Antiquity of Rabanim

(Vere, Stein Atle. @2011. “Antiquity of Rabanim”. brakha.blogspot.com.)

The medieval Hai Gaon האי גאון (circa 1000s) and the classical Yhoshua יהושע (Historical Jesus circa 00s) share specific details about the prophecies of the Mashiakh Age, despite being about a thousand years apart. The common tradition implies two things.

How truly part of the tradition of the Rabanim (Rabbis) Yhoshua is, and how truly ancient the tradition of the Rabanim is.

• Yhoshua believes in the Tora (Judaism). Yhoshua knows and teaches that stream of Tora that becomes the Tora of the later Rabanim. They refer to the same tradition. In other words, Yhoshua is Dati (an Orthodox Jew). His use of technical terms and paradigms refers to the Yhudi (Jewish) context of “Proto-Rabbinic” debates about Tora. Yhoshua has less to do with the later Notsri (Christian) context of theological dogmas, whose technical terms and paradigms refer to Greek philosophy.

• As the two share the same traditions, the New Testament itself is evidence the antiquity of the “oral tradition” of the Rabanim. Today historians often view the Rabani (Rabbinic) concepts of the Medieval Age as medieval innovations, and doubt claims of ancient traditions that pass from Rabi to Rabi by word of mouth. Yet the agreements of the classical New Testament and the medieval responses of Hai Gaon demonstrate the reliability of the transmission across the millennium. Unlike the oral traditions of some other cultures, the Rabani oral traditions refer to physical books, especially the Tanakh and the Talmud. Key passages within these written texts are themselves the mnemonics, to remind the next generation of Rabanim how to interpret these texts. By means of books, the ongoing oral tradition secures sufficient stability and consistency from one generation to the next, even without writing the interpretations themselves. Of course, Rabanim apply the Tora to current circumstances and innovate new understandings of the infinite Tora. Meanwhile there is also substantial continuity across time.

It is surprising these two persons would agree about curious details while a thousand years apart. It shows how Rabani Yhoshua is, and how ancient Rabanim are.