Being a Witness

Page 1 of 1 (13 items)
This post has 12 Replies | 0 Followers

Posts 2298
Beloved | Forum Activity | Posted: Fri, Oct 19 2018 5:18 PM

I'm looking for Logos resources that discuss being a witness from a Jewish perspective. Thanks for your help!

Meanwhile, Jesus kept on growing wiser and more mature, and in favor with God and his fellow man.

International Standard Version. (2011). (Lk 2:52). Yorba Linda, CA: ISV Foundation.

Posts 2298
Beloved | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Oct 20 2018 12:47 PM

Robert Neely:

Thanks, Robert for your input, but this is not quite what I am looking for. I'm interested in witness from the perspective of Jewish law.

Meanwhile, Jesus kept on growing wiser and more mature, and in favor with God and his fellow man.

International Standard Version. (2011). (Lk 2:52). Yorba Linda, CA: ISV Foundation.

Posts 172
Roy | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Oct 21 2018 11:34 AM

I have not looked too closely but maybe this is a start. I have not looked at the articles either....

The resources ->  https://www.logos.com/product/3049/jewish-law 

Posts 2298
Beloved | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Oct 21 2018 12:06 PM

Roy:
I have not looked too closely but maybe this is a start. I have not looked at the articles either....

I too noticed this and The Institutes of Biblical Law.  Perhaps you would do me the favor of posting the entry for witness in Jewish Law. I also note that that cheapest route to go towards ownership is to purchase the Expansion L set. It would also be helpful to me if someone who owns The Institutes of Biblical Law would post the relevant article in this resource. Thanks.

Meanwhile, Jesus kept on growing wiser and more mature, and in favor with God and his fellow man.

International Standard Version. (2011). (Lk 2:52). Yorba Linda, CA: ISV Foundation.

Posts 172
Roy | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Oct 21 2018 3:40 PM

Hi Brother,

If you noticed from my 1st screen shot there are 805 results scattered across some 163 articles. I am not sure how to find the most relevant article for you. I found this article that covers a period of jewish law referred to as Amoraic. Google/Wikipedia states that this period ran from about 220 to 300-500 C.E.

I'll look some more a bit later. Right  now I need to leave for Church tonight. 

Blessings!
Roy

===================

Vol II - Chapter 24 - Section IV-B-1

1. The Law Pertaining to Witnesses

The Talmud quotes the following baraita:

It has been taught: Testimony [the Tosefta adds: “of witnesses”] cannot be combined [the Tosefta states: “cannot be admitted”] unless they have simultaneously seen [what they testify to—Rashi the Tosefta states: “unless they saw each other”]. R. Joshua b. Korḥa says: “The testimony is valid even if they witnessed it consecutively” [the Tosefta states: “even if they did not see each other”].

Their testimony is not admissible in court [to serve as the basis for a judgment—Rashi] unless they both testify together. R. Nathan says: “The testimony of one witness may be heard one day, and when the other witness appears on the next day, his testimony may be heard.” [The Tosefta states: “The testimony of witnesses cannot be admitted unless they are together; R. Simeon says: ‘The testimony of one witness may be heard one day, and when the other witness appears the next day, his testimony may be heard.’ ”]

The first part of the baraita lays down a rule with regard to the manner of witnessing the event about which the witnesses are to testify; the second part deals with the manner in which the witnesses testify in court.

The Talmud asks, with regard to the two parts of the baraita: “On what do they differ?” I.e., what is the basis of the dispute between the first tanna and R. Joshua b. Korḥa in the first part of the baraita, and of the dispute between the first tanna and R. Nathan (according to the Tosefta, R. Simeon) in the latter part?

With regard to the first part of the baraita, which deals with the witnessing of the event, the response in the Talmud is as follows:

If you wish, I will cite a Scriptural verse; if you wish, I will explain it on the basis of sevarah.

As a matter of sevarah, the maneh [a coin] to which the first witness testifies is not the one to which the second witness testifies; and the maneh to which the second witness testifies is not the maneh to which the first witness testifies [i.e., the first tanna takes the view that if each witness sees an event at a different time, their testimony cannot be combined to form a single unit of testimony by two witnesses, since each witness testifies to a different maneh]; the other [R. Joshua b. Korḥa] takes the view that in any event both witnesses testify to a maneh.

And, if you wish, I will cite a Scriptural verse, as it is said: “… [he is] able to testify as one who has either seen or learned of the matter.”

The discussion continues by explaining that each tanna interprets this verse as proof of his own view.

The Talmud responds in the same vein in connection with the disagreement between the first tanna and R. Nathan in the latter part of the baraita with regard to the witnesses’ testimony in court:

If you wish, I will explain it on the basis of sevarah; if you wish, I will cite a Scriptural verse.

As a matter of sevarah, one master [the first tanna] argues: “A single witness may impose an obligation to take an oath but may not establish liability.” [I.e., the Torah states: “A single witness may not validate against a person any guilt or blame for any offense that may be committed; a case can be valid only on the testimony of two witnesses or more.” Testimony of a single witness is thus not sufficient to impose liability to pay money; the only effect such testimony has is that the defendant is required to take an oath that his version of the facts is true, and upon doing so he is free of liability. The result is that when each witness testifies separately, there is no testimony that is sufficient to impose liability; while there are two witnesses testifying, each one merely requires the defendant to take an oath, and the combined effect of the witnesses is no greater than to require the oath.]

The other master [R. Nathan] argues: “Even when they come together, do they testify with one mouth? Nevertheless, they are combined; so here, too, we may combine them.” [I.e., R. Nathan argues that we may view the two separate acts of giving testimony by each of the witnesses as the combined testimony of two witnesses establishing liability, since, after all, even if two witnesses testify together, they do not testify with one mouth, but the judges hear one witness and then the second witness, and combine the two statements into a single unit of testimony. Just as this combination establishes the two statements of the witnesses as a single unit of testimony, so, too, joining the statements by two witnesses when each one testifies on a different day combines their testimony in the same way and with the same effect.]

And, if you wish, I will cite a Scriptural verse: “… he does not give information, so that he is subject to punishment.”

Here, too, each tanna interprets this verse as proof for his own view. The amoraim thus establish two possibilities, equal in status and weight, for the original source of two rules pertaining to witnesses: one that the rules were created by sevarah, and the other that the basis for the rules was Biblical exegesis.

Elon, Menachem. Jewish Law: History, Sources, Principles = Ha-Mishpat Ha-Ivri. A Philip and Muriel Berman ed. Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 1994.

https://www.logos.com/resources/LLS_JWSHLAW2/jewish-law-history-sources-principles-vol-ii 

Posts 2298
Beloved | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Oct 21 2018 4:28 PM

Roy:
If you noticed from my 1st screen shot there are 805 results scattered across some 163 articles. I am not sure how to find the most relevant article for you. I found this article that covers a period of jewish law referred to as Amoraic. Google/Wikipedia states that this period ran from about 220 to 300-500 C.E.

I appreciate your effort, it is enough for me to conclude this is a resource worth the investment. Blessings to you!

Meanwhile, Jesus kept on growing wiser and more mature, and in favor with God and his fellow man.

International Standard Version. (2011). (Lk 2:52). Yorba Linda, CA: ISV Foundation.

Posts 6228
DAL | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Oct 21 2018 6:01 PM

Try the Jewish Bundle Large ot XL, you might get more for your money, including the Talmud 👍😁👌

Posts 89
David Staveley | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Oct 22 2018 4:04 PM

Beloved:

I'm looking for Logos resources that discuss being a witness from a Jewish perspective. Thanks for your help!

Firstly, let me say I am not one to "jump" on somebody because they are not being "politically correct" (whatever that means!), but you just said something which on the basis of the education of our fellow Christian brothers and sisters needs saying, because otherwise we can't "mature in Christ Our Lord": In today's world, you can no longer group all Jews into a single category called "Judaism". Jews of Today adhere to at least 5 important and prominent types of Jewish worship, which in certain areas of practice and belief, are fundamentally against each other. There are the Ultra-Orthodox, or Hasidim; the Orthodox; the Conservative; the Reformed; and the Progressive. The last 2 are particularly important given the subject matter of your question: "Jewish Law". Neither Reformed Judaism, nor Progressive Judaism accept Rabbinic Law (that is, to use the technical word for it halakhah) as binding on the practice of Judaism in modern society. Indeed, the Reformed movement began life principally over this question: were all Jews required to observe the laws found in the Mishnah, the Talmud, and the Midrashim? The founders concluded that they weren't. The same is also true of the Progressive Synagogue, albeit for different reasons. 

Only the Ultra-Orthodox, the Orthodox, and the Conservative Synagogues  accept the authority of the Rabbinic halakhah as binding. And yet, even here we have problems: all three of them have different ideas as to the extent of the halakhah, whether or not modern society  calls for new ways of thinking about legal theory and practice (e.g. the Conservatives introduce the modern critical-scientific way of legislating in the courts. Indeed, they are noted for it. They believe that modern situations were not imagined when the Rabbinic corpus was drawn up, and on such things, the Talmidic tradition is blind: it has no answers, or indeed, any halakhic principles which could be used to reason-out such answers). Using these modern critical-scientific methods of legal reasoning, Conservative Rabbis have found what they believe are solid grounds for rejecting some of the Rabbinic halakhah. They believe that such grounds are mandated within the Talmud itself. 

In contrast, both Ultra-Orthodox and Orthodox Judaism sees the entire Rabbinic corpus as binding on all Jews until Eternity itself ends. Not principally because they believe it is God's Law - that is a given. Rather, because they believe the Rabbinic method of legal reasoning has its roots and authority in the Israelite Priesthood: when God gave Moses two laws on Sinai - the written and the oral law - He gave with it the office of "Interpreters of law". Members of this office were commanded by God to instruct Israel on how to correctly obey the law. They were commanded to instruct, and educate Her, and pass on the "teachings" found within the Torah (which is actually what the word "torah" means: it means, first and foremost, "instruction". Not principally to mean "law", or "commandment"). The word Paul uses for this office in Galatians is "mediator". Between God and man stands the covenant Mediator., The first was Moses. Then Aaron. And then subsequently, the whole of the family of Zadox (i.e. the kohanim - the priesthood). The Rabbinic tradition sees itself as heirs of this special group. As such, both practising these principles of law, and vouchsafing their presivation and safe-keeping for all of prosperity is fundamental to their mind-set. So, for them, the modern methods of legal reasoning practiced by Conservative Judaism, based as they are on principals not found within this historical office of "Interpreter of the Law" (which is secret code for "the Rabbinic Tradition"!), means that the legal rulings determined by such methods ultimately leads to the transgression of Torah. In this mind-set, Conservatives are thought of as rendering true obedience itself. But rather a "false obedience". A counterfeit version of it. 

If you are wondering where the Ultra-Orthodox and Orthodox differences lie, it is principally over the question of the authority and practice of kabbalah. This is a form of Jewish Mysticism whose roots can be dated back to the time of the Dead Sea community. Ultra-Orthodox Judaism, or the hasidim, are the custodians of the Medieval form of kabbalah started by Rabbi Isaac Luria, but which branched off into Lurianic kabbalah (started by Rabbi Isaac Luria in the 15th century) and became a very esoteric form of mysticism. The Hasidim and Orthodox Jews are very divided on the question, as mysticism has always been formally banned for Jews since the time of Rabbi Saadaya Gaon - the patriarch of the Gaonic Dynasty, a dynasty which has been singularly responsible for the shape of Rabbinic belief reaching from its inception in the 4th century CE, into the Medieval period, and even into present day Rabbinic Judaism. It sounds like a difference of opinion over theology, but actually its the way kabbalah theory interprets Rabbinic law that Orthodox Jewish adherents object to. 

Coming back to your question: only Orthodox and Ultra-Orthodox Judaism have Rabbinic courts whose principals can be traced back to Israelite law, and so would have an answer for you on the theory of court witnesses. Whereas Conservative Judaism has courts in order to settle matters arising in their society, its principles are modern: they use the principles of modern legal jurisprudence. As such, they a very unbiblical understanding of the court witness. In the biblical idea of the witness, the authority behind the the handling and care of the witness, the legal process by which they give testimony, etc is not Israel's. It is God's. In this totally Theocratic concept of law, human reason has no place. So, the question of human concepts of ethics, morality, and social justice is never allowed to enter into the subject. You do it God's way, because He is God of Israel. What He says goes.

Dr David Staveley Professor of New Testament. Specializing in the Pauline Epistles, Apocalyptic Judaism, and the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Posts 26137
Forum MVP
MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Oct 22 2018 4:10 PM

David - thank you for continuing to educate us. Keep it up as it is very useful.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

Posts 3172
Forum MVP
PetahChristian | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Oct 22 2018 4:57 PM

Thank you very much, David.

Posts 6228
DAL | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Oct 22 2018 5:25 PM

MJ. Smith:

David - thank you for continuing to educate us. Keep it up as it is very useful.

Yep, him and Matthew have provided great insights from “Jewish Perspectives.”

Hopefully, we can have David’s future book in Logos some day 👍😁👌

DAL

Posts 2298
Beloved | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Oct 22 2018 6:07 PM

David Staveley:
Coming back to your question: only Orthodox and Ultra-Orthodox Judaism have Rabbinic courts whose principals can be traced back to Israelite law, and so would have an answer for you on the theory of court witnesses.

Thank you for the whole of your comment. You correctly observed that my interest with regards to this matter involves the period and traditions of first century Jews as would be relevant to our Lord Jesus. I purchased the Jewish Studies Expansion Set Large in order to have the resource Jewish Law. I find it both helpful and interesting as well as extensive. Chapter 15 in Book Two is particularly helpful. If you have the resource I'd be interested in your comments here. Thanks, David!

Meanwhile, Jesus kept on growing wiser and more mature, and in favor with God and his fellow man.

International Standard Version. (2011). (Lk 2:52). Yorba Linda, CA: ISV Foundation.

Page 1 of 1 (13 items) | RSS