Another entry in my list of extra-biblical traditions in the New Testament.
“Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” – Matthew 7:12
“What is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow: this is the whole Torah; the rest is the explanation; go and learn.” – Rabbi Hillel, Babylonian Talmud, Shabbat 31a
This example of New Testament references to extra-biblical traditions is one of the most interesting, in my opinion. Rabbi Hillel lived from about 110 BC – AD 10 and spent about 40 years of his life, ca. 30 BC – AD 10, living and teaching in Jerusalem. He is one of the most important figures in Jewish history and is still honored by Jews today as the quintessential rabbi; his life is often compared with that of the Prophet Moses. What’s very interesting is that he was a rabbi in Jerusalem during the time that Christ would have visited the Temple as a boy when he was found among the rabbis listening and asking questions (Luke 2:46). Christ may have heard this very sentence from the lips of Rabbi Hillel himself and repeated it to his own disciples (and quite authoritatively, I might add) almost 30 years later.