Catholic Encyclopedia (1913)/Tosephta

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(Hebrew = addition, supplement)

Tosephta is the name of compilation of halakhic-haggadic character, which judged by its contents belongs essentially to the era of the Tanna'im (Teachers), and which is modelled on the plan of the Mishna; all that is lacking are the tractates "Aboth", "Tamid", "Middoth", and "Qinnim". The editors had access to authorities that are older than our Mishna. The individual Halakhoth do not show the same subtlety and precision as in the Mishna; often the development of the Halakha may be traced from the course of the discussion. The Haggadah also is fully represented. The history of the origin of the Tosephta has not yet been satisfactorily cleared up. In any case the work in its present form contains a large number of the doctrines and utterances of later rabbinical teachers (the Amoraim), and it was not edited until the late Talmudic period. W. Zuckermandel, "Tosephta, Mishna, und Boraitha in ihrem Verhältnis zu einander" (1 vol., Frankfort, 1908), claims to prove that the Tosephta represents the Palestinian Mishna, and that our Mishna was re-edited in Babylonia.

Edition of the Tosephta by ZUCKERMANDEL (Pasewalk, 1880), supplement to it (Trier, 1882-). Thirty-one tractates, the tractates on the first three orders are to be found translated into Latin in UGOLINO, Thesaurus, XVII-XX (Venice, 1755-57).

F. Schuhlein.