Chapter

Rabbis in Palestine

Hayim Lapin

in Rabbis as Romans

Published in print July 2012 | ISBN: 9780195179309
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199950355 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195179309.003.0002
Rabbis in Palestine

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This chapter surveys the contents of the rabbinic canon for two purposes. First, much of the argument of the book draws on the contents of these works, so that a historically grounded understanding of these works is essential. Second, the chapter argues that in the absence of other data, the works themselves must serve as historical artifacts, and studied for the evidence they provide of Rabbinic group-formation or institutionalization. The chapter also surveys some of the evidence for the emergence of the rabbinic movement in the late first and early second century, showing that the evidence is tainted by the concerns of the tradents and editors who preserved and promulgated the material. In a sense, we can document a Rabbinic movement with the production of the Mishnah in about 200. The historiographical task of reconstructing early history works backwards from that fixed point.

Keywords: Mishnah; Tosefta; Yerushalmi; Midrash; urbanization; Gamaliel; patriarch; nasi; Pharisees; Yabneh; institutionalization

Chapter.  13126 words. 

Subjects: Judaism and Jewish Studies

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