Rabbinic literature is a complex and interwoven body of texts whose importance is extensive: it is, of course, central to studying Judaism; its texts are valuable for broad religious study and are crucial for understanding the background of early Christianity; and the history of biblical interpretation inevitably involves this quite immense and varied set of writings. There is no scholar more highly regarded as an authority on Rabbinic literature and Judaism than Jacob Neusner. And there is no educator better suited to explaining it in clear and concise terms, laying out the list of texts, their background and development, their content, the resources with which to delve more deeply into their meaning, and their importance for Judaism, biblical studies, and Christianity. This Essential Guide discusses all the texts in Rabbinic literature, including the Mishnah, Tosefta, Talmuds, and Midrash. With this Guide, students will better understand the complex and unique world of Judaism and its significance for studying the Bible, Judaism, and Christian origins. Jacob Neusner is Research Professor of Religion and Theology and Senior Fellow of the Institute of Advanced Theology at Bard College, Annandale on Hudson, New York. The purpose of Abingdon Essential Guides is to fulfill the need for brief, substantive, yet highly accessible introductions to the core disciplines in theological and religious studies. Drawing on the best in current scholarship, written with the needs of students foremost in mind, and addressed to learners in a number of contexts, Essential Guides will be the first choice of those who wish to acquaint themselves or their students with the broad scope of issues, perspectives, and subject matters within the study of religion and theology.