I would like to hear your opinion about Jesus and the Jewish Talmud. Personally, I do not believe Jesus regarded the Talmud as a “book” of authority, considering his opposition to the Pharisees. What do you think? -- Samuel Forsberg (Stockholm)
The Jerusalem Talmud and the Babylonian Talmud, distillations of religious discussions among the rabbis, are quite a bit later than the time of Jesus, not completed until 400-500 AD, and perhaps later. Even the core of the Talmud, the Mishnah, was not finalized till around 200 AD. So I think you probably mean to ask about Jesus' position vis-à-vis the traditions of the Jews, since there was no Talmud as such in the first century AD. Still, I surmise his position about the Pharisees is accurately represented in Matthew 5:19-20, 15:3-9 and 23:1-4. That is, while many of their positions were biblically informed, they tended to go beyond (and thus invalidate) the word of God in their legalistic requirements. The clash between the Pharisaic approach to the Law and Jesus’ more gracious stance is unsurprising.