Religion Past and Present

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(371 words)

[German Version]

The Aramaic term תַּנָּא/tannāʾ, “reciter, teacher” (pl. תַּנָּאִים/tannāʾîm) is generally applied to the Palestinian rabbis (II, 1) of the 1st–3rd centuries ce, i.e. before the compilation of the Mishnah; their teaching, considered authoritative, was originally preserved through oral recitation. As representatives of the formative phase of rabbinic Judaism, the Tannaim are distinguished from the Amoraim, their successors, the authorities of the Talmud. In the Talmud, however, the title Tanna can also be given to a “reciter” in the Amoraic academy…

Cite this page
Jacobs, Martin, “Tannaim”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 12 August 2022 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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