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Then schools were opened at Sepphoris and Tiberias to the west of the Sea of Galilee.The rabbis comforted their countrymen by teaching that the study of the Law (Oral as well as Written) took the place of the sacrifices.This Oral Law, whose origin is buried in obscurity, consists of legal and liturgical interpretations and applications of the Pentateuch.As no part of it was written down, it was preserved by constant repetition ( Mishna ).They are important as indicating the character of the Hebrew text used, and because they agree with the New Testament in interpreting certain passages Messianically which later Jews denied to have any Messianic bearing.(3) The Mishna and Talmuds Hillel and Shammai were the last "pair" of several generations of "pairs" of teachers.On the destruction of Jerusalem several rabbis, learned in this Law, settled at Jamnia, near the sea, twenty-eight miles west of Jerusalem.
Equally at home in the Septuagint and the Greek classics, he was struck and perplexed by the many beautiful and noble thoughts contained in the latter, which could bear comparison with many passages of the Bible .(2) The Targums In order to get on the main lines of Jewish interpretation it is necessary to turn to the Holy Land.Farrar, in his "Life of Christ", says that it has been suggested that when Christ visited the Temple, at twelve years of age, there may have been present among the doctors Jonathan ben Uzziel, once thought the author of the Yonathan Targum, and the venerable teachers Hillel and Shammai, the handers-on of the Mishna.Those who require further information on this head may be referred to the special articles in THE CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA, and to the works mentioned in the bibliography. A visitor to Alexandria at the time when Christ was preaching in Galilee would find there and in its vicinity a million Jews using the Septuagint as their Bible, and could enter their magnificent Great Synagogue of which they were justly proud.