AbstractThe Babylonian Talmud (BT) attributes the idea of committing a transgression for the sake of God to R. Nahman b. Isaac (RNBI). RNBI's statement appears in two parallel sugyot in the BT (Nazir 23a; Horayot 10a). Each sugya has four textual witnesses. By comparing these textual witnesses, this paper will attempt to reconstruct the sugya's earlier (or, what some might term, original) dialectical form, from which the two familiar versions of the text in Nazir and Horayot evolved. This article reveals the specific ways in which, value-laden conceptualizations have a major impact on the Talmud's formulation, as we know it today.