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Chapter Summary

One of the most important elements of Jewish literature in the period under discussion is what is known as halakha, that is to say, the sum total of rules and laws derived from the Bible, from religious thought and teaching, and from jurisprudence and custom. These rules and laws govern all aspects of Jewish life. This chapter reviews evidence from Second Temple writings which confirms the antiquity of halakhot preserved in rabbinic literature. Rabbinic literature records halakha in two principal forms: as 'independent halakha', stated without reference to Scripture, and as statements derived, at least formally, from biblical verses, that is, in the form of midrash. The distinction between the two forms is reflected in the collections of rabbinic literature. The chapter deals with the sources from which the halakha of the Sages developed. It further discusses the important role of controversies in the creation of halakha.

Keywords: Bible; Halakha; Jewish literature; Rabbinic literature; second temple writings



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    The Literature of the Jewish People in the Period of the Second Temple and the Talmud, Volume 3 The Literature of the Sages — Recommend this title to your library
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