Creation and Composition: The Contribution of the Bavli Redactors (Stammaim) to the Aggada
Rubenstein, Jeffrey, editor
TŁbingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2005 pp. viii + 458. Ä124.00
Texts and Studies in Ancient Judaism, 114
Description: The contributors to this book analyze how the redactors of the Talmud transformed and reworked earlier aggadic (non-legal) traditions. Critical study of the Babylonian Talmud is founded on the distinction between two literary strata: traditions attributed to named sages (the Amoraim, c. 200-450 CE) and setam hatalmud, the unattributed or anonymous material. The conclusion of modern scholars is that the anonymous stratum postdates the Amoraic stratum and should be attributed to the Talmudic redactors, also known as Stammaim (c. 450-700 CE.) The contribution of the Stammaim to the aggadic (non-legal) portions of the Talmud - to midrash, narratives, ethics and theology - has received minimal scholarly attention. The articles in this book demonstrate that the Stammaim made a profound contribution to the aggadic portions of the Babylonian Talmud and illustrate the processes by which they created and composed many aggadic traditions.
Subjects: Bible, Mishnah, Talmudic and Rabbinic Literature, Mishnah and Talmud, Literature
Review by Steven Sacks
Citation: Steven Sacks, review of Jeffrey Rubenstein, ed., Creation and Composition: The Contribution of the Bavli Redactors (Stammaim) to the Aggada, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2007).
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