II. FOUNDATIONS FOR SURVIVAL
The history of Judaism is marked by so much persecution, so much affliction, that it is difficult to see how Judaism could have survived. It has been remarked that surely God must have a purpose for the Jews - their survival is a miracle. The Jews themselves have such a conviction, and although there have been periods of despair, the general characteristic is one of joy in the Law and an optimistic faith in the life to come. Both of these are derived from their Bible and their ancient traditional attitudes as a people - and, above all, from the Talmud, an interpretation and elaboration of the laws given through Moses.
For those to whom the Bible is holy scripture, it is either the primary record of Gods revelation or it is Gods revelation. If it is a record, then it makes a great deal of difference when the various parts of the Bible were written, the circumstances under which they were written, and the religious and cultural situations of the time. Those who have this conception of the Bible as a record are deeply concerned with the context of the biblical message. There is no hesitation in using the tools of literary, historical, archaeological, and anthropological research in clarifying the way in which Gods revelation was received and recorded. This conception of the Bible assumes that God reveals himself through events. At particular times and places in the past, God revealed himself and his will for his people, and he still reveals himself in the crises and events of history.
According to this dynamic conception, the essential nature of God and the nature of mans ensuing responsibilities are recorded in the Bible, but mans apprehension of the full meaning is clarified by his continuing experiences with God. For example, the Bible declares that man should be just in all his dealings; but the abstract word just is in a constant process of refinement, as a result of the divine-human encounter, so that what might be considered just in one period would be considered unjust in another. Although it is true that there must be standards for every generation, they are not considered infallible, in a specific sense, but are subject to criticism and change in the course of mans religious growth and development.
For those who accept the Bible as Gods revelation, every word is inspired, every word infallible. This approach to the Bible presents problems of interpretation and problems in the application of Gods commandments to the business of everyday life. In Protestant Fundamentalism there is a tradition of interpretation and application that is passed on from generation to generation. In Roman Catholicism the Church stands between the Bible and the individual and gives the authoritative interpretation. In traditional Judaism the Talmud interprets the Bible and applies its teachings in a practical fashion, acting as a bridge between the biblical word and a changing social situation.
The Talmud is a book in the sense that it is a unit, but this statement must not delude the reader into thinking he could read it in a few hours. It is generally printed in forty or more volumes and resembles the Encyclopedia Britannica - except that an encyclopedia compresses all the information about a person, event, or subject into a single article wherever possible, while in the Talmud the references to a single item are scattered throughout the whole text. By tradition one does not read the Talmud - he studies it; and this means digging through many volumes for the Talmuds statement in regard to a single problem.
The Talmud is based on the Torah. Whenever we capitalize the word Torah, it refers specifically to the Pentateuch, the first five books of the Bible, which, according to Jewish tradition, were given to Moses verbatim, that is, word for word. According to the same tradition, Moses made thirteen copies of the Torah on the last day of his life, one for the Ark and one for each of the twelve tribes. Critics have suggested that such a task is too great for any man - it takes months to make a single copy by hand. But the retort is that Moses did the impossible because God was working through him; Moses was only his agent. Unless we can think of the Torah in precisely this fashion, as containing the words of God recorded without error or omission, we cannot understand the Talmud, nor can we understand postbiblical Judaism.
It is said that Ezra brought a copy of the Torah (Neh. 8:1) with him when he returned to Jerusalem from Babylonian exile, around 398 B.C.E. He assembled the people and began to read to them from the book of the law of Moses from early morning to Moon. The climax to the reading was a solemn occasion When the people bound themselves by an oath to walk in Gods law which was given by Moses, the servant of God, and to observe and to do all the commandments of the Lord our Lord, and his ordinances and statutes (Neh. 10:29). It did not take long to count the commandments-there are 613. The problem was how to apply them. Social circumstances had changed. Furthermore, many of the words of the Bible are not explicit. For example, a man is not to work on the Sabbath, but what is meant by work? Divorce is permitted, but what are the grounds? What is the procedure, and what about the children? God knows that these are logical and important questions. According to traditional Judaism, God is thoughtful, and he anticipated that problems of this sort would arise. Therefore, we are told, he gave the Oral Law to Moses - called Oral because it was not written down, but was passed on at first by word of mouth.
According to the Talmud, Moses received the Torah at Sinai, passed it on to Joshua, Joshua to the Elders, the Elders to the Prophets, and the Prophets passed it on to the men of the Great Assembly. The reference to the Torah embraces the Oral as well as the Written Law. We do not know much about the Great Assembly, whether there was an actual assembly or not. We do know that at the time of Ezra there were rabbis concerned with interpreting the Law. They and their immediate successors were called Sopherim, or Men of the Book. On the basis of analogy and by the application of the principle of precedents, or earlier interpretations, they began to give structure to the Oral Law, which was not to receive final shape for several generations.
The passage from the Talmud cited above indicates that the Law was transmitted through the prophets, thus leading us to a consideration of the second section of the Jewish Bible, which is called The Prophets. This section is subdivided into the Former Prophets (Joshua, Judges, I and II Samuel, and I and II Kings), with a scroll for each, and the Latter Prophets, with a scroll for each of the major prophets (Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel) and one scroll for the twelve minor prophets. By the time of Jesus the Law and the Prophets was a standard expression (Matt. 22:40). The New Testament scene of the Transfiguration pictures Jesus standing between Moses and Elijah, the one standing for the Law and the other for the Prophets, thereby symbolizing that Jesus is the fulfillment of bath.
The third part of the Old Testament, according to the Jewish arrangement, is called The Writings. This section was made a part of Holy Scripture by a council of rabbis which met at Jamnia in 90 C.E. Of course, the Psalms had long been used in worship, and others of the books had achieved a semi-authoritative status long before this time; but the number of historical books was increasing - as, for example, the account of the Maccabean revolt -and other books in circulation were expressing a point of view reflecting Greek thought. Perhaps even the sayings of Jesus were being circulated in Jewish communities.1 At any rate, the rabbis established the canon of the Old Testament: that is to say, they designated which books were to be considered Holy Scripture and which were not. This is not to suggest, however, that The Prophets and The Writings were given authority equal to that accorded to The Torah, which had come directly from God through Moses. It might be parenthetically mentioned here that the official Latin version of the Old Testament, although a translation from Hebrew, is based largely on the Greek version called the Septuagint, which included fourteen books excluded by the rabbis. The King James version of the Bible followed the Jewish canon for the Old Testament and put the excluded books in a separate section called the Apocrypha. Although there are differences in the order, classification, and numbering of the books, the Jewish Bible and the Protestant Old Testament are identical in content.
At the beginning of the Christian era the Oral Law was preserved by rabbis called Tannaim, the Repeaters, who probed the Bible for hidden meanings and guides to make the passages more relevant to contemporary problems. They were also concerned with making a fence around the Torah by expanding the compass of the words so that no one would even be tempted to transgress the Law.
Some of the Tannaim gathered around them studious young men, to whom they expounded the Law. The schools which developed sometimes differed in their interpretations; for example, at the time of Jesus the liberal school of Hillel was often in conflict with the strict school of Shammai. Hillel accepted the challenge to give the whole Law while standing on one foot by declaring that it could be summarized as follows: That which is hateful unto you, do not impose on others. He also developed the law known as Prosbul. According to Deuteronomy XV, all indebtedness was cancelled in the seventh year, the sabbatical. The rich refused to lend money to traders because of it, but Hillel devised Prosbul, by which the indebtedness was transferred to the court, thus making the seventh year cancellation inapplicable. Hillels grandson, Gamaliel 1, opposed violence in repressing heresy and showed kindness and tolerance toward Peter and John (Acts 5:34-39). He was also concerned with the protection of women, and like others in the Hillel tradition, he lightened the Law.
The students in the schools had only two duties: to retain everything faithfully in their memories and never to teach otherwise than they had been taught by their masters. Even a limited knowledge of the Oral Law required patience, perseverance, long years of study, and a remarkable memory. As implied, there was a strong sentiment against writing dawn the Oral Law; but students find memory aids irresistible, and gradually the Oral Law was recorded.
One of the great rabbis, Akiba (c. 50-132 C.E.), decided to arrange the Oral Law, by then largely written, according to sections, or orders, under the following headings: (1) Agriculture, (2 ) Festivals, (3) Matrimony, (4) Civil and Criminal Laws, ( 5 ) Sacrifice, and (6) Laws of Purity. There were several such collections until, at the beginning of the third century, Judah the Prince compiled a Mishna (for that is what such a compilation is called), which became generally accepted.
No sooner had the Mishna of Rabbi Judah become authoritative than a new generation of rabbis arose to discuss its implications. Their commentaries on the Mishna form the other part of the Talmud, which is called the Gemara. These later rabbis are referred to as Amoraim, Interpreters, to distinguish them from the makers of the Mishna, the Tannaim.
The teachers in the schools would take a statement from the Mishna and attempt to relate it to other documents of the rabbis, or would indicate its scriptural allusions, or discuss its many implications. Occasionally, the students would indicate what looked like discrepancies in the Mishna, and these had to be explained. For a long time the discussions grew in number and length, with each succeeding teacher building upon the work of his predecessors. Teachers are inclined to wander, even doing so intentionally if their students seem to be losing interest, and they cannot resist repeating humorous anecdotes and stories. The rabbinical students were either remarkable memorizers or prolific note-takers, because they preserved everything, regardless of whether some things seemed relevant or not.
There are two Talmuds, one compiled in Palestine and called the Jerusalem Talmud, and the other compiled in Babylonia. The Mishna, written in Hebrew, is the same in both Talmuds, but the Gemaras (the additional commentaries, not contained in the Mishna), with some parts in Hebrew but most in Aramaic, differ, although many of the same rabbis are quoted and there are many identical statements. The Babylonian Talmud enjoys the greater prestige and is considered more authoritative, often being referred to simply as The Talmud.
Viewed externally, the Babylonian Talmud is a huge tome divided into six sections, with a total of sixty-three tractates. It comprises the teachings of the Tannaim from at least 150 B.C.E. to around 250 C.E. and the discussions and comments of the Amoraim from about 250 C.E. until the Talmud was finished, shortly before 600 C.E.
Viewed internally, the content of the Talmud is divided into two parts, Halakah and Haggadah. Halakah is binding and consists of laws, commandments, or rules to go by. Haggadah is interpretive, but beyond that difficult to classify. It includes parables, ethical maxims, folklore, theological statements, and random facts about science, nature, and famous persons. The difficulty is that Halakah and Haggadah are not classified under these labels-that is, for the reader. The Mishna is almost exclusively Halakah, but Halakah is interspersed with Haggadah in the Gemara, much to the frustration of the casual student. For example, the reader will find a discussion of law which is important because it establishes a rule to go by; but before the conclusion or rule is reached, he will find a story about the meaning of life, with its trials and tribulations, its joys and comic aspects, and perhaps a humorous anecdote or two; then, when he has almost forgotten the Halakah, he will be brought back to the original problem and will find the law clearly stated.
THE CHARACTER OF EARLY JUDAISM
The ten tribes that comprised the Northern Kingdom lost their identity when Samaria, the capital, fell in 722 B.C.E. and the leaders were carried as captives into Assyria. But when Jerusalem fell in 587 B.C.E., the Temple and city completely destroyed, those of its inhabitants who were carried into exile in Babylonia - to join their leaders, who had been deported a decade earlier-were not assimilated, but looked longingly to Jerusalem and to the day when they could return.
The Persians, when they came to power, permitted the return and the rebuilding of the Temple, but the troubles of the Jews were not over. As Palestine came under the dominance of Syria, there was increased pressure upon the Jews to assimilate. When they resisted, Antiochus Epiphanes determined to destroy the religion completely. He forbade all sacrifices, all evidences of Sabbath observance, circumcision, and the possession of the Scriptures. On December 15, 168 B.C.E., he was guilty of the abomination of desolation. He erected an altar to Zeus on the great altar of sacrifice and ten days later sacrificed a hog there, the most despicable of animals to a practicing Jew. The issue was clear: If Judaism was to live, it must fight.
The revolt was inspired by an influential group called Hasidim, which means the pious ones, but their concern was chiefly with the reconsecration of the altar, the securing of a high priest of Aaronic descent, and the restoration of Temple worship. The spark that provided the leadership was found in an old priest, Mattathias, who with his five sons began guerilla warfare. The little band, led by Judas Maccabeus, the third son of Mattathias, harassed the highly trained Syrian armies until independence was finally achieved.
The freedom to govern itself which was achieved by Jerusalem and the parts of Palestine identified with it was to survive, although at times on a tenuous basis, until Pompey and the forces of Rome captured Jerusalem in 63 B.C.E. Pompey out of curiosity entered the holy of holies of the Temple and, finding no image of a god there, concluded that the Jews must be atheists and their religion a fraud. However, after the conquest, the priests were permitted to purify the temple and to resume the services.
For the next hundred years, Rome appointed the political leaders and permitted the sale of the high priestly office, both sources of discontent among the Hebrew people. Ultimately, Herod came to power with the title of king, although he was responsible to Rome. He was a good administrator and a superb politician, so far as Rome was concerned, and his domain increased in size. He was also a great builder, one of his crowning achievements being a new Temple in Jerusalem. Faced with white marble and adorned with gold and precious stones, it invoked the sort of praise preserved by the Rabbis: Whoever has not seen the Temple of Herod has seen nothing beautiful. However, in spite of Herods many efforts to curry favor with the Jews, he received only their scorn.
Herod died shortly after the birth of Jesus, to be succeeded by Archelaus, who ruled Judea until Rome decided in 6 C.E.. to rule Judea more directly through procurators, of whom Pontius Pilate was one of the most infamous. There was a brief period when a grandson of Herod the Great ruled for Rome, and after that the rule was returned to procurators. In 66 C.E.., there was a bitter revolt, and by 70 C.E. the Temple and Jerusalem were destroyed. In 135 C.E. a desperate attempt to gain freedom - the Bar Cocheba revolt - was concluded, being put down after much bloodshed, and that ended nationalism and any semblance of a Jewish state until modern times.
For hundreds of years devout souls have wailed at what is left of the western wall of the Temple. The Temple symbolized, as did the Ark of old, that God tabernacles among his people. It was the focal point of Judaism, supported by a half-shekel tax imposed upon all male Jews wherever they might be. It was every mans ambition, if he lived in a foreign land, to make at least one pilgrimage to Zion, the holy city. With throngs from every land and with pens of bellowing animals for the sacrifices, it must have seemed like bedlam at times. But it also must have been a deeply moving experience to see the priests, assisted by the Levites, engaged in the daily round of ceremonies from sunup to sundown, offering sacrifices and prayers for all the people and also for individuals.
Although every Jew kept his eyes focused upon the Temple as the center of his religion, it was the local synagogue that perpetuated the faith of Judaism and preserved its vitality through the ages. When the Jews were carried into exile by the Babylonians (587 B.C.E.), they met together for fellowship, to review the history and tradition of their people, to study the sacred writings, and to pray. By the time of Jesus the synagogue was a well-established institution. St. Paul, in his extensive journeys, found Jewish communities and synagogues wherever he went. It is estimated that there were 4,000,000 Jews in the world then, with not more than 700,000 in Palestine and, of course, only a fraction of that number in Jerusalem.
The synagogue was the center of the Jewish community, which was more often than not an island surrounded by an alien culture. As at the New England town meetings, any matter could be brought before the assembly for discussion. A person with a serious grievance had the right to interrupt the prayers, that is, he could break into the worship to demand that an injustice be righted. The service, by tradition, was permitted to resume only when satisfaction was assured by the congregation. As the governing body of the community, the assembly could even levy taxes and impose fines. The synagogue is probably the oldest democratic institution still in existence in the world.
As we have indicated, the synagogue was not simply a place of worship; it was a place to see old friends and relatives. Because it was often impossible for everyone to be at the services on time, tardiness was condoned. As early as 2,000 years ago the buildings were used to house travellers, so the synagogue was a place where a Jew could catch up on the local news and the news of the world. Today, as they have for centuries, rabbis speak of the special blessings awaiting those who are silent during worship; they speak of bans against talkers and encourage punctuality and attentiveness to the readings and prayers, but the tradition of the synagogue as a community center does not easily die.
At a regular Sabbath synagogue service the Torah was read on a systematic basis, so that no parts of it would be omitted, and after that, portions from the Prophets were read, including what we call the historical books. The Psalms were sung and often other portions of the Writings, although some of the Writings were reserved for special celebrations. Of course, the prayers were also an important part of the services-which occurred not only every Sabbath but often on two other days of the week as well. Some of the prayers still used in synagogue services were already old when Christianity was born, and were probably recited by Jesus.
No fixed ministry was required for synagogue services. Any esteemed member of the congregation, or a visitor, could be asked to read one of the lessons and comment on it, as Jesus did on at least one occasion (Luke 4:16-21). However, since one of the major purposes of the synagogue was instruction, rabbis (learned men and teachers) often enjoyed a position of esteem.
The synagogue was also the education center, and by the Middle Ages the term was synonymous with school. So much emphasis was placed upon being able to read and know the Law that scholarship was highly revered. Even when the educational content was limited to the Talmud it was quite broad, because the Gemara contains information pertaining to civil matters, hygiene, table etiquette, medicine, and science, as well as knowledge touching almost every other field.
Anyone reading the New Testament is familiar with the names of groups or parties that existed in Judaism at the time. Our only purpose in discussing them is to indicate the differences in emphasis that not only existed then but continue to exist to this very day.
We may begin with the Sadducees and Pharisees, the former the strict literalists and the latter, interpretationalists. The Sadducees rejected any interpretations of the Torah that were not absolutely explicit in the written word. For example, they rejected the Pharisaic beliefs in regard to angels and demons and predictions about how God was going to act in the future for the redemption of Israel. Jesus was brought into the controversy that the Sadducees and Pharisees were having in regard to the resurrection of the body, a belief which the Sadducees rejected (Mark 12:18).
Because of their literalism, the Sadducees had a reputation for being harsh in their judgments. For example, they accepted without extenuation the dictum, an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, so that a man who put out the eye of another suffered having his own eye put out. The Pharisees, observing that this caused two people to be maimed instead of one and also might cost a life, interpreted the precept to mean that a man should be properly compensated for an injury and that the compensation must be fully commensurate, or of equal value, to his loss.
he Sadducees were completely committed to a religious life centered in the Temple with its hereditary priesthood. They were perfectly willing to collaborate with Rome provided the sacrifices were not jeopardized. This identification with the Temple was so great that when the Temple was destroyed, the Sadducees no longer had a reason for existence, and as a party they gradually disappeared. The same cannot be said of their emphasis upon literalism, for it was to remain as a minor thread, emerging from time to time as a powerful force in Judaism.
The Pharisees were patriotic, but on the whole it was a religious patriotism. They looked forward to the establishment of a kingdom with a ruler from the line of David, but this kingdom, they believed, would come about as a result of Gods intervention and not through political methods. The way to prepare for this great event was through a full and complete loyalty to God. They were not political nationalists, because they trusted so completely in the power of God that they knew he could overthrow the legions of Rome whenever he was ready. It was only when they felt that their religious principles were being violated so openly as to be in danger of being lost that they were encouraged to revolt.
The Pharisees shaped the development of Judaism for many centuries and are highly venerated by traditional Jews. They were legalistic, but observance in detail was never assumed to take the place of right motivation. This can be illustrated by three sayings of the Rabbis: Upon the intention of the heart depends the validity of the words; When you pray, do not think of your prayer as a mechanical task, but as an appeal for mercy and grace before God; Anyone who is a hypocrite brings Gods wrath on the world. More than that, his prayer is not heard, he is cursed by everyone, even unborn infants, and goes down to Hell. Most of the Pharisees were undoubtedly sincere. Jesus did not hesitate to dine with them on at least two occasions (Luke 11:37; 14:1-24). Their self-criticism is similar to the criticism found in the New Testament, which is a witness to the high emphasis they placed upon inner motivation.
The Scribes copied the sacred scrolls, studied them word for word, and, as scholars, taught the Law and acted as judges in the Sanhedrin (the major court in Jerusalem) and in the various local courts. Some of them were probably Sadducees, concerned only with the written word, but the vast majority were Pharisees and concerned with the Oral Law as well as the Written.
The Zealots were political nationalists, who seethed under Roman domination. Successors of those who led the Maccabean revolt, they apparently kept up their agitation until the time for revolt was ripe enough to insure the enlistment of a high degree of public support. When the Bar Cocheba rebellion failed, the Zealots and the nationalist movement disappeared completely, until some of its aspects were revived with the development of the Zionist movement in the nineteenth century.
Mysticism has never been a strong force in Judaism, but neither has it ever been completely absent. The same can be said of asceticism, which so often accompanies mysticism, and of the extreme sort of spiritual monasticism which operates on the assumption that some knowledge is of such a nature as to be beyond the bounds of ordinary knowledge, being available only in secret documents or through secret spiritual practices which are imparted exclusively to those initiated into the group. At the beginning of our era there were two groups that expressed some of these aspects.
The Essenes, agreeing with the Pharisees that conditions had changed so much that the written Torah was not directly applicable to every aspect of life, wished to return to the good old days; but because it was impractical in terms of society as a whole, they withdrew as small and devoted groups to a stern life of simplicity, hard work, and vigorous discipline imposed by the group. The Essenes seem to have thought of the world as a battleground between forces of good and evil and, unlike most of Judaism, were inclined to think of the body and its desires as being exceedingly powerful temptations to evil. As a saving remnant, the Essenes withdrew from society to prepare themselves for the coming of the Messiah. Much has been written of the Dead Sea Scrolls, which apparently came from the Essenes or from a similar group, scrolls which contain documents unique to the group.
The Therapeutai, of whore we know little, were also monastic, but women were admitted on a segregated basis. Their emphasis was upon contemplation and a direct oneness with God through mystical experiences.
Judaism is not primarily a philosophical religion given to theoretical speculation, but it has had philosophers who have thought of reason as a source of knowledge and therefore have emphasized it. The first century also gives us an example of this approach to religion in the person of Philo, who lived in a flourishing Jewish community at Alexandria in Egypt. He was thoroughly trained in Greek philosophy and attempted to interpret Judaism in that framework. He accepted the story of the creation of the world in six days as a myth, and treated the forming of Eve from the rib of Adam in the same way. Although committed to the Torah, he interpreted many passages allegorically to reconcile them with what he considered the truths established through philosophy.
All of the ingredients that went to make up later Judaism have been suggested in essence except one, the belief in the Messiah. The older prophets (Amos, Hosea, Isaiah, Micah-and later, Haggai and Zechariah) predicted that there would be a Day of the Lord, in which the enemies of Israel would be carried to doom and after which a new kingdom would be established, with an anointed, or Messianic, king of the line of David on the throne. An earthly, national, political, historical kingdom was visualized. However, there developed what is called apocalypticism, some of the ideas of which are expressed in the Book of Daniel. Apocalypticism predicted that Gods agent of deliverance would come from the clouds of heaven at the end of the world with a final judgment, at which the good and the evil would be separated.
It was generally believed that the end of the world would be preceded by certain last evils-wars and rumors of wars, distress, famine, fear, plagues, and the rise of wicked rulers. Finally, at the sounding of the last trump, the Son of Man, or the Lords anointed or Righteous Judge, would appear, and even the dead would rise from their graves to greet him. It was suggested that even the Gentiles would be among the redeemed.
There were divergent opinions as to what would happen after the Last Judgment. Some thought that the New Kingdom would be established on earth, to be a new Garden of Eden. Others thought of the New Kingdom as existing in heaven. Still others suggested that the Messiah would reign with his chosen ones for a thousand years, after which there would be a final judgment.
Although the variety of beliefs in regard to the Last Days is great in Judaism, the greater emphasis has been placed on worldly concerns. A statement by the eminent first-century rabbi, Yohanan ben Zakkai, has been quoted repeatedly throughout Jewish history to indicate the importance of doing what is at hand: If there be a plant in your hand when they say to you: Behold the Messiah! - Go and plant the plant, and afterward go out to greet him.
It is obvious that most of the Jews did not accept Jesus as the Messiah. They did not accept the idea of vicarious atonement expressed in the fifty-third chapter of Isaiah. In fact, the Rabbis declared later that God had refused to allow Moses to become a substitute for the sins of Israel, and they used a text from the Torah as proof. Moses said to God, if thou wilt forgive their sin - and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of their book which thou hast written. But the Lord said to Moses, Whoever has sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book (Exod. 32:32-33).
The Messianic hope, although not a dominant theme in Judaism, has never died, but has reappeared periodically with renewed fervor whenever it has seemed that the afflictions were becoming absolutely intolerable. It was only in the nineteenth century C.E. that the Messianic ideas were seriously questioned.
1Scholars have pointed out that many of Jesus ethical teachings are paralleled in the sayings of the rabbis of his day. For example, there is a rabbinic precedent for the saying, The measure you give will be the measure you get (Matt. 7:2). The parable of the mote and the beam (Matt. 7:3-5) is found in the Talmud and the expression, Let the days own trouble be sufficient for the day (Matt. 6:34) is typically Talmudic. Every clause in the Lords Prayer was familiar to the rabbis of Jesus day. In fact, a parallel may be found in Jewish literature for almost every statement in the Sermon on the Mount. (For a brief but scholarly account, see Joseph Klausner: Jesus of Nazareth.)