For a believer in Christ (Christians) terms like—Bible, Scripture, Word of God, Old and New Testament or Old and New Covenant will sound familiar.
But if I give you terms like “Tenach”, “Talmud”, “B’rit Hadashah” and “Torah” they will probably not be familiar and even strange or too Jewish for some of you, being almost a red flag to keep your distance from such words and this topic.
Don`t believe me!
Well, if somebody like me, who love to use in some occasions the terms "Tenach”, “Talmud”, “B’rit Hadashah” and “Torah” in my topics for a pure purpose of teaching, then people assume that I want to bring the church into Judaism or start a Messianic congregation, that my mind is set more on the Old Covenant and that I am mixing the law with the grace of God of the New Covenant.
Each time a teacher is in favor and has great interest in Israel they are labeled as being strange, not correct in their theology and some call them Jew lovers.
I agree, there are extremists!
Yes, I agree that some of these folks cannot shake away the Old Covenant - as being the law over grace, because if you minimize the Old Covenant, you betray the Jewish people and God in their opinion.
And then there are those who have a strong desire to become Jewish but they are gentile believers like you and me and pursue unhealthy issues (extremes) in the body of Christ.
I am not blind recognizing that some gentile believers with their extreme fanatism towards the Jewish people and the land of Israel will lead them into extremes, which happened to me a long time ago, but a Messianic Jew who was a wise and biblically healthy fellow, brought me back in line with the Bible.
The Jewish Corner explained in a nutshell!
Look my friend, the Jewish Corner in our blog and this topic you are reading now has nothing to do with these folks but all to do with the reality of the Jewish culture of the Bible and the Hebrew terms.
That`s all there is to it!
We extremely love Israel
but we are not extremist!
The Bible is God’s book but...!
I realized long ago that the Bible (Word of God) is Jewish based because God used the Jews to write His book to us all with a lot of Jewish terms.
In other words, God used the heart of Jewish writers, through times (except Luke who became Jew and then a messianic Jew, Christian), making the Bible mostly Jewish with Jewish expressions (terms) because Jesus said...
“...,for salvation is of the Jews.”
I use “mostly Jewish” and not “all Jewish” because some parts of the Bible in the New Covenant are Greek terms also used in Greek culture but all the writers from Genesis to Revelations were Jewish except for Luke who was a gentile but became a Jew (proselyte) and then a Messianic believer in the Messiah, Christ.
If Hebrew terms offend you, then know this
that gentiles terms offend Jews too!
Did you know that the term “Old Testament” or “Old Covenant” is extremely offensive to Jews (especially the orthodox Jews), because it tells them that what they believe is old fashioned, that the “New Testament” is a replacement for what they believed or fought for since generations!
Of course the church for it’s defence (justify) would reply “Well, the Jews have no right to offended us (Christians) in any way but we have the right to offend them in many ways!” or “It is not our problem if Jews are feeling offended by our terms because we are the church of God (Christ) of the "New Covenant” or “Okay then, the Jews have their terms and we have our terms and if the Jews don`t like it then bla, bla, bla”.
Sorry, but this is baby Christian talk, immature thinking and a replacement theology mind set which is anti Jewish.
This kind of behavior will not help Jews to realize who is Christ, their Messiah who came first for Israel 2000 years ago and died for the world which includes Jews too.
Off the record!
Just another important point here even if it`s not really connecting with this topic: the church is persecuting the Jewish people since centuries all over the world and has murdered many in the name of Christ, in the name of their Messiah Yeshua.
And don`t play the ostrich, wanting to put your head in the sand of “I saw nothing, heard nothing and will say nothing” because you want to stay in a positive thinking mode, that all is okay with the Jewish people and Israel.
Hey, don`t ask why the Jews have so many problems with us Christians and our terminology of the Word of God if we are willingly ignorant, indifferent or like some of us who justify the cause of those who hate the Jews “Death to Israel and the Jews”, those who want all the land of Israel back for themselves.
Well, this was the negative part.
Now we enter in the positive one!
To love what and who God loves!
I am sure that you love God very much and hope that you love His Word too, because both are one and the same.
Then, if you really love God why not love what and who God loves?
In that case, love is unconditional because what and who God loves we are bound to love too and this includes the Jews who brought us the Messiah, Israel as the promised land for the Jews and the terms Jews are using in the Bible.
I am not saying that we should use those terms but we should not consider them as insignificant or not worthy to know.
Let your love learn
from our Judaeo-Christian heritage!
In this topic I just want to introduce you to 4 fascinating Hebrew words or terms, Jews use for the Bible being “Torah”, “Tenach”, “Talmud”, “B’rit Hadashah”.
It would be nice for you to have an interest or at best you should understand these 4 Hebrew terms, which for me are very fascinating and instructive.
Again, I am not saying that we are obliged to use these terms in our churches or meetings or that we have to look Jewish, but at least we should know and comprehend theses terms if we want to understand our Jewish heritage as gentiles and if we love God, then we are obliged to learn about something that is very significant for the Jews and the Messianic Jewish community.
This is a good start
to relate with each other!
Let’s learn these terms
in a nut shell!
If there is a word most Christians know about in Hebrew, it is the word “Torah”.
But most Christians think that this word “Torah” has to do with the Old Covenant from Genesis to Malachi, which is a mistake and a lack of knowledge.
Torah is a Hebrew word which literally means “teaching”, “instruction” or in some cases “The law”.
The Torah consists of simply and only 5 books of the Bible “Genesis”, “Exodus”, “Levites”, “Numbers” and “Deuteronomy”.
Torah is very much connected with the Jewish culture and in the heart of the orthodox Jews.
The 5 books of the Old Covenant “Torah” are extremely vital to the orthodox Jews because in each the Sabbath “Torah portion” is read all over the world in every synagogue.
Tip about the “Torah portion”!
I can guaranty you that if you meet a Jew, he or she will be impressed if you are using the word “Torah” and ask them “What was the Torah portion about this week?” or ask them what they think about the Torah portion of this Sabbath, which would really impress them if you could quote the Torah portion.
I am not telling you to do any devotional about the Torah portion or to remember it in case you meet a Jew.
But it would be a good start if you befriend a Jew or if you know that you will meet one at a party for example.
This is a good and healthy first contact as in respecting the Jewish culture and to position yourself for a good conversation because now you opened the right door and you got the attention of your Jewish encounter and gained some respect.
This will help you to lead the person slowly towards the Gospel or it could open a door for good questions.
Using the word “Torah” with the Jews!
It is simple, but effective!
Tenach! (or Tanach or Tanak)
Ah, here`s a Hebrew term “Tenach” which is not so much known among Christians or many never heard it before but believe me, when I say that this word is a treasure box.
The Tenach is actually about the entire Old Covenant (Old Testament) from Genesis to Malachi.
What is very interesting about the word “Tenach” - it`s not just a word but an acronym.
The Hebrew language does not have any vowels but only consonants, the word “Tenach” is written like this T-N-CH.
What is very interesting is, that each consonant has a meaning for the Jews:
T = for Torah, meaning “Law”, “Teaching”, “Instruction” being the 5 books of Moses.
N = for Nevi’im, meaning “The prophets” being all the books of prophets like Ezekiel, Hosea, Isaiah
and so on.
CH (K) = for Ketuvim, meaning “The writings” being all the rest of the Old Covenant like Psalms, Proverbs,
Nehemiah, Ruth and so on.
if you are one of those who would say or would like to tell me “And! What do you want me to do with this?”.
Well, this is a relevant question and here`s my answer: If you believe in the Great Commission of Christ then think about this for a minute - using the term “Tenach” for the purpose of reaching the Jewish people for Christ will really, really, really, really impress them and especially the orthodox Jews.
This is a super radical point of entry, a big knock at their door (heart and culture).
This will definitely get their attention and they will be open to listen you.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that they will bow to the gospel but at least you got their respect and complete attention, especially when you define it to them as an acronym.
Tenach and it`s acronym
is guaranty to hit the heart of any Jew!
I want to end this here as part 1 because there is a lot to share about the word “Talmud” and “B’rit Hadashah”.
Only with these 2 words I could fill a book but I will stick to the nut shell concept.
End of part 1
For a neat copy then go to "Downloads"
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or a print out.
Next in part 2
We will continue our terms study with
the Jewish terms "Talmud" and
being very interesting concepts.