The Third Temple  The Center for
Messianic Learning 

Unapologetically Pro-Torah
Unashamedly Pro-Israel
Irrevocably Zionist
“… out of Tziyon will go forth Torah, the word of ADONAI from Yerushalayim.”
(Isaiah 2:3)
Jew and Gentile (Synagogue and Church), one in Messiah. (Ephesians 2:14)
“For He is our peace, Who made both one, and broke down the middle wall of partition, …”

If your life is not in jeopardy for what you believe, you’re probably on the wrong side!
If you don’t believe Genesis 1-11, how can you possibly believe John 3:16?
“Indeed, all who want to live a godly life united with the Messiah Yeshua will be persecuted.” (2Tim 3:12)
It is what you actually believe that determines how you walk out your faith, “but avoid stupid controversies, genealogies, quarrels and fights about the Torah; because they are worthless and futile.” (Titus 3:9)

Please Note: Absolutely nothing on this website should be taken as anti-Church or anti-Rabbinic. I am not anti-anything or anti-anyone. I am only pro-Torah and pro-Truth (see “Philosophy”), but sometimes the Truth upsets our long-held beliefs. I know it certainly upset mine! For example, see “Why Isn’t My Theology Consistent Throughout the Website?”

Developing a
Systematic Messianic Theology

“The purpose of careful theological formulations is not to put barriers in the way of people who are seeking salvation, but to define clearly the truths upon which genuine [Biblical] faith rests, so that people will not be misled by false doctrines.” [Bowman]

“It must be clearly and unequivocally stated that theology cannot save you. Only faith in Messiah Yeshua can save you. Theology can only give you sound doctrine.” [RLS]

Unless otherwise specified, throughout the Theology section of my website I use the term “Torah” in the wider sense of including the entire body of inspired Scripture: both the Tanakh and the Apostolic Writings. I personally do not consder any other so-called “sacred writings” either inspired by God or authoritative for the Believer’s walk of faith. Thus, I do not consider the Mishnah (the “Oral Torah”) as part of Torah. You should make up your own mind.

[Explanations of rabbinic citations are HERE]

About Torah

Torah Reveals the Mind of the Eternal

On this page:

Old English capital letter The Hebrew word תּוֹרָה (Torah) literally means “direction” or “instruction.” It can also be translated as “law” because God’s “Divine Instruction” that He has lovingly revealed to us contains both civil and ecclesiastical laws for the Commonwealth of Israel. However, to consider the entire Torah as “Law” is simply not accurate. The term “Torah” technically refers to the Five Books of Moses: Bereshit (Genesis), Shemot (Exodus), Vayikra (Leviticus), Bamidbar (Numbers), and Devarim (Deuteronomy).

However, the word Torah can also be used as a synonym for the Hebrew Bible or Tanakh, in which sense it includes not only the five first but all 24 books of the Hebrew Bible, because all contain God’s divine instruction. If in bound book form, it is called Chumash, and is usually printed with the rabbinic commentaries (perushim).

In Rabbinical Judaism, Torah can even mean the totality of Jewish teaching, culture, and practice, whether derived from biblical texts or later rabbinic writings. The latter is often known as the “Oral Torah.” I personally do not accept the “Oral Torah” as either inspired or authoritative, because “Moshe wrote down all the words of Adonai.” (Exodus 24:4)

As we should also consider the Ketuvei Schliachim (Writings of the Emissaries, or Apostolic Writings) to be a significant portion of God’s Loving Instruction, my personal use of the word “Torah” includes this body of writings as well.

The Summary of TorahThrough His Torah God reveals what He loves and what He hates, and tells us that we should love the things that He loves and hate the things that He hates. As a loving parent He has given us instruction as to the way we are to conduct our lives in order to derive the greatest benefit from His creation. He has told us what activities lead to life and those that lead to death, and He has said that the purpose of our life is to love Him, pay attention to what He says, and cling to Him. Torah tells us how to do just that.

15“Look! I am presenting you today with, on the one hand, life and good; and on the other, death, and evil — 16in that I am ordering you today to love ADONAI your God, to follow His ways, and to obey His mitzvotcommandments, regulations, and rulings; for if you do, you will live and increase your numbers; and ADONAI your God will bless you in the land you are entering in order to take possession of it. 17But if your heart turns away, if you refuse to listen, if you are drawn away to prostrate yourselves before other gods and serve them; 18I am announcing to you today that you will certainly perish; you will not live long in the land you are crossing the Yarden to enter and possess.

19I call on heaven and earth to witness against you today that I have presented you with life and death, the blessing and the curse. Therefore, choose life, so that you will live, you and your descendants, 20loving ADONAI your God, paying attention to what He says and clinging to Him — for that is the purpose of your life!” … (Deut 30:15-20)

My use of the word “Torah” never refers to the Talmud (the “Oral Tradition” or “Oral Torah”). According to the Jewish Virtual Library, “The Oral Law is a legal commentary on the Torah, explaining how its commandments are to be carried out.” While I do not consider the Talmud (or any other commentary on the Scriptures) as the Word of God, I believe that the writings of the Sages, such as the Talmud and the Midrash Rabbah, contain further insight into the character of God and His dealings with His people, and give us the advantage of access to the thinking of the most brilliant Rabbis in Jewish history.

I believe the Torah when it says that Moshe RabbeinuMoses our Teacher “wrote down all the words of ADONAI” (Exod 24:4). I therefore believe that the writings of the Sages, while valuable for our understanding and application of the Torah to our daily walk, are not “the words of ADONAI,” do not constitute a “Second Torah” or “Oral Torah,” and that they were not divinely inspired but rather are the product of men and represent the “case law” of Jewish religious jurisprudence; therefore, they do not have the authority of Torah. (Deut 4:2; 12:32; Prov 30:6, Rev 22:18-19; also see Takanot and Minhag.)


Torah as the Standard of Righteousness

I hold that the Creator has one, and only one, standard of righteousness, the Torah, by which the conduct of all humankind will be judged, and without which mankind has no absolute standard of righteousness. Though God progressively revealed His will to mankind from Gan Edenthe Garden of Eden to the end of the Apostolic Age (i.e., the death of Shliach Yochananthe Apostle John, ca 90 C.E.), I believe that He has now, and has always had, but one Torah (divine instruction) (Exod 24:4) for all people of all time, and that it is the singular standard of righteousness by which all mankind will be judged. ADONAI and His Word are eternal. That is: He, His Word, and His Will has always been, and will always be, the same. (Mal 3:6, Heb 13:8; Matt 5:18; 24:35; John 1:1-3,14)

In the Diaspora it is not possible for us to practice those parts of Torah which require residence in the land, a theocratic civil government, and/or a consecrated Temple on Mount Moriah. I disagree with those who teach that obedience to Torah is required only for ethnic Jews, and I believe that HaShem has but one single Standard of Righteousness by which every member of the human race will be judged — His Torah. I therefore believe that obedience to Torah, to the extent that obedience is possible, is incumbent upon all humanity, particularly Believers in Messiah, including “the Gentile Church.”

However, it must be noted that in HaShem’s economy there is a distinction between Jew and Gentile, just as there is a distinction between man and woman. In His wisdom HaShem created that distinction so that each “class” of individual would perform different functions within His holy community, just as the cohenimpriests and Levi'imLevites performed different functions within the Tabernacle/Temple and the Elders and Deacons perform different functions within the ecclesia. Thus, just as certain provisions of Torah apply only to men and others only to women, so also there are certain provisions of Torah which apply only to ethnic Jews and not to Gentiles.



The Tanakh (alt, Tanach, Tenach) is the Hebrew Bible. The acronym TaNaKh is formed from the initial letters of its three major sections: Torah (Books of Moses), Nevi’im (Prophets), and Ketuvim (Writings). It is the canonical collection of Hebrew scripture, which is also the textual source for the Christian “Old Testament.” These texts are composed mainly in Biblical Hebrew, with some passages in Biblical Aramaic (in the books of Daniel, Ezra and a few others, written while in Babylon). The form of this text that is authoritative for Rabbinic Judaism is known as the Masoretic Text (MT) and it consists of 24 books, while the translations divide essentially the same material into 39 books for the Protestant Bible, and into 46 books for the Catholic Bible.


Ketuvei HaShalichim

The Ketuvei HaShalichim (Apostolic Writings, commonly and erroneously known as the “New Testament”) were inspired by Ruach HaKodeshthe Holy Spirit, penned under the direction of Ruach HaKodesh by Torah-observant Jews, in the Jewish language, and were originally directed to an audience that was living a Jewish lifestyle in a Jewish environment. I believe that they were then either translated or re-written into Koine (Common) Greek for transmission to the non-Jewish and Hellenized (Greek-speaking) Jewish Messianic Believers in the Diaspora, and that much of the error in modern translation and interpretation comes from the attempt to understand the Apostolic Writings with a Greek (or Western) mindset and ignore the clearly Hebraic (Eastern) nature of the original text. In order to correctly understand them, we must therefore interpret them from the perspective of the first-century Jewish and/or Jewish-oriented audience to whom they were written.

A fair question might be asked: “The men who wrote the Ketuvei HaShalichim were Jewish Rabbis. Why consider their writings authoritative but not the writings of the Rabbis who wrote the Talmud?” To me, the answer is relatively simple: of the writers of the Ketuvei HaShalichim, Yeshua personally commissioned Rabbis Mattityahu (Matthew), Yochanan (John), Kefa (Peter), and Sha'ul (Paul); Mordichai (Mark) was commissioned by Kefa; Lukas (Luke) was commissioned by Sha'ul; Ya'akov (James) and Y'hdah (Jude) were Yeshua’s brothers. They all based their authority on Yeshua. The writers of the Talmud based their authority on that of other Rabbis.



I believe and teach that the whole Torah (the Bible) is but a single unit, consisting of both the TaNaKh and the Ketuvei HaShalichim, and that it is the one and only inspired, infallible, and authoritative Word of God (Psalm 119:89, Prov 30:5-6, 2Tim 3:16-17). The phrase “the Law and the Prophets” is a Hebrew idiom for the Tanakh, and is a reference to the whole of Hebrew Scripture.

Furthermore, I believe that to divide the Sacred Text into two “books” or “testaments” is grave error, and that the writings of the Shliachim should rightfully be included as an integral part of the K'tuvim. I strongly object to the use of the terms “Old” and “New” Testament or Covenant, in that the word “old” suggests that which is obsolete or of less importance that it originally was, and the word “new” suggests that which supplants or has replaced something “old.” I believe that this vocabulary of “old” and “new” plays a major role in the Satanic separation of God’s Elect into “church” and “synagogue” and is contrary to God’s will for His Elect.


Inspiration and Authority

I believe that the original autographs — those originally hand-written by the ShliachimApostles and Nevi’im — are the literal written Word of HaShem, absolutely inerrant and infallible in relation to any subject with which they deal,[1] and the Bible as defined herein is the only infallible and authoritative word of God.

I believe in the verbal (all the words of the Bible) and plenary (all the parts of the Bible) inspiration, dual authorship[2] (Ruach HaKodeshthe Holy Spirit directing the writing of His human instrument down to the smallest stroke of the smallest letter), and protected transmission of all Scripture, so that in the Bible is to be found the full and sufficient source of all divine revelation. Therefore, no other writings, “prophecies,” or other supposed revelations, whether written or verbal and regardless of their source, are to be accepted as divinely inspired or authoritative. All teachings and all knowledge, whatever the source (including “science”), are to be understood and interpreted in the light of the sacred Scriptures in their original language.[3]


Potected Transmission

The same Ruach HaKodesh who inspired and directed the writing of the original autographs (the hand-written original documents) has also preserved His word in such a manner that we can be sure that the Bible we have today, when correctly understood, is of the same inerrancy and authority as the actual scrolls and parchments that the original writers penned. When the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered, the world recovered fragments of the Scriptures that were more than a thousand years older than those prevsiously available. While there were certainly some variations in spelling and wording, nothing was found in those older documents that in any way changed the significant content or our understanding of the previously known Scriptures.



I believe that the Bible is to be properly interpreted only through the enlightenment of Ruach HaKodesh (2Peter 1:20) and is to be understood in its literal, natural, historical, grammatical, and intended sense; that in order to be correctly understood and interpreted, it must be understood and interpreted from the perspective of its original writers and recipients; that since the original writers and recipients of the Sacred Text were Jews living within Tabernacle/Temple/Synagogue milieu, it can be only correctly interpreted when viewed from the perspective of Biblical Judaism as it existed from the Exodus through the dispersal following the destruction of the Second Temple; and that it is to be accepted as the full and final authority over the Believer’s faith and conduct, including all matters of congregational polity, policy, and procedure (Deut. 6:4-9; Prov. 3:1-6; Ps. 119:89; Ps. 119:105; Isa. 48:12-16; Rom. 8:14-17; 2Tim. 2:15; 2Tim. 3:16-17)


Torah as the Word of God

If we can say that the entire Tanakh and Apostolic Writings are divinely inspired down to the very words, even the very letters in those words, that they are absolutely inerrant and infallible in relation to any subject with which they deal, then it stands to reason that they are the infallible and authoritative word of God. They are the one Truth by which all other “truth” must be evaluated and judged.[4]


  1. It should be noted that the Bible does not claim to be a science textbook. I do, however, believe that the discrepancies we note between the Bible and “science” are errors in the human interpretation of one or both, and will be resolved when Yeshua reigns from Jerusalem in the Kingdom Age. [BACK]

  2. Dual authorship, when used in reference to the Bible, simply means that God used men to write the Scriptures exactly as He wanted them written, without eliminating their wills and personalities from the writing process. [BACK]

  3. Since there exists no direct word-for-word equivalence between the Hebrew, Greek, and English languages, translators are forced to use words they believe to be the best understanding of the words, phrases, and idioms they are translating. Therefore even the very best translations of necessity include the interpretation of the translator, which may or may not be what God originally intended. [BACK]

 4. See “What is Truth?[BACK]

Page originally posted on Wednesday, 18 November 2021

Page last updated on Wednesday, 04 October 2023 03:04 PM
(Updates are generally minor formatting or editorial changes.
Major content changes are identified as "Revisions”)

Anxiously awaiting Mashiach’s return

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