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TALMUD
#31
PART Ia.

***The Telephone dispute***

You missed the point of the argument.  You're saying that the tradition is fraught with errors, inconsistencies much like a telephone game.

I asserted, that this is an incorrect analogy based on a number of logical points.
1. The telephone game has no mechanism for relaying the information accurately
2. It is not intended to relay the information accurately
3. The information itself is not useful, or intelligent.
4. Children, drunken party members, etc. all are means of emphasizing that the message is not transferable.

I'm asserting the opposite.  Reliable information can be passed down with reasonable accuracy.  For example, family names, places where people have been to, names of people, major events etc.

You believe the accuracy of the NT, yet, it is all based on oral hearsay and testimony.  For thirty years after Jesus' died, nothing was written down, all was passed on orally. You're willing to accept that this information is reliable, but the Oral Tradition not.

The Oral Law, as well as the Written law tells us, that Jesus is not the Jewish Messiah.  That is clear from Ezekiel 37.  But this is a separate discussion.  The Talmud tells us that Jesus lived in 130 BCE, and that he is dead and buried.

#32
Part Ib.

The Oral Law, as well as the Written law tells us, that Jesus is not the Jewish Messiah.  That is clear from Ezekiel 37.  But this is a separate discussion.  The Talmud tells us that Jesus lived in 130 BCE, and that he is dead and buried.

Charlesworth, J.H. "General Introduction" in The Dead Sea Scrolls, writes: (p. xxv)

Since the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls in 1947...Now, we know - thanks to exhaustive research on the transmission of the tractates in the Mishnah - ....nevertheless preserve early traditions and thus provide valuable information regarding religious life in pre-70 Judaism, especially int the Temple cult.  Rabbinic literature, therefore should be read as an edited and expanded record of Early Judaism.

On p. 59. in Shanks, H. Understanding the Dead Sea Scrolls, writes: these four disputed points in the Q4MMT, In each case, the Sadducean position, as recorded in the Mishnah, is consistently defended in Q4MMT, while the Pharisees' view is attributed to Q4MMT's opponents. So says Schiffman.

Schiffman, in his own work:
p. 87 Reclaiming the Dead Sea Scroll, Schiffman, L.H.
The halakhic Letter has wide ramifcations for our understanding of Jewish history in the Hasmonaean period. In the letters, the views ascribed to the opponents of the emerging sect are the same as those usually attributed to rabbinic literature to the Pharisees or the early Rabbis. When mishnaic texts preserve Pharisee-Sadducee conflicts over the same matters discussed in the Halakhic Letter [of Qumran] the views of the letter's authors match those of the Sadducees.

You think that’s all that Zulu tradition records?  They have intricate stories about the kings, etc.  What happened as well their names etc.  This is all documented as accurate.  Nonetheless, it has been shown that through the DSS, that accuracy of transmission is well founded. Remember, it was written down because it was being lost.  If it was being lost, earlier, it would have been written down earlier.

Nonetheless, the Zulu illustration is one of several different traditions that are passed down orally, and are accepted as historical fact.

I would like to point out that Christians are forced to agree to an Oral Tradition, because they are forced to accept that the OT, if they're willing to accept the MT, have to rely on its accuracy of transmission.  Which is an Oral injunction, provided with Orally interpreted laws….

I have shown that the Written Torah is simply a shell in which G-d indicated much more information.
#33
PART II

***Torah Sources***

I have provided a link here for further explanation:
http://forums.jewsforjesus.org/showthrea...3#pid22603

The Tanakh tells us about an Oral Torah:
Nehemiah 9:13: "You descended upon Mount Sinai and spoke to them from heaven; You gave them righteous laws, and true teachings, and beneficial decrees and commandments." Cf. with Neh 9:14 that talks about a single Torah through the hand of Your servant Moses. Daniel 9:10, Psalms 119:18 – Your Torahs (pl.) also Exo 18:20 Torahs (pl.)


BTW, even Karaites have an Oral Tradition, they also rely on the Rabbis to transmit the Torah, and the rules at which it is transmitted, etc.  Karaites, are forced to accept that there has to be an Oral Tradition, since they themselves will have to be able to read the Torah.

You missed the analogy.  The point is that there are two facets – a text and an implantation.  The implementation is oral, and the text is written.
This is how we ourselves function.  When you go to medical school, you rely on the oral message of your professor being transmitted to you, as well as a written textbook. Not everything is in the textbook, nor is everything in what your professor says.  The combination affords you all the information you need.

The Torah is not inferior, but a means to a particular goal.  G-d's will is expressed in the written Torah, the way to implement it is G-d's will in this world, through the Oral Torah.

You agree that Ezra, and the last of the prophets knew these commands, that are not recorded?  If they did, why would they not pass them on to the next generation?  Lets imagine that they did, then again, they would pass it on each successively onto the next.  Information, can be presented orally and in written form.  I don't see why it can't be that the information that was known by the entire Jewish people, at Sinai, could be passed down, generation to generation, by the leaders and judges and prophets to the succeeding generation.  For example, the NT is written oral information,

Lot baked Matza (unleavened bread) Gen 19:3.  How did he know it was Passover?  Who told him to bake Matzos? (I apologize, I meant Lot baked Matza, however, given that Lot, lived in Abraham's house, it would be unsurprising that Abraham would also be baking Matza).

#34
PART III

***The Oral Torah - Mishnah ***

The fact is that the Mishnah is authoritative.  You have to understand how to apply the Mishnah.  There is a way to read it, and derive all the rules and implementation of it.  G-d does not always speak authoritatively, for example Deut 24:1-4.  Does it mean that G-d expects everyone to divorce their wives?  NO!  The Mishnah works on set of principles and circumstances.

The Torah says: Leviticus 23:40:
And you shall take on the first day the beautiful fruit….etc.  


I want to know what G-d wants, what is the right fruit.  I want to do what G-d wants, what G-d thinks is beautiful.

The Torah says: Numbers 15:38:
….That they should make them throughout their generations, tzitzit on the corners of their garments.


I want to make sure I'm doing what G-d says, make sure that what I'm doing is absolutely on the corners, and to make sure what I'm doing fufills what G-d wants.

I don't think its unreasonable then, to expect that G-d wants the same. G-d decided He wants His Torah to be followed, so why it can't be that he has provided the means to do that it is so hard?

You think Jews don't focus on the meaning?  Let me ask you something.  When you boil a kettle for water, so that you want coffee in order to wake up in the morning?  Why are you so focused on getting the water at the right temperature? Simply focus on the meaning behind it all – focus on the waking up, forget about the coffee and the hot water?

You see, you need the hot water as a means to an end.  G-d  teaches us that we are people that we are to do things in this world, to do what G-d says to do.  Once we're doing that, then we can focus on getting close, but if not, we're trying to wake up without the hot water or coffee or cup.

So too here, G-d gave us the instruments to do his will, I'm focussed on what He wants first and foremost.  You express your connection and love for someone when you respond to what he says.  When you do what G-d says, you're in a relationship with Him.
#35
PART IV

***The Septuagint***

In the world of academia, Jellicoe, is very respected.  The fact that you can't find him on the Internet is meaningless.  The fact is that I googled "Jellicoe Septuagint" without quotes and came up with 2740 references, the first 9 references are all connected:
http://www.google.com/search?ie=UTF-8&oe...gle+Search
Jellicoe's work on the Septuagint was cited by 81 Amazon.com books:
http://www.amazon.com/Septuagint-Modern-...ge=1#cited

I would like to make a few distinctions.

1.  There is the Septuagint that we have today, which is the combined efforts of scholarly analyzing four major texts, all are from the 1st-2nd Century CE.
2.  There is the original Septuagint, if you agree with the letter Aristeas written in 286 BCE, this Septuagint was only of the first five books of the Torah, and was supposedly translated by 72 Rabbis. (The Talmud relates of a similar episode, however, it is not necessarily referring to the same text as Aristeas is.)  This text is not known. The Talmud lists various differences between the MT, and this Septuagint.  Since we don't have this Septuagint text (of the Pentateuch) with which to compare, it is hard to make any conjecture as to precisely what the reference is.
3.  There is the rest of the Greek translation of the rest of the books of the bible.   To this we do not have any clear understanding.  The original must have been made sometime between 200 and 100 BCE.  Whatever has become of these it is not known.
4.  There are other greek translations made during this period, including Theodotion, Symmachus and Aquilla.
5.  We do not have a manuscript of 2, nor do we have any real manuscripts of 3.  What we have is recensions together with combinations of 4 and 3.  
6.  Scholars refer to the Septuagint as a combination of various texts and manuscripts.
7.  There is some basis for an original Jewish translation, most of it is however lost.
8.  Between the 1st and 2nd Century CE, there have been a number of redactions made by Monks on the Septuagintal text (that is 1: a combination of 3, 4 & 6.)  

When you look at a Septuagint today, you're looking at a variety of different texts, made at different dates, with different levels of authority, accuracy and translation.  

The MT (Masoretic Text), stands on its own.  It does not need to be proved correct from the Septuagintal readings.  In fact, you can compare it with the DSS, and find that the MT is very close to many of the DSS that are proto-MT.

In the last 50 years, the MT has undergone a massive change in scholarship.  The older Leningrad Codex (19b), has been surpassed by the Aleppo Codex and Breurer's work.  Scholarship has yet to include this new data, in a significant way.
#36
PART V

***Vowel-pointers and vowels***

The Jewfaq article is reasonably general and accurate.

I'm talking about something else entirely.

I'm making another distinction between:
Vowels, vowel-pointers and the vowel-pointing system we have today based on the Masoretes (8th-10th Century CE).

You cannot read the Torah scroll without vowels.  Just like a language needs vowels, so too Hebrew needs vowels.

That means, Moses had vowels, Daniel had vowels, Ezra had vowels.  No vowels = no language, and no pronunciation system.

Now, since the vowels change the meaning of words, that means you need a standard system of vowels otherwise the language becomes meaningless.  Chalav vs. Cheilev.  If you don't pronounce the words right, you get the wrong words, and no-one understands you.

Moses knew this, Daniel knew this, Ezra knew this.

Everyone agrees that there is a standard view regarding vowel pointers as well.  There is no question that most of vowel-pointers are standard, and have been standard since Moses.  Think about it.  I can represent 'ee' in a number of different ways, but 'ee' is a constant vowel.  However I represent it on paper, makes no difference to the way I say it, either way, I'm saying it because everyone else says it, and has been saying it the same way.

The simple system, was around simply to help children master the pronunciation.  The question comes: how to represent each and every complex detail about the pronunciation?  That comes from the Masoretes, who developed a complex system, that was already expressed orally, earlier.

Danny.
#37
Part 1 of 2 in response to Danny’s post #31

[quote=Dannyil]
You . . .  You're saying that the tradition is fraught with errors, inconsistencies much like a telephone game.
I'm saying the possibility exists. In light of what you say below about Yeshua and the 130 BC date--and I am using your statement as fact--which contradicts Roman and Jewish historians and the Christian religious records, as well, it seems the Talmud has at least one problem with its history and inspiration.


I . . . points.
1. The telephone game has no mechanism for relaying the information accurately
You have not provided the notes to prove that the Oral Torah was written down. In fact, the Oral Torah was prohibited from being written down.
From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oral_Torah:
"The laws transmitted to Moses were contained in the Torah written down on scrolls. The explanation however, was not allowed to be written down. . . . It was thus initially forbidden to write and publish the Oral Law: written material would be incomplete and subject to misinterpretation (and abuse)." [Italics mine]
Does God change His commandments or does the Oral Torah have the power to overrule God when the "going gets tough"?

2. It is not intended to relay the information accurately
That is the intended purpose of the game. The results show that it is not always the case, which is why it is fun game to play. You are talking about almost 6000 years of playing Telephone, if you assert that Adam, too, was given the Oral Torah.
3. The information itself is not useful, or intelligent.
The Mishnah, from my own reading, is useful and intelligent. I agree with you on that point. But it is not authoritative (and it is not provable to be accurate all the way to Moses). Nowhere is Moses or God speaking in the Mishnah. Therefore, I could never accept it as being authoritative or anything other than a guide.
4. Children, drunken party members, etc. all are means of emphasizing that the message is not transferable.
The simple and the sinful. Such is all the world. "All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way" (Isaiah 53:6). We are all sinners. The temptation to change or to not follow the words of God is always with us. To declare that all the info in the Mishnah is perfect (much less, God's intention for His commandments) is a stretch of realism.
#38
Part 2 of 2 in response to Danny’s post #31

I'm asserting the opposite.  Reliable information can be passed down with reasonable accuracy.  For example, family names, places where people have been to, names of people, major events etc.
Agreed. But it cannot be assumed. At best you have traced it to the DSS. But that is a long historical jump back to Moses and a near impossible leap back to Abraham.

You believe the accuracy of the NT, yet, it is all based on oral hearsay and testimony.
Yes, verifiable testimony, but not hearsay. There were at least two witnesses for all that early Christians claimed: that is what is required by Jewish law. If you want to denigrate your own law, have at it. It can be proved through documents that the teachings of the NT are what the early believers taught. Where is your verifiable testimony from Moses, which you claim is not a hard thing to prove?

For thirty years after Jesus' died, nothing was written down, all was passed on orally.
Yes, by the eyewitnesses, and confirmed by the people who believed in Yeshua who were present in Jerusalem when He died and after His death. Where are your witnesses? The very fact that the rabbis had to crack down on Christians immediately after Shavuot speaks volumes as to the accuracy of the testimony. The fact that 2000 years later you are still having to prove--and not doing it--that Yeshua didn't raise from the dead and that He didn't die for our sins and that He didn't fulfill the prophecies in the OT . . . is telling.

You're willing to accept that this information is reliable, but the Oral Tradition not.
I do not believe the Oral Torah can be proved to be God's interpretation of the law.  I need proof. What in the Mishnah can you point to that proves its God's word? The OT verifies it authenticity with prophecy. The OT says that a prophet is proved by the accuracy of his predictions. Can the Mishnah prove itself? If all the Mishnah is, is a collection of logic, how do you prove its God logic?

The Oral Law, as well as the Written law tells us, that Jesus is not the Jewish Messiah.  That is clear from Ezekiel 37.  But this is a separate discussion.  The Talmud tells us that Jesus lived in 130 BCE, and that he is dead and buried.
Perhaps the Oral Torah doesn't. But the OT speaks very clearly of Him to me. And why you give me a historical mistake to prove your point is beyond me. Jewish researchers obviously don't believe the Talmud, as evidenced by the false hope that the Talpiot tomb gave them.
[/quote]
#39
Dannyil Wrote:PART IV

***The Septuagint***

In the world of academia, Jellicoe, is very respected.  The fact that you can't find him on the Internet is meaningless.  The fact is that I googled "Jellicoe Septuagint" without quotes and came up with 2740 references, the first 9 references are all connected:
http://www.google.com/search?ie=UTF-8&oe...gle+Search
Jellicoe's work on the Septuagint was cited by 81 Amazon.com books:
http://www.amazon.com/Septuagint-Modern-...ge=1#cited
Um. I see quite a few places are selling his book. I don't see any critical studies. I see no mention of him in authorship that I trust. This is not to say that he isn't trustworthy. But how am I to know? Take your word for it? I think not.


I . . . work.  Scholarship has yet to include this new data, in a significant way.
All scholars that I have seen say the Septuagint is 95 to 97 percent the same as the Masoretic text. Obviously if they can say that, they have a text to work with. I'm not interested in your recensions and otherwise. To me, it sounds like unproven opinion and much ado about nothing since I'm not seeing anything online to confirm your conclusions about the Septuagint's history. I'm curious if your scholars aren't a bit biased.
#40
Response Part A. to Ia.

[quote=revelation320]
Part 1 of 2 in response to Danny’s post #31

I'm saying the possibility exists.


1. I'm not talking about what might be possible, I'm talking about what is.  It is also possible that aliens can come down and build a new giant green statue in their honor.

2.  The Roman historians speak of a group of Christians who existed at the time (40-120 CE).  Talmud doesn't dispute that.  The Talmud is talking about Jesus himself.  Philo doesn't speak about Jesus, but Christians, and Josephus is interpolated by monks.  Josephus' account describes Christian polemic, as does Philo.  So the argument that Jesus lived in the 1st Century, is based on Church history, and the NT.

Given the statements of Paul and the Sadducean controversies, scholars dispute whether this happened in 191 BCE or later.

Church history is not exactly reliable.  The date of Jesus' birth be it 22 September, 21 March or 25 December all remain a mystery... Church historians are divided when he was born, 4 BCE, 3 CE, and when he died, 28 CE, 30 CE, 33 CE 40 CE etc.  There is no reason to accept these spurious dates, more than the Talmud.  Considering Diyonsius Exegesuus was no mathematician, and got the calendar mixed up, it would be unsurprising that he got the dates wrong.


You have not provided the notes to prove that the Oral Torah was written down. In fact, the Oral Torah was prohibited from being written down.
Does God change His commandments or does the Oral Torah have the power to overrule God when the "going gets tough"?


You have to be careful with what you read.  It says: it is forbidden to write and PUBLISH the Oral Law as the ORAL LAW.
There is no problem writing private notes.

You are correct that it is not so simple that the Oral Law could be published.  

Psalms 119:126 For it is a time to act for Hashem, they have voided Your Torah.

The need for writing it down was done, precisely because the (Oral) Torah would become lost.  In such a need, it was time to act, and write it down.




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