Author Topic: Is the Talmud authoritative?  (Read 5592 times)

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Offline lovetzatziki

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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?

Offline LBK

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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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Offline lovetzatziki

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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.


Offline Romaios

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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 »

Offline xOrthodox4Christx

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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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Offline ialmisry

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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.
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 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...

Offline Rambam

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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 »

Offline ialmisry

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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.
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 Rambam

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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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Offline Gamliel

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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).

Offline ialmisry

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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.
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 ialmisry

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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
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 ialmisry

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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.
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 blow on a spark, it will glow;
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                           and both come out of your mouth

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 »

Offline mike

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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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Offline Rambam

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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 »

Offline ialmisry

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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?
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 Rambam

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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'.




Offline Rambam

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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 »

Offline ialmisry

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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]."
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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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 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! 

Offline lovesupreme

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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.

Offline Rambam

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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.

Offline Rambam

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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?

Offline 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 »

Offline rakovsky

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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?

Offline Rambam

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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.

Offline Rambam

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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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Offline rakovsky

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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

Offline ialmisry

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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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Offline Rambam

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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".