What is Torah Class?
Torah Class is a free online Bible Study website for gentile and Jewish Believers in Jesus Christ, Yeshua HaMashiach. We offer it from a Hebraic Heritage perspective. We honor Israel as God’s chosen people, and we also honor both Testaments of the Bible as truth and infallible. We believe that the Bible is God’s Word to humankind, and so we study it in depth, verse by verse, in the context of the Hebrew culture in which it was written. We add historical background, geography, original language understanding, and other multi-dimensional elements to provide a complete learning experience.
What is Torah?
Torah is a Hebrew word meaning teaching or instruction. It is also the word for the first 5 books of the Bible.
Does Torah Class only teach the first 5 books of the Bible (the Torah)?
We started out more than 15 years ago with that intention, but things changed! Not only do we have lessons for most of the books of the Old Testament, but we also have many lessons on the New Testament as well as on selected Topics.
Why teach the Old Testament?
The Old Testament makes up about 60% of the entire Bible, and the New Testament itself is made up of approximately 50% of Old Testament quotes. When we ignore the Old Testament, we ignore the bulk of God’s Word. The Old Testament (which is valuable and relevant in and of itself) is alive and well and forms the necessary basis for proper understanding of the New.
Is there a charge or fee for taking Torah Class lessons?
No! It’s free! No gimmicks. The local Seed of Abraham Fellowship congregation, along with generous online donors (thank you!), pays for the Torah Class website.
Do I have to sign-up or register for Torah Class?
Is there a certain order that I’m supposed to watch the lessons?
Although you can begin anywhere you like, we strongly recommend that you begin at Genesis and go in order of the books of the Bible to get the most from Torah Class. Each lesson and each book build from the previous lessons and books. However, for those who are searching for reference material on a topic or a Bible book, use the Search feature in the top right corner of our website.
What does Torah Class teach?
Torah Class teaches the Bible verse by verse in an exegetical, multi-dimensional format from Genesis to Revelation. We believe in taking the Bible literally and tend to concentrate mostly on the Old Testament because it plays an enormous role in the New Testament and has traditionally been the least studied and understood part of the Bible by Christians.
Does Torah Class believe in and teach the New Testament?
Yes, of course! However, the Old Testament is critically important to know before serious New Testament study should begin, since it forms the foundation for a proper context and understanding of the New Testament. The Old Testament answers many theological questions that the New Testament doesn’t address and establishes principles that a Bible student needs to know. Your knowledge of many of these principles is taken for granted in the New Testament.
Does Torah Class think that gentiles need to become Jews or practice Judaism in order to worship Jesus (Yeshua)?
No! There is no need for a gentile to “become a Jew,” and coming to salvation does not physically change gentiles to Jews, nor Jews to gentiles.
Does Torah Class try to turn Christians towards Judaism?
No. We do not advocate gentile Christians observing Judaism. However, there are many good Traditions in Judaism that Christians might want to consider using for themselves. Also, understanding 1st century Judaism is especially important for understanding the New Testament.
Is The Law of Moses still valid, or is it dead and gone and nailed to the cross?
Jesus Himself taught in His Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5:17-20 that the Law remains alive, and that not the tiniest bit of it will be abolished until the Heavens and Earth pass away. The issue for all Believers is how to use and apply The Law in our modern lives and in our many and various cultures, as guided by the Holy Spirit within us and done in the spirit God intended.
Does The Law save us?
No. Only Yeshua, Jesus Christ, saves us. The Law is NOT for salvation and NEVER was for salvation. Rather, it explains what sin is, who God is, and what He deems is good and evil; and it lays out God’s divine principles by which every Believer in the God of Israel is to live AFTER they’ve been redeemed.
Does violating The Law affect or even end our salvation?
No. Violating the Law is called sin, and Yeshua died to atone for our sins (our violations of the Law: 1 John 3:4).
Do you celebrate the Jewish (Biblical) Feasts?
Yes, we do! The 7 biblical feasts were not only ordained by God to be observed literally but were also prophetic of Messiah’s ministry and foreshadow the redemptive process. It is also a means for Christians to identify with the Jewish people as our elder brothers and sisters in the faith and to join with them in common celebration of our mutual God.
Do you celebrate Christmas and Easter?
We understand and agree with the desire to celebrate Christ’s birth and resurrection, yet Christmas and Easter are undeniably manmade celebrations that began as borrowed pagan celebrations and over time have been further co-opted by the secular world. For these reasons, we have chosen different occasions to celebrate the Believer’s intent of Christmas and Easter. Therefore, while there is no God-ordained biblical feast after which we can model a celebration of Jesus’ birth, there is a series of 3 God-ordained biblical festivals that precisely speak of His death, burial, and resurrection: the Biblical Feasts of Passover, Unleavened Bread, and Firstfruits. We celebrate those feasts in lieu of Easter.
Does Torah Class celebrate the birth of Jesus?
Yes. But we have chosen to celebrate it on Hanukkah. We know that He was not born on Hanukkah (and neither was He born on December 25th!) and that Hanukkah was not created for that purpose; however, it does afford us an occasion to remember and thank the Lord for the birth of our Savior. It also gives us another way to be celebrating at the same time as our Jewish friends and allows us a “reset” from Christmas to a more appropriate way to celebrate the birth of Yeshua.
Does Torah Class observe a Saturday Sabbath?
Yes. There is historically and biblically no such thing as a “Sunday” Sabbath. Saturday is the 7th day of the week, while Sunday is the 1st day of every week. Sunday was designated as the “Lord’s Day” circa A.D. 350 by the Roman Church at the Synod of Laodicea; and at the same time, Sabbath for gentile Christians was officially abolished by the Roman Church leadership. There is only one biblical weekly Sabbath: the 7th day, Saturday (Friday sundown to Saturday sundown as reckoned by the Hebrew day). It is a day of rest (ceasing). Sabbath was originally ordained at Creation, and it remains a holy day for all mankind to observe.
Is The Law for Jews only, and is Christ for gentiles only?
The Law and Christ are for both Jews and gentiles. However, the Law and Christ each have different functions. The Law is not a means of salvation for Jews, and Christ is not an alternative means of salvation meant only for gentiles.
Does Torah Class think it’s wrong to meet on Sunday?
No. Our companion congregation, Seed of Abraham Fellowship, meets on Sundays as well as Saturdays and other days of the week. That the bulk of the Church meets to worship on Sunday is a perfectly good thing for all Believers. However, meeting on Sundays is NOT Sabbath observance; and it should not be mistaken as such.
Should Jews who become “Christians” go to a traditional gentile Church?
That is entirely up to the individual. If a Jewish Believer prefers to go to a traditional Church, great. Often a Messianic Synagogue is more comfortable for a Messianic Jew because they tend to hold their services in a more culturally Jewish setting. Messianic Synagogues are Jewish Synagogues where Yeshua (Jesus) is worshipped as the Messiah. But no Jew who comes to belief in Yeshua should be asked to give up any element of his or her Jewishness. There is NO biblical or spiritual requirement for a Jew to stop being Jewish when he or she comes to faith in Messiah.
Is Torah Class part of the Hebrew Roots movement?
We prefer to use the term Hebraic Heritage and to focus on the Bible, as opposed to ritual and tradition. Hebrew Roots or Jewish Roots is a term that has been abused, misused, and not precisely defined. In one sense, it merely means to acknowledge that the Christian faith sprung from the Hebrew faith and has a Jewish Messiah, and that our holy text (the Bible) is a Hebrew document written entirely by Hebrews. In another sense, Hebrew Roots indicates a love for (and spiritual connection with) Israel and the Jewish people and an acknowledgement that Jesus did NOT create a new religion of, by, and for gentiles. Torah Class believes in these first two tenets. However, some other folks have taken a rather different view and tend to ask their gentile adherents to more or less “become Jews,” often by observing many Orthodox Jewish Traditions and also thinking that when becoming saved, a gentile literally goes through a physical transformation of some kind and becomes a physical Jew or national Israelite. Torah Class does NOT accept this because it has no biblical basis.
What is a Messianic Jew?
A Messianic Jew is another name for a Jewish person who has come to faith in Yeshua (Jesus). Usually a Jew who calls himself a “Messianic” attends a Messianic Synagogue as opposed to a traditional Church, and may observe some number of cultural Jewish Traditions, but otherwise believes essentially the same as a gentile Christian and relies on the same Savior.
Are Jesus and Yeshua different people?
No; they are the same person. Jesus is an Anglo-Saxon name given to our Messiah by English speakers as a result of the Bible being translated from Hebrew and Greek into the European languages. Since He was born a Jew to Jewish parents in the Jewish Holy Land, He of course was given a Hebrew name (not an English name!) by his parents. His given name was Yeshua (Hebrew meaning God Saves). In Torah Class, we acknowledge both names as valid and acceptable but favor “Yeshua” as it is His real and original name in His own language and culture, and it is easily pronounceable by English speakers.
Is Yeshua (Jesus) God?
Yes, He is. Jesus is 100% God, and 100% man (a true mystery). He is one with the Father and the Holy Spirit. They are not separate “gods,” nor is the Father the “old god” and Yeshua the “new god”.
Does Torah Class stand with Israel?
Yes! We see Israel as God’s land, given as a permanent inheritance to the Israelites. Therefore, we affirm Israel as a Jewish State and that all the land described in the Bible as belonging to Israel still belongs to Israel alone, even if at the moment some of that land is either disputed or not fully in their possession.
Does Torah Class support Israel with ministries and money?
Yes, Torah Class supports 3 ministries directly connected to Israel through Seed of Abraham Ministries’s Family of 5. Holyland Marketplace is an online store that sells products made primarily by Believing Jews living in Israel. The store is not-for-profit, and all proceeds are used to benefit Israeli Believers. Seed of Abraham also has two ministries located in Israel. LoveIsrael.org operates a Messianic learning center in Ashdod and transmits Bible teachings on various cable and satellite TV stations in the Middle East, Africa, Europe, Russia, and America. Hope for Israel is located in Jerusalem and is staffed by Jewish Believers. It is a humanitarian mission designed to serve the Israeli people in a variety of ways—from offering Biblical proof of the Gospel for those who seek it to helping the needy, supporting soldiers in the IDF, providing scholarships for those who have finished their time in the IDF, and even building rocket-proof shelters for protection from enemy attacks.
Has the Church replaced Israel (replacement theology)?
No. The Church has joined Israel but has not replaced Israel. The “joining” that Paul calls “grafted in” (Romans 11) takes place on a spiritual level. Israel remains the apple of God’s eye and His chosen people: He has not rejected them in favor of the gentile Church. Israel remains at the center of God’s plan of redemption, and one of the proofs of this is their miraculous return to their homeland in 1948.
Is Torah Class and Seed of Abraham Ministries “two house”?
There is an erroneous doctrine floating about that says that because Israel was divided into two “houses,” one of those houses (called Ephraim) has become the gentile Church. We do NOT believe this as it is but a subtle form of Supersessionism (Replacement Theology). Rather, there is no doubt historically and biblically that Israel was split into two houses (the house of Judah and the house of Ephraim-Israel) after King Solomon died; and these 2 houses together make up the whole house of Israel. Ezekiel 37 explains that these 2 houses (consisting of Hebrews) shall remain separated by exile until the Jews return, and Israel is re-born as a nation (which has happened). Afterwards, the other house, Ephraim-Israel, will come to join them. This process is currently underway with many of the tribes of Ephraim returning now to Israel.