Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Torah and Tanakh

In the past and recent times, human beings have always used religion as a guide on behavior, morals, ethics, practices, and worldviews. Religion also relates humanity to spiritual and supernatural elements. Among religious practices practiced include Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism, just to mention a few.  All these are guided by religious scriptures, passed down from generation to generation, with some teachings being outdated. Among the religious guides used in the past include Torah and Tanakh. Although the two are similar in many ways, they are different in various aspects.

 

What is Torah?

Synonymous to law or teaching, these are the initial 5 books of Moses which were given by God to Moses at Mount Sinai and the Terbanacle. They include Leviticus, Deuteronomy, Genesis, Numbers, and Exodus, in no particular order. It begins from the creation of the world, beginnings of the Israelites and their descent to Egypt and includes the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai and ends just before the crossing to the Promised Land with the death of Moses. While the Midrash believe that the Torah was created before the creation of the world whereby God used it as the blueprint for His creation, the majority believe that the Torah was as a result of the Babylonian captivity. As per the Jewish practice, the Torah is read at least once in three days publicly before a congregation. The Torah is used by Christians and Muslims. 

 

What is Tanakh?

Also known as the Old Testament, this is the whole Jewish Bible which includes a collection of religious writings in the ancient times by the Israelites. The Tanakh has 24 books including the 5 books of Torah, historical books, wisdom books (Ketuvim), Major Prophets (Nevi’im) and the twelve Minor Prophets.  It details the journey of the Israelites detailing rules given by God to Moses, major Hebrew prophets, and poetry, both erotic and devotional. These books were passed on from generation to generation and details Gods dealings with the Jews as His own chosen people.

 

Similarities between Torah and Tanakh

  • Both are in the Old Testament

 

Differences between Torah and Tanakh

Definition

Torah refers to the initial 5 books of Moses which were given by God to Moses at Mount Sinai and the Terbanacle. On the other hand, Tanakh refers to the whole 24 books which include a collection of religious writings in ancient times by the Israelites.

Contents

Torah contains the 5 books of Moses including Leviticus, Deuteronomy, Genesis, Numbers, and Exodus, in no particular order. On the other hand, Tanakh has 24 books including the 5 books of Torah, historical books, wisdom books (Ketuvim), Major Prophets (Nevi’im) and the twelve Minor Prophets.

Original language

While Torah was originally written in Hebrew, some books of the Tanakh were originally written in Hebrew and others in Greek.

Torah vs. Tanakh: Comparison Table

 

Summary of Torah vs. Tanakh

Torah refers to the initial 5 books of Moses which were given by God to Moses at Mount Sinai and the Terbanacle and was originally written in the Hebrew language. On the other hand, Tanakh refers to the whole 24 books which include a collection of religious writings in the ancient times by the Israelites whereby some books were originally written in Greek and others in Hebrew.

 

Tabitha Njogu

Tabitha graduated from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology with a Bachelor’s Degree in Commerce, whereby she specialized in Finance. She has had the pleasure of working with various organizations and garnered expertise in business management, business administration, accounting, finance operations, and digital marketing.

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References :


[0]Image credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Tanakh_ram_torah.jpg

[1]Image credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Two_Torah_scrolls.jpg

[2]Postell S. Adam as Israel: Genesis 1-3 as the Introduction to the Torah and Tanakh. Casemate Publishers, 2012. https://books.google.co.ke/books?id=2ewFBAAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=Difference+between+Torah+and+Tanakh&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwju_6ClzevkAhUJnxQKHem9BMYQ6AEINjAC#v=onepage&q=Difference%20between%20Torah%20and%20Tanakh&f=false

[3]Brettler M & Berlin A. The Jewish Study Bible: Jewish Publication Society Tanakh Translation. Oxford University Press, 2004. https://books.google.co.ke/books?id=aDuy3p5QvEYC&printsec=frontcover&dq=Difference+between+Torah+and+Tanakh&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwju_6ClzevkAhUJnxQKHem9BMYQ6AEIPTAD#v=onepage&q=Difference%20between%20Torah%20and%20Tanakh&f=false

[4]Teeter D & Schipper B. Wisdom and Torah: The Reception of ‘Torah’ in the Wisdom Literature of the Second Temple Period. BRILL Publishers, 2013. https://books.google.co.ke/books?id=nbDKAQAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=Difference+between+Torah+and+Tanakh&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwju_6ClzevkAhUJnxQKHem9BMYQ6AEITzAG#v=onepage&q=Difference%20between%20Torah%20and%20Tanakh&f=false

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