Graduate Colloquium in Biblical and Early Christian Studies, 2019-2020

2016-05-01 Family @Keble College (3)

Keble College. Photo (c) 2017

This collaborative seminar meets in the Dining Hall at Keble College on alternate Wednesdays 8.15-9.45 a.m., beginning with breakfast, to discuss topics and texts in the development of biblical and early Christian faith and practice. The subject focus may include Jewish or early Christian primary sources, classic or important recent publications, or alternatively research in progress by members of the group.  Suggestions for future work are always welcome; please contact Prof. Bockmuehl for further information or to be added to the mailing list.

In the Michaelmas Term 2019 we are reading the Mishnah tractate Aboth – sometimes called Pirkei Avot (“Chapters of the Fathers”) or “Ethics of the Fathers”.  A bibliography and set of links appear below.  The first meeting is at 8:15 on Wednesday 23 October. Prof. Bockmuehl will provide an Introduction and we will begin reading Chapter 1.  

A Few Online Texts

We are fortunate to have good online options both for the Hebrew text and English translations, and for manuscript evidence. I suggest you might like to start with the wonderful Sefaria.org resources (Abot link here) or alternatively the amateur-friendly Chabad.org site (here). The key Kaufmann Manuscript of the Mishnah is accessible in a range of transcriptions and digitized images, e.g. beginning here.  A PDF of the 1954 text, translation and commentary by Blackman (see below) can be downloaded here (vol. 4: Seder Nezikin).

Jastrow’s classic but still serviceable Dictionary of the Targumim, the Talmud Bavli and Yerushalmi, and the Midrashic Literature is now also available in a free, fully digitized and searchable version at Sefaria here.

Mishnah, Aboth: A Brief Reading List 
  • Angeles Navarro, María. 1987. Abot de Rabbí Natán: versión crítica, introdución y notas. Biblioteca midrásica 5. Valencia: Institutión S. Jerónimo para La Investigación Bíblica.
  • Blackman, Philip. 1963-64. Mishnayot.  7 vols. New York: Judaica. 
  • Cohen, Shaye J. D. 2006. From the Maccabees to the Mishnah. 2nd edn. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press.
  • Danby, Herbert. 1933. The Mishnah. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
  • Fiebig, Paul. 1906. Pirque ‘aboth : der Mischnatractat “Sprüche der Väter” : ins Deutsche übersetzt und unter besonderer Berücksichtigung des Verhältnisses zum Neuen Testament mit Anmerkungen versehen. Ausgewählte Mischnatractate in deutscher Übersetzung 2. Tübingen: J.C.B. Mohr.
  • Finkelstein, Louis. 1938. “Introductory Study to Pirke Abot.” JBL 57: 13–50.
  • Goldin, Judah. 1945. “The two versions of Abot de Rabbi Nathan.” Hebrew Union College Annual 19: 97-120.
  • Gottlieb, Isaac B. 1990. “Pirqe Abot and biblical wisdom.” Vetus Testamentum 40: 152-64.
  • Gottlieb, Isaac B. 1997. “Qohelet, Pirqe Abot, and the wisdom of Torah.” Shnato, no n 11: 46-55.
  • Guttmann, Alexander. 1950. “Tractate Abot: Its Place in Rabbinic Literature.” Jewish Quarterly Review 41: 181-93.
  • Herford, Robert Travers. 1925. Pirke Aboth. The tractate “Fathers” from the Mishnah, commonly called “Sayings of the fathers.”. New York: Jewish Institute of Religion Press.
  • Jacobi, Leor. 2016. “A Dispute for Heaven’s Sake.” Journal of Jewish Studies 67: 91-101.
  • Maass, Fritz. 1937. Formgeschichte der Mischna: Mit besonderer Berücksichtigung des Traktats Abot. Berlin: Junker und Dünnhaupt Verlag.
  • Maimonides, Moses, ed. 1968. The Commentary to Mishnah Aboth: Translated with an Introduction and Notes. Edited by A. David. New York, Block Pub. Co.,: Block.
  • Michel, Otto. 1970. “Ein Beitrag zur Exegese des Traktates Abot.” In Verborum Veritas: Festschrift für Gustav Stählin zum 70. Geburtstag 349-59. Ed. O. Böcher and K. Haacker. Wuppertal: R. Brockhaus.
  • Morfino, Mauro Maria. 2001. “”La Torah non si acquista a meno di quarantotto condizioni” : tipologie maestro-discepolo nel trattato “Pirqé ‘Abot” e nel midrash “‘Abot de-Rabbi Natan”.” In Un padre per vivere: l’esperienza della figura paterna tra istanze religiose e socio-culturali. Scritti in onore di Dom Bruno Marin OSB, abate di Praglia, 75-172.  Ed. Mauro Maccarinelli. Padova: Poligrafo.
  • Morfino, Mauro Maria. 2002. “”Metti in pratica più de quello che hai studiato” (Pirqé Abot 6,4): Alcuni tratti esistenziali caratteristici del maestro della parola nel trattato Pirqé Abot e nel Midrash Abot de-Rabbi Natan e in alcuni commenti posteriori.” Rivista Biblica 50: 257-310.
  • Morfino, Mauro Maria. 2004. “”Moltiplicare la Torah i moltiplicare la vita” (Pirqe Abot 2,8): maestri e disepoli in alcuni commenti rabbinici.” Liber annuus 54: 141-234.
  • Navarro Peiró, María Angeles. 1987. Abot de Rabbí Natán. Biblioteca midrásica 5. Valencia: Institución S. Jerónimo para la Investigación Bíblica.
  • Neusner, Jacob. 1988. The Mishnah: A New translation. New Haven/London: Yale University Press.
  • Neusner, Jacob. 1992. Judaism and Story: The evidence of the Fathers According to Rabbi Nathan. Chicago Studies in the history of Judaism. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
  • Neusner, Jacob. 2009. “Testing the documentary hypothesis: Abot, ARNA, and the canonical processes of formulating the rabbinic documents.” Review of Rabbinic Judaism 12: 161-88.
  • Saldarini, Anthony J. 1975. The Fathers according to Rabbi Nathan (Abot de Rabbi Nathan) version B: A Translation and Commentary. Studies in Judaism in late antiquity. 11. Leiden: Brill.
  • Schäfer, Peter. 2008. “Rabbis and priests, or: How to do away with the glorious past of the Sons of Aaron.” In Antiquity in Antiquity, 155-72 Ed. G. Gardner & K. L. Osterloh. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck.
  • Silberman, Lou H. 1989. “From Apocalyptic Proclamation to Moral Prescript: Abot 2,15-16.” Journal of Jewish Studies 40: 53-60.
  • Steinmetz, Devora. 2002. “Distancing and bringing near. A new look at Mishnah Tractates ʻEdyyot and ʼAbot.” Hebrew Union College Annual 73: 49-96.
  • Stemberger, Günter. 1996. “Die innerrabinische Überlieferung von Mischna Abot.” In Geschichte–Tradition–Reflexion: Festschrift für Martin Hengel zum 70. Geburtstag, 1: Judentum: 511-27. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck.
  • Stemberger, Günter. 1996. Introduction to the Talmud and Midrash. Ed. M. Bockmuehl. 2nd edn. Edinburgh: T&T Clark.
  • Tropper, Amram D. 2004. Wisdom, Politics, and Historiography: Tractate Avot in the Context of the Graeco-Roman Near East. Oxford/New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Viviano, Benedict. 1978. Study as Worship: Aboth and the New Testament. Studies in Judaism in Late Antiquity 26. Leiden: Brill.
  • Wills, Lawrence M. 2001. “Scribal Methods in Matthew and Mishnah Abot.” Catholic Biblical Quarterly 63: 241-57.

M.B. rev 7.11.19