Pseudepigrapha Pseudepigraphy covers the false ascription of names of authors to works, even to authentic works that make no such claim within their text. Thus a widely accepted but an incorrect attribution of authorship may make a completely authentic text pseudepigraphical. Assessing the actual writer of a text locates questions of pseudepigraphical attribution within the discipline of literary criticism. Classical and biblical studies There have probably been pseudepigrapha almost from the invention of full writing. Literary studies Old Testament and intertestamental studies In biblical studies, pseudepigrapha refers particularly to works which purport to be written by noted authorities in either the Old and New Testaments or by persons involved in Jewish or Christian religious study or history. Many such works were also referred to as Apocrypha, which originally connoted "secret writings", those that were rejected for liturgical public reading. New Testament studies
Oral Torah According to Rabbinic Judaism, the "Oral Torah" or "Oral Law" (Hebrew: תורה שבעל פה, Torah she-be-`al peh, lit "Torah that is spoken") represents those laws, statutes, and legal interpretations that were not recorded in the Five Books of Moses, the "Written Torah" (Hebrew: תורה שבכתב, Torah she-bi-khtav, lit. "Torah that is written"), but nonetheless are regarded by Jews as prescriptive and co-given. This holistic Jewish code of conduct encompass a wide swath of ritual, worship, God-man and interpersonal relationships, from dietary laws to Sabbath and festival observance to marital relations, agricultural practices, and civil claims and damages. According to Jewish tradition, the Oral Torah was passed down orally in an unbroken chain from generation to generation until its contents were finally committed to writing following the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE, when Jewish civilization was faced with an existential threat. Components of the Oral Law Codification
Mitzvah In its primary meaning, the Hebrew word mitzvah ("commandment", מִצְוָה, [mit͡sˈva], Biblical: miṣwah; plural מִצְווֹת mitzvot [mit͡sˈvot], Biblical: miṣwoth; from צִוָּה ṣiwwah "command") refers to precepts and commandments as commanded by God. It is a word used in Judaism to refer to the 613 commandments given in the Torah (at Mount Sinai, where all the Jews accepted the Torah, saying "We will do, and we will listen") and the seven rabbinic commandments instituted later for a total of 620. According to the teachings of Judaism, all moral laws are, or are derived from, divine commandments. In its secondary meaning, Hebrew mitzvah, as with English "commandment," refers to a moral deed performed as a religious duty. As such, the term mitzvah has also come to express an act of human kindness. The tertiary meaning of mitzvah also refers to the fulfillment of a mitzvah. Hebrew Bible The feminine noun mitzvah (מִצְוָה) occurs over 180 times in the Masoretic Text of the Hebrew Bible.
Moses Moses (Hebrew: מֹשֶׁה, Modern Moshe Tiberian Mōšéh ISO 259-3 Moše ; Syriac: ܡܘܫܐ Moushe; Arabic: موسى Mūsā ) was, according to the Hebrew Bible, the Qur'an, and Baha'i scripture, a former Egyptian prince and warrior, later turned religious leader, lawgiver, and prophet, to whom the authorship of the Torah is traditionally attributed. Also called Moshe Rabbenu in Hebrew (מֹשֶׁה רַבֵּנוּ, Lit. "Moses our Teacher/Rabbi"), he is the most important prophet in Judaism. He is also an important prophet in Christianity and Islam, as well as a number of other faiths. According to the Book of Exodus, Moses was born in a time when his people, the Children of Israel, were increasing in numbers and the Egyptian Pharaoh was worried that they might ally with Egypt's enemies. God sent Moses back to Egypt to demand the release of the Israelites from slavery. Name The biblical text explains the name Mošeh משה as a derivation of the root mšh משה "to draw", in Exodus 2:10:
Jews The Jews (Hebrew: יְהוּדִים ISO 259-3 Yehudim Israeli pronunciation [jehuˈdim]); (בני ישראל, Standard: Bnai Yisraʾel; Tiberian: Bnai Yiśrāʾēl; ISO 259-3: Bnai Yiśraʾel, translated as: "Children of Israel" or "Sons of Israel"), also known as the Jewish people, are a nation and ethnoreligious group originating from the Israelites (Hebrews) of the Ancient Near East. The world Jewish population reached a peak of 16.7 million prior to World War II, but 6 million Jews were killed in the Holocaust. Name and etymology The English word Jew continues Middle English Gyw, Iewe. These terms derive from Old French giu, earlier juieu, which had elided (dropped) the letter "d" from the Medieval Latin Iudaeus, which, like the New Testament Greek term Ioudaios, meant both Jews and Judeans / "of Judea". According to The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition (2000): Origins According to the Hebrew Bible, all Israelites descend from Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Judaism
Elijah In Judaism Elijah's name is invoked at the weekly Havdalah ritual that marks the end of Shabbat, and Elijah is invoked in other Jewish customs, among them the Passover seder and the Brit milah (ritual circumcision). He appears in numerous stories and references in the Haggadah and rabbinic literature, including the Babylonian Talmud. In Christianity the New Testament describes how both Jesus and John the Baptist are compared with Elijah and on some occasions thought by some to be manifestations of Elijah, and Elijah appears with Moses during the Transfiguration of Jesus. In Islam the Qur'an describes Elijah as a great and righteous prophet of God and one who powerfully preached against the worship of Ba'al. Elijah is also a figure in various Christian folk traditions, often identified with earlier pagan thunder or sky gods. Biblical narratives and historical background Map of Israel as it was in the 9th century BC. As King, Ahab exacerbated these tensions. 1st and 2nd Kings
Tannaim The Tannaim (Hebrew: תנאים [tanaˈʔim], singular תנא [taˈna], Tanna "repeaters", "teachers") were the Rabbinic sages whose views are recorded in the Mishnah, from approximately 10-220 CE. The period of the Tannaim, also referred to as the Mishnaic period, lasted about 210 years. It came after the period of the Zugot ("pairs"), and was immediately followed by the period of the Amoraim ("interpreters") The root tanna (תנא) is the Talmudic Aramaic equivalent for the Hebrew root shanah (שנה), which also is the root-word of Mishnah. The Mishnaic period is commonly divided up into five periods according to generations. The Tannaim lived in several areas of the Land of Israel. Some Tannaim worked as laborers (e.g., charcoal burners, cobblers) in addition to their positions as teachers and legislators. Origin The Tannaim operated under the occupation of the Roman Empire. Prominent Tannaim Titles Nesi'im Generations The generations of the Tannaim included:
Jewish religious movements Jewish religious movements sometimes called "denominations" or "branches", include different groups which have developed among Jews from ancient times and especially in the modern era among Ashkenazi Jews living in anglophone countries. Despite the efforts of several of these movements to expand their membership in Israel and achieve official recognition by the Israeli government, non-Orthodox movements have remained largely a feature of Judaism in the diaspora. Historically, the division of Jews in many Western countries into denominations, which in the United States in particular took the form of three large groups known as Orthodox, Conservative and Reform, can be traced to Jewish reaction to the Haskalah (Jewish Enlightenment) and its aftermath, and to a certain extent the philosophies of these movements were shaped in reaction to one another. Several smaller movements have emerged in the years since. Common values. The movements differ in their views on various religious issues.
Western esotericism Western esotericism (also Western hermetic tradition, Western mysticism, Western inner tradition, Western occult tradition, and Western mystery tradition) is a broad spectrum of spiritual traditions found in Western society, or refers to the collection of the mystical, esoteric knowledge of the Western world. This often includes, but is not limited to, philosophy, meditation, herbalism, alchemy, astrology, divination, and various forms of ritual magic. The tradition has no one source or unifying text, nor does it hold any specific dogma, instead placing emphasis on spiritual "knowledge" or gnosis and the rejection of blind faith. Although the protosciences were widespread in the ancient world, the rise of modern science was born from occult varieties of Western Esotericism reinterpreted in the "Age of Enlightenment" and is documented within the field known as the History of science. Definition As a category, Western esotericism has been defined in various ways. History
Names of God in Judaism The Tetragrammaton (YHWH) The Tetragrammaton in Phoenician (1100 BCE to 300 CE), Aramaic (10th Century BCE to 0) and modern Hebrew scripts. The name of God in Judaism used most often in the Hebrew Bible is the four-letter name יהוה (YHWH), also known as the Tetragrammaton (Greek for "four letters"). The Tetragrammaton appears 6,828 times in the Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia edition of the Hebrew Masoretic Text. It first appears at Genesis 2:4 and is usually translated as the LORD in many English language Bibles, although Jehovah or Yahweh are employed in others. An early depiction of the Tetragrammaton—circa 600 BCE. Portion of column 19 of the Psalms Scroll (Tehilim) from Qumran Cave 11. The name ceased to be pronounced in Second Temple Judaism, by the 3rd century BCE. Rabbinical Judaism teaches that the name is forbidden to be uttered except by the Kohen Gadol (High Priest) in the inner sanctum (Kodesh ha-Kadoshim, or Holy of Holies) of the Temple on Yom Kippur. Yah
Zohar The Zohar (Hebrew: זֹהַר, lit. Splendor or Radiance) is the foundational work in the literature of Jewish mystical thought known as Kabbalah. It is a group of books including commentary on the mystical aspects of the Torah (the five books of Moses) and scriptural interpretations as well as material on mysticism, mythical cosmogony, and mystical psychology. The Zohar contains a discussion of the nature of God, the origin and structure of the universe, the nature of souls, redemption, the relationship of Ego to Darkness and "true self" to "The Light of God", and the relationship between the "universal energy" and man. Its scriptural exegesis can be considered an esoteric form of the Rabbinic literature known as Midrash, which elaborates on the Torah. The Zohar is mostly written in what has been described as an exalted, eccentric style of Aramaic. The Zohar first appeared in Spain in the 13th century, and was published by a Jewish writer named Moses de Leon. Etymology
Christian Kabbalah The Renaissance saw the birth of Christian Kabbalah/Cabala (From the Hebrew קַבָּלָה "reception", often transliterated with a 'C' to distinguish it from Jewish Kabbalah and Hermetic Qabalah), also spelled Cabbala. Interest grew among some Christian scholars in what they saw to be the mystical aspects of Judaic Kabbalah, which were compatible with Christian theology. Although somewhat obscure, the tradition of Christian Cabala or Catholic Cabala still persists today. Background The movement was influenced by a desire to interpret aspects of Christianity even more mystically than current Christian Mystics. After the 18th century, Kabbalah became blended with European occultism, some of which had a religious basis; but the main thrust of Christian Kabbalah was by then dead. Medieval precursors Blessed Raymond Llull Spanish conversos Christian Kabbalists Pico della Mirandola That could not be said of Reuchlin, Knorr von Rosenroth and Kemper.