Tanakh Vs Torah Differences: (10 Major Things To Know Today) (2023)

Torah and Tanakh are the scriptures of the Jewish faith. These same scriptures form the Old Testament section of the Bible.

What is the Tanakh?

The Tanakh or Mikra (“what is read”) is the Hebrew Bible – a collection of 24 books of Hebrew scriptures, mostly written in Biblical Hebrew. The word Tanakh is an acronym from the Hebrew letters of the three main sections: Torah, Nevi’im (or Navi), and Ketuvim. Sometimes you’ll see it written TaNaKh to highlight the three sections.

All the books of Tanakh are revered by Jews as holy and divine works; however, the Torah (Five Books of Moses) holds precedence.

What is the Torah?

The Torah (which literally means teaching) is what Christians know as the first five books of the Old Testament– also known as the Pentateuch, the Law, or the Five Books of Moses.

When all five books are together, handwritten by a trained scribe, in one parchment scroll, it is called Sefer Torah and considered very sacred. This precious scroll is read during Jewish prayers in synagogue. When not in use, it is stored in a cabinet or curtained off section of the synagogue, called the Torah ark.

The word Chumash refers to other forms of Torah, such as printed in book form with commentaries from rabbis (Jewish teachers).

Sometimes, the term Written Torah is used to refer the 24 books of the Tanakh.Oral Torah or oral tradition refers to all Jewish teaching – including later writings by Jewish rabbis (teachers), as well as Jewish culture and worship practices.

When was the Tanakh written?

Tanakh was written over many centuries, stretching from 1446 BC or earlier to 400 BC.

The Torah was written by Moses from around 1446 to 1406 BC (see the section below for explanation of dates).

The Nevi’im (prophets) begins with the book of Joshua (so as early as 1406 BC) and goes through to the latter prophets (ending around 400 BC).

In Ketuvim (Writings), Job is considered the earliest book to be written (of all the Tanakh), but with an unknown date and author. The Talmud (a Jewish collection of history and theology) says the book was written by Moses. Job is believed to have lived around the time of the patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph), so the book may have been written in the 1800’s BC or earlier. Nehemiah was probably the last book completed in Ketuvim, around 430 BC.

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When was the Torah written?

Answering this question requires an understanding of the human author(s) of the Torah. Torah is often referred to as the Books of Moses, meaning Moses wrote all five books. However, the events of the first few chapters of Genesis predated Moses by thousands of years. Did Moses get the information directly from God or from other sources?

Rabbi Moses ben Maimon (AD 1135-1204) wrote in the Maomonide’s 13 Principles of Faith, “I believe with perfect faith that the entire Torah that is now in our possession is the same that was given to Moses our teacher, peace be upon him.” Today, most Orthodox Jews believe Moses wrote the entire Torah, including Genesis, and many Christians agree.

Most Conservative Jews and some Christians, on the other hand, believe that Moses had a collection of oral traditions and/or writings regarding events in Genesis, which Moses then edited and transcribed into one book. Rashi (Rabbi Shlomo Yitzchaki; 1040-1105) said that Moses presented the Israelites with the book of Genesis before he climbed the mountain and received the ten commandments.

Recent archeological finds prove that cuneiform writing was well established in Mesopotamia long before Abraham was born there. It is conceivable that Abraham and his descendants could have recorded the accounts of Genesis following the flood and even before. Less than 300 years passed from the flood to Abraham’s birth and Noah was still alive when Abraham was born and for the first 50 years of his life (Genesis 9 and 11).

Perhaps even Noah knew how to write. God gave Noah detailed instructions in Genesis 6:14-20. Remembering all those figures, building a boat that enormous, and dealing with logistics of storing food for all the animals would have been difficult without at least basic writing and math skills.

Noah’s grandfather Methuselah (who lived 969 years) was alive up until the year of the flood (Genesis 5:21-32, 7:6). The first man, Adam, was still alive when Methuselah was born and for the first 243 years of his life (Genesis 5). The account of creation and the fall of man, and the genealogies could have been related (orally or in written form) from Adam directly to Methuselah and then to Noah and then to Abraham.

Scriptures in the Torah itself refer to Moses as the author, writing down what God dictated:

  • “Then the LORD said to Moses, “Write this on a scroll as a reminder and recite it to Joshua” (Exodus 17:14)
  • “And Moses wrote down all the words of the LORD.” (Exodus 24:4)
  • “Then the LORD said to Moses, “‘Write down these words, for in accordance with these words I have made a covenant with you and with Israel.” (Exodus 34:27)
  • “Moses recorded their starting places according to their journeys by the command of the LORD” (Numbers 33:2).(Obedience to God verses)

Moses wrote the Torah during the 40 years following the exodus from Egypt. According to 1 Kings 6:1, Solomon laid the temple foundations 480 years after the exodus, so that places the exodus around 1446 BC. If Moses edited the book of Genesis from earlier writings from Abraham and the other patriarchs, those writings could go back as far as 1876 B.C. or even earlier.

What does the Tanakh consist of?

Tanakh consists of 24 books, divided into three main sections – Torah, Nevi’im, and Ketuvim. Tanakh has the same books as the Old Testament section of the Bible that most Protestant Christians use. However, the order is different, and some books are combined into one book, so Tanakh has 24 books instead of the 39 books in the Old Testament.

Torah (Book of Law or Book of Moses) is the first five books in the Bible:

  • Genesis
  • Exodus
  • Leviticus
  • Numbers
  • Deuteronomy

Nevi’im (Prophets) has three sections – Former Prophets, Latter Prophets, and Minor Prophets.

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  • Former Prophets are:
    • Joshua
    • Judges
    • Samuel (one book, rather than two, as in Christian Bible)
    • Kings (also one book rather than two)
  • Latter Prophets (three of the five “major prophets” in the Christian Bible – Lamentations and Daniel are in the Ketuvim section of Tanakh.
    • Isaiah
    • Jeremiah
    • Ezekiel
  • Twelve Minor Prophets (these are the same as the minor prophets that make up the last 12 books of the Old Testament; however, in Nevi’im, they are combined in one book)
    • Hosea
    • Joel
    • Amos
    • Obadiah
    • Jonah
    • Micah
    • Nahum
    • Habakkuk
    • Zephaniah
    • Haggai
    • Zechariah
    • Malachi

Ketuvim (Writings) has three sections: Poetic Books, Five Scrolls (Megillot), and Other Books

  • Poetic Books
    • Psalms
    • Proverbs


  • Five Scrolls (Megillot)
  • Song of Solomon
  • Ruth
  • Lamentations
  • Ecclesiastes
  • Esther
  • Other Books
    • Daniel
    • Ezra
    • Chronicles (one book instead of two as in the Christian Bible)

What does the Torah consist of?

As mentioned above, Torah is the first section of Tanakh, and contains the Books of Moses: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.

Tanakh quotes

“Bless the LORD, O my soul and do not forget all His bounties. He forgives all your sins, heals all your diseases. He redeems your life from the Pit, surrounds you with steadfast love and mercy. He satisfies you with good things in the prime of life, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” (Psalm 103:2-5)

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths smooth.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)

But they who trust in the LORD shall renew their strength. As eagles grow new plumes: they shall run and not grow weary, they shall march and not grow faint.” (Isaiah 41:31)

Torah quotes

“Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD alone. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.” (Deuteronomy 6:4-5)

“Be strong and resolute, be not in fear or in dread of them; for the LORD your God Himself marches with you: He will not fail you or forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6)

“You shall serve the LORD your God, and He will bless your bread and your water. And I will remove sickness from your midst.” (Exodus 23:25)

Jesus in the Tanakh

“And you, O Bethlehem of Ephrath, least among the clans of Judah, from you one shall come forth to rule Israel for Me— One whose origin is from of old, from ancient times.” (Micah 5:1)

“The people that walked in darkness Have seen a brilliant light; On those who dwelt in a land of gloom Light has dawned. . .

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For a child has been born to us, A son has been given us. And authority has settled on his shoulders. He has been named ‘The Mighty God is planning grace; The Eternal Father, a peaceable ruler.’

In token of abundant authority and of peace without limit upon David’s throne and kingdom, that it may be firmly established in justice and in equity now and evermore. The zeal of the LORD of Hosts shall bring this to pass.” (Isaiah 9:1, 5)

“But he was wounded because of our sins, Crushed because of our iniquities. He bore the chastisement that made us whole, and by his bruises we were healed.

We all went astray like sheep, each going his own way; and the LORD visited upon him the guilt of all of us.

He was maltreated, yet he was submissive, He did not open his mouth; Like a sheep being led to slaughter, Like a ewe, dumb before those who shear her, He did not open his mouth.

By oppressive judgment he was taken away. Who could describe his abode? For he was cut off from the land of the living Through the sin of my people, who deserved the punishment.

And his grave was set among the wicked, and with the rich, in his death— though he had done no injustice and had spoken no falsehood.

But the LORD chose to crush him, that, if he made himself an offering for guilt, He might see offspring and have long life. And that through him the LORD’s purpose might prosper. (Isaiah 53:5-10)

Jesus in the Torah

“And HaShem G-d said unto the serpent: ‘Because thou hast done this, cursed art thou from among all cattle, and from among all beasts of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life.

And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; they shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise their heel.’” (Genesis 3:15)

“What I see for them is not yet. What I behold will not be soon: A star rises from Jacob. A scepter comes forth from Israel.” (Numbers 24:17)

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“The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet from among your own people, like myself; him you shall heed.” (Deuteronomy 18:15)

What you should know

Tanakh, including Torah, contains the same books as the Old Testament in the Bible. These books are precious and invaluable to both Jews and Christians, forming the Jewish canon of Scripture and over half of the Christian canon of Scripture.

The stories written in these books are not myth or fairytales – they are historic accounts of real people. They teach us much about the character of God and His relationship with mankind, as well as many lessons about perseverance, love for God and others, bravery when facing seemingly impossible odds, forgiveness, and much more!

The laws of Moses give God’s guidelines for morality and spiritual life and the Psalms lift us up in worship of God. Many of the prophecies in the Tanakh have already been fulfilled by Jesus and by the apostles, and other prophecies give valuable information regarding the end of the world.

Most importantly, the Messiah – Jesus – is revealed in the Torah and Tanakh. Jesus is the one who crushed the head of the serpent (Satan). Jesus, born in Bethlehem from the tribe of Judah, is the star of Jacob, the prophet of which Moses spoke. Jesus is the dawning light, the child born to us. Jesus bore our sin and our punishment, so we could be redeemed, set free. Jesus is the Passover Lamb, bringing salvation from sin and death and hell, once and for all.

Study Torah and Tanakh, and you will see Jesus. Study the life and teachings of Jesus in the New Testament, and you will see Torah and Tanakh referenced on most pages.

Shortly after Jesus’ death and resurrection, when the Jews asked Peter (a disciple of Jesus), “‘Brothers, what are we to do?’ Peter said to them, ‘Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far away, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself.’”

Won’t you repent of your sins and receive Jesus your Messiah as your savior from sin?

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What is the difference between the Tanakh and Torah? ›

Tanakh, an acronym derived from the names of the three divisions of the Hebrew Bible: Torah (Instruction, or Law, also called the Pentateuch), Neviʾim (Prophets), and Ketuvim (Writings).

What are the differences between the Torah and the Bible? ›

Language: The Bible was originally written in Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic whereas the Torah was written only in Hebrew. Composition: The Torah is only comprised of the first five books up to Deuteronomy, whereas the Christian Bible contains 66-80 books depending on the version.

What are the differences between the Torah and the Old Testament? ›

The meaning of “Torah” is often restricted to signify the first five books of the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament), also called the Law (or the Pentateuch, in Christianity). These are the books traditionally ascribed to Moses, the recipient of the original revelation from God on Mount Sinai.

What are the 10 rules of Judaism? ›

They are:
  • Do not have any other gods.
  • Do not make or worship idols.
  • Do not disrespect or misuse God's name.
  • Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy.
  • Honour your mother and father.
  • Do not commit murder.
  • Do not commit adultery.
  • Do not steal.

What is the purpose of the Tanakh? ›

Hebrew Bible, also called Hebrew Scriptures, Old Testament, or Tanakh, collection of writings that was first compiled and preserved as the sacred books of the Jewish people. It also constitutes a large portion of the Christian Bible, known as the Old Testament.

What is the Tanakh used for? ›

However, Tanach is more commonly used to describe the whole of Jewish scriptures. This is an acronym made up from the first letter of the words Torah, Nevi im (prophets), and Ketuvim (writings). Similarly, the term Torah is sometimes used in a more general sense to incorporate Judaism's written and oral law.

Does the Tanakh include the Torah? ›

The Hebrew Bible or Tanakh (/tɑːˈnɑːx/; Hebrew: תָּנָ״ךְ‎ Tānāḵ), also known in Hebrew as Mikra (/miːˈkrɑː/; Hebrew: מִקְרָא‎ Mīqrā), is the canonical collection of Hebrew scriptures, including the Torah, the Nevi'im, and the Ketuvim.

Is the Torah the only important part of the Tanakh? ›

The Torah is considered by Jews to be the holiest part of the Tenakh . It was given by God to Moses on Mount Sinai .

How many rules are in the Torah? ›

The 613 refers to the 613 Jewish commandments (mitzvot in Hebrew) extracted from the Old Testament.

What is the biggest difference between the old and New Testament? ›

The Old Testament contains the sacred scriptures of the Jewish faith, while Christianity draws on both Old and New Testaments, interpreting the New Testament as the fulfilment of the prophecies of the Old.

What is the main difference between the Old Testament and New Testament? ›

The Old Testament is the original Hebrew Bible, the sacred scriptures of the Jewish faith, written at different times between about 1200 and 165 BC. The New Testament books were written by Christians in the first century AD.

Are there different versions of the Tanakh? ›

The entire Tanakh was revised and published in one volume in 1985, and a bilingual Hebrew–English version appeared in 1999 (also in one volume). The translation is usually referred to as the "New JPS version", abbreviated NJPS (it has also been called the "New Jewish Version" or NJV).

What is the difference between the Torah and the 10 commandments? ›

The most well-known of these laws are the Ten Commandments , but the Torah contains a total of 613 commandments or mitzvah covering many aspects of daily life, including family, personal hygiene and diet.

Did Jesus do away with the 10 commandments? ›

The Ten Commandments and the rest of the Mosaic Law were nailed to the cross with Christ (Jesus didn't eliminate the Law, but perfectly fulfilled it — i.e. the contract was completed) and didn't carry over into the Christian age.

Does Christianity follow the 10 commandments? ›

According to Christian belief, the Ten Commandments are important rules from God that tell Christians how to live.

What is a Tanakh simple definition? ›

Ta·​nakh tä-ˈnäḵ variants or less commonly Tanach. : the Jewish Scriptures comprising the books of law, the prophets, and collected writings compare torah, nevi'im , ketuvim see Bible Table.

What do the Jews call the Tanakh? ›

The Jewish scriptures are called the Tanakh, after the first letters of its three parts in the Jewish tradition. T: Torah, the Teaching of Moses, the first five books. N: Nevi'im, the books of the prophets. Kh: Ketuvim, for the Writings, which include the psalms and wisdom literature.

What is the holiest part of the Tanakh and why? ›

The Tenakh contains the same books as the Christian Old Testament but in a different order. This is seen as the holiest part of the Tenakh. It contains the five books of Moses and the mitzvot. This section contains the words of 15 prophets, including Isaiah, Joshua and Samuel.

What is forbidden in the Torah? ›

Biblical prohibitions

In the Hebrew Bible, sexual relationships between siblings are forbidden to Jews but permissible to Gentiles (non-Jews). The relationships forbidden by Leviticus 18 are: One's genetic relative (Leviticus 18:6) One's mother (Leviticus 18:7) One's father (Leviticus 18:7)

What religion is Tanakh? ›

At times, however, the word Torah can also be used as a synonym for the whole of the Hebrew Bible or Tanakh, in which sense it includes not only the first five, but all 24 books of the Hebrew Bible.
LanguageTiberian Hebrew
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How many books are in the Tanakh? ›

The Hebrew canon contains 24 books, one for each of the scrolls on which these works were written in ancient times. The Hebrew Bible is organized into three main sections: the Torah, or “Teaching,” also called the Pentateuch or the “Five Books of Moses”; the Neviʾim, or Prophets; and the Ketuvim, or Writings.

What does Torah contain? ›

What is included in the Torah? The five books of Moses are Genesis (Bereshit), Exodus (Shemot), Leviticus (Va-yikra), Numbers (Bamidbar) and Deuteronomy (Devarim). These are the same five books that make up the start of the Christian Bible.

Who uses the Tanakh? ›

Orthodox Jews are encouraged to study the Talmud. The Tanakh is the Jewish Bible. The name is formed from its three parts. The Torah which is the the Five Books of Moses (Jewish written law).

Why is the Torah the most sacred text? ›

The Torah (five books of Moses) is the most important section. The Torah contains the Ten Commandments , along with other religious principles or rules, such as the Nevi'im (Prophets) and the Ketuvim (Writings).

Are there 613 laws in the Torah? ›

The Jewish tradition that there are 613 commandments (Hebrew: תרי״ג מצוות, romanized: taryag mitzvot) or mitzvot in the Torah (also known as the Law of Moses) is first recorded in the 3rd century CE, when Rabbi Simlai mentioned it in a sermon that is recorded in Talmud Makkot 23b.

Are the 10 commandments part of the 613 laws? ›

The Ten Commandments, also known as Aseret HaDibrot (“Ten Sayings” in Hebrew) or Decalogue, are the first ten of the 613 commandments given by God to the Jewish people. They form the foundation of Jewish ethics, as well as civil and religious law.

Are there 613 commandments in the Bible? ›

But there are more: From Genesis through Deuteronomy, there are a total of 613 commandments, as counted by medieval sages. Many of the 613 are obsolete.

Why do Christians not follow Old Testament laws? ›

Unlike Israel under the old covenant, the church consisted of people from all nations who were to obey the laws of the land that they resided in. According to Jesus and the rest of the New Testament, we are not required to keep these civil laws.

What is the version of the Bible closest to the original? ›

The New American Standard Bible is a literal translation from the original texts, well suited to study because of its accurate rendering of the source texts.

Can Christians eat pork? ›

In Abrahamic religions, eating pig flesh is clearly forbidden by Jewish (kashrut), Islamic (halal) and Adventist (kosher animals) dietary laws. Although Christianity is also an Abrahamic religion, most of its adherents do not follow these aspects of Mosaic law and are permitted to consume pork.

Is Jesus mentioned in the Old Testament? ›

The central figure in the Old Testament, though not mentioned by name, is Jesus Christ. Jesus explained this to his disciples after his resurrection. Luke tells us that “beginning with Moses and all the Prophets,” Jesus “interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself” (Luke 24:27).

What was the first language Jesus spoke? ›

Most religious scholars and historians agree with Pope Francis that the historical Jesus principally spoke a Galilean dialect of Aramaic.

Do Catholics believe in the Old Testament? ›

The Old Testament is very important for Christians. The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains: The Old Testament is an indispensable part of Sacred Scripture. Its books are divinely inspired and retain a permanent value, for the Old Covenant has never been revoked.

What is the oldest version of the Tanakh? ›

Codex Leningradensis is the oldest complete manuscript of the Hebrew Bible in Hebrew.

What are the 2 different 10 Commandments? ›

The Bible actually contains two complete sets of the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:2-17 and Deut. 5:6-21). In addition, Leviticus 19 contains a partial set of the Ten Commandments (see verses 3-4, 11-13, 15-16, 30, 32), and Exodus 34:10-26 is sometimes considered a ritual decalogue. 2.

Can the Ten Commandments be found in the Torah? ›

According to the Book of Exodus in the Torah, the Ten Commandments were revealed to Moses at Mount Sinai and inscribed by the finger of God on two tablets of stone kept in the Ark of the Covenant.

What is the difference between the Torah and the Talmud Brainly? ›

The Torah describes the basic laws of Judaism; the Talmud is a collection of opinions on legal issues. The Torah has been handed down for generations; the Talmud is a series of books. The Torah means “study”; the Talmud means “the Five Books of Moses.”

Did Jesus break the law of Moses? ›

Breaking the Jewish law would have been a sin and Scripture repeatedly affirms that Jesus was sinless (2 Corinthians 5:21, 1 Peter 2:22, Hebrews 4:15). James 2:10 says whoever stumbles at one point of the law is guilty of breaking it all, which means Jesus did not break any Old Testament laws.

Where in the Bible does it say we are no longer under the law? ›

Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law. for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

Did Jesus come to remove the law? ›

Matthew 5:17 (“Do not think that I have come to abolish Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.”).

What did Jesus say about the law of Moses? ›

Jesus Christ, in speaking to the Nephite multitude, proclaimed He was the Giver of the law of Moses and that the law was fulfilled in Him: "Behold, I say unto you that the law is fulfilled that was given unto Moses.

What is forbidden to worship in the Ten Commandments? ›

The first and most important commandment was that they must not worship any god other than the Lord. Whoever violated this commandment should be killed and Exodus 22:20 reads "Whoever sacrifices to any god other than the Lord must be destroyed."

How many commandments did Jesus give in the New Testament? ›

Here is what Jesus taught about the second of these things: the commandments as he saw them. In the story, a man asks what must be done to inherit eternal life. In answer, Jesus recites six Commandments, seemingly drawn from the usual Mosaic Ten, except that five are missing, and one against fraud has been added.

Is the Torah the most important part of the Tanakh? ›

The Torah is considered by Jews to be the holiest part of the Tenakh . It was given by God to Moses on Mount Sinai .

Is the Torah and Talmud the same thing? ›

The Talmud is a record of the rabbinic debates in the 2nd-5th century on the teachings of the Torah, both trying to understand how they apply and seeking answers for the situations they themselves were encountering.

Is the Tanakh the oral Torah? ›

Thus, the midrash provides a verse by verse discussion of the entire (written) Tanakh, per the oral Torah.

Does the Talmud talk about Jesus? ›

The Talmudic stories make fun of Jesus' birth from a virgin, fervently contest his claim to be the Messiah and Son of God, and maintain that he was rightfully executed as a blasphemer and idolater.

Do Jews refer to the Torah as the Bible? ›

The most prominent meaning for Jews is that the Torah constitutes the first five books of the Hebrew Bible (also called the Pentateuch, 'five books' in Greek), traditionally thought to have been composed by Moses.
The Torah.
Article written by:Maryanne Saunders
Published:23 Sep 2019
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23 Sept 2019

What are the three main parts of the Hebrew Bible and how do they differ? ›

The three parts of the Hebrew bible are the Torah, the Prophets, and the Writings. They differ because The Torah talks about the ten commandments and lots of other rules and laws. The Prophets talks about the history of Judaism and the creation of the kingdom or Israel.

Can you kiss the Torah? ›

The custom of Sephardic Jews is to raise a finger toward the ark or Torah and then kiss the finger. This practice is observed by men and women. Men also raise the corner of the tallit toward the ark or Torah, then kiss the tallit. Whatever its origin, the custom of throwing kisses today is a charming, graceful gesture.

What is a Torah reader called? ›

In most congregations, the oleh does not himself read the Torah aloud. Rather, he stands near it while a practiced expert, called a ba'al keri'ah ("one in charge of reading"; sometimes ba'al kore), reads the Torah, with cantillation, for the congregation.

Can the Tanakh be translated? ›

Jewish English Bible translations are English translations of the Hebrew Bible (Tanakh) according to the Masoretic Text, in the traditional division and order of Torah, Nevi'im, and Ketuvim. Most Jewish translations appear in bilingual editions (Hebrew–English).

How old is Torah written? ›

This manuscript of the Hebrew Bible dates to the year 1008 C.E., so it is a medieval text, but it is the oldest complete textual witness to the Pentateuch. This seems to leave us in a very awkward position: We are dealing with an allegedly 2500-year-old text, but its earliest textual attestation is only 1000 years old.

What do Jews call their Bible? ›

Jews called the same books Miqra, "Scripture," or the Tanakh, an acronym for the three divisions of the Hebrew Bible: T orah ("instructions" or less accurately "the law"), N eviim ("prophets"), and K ethuvim ("writings," including Psalms, Proverbs, and several other books).


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