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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

Stories of the Babylonian Talmud
Rubenstein, Jeffrey L.

Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2010 pp. xv + 366. $55.00


Description: Jeffrey L. Rubenstein continues his grand exploration of the ancient rabbinic tradition of the Talmudic sages, offering deep and complex analysis of eight stories from the Babylonian Talmud to reconstruct the cultural and religious world of the Babylonian rabbinic academy. Rubenstein combines a close textual and literary examination of each story with a careful comparison to earlier versions from other rabbinic compilations. This unique approach provides insight not only into the meaning and content of the current forms of the stories but also into how redactors reworked those earlier versions to address contemporary moral and religious issues. Rubenstein's analysis uncovers the literary methods used to compose the Talmud and sheds light on the cultural and theological perspectives of the Stammaim -- the anonymous editor-redactors of the Babylonian Talmud.

Subjects: Bible, Mishnah, Talmudic and Rabbinic Literature, Mishnah and Talmud, Literature

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Review by Joshua Schwartz
Published 6/14/2011
Citation: Joshua Schwartz, review of Jeffrey L. Rubenstein, Stories of the Babylonian Talmud, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2011).


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