Jewish Literature in New Testament Times

The Halakah


What is the Halakah in Judaism?

Jerusalem Temple CoinHalakah or Halacha [Heb.=law], These interpretations or discussions were of two kinds: the Halakah, which dealt with the code of law, and the Haggadah, which was general preaching, or everything that was not Halakah.

The Halakah stated the rule or statute by which one is guided, the definite religious usage of the day. It was taught that "anything becomes Halakah (1) when it is held in acceptance for a long period; (2) when it is vouched for by recognized authority; (3) when it is supported by accepted proof from Scripture; (4) when it is established by majority vote. Any one or all of these reasons could establish a principle of the oral law." Since no new principle of law could be established by invention, but rather by relation to an already existing principle, the rabbis became expert in manipulating the inferences from the existing law, oral and written, in order to cover all possible cases that might be brought before them. The records of these cases and the reasoning's concerning them made the Halakoth.

Also see The Midrash Halakah


Jewish Literature

Esther Scroll

John 10:34 "Jesus answered them, "Is it not written in your law.."

Rabbinical Literature and Second Temple Judaism

Jerusalem Temple CoinThe 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 "expositors".

Brief Historical Background

The Jews and Torah
The Holy Scriptures
The Apocrypha
The Apocryphal Literature
The Oral Law
The Mishnah
The Gemara
The Halakah
The Haggadah
The Midrash
The Zugoth
The Tannaim
The Amoraim
The Tosefta
The Baraitha
The Talmud
The Tractates of the Mishnah
The Palestinian Talmud
The Babylonian Talmud

The Purpose and Heart of the Law - A Heart Message
Rabbinical Writings Chart

Historical Timeline

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 Apocrypha
Other Writings
The Septuagint
The Text of the Old Testament
The Aramaic Language
The Targums
The Talmud
The Great Synagogue
The Sanhedrin
The Dispersion
Preparation for Christ




Related Content