The Hebrew Roots Movement uses the word “Torah” in this equation in their teachings:
Jesus saith unto him, “I am the way, the truth and the life no man cometh unto the Father but by me. If ye had known me ye should have known my Father also and from henceforth ye know him and have seen him.” (John 14:6-7, KJV)
We begin this study with John 14:6-7 because here Jesus declares that He is the way, the truth and the life. Way is the Greek word, “hodos” (Greek Strong’s 3598), which means “a way, a road, a journey, a path”. Jesus is teaching us in terms we can easily understand that He is the only way, the only road that leads to God the Father. A relationship with Jesus is actually a journey with the destination to God the Father. Jesus also says He is the truth, “alétheia” (Greek Strong’s 225). According to Strong’s Concordance this means “truth, but not merely truth as spoken; truth of idea, reality, sincerity, truth in the moral sphere, divine truth revealed to man, straightforwardness.” Finally, Jesus proclaims He is the life, “zóé” (Greek Strong’s 2222), which means “both of physical (present) and of spiritual (particularly future) existence.” In understanding what Jesus means by being “life”, we need to look at other Scriptures.
“..because law brings wrath. And where there is no law there is no transgression.” Romans 4:15, NIV
“I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life (zoe) actually brought death (thanaton).” Romans 7:10, NIV
Jesus brings life, but we see in these verses and in 2 Corinthians 3:6-7 that the law can bring death. Why the difference? Perhaps we can find the answer in these verses.
“For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” John 3:17, NIV
“As for the person who hears my words but does not keep them, I do not judge him. For I did not come to judge the world, but to save it. John 12:47, NIV
From scripture we see that the law’s original purpose was to help us recognize that we are sinners in need of a savior, to recognize sin, but at the same time the written code condemns. Why? Because we see that we have broken the law, and the law helps sinners, even to this day, understand that. Because of the law, man can recognize that He is without excuse, which is why the scripture refers to the law as a “tutor” and also claims to be for the unrighteous not the righteous.
“Is the law, therefore, opposed to the promises of God? Absolutely not! For if a law had been given that could impart life, then righteousness would certainly have come by the law. But the Scripture declares that the whole world is a prisoner of sin, so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe. Before this faith came, we were held prisoners by the law, locked up until faith should be revealed. So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith. Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision (tutor, paidagōgon, Strong’s #3807) of the law.” Galatians 3:21-25, NIV
“We also know that law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious; for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers” I Timothy 1:9, NIV
“Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.” Romans 10:4, NIV
The Nature of Jesus Versus the Nature of the Law
This brings up a noticeable difference between the works of Jesus and the works of the law that must be addressed by those who suggest that Jesus is Torah (the Law). Because we see that the law can bring God’s wrath, it can cause death, it can cause us to be held as prisoners, and as a tutor it convicts or condemns in order that we might be justified by another way than the law. The Law cannot impart life, but Jesus can, Galatians 3:21. We see clearly from scripture that Jesus brings life, does not condemn and he sets the captives free. If the fruit and work is different, their purposes different, then are these two identical in nature? Logic would suggest no.
Let’s look at 2 Corinthians 3:6-11; 14-17, NIV
6 He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant —not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. 7 Now if the ministry that brought death, which was engraved in letters on stone, came with glory, so that the Israelites could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of its glory, transitory though it was, 8 will not the ministry of the Spirit be even more glorious? 9 If the ministry that brought condemnation was glorious, how much more glorious is the ministry that brings righteousness! 10 For what was glorious has no glory now in comparison with the surpassing glory. 11 And if what was transitory came with glory, how much greater is the glory of that which lasts! …14 But their minds were made dull, for to this day the same veil remains when the old covenant is read. It has not been removed, because only in Christ is it taken away. 15 Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. 16 But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
|JESUS = spirit (vs.16)
|Spirit gives life
|Ministry that brought death brings glory
|Ministry of the Spirit even more glorious
|what was glorious has no glory now in comparison
|puts a veil on their hearts
|removes the veil
|mercy and grace
|beginning of the law
|end of law (Romans 10:4)
The glory of the law is different than that of Jesus, further justifying an argument that these two are not one in the same, but are different in works, nature, intent, and destiny.
What about John 1:1-4; and John 1:14 as they describe Jesus as the Word? Do they demonstrate that Jesus is Torah?
In the beginning was the Word (logos, Strong’s #3056), and the Word was with God (theos, Strong’s #2316), and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The Word (logos) became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
3056. lógos (from 3004 /légō, “speaking to a conclusion”) – a word, being the expression of a thought; a saying. 3056 /lógos (“word”) is preeminently used of Christ (Jn 1:1), expressing the thoughts of the Father through the Spirit. (lógos) is a broad term meaning “reasoning expressed by words.”
We see clearly here that this Greek term “logos” simply means “a word, speech, divine utterance, analogy”; it doesn’t mean ‘law’ as has been implied by those in the Hebrew Roots movement. It is more likely to be used by the Greeks to represent word or reason. It is doubtful that a Greek mindset which developed the modern day democracy legal structure that our own nation models after would have used this word to mean law in any form. They had words that meant law and would have used them if they meant to represent Jesus as the Hebrew law, but more likely meant a “reasoning expressed by words.” I realize that John was Jewish, but without a Hebrew text of his writings we have no reason to assume that this word choice is in error.
If anything, this is inconclusive proof to connect the word that became flesh (Jesus) as Torah.
If we are to stay consistent with the Hebrews Root Movement Teaching then we should NOT use the New Testament to make this correlation but should look to the Old Testament to see if the coming Messiah was seen to be Torah or if there is a differentiation determined. Let us do so now.
The Mashiach (Anointed One)
“35 I will raise up for myself a faithful priest, who will do according to what is in my heart and mind. I will firmly establish his priestly house, and they will minister before my anointed one (H4899, mashiach) always.” 1 Samuel 2:35, NIV
The Messiah will do what is the heart and mind of God; He will be a faithful priest. And He will be human because Daniel 9:26 says He will be put death, “After the sixty-two ‘sevens,’ the Anointed One will be put to death…”
“I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers; I will put my words in his mouth, and he will tell them everything I command him.” Deuteronomy 18:18
“Yet I will remember the covenant I made with you in the days of your youth, and I will establish an everlasting covenant with you.” Ezekiel 16:60, NIV
There are too many scriptures in the Old Testament to list them all here that refer to the anointed one or messiah who is to come as separate in nature, intent, and purpose than the Law. (see Isaiah, Psalms, Jeremiah, etc.)