The Babylonian Talmud: A Translation and Commentary


The Talmud of Babylonia (a.k.a., the Bavli, or Babylonian Talmud), is a sustained commentary on the written and oral law of Israel. Compiled between 500–600 C.E., it offers a magnificent record of how Jewish scholars preserved a humane and enduring civilization. Representing the primary document of rabbinic Judaism, it throws considerable light on the New Testament as well.

This monumental English translation was completed nearly a decade ago— but was extraordinarily expensive and difficult to find. Now all 37 Talmudic tractates are available in an affordable CD ROM, featuring commentary and new introductions by Jacob Neusner.

Features • Presented in an analytical format that makes logical units easier to follow • Mishnah passages are set in bold type • Passages translated from Aramaic are set in italics •

About the Talmud The Hebrew Scriptures contain many hundreds of laws both religious and civil. They concern the Temple (in Exodus), the priesthood (in Leviticus), the Temple offerings and other rites (in Numbers), and the social order of Israel (in Deuteronomy). These may rightly be called the written law (Torah). The oral law is the extension of these precepts to cover all of life and its contingencies. The oral law (or Mishnah) was written down by rabbinic sages about 200 C.E. With the Talmud, Jewish sages systematized the laws in Scripture together with those of the oral tradition. While the Mishnah records rules governing the conduct of the holy life of Israel, the Talmud concerns itself with the details of the Mishnah. Israel’s oral law found its definitive expression in the Talmud.

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