Author Topic: Is the Talmud authoritative?  (Read 5756 times)

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Offline Theophilos78

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Is the Talmud authoritative?
« on: August 30, 2013, 05:44:47 PM »
In Christianity all churches but Reformed ones derive their doctrines from both Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition. I wonder if the endorsement of Sacred Tradition is valid for the texts of Judaism. Do we rely on the Talmud in addition to the Tanakh or are we defenders of Sola Scriptura when the doctrines/teachings of Judaism are in view? Do we make use of some commentaries in the Talmud to explain some verses of the Old Testament?
« Last Edit: August 30, 2013, 05:48:28 PM by Theophilos78 »
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Offline WPM

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Re: Is the Talmud authoritative?
« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2013, 06:16:18 PM »
For some sects of Judaism, yes.

Offline Romaios

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Re: Is the Talmud authoritative?
« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2013, 06:28:28 PM »
For some sects of Judaism, yes.

I can only think of one Jewish sect for which it isn't - the Karaites. Orthodox Jews view it as Torah she be 'al pe, i.e. the codification of "oral Torah".

It might have some authority over Messianic Christians, but none whatsoever among Orthodox, Catholic or mainstream Protestant ones.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2013, 06:28:52 PM by Romaios »

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Re: Is the Talmud authoritative?
« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2013, 06:33:14 PM »
Authoritative in what sense?
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Offline pmpn8rGPT

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Re: Is the Talmud authoritative?
« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2013, 06:38:21 PM »
For some sects of Judaism, yes.

I can only think of one Jewish sect for which it isn't - the Karaites. Orthodox Jews view it as Torah she be 'al pe, i.e. the codification of "oral Torah".

It might have some authority over Messianic Christians, but none whatsoever among Orthodox, Catholic or mainstream Protestant ones.
Some Dispensationalists who believe in a "dual-covenant" might use it as if it were the Old Testament.

I've also noticed a lot of the people converting to Messianic Judaism in the last five years claim to be "Messianic Karaites." Which would make the fringe Dispensationalists and the mainstream Messianic Jews the only Christ-believing sects to have a place for the Talmud.
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Offline Theophilos78

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Re: Is the Talmud authoritative?
« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2013, 06:52:00 PM »
For some sects of Judaism, yes.

I mean Christians! Do we use the Talmud to interpret the Torah or not?
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Offline Theophilos78

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Re: Is the Talmud authoritative?
« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2013, 06:52:45 PM »
Authoritative in what sense?

Authoritative in the sense that its teachings are reliable and true.
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Offline Santagranddad

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Re: Is the Talmud authoritative?
« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2013, 06:54:52 PM »
For some sects of Judaism, yes.

I mean Christians! Do we use the Talmud to interpret the Torah or not?

Short answer, a definite no.

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Re: Is the Talmud authoritative?
« Reply #8 on: August 30, 2013, 06:56:58 PM »
Do we rely on the Talmud in addition to the Tanakh or are we defenders of Sola Scriptura when the doctrines/teachings of Judaism are in view?

Neither. We have our tradition of interpreting and commenting on the Old Testament.

Offline Romaios

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Re: Is the Talmud authoritative?
« Reply #9 on: August 30, 2013, 06:57:49 PM »
Authoritative in what sense?

Authoritative in the sense that its teachings are reliable and true.

Only accidentally.

Offline Theophilos78

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Re: Is the Talmud authoritative?
« Reply #10 on: August 30, 2013, 07:00:35 PM »
For some sects of Judaism, yes.

I mean Christians! Do we use the Talmud to interpret the Torah or not?

Short answer, a definite no.

Why not? I have read some parts from the Talmud recently and can see that they do not contradict what is written in the Torah. The teachings of the Talmud actually deepen our knowledge. Now even some verses of the Torah make more sense to me in the light of the traditional teachings stated in the Talmud!
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Re: Is the Talmud authoritative?
« Reply #11 on: August 30, 2013, 07:03:37 PM »
For some sects of Judaism, yes.

I mean Christians! Do we use the Talmud to interpret the Torah or not?

Short answer, a definite no.

Why not? I have read some parts from the Talmud recently and can see that they do not contradict what is written in the Torah. The teachings of the Talmud actually deepen our knowledge. Now even some verses of the Torah make more sense to me in the light of the traditional teachings stated in the Talmud!
One must remember that the Talmud was written by those who rejected the NT's interpretation of the OT.

Not authoritative, but useful.
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If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
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Re: Is the Talmud authoritative?
« Reply #12 on: August 30, 2013, 07:05:27 PM »
Do we rely on the Talmud in addition to the Tanakh or are we defenders of Sola Scriptura when the doctrines/teachings of Judaism are in view?

Neither. We have our tradition of interpreting and commenting on the Old Testament.
Yes. We don't have a dog in the fight of defending the doctrines/teachings of Judaism, which are not the doctrines/teachings of the OT, but posterior to it (and the NT).
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
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Offline Theophilos78

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Re: Is the Talmud authoritative?
« Reply #13 on: August 30, 2013, 07:05:45 PM »

One must remember that the Talmud was written by those who rejected the NT's interpretation of the OT.

Not authoritative, but useful.
So can we Christians consider the Talmud similar to the non-canonical Gospels of Nativity?
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Offline Romaios

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Re: Is the Talmud authoritative?
« Reply #14 on: August 30, 2013, 07:08:06 PM »
Why not? I have read some parts from the Talmud recently and can see that they do not contradict what is written in the Torah. The teachings of the Talmud actually deepen our knowledge. Now even some verses of the Torah make more sense to me in the light of the traditional teachings stated in the Talmud!

We've inherited a different/rival interpretative tradition - the Talmudic sages are the heirs of the Pharisees. While we have more in common with them than with the Sadducees (belief in the afterlife, the resurrection, angels, etc.), you only have to read the Gospels to see what separates us.  

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Re: Is the Talmud authoritative?
« Reply #15 on: August 30, 2013, 07:12:11 PM »
For some sects of Judaism, yes.

I mean Christians! Do we use the Talmud to interpret the Torah or not?

I'm a Christian and I've never used the Talmud for anything.

Offline Theophilos78

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Re: Is the Talmud authoritative?
« Reply #16 on: August 30, 2013, 07:13:13 PM »
Why not? I have read some parts from the Talmud recently and can see that they do not contradict what is written in the Torah. The teachings of the Talmud actually deepen our knowledge. Now even some verses of the Torah make more sense to me in the light of the traditional teachings stated in the Talmud!

We've inherited a different/rival interpretative tradition - the Talmudic sages are the heirs of the Pharisees. While we have more in common with them than with the Sadducees (belief in the afterlife, the resurrection, angels, etc.), you only have to read the Gospels to see what separates us.  

Then let me ask you a question. In the Book of Exodus we have the following verse:

Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a hand-drum in her hand, and all the women went out after her with hand-drums and with dances. (Exodus 15:20)

Only in this verse of the Torah was Miriam called a prophetess and identified as the Sister of Aaron, rather than as the Sister of Moses or the Sister of both Moses and Aaron.

Why is that?
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Re: Is the Talmud authoritative?
« Reply #17 on: August 30, 2013, 07:15:00 PM »

One must remember that the Talmud was written by those who rejected the NT's interpretation of the OT.

Not authoritative, but useful.
So can we Christians consider the Talmud similar to the non-canonical Gospels of Nativity?
something like that.

To give an example, the Talmud claims that the laying of hands, to transmit authority, was transmitted from the 70 elders and Moses, the the Great Assembly of 120 (the sages between the ending of Prophecy-according to the Talmud-and the destruction of the Temple) to the rabbis.  Whether that is true or not is of no real interest to us nor authoritative as truth, but it is useful to show that the laying of of hands, as practiced by the Apostles, was an institution in the time of Christ.
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Offline Romaios

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Re: Is the Talmud authoritative?
« Reply #18 on: August 30, 2013, 07:15:42 PM »

One must remember that the Talmud was written by those who rejected the NT's interpretation of the OT.

Not authoritative, but useful.
So can we Christians consider the Talmud similar to the non-canonical Gospels of Nativity?

No Gospel in the Talmud: the Messiah has not come as far as they are concerned. Well, Rabbi Akiva thought he was Bar Kosiba, but that's a different story.

I'd much rather compare it to the Qu'ran...
« Last Edit: August 30, 2013, 07:18:52 PM by Romaios »

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Re: Is the Talmud authoritative?
« Reply #19 on: August 30, 2013, 07:16:14 PM »
Why not? I have read some parts from the Talmud recently and can see that they do not contradict what is written in the Torah. The teachings of the Talmud actually deepen our knowledge. Now even some verses of the Torah make more sense to me in the light of the traditional teachings stated in the Talmud!

We've inherited a different/rival interpretative tradition - the Talmudic sages are the heirs of the Pharisees. While we have more in common with them than with the Sadducees (belief in the afterlife, the resurrection, angels, etc.), you only have to read the Gospels to see what separates us.  

Then let me ask you a question. In the Book of Exodus we have the following verse:

Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a hand-drum in her hand, and all the women went out after her with hand-drums and with dances. (Exodus 15:20)

Only in this verse of the Torah was Miriam called a prophetess and identified as the Sister of Aaron, rather than as the Sister of Moses or the Sister of both Moses and Aaron.

Why is that?
Why does it matter?
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth

Offline Theophilos78

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Re: Is the Talmud authoritative?
« Reply #20 on: August 30, 2013, 07:18:04 PM »
Why not? I have read some parts from the Talmud recently and can see that they do not contradict what is written in the Torah. The teachings of the Talmud actually deepen our knowledge. Now even some verses of the Torah make more sense to me in the light of the traditional teachings stated in the Talmud!

We've inherited a different/rival interpretative tradition - the Talmudic sages are the heirs of the Pharisees. While we have more in common with them than with the Sadducees (belief in the afterlife, the resurrection, angels, etc.), you only have to read the Gospels to see what separates us.  

Then let me ask you a question. In the Book of Exodus we have the following verse:

Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a hand-drum in her hand, and all the women went out after her with hand-drums and with dances. (Exodus 15:20)

Only in this verse of the Torah was Miriam called a prophetess and identified as the Sister of Aaron, rather than as the Sister of Moses or the Sister of both Moses and Aaron.

Why is that?
Why does it matter?

To serve as an example! Because the Talmud has the answer and I like the connection between the explanation in the Talmud and this Biblical verse.  ;)
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Re: Is the Talmud authoritative?
« Reply #21 on: August 30, 2013, 07:19:36 PM »
Why not? I have read some parts from the Talmud recently and can see that they do not contradict what is written in the Torah. The teachings of the Talmud actually deepen our knowledge. Now even some verses of the Torah make more sense to me in the light of the traditional teachings stated in the Talmud!

We've inherited a different/rival interpretative tradition - the Talmudic sages are the heirs of the Pharisees. While we have more in common with them than with the Sadducees (belief in the afterlife, the resurrection, angels, etc.), you only have to read the Gospels to see what separates us.  

Then let me ask you a question. In the Book of Exodus we have the following verse:

Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a hand-drum in her hand, and all the women went out after her with hand-drums and with dances. (Exodus 15:20)

Only in this verse of the Torah was Miriam called a prophetess and identified as the Sister of Aaron, rather than as the Sister of Moses or the Sister of both Moses and Aaron.

Why is that?
Why does it matter?

To serve as an example! Because the Talmud has the answer and I like the connection between the explanation in the Talmud and this Biblical verse.  ;)
That might be a little dangerous.
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth

Offline Theophilos78

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Re: Is the Talmud authoritative?
« Reply #22 on: August 30, 2013, 07:21:23 PM »
Why not? I have read some parts from the Talmud recently and can see that they do not contradict what is written in the Torah. The teachings of the Talmud actually deepen our knowledge. Now even some verses of the Torah make more sense to me in the light of the traditional teachings stated in the Talmud!

We've inherited a different/rival interpretative tradition - the Talmudic sages are the heirs of the Pharisees. While we have more in common with them than with the Sadducees (belief in the afterlife, the resurrection, angels, etc.), you only have to read the Gospels to see what separates us.  

Then let me ask you a question. In the Book of Exodus we have the following verse:

Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a hand-drum in her hand, and all the women went out after her with hand-drums and with dances. (Exodus 15:20)

Only in this verse of the Torah was Miriam called a prophetess and identified as the Sister of Aaron, rather than as the Sister of Moses or the Sister of both Moses and Aaron.

Why is that?
Why does it matter?

To serve as an example! Because the Talmud has the answer and I like the connection between the explanation in the Talmud and this Biblical verse.  ;)
That might be a little dangerous.

How so? This is the only answer given in the Talmud and it makes perfect sense!
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Offline Romaios

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Re: Is the Talmud authoritative?
« Reply #23 on: August 30, 2013, 07:27:22 PM »
To serve as an example! Because the Talmud has the answer and I like the connection between the explanation in the Talmud and this Biblical verse.  ;)

It has an answer for almost every imaginable question pertaining to OT minutiae...

Only there is no christological/messianic core to its interpretations. You can sometimes read Christ into them, but any Talmudic scholar worth his salt would smile condescendingly.

Offline Theophilos78

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Re: Is the Talmud authoritative?
« Reply #24 on: August 30, 2013, 07:29:46 PM »
To serve as an example! Because the Talmud has the answer and I like the connection between the explanation in the Talmud and this Biblical verse.  ;)

It has an answer for almost every imaginable question pertaining to OT minutiae...

Only there is no christological/messianic core to its interpretations. You can sometimes read Christ into them, but any Talmudic scholar worth his salt would smile condescendingly.

So is it wrong to consider those answers true or reliable as long as we are looking for answers to such questions related to the Old Testament only?
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Re: Is the Talmud authoritative?
« Reply #25 on: August 30, 2013, 07:32:38 PM »
How much of the Talmud pre-dates Christ?  My understanding was that it's almost entirely post-Christian and perhaps in its teachings and Scriptural interpretations "anti-" Christian.  Why would it be authoritative for Christians?  

I'm with Isa: it may be useful, but that's about it.  I use a JPS Study Bible when reading the OT just to see how they translated it and interpreted it--not because I trust their interpretation, but for the sake of comparison, context, etc.  
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Offline Justin Kissel

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Re: Is the Talmud authoritative?
« Reply #26 on: August 30, 2013, 07:33:55 PM »
It has been too long since I read about Judaism, so someone remind me here... I know that there were plenty of disputes among Rabbis about proper theology/interpretation/practice (some of these disputes even coming up in questions to Jesus in the Gospels)... are these disputes retained in the Talmud (either one), or is there just recorded one standard or authoritative or agreed-upon answer?

Offline Romaios

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Re: Is the Talmud authoritative?
« Reply #27 on: August 30, 2013, 07:37:39 PM »
So is it wrong to consider those answers true or reliable as long as we are looking for answers to such questions related to the Old Testament only?

It depends on what kind of "truth" you are looking for. The Truth (Christ) won't be there. It's not historical-critical exegesis either... It may give you some insight in the history of OT interpretation among the Jews. That could be valuable, if you're interested - for instance - in how some of Our Lord's contemporaries interpreted the OT.  

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Re: Is the Talmud authoritative?
« Reply #28 on: August 30, 2013, 07:40:32 PM »
Why not? I have read some parts from the Talmud recently and can see that they do not contradict what is written in the Torah. The teachings of the Talmud actually deepen our knowledge. Now even some verses of the Torah make more sense to me in the light of the traditional teachings stated in the Talmud!

We've inherited a different/rival interpretative tradition - the Talmudic sages are the heirs of the Pharisees. While we have more in common with them than with the Sadducees (belief in the afterlife, the resurrection, angels, etc.), you only have to read the Gospels to see what separates us.  

Then let me ask you a question. In the Book of Exodus we have the following verse:

Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a hand-drum in her hand, and all the women went out after her with hand-drums and with dances. (Exodus 15:20)

Only in this verse of the Torah was Miriam called a prophetess and identified as the Sister of Aaron, rather than as the Sister of Moses or the Sister of both Moses and Aaron.

Why is that?
Why does it matter?

To serve as an example! Because the Talmud has the answer and I like the connection between the explanation in the Talmud and this Biblical verse.  ;)
That might be a little dangerous.

How so? This is the only answer given in the Talmud and it makes perfect sense!
Does it tell us something about Christ, or about Rabbinic Judaism?
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth

Offline Romaios

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Re: Is the Talmud authoritative?
« Reply #29 on: August 30, 2013, 07:41:21 PM »
It has been too long since I read about Judaism, so someone remind me here... I know that there were plenty of disputes among Rabbis about proper theology/interpretation/practice (some of these disputes even coming up in questions to Jesus in the Gospels)... are these disputes retained in the Talmud (either one), or is there just recorded one standard or authoritative or agreed-upon answer?

It's the pharisaic/rabbinical strand that prevailed after the destruction of the Temple, but you seldom get two rabbis to agree on a given topic in the Talmud. Judaic exegesis is always pluralistic.

Offline Theophilos78

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Re: Is the Talmud authoritative?
« Reply #30 on: August 30, 2013, 07:43:18 PM »
Why not? I have read some parts from the Talmud recently and can see that they do not contradict what is written in the Torah. The teachings of the Talmud actually deepen our knowledge. Now even some verses of the Torah make more sense to me in the light of the traditional teachings stated in the Talmud!

We've inherited a different/rival interpretative tradition - the Talmudic sages are the heirs of the Pharisees. While we have more in common with them than with the Sadducees (belief in the afterlife, the resurrection, angels, etc.), you only have to read the Gospels to see what separates us.  

Then let me ask you a question. In the Book of Exodus we have the following verse:

Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a hand-drum in her hand, and all the women went out after her with hand-drums and with dances. (Exodus 15:20)

Only in this verse of the Torah was Miriam called a prophetess and identified as the Sister of Aaron, rather than as the Sister of Moses or the Sister of both Moses and Aaron.

Why is that?
Why does it matter?

To serve as an example! Because the Talmud has the answer and I like the connection between the explanation in the Talmud and this Biblical verse.  ;)
That might be a little dangerous.

How so? This is the only answer given in the Talmud and it makes perfect sense!
Does it tell us something about Christ, or about Rabbinic Judaism?

None. It only implicitly connects Exodus 15:20 to the days of Moses' birth. Maybe the person writing that did not mean a connection. Maybe it is me who can establish a connection since there is nothing explicit in the Talmud.  :D

It came to pass about this time that Miriam, the daughter of Amram, the sister of Aaron, prophesied and said, "A second son will be born to my father and mother, and he will deliver the Israelites from the Egyptian power." http://www.sacred-texts.com/jud/pol/pol09.htm

Miriam was called the Sister of Aaron because she was only Aaron's sister at that time and she prophesied Moses' birth. In Exodus 15:20 Miriam was called the Sister of Aaron and a prophetess exactly when the second part of her prophecy related to Moses (Israelites' salvation from Egyptians) was fulfilled. 
« Last Edit: August 30, 2013, 07:51:36 PM by Theophilos78 »
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Re: Is the Talmud authoritative?
« Reply #31 on: August 30, 2013, 07:49:52 PM »
Why not? I have read some parts from the Talmud recently and can see that they do not contradict what is written in the Torah. The teachings of the Talmud actually deepen our knowledge. Now even some verses of the Torah make more sense to me in the light of the traditional teachings stated in the Talmud!

We've inherited a different/rival interpretative tradition - the Talmudic sages are the heirs of the Pharisees. While we have more in common with them than with the Sadducees (belief in the afterlife, the resurrection, angels, etc.), you only have to read the Gospels to see what separates us.  

Then let me ask you a question. In the Book of Exodus we have the following verse:

Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a hand-drum in her hand, and all the women went out after her with hand-drums and with dances. (Exodus 15:20)

Only in this verse of the Torah was Miriam called a prophetess and identified as the Sister of Aaron, rather than as the Sister of Moses or the Sister of both Moses and Aaron.

Why is that?
Why does it matter?

To serve as an example! Because the Talmud has the answer and I like the connection between the explanation in the Talmud and this Biblical verse.  ;)
That might be a little dangerous.

How so? This is the only answer given in the Talmud and it makes perfect sense!
Does it tell us something about Christ, or about Rabbinic Judaism?

None. It only implicitly connects Exodus 15:20 to the days of Moses' birth. Maybe the person writing that did not mean a connection. Maybe it is me who can establish a connection since there is nothing explicit in the Talmud.  :D
What connection does the rabbi make to Moses' birth.

Btw, there is also the issue that the text the rabbis are using does not match the LXX (it doesn't match the MT either).  Btw, that is one place where it is useful: the rabbis comment on Sirach, showing that the Jews indeed accept it before the Christians showed it as the possession of the Church.
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
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if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth

Offline Theophilos78

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Re: Is the Talmud authoritative?
« Reply #32 on: August 30, 2013, 07:53:47 PM »

What connection does the rabbi make to Moses' birth.

Btw, there is also the issue that the text the rabbis are using does not match the LXX (it doesn't match the MT either).  Btw, that is one place where it is useful: the rabbis comment on Sirach, showing that the Jews indeed accept it before the Christians showed it as the possession of the Church.

Apparently, it is only quasi-Rabbi Theophilos who is making that connection!  ;D
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Offline Santagranddad

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Re: Is the Talmud authoritative?
« Reply #33 on: August 30, 2013, 08:20:11 PM »

What connection does the rabbi make to Moses' birth.

Btw, there is also the issue that the text the rabbis are using does not match the LXX (it doesn't match the MT either).  Btw, that is one place where it is useful: the rabbis comment on Sirach, showing that the Jews indeed accept it before the Christians showed it as the possession of the Church.

Apparently, it is only quasi-Rabbi Theophilos who is making that connection!  ;D

Oh vey, what's with the joke............

Offline Theophilos78

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Re: Is the Talmud authoritative?
« Reply #34 on: August 30, 2013, 08:25:28 PM »

What connection does the rabbi make to Moses' birth.

Btw, there is also the issue that the text the rabbis are using does not match the LXX (it doesn't match the MT either).  Btw, that is one place where it is useful: the rabbis comment on Sirach, showing that the Jews indeed accept it before the Christians showed it as the possession of the Church.

Apparently, it is only quasi-Rabbi Theophilos who is making that connection!  ;D

Oh vey, what's with the joke............

Well, joke aside, I still think that the connection I establish between that teaching in the Talmud and Exodus 15:20 makes sense.
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Re: Is the Talmud authoritative?
« Reply #35 on: August 30, 2013, 09:09:42 PM »
I don't think it's authoritative for Jews, let alone Christians.

But it's insightful to read about the Rabbinical understanding of the Messiah.

I read somewhere in one of the books of Sanhedrin, that the Messiah would come on the clouds of heaven (citing Daniel 7:13) if the Jewish people were worthy, and on an ass if they were not worthy (citing Zechariah?).

It's funny how they cite Daniel about the clouds of heaven, but not the "he will be given dominion, and authority and people's of all languages shall worship him." bit.

I think I understand why Christ thought they were unworthy.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2013, 09:23:17 PM by xOrthodox4Christx »
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Re: Is the Talmud authoritative?
« Reply #36 on: August 30, 2013, 09:21:10 PM »
How much of the Talmud pre-dates Christ?  My understanding was that it's almost entirely post-Christian and perhaps in its teachings and Scriptural interpretations "anti-" Christian.  Why would it be authoritative for Christians?  

I'm with Isa: it may be useful, but that's about it.  I use a JPS Study Bible when reading the OT just to see how they translated it and interpreted it--not because I trust their interpretation, but for the sake of comparison, context, etc.  

Jews claim that the oral tradition that the Talmud is based on is as old as the times of Moses. But there is no historical data to prove that. The Talmud was written down after Christ.

I use a JPS because I like learning Hebrew, I don't trust the interpretation, it's based on later Rabbinical traditions like those of Rashi and Ramban.
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Re: Is the Talmud authoritative?
« Reply #37 on: August 31, 2013, 07:10:04 AM »
Besides, is it not true that Yeshua endorsed some traditional teachings of Judaism when He said that Moses had written about Him? (John 5:46)

What about St. Paul? He wrote:

Why then was the law given? It was added because of transgressions, until the arrival of the descendant to whom the promise had been made. It was administered through angels by an intermediary. (Galatians 3:19)


Isn't the teaching that the Law was "administered by angels" Talmudic or based on the Judaic tradition rather than on the Old Testament?
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Re: Is the Talmud authoritative?
« Reply #38 on: August 31, 2013, 07:20:39 AM »
Besides, is it not true that Yeshua endorsed some traditional teachings of Judaism when He said that Moses had written about Him? (John 5:46)

What about St. Paul? He wrote:

Why then was the law given? It was added because of transgressions, until the arrival of the descendant to whom the promise had been made. It was administered through angels by an intermediary. (Galatians 3:19)


Isn't the teaching that the Law was "administered by angels" Talmudic or based on the Judaic tradition rather than on the Old Testament?

Even though St. Paul may have used Judaic/rabbinical methods of exegesis (midrash, etc.), the Talmud only came to be some 400 years after him. So no, he wasn't a Talmudist... 

You might enjoy E.P. Sanders' Paul and Palestinian Judaism.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2013, 07:39:46 AM by Romaios »

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Re: Is the Talmud authoritative?
« Reply #39 on: August 31, 2013, 07:28:43 AM »
I assume its like the hadith, whatever they like is authorative and whatever they dislike cannot be trusted.

May be an unfair assessment though.
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Re: Is the Talmud authoritative?
« Reply #40 on: August 31, 2013, 02:24:58 PM »
I assume its like the hadith, whatever they like is authorative and whatever they dislike cannot be trusted.

May be an unfair assessment though.

It is not at all like this.
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Re: Is the Talmud authoritative?
« Reply #41 on: August 31, 2013, 03:03:14 PM »
Besides, is it not true that Yeshua endorsed some traditional teachings of Judaism when He said that Moses had written about Him? (John 5:46)
That would be the Pentateuch.
What about St. Paul? He wrote:

Why then was the law given? It was added because of transgressions, until the arrival of the descendant to whom the promise had been made. It was administered through angels by an intermediary. (Galatians 3:19)


Isn't the teaching that the Law was "administered by angels" Talmudic or based on the Judaic tradition rather than on the Old Testament?
or based on Hebrew Tradition incorporated into the Talmud as Judaid tradition after the NT.

It is like equating the MT Tanakh to the original OT because both were (mostly) in Hebrew.  We know that the MT was not used by the Apostles, because it was not redacted until nearly a millenium after them.  So too equating the Talmud from the traditions of the Hebrews in the time of Christ, which Tradition the Talmud was derived from but not identical to.
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Re: Is the Talmud authoritative?
« Reply #42 on: September 01, 2013, 01:57:53 AM »
I assume its like the hadith, whatever they like is authorative and whatever they dislike cannot be trusted.

May be an unfair assessment though.

It is not at all like this.
Very well then.
Thank you.

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Re: Is the Talmud authoritative?
« Reply #43 on: September 01, 2013, 03:14:13 AM »
About as authoritative as my posting history, and even then, at least I can make most readers laugh.
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Re: Is the Talmud authoritative?
« Reply #44 on: September 01, 2013, 07:45:27 AM »
I assume its like the hadith, whatever they like is authorative and whatever they dislike cannot be trusted.

May be an unfair assessment though.

It is not at all like this.
Very well then.

Actually it's very much like this. The Talmud is the backbone of Judaism. It's more important than the Tanakh itself. The Rabbis are considered to be more knowledgeable than the prophets. And it certainly operates on similar ground as the Hadith.
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Re: Is the Talmud authoritative?
« Reply #45 on: September 01, 2013, 09:15:39 AM »
For some sects of Judaism, yes.

I mean Christians! Do we use the Talmud to interpret the Torah or not?

Short answer, a definite no.

Where does this definitiveness come from?

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Re: Is the Talmud authoritative?
« Reply #46 on: September 01, 2013, 09:18:58 AM »
For some sects of Judaism, yes.

I mean Christians! Do we use the Talmud to interpret the Torah or not?

Short answer, a definite no.

Where does this definitiveness come from?

Why would a Jewish text, which post-dates the Apostolic era, be used by Christians??
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Re: Is the Talmud authoritative?
« Reply #47 on: September 01, 2013, 09:33:10 AM »
For some sects of Judaism, yes.

I mean Christians! Do we use the Talmud to interpret the Torah or not?

Short answer, a definite no.

Where does this definitiveness come from?

Why would a Jewish text, which post-dates the Apostolic era, be used by Christians??

Its oral tradition definetly predates the Apostolic era or is as old as it. Even on the time of Jesus there are signs of a predominant oral tradition. Not to mention that St Paul's  and other Apostles vocabulary and methodology is the same as that of the Talmudic sages.


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Re: Is the Talmud authoritative?
« Reply #48 on: September 01, 2013, 09:55:43 AM »
Its oral tradition definetly predates the Apostolic era or is as old as it. Even on the time of Jesus there are signs of a predominant oral tradition.

Quote from: Mark 7:8
For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do .

Quote from: Luke 11:46
Woe unto you also, ye lawyers! for ye lade men with burdens grievous to be borne, and ye yourselves touch not the burdens with one of your fingers.

Quote from: Matthew 23:23-24
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.
« Last Edit: September 01, 2013, 10:01:52 AM by Romaios »

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Re: Is the Talmud authoritative?
« Reply #49 on: September 01, 2013, 10:46:02 AM »
For some sects of Judaism, yes.

I mean Christians! Do we use the Talmud to interpret the Torah or not?

Short answer, a definite no.

Where does this definitiveness come from?

Why would a Jewish text, which post-dates the Apostolic era, be used by Christians??

Its oral tradition definetly predates the Apostolic era or is as old as it. Even on the time of Jesus there are signs of a predominant oral tradition. Not to mention that St Paul's  and other Apostles vocabulary and methodology is the same as that of the Talmudic sages.



There were many oral traditions at the time of the Apostles and the Christ. The Sadducees, Pharisees, Essenes, Samaritans, and proto-Christians are examples of the variance of oral tradition in second temple Judaism. The Talmud was just the only oral tradition that survived long enough to be written down.
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Re: Is the Talmud authoritative?
« Reply #50 on: September 01, 2013, 01:43:59 PM »
Its oral tradition definetly predates the Apostolic era or is as old as it. Even on the time of Jesus there are signs of a predominant oral tradition.

Quote from: Mark 7:8
For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do .

Quote from: Luke 11:46
Woe unto you also, ye lawyers! for ye lade men with burdens grievous to be borne, and ye yourselves touch not the burdens with one of your fingers.

Quote from: Matthew 23:23-24
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.

Yes, but we want the Tradition of God, not the traditions of men.
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Offline lovetzatziki

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Re: Is the Talmud authoritative?
« Reply #51 on: September 02, 2013, 09:25:14 AM »
For some sects of Judaism, yes.

I mean Christians! Do we use the Talmud to interpret the Torah or not?

Short answer, a definite no.

Where does this definitiveness come from?

Why would a Jewish text, which post-dates the Apostolic era, be used by Christians??

Its oral tradition definetly predates the Apostolic era or is as old as it. Even on the time of Jesus there are signs of a predominant oral tradition. Not to mention that St Paul's  and other Apostles vocabulary and methodology is the same as that of the Talmudic sages.



There were many oral traditions at the time of the Apostles and the Christ. The Sadducees, Pharisees, Essenes, Samaritans, and proto-Christians are examples of the variance of oral tradition in second temple Judaism. The Talmud was just the only oral tradition that survived long enough to be written down.

The Zealots... Indeed there were many Jewish sects in the first century, nevertheless some Christians keep forgetting that Christianity came from this Tradition.

Offline lovetzatziki

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Re: Is the Talmud authoritative?
« Reply #52 on: September 02, 2013, 09:36:09 AM »
Its oral tradition definetly predates the Apostolic era or is as old as it. Even on the time of Jesus there are signs of a predominant oral tradition.

Quote from: Mark 7:8
For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do .

Quote from: Luke 11:46
Woe unto you also, ye lawyers! for ye lade men with burdens grievous to be borne, and ye yourselves touch not the burdens with one of your fingers.

Quote from: Matthew 23:23-24
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.


John 1:21 They asked him, "What then ? Are you Elijah ?" And he said, "I am not." "Are you the Prophet ?" And he answered, "No." 22 Then they said to him, "Who are you, so that we may give an answer to those who sent us? What do you say about yourself ?"

Mark 9:11 Also they asked him, saying, Why say the Scribes, that Elijah must first come?
12 And he answered, and said unto them, Elijah verily shall first come, and restore all things: and as it is written of the Son of man, he must suffer many things, and be set at nought.




Offline Santagranddad

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Re: Is the Talmud authoritative?
« Reply #53 on: September 02, 2013, 09:38:02 AM »
For some sects of Judaism, yes.

I mean Christians! Do we use the Talmud to interpret the Torah or not?

Short answer, a definite no.

Where does this definitiveness come from?

Why would a Jewish text, which post-dates the Apostolic era, be used by Christians??

Its oral tradition definetly predates the Apostolic era or is as old as it. Even on the time of Jesus there are signs of a predominant oral tradition. Not to mention that St Paul's  and other Apostles vocabulary and methodology is the same as that of the Talmudic sages.



There were many oral traditions at the time of the Apostles and the Christ. The Sadducees, Pharisees, Essenes, Samaritans, and proto-Christians are examples of the variance of oral tradition in second temple Judaism. The Talmud was just the only oral tradition that survived long enough to be written down.

The Zealots... Indeed there were many Jewish sects in the first century, nevertheless some Christians keep forgetting that Christianity came from this Tradition.

Not sure anyone is forgetting the origins of our Faith but has it authority now, for Christians? No. Is it a singular survivor of an early oral tradition only later written down? Maybe so, but how does that advance the case for the Talmud having authority for Christians is not at all clear, sorry.

Offline Romaios

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Re: Is the Talmud authoritative?
« Reply #54 on: September 02, 2013, 09:41:49 AM »
^ Christianity was from the very beginning a different strand: it was neither Pharisaic, Sadducean, Essene, Samaritan or Zealot Judaism.


Offline Romaios

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Re: Is the Talmud authoritative?
« Reply #55 on: September 02, 2013, 09:42:33 AM »
Its oral tradition definetly predates the Apostolic era or is as old as it. Even on the time of Jesus there are signs of a predominant oral tradition.

Quote from: Mark 7:8
For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do .

Quote from: Luke 11:46
Woe unto you also, ye lawyers! for ye lade men with burdens grievous to be borne, and ye yourselves touch not the burdens with one of your fingers.

Quote from: Matthew 23:23-24
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.

Yes, but we want the Tradition of God, not the traditions of men.

Then the Talmud won't be of much use...

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Re: Is the Talmud authoritative?
« Reply #56 on: September 05, 2013, 04:04:59 PM »
You don't think Christ -- not to mention folks like Paul -- don't/didn't know the Talmud backward and forward? You don't think that Christ understood that he was fulfilling oral as well as written Jewish tradition?

So maybe -- just maybe -- it might be worth knowing the Talmud, if only to understand what the heck Christ was up to and what Paul was writing about.



« Last Edit: September 05, 2013, 04:06:01 PM by Rambam »

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Re: Is the Talmud authoritative?
« Reply #57 on: September 05, 2013, 04:12:01 PM »
You don't think Christ -- not to mention folks like Paul -- don't/didn't know the Talmud backward and forward? You don't think that Christ understood that he was fulfilling oral as well as written Jewish tradition?

So maybe -- just maybe -- it might be worth knowing the Talmud, if only to understand what the heck Christ was up to and what Paul was writing about.
Talmud =/= Hebrew oral Tradition.  Hence there is no guarantee of it leading to understanding what Christ and St. Paul was writing about (though it does in spots), as there was no Talmud in their day to know backward and forward.
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Re: Is the Talmud authoritative?
« Reply #58 on: September 05, 2013, 04:26:45 PM »
You don't think Christ -- not to mention folks like Paul -- don't/didn't know the Talmud backward and forward? You don't think that Christ understood that he was fulfilling oral as well as written Jewish tradition?

So maybe -- just maybe -- it might be worth knowing the Talmud, if only to understand what the heck Christ was up to and what Paul was writing about.
Talmud =/= Hebrew oral Tradition.  Hence there is no guarantee of it leading to understanding what Christ and St. Paul was writing about (though it does in spots), as there was no Talmud in their day to know backward and forward.

As I understand it -- and I recognize that I'm no scholar -- the Talmud is the written codification of part of the oral law transmitted by God to Moses on Mt. Sinai. In any event, my broader point is that nobody knew Jewish tradition better than Christ -- isn't there a place in the Bible where he, as a child, is instructing the priests at the temple? So why not get comfy with what the rabbis say? Christ clearly was.

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Re: Is the Talmud authoritative?
« Reply #59 on: September 10, 2013, 10:39:04 PM »
As I understand it -- and I recognize that I'm no scholar -- the Talmud is the written codification of part of the oral law transmitted by God to Moses on Mt. Sinai. In any event, my broader point is that nobody knew Jewish tradition better than Christ -- isn't there a place in the Bible where he, as a child, is instructing the priests at the temple? So why not get comfy with what the rabbis say? Christ clearly was.
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Re: Is the Talmud authoritative?
« Reply #60 on: September 10, 2013, 10:46:44 PM »
^ Rabbeinu Mosheh Ben Maimon (Rabbi  Maimonides).

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Re: Is the Talmud authoritative?
« Reply #61 on: September 10, 2013, 10:52:46 PM »
You don't think Christ -- not to mention folks like Paul -- don't/didn't know the Talmud backward and forward? You don't think that Christ understood that he was fulfilling oral as well as written Jewish tradition?

So maybe -- just maybe -- it might be worth knowing the Talmud, if only to understand what the heck Christ was up to and what Paul was writing about.
Talmud =/= Hebrew oral Tradition.  Hence there is no guarantee of it leading to understanding what Christ and St. Paul was writing about (though it does in spots), as there was no Talmud in their day to know backward and forward.

As I understand it -- and I recognize that I'm no scholar -- the Talmud is the written codification of part of the oral law transmitted by God to Moses on Mt. Sinai. In any event, my broader point is that nobody knew Jewish tradition better than Christ -- isn't there a place in the Bible where he, as a child, is instructing the priests at the temple? So why not get comfy with what the rabbis say? Christ clearly was.
I doubt He was comfy with the rabbis saying that His mother conceived from being raped/fornicating with a Roman soldier named Panther (<Parthenos "Virgin"), codified in the Talmud.

Again, the Talmud does not codify the Hebrew tradition of Christ's day.  Rather it comes as a Jewish redaction in rejection of Christ.
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Re: Is the Talmud authoritative?
« Reply #62 on: September 10, 2013, 10:54:33 PM »
^ Rabbeinu Mosheh Ben Maimon (Rabbi  Maimonides).
Yes, and it is not the saint in the avatar, St. Alexander Schmorell
http://sainteliaschurch.blogspot.com/2012/02/nazi-fighter-and-white-rose-founder.html
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Re: Is the Talmud authoritative?
« Reply #63 on: September 11, 2013, 12:31:41 AM »
It is useful and informative like the writings of Josephus and Tacitus and Pliny, but like them, not authoritative.
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Offline Cognomen

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Re: Is the Talmud authoritative?
« Reply #64 on: September 11, 2013, 01:48:08 AM »
I don't mind the discourse, but I find something quite disturbing about the various Orthodox-identifying people in this thread drawn to defend the authority of the Talmud.
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Offline lovesupreme

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Re: Is the Talmud authoritative?
« Reply #65 on: September 11, 2013, 02:32:13 AM »
Orthodox Christians do not adhere to the Talmud. Any "good" teachings found there are a result of our shared traditions; I would not want to be the person who tries to separate the "good" from the rest.

Stick to the Fathers. :)
« Last Edit: September 11, 2013, 02:32:39 AM by lovesupreme »

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Re: Is the Talmud authoritative?
« Reply #66 on: September 11, 2013, 06:41:44 AM »
I don't mind the discourse, but I find something quite disturbing about the various Orthodox-identifying people in this thread drawn to defend the authority of the Talmud.

Indeed.
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Re: Is the Talmud authoritative?
« Reply #67 on: September 11, 2013, 03:56:11 PM »
I don't mind the discourse, but I find something quite disturbing about the various Orthodox-identifying people in this thread drawn to defend the authority of the Talmud.

Indeed.

Maybe the confusion is about what "authority" means. I take "authority" to mean something like, "This is the absolute truth and there is no room for wiggle room and you must agree."

In that sense -- and admitting I don't have a clue -- I would doubt rabbis would say that the Talmud or Mishna or whatever are authoritative. There's a great love for argument and discourse -- and a hesitancy to declare that a bunch of human beings have finally arrived at an "Ah ha!" point regarding God. There's just so much we don't know and can't know.

So ... just so we're clear ... I'm not defending the authority of anything. In fact, I'd say that very little stuff out there as "authority" -- in the sense I defined it above -- so it can't hurt to look at what other folks say.

Take, for example, questions that we might have: So God created light before the Sun and the Moon, so where does the light come from? Or that Cain eventually got married and had a family. Who the heck did he marry? Given that Jews had a 2,000 year head start, it might be interesting to see what they say about these issues -- and, as importantly -- how their discussion may inform our knowledge as Christians.

Just seems a little rash to call it all trash, especially since Christ was intimately familiar with the Rabbinic perspectives. If it was good enough for him, maybe ... ?

« Last Edit: September 11, 2013, 03:56:56 PM by Rambam »

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Re: Is the Talmud authoritative?
« Reply #68 on: September 11, 2013, 04:06:26 PM »
I don't mind the discourse, but I find something quite disturbing about the various Orthodox-identifying people in this thread drawn to defend the authority of the Talmud.

Indeed.

Maybe the confusion is about what "authority" means. I take "authority" to mean something like, "This is the absolute truth and there is no room for wiggle room and you must agree."

In that sense -- and admitting I don't have a clue -- I would doubt rabbis would say that the Talmud or Mishna or whatever are authoritative. There's a great love for argument and discourse -- and a hesitancy to declare that a bunch of human beings have finally arrived at an "Ah ha!" point regarding God. There's just so much we don't know and can't know.

So ... just so we're clear ... I'm not defending the authority of anything. In fact, I'd say that very little stuff out there as "authority" -- in the sense I defined it above -- so it can't hurt to look at what other folks say.

Take, for example, questions that we might have: So God created light before the Sun and the Moon, so where does the light come from? Or that Cain eventually got married and had a family. Who the heck did he marry? Given that Jews had a 2,000 year head start, it might be interesting to see what they say about these issues -- and, as importantly -- how their discussion may inform our knowledge as Christians.

Just seems a little rash to call it all trash, especially since Christ was intimately familiar with the Rabbinic perspectives. If it was good enough for him, maybe ... ?


what makes you think it was "good enough for Him", particularly when He, in showing His intimate familiarity with it, contrasts it with His teaching?
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Re: Is the Talmud authoritative?
« Reply #69 on: September 11, 2013, 04:15:47 PM »
I don't mind the discourse, but I find something quite disturbing about the various Orthodox-identifying people in this thread drawn to defend the authority of the Talmud.

Indeed.

Maybe the confusion is about what "authority" means. I take "authority" to mean something like, "This is the absolute truth and there is no room for wiggle room and you must agree."

In that sense -- and admitting I don't have a clue -- I would doubt rabbis would say that the Talmud or Mishna or whatever are authoritative. There's a great love for argument and discourse -- and a hesitancy to declare that a bunch of human beings have finally arrived at an "Ah ha!" point regarding God. There's just so much we don't know and can't know.

So ... just so we're clear ... I'm not defending the authority of anything. In fact, I'd say that very little stuff out there as "authority" -- in the sense I defined it above -- so it can't hurt to look at what other folks say.

Take, for example, questions that we might have: So God created light before the Sun and the Moon, so where does the light come from? Or that Cain eventually got married and had a family. Who the heck did he marry? Given that Jews had a 2,000 year head start, it might be interesting to see what they say about these issues -- and, as importantly -- how their discussion may inform our knowledge as Christians.

Just seems a little rash to call it all trash, especially since Christ was intimately familiar with the Rabbinic perspectives. If it was good enough for him, maybe ... ?


what makes you think it was "good enough for Him", particularly when He, in showing His intimate familiarity with it, contrasts it with His teaching?

I think that's a little off topic and a mis-read of what I've said. I said he knew it. That's it. John 7 talks about Christ teaching at the temple and the Jews' astonishment at his knowledge.

Paul was a "Hebrew of Hebrews" (Phil 3) and would use his knowledge of Judaism to convince folks to become Christians.

I'm just sayin'.




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Re: Is the Talmud authoritative?
« Reply #70 on: September 11, 2013, 04:16:48 PM »
Hey, instead of nit-picking me, what do you think? What's the meaning of "authoritative"? Is it worth knowing Talmud at all? Should we just chunk it in the Dumpster?
« Last Edit: September 11, 2013, 04:17:10 PM by Rambam »

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Re: Is the Talmud authoritative?
« Reply #71 on: September 11, 2013, 04:35:02 PM »
Hey, instead of nit-picking me, what do you think? What's the meaning of "authoritative"? Is it worth knowing Talmud at all? Should we just chunk it in the Dumpster?
"When Jesus had finished these words, the crowds were amazed at His teaching; for He was teaching them as one having authority, and not as their scribes [i.e. the rabbis of the Talmud]."
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Offline Rambam

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Re: Is the Talmud authoritative?
« Reply #72 on: September 11, 2013, 04:44:12 PM »
Hey, instead of nit-picking me, what do you think? What's the meaning of "authoritative"? Is it worth knowing Talmud at all? Should we just chunk it in the Dumpster?
"When Jesus had finished these words, the crowds were amazed at His teaching; for He was teaching them as one having authority, and not as their scribes [i.e. the rabbis of the Talmud]."

Aaaaaand ... my questions still stand. Thanks for the input, though! 

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Re: Is the Talmud authoritative?
« Reply #73 on: September 12, 2013, 01:18:14 AM »
Hey, instead of nit-picking me, what do you think? What's the meaning of "authoritative"? Is it worth knowing Talmud at all? Should we just chunk it in the Dumpster?

You'd have to get a pretty big dumpster to fit the complete, full-sized, 75 volume Scottenstein set in there. And that's just the Babylonian!

I didn't study Talmud for very long, but there were certainly parts of it that I found insightful and inspiring. Of course, there were other parts that I found extremely boring and tedious (those were the parts that I, as a yeshiva student, needed to study). Still, there was a sense of mental accomplishment when I could finally process a difficult argument between the rabbis.

If you're not an Orthodox Jew, I'd say that the Talmud is still useful to study, if only to understand the rabbinical tradition. There are some particularly beautiful parts in between the heated legal arguments; those who want to trim the fat should check out The Book of Legends, or Ein Yaakov.

All that said, I would never consider the Talmud an authority as far as I, an Orthodox Christian, am concerned. I ought to live, to the best of my ability, within the confines of the Church and its teachings. As I said before: what beauty there is in the Talmud comes from the Truth that the Church most fully embodies, above all other bodies and traditions.

It's an authority for Orthodox Jews, but even they turn to living authorities for interpreting the Law. To use the Talmud as a "guide" would be disastrous without a rabbi. How much moreso should an Orthodox Christian avoid turning to a text outside his tradition as an authority.

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Re: Is the Talmud authoritative?
« Reply #74 on: September 12, 2013, 10:05:53 AM »
Hey, instead of nit-picking me, what do you think? What's the meaning of "authoritative"? Is it worth knowing Talmud at all? Should we just chunk it in the Dumpster?

You'd have to get a pretty big dumpster to fit the complete, full-sized, 75 volume Scottenstein set in there. And that's just the Babylonian!

I didn't study Talmud for very long, but there were certainly parts of it that I found insightful and inspiring. Of course, there were other parts that I found extremely boring and tedious (those were the parts that I, as a yeshiva student, needed to study). Still, there was a sense of mental accomplishment when I could finally process a difficult argument between the rabbis.

If you're not an Orthodox Jew, I'd say that the Talmud is still useful to study, if only to understand the rabbinical tradition. There are some particularly beautiful parts in between the heated legal arguments; those who want to trim the fat should check out The Book of Legends, or Ein Yaakov.

All that said, I would never consider the Talmud an authority as far as I, an Orthodox Christian, am concerned. I ought to live, to the best of my ability, within the confines of the Church and its teachings. As I said before: what beauty there is in the Talmud comes from the Truth that the Church most fully embodies, above all other bodies and traditions.

It's an authority for Orthodox Jews, but even they turn to living authorities for interpreting the Law. To use the Talmud as a "guide" would be disastrous without a rabbi. How much moreso should an Orthodox Christian avoid turning to a text outside his tradition as an authority.

Good take. It can be a useful tool -- at least I've found it (and the Jewish perspective more broadly) useful. But it's not 'authoritative.'

You know, it's interesting that the last part of what you say -- using the Talmud without a guide can be disastrous -- would also apply to the Bible.

... so ... does that mean the Bible is not ... authoritative?     

My answer would be "no" -- the problem is, what the heck does 'authoritative' mean, anyway?

Offline rakovsky

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Re: Is the Talmud authoritative?
« Reply #75 on: September 12, 2013, 10:18:37 AM »
I don't mind the discourse, but I find something quite disturbing about the various Orthodox-identifying people in this thread drawn to defend the authority of the Talmud.

Indeed.

Maybe the confusion is about what "authority" means.

Just seems a little rash to call it all trash, especially since Christ was intimately familiar with the Rabbinic perspectives. If it was good enough for him, maybe ... ?
It goes back to what Ialmisry said above- that it is at best helpful, like Josephus and Pliny.

The difference between Jesus and the rabbis, and the Talmud, is that the Talmud was made centuries after Jesus' arguments with the rabbis, so differences had solidified by the time the Talmud was written. Familiarity with a perspective does not mean agreeing with it, or that he necessarily considered it all good.

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Re: Is the Talmud authoritative?
« Reply #76 on: September 12, 2013, 10:23:36 AM »
I don't mind the discourse, but I find something quite disturbing about the various Orthodox-identifying people in this thread drawn to defend the authority of the Talmud.

Indeed.

Maybe the confusion is about what "authority" means.

Just seems a little rash to call it all trash, especially since Christ was intimately familiar with the Rabbinic perspectives. If it was good enough for him, maybe ... ?
It goes back to what Ialmisry said above- that it is at best helpful, like Josephus and Pliny.

The difference between Jesus and the rabbis, and the Talmud, is that the Talmud was made centuries after Jesus' arguments with the rabbis, so differences had solidified by the time the Talmud was written. Familiarity with a perspective does not mean agreeing with it, or that he necessarily considered it all good.

Well, helpful is good, isn't it?

And yeah, you don't need to agree with it -- sometimes reading the other side's perspective is a good way of strengthening your own views. So there's that.

Offline rakovsky

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Re: Is the Talmud authoritative?
« Reply #77 on: September 12, 2013, 11:15:10 AM »
Does the Talmud mention Jesus, Rambam?

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Re: Is the Talmud authoritative?
« Reply #78 on: September 12, 2013, 11:22:47 AM »
Does the Talmud mention Jesus, Rambam?

Yep. And it ain't so, uh, positive.*

*At least most of the time.  


I'll wait for you to take this somewhere before I start making up a bunch of anticipatory excuses. Ha.


« Last Edit: September 12, 2013, 11:26:14 AM by Rambam »

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Re: Is the Talmud authoritative?
« Reply #79 on: September 12, 2013, 12:22:41 PM »
Does the Talmud mention Jesus, Rambam?

Yep. And it ain't so, uh, positive.*

*At least most of the time.  


I'll wait for you to take this somewhere before I start making up a bunch of anticipatory excuses. Ha.
What does it say about Him?

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Re: Is the Talmud authoritative?
« Reply #80 on: September 12, 2013, 12:35:19 PM »
Does the Talmud mention Jesus, Rambam?

Yep. And it ain't so, uh, positive.*

*At least most of the time.  


I'll wait for you to take this somewhere before I start making up a bunch of anticipatory excuses. Ha.
What does it say about Him?

Here's a whole Wiki page that answers your question specifically: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesus_in_the_Talmud

It's pretty bad, and actually worse than I thought.

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Re: Is the Talmud authoritative?
« Reply #81 on: September 12, 2013, 12:59:41 PM »
Let me toss this nugget out there ...

Folks say all the time, if you want to know if God exists in the world, just look around you. This works for some people; unfortunately, I don't have that kind of orientation. A tree is beautiful, but it doesn't help me see God.

When I have doubts, what works for me is digging into the language of the Old Testament. I like to sit down with a concordance and just start translating names in geneologies -- it's amazing what you find just by doing that. I also have several wonderful Artscroll commentaries on the Torah, and it's fun for me to read through the collected rabbinic wisdom, verse by verse. And it gets pretty obscure -- why is there an "Aleph Tov" in the first sentence of Genesis? Why is the first letter of the Torah a "Bet" ? Why did Leah have "cows eyes" and what's up with those shrunken heads that her dad had? The rebbis will give you a dozen different answers for this stuff, and I love reading it. And this all comes from the Talmud. I just happen to rely on the 'Readers Digest' version of it in these collected commentaries.

I see the rationalism, the beauty of the language and tradition, and it makes sense for me.

Now, Jesus is Christ, and Judaism missed the boat on that one, big time. So, I'm a Christian and part of the Church that has been since the beginning. And I'll confess, when I hear the liturgy, when I see the icons, when I hear the music, I don't always feel God. This is a shortcoming of mine. For some reason, my path to faith starts with the power of the Hebrew language and the stories of the Old Testament. And I can sleep at night, knowing that for the first Christians, this must have been part of their path, too.

So if folks want to rag on me for the way I affirm my faith, unusual though it may be, let them do it. But that's why I get a little (or maybe a lot) defensive about chunking everything that preceded Christianity.

Offline Revelation_1:7

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Re: Is the Talmud authoritative?
« Reply #82 on: December 15, 2013, 11:32:44 AM »
The Talmud debunks itself  :laugh:

Why the Talmud says that the Messiah is the Son of God commenting Psalm 2:7-8 ?

I noticed that jews use to quote Maimonides more than everyone else.

Will be interesting to understand the islamic influence on Maimonides because the Judaism of the first century was very different from the "rabbinic" parody we have today.
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Re: Is the Talmud authoritative?
« Reply #83 on: December 15, 2013, 02:00:01 PM »
The Talmud debunks itself  :laugh:

Why the Talmud says that the Messiah is the Son of God commenting Psalm 2:7-8 ?

I noticed that jews use to quote Maimonides more than everyone else.

Will be interesting to understand the islamic influence on Maimonides because the Judaism of the first century was very different from the "rabbinic" parody we have today.

My guess is that they would argue that such passages are not literal. It says in the Bible that Israel is God's first born.

So for example, it says in the Talmud:
Quote
‘As I made Jacob firstborn, for it is written Israel is My son, even My firstborn" (Exodus 4:22), So also will I make Messiah My firstborn as it is written, " I will make Him My firstborn.
They would say that Israel was not a literal first born, and so the Messiah would not be either. A Christian reply can be that they are both literal first borns, as the Messiah really is an Israel, a true, spiritual Israel.

By the way, there are plenty of ways that the Talmud speaks in ways that do sound like affirmations of Christian ideas, which is what you are getting at:
http://www.jesusplusnothing.com/messiah/messiah.htm#Messiah%20would%20be%20the%20Son%20of%20God

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Re: Is the Talmud authoritative?
« Reply #84 on: December 15, 2013, 03:02:22 PM »
Hey, instead of nit-picking me, what do you think? What's the meaning of "authoritative"? Is it worth knowing Talmud at all? Should we just chunk it in the Dumpster?
"When Jesus had finished these words, the crowds were amazed at His teaching; for He was teaching them as one having authority, and not as their scribes [i.e. the rabbis of the Talmud]."

Aaaaaand ... my questions still stand. Thanks for the input, though! 
No, your question falls-if not fails.

Christ taught with authority, and He gave it to His disciples who, as Apostles, passed it on to the Orthodox bishops of His Church.  The Rabbis and their Talmud fit nowhere in that equation.
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Offline orthonorm

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Re: Is the Talmud authoritative?
« Reply #85 on: December 15, 2013, 03:54:27 PM »
Rambam,

If you are not familiar with the posting history of Theo, you might be in the unfortunate position of getting a bit conflated with him.

So you really want to know what authority is?

That which is proper to that which causes growth.

I can understand how you might find the Talmud helpful in understanding certain question and the like, but authority is proper only to one, that one is God for God is the cause of all. So if you believe God became man and lived with other persons, authority would be found with those who lived in the communities who lived with those who knew God in his incarnate form, which is to say those who were responsible for collection of writings we call the New Testament.

Further authority was granted to that community by the Holy Spirit by indwelling in that same community which people around here call the early Church.

This is not to say there is no authority outside of the writings and behaviors of such a community, but if you believe in orthodox Christian thought, that is where you are going to God's revelation in its clearest form.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2013, 03:55:34 PM by orthonorm »
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Offline Theophilos78

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Re: Is the Talmud authoritative?
« Reply #86 on: December 15, 2013, 06:18:52 PM »
I personally believe that the Talmud is not essential, but useful for our knowledge of Judaic traditions. There are some parts in the Talmud that shed light upon some misunderstood or vague data in the Bible.
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Re: Is the Talmud authoritative?
« Reply #87 on: December 15, 2013, 07:35:03 PM »
Well, glad I keep an eye on here, in case an old thread gets bumped.

Two quick things ...

What does that definition of authoritative mean? It's just a skoch ambiguous.

And, no matter what 'authoritative' means, I agree with all y'all who say the Talmud isn't authoritative. Nevertheless, I get a kick out of reading the 'oral' tradition. I just love how how those guys could argue for pages and pages about things like, 'Why is the first letter of the bible a bet?' or 'Why did Boaz pluck off his shoe?' or 'What's the deal with those little voodoo heads Laban had?'  If there's a good Orthodox commentary out there that picks up these conversations, I'd love to know about it.


Rambam,

If you are not familiar with the posting history of Theo, you might be in the unfortunate position of getting a bit conflated with him.

So you really want to know what authority is?

That which is proper to that which causes growth.

I can understand how you might find the Talmud helpful in understanding certain question and the like, but authority is proper only to one, that one is God for God is the cause of all. So if you believe God became man and lived with other persons, authority would be found with those who lived in the communities who lived with those who knew God in his incarnate form, which is to say those who were responsible for collection of writings we call the New Testament.

Further authority was granted to that community by the Holy Spirit by indwelling in that same community which people around here call the early Church.

This is not to say there is no authority outside of the writings and behaviors of such a community, but if you believe in orthodox Christian thought, that is where you are going to God's revelation in its clearest form.


Offline Romaios

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Re: Is the Talmud authoritative?
« Reply #88 on: December 16, 2013, 01:24:25 AM »
What does that definition of authoritative mean? It's just a skoch ambiguous.

The etymology of Lat. auctor < augeo - "increase", hence auctoritas - "authority".