I understand there is one Mishnah and two Talmuds (Bavli and Yerushalmi). But is the text of the Mishnah associated with each Talmud exactly the same? Rabbi Gil Student states that the famous quote about "saving one life is the same as saving a world" applies only to Jews only in the Bavli version, but in the Yerushalmi version it applies to everybody.

Wikipedia tells us, without a source, that:

Very roughly, there are two traditions of Mishnah text. One is found in manuscripts and printed editions of the Mishnah on its own, or as part of the Jerusalem Talmud. The other is found in manuscripts and editions of the Babylonian Talmud; though there is sometimes a difference between the text of a whole paragraph printed at the beginning of a discussion (which may be edited to conform with the text of the Mishnah-only editions) and the line-by-line citations in the course of the discussion.

Can somebody clarify the matter? If there are indeed recognized differences, is there a list of them somewhere?

1 Answer 1


Yes, there are several mishna traditions. The Wikipedia article has the gist: there are the Mishnah-only manuscripts, Talmud Yerushalmi manuscripts, and Talmud Bavli manuscripts. The first two are pretty close, whereas the latter diverges. A mishnah-by-mishnah comparison of the Yerushalmi and Bavli traditions can be found in this work by R. Dr. Elimelech Schachter here. This work also contains a detailed introduction for further study.

  • Thanks! Does Rabbi Student have it right? Jun 6, 2021 at 15:08
  • He cites his sources, so you can verify it yourself.
    – magicker72
    Jun 6, 2021 at 16:08
  • He says Mishnah "Bavli" differs from Mishnah "Yerushalmi" in this respect. Is this correct or are there variations within variations? He doesn't say. Jun 6, 2021 at 17:27
  • @MauriceMizrahi You're asking whether each individual recension has its own variations? The answer is certainly yes, but I don't know about this particular case. You want to check critical editions or lists of manuscripts. Or ask this specific case as a separate question here on Mi Yodea.
    – magicker72
    Jun 6, 2021 at 19:08
  • @MauriceMizrahi judaism.stackexchange.com/a/98896/759
    – Double AA
    Jun 6, 2021 at 22:26

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