"Torah in the Mouth": An Introduction to the Rabbinic Oral Law


Judaism, Christianity, oral law, anti-Semitism, New Testament, Torah, Old Testament


One of the primary characteristics of modern Judaism, as it developed from its earliest forms, is the acceptance of what is commonly known as the oral law.[1] Over the thousands of years of Jewish/Christian interaction and discourse, Christians—including Latter-day Saints—have tried to understand the oral law and how it relates to their own beliefs and practices. In the historical relationship between Christianity and Judaism, this has sometimes led to the propagation of anti-Semitic beliefs, even unknowingly. When teaching about Judaism, whether in the context of the New Testament or world religions, it is important for Latter-day Saint teachers and religious educators to properly understand how Jews, especially ancient Jews, understood the oral law in order to help our students gain a greater appreciation for the world Jesus Christ lived in and to better help them follow the advice of Mormon and avoid “making game of the Jews” (3 Nephi 29:8). Because it is addressed to our day (see Mormon 8:35), it is worth helping our students take Mormon’s warning seriously.

Original Publication Citation

“Torah in the Mouth: An Introduction to the Jewish Oral Law,” Religious Educator 19/1 (2018)

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date


Permanent URL



Religious Educator




Religious Education


Ancient Scripture

University Standing at Time of Publication

Assistant Professor