Explain The Origins And Development Of Jewish Sacred Texts And Writing.

1491 words - 6 pages

Judaism's sacred texts extends far beyond their religious significance. These sacred texts carry a variety of meanings from a moral, spiritual and practice guide to everyday life. These sacred text being Torah, Tanakh, Mishnah, Talmud, Nevi'im and Ketuvim help convey the message of Judaism that was sent to Abraham.The Torah originated in about 1400 BCE and the legal and ethnical codes of the Torah can be studied as including the 613 commandments and which also include the Ten Commandments. The first five books of the Bible include the Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy. The 613 commandments were revealed to Abraham and his descendents, the Exodus from Egypt, at Mt.Sinai which gave commands to help the Israelites out of Egypt and into the Promised Land. The principal message of the Torah is the absolute unity of God, His creation of the world and His concern for it and His everlasting covenant with the people of Israel. As the importance of the Torah being 'of everyday life of the believers is evidenced in the customary placement of the mezuzah on the doorpost of Jewish homes.' The use of the Torah 'is divided into fifty-four "portions," which are read at the synagogue every Sabbath in an annual cycle, beginning and ending shortly after the Jewish New Year.' Jewish thinking in tradition is to live by the Torah is to live as a religious Jew.The Tanakh is all the three sacred books combined such as the Torah, Nevi'im and Ketuvim. The Jewish Bible is known as the Tanakh and which is the Jewish principle. 'The Jewish canon is distinguished from the Christian canon in the non-inclusion of the New Testament and a slightly different order of presentation of the Prophets.' The books of the Prophets include historical writings covering the period between the settlements of the Jewish people in the Promised Land, Israel and their exile to Babylon, as well as the moral and religious refrain of the Prophets.The Mishnah was completed in c.200 CE and is the oral law into written word. By the second century BCE, and especially after the destruction of the Second Temple (70 CE), the rabbinical leadership, faced with a proliferation of traditions and interpretations, began to arrange and edit the material. The Mishnah is divided into six orders, each consist of tractates, which in turn contain various numbers of teachings which are known as Mishnah. Matters concerning the Temple rite and lay customs of the time are referred to the Mishnah which makes it an important source.Talmud is the 'most authoritative work of the Oral Torah. Written in the period c. 200-500 CE, the Talmud contains the Mishnah and the Gemara, an Aramaic commentary on, elaboration of, and scriptural underpinning of the Mishnah.' The Gemara consists mostly of the study, explanation and application of the Mishnah. This is done through an in-dept discussion of the every law of the Mishnah. 'The Talmud suggests that the person who has mastered the Torah is, in his thoughts and...

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