For anyone who is brand new to the idea of Torah, here are some basics about the Bible:
As you know, there is more to the Bible than just the “Old” and “New Testaments. The Bible is comprised of 66 “Books”, each designed to open our eyes to the wonders of our Creator, YHWH (the English phonetic letters representing the Hebrew letters Yud, Hey, Vav, Hey - יהוה - most likely pronounced "Yah-way” – see Exodus 3:13-15).
The "Old Testament" (which is the "Tanach" in Hebrew) is comprised of three sections. In fact, the word “Tanach” (or “Tanakh” is an acronym consisting of: the Torah (also known as the Pentateuch), the Nevi'im ('Prophets'), and the Ketuvim ('Writings').
“Torah” (the first five Books which reveal the Creator of the universe and present an overview of the history of the Hebrews) literally means "teaching, doctrine, instruction." This is why the Torah is the most important part of the Bible!
Written down by Moshe (Moses), who was instructed by YHWH Himself (Exodus 34, Deuteronomy 31:24), the Torah contains the ACTUAL WORDS and commands of YHWH, designed to introduce God to mankind and provide instructions on how to live a "holy" life on earth and prepare us for “the world [Kingdom] to come.” Without those instructions, we would have NO blueprint for moral, holy living!
The "New Testament" on the other hand, simply consists of the GOSPELS, the Acts of the Apostles, the Letters, and the Revelation of John (or Apocalypse). The Gospels tell the story of YHWH’s Divine Messiah, Yeshua (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John); the Acts are often misunderstood as the “history of the Christian Church”, but since the Messiah did not “bring a church”, this is not at all true.
Instead, the book of Acts is simply a record of the acts of the Apostles to begin the spread of the Good News of the Kingdom of YHWH. The LETTERS (or epistles) - written by various teachers to provide guidance for the earliest congregations and to try to overcome false teachings which were already spreading in the first century CE. And Revelation which is a letter to the 7 assemblies regarding the future as revealed to John, the author.
It is unfortunate that Christianity decided to refer to the Tanach as the "Old Testament” because the term carries the implication that God’s original Divine Instructions to mankind are outdated and no longer pertinent. Concentrating ONLY on “Jesus” (whose actual, given Hebrew name is “Yeshua” which means “YHWH is Salvation”), Christianity is guilty of teaching that Messiah came to abolish his Father’s Divine Instructions and introduce “grace and mercy” and spreading the false message that the need for “obedience to Torah” was “done away with” by the death of the Messiah.
According to Christianity, “Torah is only for the Jews.” HUGE MISTAKE! (See Exodus 12:49, Numbers 15:13-16, Isaiah 56:6, Galatians 3:28 and Romans 10:12-13 which ALL emphasize the need for humanity to OBEY YHWH’s Divine Instructions!)
Somehow, (and this is important), it has escaped Christian scholars that the “New Testament” is mainly commentary about the “Old Testament.” It is merely a collection of early literature written by the Apostles and a few others that basically comprises the last FIFTH of the Bible ... which, in reality, DISCUSSES and CONSTANTLY refers back to the “Old Testament” because the “Old” contains ALL of the original “thus saith the Lord” and the “I am YHWH your God and here’s what I expect of you” passages….
So, the bottom line is that the Bible does NOT begin with Matthew! It begins with the Torah readings, from Genesis through Deuteronomy. In order for us to truly KNOW whom we serve, it is imperative that we constantly study TORAH, while systematically making our way through the entire Bible, all the way to Revelation. Only then can we come to a full understanding of YHWH and what His Messiah did for us.
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