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Mishnah Is a Written Translation Term Paper

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The Albeck edition includes an entire volume by Yellin detailing his eclectic method.

Two institutes at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem have collected major oral archives which hold extensive recordings of Jews chanting the Mishnah using a variety of melodies and many different kinds of pronunciation. These institutes are the Jewish Oral Traditions Research Center and the National Voice Archives. Both the Mishnah and Talmud contain little serious biographical studies of the people discussed therein, and the same tractate will conflate the points-of-view of many different people. However, sketchy biographies of the Mishaic sages can often be constructed with historical detail from Talmudic and Midrashic sources.

Many modern historical scholars have focused on the timing and the formation the Mishnah. A vital question is whether it is comprised of sources which date from its editor's lifetime, and to what extent is it comprised of earlier, or later sources. Common questions include whether the Mishnaic disputes are distinguishable along theological or communal lines, and in what ways different sections derive from different schools of thought within early Judaism. In response to these questions, modern scholars have adopted a number of different approaches.

Traditionally, rabbinic Judaism has viewed the statements in the Mishna and Talmud as being historically accurate, and written under a subtle form of divine inspiration, sometimes called the Ruach haKodesh, "The Holy Spirit." In this view, the statements described therein are reliable and accepted as much. Nevertheless, even the Talmud points out that the Mishna is on occasions ambiguous or deficient. In general, textual criticism of the Mishna from Orthodox point-of-view has ceased after the completion of the Talmud, and modern attempts at textual criticism are mainly considered heretical (Porton, 1982). Most Orthodox Jews view the biographical statements in the Mishnah, Talmud and in some cases, even the early midrash collections, as being entirely historically reliable.

Some scholars hold that there has been extensive editorial reshaping of the stories and statements within the Mishna. Lacking outside confirming texts, they believe that it is impossible to confirm the origin or date of most statements and laws, and that authorship remains questionable. Some scholars hold that the Mishna and Talmud have been extensively shaped by later editorial redaction, but that it contains sources which we can identify and describe with some level of reliability (Porton, 1982). In this view, historians do their best to tease out later editorial additions and skeptically view accounts of miracles, leaving behind a reliable historical text.

Even today, the Mishnah is a common source aside from the Bible for the biblical history surrounding the life of the New Testament church. The Mishnah was collected and passed down in each family and community of faith for thousands of years before the establishment of the New Testament church. During the 200 years before Christ, the Mishnah was collected until 200 years after Christ when it was for the first time written into laws. Although many find it difficult to understand, the Mishnah is one of the richest sources known concerning the first century in which the New Testament church was formed.


Fraade, S.D. (1990). The Early Rabbinic Sage. In J.G. Gammie & L.G. Perdue (Eds.), the Sage in Israel and the Ancient Near East (pp. 417-423). Winona Lake, Indiana: Eisenbrauns.

Goldenberg, R. (1978). The Sabbath-Law of Rabbi Meir. Missoula, Montana: Scholars Press.

Neusner, J. (1989). Making the Classics in Judaism. Atlanta, GA: Scholars Press.…

Sample Source(s) Used


Fraade, S.D. (1990). The Early Rabbinic Sage. In J.G. Gammie & L.G. Perdue (Eds.), the Sage in Israel and the Ancient Near East (pp. 417-423). Winona Lake, Indiana: Eisenbrauns.

Goldenberg, R. (1978). The Sabbath-Law of Rabbi Meir. Missoula, Montana: Scholars Press.

Neusner, J. (1989). Making the Classics in Judaism. Atlanta, GA: Scholars Press.

Porton, G. (1982). The Traditions of Rabbi Ishmael (Vol. 4): Leiden.

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