|SIDEBAR - "Torah"
by definition means "revelation" or "instruction" of God. It is
rendered "law" in the "New Testament," a term which has very different
(and erroneous) meaning to the western/Greek mind than to that of the Hebrew authors of
the "New Testament."
The term "Torah" has several possible meanings, depending on the context it
is being used in.
- The Torah "proper" is generally considered to be the first five books of the
Bible, written by Moses.
- The entire Tenakh ("Old Testament") is also called the Torah.
- For many, Torah is the entire Tenakh and also the Oral Torah. The latter of these is
made up of; a) teachings given by God to Moses, not recorded in the written Torah and
passed along over the generations, as well as, b) additional teachings and laws added by
rabbis over time for the purpose of, 1) clarification of the written Torah, and also, 2)
out of necessity, due to things such as changes in society.
- For those who follow Yeshua, Torah is all or some of the above along with the books of
the "New Testament." (Note: There are differing opinions regarding some of all
of the Oral Torah in terms of its authority over followers of Yeshua.)
- Torah may also be considered any "new insight" an individual or group gleans
from the study of Scripture and/or prayer. (i.e., When you study the Torah and suddenly
grasp a deep concept that you previously did not know about, or did not understand, then
this is "Torah" to you, as it was "revealed" to you by God.)
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