The Midrash is another category of rabbinical interpretative literature (along with the Mishnaand the Gemara). This dates back to 400BC, though we only have copies dating to shortly before the time of Christ.
This includes two kinds of Midrash:
- Midrash aggada -sermons derived from the biblical text
- Midrash halakha – laws and statutes derived from the biblical text
It is important to note that Western legal tradition is very much derived from the Midrash.The rabbis believed that every word of Scripture was inspired of God and no part of it was superfluous! The Midrashim contains many quotes of the Old Testament.
The Oral Law (FYI: good source of info on Jewish works)
When you compare Midrash quotes of Scripture with the documents that serve as the basis for Bible translations today, they are virtually identical!