A compilation of traditional oral law, containing Jewish civil and religious regulation that consists of two main parts—the Mishnah, a law code, and the Gemara, a commentary on that code.
There are two Talmuds—the Palestinian (c. 400 C.E.) and the Babylonian (c. 600 C.E.). The latter is more extensive and is regarded as the pillar of rabbinic law. Considered by the Jews to be a complement to the Hebrew Scriptures, the Talmud sets out an exhaustive code of conduct that addresses every aspect of life. By the time of the Middle Ages, many Jews revered the Talmud more than the Scriptures.
Although the Talmud provides interesting background information on Jewish traditions and interpretation of the Scriptures, it teaches people to think legalistically, not in terms of God’s justice and love. (Mt 23:23, 24; Lu 11:42) The Talmud also reflects the influence of superstition and Greek philosophy on Jewish thinking, including the notion that the soul is immortal.—See study note on Mt 15:2.