Why Study the Torah?
Torah, a Hebrew term, is commonly understood to be “law”; however, the real meaning comes from its root yara meaning “to teach” or “to instruct.” While Torah can be translated as “law,” it is far more than that; it is God’s teaching and instruction for mankind.
The Torah is comprised of the first five books of the Bible: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. Tanakh is a Hebrew acronym for the complete Old Testament. The “T” of the word Tanakh stands for the Torah; the “N” for Nevi’im (Prophets); the “K” for Ketuvim (Writings). While Torah means the Pentateuch, it is commonly used to refer to the entire Old Testament.
The first five books are the foundation for the rest of the Bible including the Apostolic Scriptures. Jesus and the apostles studied the Tanakh. (The New Testament was not yet written.)
Our living Messiah was The Word (Torah) made flesh (John 1:1,14).
Foundation of Our Faith
It is the Torah upon which our faith is established in the Messiah. The LORD’s Apostles did not understand the Scriptures as “the Old Testament,” but as the “Torah.” This is what Paul was referring to:
“…all Scripture (Tanakh, meaning Torah) is God-breathed and is useful for
teaching [revealing God and His will],
rebuking [how not to falter but to walk upright],
correcting [practical steps to correct one’s walk],
and training in righteousness, [instructing in God’s perfect will],
so that the man of God may thoroughly equipped for every good work.” II Timothy 3:16,17
And Jesus said:
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Torah (Law) or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Torah (Law) until everything is accomplished.” Matthew 5:17,18
The so-called Christian precepts of repentance, grace, holiness, righteousness, sin, forgiveness, kingdom of heaven, faith, love for God and fellow man, prayer, communion, baptism, etc., are first introduced in the Torah. Out of the Torah, flows all the Gospel (Good News).
Our Faith in Messiah
Faith in the Messiah is built on the Torah. It is the Torah that confirms Yeshua as the Messiah.