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Introduction to Rabbinic Literature
From The Publisher:
With the publication of this volume, the Anchor Bible Reference Library achieves a landmark in the history of rabbinic literature and religion. In Introduction to Rabbinic Literature, legendary author Jacob Neusner collects the essence of a lifetime of scholarship. In short, this book explores the formative age of rabbinic literature, and tells in a simple, straightforward way what these documents are, where to find them, how to read them, and why their contents matter - and it does this all within the confines of one volume. With the hands of a master scholar, Neusner weaves together the rich tapestry of documents that make up the literature of the rabbis, and shows why they are often called "The Other Half of the Torah" - the oral Torah, for they contain the commentary of the great rabbis on ancient scripture. It's all discussed here - the Mishnah, the Tosefta, the Talmuds of the Land of Israel and of Babylonia, the Midrash compilations, and much more. In addition, Neusner pays special attention to the literature of the rabbis as it pertains to the Old Testament and Christianity. In reading this text, it is clear how and why the writings of the great rabbis have taken their place at the summit of humanity's intellectual achievement and heritage. And in the writing of this text, Jacob Neusner has created the definitive and indispensable guide for all those interested in the intriguing world of the rabbis during the centuries immediately following the emergence of Christianity.
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About the Author
Jacob Neusner is Research Professor of Religion and Theology Bard College Annandale-on-Hudson, NY
Table of Contents
Pt. 1 Rabbinic Literature as a Whole
I Defining Rabbinic Literature and Its Principal Parts
II Distinguishing Documents by Distinctive Characteristics: Rhetoric and Topic
III Documentary Coherence and Differentiation: The Four Logics of Coherent Discourse in Rabbinic Literature
IV The Dialectical Argument in Rabbinic Literature
Pt. 2 The Mishnah and Its Exegesis
V The Mishnah
VI The Tosefta
VII The Talmud of the Land of Israel
VIII The Talmud of Babylonia
Pt. 3 The Reception of Scripture: The Three Types of Midrash-Exegesis in Rabbinic Literature
IX Midrash: Writing with Scripture
X Mekhilta Attributed to R. Ishmael (Exodus)
XI Sifra (Leviticus)
XII Sifre to Numbers
XIII Sifre to Deuteronomy
XIV Genesis Rabbah
XV Leviticus Rabbah
XVI Pesiqta de Rab Kahana
XVII Pesiqta Rabbati
XVIII Song of Songs Rabbah
XIX Ruth Rabbah
XX Lamentations Rabbati
XXI Esther Rabbah Part One
Pt. 4 Writing without Authors: The Sage in Rabbinic Literature
XXII Rabbinic Literature and Individual Sages: Writing without Authors
XXIII Tractate Abot (The Fathers)
XXIV Abot de Rabbi Nathan (The Fathers According to Rabbi Nathan)
Pt. 5 The Targumim
XXV The Targumim in the Context of Rabbinic Literature
Pt. 6 Conclusion
XXVI Rabbinic Literature and the Formation of Judaism
Appendix: Two Open Questions in the Study of Rabbinic Literature
Index to Texts
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