Jewish Literature in New Testament Times
Who were the Amoraim in Judaism?
Amoraim (from Heb. Amar
= to interpret)
, in Judaism were special
scholars in the rabbinic schools, predominantly at Caesarea and Tiberias in
Palestine (220–375 A.D.) and in Babylonia (200–500 A.D.), designated to
interpret, explain, discuss, and harmonize the oral teachings (Mishna and other
Tannaitic collections) with the Biblical text. They were active from the 3rd to
5th centuries A.D. and were largely responsible for the composition of the
The Amoraim served as judges, communal administrators, teachers, and collectors
of charity, they were quick to respond to contemporary problems. They also
worked to replace the Temple order, and helped establish the ideal that all Jews
should devote themselves to study of the Torah. Their discussions constitute the
section of the Talmud known as the Gemara. In addition, they were responsible
for much of the non-legal or haggadic material that appears in the Talmud and in
John 10:34 "Jesus answered them, "Is it not written in your law.."
Rabbinical Literature and Second Temple Judaism
Rabbinic Writings, The Mishnah, and the Talmud. During the first century A.D.
the Pharisaic rabbis created many commentaries on the Torah. When Jesus began
his ministry He attacked the Pharisees for putting their traditions above the
word of God. All the writings and commentaries of the first two centuries A.D.
were compiled and organized into a collection by a man named Judah Hanasi around
200 A.D. forming a collection called the Mishnah. The Pharisaic rabbis were
known as the "Tannaim" which in Hebrew is translated teachers, and these men
were the teachers who regulated the law. There was another collection of their
commentary which was much smaller, it was known as the Tosefta which in Hebrew
means "enlargement". The later commentaries on the Mishnah were made by
Brief Historical Background
The Jews and Torah
The Holy Scriptures
The Apocryphal Literature
The Oral Law
The Tractates of the Mishnah
The Palestinian Talmud
The Babylonian Talmud
The Purpose and Heart of the Law
- A Heart Message
Rabbinical Writings Chart
The Persian Period 430-332 B.C.
The Greek Period 331-167 B.C.
The Period of Independence 167-63 B.C.
The Roman Period 63 B.C. to the time of Christ
The Old Testament Canon
The Text of the Old Testament
The Aramaic Language
The Great Synagogue
Preparation for Christ