The word Torah is commonly translated as “law”. Its literal meaning is Instruction and Teaching.
Much is argued today if we should obey and do the Torah or not. Paul writes a lot about this subject and his writings are the root of all of the arguments, because we have a hard time understanding them. Even Paul’s contemporary, spirit filled Peter said that Paul’s letters were hard to understand. Because of the difficulties, ignorant people already then distorted the meaning of Paul’s writings. (2 Peter 3:15-16)
Let’s see what definitions for the word “law” we may find in the letters.
Ro 3:27 Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded. Because of what law? The law that requires works? No, because of the law that requires faith.
Two laws are mentioned in this verse: The law which requires works and the law which requires faith.
Ro 2:14 Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law,(A) they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law.
I leave the interpretation of this verse open.
Ro 8:2 because through Christ Jesus(A) the law of the Spirit who gives life(B) has set you[a] free(C) from the law of sin(D) and death.
There are two laws in this verse: the law of the Spirit and the law of sin and death
Ro 7:21 So I find this law at work:(A) Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me.
I think you get the idea.
Gal 6:2 Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.(A)
Here we have the “law of Christ”. Another law in the list of the many.
James 1:25 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom,(A) and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.(B)
The “law that gives freedom” should probably be the one to find and live by.
The point I would like to make here is this:
When Paul or others uses the term “law” it does not always refer to the law which was written down by Moses. That raises the question, when Paul says, that we are no longer under the law, which law is he referring to?
Let’s look at what the bible says about the law of Moses:
Mt 5:17-20 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.(A) 18 For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.(B) 19 Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands(C) and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.(D)
Luke 16:17 It is easier for heaven and earth to disappear than for the least stroke of a pen of the Law to become void.(A)
John 15:10-11 If you keep my commands,(A) you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.(B)
Mt 23:3 So you must be careful to do everything he (Moses) tells you. But do not do what they (the Pharisees) do, for they do not practice what they preach.
(This is the correct translation of this verse. See for example the book by Nehemia Gordon “The Hebrew Yeshua versus the Greek Jesus”.)
Lk 16:31 “He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’”
(In other words: He who does not listen to the Torah will not recognize Yeshua who rose from the dead.)
Ps 1:1-3 Blessed is the one(A) who does not walk(B) in step with the wicked(C) or stand in the way(D) that sinners take(E) or sit(F) in the company of mockers,(G) but whose delight(H) is in the law of the Lord,(I) and who meditates(J) on his law day and night. That person is like a tree(K) planted by streams(L) of water,(M) which yields its fruit(N) in season and whose leaf(O) does not wither— whatever they do prospers.(P)
PS19:7 The Torah of YAHWEH is perfect, converting the soul. The Testimony of YEHOVAH is sure, making the simple wise.
8 The precepts of YAHWEH are right, rejoicing the heart. The commandments of YEHOVAH are clear, giving light to the eyes.
Eze 20:11 I gave them my decrees and made known to them my laws, by which the person who obeys them will live.(A)
Nu 15:16 The same laws and regulations will apply both to you and to the foreigner residing among you.(A)’”
Pr 28:9 If anyone turns a deaf ear to my instruction, even their prayers are detestable.(A)
Ro 2:13b Those who obey the law will be declared righteous.
Ro 3:31 Do we, then, nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather, we uphold the law.
All of Ro 7 is only written for those who know the Torah.
1 Cor 7:19 Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing.(A) Keeping God’s commands is what counts.
1 Tim 1:8 We know that the law is good(A) if one uses it properly.
Eze 7:26 Calamity upon calamity(A) will come, and rumor upon rumor. They will go searching for a vision from the prophet,(B) priestly instruction in the law will cease, the counsel of the elders will come to an end.(C)
Eph 2:15 (Christ) having abolished in the flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances (dogma); that he might create in himself of the two one new man, so making peace;
(The commandments contained in dogma are the man made commandments, mostly invented by the Pharisees. These kind of laws were the ones Yeshua came to abolish as we can read out of the many arguments HE had with the Pharisees.)
Acts 13:38-39 “Therefore, my friends, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you.(A)39 Through him everyone who believes(B) is set free from every sin, a justification you were not able to obtain under the law of Moses.(C)
(In other words: Yeshua did set us free from what the Torah could not, which is the law that says “the wages of sin is death”)
John 5:45 “But do not think I will accuse you before the Father. Your accuser is Moses,(BA) on whom your hopes are set.(BB) 46 If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me.(BC) 47 But since you do not believe what he wrote, how are you going to believe what I say?”(BD)
1 Corinthians 10
Warnings From Israel’s History (learning from the Torah)
10 For I do not want you to be ignorant(A) of the fact, brothers and sisters, that our ancestors were all under the cloud(B) and that they all passed through the sea.(C) 2 They were all baptized into(D) Moses in the cloud and in the sea.3 They all ate the same spiritual food(E) 4 and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock(F)that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ. 5 Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them; their bodies were scattered in the wilderness.(G)
6 Now these things occurred as examples(H) to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did. 7 Do not be idolaters,(I) as some of them were; as it is written: “The people sat down to eat and drink and got up to indulge in revelry.”[a](J) 8 We should not commit sexual immorality, as some of them did—and in one day twenty-three thousand of them died.(K) 9 We should not test Christ,[b](L) as some of them did—and were killed by snakes.(M) 10 And do not grumble, as some of them did(N)—and were killed(O) by the destroying angel.(P)
11 These things happened to them as examples(Q) and were written down as warnings for us,(R) on whom the culmination of the ages has come.(S) 12 So, if you think you are standing firm,(T) be careful that you don’t fall! 13 No temptation[c] has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful;(U) he will not let you be tempted[d] beyond what you can bear.(V) But when you are tempted,[e] he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.
Idol Feasts and the Lord’s Supper
1 Cor 10:14 Therefore, my dear friends,(W) flee from idolatry.(X) 15 I speak to sensible people; judge for yourselves what I say.16 Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread that we break(Y) a participation in the body of Christ?(Z) 17 Because there is one loaf, we, who are many, are one body,(AA) for we all share the one loaf.
18 Consider the people of Israel: Do not those who eat the sacrifices(AB) participate in the altar? 19 Do I mean then that food sacrificed to an idol is anything, or that an idol is anything?(AC) 20 No, but the sacrifices of pagans are offered to demons,(AD) not to God, and I do not want you to be participants with demons. 21 You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons too; you cannot have a part in both the Lord’s table and the table of demons.(AE) 22 Are we trying to arouse the Lord’s jealousy?(AF) Are we stronger than he?(AG)
One famous Scripture Torah opponents always use is Colossians 2:16-17 (KJV)
“Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days, which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.”
The word “is” at the end of the sentence is added by the translators. Other translations add even more words. The KJV is closest to the original Greek, which you can see for yourself using helps like http://www.blueletterbible.org. Paul explains to us, that the body of Christ is the church, the true followers of Yeshua. With this in mind this Scripture means: “Don’t let a pagan judge you for keeping the dietary laws, the feast days, the new moon or the sabbath, but be judged by true believers only.”
Obedience to YHVH’s commandments
Rev12:17 Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to wage war(AM) against the rest of her offspring(AN)—those who keep God’s commands(AO) and hold fast their testimony about Jesus.(AP)
Rev14:11 And the smoke of their torment will rise for ever and ever.(AH) There will be no rest day or night(AI) for those who worship the beast and its image,(AJ) or for anyone who receives the mark of its name.”(AK)12 This calls for patient endurance(AL) on the part of the people of God(AM) who keep his commands(AN) and remain faithful to Jesus.
Ps 111: HIS commandments are true, standing firm forever and ever.