Judaism: The Classical Statement

The Evidence of the Bavli

By Jacob Neusner

Judaism: The Classical Statement

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  • ISBN: 9781592443611
  • Pages: 288
  • Publication Date: 9/26/2003
  • Retail Price: $32.00
Web Price: $25.60
Web Price: $25.60

Judaism: The Classical Statement

The Evidence of the Bavli

By Jacob Neusner

paperback-logo

PAPERBACK

  • ISBN: 9781592443611
  • Pages: 288
  • Publication Date: 9/26/2003
  • Retail Price: $32.00
Web Price: $25.60

About-

Produced ca. A.D. 600, the Babylonian Talmud--or Bavli-- serves as the single authoritative statement of Jewish law and theology. In this fourth volume of his examination of major formative texts of Judaism, Jacob Neusner explains how and why the Bavli came to define the Jewish faith from its time to ours. Through an analysis of the text, its sources and editorial organization, he traces the history of the composition of the Babylonian Talmud, clarifies its relation to the earlier corpus of canonical literature, and clearly establishes its philosophical, religious, and cultural context.

Because there is little objective, external evidence from which to interpret the Bavli's development, Neusner uses the signs of redactional layering within the literature to discover the motivations and techniques by which the Talmud was formed. His use of the critical, secular methods of modern literary and historical study is unique in Talmudic exegesis and provides an entirely new perspective for understanding the Bavli in relation to the Mishnah and Yershalmi, the Jerusalem Talmud.

Much of Neusner's research compares the use of the various literary forms of the Mishnah by the editors of the two Talmuds. Offering detailed examples and statistical lists to buttress his analysis, he argues that only in the Bavli have the editors achieved a genuine redactional synthesis between the Mishnah and Hebrew Scriptures, the two major sources of the Jewish tradition. In conclusion, Neusner spells out the religious significance of Bavli's achievement and shows how this unique combination allows for the tradition's continual renewal.

Endorsements & Reviews-

"Neusner is right in claiming that the question of the shape of the Bavli--as a whole--in relation to the Yerushalmi--as a whole--has never been raised in this fashion. His work is original and indeed groundbreaking."

Brevard Childs, Yale Divinity School


"Neusner's work is absolutely original, sometimes in ways which are quite remarkable. He has addressed himself to an ancient literature which is the subject of countless works of commentary, exegesis, and critical study. Yet, he manages to ask questions which no none asked before, to make observations which no one made before, and to put the results of his research and reflection in a form which is replete with new and valuable insights."

Marvin Fox, Director, Lown School of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies, Brandeis University

Contributors-

Jacob Neusner

Bio(s)-

Jacob Neusner is Research Professor of Religion and Theology at Bard College and Senior Fellow of the Institute of Advanced Theology at Bard. He has published more than 900 books and unnumbered articles, both scholarly and academic and popular and journalistic, and is the most published humanities scholar in the world. He has been awarded nine honorary degrees, including seven US and European honorary doctorates. He received his AB from Harvard College in 1953, his PhD from Columbia University and Union Theological Seminary in 1961, and rabbinical ordination and the degree of Master of Hebrew Letters from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America in 1960.

Neusner is editor of the 'Encyclopedia of Judaism' (Brill, 1999. I-III) and its Supplements; Chair of the Editorial Board of 'The Review of Rabbinic Judaism,' and Editor in Chief of 'The Brill Reference Library of Judaism', both published by E. J. Brill, Leiden, The Netherlands. He is editor of 'Studies in Judaism', University Press of America.

Neusner resides with his wife in Rhinebeck, New York. They have a daughter, three sons and three daughters-in-law, six granddaughters and two grandsons.

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