The Torah Is Not The New Testament ©

By Dr. Akiva G. Belk

This essay study is dedicated in the loving memory of Mr. Paul Sakash, may he rest in peace.

The Torah is the first five books of Tenach: Genesis , Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. That is the Torah. Orthodox rabbium also include the Oral Torah but not everyone is in agreement with this inclusion. The New Testament is NOT the Torah and is not a replacement for the Torah. Never is the New Testament called or referred to as the Torah!

Below are the suggested dates according to the New International Version of
Bible for when each particular book of the New Testament was written. There is much confusion among scholars regarding the date each book of the New Testament was written. We have listed the earliest possible dates along with the latest possible dates that New Testament scholars believe each book could have been authored in. These dates can vary significantly from what is listed below depending on who the scholars believe wrote the particular book in discussion. Not knowing the author to some of the books again adds more confusion to the dating process. In this article all dates referred to will be based entirely on the below dates.

These dates are very significant. None of them can be substantiated to a specific time. They are considered generally the earliest dates and generally the latest dates. They are not specific.

The earliest suggested dates are no closer than twenty years after Jesus died. In many cases they could be much later. Why is this so important?

2 Timothy 3:16, 17 states, "All scripture is given by inspiration of G-d, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness that the man of G-d may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works."

2 Timothy 3:16 and 17 were written no later than 65 C.E. In 65 C.E. Paul was writing about the Jewish Tenach. That was the only scripture then and still remains the only scripture now. The New Testament consisting of twenty-seven books did not exist then. Timothy, a devout Christian... a student of Paul... a companion of Paul... was the recipient of Paul's letter to what Christians / Messianics call the "Old Testament." It is clear from his writing that he considered the Jewish Tenach very much alive and well even thirty-five years after Jesus had died. Paul's writing to Timothy does not consider the Jewish Tenach to be outdated or done away with!

In fact Paul had no knowledge of what is now called the New Testament. So when Paul was stating the words, "All scripture is given by inspiration of G-d..," he was ONLY making reference to the Torah, the Prophets and the Writings. He was not making reference to the New Testament.

As a result a very serious misunderstanding exists. One cannot correctly take what Paul wrote in 65 A.C. E. and apply it to the New Testament. That is improper interpretation of the Bible! One living in the 21st century must interpret Paul's writings from the time and place they were written! While Timothy is included in the New Testament Paul was writing about the Torah, the Prophets and the Writings. One cannot assume that just because his book is part of the New Testament that he was writing about the New Testament. In fact it is well known by Christian Messianic scholars that Paul's reference here was only about the Tenach.

The Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible under the subject of "Canon of the New Testament" records, "The Gospels were not at first, as the evidence from the apostolic fathers of the 2nd century will show, cited in the same authoritative way as the OT, although it was not long before this happened."

Over a hundred years after the death of Jesus it was still clear that the Gospels were still clearly inferior to the Tenach. The New Testament was centuries further down the road. Zondervan records, "{It is} clear that no idea of a canon of NT Scriptures could be conceived in the earliest period of the Christian Church..." That being the case, how could the Gospels and the New Testament which were not even mentally conceived until several hundred years after Timothy wrote "All scripture is given by inspiration of G-d.." be considered the exclusive point of his writing?

The Gospels were redefined by people after the writings to Timothy. They included the Gospels in his statement. Centuries later they again redefined Timothy's statement to include The New Testament. Now today in the 21st century Timothy's writing is taught in such a fashion that it would appear that he was speaking exclusively of the New Testament! That is the evolution of the very serious misunderstanding which exists regarding what Timothy wrote.

In addition to the above fact, Jesus and his followers also frequently quoted from Hebrew scriptures. Without question both clearly accepted the fact that the Hebrew scriptures are inspired by G-d! Neither questioned that fact!

The early church fathers also quoted frequently from Hebrew scriptures. Zondervan records the feelings of Clement, "The earliest partistic testimony is that of Clement of Rome who wrote his epistles to the Corinthians just before the turn of the century (C. A.D. 96). The first fact which strikes the reader of his epistle is the large number of citations from the OT and the paucity of specific references to NT books. For Clement the OT is obviously more important to cite than any NT writings."

Now centuries later we have this flood of delusion and misrepresentation. Truth has been changed into lies over a process of time! One can clearly see the step by step devaluation of Hebrew scriptures by outside interests over a period of centuries...

Today all that one needs to do to understand the great controversy among scholars of the New Testament is to observe that on one hand scholars of the 21st century teach that the Tenach (Old Testament) is concluded and done away with, and on the other they frequently quote scripture from this 'old, outdated' Jewish book which they claim is for today! My friend, G-d does not author such confusion!

Now some have argued that the New Testament is divinely inspired and since the New Testament is divinely inspired it is equal to or in many cases superior to the Tenach. Well, that being the case, how do you explain the over 200,000 mistakes existing within the the New Testament manuscripts? These mistakes are documented by Christian / Messianic scholars. Many books have discussed and rationalized these mistakes like Introduction to the Bible and Evidence That Demands A Verdict. Yet even if one accepts all the diluted rationalizations, they still cannot explain hundreds of mistakes. My friend, G-d is not the author of a book filled with mistakes.

The Tenach has also been tested. No mistakes have been found to this day!

The Torah is our most sacred book. It is very carefully maintained in each synagogue. There is only one version of the Torah. That version is only in Hebrew. Every letter, word, verse, chapter and book are exactly identical in each synagogue throughout the world regardless of the native language. Every Torah is required to be periodically inspected. If a Torah is found to have a chipped letter, that Torah is set aside until a sofar corrects it. That Torah cannot be used until it is certified as a Torah again!

The Jewish people have strictly maintained the Torah for over thirty-five hundred years in the same fashion. It is our obligation to care for the Torah that G-d gave us.

The distinction of the Torah from the New Testament is clear. The Torah is not the New Testament! We will be examining these distinctive differences in future articles.

Wishing you the best,

Dr. Akiva G. Belk

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