Monday, April 25, 2011

What text are they referring to?

I've been doing some research into Lev. 19:18 and its relationship to Paul in Rom. 13 and Gal. 5. Anyway, I read something today that was very odd. In Witherington's Romans commentary, he says about 13:8-10, "But Paul is also following a longer Jewish tradition that suggested that the pith or heart of the Law could be summed up in one phrase" then gives two references: Testament of Issachar 6 and the Babylonian Talmud Shabbat 31a. I'm trying to hunt down both of these references, but they seem to be either wrong or I might be missing something.

First, the T. Iss reference seems to be a mistake because when I read through that book in the OTP, chapter 6 has nothing (as far as I can tell) about the Torah being summed up in a phrase.

Second, I'm having a hard time trying to find the Talmudic reference. Does anyone know where I can get access to it online? I figured the Talmud would be online somewhere, but I can't seem to find it...

Anyone know what texts Witherington (among other commentators) are referring to and where I can get access to them? Any help is appreciated!


Nick Norelli said...

You can find the Babylonian Talmud online here and here. The relevant portion of b. Šabb 31a says:

"On another occasion it happened that a certain heathen came before Shammai and said to him, 'Make me a proselyte, on condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot.' Thereupon he repulsed him with the builder's cubit which was in his hand.[12] When he went before Hillel, he said to him, 'What is hateful to you, do not to your neighbour:[13] that is the whole Torah, while the rest is the commentary thereof; go and learn it.' "

Nick Norelli said...

Also, BW3 might have been referring to T. Iss. 5.2 which says, "but love the Lord and your neighbor, show mercy to the poor and weak." In other words, BW3 might not have been saying that this particular reference stated that the law was summed up in one phrase, but rather that this is an example of the phrase that sums up the law.

Mike S. said...

Nick: Ah, thanks for the links! Very very helpful. As for the T. Iss reference, it's still a bit annoying because he refers to it in an ambiguous way. Not to mention the fact that he said ch. 6 (with a footnote to Dunn), maybe without having checked the reference himself!

And I just checked Dunn's commentary, which says 5.2 like you said. Thanks again!