Talmud (from Smith's Bible Dictionary)
(i.e. doctrine , from the Hebrew word "to learn") is a large collection of writings, containing a full account of the civil and religious laws of the Jews. It was a fundamental principle of the Pharisees, common to them with all orthodox modern Jews, that by the side of the written law, regarded as a summary of the principles and general laws of the Hebrew people, there was an oral law, to complete and to explain the written law. It was an article of faith that in the Pentateuch there was no precept, and no regulation, ceremonial, doctrinal or legal, of which God had not given to Moses all explanations necessary for their application, with the order to transmit them by word of mouth. The classical subject is the following in the Mishna on this wing: "Moses received the (oral) law from Sinai, and delivered it to Joshua, and Joshua to the elders, and the elders to the prophets and the prophets to the men of the Great Synagogue." This oral law, with the numerous commentaries upon it, forms the Talmud. It consists of two parts, the Mishna and Gemara.