To the average Christian, the word Torah is not commonly used in routine religious conversation. In recent years, the “word of God” has been bantered about, especially as relating to the “inerrancy” of the words of the Bible. My purpose is not to get caught up in the controversy of the “inerrancy” issue, but to focus on the “word” as used throughout the Bible.
The verse: “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” Psalms 119:11 (KJV) is a verse remembered and recited by many Christians. From what is “Thy word” in the verse interpreted? Like many other words in the Psalms, such as “law,” “statutes,” “commandments,” “judgments,” “precepts,” all are referring to the Torah. Considering the closeness of David to the Creator, one has to wonder why more emphasis is not placed on the study of Torah, as is done by our spiritual parents, the Jews.
I’ve heard many speakers decry the keeping of the 613 laws of the Tanach. They would have you believe anyone would be deranged to consider the keeping of these laws. The Jew does not keep the laws, which include the “Ten Commandments,” to be a Jew. He keeps the laws because he is an obedient Jew. The sooner the Christian understands that Christianity was given birth by the Jewish religion, the quicker he will seek to return to the roots of our faith. I believe we will never attain the maximum of our potential until we seek wisdom and teaching of our parents, the Jews. I have heard it said, “Not all of the Bible is written to me, but all the Bible is written for me.” Who is more qualified to teach the Torah than the Jew?
Many of the 613 laws may be described as “fences” in order to guard against violating other laws. To attain the meaning of a “fence,” consider the words from Genesis. God told Adam in Genesis 2:17, “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” (KJV) Adam must have built a “fence” around this passage when he conveyed it to Eve, because Eve said to the serpent in Genesis 3:3, “But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, ‘Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.’” (KJV) Genesis 2:17 does not use the word “touch,” as Eve does in Genesis 3:3. The “fence” provided an extra barrier in that if one does not “touch” the tree, he or she cannot “eat” of it. Some of the 613 laws assist the Jew in keeping other laws.
Many Christians believe we should observe the “Ten Commandments.” These commandments are part of the 613 laws. We cannot choose to adopt the laws we think in our minds are good and ignore the others. I’m sorry folks! It is a package deal. It’s all or nothing. A better solution is to search for the parts of scripture which are written to me and adopt them. Let the parts of scripture written to someone else be their responsibility. As a Christian, the “Ten Commandments” were not written to me. They were written to the Israelites at Mt. Sinai.
Are there specific passages in the Torah written specifically to the non-Jew? There are many passages speaking directly and indirectly to the righteous Gentile. Notably of the passages is what is referred to as the Rainbow Covenant or the Seven Noahide Laws. Even our own United States Congress passed a Joint Resolution in 1991 (Public Law 102-14) referring to these laws by saying, “Whereas without these ethical values and principles the edifice of civilization stands in serious peril of returning to chaos . . .”
The seven laws speak to the following topics:
1. Blaspheming the name of God
5. Sexual Perversion
6. Cruelty to Animals
7. Courts of Justice
Books have been written on these topics. One such book is The Rainbow Covenant by Michael Ellias Dallen, but other books have expounded on these topics. Persons who adhere to the precepts of the Rainbow Covenant are known as B’nai No’ach. Who can better teach the Christian about these principles than the Jew? It reminds me of the passage in Zechariah 8:23, which states “Thus saith the LORD of hosts; In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you.” (KJV)
This I believe!