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The Gemara in Yevamot 5oa clearly assumes that R. Yehuda Hanassi authored the Mishna:

אמר רב יוסף כאן שנה רבי משנה שאינה צריכה

Are there any tannaic sources that also state that he authored the Mishna (e.g. a Tosefta, that is an actual tannaic source, not an Ammoraic source referencing tannaim)?


I am aware that there is debate regarding his role in the authorship. My question isn't whether he authored, compiled, or redacted. My question is only whether there is a tannaic source for any of the above.

EDIT: In order of priority to answering the question:

  1. A Tannaic source.
  2. Some proof that there is no Tannaic source (ignorance being a poor proof).
  3. A distant third: a very thorough analysis on Rabbi Yehudah HaNassi's role in compiling the Mishnah.
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    Edited and compiled, not wrote. – sabbahillel May 1 '15 at 13:44
  • @sabbahillel it's a machlokes – Shmuel Brin May 1 '15 at 17:31
  • It's a machlokes Rashi and the Rambam – sam May 1 '15 at 18:02
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    Why the comment-less downvote? – mevaqesh May 3 '15 at 23:14
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    @Sam והוא קבץ. I think there is a semantic issue going on here but collecting previous works, and even rewording them is still called compiling and redacting, not authoring. This is all in Rambams own opinion. See also the Tosafos and Rabi Akiva Eiger i mentioned in my answer. There were previous versions of 'Mishna', we even have some. – user6591 May 4 '15 at 2:24
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The earliest personality I've seen referencing Rabi Yehuda HaNasi's compiling of the Mishna is a statement of Rabi Yochanan, his student.

See Bava Kamma 94b אמר רבי יוחנן בימי רבי נשנית משנה זו.

We find Rabi Yochanan being called Rebi's student in Psachim 3b.

There is also a give and take in Bava Metzia 44a between Rabi Yehuda and his son Rabi Shimon where the latter asks the former why he changed his teaching in the mishna from as earlier version.

As an aside, as pointed out by @Sabbahillel, authored is probably the wrong word to describe what he did. See Tosafos in B.K. there, and see also the last mishna in Keilim with Rabi Akiva Eiger.

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    @mevaqesh did you see tosafos? Why would he bother mentioning Rebbi if the qualification of the law was not attributed to him? – user6591 May 4 '15 at 0:50
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    If the Tosafos is essential to appreciating your answer, consider editing it in. – mevaqesh May 5 '15 at 3:06
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    @Mevaqesh it's only essential to preclude saying something like 'Perhaps he singled him out because he was his rebbi and / or the gaddol hador'. Something I didn't think anyone would suggest. And am still surprised that you did. – user6591 May 5 '15 at 12:14
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    @mevaqesh מתני ליה רבי לרבי שמעון בריה הזהב קונה את הכסף א''ל רבי שנית לנו בילדותיך הכסף קונה את הזהב ותחזור ותשנה לנו בזקנותיך הזהב קונה את הכסף בילדותיה מאי סבר ובזקנותיה מאי סבר I'm assuming you saw these words and have a weird way of translating them? See also the top rashi on amud beis. According to that pshat, he actually changed from what he had learned from his teacher, Rabbi Meir. – user6591 May 29 '16 at 14:29
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    @Double I have no problem if someone doesn't find my answer convincing or want to accept standard reading of common phrases. I'm not sure what edit you think would help. Usually at point in answer on this site I've been worn out from wanting to even attempt anything to try to be more helpful. It usually just ends up in a bigger headache for me. – user6591 May 29 '16 at 18:16

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