Between 450 and 200 BCE, the Hebrew Bible was assembled in close to its current arrangement, and the Jews who had returned to Jerusalem all gathered to sign a new covenant to agree to follow its teachings, marking the official inauguration of the religion of Judaism as based on the Biblical texts. The first five books of the Bible, known as the Torah and later by the Greek term Pentateuch (“five books”), were probably canonized late in the 7th century BCE. In Judaism, the canon originally referred to the Torah, and by the 3rd century BCE was expanded to include the books of the prophets and others.
Officially sealed early in the Christian era, with no more additions or changes to be allowed, the Bible was taught in specially designed centers of learning called synagogues. As worship by blood sacrifice faded from Judaism, it was gradually supplanted by prayer and Torah study; the priest and scribe were replaced by the rabbi, a man specially trained to teach the Law and the Scriptures. Talmudic scholars deliberated on and taught the law in a yeshivah (pl.yeshivot), which in medieval and modern times became the center of training for rabbis and religious scholars.