The Third Temple  The Center for
Messianic Learning 

Unapologetically Pro-Torah
Unashamedly Pro-Israel
Irrevocably Zionist
“… out of Tziyon will go forth Torah, the word of ADONAI from Yerushalayim.”
(Isaiah 2:3)
Jew and Gentile (Synagogue and Church), one in Messiah. (Ephesians 2:14)
“For He is our peace, Who made both one, and broke down the middle wall of partition, …”

If your life is not in jeopardy for what you believe, you’re probably on the wrong side!
If you don’t believe Genesis 1-11, how can you possibly believe John 3:16?
“Indeed, all who want to live a godly life united with the Messiah Yeshua will be persecuted.” (2Tim 3:12)
It is what you actually believe that determines how you walk out your faith, “but avoid stupid controversies, genealogies, quarrels and fights about the Torah; because they are worthless and futile.” (Titus 3:9)

Please Note: Absolutely nothing on this website should be taken as anti-Church or anti-Rabbinic. I am not anti-anything or anti-anyone. I am only pro-Torah and pro-Truth (see “Philosophy”), but sometimes the Truth upsets our long-held beliefs. I know it certainly upset mine! For example, see “Why Isn’t My Theology Consistent Throughout the Website?”

Developing a
Systematic Messianic Theology

“The purpose of careful theological formulations is not to put barriers in the way of people who are seeking salvation, but to define clearly the truths upon which genuine [Biblical] faith rests, so that people will not be misled by false doctrines.” [Bowman]

“It must be clearly and unequivocally stated that theology cannot save you. Only faith in Messiah Yeshua can save you. Theology can only give you sound doctrine.” [RLS]

Unless otherwise specified, throughout the Theology section of my website I use the term “Torah” in the wider sense of including the entire body of inspired Scripture: both the Tanakh and the Apostolic Writings. I personally do not consder any other so-called “sacred writings” either inspired by God or authoritative for the Believer’s walk of faith. Thus, I do not consider the Mishnah (the “Oral Torah”) as part of Torah. You should make up your own mind.

[Explanations of rabbinic citations are HERE]


For an extensive discussion of the Talmud, see the article
by Wilhelm Bacher at

Edited from “Talmud” at Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
(accessed Thursday, 18 November 2021)

Talmud (תַּלְמוּד‎) is the name of two works which have been preserved to posterity as the product of the Palestinian and Babylonian schools during the amoraic period,[1] which extended from the third to the fifth century C.E. It is the central text of Rabbinic Judaism and the primary source of Jewish religious law (halakha) and Jewish theology. Until modern times, in nearly all Jewish communities, the Talmud was the centerpiece of Jewish cultural life and was foundational to “all Jewish thought and aspirations,” serving also as “the guide for the daily life” of Jews.

The term “Talmud” normally refers to the collection of writings named specifically the Babylonian Talmud (Talmud Bavli), although there is also an earlier collection known as the Jerusalem Talmud (Talmud Yerushalmi). It may also traditionally be called Shas (ש״ס‎), a Hebrew abbreviation of shisha sedarim, or the “six orders” of the Mishnah.

The Talmud has two components, the Mishnah (משנה‎, c. 200 CE), a written compendium of the “Oral Torah,” and the Gemara (גמרא‎, c. 500 CE), an elucidation of the Mishnah and related writings of the Tannaim,[2] that often ventures onto other subjects and expounds broadly on the Hebrew Bible.

The term “Talmud” may refer to either the Gemara alone, or the Mishnah and Gemara together.

The entire Talmud consists of 63 tractates, and in the standard print, called the Vilna Shas, there are 2,711 double-sided folios. It is written in Mishnaic Hebrew and Jewish Babylonian Aramaic and contains the teachings and opinions of thousands of rabbis (dating from before the Common Era through to the fifth century) on a variety of subjects, including halakha, Jewish ethics, philosophy, customs, history, and folklore, and many other topics. The Talmud is the basis for all codes of Jewish law and is widely quoted in rabbinic literature.

A list of abbreviations used in reference to Rabbinic Writings is HERE.

Oral Torah

According to Rabbinic Judaism, the Oral Torah or Oral Law (Hebrew: תורה שבעל פה‎, Torah she-be-`al peh, lit. “Torah that is on the mouth”) represents those laws, statutes, and legal interpretations that were not recorded in the Five Books of Moses, the “Written Torah” (Hebrew: תורה שבכתב‎, Torah she-bi-khtav, lit. “Torah that is in writing”), but nonetheless are regarded by Orthodox Jews as prescriptive and given at the same time. This holistic Jewish code of conduct encompasses a wide swathe of rituals, worship practices, God–man and interpersonal relationships, from dietary laws to Sabbath and festival observance to marital relations, agricultural practices, and civil claims and damages.

According to Jewish tradition, the Oral Torah was passed down orally in an unbroken chain from generation to generation until its contents were finally committed to writing following the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE, when Jewish civilization was faced with an existential threat, by virtue of the dispersion of the Jewish people.[3]

The major repositories of the Oral Torah are the Mishnah, compiled between 200–220 CE by Rabbi Yehudah haNasi, and the Gemara, a series of running commentaries and debates concerning the Mishnah, which together form the Talmud, the preeminent text of Rabbinic Judaism. In fact, two “versions” of the Talmud exist: one produced in the Galilee c. 300–350 CE (the Jerusalem Talmud), and a second, more extensive Talmud compiled in Babylonia c. 450–500 CE (the Babylonian Talmud). …

Jewish tradition identifies the unbroken historical chain of individuals who were entrusted with passing down the Oral Law from Moses to the early rabbinic period: “Moses received the Torah and handed it down to Joshua; Joshua to the Elders; the Elders to the prophets; and the prophets handed it down to the men of the Great Assembly.” Similarly, Maimonides provides a generation by generation account of the names of all those in the direct line that transmitted this tradition, beginning with Moses up until Ravina and Rav Ashi, the rabbis who compiled the Babylonian Talmud.[4] … 

Belief that at least portions of the Oral Torah were transmitted orally from God to Moses on Mount Sinai during the Exodus from Egypt is a fundamental tenet of faith of Orthodox Judaism, and was recognized as one of the Thirteen Principles of Faith by Maimonides. However, not all branches of Rabbinic Judaism accept the literal Sinaitic provenance of the Oral Torah, characterizing it as the product of a historical process of continuing interpretation.

There have also been historical dissenters to the Oral Torah in its entirety, including the ancient Sadducees and adherents to modern Karaite Judaism, who attempt to derive their religious practice strictly from the Written Torah, using Scripture’s most natural meaning to form their basis of Jewish law. Karaites often look to traditions of interpretation but, unlike Rabbinic Jews, do not ascribe to those traditions authoritative or normative parity with the Written Torah.[5][6] [Source: “Oral Torah” at Wikipedia, accessed 11/18/21]

I believe the Torah when it says that Moshe RabbeinuMoses our Teacher “wrote down all the words of ADONAI” (Exod 24:4). I therefore believe that the writings of the Sages (Talmud, Mishnah, Midrash Rabbah, etc.), while valuable for our understanding and application of the Torah to our daily walk, do not constitute a “Second Torah” or “Oral Torah,” and that they were not divinely inspired but rather are the product of men and represent the “case law” of Jewish religious jurisprudence; therefore, they do not have the authority of Torah (Prov 30:6, Deut 12:32). See also Takanot and Minhag.

  1. The Amoraic Period (220 to 300-500 C.E.) The Amoraim were influential scholars and teachers who were active in community life, from the completion of the Mishnah around 220 C.E. to the close of the talmudic period with the completion of the Jerusalem and Babylonian Talmuds in the fourth and fifth centuries. [BACK]

  2. Tannaim (Aramaic: תנאים‎ [tannaˈ(ʔ)im], singular תנא‎ [tanˈna], Tanna “repeaters”, “teachers”) were the rabbinic sages whose views are recorded in the Mishnah, from approximately 10–220 CE. The period of the Tannaim, also referred to as the Mishnaic period, lasted about 210 years. It came after the period of the Zugot (“pairs”), and was immediately followed by the period of the Amoraim (“interpreters”). MORE [BACK]

  3. Howard Schwartz, Tree of Souls: The Mythology of Judaism, Oxford University Press, 2004. p lv. [BACK]

  4. Maimonides, Introduction to Mishneh Torah. [BACK]

  5. Mishna, Avot 1:1; the remainder of chapter 1 identifies further individuals in the chain. [BACK]

  6. Fackenheim, Emil L. (1999). What is Judaism?: An Interpretation for the Present Age. Syracuse University Press. pp. 68–71. [BACK]


Originally posted on Thursday, 18 November 2021

Page last updated on Tuesday, 26 September 2023 01:32 PM
(Updates are generally minor formatting or editorial changes.
Major content changes are identified as "Revisions”)

Anxiously awaiting Mashiach’s return

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