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Introduction to Rabbinic Literature

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In Introduction to Rabbinic Literature, legendary author and teacher Jacob Neusner distills a lifetime of scholarship into the essence of what has been received from the rabbis. This book gives readers everything they need to know to understand rabbinic literature. It explores the formative age and the forces that gave rise to rabbinic literature, and tells in a simple, straightforward way what these documents are, where to find them, how to read them, and why their content matters. Best of all, Neusner masterfully covers all this in one relatively compact volume that both novice and expert can appreciate.

In the Logos edition, this volume is enhanced by amazing functionality. Important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.

If you like this title be sure to check out the Anchor Yale Bible Reference Library (29 vols.).

Resource Experts
  • Provides insight and knowledge of rabbinic literature
  • Explores the formative age and the forces that gave rise to rabbinic literature
  • Discusses what the rabbinic documents are, where to find them, how to read them, and why their content matters
  • Rabbinic Literature as a Whole
  • Distinguishing Documents by Distinctive Characteristics: Rhetoric and Topic
  • Documentary Coherence and Differentiation: The Four Logics of Coherent Discourse in Rabbinic Literature
  • The Dialectical Argument in Rabbinic Literature
  • The Mishnah
  • The Tosefta
  • The Talmud of the Land of Israel
  • The Talmud of Babylonia
  • Midrash: Writing with Scripture
  • Mekhilta Attributed to R. Ishmael (Exodus)
  • Sifra (Leviticus)
  • Sifré to Numbers
  • Sifré to Deuteronomy
  • Genesis Rabbah
  • Leviticus Rabbah
  • Pesiqta deRab Kahana
  • Pesiqta Rabbati
  • Song of Songs Rabbah
  • Ruth Rabbah
  • Lamentations Rabbati
  • Esther Rabbah Part One
  • Rabbinic Literature and Individual Sages: Writing Without Authors
  • Tractate Abot (The Fathers)
  • Abot deRabbi Nathan (The Fathers According to Rabbi Nathan)
  • “The Targumim in the Context of Rabbinic Literature” by Paul V. McCracken Flesher
  • Rabbinic Literature and the Formation of Judaism

Top Highlights

“A simple definition follows from what has been said. Rabbinic literature is the corpus of writing produced in the first seven centuries c.e. by sages who claimed to stand in the chain of tradition from Sinai and uniquely to possess the oral part of the Torah, revealed by God to Moses at Sinai for oral formulation and oral transmission, in addition to the written part of the Torah possessed by all Israel.” (Page 8)

“In the Judaism of the dual Torah, the Torah is set forth and preserved in three media, (1) a book, the Hebrew Scriptures or Old Testament, (2) a memorized oral tradition, first written down in the Mishnah, ca. a.d. 200, and other ancient documents, and (3) the model of a sage who embodies in the here and now the paradigm of Moses, called a rabbi.” (Page 5)

“the fusion of Mishnah and Scripture exegesis in a single compilation” (Page 13)

“No single, unitary, linear ‘Judaism’ ever existed, from the beginnings to the present, defining an ‘orthodoxy” (Pages 5–6)

“formed the climax and conclusion of the entire canon and defined this Judaism from its time to the present” (Page 13)

  • Title: Introduction to Rabbinic Literature
  • Author: Jacob Neusner
  • Series: Anchor Yale Bible Reference Library
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • Print Publication Date: 1994
  • Logos Release Date: 2010
  • Pages: 752
  • Language: English
  • Resources: 1
  • Format: Digital › Logos Research Edition
  • Subjects: Judaism › History--Talmudic period, 10-425; Rabbinical literature › History and criticism
  • ISBNs: 9780385497510, 0385497512
  • Resource Type: Monograph
  • Metadata Last Updated: 2022-09-30T00:46:48Z
Jacob Neusner

Jacob Neusner (1932–2016) was a preeminent scholar of ancient Judaism and one of the most published authors ever, with more than 900 original volumes to his name. He was educated at Harvard University, the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, the University of Oxford, and Yale University. He was research professor of theology and senior fellow of the Institute of Advanced Theology at Bard College. Neusner’s work has been highly influential, if sometimes controversial. He pioneered applying “form criticism” to Rabbinic texts, and aimed at a humanistic and academic reading of ancient Jewish literature.

Neusner’s works include the Jacob Neusner Jewish Studies Bundle (99 vols.).


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    Print list price: $44.00
    Save $9.01 (20%)