Judaism
Tanakh and Talmud

What are the writings of Judaism?

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2018-05-01 18:16:39

The writings of Judaism may be divided into several categories.

These include: the Tanakh, the Talmud, the other works of our early

sages, and the works of later Rabbis.

  • The Tanakh (Hebrew Bible) is also called "the Written Torah,"

    in contrast to the Oral Torah, which is the body of tradition that

    was handed down orally for some 1500 years, and only after that put

    in writing, so as not to be forgotten in times of exile. The Oral

    Torah is contained in the Talmud, whose chief purpose is to clarify

    the laws of the Torah, and which is a multi-volume compendium of

    Jewish traditions, law, history, and sayings of the early Jewish

    Sages.

  • Other works of the early sages include the midrashim, and the

    Zohar (a mystical commentary on the Torah). The purpose of the

    midrashim is to expand upon the brief narrative-portions of the

    Torah.

The works of later Rabbis include books on Jewish outlook and

belief, such as the Emunot VeDeot (8th century CE) and the Kuzari

(11th century); books listing the Jewish laws, such as the Yad

Hachazakah (12th century) and the Shulchan Arukh (16th century);

books on piety, such as the Noam Elimelekh and the Mesillat

Yesharim (18th century); books on ethics, such as the Maalot

Hamidot and the Hafetz Chaim (19th century), and much more.

  • Contents of the Written Torah: The Jewish holy book is the

    Tanakh (Hebrew Bible), containing the Torah and the prophetic

    books. "Tanakh" is a Hebrew acronym of T, N, K which stands for the

    three parts of the Tanakh: Torah, Nevi'im (Prophets), and Ketuvim

    (Writings). In total, the Tanakh has 24 books.

  • A) The Torah, also called the Pentateuch, is the primary

    Jewish holy book. It contains the Five Books of Moses (also called

    the Books of the Law). It was given by God to Moses (Exodus 24:12),

    who transmitted it to the people and wrote it (Deuteronomy 31:24).

    Its chief purpose is to teach the laws of Judaism; and it also

    teaches us historical highlights, attitudes, guidance, beliefs and

    more.

Books 1-5 of the Hebrew Bible: The Torah (the Five Books of Moses):

  1. Bereisheet (Genesis)
  2. Shemot (Exodus)
  3. Vayikra (Leviticus)
  4. Bamidbar (Numbers)
  5. Devarim (Deuteronomy)

  • B) Nevi'im, the Prophets. The books of the Hebrew

    Prophets are the Divinely-inspired narrative of Israelite history

    and the relationship between God and Israel. The prophets were

    called upon by God to guide the people and to guide the king. While

    the king had authority in national matters of state, and the

    Sanhedrin (Sages) had say in Torah-rulings and halakha (law), the

    prophets spoke in matters of ethics, of belief, of loyalty to God,

    and behavior. They rebuked the people at God's command, they

    predicted events which God revealed to them, they taught through

    Divine inspiration, and they provided optimism and hope with the

    prophecies of eventual Redemption.

Jewish tradition (Talmud, Bava Batra 14b) states that the prophetic

books were written by the authors whose names they bear: Joshua,

Samuel, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah,

Jonah, etc. Judges was written by Samuel, and Kings was written by

Jeremiah. The prophetic books were written in the time of the

prophets, from the 1200s BCE (Joshua) to the mid-300s BCE (Haggai,

Zechariah, Malachi).

Books 6-9 of the Hebrew Bible: The Nevi'im Rishonim (the Early

Prophets):

6) Yehoshua (Joshua)

7) Shoftim (Judges)

8) Shemuel (Samuel I and II)

9) Melachim (Kings I and II)

Books 10-13 of the Hebrew Bible: The Nevi'im Acharonim (the

Later Prophets):

10) Yeshayahu (Isaiah)

11) Yirmiyahu (Jeremiah)

12) Yechezkel (Ezekiel)

13) Trei Asar ("The Twelve" or "The Minor Prophets")

Hoshea (Hosea)

Yoel (Joel)

Amos

Ovadiah (Obadiah)

Yonah (Jonah)

Michah (Micah)

Nahum

Havakkuk (Habakkuk)

Zephaniah

Haggai

Zechariah

Malachi

  • C) Ketuvim, the Writings. The Ketuvim (also called

    Hagiographa) contains the remaining History Books: Daniel,

    Chronicles, Ezra, and others. Some of these narrate Israelite

    history and past events, some predict events, some serve to comfort

    the nation, some speak of prayer and love of God, and some speak of

    life, experience and wisdom.

Jewish tradition (Talmud, Bava Batra 14b) states that the Writings

were written by the authors whose names they bear: Daniel, Ezra and

Nehemiah. Ruth was written by Samuel; Lamentations was written by

Jeremiah; Psalms was set in writing by King David; Chronicles was

written by Ezra; Proverbs, Song of Songs and Kohellet

(Ecclesiastes) were written by King Solomon; and Esther was written

by Mordecai and Esther. The Writings were written between 900 BCE

(Ruth) to the mid-300s BCE (Esther, Daniel, Chronicles, Ezra and

Nehemiah).

14) Tehillim (Psalms)

15) Mishlei (Proverbs)

16) Iyov (Job)

17) Shir Hashirim (Song of Songs)

18) Ruth

19) Eichah (Lamentations)

20) Kohelet (Ecclesiastes)

21) Esther

22) Daniel

23) Ezra-Nehemiah

24) Divrei Hayamim (Chronicles I and II)

Further information:

The term "Torah" can refer loosely to the entire Jewish

Bible.

Tradition places the sealing of the Tanakh's canon around 340

BCE.

User Avatar
Wiki User
2015-01-11 09:13:40

The Torah, the Talmud, the Code of Jewish Law and the commentaries.
Other early works include the midrashim, and the Zohar (a mystical commentary on the Torah). The purpose of the midrashim is to expand upon the brief narrative-portions of the Torah.
The works of later Rabbis include books on Jewish outlook and belief, such as the Emunot VeDeot (8th century CE) and the Kuzari (11th century); books listing the Jewish laws, such as the Yad Hachazakah (12th century) and the Shulchan Arukh (16th century); books on piety, such as the Noam Elimelekh and the Mesillat Yesharim (18th century); books on ethics, such as the Maalot Hamidot and the Hafetz Chaim (19th century), and much more.

Link: The history of the Hebrew Bible

Link: The purpose of the Torah

Link: More about Moses

Link: The function of the Prophets


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