There are three monotheistic religions, Islam, Christianity, and Judaism. These three religions have one or more sacred writings that have preserved and safeguarded the prophetic words. But also not to change them by keeping their entirety. For each of these three monotheistic confessions, the sacred scriptures are different in their origins, their natures, and finally the content. The reference text has long been the Bible. And the so-called Jewish Bible corresponds only to the Old Testament. But then what is the difference between the Bible and the Torah?
Christian and Judaic traditions
The Bible is a great book that is in fact a collection of different writings gathered in one during a period that goes from the eighth century BC to the beginning of the second century AD. The Bible is divided into two large sections that Christians call the First (or Old Testament) and the New Testament. What makes the difference between Judaism and Christianity is that Judaism recognizes as authentic only the books of the First Testament. What for? Because the latter is written in Hebrew. Christianity will keep in its Bible, the Hebrew Bible as well as the books of the New Testament with the testimony of Jesus as Christ and Lord. The First Testament is composed of five books: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and finally, Deuteronomy. In reality, the definition of the Torah is nothing more than the Hebrew word: “Torah” which designates these first five books.
According to the tradition of Judaism, the founding text, the Torah is revealed to Moses and would have been given in two times. At first, the terms of the Sacred Book are dictated by God to Moses in the presence of the assembled people (Exodus, XXIV, 4). In a second step, the “ten commandments” in “ten words” are engraved twice with the finger of God on the stone tablets on Mount Sinai. Engraved in stone and yet unfinished. Moses receives both the “Written Law” and the “Oral Law”. The Torah is the pillar of the Jewish faith since it is directly related to the written Law and therefore to Moses. The Oral Law is implemented gradually from the comments made by Jewish rabbis. The Oral Law answers specific questions and explains how the Written Law is to be applied. Finally, there is the Talmud in Judaism. Unlike the Torah, the whole formed by the first five books of the Bible, the Talmud is specific to Judaism. It is in the form of stories and discussions.
What is the difference between the Torah and the Old Testament?
The first difference between the Torah and the Bible is in the name of the Old Testament. The expression “Old Testament” is Christian. It comes from a letter from the apostle Paul dating from 55 A.D. This letter is addressed to the Christians of the city of Corinth. Christians use the Greek word Pentateuch to refer to all of these first five biblical books. For the Jews, these five books constitute the Torah, that is, “teaching”, “doctrine” and “Law”. Why this name? Because these five books contain a set of religious, cultural, legal, and ritual prescriptions. The latter constitute the foundations of Judaism. For example, the dietary laws (kosher) found in chapter 11 of Leviticus are among the Laws that can be found in the Writings.
The use of the word Pentateuch by Christians dates back to the third century BC. At that time, the Bible was translated into Greek. The first translation of the Jewish Bible called the Alexandrian Bible or the Septuagint Bible was made later. According to legend, 70 translators gathered in Alexandria, Egypt, to make this new translation of the Bible. As you will have understood, Jews and Christians have a common history. Nevertheless, the designation of the Old Testament for the entire Jewish Bible dates only from the fourth century. In conclusion, the Torah is the only part of the Hebrew Bible that the Samaritans consider to be a divine authority. However, there is an exception to the Book of Joshua. All other books of the Jewish Bible were refused.