The Hebrew word rendered "Talmud" signifies doctrine. It is the given name to a collection of Jewish laws, traditions, and commentaries of the early centuries of the Christian Era. First, about the beginning of the Third century, Rabbi Jehuda put into written form what was known as the oral law handed down from Moses, but did not put into written form many Jewish traditions and customs and essential parts of the written law, which was called the Mishna. Toward the end of the Fourth century, extensive commentaries and discussions on the Mishna by various Rabbis were published, and the combined publication of the Mishna and these commentaries were called the Talmud. While the Talmud contains many trifles, and much controversial material, it preserves an elaborate compendium of Jewish customs and some valuable historical data, and is widely used by critics in Bible research. In many passages of the Talmud, illustrations of the Masonic System are furnished. Traditions and legends, especially of the higher degrees, are either found in or corroborated by the Talmud. For example, the treatise entitled Middoth gives us the best description of King Solomon's Temple now available. However, it must be remembered that in no sense is the Talmud a Masonic document.

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