Sunday series: 09/27/2009 (#54)
Where: Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church at 11am
- from the name Hermes (Greek mythology)
- studying, learning, understanding, interpreting [the Scriptures]
- first five books of the Bible
- what the Hebrews understand as the Torah [list below not added on my original notes]
- written in exile
- epic stories
- spoken and passed from people to people
- stories to explain higher truths
“1 I commend unto you Phebe our sister, which is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea: 2 That ye receive her in the Lord, as becometh saints, and that ye assist her in whatsoever business she hath need of you: for she hath been a succourer of many, and of myself also.” (Romans 16:1-2 KJV)
“15 I beseech you, brethren, (ye know the house of Stephanas, that it is the firstfruits of Achaia, and that they have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints,) 16 That ye submit yourselves unto such, and to every one that helpeth with us, and laboureth.” (1 Corinthians 16:15-16 KJV)
“9 Do thy diligence to come shortly unto me: 10 For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia. 11 Only Luke is with me. Take Mark, and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry. 12 And Tychicus have I sent to Ephesus. 13 The cloke that I left at Troas with Carpus, when thou comest, bring with thee, and the books, but especially the parchments. 14 Alexander the coppersmith did me much evil: the Lord reward him according to his works:” (2 Timothy 4:9-14 KJV)
“2 I beseech Euodias, and beseech Syntyche, that they be of the same mind in the Lord. 3 And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellowlabourers, whose names are in the book of life.” (Philippians 4:2-3 KJV)
- rainy day
- definition of Torah
“Torah (‘Instruction’, ‘Teaching’) is a central concept in the Jewish tradition. It has a range of meanings: it can most specifically mean the first five books of the Tanakh, it can mean this, plus the rabbinic commentaries on it, it can mean the continued narrative from Genesis to the end of the Tanakh, it can even mean the totality of Jewish teaching and practice. Common to all these meanings, Torah consists of the foundational narrative of the Jewish people: their call into being by Yahweh (euphemistically called HaShem by Jews and denoted in English translations of the Bible as the LORD), their trials and tribulations, and their covenant with their God, which involves following a way of life embodied in a set of religious obligations and civil laws (halakha).
In its most specific meaning, it consists of the first five books of the Tanakh written in Biblical Hebrew. The names of each of these books in Hebrew are taken from the first phrase in each book: Bereshit (‘In [the] beginning’, Genesis), Shemot (‘Names’, Exodus), Vayikra (‘He called’, Leviticus), Bamidbar (‘In the desert’, Numbers) and Devarim (‘Words’, Deuteronomy).
In rabbinic literature the word Torah denotes both these five books, Torah Shebichtav (‘Torah that is written’), and an Oral Torah, Torah Shebe’al Peh (‘Torah that is spoken’). The Oral Torah consists of the traditional interpretations and amplifications handed down by word of mouth from generation to generation and now embodied in the Talmud and Midrash.
According to religious tradition, all of the teachings found in the Torah, both written and oral, were given by God to Moses, some of them at Mount Sinai and others at the Tabernacle, and all the teachings were written down by Moses, which resulted in the Torah we have today. According to a Midrash, the Torah was created prior to the creation of the world, and was used as the blueprint for Creation. The majority of Biblical scholars believe that the written books were a product of the Babylonian exilic period (c. 600 BCE) and that it was completed by the Persian period (c. 400 BCE).
Traditionally, the words of the Torah are written on a scroll by a sofer on parchment in Hebrew. A Torah portion is read publicly at least once every three days, in the halachically prescribed tune, in the presence of a congregation. Reading the Torah publicly is one of the bases for Jewish communal life.”
“The five books of Moses. The word is a Greek adaptation of the Hebrew expression ‘h.amishshah h.umshe ha-Torah’ (five-fifths of the Law) applied to the books Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy, and indicating that these five books were to be taken as a whole, as they are in the first distinct reference to a division of the Biblical books by the Greek Sirach (see Jew. Encyc. iii. 145b, s.v. Bible Canon). As a consequence the various books are named in Hebrew by the first significant word of the section: Bereshit (Genesis), Shemot (Exodus), Wayik.ra (Leviticus), Bemidbar (Numbers), and Debarim (Deuteronomy); but in the Septuagint, where the different sections had already obtained a separate individuality, they are known by names roughly indicating their contents as dealing with ‘the beginnings of things,’ the ‘exodus’ from captivity, the ‘Levitical’ laws, the ‘numbers’ of the Israelites, and the ‘repetition of the Law.’ For a detailed account of the contents of each separate book see the articles devoted thereto.”