nasi lived in the time of Antoninus Pius
2. he had a hand in falsifying (Judaizing) the Pauline tradition

There is no proof for this assertion. It's just that the Mishnah and the Christian canon are constructed in very similar ways. It must have been a Jew who 'Judaized' Paulinism. Who else would want to make Paul friendly to a Pharisee?
“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
John T
Posts: 1008
Joined: Thu May 15, 2014 8:57 am

Re: The Mishna, etc

Post by John T » Fri Nov 10, 2017 3:05 pm

Secret Alias wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 10:04 am
This is silly. Paul isn't likely a historical character at least as described in Acts. He wasn't friends with famous rabbis from rabbinic literature. You should be writing those shitty fictional narratives that profit off the incredulity of American evangelicals. Clearly - and I mean CLEARLY - someone in the middle of the second century wrote a fictional portrait of the author of the Pauline epistles which integrated the author into the Pharisaic stream of thought. There is nothing 'Pharisaic' about Paul's thought. Acts is a fiction and the Pauline epistles as we now have them have been corrupted by the same tradition that accepted Acts in order to make Paul seem palatable to audiences outside his original tradition (= Marcionism).
Dittos, that is, if you simply substitute a few of your words like, Paul and Acts with the words, Rabbi Yehuda and Mishnah as well as your fictional narrative of Marcion.
"It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into."...Jonathan Swift

John2
Posts: 2174
Joined: Fri May 16, 2014 4:42 pm

Re: The Mishna, etc

Post by John2 » Fri Nov 10, 2017 7:09 pm

Stephan wrote:
There is nothing 'Pharisaic' about Paul's thought.
Setting aside Acts, Paul says that he was a Pharisee in Php. 3:4-8:
If someone else thinks they have reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for righteousness based on the law, faultless.
And in Gal. 1:13-14 he uses an expression that Josephus, the NT and rabbinic writings apply to the practices of the Pharisees (i.e., "the traditions of the fathers"):
For you have heard of my previous way of life in Judaism, how intensely I persecuted the church of God and tried to destroy it. I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my own age among my people and was extremely zealous for the traditions of my fathers.
And Paul's position on obeying the ruling authorities in Rom. 13 is similar to the rabbinic idea that "the law of the state is law," which is summed up in Midrash Tanhuma Noah 10:
Whatever hardships may be imposed upon Jews by the powers that be, they must not rebel against the authorities who impose them, but are to render compliance, except when ordered to disregard the Torah and its injunctions; for that would be tantamount to giving up their God.
https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/di ... khuta-dina

Rom. 13:1-6:
Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.

This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing.
Trouble with you is the trouble with me, we got two good eyes but we still don't see.

User avatar
MrMacSon
Posts: 5397
Joined: Sat Oct 05, 2013 3:45 pm

Re: The Mishna, etc

Post by MrMacSon » Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:10 pm

Mishnah and Tosefta

Both the Mishnah and the Tosefta are anthologies that record laws attributed to sages from the Tannaitic Period (0-200 CE). The Tosefta (which literally means “addition”) has traditionally been characterized as a text that provides explanation for murky sections of the Mishnah — its more dominant and well-studied counterpart. But not all scholars accept this theory, and a few fundamental questions about these two texts remain up for debate: Why were both texts necessary? Which really came first and what was the purpose of the second? Literary comparisons of the Mishnah and Tosefta may shed light on the poetics and politics of their composition ...


Which Came First: Mishnah or Tosefta?

Several phenomena suggest that the Mishnah, even in its brevity, is more developed, and hence composed later, than the Tosefta. The Mishnah more frequently includes conceptual statements that summarize concrete laws, a sign of further maturation. For example, on the topic of searching for bread before Passover, both texts record a debate over which rows of a wine-cellar must be searched; only the Mishnah adds the conceptual rule: “Any place that one doesn’t store hametz, does not need to be searched” (Mishnah Pesahim 1:1). Further, the Mishnah often picks sides in a debate indicating a majority and minority opinion, while the Tosefta records multiple opinions side by side.

These comparisons suggest that the Tosefta may be older than the Mishnah, and that it preserves a point in history before one legal position became mainstream. Bar Ilan University professor Shamma Friedman has developed Y. N. Epstein’s (1878-1942) hypothesis that an earlier draft of the Mishnah served as the source material for both works, and that the Tosefta more closely resembles this earlier draft.

According to a similar theory, advanced by Jewish Theological Seminary professor Judith Hauptman, the Tosefta was a commentary on this proto-Mishnah and was in circulation when the Mishnah was composed. The two developed simultaneously, yet independently. These theories are compelling, but no text of a proto-Mishnah has been found to confirm them.


History of the Debate

According to a number of rabbinic sources, the canonization of the Mishnah started when Rabbi Akiva began organizing legal material into categories and requested all students to report to him on differing opinions. According to the Talmud, anonymous statements in the Mishnah were formulated by Rabbi Meir, while anonymous Toseftot are attributed to Rabbi Nehemiah, both students of Rabbi Akiva (Sanhedrein 86). Rabbi Judah the Prince is credited with the final editing of the Mishnah, likely based on the earlier collections. The Talmud hints that that Tosefta was edited by Rabbi Hiyyah and Rabbi Oshaya, who lived in Israel during the transition between the Tannaitic and Amoraic periods (Sanhedrin 33a), though it is unclear whether this comment refers to a text identical to our own.

.. the Letter of Rav Sherirah Gaon, a responsum concerning the history of rabbinic texts... explains that the Tosefta was compiled later to fill in questions that arose from the brevity of the Mishnah. He presents the Tosefta as less authoritative than the Mishnah, yet originating from the same central voice.

Modern scholars are skeptical about the history advanced in the Talmud and in Rav Sherirah Gaon’s letter, since both have an ulterior motive to strengthen the authority of the Mishnah from which the Talmud and all subsequent Jewish law stems.

The picture academics paint today is a bit more complicated. While the basic question of which text influenced which is ultimately a mystery, most contemporary scholarship agrees with Epstein, Friedman and Hauptman, that the structure of the Mishnah and Tosefta were set by a proto-Mishnah from which both drew material.

From this proto-Mishnah, it is believed that Rabbi Judah the Prince compiled the Mishnah we have, making many editorial decisions, including changing language, format, and voicing support for specific positions that fit his worldview. But earlier versions were preserved and eventually compiled into the Tosefta. Therefore the final editing of the Tosefta is later than the Mishnah, but the Tosefta preserves early source material — more varied and representing more diverse opinions — that wasn’t subject to the red pen of Rabbi Judah.


On Canonization

Jewish discourse continually swings between formulating an authoritative canon and fostering open debate. While the Tosefta ostensibly preserves many voices excluded from the Mishnah, the Tosefta too does not record everything. Indeed, the Talmud quotes many Tannaitic teachings absent from the Mishnah; some are recorded in the Tosefta but others appear nowhere else in rabbinic literature.

For the curious minds of the Talmudic Rabbis, these uncanonized opinions were not out of bounds, even though they were named baraitot — outsiders — because they were located outside of the Mishnah. The Talmudic conversation continued beyond the Mishnah’s attempt to streamline legal authority, just as the commentary on Jewish texts has continued to flourish throughout the centuries.

https://www.myjewishlearning.com/articl ... h-tosefta/

... the Tosefta acts as a supplement to the Mishnah (tosefta means "supplement, addition"). The Mishnah (Hebrew: משנה) is the basic compilation of the Oral law of Judaism; according to the tradition, it was compiled in 189 CE.[1] The Tosefta closely corresponds to the Mishnah, with the same divisions for sedarim ("orders") and masekhot ("tractates"). It is mainly written in Mishnaic Hebrew, with some Aramaic.

At times the text of the Tosefta agrees nearly verbatim with the Mishnah. At others there are significant differences. The Tosefta often attributes laws that are anonymous in the Mishnah to named Tannaim. It also augments the Mishnah with additional glosses and discussions. It offers additional aggadic and midrashic material, and it sometimes contradicts the Mishnah in the ruling of Jewish law, or in attributing in whose name a law was stated.


Origins

According to rabbinic tradition, the Tosefta was redacted by Rabbis Ḥiya and Oshaiah (a student of Ḥiya).[2] Whereas the Mishna was considered authoritative, the Tosefta was supplementary. The Talmud often utilizes the traditions found in the Tosefta to examine the text of the Mishnah.

The traditional view is that the Tosefta should be dated to a period concurrent with or shortly after the redaction of the Mishnah. This view pre-supposes that the Tosefta was produced in order to record variant material not included in the Mishnah.

Modern scholarship can be roughly divided into two camps. Some, such as Jacob N. Epstein theorize that the Tosefta as we have it developed from a proto-Tosefta recension which formed much of the basis for later Amoraic debate. Others, such as Hanokh Albeck, theorize that the Tosefta is a later compendium of several baraitot collections which were in use during the Amoraic period.

More recent scholarship, such as that of Yaakov Elman, concludes that since the Tosefta, as we know it, must be dated linguistically as an example of Middle Hebrew 1, it was most likely compiled in early Amoraic times from oral transmission of baraitot.[3] Professor Shamma Friedman, has found that the Tosefta draws on relatively early Tannaitic source material and that parts of the Tosefta predate the Mishnah.[4]

Alberdina Houtman and colleagues theorize that while the Mishnah was compiled in order to establish an authoritative text on halakhic tradition, a more conservative party opposed the exclusion of the rest of tradition and produced the Tosefta to avoid the impression that the written Mishnah was equivalent to the entire oral Torah. The original intention was that the two texts would be viewed on equal standing, but the succinctness of the Mishnah and the power and influence of Yehuda Ha-Nassi made it more popular among most students of tradition.[5]

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

TOSEFTA (Aram. תּוֹסֶפְתָּא, Heb. תּוֹסֶפֶת), literally an "additional" or "supplementary" halakhic or aggadic tradition, i.e., one not included in the Mishnah of R. Judah ha-Nasi. Originally the term was used to designate any individual additional or supplementary tannaitic tradition, and so was virtually synonymous with the later Babylonian term baraita. In the later Babylonian tradition the term "tosefta" was used to designate a particular body of such baraitot (Kid. 49b; Meg. 28b; Shav. 41b), and eventually it came to denote a particular literary work, "the Tosefta" – a collection of halakhic and aggadic baraitot, organized according to the order of the Mishnah, and serving as a companion volume to it. Though there may once have been other such collections of tannaitic halakhot and aggadot, the Tosefta is the only such collection to have come down to us, and together with the extant *Midrashei Halakhah, it provides the student with direct access to a large body of ancient tannaitic sources, without the mediation of later amoraic and post-amoraic talmudic tradition.

In most respects, the Tosefta is identical to the Mishnah. Its Hebrew language is similar in all essential points to the language of the Mishnah, and seems unaffected by later dialects of amoraic Hebrew. The content, terminology, and formal structures of the halakhah in the Tosefta are the same as those in the Mishnah. The tannaim mentioned in the Tosefta are the same as those mentioned in the Mishnah, with the exception that the Tosefta also mentions scholars from the two following generations – almost all either direct descendents of the tannaim mentioned in the Mishnah, or otherwise associated closely with the circle or the family of R. Judah Ha-Nasi. From all of this it would seem clear that the Tosefta which we possess today was redacted in the same circles in which the Mishnah was redacted – the school of R. Judah ha-Nasi – some 40 or 50 years later, and by his own disciples ...

In addition to containing two additional layers of tannaitic traditions, there are two primary differences between the Mishnah and the Tosefta. First, the Tosefta is some three to four times larger than the Mishnah. Second, the overall order of the units of tradition found in the Tosefta is largely dictated, not by internal criteria, but rather by the external standard of the order of the Mishnah. It would therefore be fair to say that the Tosefta as a whole represents a kind of proto-talmud to the Mishnah – a large collection of tannaitic traditions whose purpose is to supplement, to complement, and in various other ways to expand upon the Mishnah of R. Judah Ha-Nasi.

Both the critical examination of the Tosefta itself and the comparison of the Tosefta to parallel tannaitic collections (Mishnah and Midrashei Halakhah) point toward one simple conclusion – the Tosefta which we possess today was collected and redacted in Ereẓ Israel shortly after the redaction of the Mishnah and in the same scholarly circles.
  • one of the greatest talmudic scholars, Ḥ. Albeck, rejected this conclusion ... primarily on a comparison of the Tosefta to the baraitot found in the Babylonian Talmud and the Jerusalem Talmud. Assuming that the amoraim would not have dared to add, omit, or in any other way intentionally change the ancient tannaitic traditions which they had received (see *Mishnah, The Redaction of the Mishnah), Albeck concluded that the baraitot in the talmudim could not have derived from the tannaitic collections which we today possess – the Tosefta and the extant Midrashei Halakhah – but rather must have been drawn from other collections of baraitot which have not survived in independent form. Consistent with this view, he also ascribed the redaction of our Tosefta to the end of the fourth century (at the very earliest), i.e., after the main body of amoraic talmudic literature had already largely taken shape. Since Albeck's assumptions concerning the nature of the talmudic baraitot are highly speculative at best, his views concerning the redaction of the Tosefta cannot be maintained in the face of all the internal evidence of the tannaitic sources to the contrary.
Broadly speaking the relationship between the traditions found in the Tosefta to the parallel traditions found in the Mishnah are of three kinds, the two relatively familiar and well known, the third less so. First, a tradition in the Tosefta can presuppose the exact text of our Mishnah, and comment directly upon it. Alternatively the Tosefta can transmit a different version of the same halakhah, either reporting the same opinion in different language, or reporting other opinions concerning the same issue. There is however, a third possibility: the Tosefta can transmit the halakhah of the Mishnah in an earlier and more original version. In this third case, the Tosefta may have preserved the "raw" material out of which R. Judah ha-Nasi composed the version of the halakhah which is included in his Mishnah. This third possibility has provided the focal point for some of the most fruitful and creative recent scholarship on the Tosefta (Friedman, Tosefta Atiqta). In addition to this parallel material, the Tosefta also includes additional independent tannaitic traditions which are either related topically to the halakhic or aggadic content of the Mishnah, or associatively – attaching themselves to some hint or reference which may have been mentioned in passing in the Mishnah.

With the exception of Avot, Tamid, Middot, and Kinnim, every tractate in the Mishnah has a parallel tractate in the Tosefta, though the precise character of the content of the Tosefta tractate and its relationship to the material found in the Mishnah can vary radically. Some have claimed that *Avot de-Rabbi Nathan, once considered a late tannaitic work, serves as a kind of "Tosefta" to Mishnah Avot. Recent research, however, has shown that ARN is actually a rather late aggadic work with no substantial connection to the Tosefta.


The Tosefta and R. Nehemiah

... on the basis of [the] relatively late Babylonian tradition, some scholars have posited the existence of a proto-Tosefta already in the days of R. Akiva and his students. There is, however, no direct evidence for the existence of such a work in this early period. Moreover, the terms tosefet, tosefta, baraita appear only in the amoraic literary stratum of talmudic literature, after the acceptance and dissemination of the Mishnah of R. Judah ha-Nasi. Neither these terms nor any other comparable terms are mentioned anywhere in tannaitic literature. The phenomenon of multiple literary levels within the Mishnah, and the habit of later tannaim to "add" comments to the traditions which they received from their teachers, should not be confused with the distinction between an accepted and official canon of select and authoritative traditions (e.g., the Mishnah of R. Judah ha-Nasi) and an extra-canonical "supplementary" tradition (tosefet, baraita), or collection of traditions (Tosefta).

http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/tosefta

User avatar
MrMacSon
Posts: 5397
Joined: Sat Oct 05, 2013 3:45 pm

Re: The Mishna, etc

Post by MrMacSon » Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:55 pm


From Gemara --

After the Mishnah was published [by Judah the Prince (c. 200 CE)], the work was studied exhaustively by generation after generation of rabbis in Babylonia and the Land of Israel. Their discussions were written down in a series of books that became the Gemara, which when combined with the Mishnah constituted the Talmud.

There are two versions of the Gemara -
  • The Jerusalem Talmud (Talmud Yerushalmi), compiled by scholars of the Land of Israel, primarily of the academies of Tiberias and Caesarea, and was published between about 350–400 CE.
  • The Talmud Bavli was published about 500 CE by scholars of Babylonia, primarily of the academies of Sura, Pumbedita, and Mata Mehasia.
By convention, a reference to the "Gemara" or "Talmud," without further qualification, refers to the Babylonian version.

The Gemara is mostly written in Aramaic, the Jerusalem Gemara in Western Aramaic and the Babylonian in Eastern Aramaic, but both contain portions in Hebrew. Sometimes the language changes in the middle of a story.

The Gemara thus takes the form of a dialectical exchange (by contrast, the Mishnah states concluded legal opinions – and often differences in opinion between the Tannaim: there is little dialogue). The disputants here are termed the makshan (questioner, "one who raises a difficulty") and tartzan (answerer, "one who puts straight").

The gemara records the semantic disagreements between Tannaim and Amoraim. Some of these debates were actually conducted by the Amoraim, though many of them are hypothetically reconstructed by the Talmud's redactors (often imputing a view to an earlier authority as to how he may have answered a question: "This is what Rabbi X could have argued ...") Rarely are debates formally closed.

Post Reply