Translated From the Hebrew with Introduction and Brief Explanatory Notes
by Herbert Danby
The “Mishnah,” understood to be the written form of the Jewish Oral Law, was preserved by the rabbis following the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple in 70 CE, and was completed in approximately 200 CE. More than four centuries of Jewish religious thought and activity are found within this text, and it is as important to the development of Judaism as the New Testament is to the development of Christianity.
Students of the New Testament will find it especially interesting because its contents reflect the Jewish religious tradition during the time of Jesus and the early Christian Church. The “Mishnah’s” historical value in understanding the first two centuries of the common era is comparable in its importance to the Dead Sea Scrolls, as well as the Apocrypha, Pseudepigrapha, and secular works of that time such as the writings of Josephus.
This edition by Danby is the classic English translation of the “Mishnah” (which was originally written in Middle or “Mishnaic” Hebrew), and has been the standard for almost 80 years for scholars and other interested readers. Until the printing of this volume in the 1930s, the “Mishnah” was not available to study as a whole for the English speaker. Now it is available for the first time in a paperback edition.