Nov 15, 2015
In order to understand this passage we need first to understand a thing called the Oral Law (also referred to as the tradition of the elders). The Oral Law was a commentary on the Written Law (the Law of Moses) explaining how its 613 commandments were to be carried out. Certain Jews believe that at the same time that the Written Law was given from Mount Sinai, the Oral Law, too, was delivered to Moses. The Oral Law was then handed down orally to certain Jewish leaders/rabbis through each successive generation until these teaching were collected in a book called the Mishnah. The Mishnah is a compilation of the teachings of these Jewish leaders/rabbis to whom the Oral Law was committed tracing clear back to Moses.
The teachings of these Jewish rabbis was in the process of being collected in the days of our Lord. The Mishnah was completed about 250 A.D.; over 200 years after Jesus' ascension. The Mishnah is the tradition of the elders in written form. For orthodox Jews the Mishnah is their second most important book; the Torah (Written Law) being the first.