In what ways does Jewish religion of the Talmudic Period differ from Jewish religion of the biblical period?
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1. In what ways does Jewish religion of the Talmudic Period differ from Jewish religion of the biblical period?
The Biblical Period: (c. 20th-4th century BCE)
· 2000-1700 BCE (approx) Middle Bronze Age --The Patriarchs: Abraham, Isaac & Jacob
· 1700-1300 BCE (approx) Late Bronze Age--Israelites Slaves in Egypt
· 1250 BCE (approx)--Exodus from Egypt; Conquest of Canaan (Moses)
· 1025-928 BCE Iron Age IIA--Rule of the Great Monarchs (Saul, David, Solomon)
· 1000 BCE--Solomon Builds Temple in Jerusalem
· 928-726 BCE Iron Age IIB--Divided Kingdoms (Israel & Judah)
· 726 BCE Iron Age IIC--Northern Kingdom (Israel) Falls
· 586 BCE--The Destruction of the First Temple, Judah Falls
· 586-538 BCE--Babylonian Exile; Ends with Cyrus' Edict
Thus, during this period, Jewish religious teachings and commentary were transmitted orally for centuries. Religion was based on these oral religious teachings and belief in the covenants between God and his chosen people during this period. God acted out through history with His people. History is God's History. There were no written word or codes of laws and ethics, like during the Talmudic Period. The basic beliefs that guided Jewish religion were:
· A belief in a monotheistic God , who is creator of the universe and who leads His people, the Jews, by speaking through prophets. 'This is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel, after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my law in their inward parts, and in their heart will I write it,' (URL: http://www.religion-religions.com/html/sub_chapter.php?select=s0005&religion=Judaism).
· Judaism is, in essence, the Law of God given to Moses . At this time, and still, fundamental to Judaism is the belief that the people of Israel are God's chosen people, who must serve as a light for other nations. God made a covenant first with Abraham around 2000 BC, and then renewed it with Isaac, Jacob, and Moses. This means that Judaism was a religion that focused on the group and the group's needs, rather than on individuals. Individuals are important only as their actions affect the group. During this biblical period, the expectancy was of a Messiah who would bring universal peace and Jerusalem will be his capital center (URL: http://www.religion-religions.com/html/main_chapter.php?religion=Judaism).
These basic tenets were true during the Talmudic Period as well, but with the written laws came more structure and rules to follow. Rabbis have more power (as opposed to living by faith). Jews in both period believed that the human condition can be improved, and once the Talmud was written during the Talmudic Period, religion was that the letter and the spirit of the Torah must be followed, and that a Messiah will eventually bring the world to a state of paradise (URL: http://ohr.edu/judaism/survey/survey5.htm).
Therefore, law became the major instrumentality by which Judaism was to bring about the reign of God on earth. In Biblical Period it was the Ten Commandments as handed down from God to Moses. The exile scattered the Israelites, with some entertaining other gods from other cultures.
B. The Talmudic Period:
135 --Bar Kokhba Revolt
200 --Mishnah Compiled
425 (approx) --Palestinian Talmud Completed
550 (approx) --Babylonina Talmud Completed
The compilation of the religious books resulted in Rabbis interpetation ...
This solution explains how Jewish religion of the Talmudic Period differs from Jewish religion of the Biblical period.