Of the score of documents in the Rabbinic can that reached closure in late antiquity, the first six centuries of the Common Era, the Fathers According to Rabbi Nathan Text A (Abot de Rabbi Natan, henceforward: ARNA) proves the most difficult to classify in the canical context. It presents a challenge because it is different in its indicative traits from any other in the Rabbinic documents of its period. In the conclusion, (Chapter Forty-Five), Neusner explains what is at stake for the documentary hypothesis of the Rabbinic can in that observation. Jacob Neusner follows the procedures that have guided his prior work in situating Rabbinic documents within their formal context and in ordinal sequence in their larger canical setting. After introducing the two documents compared here, Abot and ARNA, Neusner sets out a prologue explaining the analytical procedure. Then, he takes up a detailed probe of all the evidence and produces a hypothetical category-system of forms. This is exposed through a system of visual indicators, which Neusner defines and explains in the prologue to Part One. Part Two in two chapters follows. The results of Chapter Forty-Four, where Neusner tests the givens of the documentary hypothesis against the facts of ARNA and Abot, yield the concluding chapter, Chapter Forty-Five, where Neusner surveys the results for the entire document to see what rules govern in the context of the documentary hypothesis. These call into question the universal applicability of that hypothesis. There is documentary program that derives uniquely from ARNA in canical context.
Jacob Neusner is a leading figure in the American academic study of religion. He revolutionized the study of Judaism and brought it into the field of religion, built intellectual bridges between Judaism and other religions, thereby laying the groundwork for durable understanding and respect among religions, and has advanced the careers of younger scholars and teachers through his teaching and publication programs. Neusner's influence on the study of Judaism and religion is broad, powerful, distinctive, and enduring.