What Exactly Is “the Scripture” and How Does It Fit into Our Faith?

After Jesus’ (Y’shua) death and resurrection, just before he ascended into heaven, Jesus (Y’shua) said these words recorded in Luke 24:44-45:

‘These are the words which I spoke unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses (Torah), and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.’  Then he opened their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures

Isaiah 40:8 (ESV):  “…the word of our God will stand forever.”

1 Peter 1:23 (ESV):  “… you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God …”

“The Scripture” is the Old Testament

T H I N K   A B O U T   T H I S   P O I N T   C A R E F U L L Y

In the New Testament, Jesus (Y’shua), the Disciples, Paul, the Apostles, the First Christians, and Early Churches taught mainly from “The Scriptures.”   They used “The Scriptures” to provide evidence that Jesus (Y’shua) of Nazareth was the Son of God, the true Messiah of Israel.  Of what scriptures were they talking about?  The New Testament was not written yet.  They were teaching from the Old Testament.  When you read about “the Scripture” in the New Testament they are referring to the Old Testament.

In 2nd Timothy 3:15-17, Paul writes to Timothy:  “And that from a child you have known the holy scriptures (from the Old Testament), which are able to make you wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.  All scripture (from the Old Testament) is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”

In John 1:1-3,14, John declares that Jesus (Y’shua) IS the Scripture, the Word of God:  “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  The same was in the beginning with God.  All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made. … (14)  And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth.”

When you reject God’s laws and commands in the Old Testament you are rejecting Jesus (Y’shua), because Jesus (Y’shua) IS the Scripture.

Luke 24:27:  After Jesus’ (Y’shua) resurrection he appeared to his disciples, “And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.”

Acts 28:23-24“… there came many to him (Paul) into his lodging; to whom he expounded and testified the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus, both out of the law of Moses (Torah), and out of the prophets, from morning till evening.”

Acts 17:2“And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three Sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures …”

Acts 17:11“… they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.”

The Torah is the Foundation of the Bible

The Torah means “Teachings” – God’s Teachings

The Torah is the first 5 books of the Bible and means “teachings” in Hebrew, the language of Israel and the Old Testament.  The Torah is often called the “Books of Moses” which are the books: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Deuteronomy, and Numbers.  It is sometimes called “The Law of Moses” or the “Mosaic Law,” but Moses only wrote down what God said.  Almost every time you see the words “the law” or “commandments” in the Bible it actually means “The Torah” (God’s Teachings).

Outline of the Bible

The chart below outlines the entire Bible, from the bottom up, building upon its foundation, the Torah.

bart-scripture-building

 

 

The Torah is the Foundation to the Faith

In John 5:46-47, Jesus (Y’shua) said:  “For had you believed Moses, you would have believed me: for he wrote of me.  But if you believe not his writings, how shall you believe my words?”

In Luke 16:31, Jesus (Y’shua) said:   “If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.”

In Hosea 4:6, God said:  “My people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge: because you have rejected knowledge, I will also reject you … seeing that you have forgotten the law (Torah) of your God.”

Proverbs 29:18:  “Where there is no vision, the people perish:  but he that keeps the law (Torah), happy is he.”

Psalms 11:3“If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?”

In 2nd Timothy 3:15-17, Paul writes to Timothy:  “And that from a child you have known the holy scriptures (from the Old Testament), which are able to make you wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.  All scripture (from the Old Testament) is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”

Remember they are talking about the Old Testament.  Paul’s 2nd letter to Timothy above reveals a lot about the time of Jesus (Y’shua) and the Early Church.  In those days, most God-fearing Jews and Gentiles around the world were raised in the knowledge of the Scriptures (from the Old Testament).

bart-if-sin-is-bondageMany raised in a traditional church today are not taught much about the Old Testament beyond the major figures like Adam, Eve, Noah, Moses, or King David.  Many are left with an impression that the “old” was done away with, of no priority to study, and is of no effect, especially “the law.”  Some even teach that to obey “the law” of God is to become a slave to sin again and those who do are under bondage and therefore are not “free” in Christ.  While on the contrary, the Old Testament is the foundation of all belief in God and Jesus (Y’shua).  Obedience to God’s laws IS FREEDOM and LIBERTY from sin.  Obedience to religious rules, doctrines, and laws made by men, which attempts to ADD them and make them equal to God’s laws IS SLAVERY and BONDAGE.

AN EXAMPLE of a Man-Made (non-Biblical) religious law of Jesus’ (Y’shua) time:    “You Got to Wash Your Hands before Eating Bread.”  Matthew 15:1-9, 13:

“Then came to Jesus scribes and Pharisees, which were of Jerusalem, saying, ‘Why do your disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread.’  But he (Jesus/Y’shua) answered and said unto them, ‘Why do you also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?  This people draw near unto me with their mouth, and honor me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.  But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.’ …  ‘Every plant, which my heavenly Father has not planted, shall be rooted up.’

Moses is God’s Chief Prophet

bart-moses-holding-tabletsDo you remember Moses, the prophet of God who confronted the Pharaoh of Egypt, where the descendants of the 12 Tribes of Israel were in slavery?  God used Moses to lead them out of Egypt, crossed the Red Sea, and camped at Mount Sinai where God gave the Torah (the law) including the 10 Commandments.

When you compare all the teachers, disciples, apostles, and prophets in the Bible, no one comes anywhere close to the importance of Moses.  It is vitally important that you understand how important and significant the prophet Moses is.

When weighing the validity of any teaching, to see if it is truly inspired of God, nothing may contradict the Torah (Books of Moses).

Why?  God himself verbally testified at Mount Sinai before over 600,000 Israeli witnesses that Moses was his prophet.  There has never been in the history of mankind anything close to such a significant witness by any god for someone being their official representative than with the God of Israel and Moses.

DID YOU KNOW that all of Israel was assembled at the base of Mount Sinai and heard the voice of God verbally speak the 10 Commandments and talk with MosesExodus 12:37 states that over 600,000 Israeli men came out of Egypt, not even counting women, children, and a mix-multitude of foreigners that came along with them.  All were direct witnesses of God’s Voice at Mount Sinai.

The 10 Commandments Given by God’s Own Voice:

  ♦  Exodus 19:9:  “And the LORD י ה ו ה said unto Moses, Lo, I come unto you in a thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak with you, and believe you forever. …”

  ♦  Exodus 20:22:  “And the LORD י ה ו ה said unto Moses, Thus you shall say unto the children of Israel, You have seen that I have talked with you from heaven.”

  ♦  Deuteronomy 4:12:  “And the LORD  י ה ו ה spoke unto you out of the midst of the fire: you (Israel) heard the voice of the words, but saw no form; only you heard a voice.”

  ♦  Deuteronomy 4:4“The LORD  י ה ו ה talked with you (Israel) face to face in the mount out of the midst of the fire …”

And The Congregation of Israel Replied to God

Exodus 24:3-4:   “And Moses came and told the people all the words of the LORD י ה ו ה, and all the judgments: and all the people answered with one voice, and said, All the words which the LORD י ה ו ה has said will we do.  And Moses wrote all the words of the LORD י ה ו ה …”  This became the Torah (God’s Teachings), the first 5 books of the Bible, sometimes called the ‘Books of Moses’ or ‘the Law.’

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