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Description - The Literature of Formative Judaism by Jacob Neusner

First published in 1991. This is Volume XI, Part II of a set of twenty volumes of essays and articles on the religion, history and literature on the origins of Judaism. This text looks at to the canon, or holy literature, of Judaism. That literature covers what is called “the Oral Torah.” To understand the concept of the Oral Torah, we have to return to the generative myth of the Judaism that has predominated. For that Judaism appeals to a theory of revelation in two media of formulation and transmission, written and oral, in books and in memory. The written Torah is the Pentateuch and encompasses the whole of the Hebrew Scriptures of ancient Israel (the “Old Testament”). The Oral Torah is ultimately contained in and written down as the Mishnah, expanded and amplified by Tosefta, and the two Talmuds, on the one side, and the Midrash-compilations that serve to explain the written Torah, on the
other.

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