I found this quote in the Mishnah last year while I was doing my class The Jewish Context of the Bible while preparing for my lesson on Akiva. After my class that week I wrote a post about two of his sayings, and then filed this third one away for another day. After my recent post, In the Image of God, it reminded me of Akiva’s saying here so I decided at last to write it out.
This week in my Tuesday night class, The Jewish Context of the Bible, we continued to look at famous rabbis. This week was Akiva (45 AD – 132 AD), perhaps my favorite rabbi of all time right under Jesus and Paul (though Akiva gives Paul a run for his money – not kidding!). You can find the audio on the website of Prestoncrest Church of Christ, or on my Audio Lessons page.
One reason I like Akiva so much is that his teachings were brilliant on their own. The other rabbis we have studied so far have been brilliant, but Jesus seems to have a similar saying to match all of theirs. Akiva, on the other hand, has several that sound like they could have been right from Jesus’ mouth, but I could not find a comparable saying. So in this post I’m going to go over two of them that go together.