March 3rd, 2016
The Talmud, meaning “instruction” or “learning” in Hebrew, contains both the collection of ancient Jewish oral teaching known as the Mishnah and the later commentary and instructions called the Gemara. The Talmud is arranged into 63 “tractates.” An edition can run to over 6,200 pages. One popular study group in Israel challenges participants to study one two-sided page of the Talmud every day. It takes seven and a half years to complete one cycle of study.
The Talmud collects the oral teachings that provided the material for much religious debate during the days of Jesus’ earthly ministry. It is no wonder then that “one of the teachers of the law” asked Jesus, “Of all the commandments which is the most important?” (v. 28). Jesus’ response was stunningly clear, concise, and comprehensive: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” and “Love your neighbor as yourself” (vv. 30, 31).
Follow Jesus’ words and “You are not far from the kingdom of God” (v. 34).
Author: Duane Brush