However, he does make some extremely bizarre assertions that run counter to the Tanak. He slowly builds the case that there was always a fairly strict separation between written and oral Torah:
"The distinction between oral and written Torah is also marked by the locations in which each was taught and learned....In contrast to the beit sefer, the means of instruction in the beit midrash was that of oral repetition...We see, then, that though there was a mixture of written and oral learning in both the beit sefer as well as the beit midrash, the beit sefer was predominately concerned with the written text of the Tanach...and thus with reading and writing. The beit midrash, on the other hand, was almost entirely dominated by listening and repeating the traditions...Here, then, in the methodology for learning and transmitting the oral and written Torah, we see that a clear distinction between the two was carefully guarded and maintained even into the post-destruction era."
And the big finale:
"But the second point is even more important: while the exact identification and function of the 'seat of Moses' in 1st Century Judaisms eludes us, most scholars agree that 'the seat/chair of Moses' was connected with the synagogue, not the beit midrash. Moreover, that Yeshua speaks of the 'scribes and the Pharisees' sitting in the 'seat of Moses' would very likely make a connection to the written Torah, not the oral Torah. First, as noted earlier, the scribes (soferim; grammateis) were the preservers and transmitters of the written, biblical text, not the orally repeated traditions. Second, the fact that Yeshua states the scribes and Pharisees 'sit in the seat of Moses' favors a linkage to the written Torah given at Sinai by the hand of Moses. Some might argue that the oral Torah was also linked to Moses, for the rabbis taught that all of the oral Torah was also revealed at Sinai. However, the rabbinic teaching that God gave the oral Torah to Moses at Sinai was not extant in the 1st Century..."REBUTTAL
First, we should all note that Hegg says the scribes were NOT the transmitters of orally repeated traditions. However, this directly contradicts Scripture:
"...the fourth meaning of the term [sopher]. The scribes who were scholars of scripture belonged to the group of the Levites (2 Chronicles 34:13). According to Nehemiah 8, several Levites assisted Ezra during his Torah reading in the temple:
'The Levites explained the Torah to the people, while the people remained in their places. And they read from the scroll, from the Torah of God, interpreting it and clarifying its meaning; so they understood the reading. [Neh. 8:7-8]
The fact that the Levitical scribes operated as a group is significant. This does not mean that they took turns in reading and explaining. It is far more plausible that they gave instruction simultaneously but at different points and to different audiences. The Levitical scribes were teachers of Torah.
'They offered instruction throughout Judah, and they had with them the Scroll of theTorah of [HaShem]. They made the rounds of all the cities of Judah and taught among the people.' [2 Chron. 17:9]
Having the written Torah 'with them'...the Levites were 'teaching' [2 Chron 17:9], 'interpreting [Neh. 8:7], 'explaining' [Neh. 8:8], and 'clarifying the meaning' [Neh. 8:8] of the Torah. As scholars of scripture, the Levites acted as the successors of Moses who had been the first to 'explicate'...the Torah (Deut 1:5; compare Deut 30:1-13)," pgs. 79-80, Scribal Culture by Van Der ToornThese Scriptural passages also tell us that in addition to the reading of Torah being joined with "interpretation" (i.e. tradition), there is no indication that locations for learning were strictly, separated as Hegg maintains, into Bet Midrash and Bet Sefer. He even admits that there is limited evidence to support his conclusion:
"While historic documentation describing the educational methods in the Judaisms of the pre-destruction era is sparse..."
In fact, we can only speculate about whether there was a separate "Bet Midrash" in the 1st Century because our evidence only goes back to the 2nd Century:
"In rabbinic literature, the bet midrash figures prominently, although the rabbis never define precisely the nature of the institution. Sometimes the bet midrash appears to be a place where a master and his disciples gather for study; sometimes it appears to be an actual building. An inscribed door lintel found in the Golan states, 'This is the bet midrash of R. Eliezer HaQappar,' a rabbi of the second century...One rabbinic text of the second century refers to 'the bet midrash at Ardaskus,' another to 'the bet midrash at Lod.' These texts imply that by the second century the bet midrash was becoming a permanent institution in some localities. As a rule, however, the rabbis of the second century did not need a special place for the instruction of their disciples..." pg 116 From the Maccabees to the Mishnah, Shaye Cohen.
Next, we should consider that Scripture also teaches that the oral Torah was, in addition to being a hallmark of the scribes, a hallmark of the Pharisees (whom Yeshua said sit in Moses' Seat):
"The New Testament is in full accord with Josephus' view that the hallmark of the Pharisees was the twofold Law, the 'tradition of the elders' (Matt. 15:1-9; Mark 7:1-13; Phil. 3:5-6; Gal. 1:13-14)," pg. 20 Judaism in the Time of Jesus by Irving Zeitlin
One last thing, "Moses' Seat" being singular and "Scribes and Pharisees" being plural, indicates that this was not a literal seat but rather a symbol of authority. But let's say that Hegg is right that this only refers to a literal seat. Hegg says it couldn't be associated with bet midrash. Other scholars disagree:
"Of course, 'Seat of Moses' need not necessarily refer to a chair and could, by metaphor, refer directly to the teaching authority of Moses, which his successors took up. (This was the usual interpretation before archaeology offered and alternative.) Such a derivation of authority from Moses is the burden of m. 'Aboth 1. The term 'Seat of Moses' suggests that a teach could be viewed as a 'vicar' of Moses.
The chair, if there was one, need not necessarily have been located in a synagogue; Davies and Allison suggest that Jesus means that the scribes and Pharisees run Moses' 'school.' As seen above, 'teacher of Torah' was one of the Rabbis' favorite conceptions of Moses, and he was thought of in some respects simply as their most senior colleague. The 'seat of Moses,' then, might refer to the authority of those who taught the Law and its interpretation, perhaps in the beth midrash," The New Testament Moses, by John Lierman
Now, I respect and love Tim Hegg. I'm writing this to show that Hegg's ideas about Yeshua not endorsing oral Torah need to be examined.
Also, if Hegg reads this, I would invite him to respond.