The Radal mentions that Rebbe Eliezer ben Herkinus's talmidim wrote down the Pirkei DeRebbe Eliezer. Would that make it the earliest book of Torah she'be'al'peh to be written?

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    Not Megillat Taanit? – Double AA Jul 29 '18 at 1:36
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    @DoubleAA Answer? (When was Megillas Ta’anis written down, anyway?) – DonielF Jul 29 '18 at 1:57
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    Some scholars don't believe all of Pirkei D'Rebbi Eliezer to be composed by that Tanna. Others ascribe later authorship. – ezra Jul 29 '18 at 3:58
  • Gerald Friedlander demonstrates in his intro. to PRE that some elements of it date to the ninth century. Regardless, Megillat Taanit (compiled by Hananiah b. Hizkiah; Shab. 13b) would definitely predate REBH's students and so would Megillat Yuhasin probably predate PRE (not to be confused with the later one by Ahimaaz). – Oliver Jul 29 '18 at 17:24
  • @ShmuelBrin This article claims that R’ Chananya Ben Chizkiya was a contemporary of Hillel and Shammai and a student of Shamaya and Avtalion, placing him squarely ahead of R’ Eliezer. – DonielF Jul 29 '18 at 20:20

Sefer Yetzira was written by Avraham Avinu who was born in 1948 from creation of the world. Though many editions and formations came about after, the basic text was made by him. This is the earliest known midrash available for people nowadays and has many perushim from Rishonim like the Raavad and Ramban.

source: Rav Abraham Azulai(1685). חסד לאברהם, מעין חמישי, נהר נא . It is also written in the appendix of many editions of sefer Yetzira itself.

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    @DoubleAA In that case it'd probably be "sefer Toldot Adam" :) – Oliver Jul 29 '18 at 16:59
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    I heard Raziel Hamalach was a forgery. @oliver if you show me a copy of sefer Toldos hoadam that is existent but the medrash implies that Hashem showed it to Moshe Rabeinu and he saw every generation including Rabbi Akiva who darshened the crown's of the letters, but it was not physically written down for us to see nowadays unlike Sefer Yetzira. – yosefkorn Jul 29 '18 at 17:39
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    @DoubleAA read this סֵפֶר רָזִיאֵל אֵינוֹ מֵאָדָם הָרִאשׁוֹן וְלֹא זֶהוּ הַסֵּפֶר שֶׁנָּתַן הַמַּלְאָךְ לְאָדָם הָרִאשׁוֹן וְאֵין בּוֹ כֹּחַ לְהַצִּיל מִשְּרֵפָה, וּכְבָר אֵרַע שֶׁהַסֵּפֶר בְּעַצְמוֹ נִשְֹרַף וְהֶאֱרִיךְ בָּזֶה בִּרְאָיוֹת בְּרוּרוֹת: (ספר חיי מוהר"ן, אות תעח) – yosefkorn Jul 29 '18 at 17:44
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    @yosefkorn So it seems Rebbe Nachman did not view the sefer to be a legitimate work. – ezra Jul 29 '18 at 18:02
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    Not everyone agrees that Sefer Yetzirah was written by Avraham Avinu. – ezra Jul 29 '18 at 18:02

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