Skip to main content

National College Credit Recommendation Service

Board of Regents  |  University of the State of New York

Theological Research Institute, Ltd. (TRI) | Evaluated Learning Experience

Jewish History (303): Formation of the Talmud


70 hours. 

Various; distance learning format.

December 2019 – Present.

Instructional delivery format: 
Hybrid course/exam
Learner Outcomes: 

Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to: discern between the apodictic Amoraic material and the anonymous discursive stratum; evaluate and analyze the various models of the formation of the Talmud and their impact upon the understanding of the text; evaluate the nature of the forced explanations prevalent throughout the Talmud and specifically in the discursive stratum; apply form criticism to determine the setting in life of the early Talmudic transmission and teaching; and evaluate the various modes of oral transmission and their impact upon our written version of the Talmud.


This course explores the various theories about formation of the Talmud, from the traditional view of Y. I. Halevy in his Dorot Harishonim to the diametrically opposed contemporary models of D. W. Halivni and Shamma Friedman. Students analyze their theories and evaluate their literary evidence as well as apply their models to the critical reading of the Talmudic text. Students also explore an alternative model which combines these diverse theories considering the oral matrix of the Talmud during its early phase and the diverse modes of oral transmission. All texts will be read in translation. No previous knowledge of Talmud is necessary. 

Credit recommendation: 

In the upper division baccalaureate degree category, 3 semester hours in Talmud, Jewish Literature, Judaic Studies, Jewish History, Near Eastern Studies, Philosophy, Hebrew Literature or Religion (12/19).