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Rabbinic Literature: An Essential Guide (Essential Guide (Abingdon Press)) [Paperback]

By Jacob Neusner (Author)
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Item description for Rabbinic Literature: An Essential Guide (Essential Guide (Abingdon Press)) by Jacob Neusner...

Overview
Rabbinic literature is a complex and interwoven body of texts whose importance is extensive: it is, of course, central to studying Judaism; its texts are valuable for broad religious study and are crucial for understanding the background of early Christianity; and the history of biblical interpretation inevitably involves this quite immense and varied set of writings. There is no scholar more highly regarded as an authority on Rabbinic literature and Judaism than Jacob Neusner. And there is no educator better suited to explaining it in clear and concise terms, laying out the list of texts, their background and development, their content, the resources with which to delve more deeply into their meaning, and their importance for Judaism, biblical studies, and Christianity. This Essential Guide discusses all the texts in Rabbinic literature, including the Mishnah, Tosefta, Talmuds, and Midrash. With this Guide, students will better understand the complex and unique world of Judaism and its significance for studying the Bible, Judaism, and Christian origins.

Publishers Description
Rabbinic literature is a complex and interwoven body of texts whose importance is extensive: it is, of course, central to studying Judaism; its texts are valuable for broad religious study and are crucial for understanding the background of early Christianity; and the history of biblical interpretation inevitably involves this quite immense and varied set of writings. There is no scholar more highly regarded as an authority on Rabbinic literature and Judaism than Jacob Neusner. And there is no educator better suited to explaining it in clear and concise terms, laying out the list of texts, their background and development, their content, the resources with which to delve more deeply into their meaning, and their importance for Judaism, biblical studies, and Christianity. This Essential Guide discusses all the texts in Rabbinic literature, including the Mishnah, Tosefta, Talmuds, and Midrash. With this Guide, students will better understand the complex and unique world of Judaism and its significance for studying the Bible, Judaism, and Christian origins. Jacob Neusner is Research Professor of Religion and Theology and Senior Fellow of the Institute of Advanced Theology at Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York.

The purpose of Abingdon Essential Guides is to fulfill the need for brief, substantive, yet highly accessible introductions to the core disciplines in theological and religious studies. Drawing on the best in current scholarship, written with the needs of students foremost in mind, and addressed to learners in a number of contexts, Essential Guides will be the first choice of those who wish to acquaint themselves or their students with the broad scope of issues, perspectives, and subject matters within the study of religion and theology.

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Item Specifications...


Studio: Abingdon Press
Pages   164
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.98" Width: 6.08" Height: 0.52"
Weight:   0.6 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jun 1, 2005
Publisher   Abingdon Church Supplies
Series  Essential Guide - Abingdon  
ISBN  0687351936  
ISBN13  9780687351930  


Availability  91 units.
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More About Jacob Neusner


Jacob Neusner

Jacob Neusner is Research Professor of Religion and Theology and Senior Fellow of the Institute of Advanced Theology at Bard College. He has published more than nine hundred books and innumerable articles, and he is editor of "The Dictionary of Judaism in the Biblical Period" and the three-volume "Encyclopaedia of Judaism." In addition to his Rabbinic Midrash, he has translated the Mishnah, Tosefta, and both the Babylonian and Jerusalem Talmud into English.

Jacob Neusner currently resides in Annandale-On-Hudson. Jacob Neusner was born in 1932 and has an academic affiliation as follows - Bard College Bard College, New York, USA Bard College, New York, USA B.

Jacob Neusner has published or released items in the following series...

  1. Biblical Resource
  2. Christianity and Judaism, the Formative Categories
  3. Handbuch der Orientalistik. Erste Abteilung, der Nahe Und Mi
  4. Studies in Judaism
  5. Studies in the History of Christian Thought
  6. World Religions in America


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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > World Literature > Jewish
2Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Social Sciences > General
3Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Social Sciences
5Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Judaism > General
6Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Judaism > Jewish Life


Christian Product Categories
Books > Theology > Theology & Doctrine > General



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Reviews - What do customers think about Rabbinic Literature: An Essential Guide (Essential Guide (Abingdon Press))?

From Abingdon Press  Feb 23, 2007
Rabbinic literature is a complex and interwoven body of texts whose importance is extensive: it is, of course, central to studying Judaism; its texts are valuable for broad religious study and are crucial for understanding the background of early Christianity; and the history of biblical interpretation inevitably involves this quite immense and varied set of writings. There is no scholar more highly regarded as an authority on Rabbinic literature and Judaism than this author. And there is no educator better suited to explaining it in clear and concise terms, laying out the list of texts, their background and development, their content, the resources with which to delve more deeply into their meaning, and their importance for Judaism, biblical studies, and Christianity. This essential guide discusses all the texts in Rabbinic literature, including the Mishnah, Tosefta, Talmuds, and Midrash. With this guide, students will better understand the complex and unique world of Judaism and its significance for studying the Bible, Judaism, and Christian origins.
 
Significant studies  Aug 23, 2005
The Abingdon Essential Guides is one of my favourite series for concise but well-developed texts on important subjects in religious and theological areas. The amount of information required of students, teachers, ministers, and professors grows with every passing day, and the amount available grows even faster. The Essentials Guides provide brief overviews with a good amount of depth and in easy-to-follow language and formats. Other Essential Guides I have read include Ron Allen's 'Preaching: An Essential Guide' and Justo Gonzalez' 'Church History: An Essential Guide'.

As Neusner states in his introductory chapter, many (Christians and other non-Jews) see Judaism as the religion of the Old Testament, and often forget that there is a significant tradition of literature that follows from this. In the foundational period of the first several centuries C.E. (up to the sixth century, according to Neusner), writings include the development of the Mishnah (the first of Rabbinic literature to reach a point of closure, according to Neusner), the Tosefta, the Palestinian Talmud, the Babylonian Talmud, and other writings of importance for theology, biblical exegesis, legal commentaries and wisdom.

Neusner is writing this book primarily with a Christian audience in mind (or a student/readership audience that is primarily Christianity-centric in culture, even if not practicing Christian). He states there are three primary reasons why this audience might be interested in Rabbinic literature - first, it gives insight in the religious practices that date back to the time of Jesus and the New Testament figures; second, it helps to explain why the Jews remained 'the Jews' apart from the stream of Christian history; and third, it provides a means of comparison and contrast with a similar and related but not identical body of work. Neusner shows how the comparison and contrast can work with regard to parables, which show up both in Christian gospels and Rabbinic literature.

Neusner's substantive chapters begin with a discussion of the Oral Torah, including the tractate Abot and the later expansion of Rabbi Nathan. The two longest chapters are on the Rabbinic Canon for Halakhah (Law) and for Theology (Aggadah), the second perhaps more appropriately called 'lore' or 'narrative'. The Halakhic part is organised around the Misnah, and the Aggadic is organised around scriptural writings. With regard to the later, there are seven primary texts that centre upon particular texts (Genesis, Ruth, Esther, etc.). Neusner gives overview descriptions of the composition and purpose of the texts, as well as outlines in most cases.

Neusner's final two chapters are 'practical' in a sense; they each relate the corpus of Rabbinic literature to the more modern setting of present-day Judaism and Christianity. Neusner explores both Halakhic and Aggadic aspects of these relationships. The these two aspects serve to both set out the problem and present a solution.

Neusner is a very prolific writer in the field of Judaic studies and topics; I have used his books, both as a student and as an instructor, many times in my classes. He has both clarity and precision in his writing, and knows how to balance the demands for detail with the need for breadth on such a subject in a limited space such as the Essential Guides provide.

There is no index in the book, which is a drawback for those who might want to use this book as a reference tool. However, the book is well-written and concise, so making notes for one's own use in the back pages would not be a bad idea.

This is a book designed largely for the busy person in mind -- the reading is simple without being simplistic; there are not too many names and terms to wade through, and the whole of the book could be read in but a few hours, making the subject of Rabbinic literature readily accessible to even the busiest of lay persons, and a refresher handily available for the busiest of clergy.
 

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