217 also is sceptical of identifying the editors with specific circles. Yet he is able to isolate some later layers in each work and to demonstrate the nature of the literary construction of the various sections of Avot. He divides the five chapters into four sections (chapter six of PA is a late addition) and treats them separately: 1. Chain of tradition from Moses to Shammai and Hillel; 2. Collection of sayings by Johanan ben Zakkai and his disciples; 3. Sayings of early sages; 4. Enumeration sayings. In the later edition of PA an interpolation has been added between Hillel and Johanan to establish the credentials of the house of the patriarch Judah. The form of the first two sections in PA and ARN argues that these were crystalized earlier than the latter two sections. ARN in the early sections is a commentary upon the sayings in Avot. Yet in the last sections the sayings in PA are not commented upon but included in expanded collections whose order differs from that in PA and between ARNA and ARNB as well. Mutual interaction has taken place between ARNA and T.B. which isn't surprising since it was this version which
Journal for the Study of Judaism – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1983
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