TORAH - "instructions" and "teachings" - this includes both the written instructions and the oral teachings .
Tanakh (The Hebrew Bible) - contains the written Torah instructions;
Talmud - contains the oral teachings of the Torah.
Exegesis - the modern way of studying Biblical text. This takes the most LITERAL context of the scriptures. i.e. God spoke to the tree. Exegesis study takes it literally - God spoke to the actual tree. However, many places in the bible - people are referred to as trees. The Hebrews knew this. So when they see the word TREE - they take it to a deeper level - that PEOPLE represent the tree.... i.e. the jews are compared to an olive TREE, the gentiles are the TREE branches grafted into that TREE.
The authors of the bible - were JEWS, meaning they studied the Torah, they lived the Torah, and they were trained to have most of the Torah memorized by the age of 13. So any 13 year old Jew seeing the word TREE - knew it had a deeper meaning that just the literal meaning.
However, Judaism became illegal and Jews were declared the enemy of the church during the Council of Nicea. So all Christians were FORCED to create a new... TREE, separating themselves from the original Tree. We have been left with looking at the Hebrew bible (what was left of it after the council of Nicea) , a bible that was written by Jewish Authors, about a Jewish God and a Jewish Messiah from a gentile (Pagan) perspective. I.e. from a kindergarten perspective.
1 Corinthians 3:2 - "I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able"
The bible talks about "drinking milk" - that is the beginning level of scripture.
Then implies you should now be "eating meat" - you should have the deeper meaning of scriptures by now.
BUT - the Hebrew meaning to that verse - "Drinking Milk" means the beginning level of TORAH study AND observance. This is Judaism 101 - Studying the Torah and DOING what it says. i.e. Keeping the Sabbath AND the festivals, etc.. Every Jew knows this is LEVEL ONE of Jewish Study. i.e. what they learned, for example, in the First Grade.
The Hebrew meaning for "Eating meat" is Torat ha Sod - which means you should be at stage FOUR by now in your studies of the Torah. Every Jew knew this meant the ADVANCED level of Judaism- of studying the scriptures. This is to us like the College levels of the Torah. This is the level that ALL the authors of the bible were writing from - LEVEL FOUR. Jesus was a LEVEL FOUR Jew, John, Paul, Peter, etc... They were raised as Jews, they studied like all the Jews were taught to study, they lived the Torah, they followed the Sabbath, and therefore - every JEW - by adult hood - were capable of a Level FOUR understanding.
SO what is Torat ha Sod??? It is the fourth level of Torah understanding.
To understand the Jewish writings of our Jewish God - we've got to start looking at the writings from a Jewish Perspective.
In the beginning..... Gods word was ORAL.... it was taught from generation to generation. TAUGHT - being the key word.. it was teachings and instructions about us and our God ... (i.e. not a LAW - that was the Greek word for it, also not COMMANDMENTS - they were "Statements") . Torah - means teaching.
God's word is intended to be a LIFESTYLE. It encompasses all of a human's life. "In all your ways you shall you know Him, and He will straighten your paths." "Love the Lord your God, with all your heart, with all your mind, and with all your soul".
Jews are taught that Hashem created the Torah 2000 years before He created the universe. This refers to the Written and the Oral Torah. The Oral Torah is the extended "lecture" and the Written Torah contains the brief notes that make certain that we do not forget the "lecture". Thus, the Oral Torah gives us the context for the Written Torah.
(per talmud history of talmud) Still, because it is written Velimdo (Deut. xxxi, 19), and teach it to the children of Israel (put it in their mouths; that is to say that the teacher's duty was to explain and comment on the laws and ordinances until the children understood them thoroughly and were conversant with them by heart)--the name "Talmud" was applied to what was styled by a long phrase "Oral Law" (Torah-she b'al-Peh).
In Job 11:9 - one of Job's friends says that the wisdom of God, the Torah, that "its measurement is longer than the land, and wider than the sea". But if you unroll a copy of every book of the Torah and stretch them out from end to end, starting from the 5 books of Moses until Malachi, the entire length is not likely to reach even one mile. Tzofer (Job's friend) was not referring to the books of the Written Torah, which have a specific limit, but to the wisdom of Hashem (God) as manifested in the ORAL TORAH, and as alluded to in the Written Torah.
The Written Torah contains hidden and concealed allusions that are explained in the Oral Torah.
The Written Torah has the general rules, the Oral Torah has the details.
The Oral Torah is vast, and the Written Torah is small. Concerning the Oral Torah, it says, "Its measurement is longer than the land, and wider than the sea."
The Oral Torah is limitless. The greatness of the Oral Torah is that no matter how much is taught, no matter how much is learned, there is always more true Torah to be discovered. Hashem created the Torah that way.
And absolutely every single element of the Oral Torah is alluded to in the Written Torah.
This is why the Written Torah had to be written in Hebrew, that language that Hashem created specifically for that purpose.
The Written Torah needs the Oral Torah to make certain that the correct meaning is conveyed and understood.
The Written Torah therefore exhorts each of us, "Ask your father and he will relate it to you; your elders and they will tell you" (Deut. 32:7)
Examples of WHY you need the ORAL TORAH with the WRITTEN TORAH:
Lev. 7:26 - ""Ye shall eat no manner of blood, whether it be of foul or beast" - but how would you know how to purge the meat of the blood?
Exodus 13:16 - "And it shall be for a token upon thine hand, and for frontlets between thine eyes" How would you know that is talking about Tefillin, and what Tefillin is, and how they are made, and how they are to be bound upon your hand?
"You shall not cook a young animal in its mothers milk" WHY??? The Oral Law explains why and exactly what that means.
Exodus 21:24 - the Written demands an "eye for an eye". Going by just the written you would be putting each others eyes out - but if you had the ORAL torah also, you would understand the VALUE of an eye must be compensated, with money.
The Written Torah alludes to the Oral Torah in numerous places:
The Torah says: (Deut. 12:20) "When G-d expands your borders as He promised you, and your natural desire to eat meat asserts itself, so that you say; 'I wish to eat meat', you may eat as much meat as you wish... you need only slaughter your cattle and small animals... in the manner I have commanded you." Nowhere in the Written Torah is such a manner described. So what is the manner in which we are supposed to slaughter cattle?
The laws of slaughtering cattle are described in detail in the Oral Law.
it was prophesied that the COMPLETE TORAH would come back in the end days:
“Now it will come about that in the last days... many people will come and say, ‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; that He may teach us concerning His ways, and that we may walk in His paths.’ For the Torah will go forth from Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.” (Isaiah 2:2–3)
Also in Revelations - those that have faith in Yeshua AND the torah -
"Here is the perseverance of the saints who keep the mitzvots of God AND their
faith in Yeshua."
Oral Law teachers were referred to as the Tannaim.
For centuries, Jews passed the oral law down through the generations. Jews knew that passing it orally was a better transmission method then passing it through the books.
However, by 200 C.E. millions of Jews were being killed and the number of knowledgeable Jews were rapidly declining. Rabbi Judah made the call to begin the process of writing the Oral Law.
Writing the oral law : (from the Talmud: History of the Talmud)
At the end of the first century it was to them a substitute for their destroyed Temple; it was their stronghold, their entertainment by day and by night. It was only when they were occupied with it that they forgot all the calamities past and present; it was the sole bond which kept together the scattered colonies of Israelites, which strengthened them to bear the yoke of the Romans, to hope for brighter days, to be patient unto the end.
These elements taught all together..... (today in written form known as..)
1. Tanakh ("bible") - this was the written instructions that was taught alongside the oral traditions
2. Talmud ("learning") - oral instructions that went alongside the Tanakh - it is not the entire Oral Law - it is a basic skeleton of the Orah Torah. As much was possible was written for the preservation of the Torah. But it is by far not the entire Oral Torah. That would not be possible.
3. Midrashim (Intrepretations) - this is the interpretation of the ORAL TORAH - this is considered to be the authoritative reading of the Written Torah.
4. Halakha (Path) - considered to be the Jewish Law - it is based on the written instructions together with the oral instructions.
Jewish tradition was NOT based on a literal reading of the Tanakh (bible) , but it was a combined oral and written tradition.
"For faith comes by HEARING, and HEARING by the Word of God." Gods Word was never intended to be a read only....
Deut. 4:6 - Torah states, "You shall be careful and do the Commandments (Mitzvohs), because that is your wisdom and knowledge as the Gentiles see it; when they HEAR all about ALLLLLLL these Mitzvohs, they will say, "this great nation is surely a wise and sage nation"
"The Torah of Hashem is perfect, it restores the soul.
The testimony of Hashem is trustworthy, it makes simple people become wise.
The instructions of Hashem are proper, they make one's heart happy;
The commandments of Hashem is clear, it enlightens the eyes.
The fear of Hashem is pure, and endures forever.
The judgments of Hashem are true, consistently righteous.
They are more desirable than gold, even more than the purest gold!
Sweeter than honey that drips from the honeycombs." King David, Psalm 19
Hes not just talking about the 613 commandments of thou shalt nots.....
God wants us to study the COMPLETE Torah, in Deut. 6:7 - "SPEAK of them: when you sit at home, when you travel, when you get ready for sleep, and when you wake up". He told the prophet Joshua, " Torah must not depart your MOUTH. You must study it day and night". (Joshua 1:8)
For all of the 1,400 years from the days of Moses to the days of Jesus, the Torah was the rule of life and standard of godliness for God's chosen people Israel.
When we see reference to the "Scriptures" in the New Testament the author is referring to the Torah. They never understood or considered it to be the Old Testament canonized; they referred to is as the Torah. In 2 Timothy 3:16-17, Paul's states that the Torah "trains in righteousness" and then summarizes it in the following manner.
* The Torah is good for--Teaching (showing the believer about God and His ways)
* The Torah is good for--Rebuking (showing how we have walked off the path)
* The Torah is good for--Correcting (showing how to get back on the path)
* The Torah is good for--Instructing in Righteousness (showing us how to be consistent)