Help with referencing the Talmud please...

Page 1 of 1 (5 items)
This post has 4 Replies | 0 Followers

Posts 452
Is Mebin | Forum Activity | Posted: Thu, Aug 4 2011 2:21 AM

I just started reading John GOLDINGAY's "The Message of Isaiah 40-55:  A Literal-Theological Commentary", and he quotes the Babylonian Talmud.  So, I fired up L4 and decided to read the quote in context.  The quote was "Isaiah is full of comfort" referenced as b. Baba Batra 14b

When I put this reference into the search it took me to the line..."the sherds of the tablets were also deposited in the ark".  So, I did a general search of the Babylonian Talmud for...Isaiah AND comfort.  This yielded nothing that resembled Goldingay's quote.  (I realised once I found the quote that Neusner uses the word "consolation" instead of "comfort").

I finally stumbled across the quote I was looking for (more by dumb luck I think).  From the line the reference took me to, it was only a page or so down...under the heading "The Correct Order of Books of Scripture".  It reads:

The underlined and bolded line is obvioulsy what Goldingay was referring to.

Questions:

1.  Was Goldingay's reference wrong or just a different system of referencing than L4 (Neusner's version)?

2.  What would be the correct way to reference this (Isaiah is wholly consolation)?  or What would I type into the reference box to go straight to this stanza?

Thank you very much in advance for any help offered.

 

IV.8 A. Let’s consider:

B. Isaiah in point of fact is prior to Jeremiah and Ezekiel, so why should he not be located first in line?

C. Since the end of the book of Kings is about the destruction, and Jeremiah is wholly devoted to destruction, and Ezekiel starts off with destruction but ends up with consolation, while Isaiah is wholly consolation, we locate destruction adjacent to destruction, consolation to consolation.

Posts 13373
Forum MVP
Mark Barnes | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Aug 4 2011 5:45 AM

There are two main ways of referencing the Talmud. Goldingay's method can be broken down like this:

b. Baba Batra 14b

  • b. = Babylonian Talmud
  • Baba Bata = The "Baba Bata" tractate.
  • 14 = The 14th folio
  • b = The 'b' side of the folio

The problem with this method is that it's not precise. A folio is basically a page, so it's a large unit, and unit breaks don't occur in syntactically logical places. So Neusner uses a much more precise referencing system that breaks up the talmud into much smaller units.

Thankfully the Logos edition uses both systems. If you had opened the Talmud, and typed "b. Baba Batra 14b" into the reference box, you would have the suggestion of "b. B. Bata 14B". You could click on the suggestion and go straight to the location (see screenshot). You'll see a [14b] in the middle of the text, and many lines further down you'll see a [15a] which indicates the start of the next folio (if you miss it, it's a few lines just after "Who Wrote Various Books of Scripture?"). From Goldingay's reference you'll know the quote must be after [14b] and before [15a], but you can't place it any more precisely.

Neusner's reference point for the quote you're interested in is b. B. Bat. 1:6, IV.8.C. This would not normally be given to this precision in other works, but it wouldn't be unusual to see a reference to b. B. Bat. 1:6.


Posts 8601
TCBlack | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Aug 4 2011 5:50 AM

I have run into similar situations and get frustrated easily.  I've learned/determined that several of the books must have alternate names or at least alternate abbreviations.  But for the reference above I recognize baba-batra.  

So I attempted to find the reference as well.

First, I would head to the Publishers preface which indicates that baba batra is located in volume 15.  From there dumb luck has to take over for me as well. and I had to end up searching in the text for "Isaiah is" and that found it.  But what if I hadn't had a quote and only a reference?  There still has to be a way.

The address line reveals: b. B. Bat. 14B  So in theory I should be able to go back to the start of the book and use the notation taken from your reference and type in b. Baba Batra 14b and it should take me to the right location.  Sure enough we might expect it since the drop down box interprets it that way:

However accepting that link will take me  a bit earlier in Neusner's translation: viz: the words "14B" in the midst of IV.5.A instead of IV.8.C as noted.

 

Frankly I'm as confused as you are.  Either we've got some incorrect tagging - or we need a primmer on navigating the work.


Truth Is Still Truth Even if You Don't Believe It

Check the Wiki

Warning: Sarcasm is my love language. I may inadvertently express my love to you.

Posts 8601
TCBlack | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Aug 4 2011 5:52 AM

Mark Barnes:
Thankfully the Logos edition uses both systems. If you had opened the Talmud, and typed "b. Baba Batra 14b" into the reference box, you would have the suggestion of "b. B. Bata 14B". You could click on the suggestion and go straight to the location (see screenshot). You'll see a [14b] in the middle of the text, and many lines further down you'll see a [15a] which indicates the start of the next folio (if you miss it, it's a few lines just after "Who Wrote Various Books of Scripture?"). From Goldingay's reference you'll know the quote must be after [14b] and before [15a], but you can't place it any more precisely.

Thank you Mark, I understand the "inacuracy" of the referencing system now - it's not inaccuracy, it's just a lack of specificity. 

Truth Is Still Truth Even if You Don't Believe It

Check the Wiki

Warning: Sarcasm is my love language. I may inadvertently express my love to you.

Posts 452
Is Mebin | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Aug 4 2011 6:06 AM

Thank you very much for your responses guys.  I have a far better understanding now Mark, so thanks for taking the time.  Thomas, thank you for your honesty...brother, if you have a hard time sometimes too, then I certainly don't feel bad (or too stupid).  This was my first real attempt at navigating the Talmud (I ignored the toilet references of another post...lol), and when you learn something new...it is a good day!

Page 1 of 1 (5 items) | RSS