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Reading and Studying the Torah: Jews and Christians

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  • Reading and Studying the Torah: Jews and Christians

    Years ago I read through the Chumash including Commentary. Though I didn't understand all of the Hebrew words, I understood some. I had the benefit of the English as well. It was a very rewarding experience.

    I understand that there are Torah Portions on the Annual Cycle that are weekly, and even daily (such as with There is also the Triennial Torah Reading Cycle. And some people even read starting with Genesis in Nisan following a three year cycle as well.

    What are the best things to take away in our experience with the Torah as we read it and study it (or, study from it)? What are some keys to reading and studying Torah? Can we maintain the original or do we need help to understand it from Commentaries? Do we need to read the Hebrew or is the English good enough? Etc....

    Christians know that Israel now has a new covenant (was the first covenant the Ten Commandments as in Deuteronomy where it says that it is?), and that it is God's instruction / torah written on minds and hearts. How might a person get mixed up with understanding the Torah to be the first five books when the TaNaKh and Brit Chadasha bring so much more? (The word torah in Jeremiah might not refer to the Torah: Five Books of Moses.)

  • #2
    Here are some subjects that a person might post on in regard to the Torah and the new covenant.

    Biblical Instruction. The stories and the commandments.

    The 613 mitzvot. These are commandments or commands, instructions.

    Yeshua and the Law and the Prophets and if all has been fulfilled or accomplished rather (is this until the end of human history or until Jesus' death on the cross and subsequent resurrection appearing and ascending or ascension?).

    The covenants. What they are and who they are with.


    • #3
      The importance of getting it right. The importance of getting things right.

      In Jeremiah 31:31-34 or Yirmiyahu 31:30-33 we read of a new covenant. It says that God's instruction, or law, would be written on minds and hearts in the new covenant. Well, the word used is torah. Either this is the Torah or it is God's instruction or teaching otherwise. I think that the later makes more sense. But I am not against the Torah being taught. I have been studying it for years. The word Torah means instruction, direction, teaching, law. Are we opposed to the law? Or is there something about the new covenant that is different from the first covenant? This first covenant is not the Torah per se. But the contents of the first covenant, and many other covenants including those coming before it, are contained in the Torah. So it is important to read and study, not only to understand the covenants, but to come to understand God's heart and character as contained in His Law.


      • #4
        The Torah - The Five Books of Moses. God's Instruction, Teaching, Direction, Law.

        Bereishit - In Beginning
        Shemot - Names
        Vayikra - And Called
        Bamidbar - In Wilderness
        Devarim - Words

        These Hebrew words are found in the opening words of each book or rather scroll, and their opening Torah Portion contains the same name.

        The Pentateuch - the Law.



        • #5
          Jacob, you're doing that thing again where you're doing back-to-back posts -- essentially blogging.
          The first to state his case seems right until another comes and cross-examines him.


          • #6
            The first Torah Portion is Bereishit meaning In Beginning, from the first scroll having the same name, Bereishit.

            It is Genesis 1:1-6:3. Do you have any comments from this first Torah portion of the Torah and Bereishit, which is Bereishit?


            • #7
              Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
              Jacob, you're doing that thing again where you're doing back-to-back posts -- essentially blogging.
              Teaching and asking questions about the Torah is not seen as blogging, but if you think that I was not listening I have both been told to maintain my threads and also that (I thought) I should not be using the reply function to my own posts as that is seen as back to back posting.


              • #8
                Here is what Chabad has to say.



                • #9
                  Originally posted by JacobMartinMertens View Post
                  And this, my friend, is known as "argument by weblink", yet another violation of the rules.
                  The first to state his case seems right until another comes and cross-examines him.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post

                    And this, my friend, is known as "argument by weblink", yet another violation of the rules.
                    Dear Cow Poke,

                    Thank you for participating in this thread. To whatever degree you would like to participate, you may.

                    You seem to think that I want to debate people with teaching and reference works. That is not the case. The material is for discussion. I have been told that this website is for discussion. If you do not discuss the material from this thread, what else would you be doing here?

                    The link is not an argument. If you had followed the link you would know that the material there is not an argument.

                    I invite your on topic discussion or review. If we take one Torah portion per week, that should be enough for a year (or three if you are on the Triennial Torah reading cycle). I am teaching the Torah and I invite your response here where I am teaching it. If the reference work does not suffice you are welcome to provide your own. Please do not debate or distract from the Torah teaching. It is for Jews and Gentiles (Greeks) alike. I speak English. I have some knowledge of the Hebrew, but it will take all of us to fully understand what God is teaching us through the text.

                    Thank you.

                    Shalom (Peace).



                    • #11
                      Another popular resource for your Torah reading (or to have it read to you by audio) is Torah Portions . org. This will also be useful for our teaching here.



                      • #12
                        For Bereishit (Bereisheet / Beraysheet) "In Beginning" the first Torah Portion no one has commented. Feel free to comment. The Chabad link works for this Torah Portion, but the link with audio works for the current week's Torah Portion; this week's portion is Noach (Noah).


                        Next Week's Portion is Lech Lecha (Go Forth).

                        Again the Torah Portion names are from the first few words of each Torah Portion, or Parshah.

                        For last week's portion, Bereishit, there were not many commandments, or none explicitly stated. God's word created the heavens and the earth in six days and on the seventh day God rested from all that He had created and made, and was refreshed. God has commands, such as "Let there be light.", etc.... No covenants though. God commands man not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, a very good commandment. But they (Eve is created for Adam) eat of it anyway and they are kicked out (sent out) of the garden (Gan Eden), for Satan had tempted Eve and she and Adam both succumbed. First, there were four rivers. And God had man give the animals names. Woman will have pain in childbearing, and Man is to work the ground. Now Eve (Chavah) gives birth to Cain (Cayin) and Abel (Hevel), and Cain kills Abel. Cain had had a grain offering (or something from the ground), and Abel a sacrifice of a lamb (or something from the flock). Cain's countenance fell when God did not regard what he had brought. God said if you do well will not your countenance be lifted up? God asked Cain about Abel and Cain asked back am I my brother's keeper? But God knew that Cain had killed Abel, for Abel's blood cried out from the ground. God warned against killing Cain. Then Cain has a child with his wife, apparently a sister (brother-sister incest was not a forbidden thing at this time), named Enoch. To Enoch was born Irad. To Irad was born Mehujael. Then was born Methushael to Mehujael. And then was born Lemech to Methushael. Lemech took two wives. One Adah. The other Zillah. Adah bore Jabal, the father of those who dwell in tents and have cattle. Adah bore Jubal, the father of those who grasp the lyre and the flute. Zillah bore Tubal-cain, who sharpened all tools that cut copper and iron. Also born to her was his sister Na'amah. Lemech then gives a speech where he says he has killed a man by wounding him and a child by bruising him. He says if Cain be avenged seven fold, Lemech seventy-seven fold. Adam and Eve bore another son, Seth (Shayt), "for God has given me other seed.". To Seth a son was born named Enosh. It became common to call on the name of Adonai (Lord) (HaShem (The Name), Yahveh, Yahweh, Yehovah). Enosh begot Kenan. Kenan begot Mahalalel. He begot Jared. He begot Enoch. He begot Methuselah. Enoch walked with God and he was not for God took him. Methuselah begot Lamech. Lamech Noah.

                        Genesis 5:29 And he named him Noah, saying, "This one will give us rest from our work and from the toil of our hands from the ground, which the Lord has cursed."

                        Noah begot Shem (Name), Ham, and Japheth.

                        Daughters were born. Etc....

                        Then Genesis 6:3 And the Lord said, "Let My spirit not quarrel forever concerning man, because he is also flesh, and his days shall be a hundred and twenty years."

                        God decides to destroy His creation, but Noah finds favor in the eyes of Yehovah.


                        • #13
                          Noach is Genesis 6:9-11:32.
                          Noah was a righteous man. God told him to build an ark for a flood that He would bring upon the earth. This was for his family and animals to survive the flood. The flood was to destroy the earth, because mankind had become sinful.

                          After the flood God makes a covenant with Noah, the covenant of the rainbow. That God would never again flood the whole earth with water to destroy mankind.

                          God gave specific instructions on how Noah and his family were to live.

                          Mankind later chose to build a tower. God confused the language of the people. This tower was called the Tower of Babel.


                          • #14

                            Abram is told to go forth from his homeland to a land that God would show him. God promises to make him a great nation, and bless him, and that he would be a blessing. God will bless those who bless him and curse those who curse him. All the families of the earth will be blessed in him.

                            Lot went with Abram. Abram was seventy-five years old.

                            Abram and his wife and Lot and everyone else who was with them came to the land of Canaan. God promised to give Abram the land.

                            In Egypt Abram tells his wife to say that she is his sister so that it will go well with him. After Pharaoh takes her he discovers what Abram has done and gives her back, telling him to go. They are escorted out of Egypt.

                            Abram returns to where he was before.

                            Because of all that Abram and Lot had they had to separate due to quarrel. Lot choses where to go.

                            Lot and his family are taken captive by hostile forces but Abram restored all. Melchizedek priest of God Most High blesses Abram and Abram gives him a tithe.

                            God tells Abram that He is his shield (magen). Abram reflects that he does not have an heir. Abram is told to count the stars for so shall his descendants be.

                            God makes a covenant with Abram, between the parts of animals.

                            Abram's wife Sarai gives Hagar to Abram as a wife. She conceives and is driven from Sarai by Sarai. The angel of the Lord finds Hagar and urges her to return. She is told to name her child Ishmael. Abram does so, at age eighty-six.

                            God promises Abram, at age ninety-nine, that he will be a father of a multitude of nations, and that kings will emerge from him.

                            Circumcision is a sign of God's covenant with Abraham. God changes Sarai's name to Sarah and promises them a son. Abraham is ninety-nine when he is circumcised. Ishmael was thirteen. The rest of Abraham's household is circumcised as well.

                            Here is this week's portion, Vayera. The portions are read on the Sabbath (the seventh day of the week, a day of rest) in synagogues, though there is a new covenant.


                            • #15
                              Abraham looked up and saw three men. They showed these men hospitality. Abraham and Sarah are promised a son, and she laughed.

                              Abraham will become a great and powerful nation. And all the nations of the world will be blessed in him.

                              The Lord mentions Sodom and Gomorrah. Abraham asks if He will destroy the righteous with the wicked. Abraham asks if the Lord will destroy them if there are 50, 45, 40, 30, 20, 10 righteous there. God says no.

                              Two angels come to Sodom in the evening, and Lot recommends that they do not stay overnight in the street. Lot shows them hospitality. Before they retire the house is surrounded. Lot tells them not to do evil to the men (angels) and mentions his daughters. They press upon Lot to the door and the men (angels) grasp Lot and bring him inside, shutting the door. The men outside are struck with blindness. The angels tell Lot and his wife and two daughters to leave the city. They flee to a small city. The Lord rained fire and brimstone down upon Sodom and Gomorrah. Lot and his two daughters dwelt in a cave and they both had a son by him, getting him drunk. Moab and Ben-Ami the father of the children of Ammon.

                              Abraham and Sarah go to Gerar. Abraham tells the king that Sarah is his sister. The king has a dream and returns Sarah to Abraham. Abraham says that she is the daughter of his father but not his mother.

                              Abraham's son Sarah bears him is Isaac, circumcised the eighth day. Abraham is one hundred years old. Hagar and Ishmael are driven away with the permission of God. Ishmael is promised to become a great nation and he becomes an archer and his mother Hagar gets him a wife from Egypt.

                              Abraham makes a covenant with the king. Verse 34 of chapter 21 says, "And Abraham dwelt in the land of the Philistines for many days."

                              God asks Abraham to bring his son to the land of Moriah for a burnt offering. Abraham places his son on the altar upon the wood. Abraham takes the knife and God stops him, providing a ram. God rewards Abraham for hearkening to His voice and not withholding Isaac.

                              Bethuel a descendant of Nahor by Milcah bore Rebecca.

                              This week's portion is Chayei Sarah.


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