The importance of the Tosefta for literary, historical, and religious scholarship has long been known, and this two-volume set makes it accessible to many more readers. The work is a vital supplement to the early rabbinic oral tradition first set to writing in the Mishnah at the end of the second century of the Common Era. Dating to about 220 CE and also set in the Tannaic period, the Tosefta has the same six orders and essentially the same tractates as the Mishnah, often agreeing with it, but sometimes differing significantly in its understanding of the oral tradition. This English translation of the Mishnaic Hebrew (with some Aramaic) is not merely a paraphrase, but aims at a literal rendition into English of the formulary patterns and syntactical traits of the original text. It contains complete references to the passages in the Tosefta that cite verbatim the corresponding unit in the Mishnah, which is printed in italics. The Tosefta is crucial to the study of formative rabbinic Judaism and early Christianity.
“The normative writings of Rabbinic Judaism are classified by that Judaism as components of the Torah of Sinai. These are the Mishnah (ca. 200 C.E.), the Tosefta (ca. 300), the Talmud of the Land of Israel (ca. 400), and the Talmud of Babylonia (ca. 600), along with the exegetical compilations (‘Midrashim’) devoted to the scriptural books of lectionary status.” (Page ix)
“When the latter prophets died, that is, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi, then the Holy Spirit came to an end in Israel.” (Page 885)
“The Tosefta is one of Judaism’s definitive writings, because the Tosefta forms the bridge between the Mishnah and the two Talmuds, both temporally and in substance.” (Page xii)
“E. ‘Now when it is rebuilt,—quickly in our times!—matters will return to their original state’ [cf.” (Page 613)
“Tosefta, meaning ‘supplement,’ is a corpus of materials correlative to the Mishnah.” (Page xii)
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