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The Talmud And The Torah (Detailed Difference)

The Talmud And The Torah (Detailed Difference)

Non-Jews frequently mix up two major terms in Jewish history: the Talmud and the Torah. They sound vaguely similar and may appear derived from the same concept, yet they are two separate entities. However, it is important to note that they play quite diverse functions in a Jew’s religious journey.

The Talmud is a collection of rabbinic debates on the Torah’s lessons that took place between the second and fifth centuries. During these talks, the rabbis tried to understand how they applied the Torah’s lessons and sought solutions to the issues they themselves were experiencing.

This article highlights the disparities between these two terms. Moreover, it covers some other essential information. Therefore, continue reading the article till the end.

The Talmud

The Talmud is the most important manuscript in traditional Judaism. The Talmud is Hebrew for “learning” and is sometimes referred to as the Mishnah’s six orders.

The Talmud covers the history of Judaism and its laws and values. It is the fundamental tool for learning the ethics behind their religion’s customs.

The Torah

In contrast, Torah is the Hebrew word for “instruction.” The Torah is commonly referred to as the five books of Moses.

The term “Pentateuch” is another phrase for Torah that is more commonly used in several Jewish nations.

The Torah, like the Talmud, is highly religious literature. They both contain important religious works for the Jewish community. The Torah is the Hebrew Bible, and it contains the 613 commandments as well as the entire background of Jewish laws and traditions.

Torah is the old testament
Torah is the Old Testament.

The Old and New Testament Concept

Some may argue that the Torah is the Old Testament. The notion of the Old Testament is not often used by Jews. It is, indeed, alien to them.

In Jewish scripture, there is no such thing as the New Testament; the works that the Christians refer to as the New Testament are not included in their canon. The Jewish word for the written Old Testament is “Tanakh.”

The Oral and Written Piece

Most people find it difficult to discern between these two Jewish concepts based on their definitions. The fundamental distinction is that the Torah primarily describes the first five chapters of the Hebrew Bible (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy).

As expressed, the Torah is the entirety of Jewish law and tradition. According to Jewish teachings, Moses received the Torah as a written document and an oral version or commentary.

This oral piece is now known as the Talmud among Jews. The Talmud portrays the major codification of Jewish decrees (by Rabbi Judah the Prince).

The Talmud, or oral Torah, explains the meaning behind the written writings so that people might apply them in their daily lives.

The scriptures are an important aspect of how they should spend their lives. The Mishnah was created by compiling all of the oral traditions. Over time, more commentaries, known as the Gemara, have been added to the Mishnah.

The Two Types of Talmud

The Babylonian Talmud (the more complete and frequently utilized of the two) and the Jerusalem Talmud are the two types of Talmud.

Modern Jewish law is primarily founded on the Torah; many people believe that the Torah is the most important reference in Jewish society. However, some Rabbinic Judaism traditions are still based on the Talmud.

Overall, the Talmud is the sages’ commentary, encompassing their writings within the discussion between Jews over the Torah. Its goal is to assist people in following the Torah’s precepts.

Overview of the Difference

The Torah is a central text of Judaism and is the first five books of the Old Testament. It is a sacred document containing the Jewish faith’s religious laws and teachings and is believed to have been handed down from God to Moses.

The Talmud is a later collection of Jewish law and tradition composed of commentaries on the Torah by rabbis. It is made up of the Mishnah, a codification of the oral tradition, and the Gemara, a commentary on the Mishnah.

The Torah is the fundamental source of Jewish law and tradition, while the Talmud is an interpretive guide to the Torah.

While both are highly revered in Judaism, the Torah is considered to be of higher importance as it is seen. The Torah and Talmud form the foundation of Judaism today, with Biblical commands frequently re-interpreted in light of Talmudic debates.

The Main Differences

The Talmud Vs. The Torah
The Talmud vs. The Torah
  • The primary distinction between the Talmud and the Torah is that Talmud is an anthology of the oral version of the Torah, whereas Torah is a written version of the Torah.
  • Talmud is important in teaching Jews about their ethics, culture, and roots, whereas Torah is a written document consisting of five volumes of Moses.
  • Talmud denotes “instructions” or “learning,” whereas The Torah is interpreted as “to direct,” “to teach,” “to instruct,” and eventually “law.”
  • According to experts, the Torah was written in Hebrew in about 1312 BCE. On the other hand, the Talmud was written down twice, first in the 4th century and again in the 6th century.
  • For many generations, Talmud was merely passed down as verses describing the written Torah, whereas Torah was authored by the sage Moses and dictated by God.

Let’s now see the difference between these two terms in the table below.

The TorahThe Talmud
The Torah is the written version.The Talmud is an oral version
Another name of The Torah is PentateuchBabylonian Talmud is another name for The Talmud
It is a compilation of the five books of Mosses or the Hebrew BibleIt is the compilation of discussions and lectures by Rabbis
The meaning of the Torah is to guide or read.The meaning of the Talmud is learning or instructions.
The Torah And The Talmud
Let’s watch this video to learn more about the differences between the two terminologies.

Does The Talmud Contain The Torah?

The Talmud is divided into two parts: the Mishnah (around 200 CE), a written compendium of the Oral Torah, and the Gemara (around 500 CE), an explication of the Mishnah and associated Tannaitic literature that frequently travels into other themes and expounds liberally on the Hebrew Bible.

What Is the Jesus Called in The Talmud?

Several passages in the Talmud are thought by some scholars to contain allusions to Jesus. The Talmud uses the name “Yeshu,” which is an Aramaic vocalization (but not spelling) of the Hebrew name Yeshua.

What was the Primary Purpose of the Talmud?

The Talmud, which was compiled between the third and eighth centuries, became the staple of Jewish religion following the destruction of the Second Temple and the fundamental source of halakha, or religious law.

The Talmud’s growth accelerated following Simon ben Shetach’s victory against the Sadducees (early 1st Century BCE), when he ultimately cleansed the Sanhedrin (the Great Assembly of Elders, which had judicial and legislative powers) of them, leaving only Pharisees. It was a pivotal period in Jewish history, but the lessons were not written down.

The Talmud is written in Hebrew and Aramaic. There are two versions: the widely studied Babylonian Talmud, which was compiled by scholars in Mesopotamia (Babylonia) around 500 CE, and the Jerusalem Talmud, which was assembled earlier, around 400 CE, but was much shorter, incomplete, and thus studied less frequently for centuries. ‘the Talmud’ usually refers to the Babylonian Talmud.

What Is the Jesus Called in The Torah?

We don’t generally identify Jesus with the Torah or Moses’ Law. People interested in learning more about Jesus and His teachings usually turn to the New Testament.

They read the Gospels, which chronicle His earthly existence, and subsequently the writings of His disciples. However, Jesus frequently referred to the Law of Moses as the key to understanding Him.

What is Said About Jesus in The Torah?

The famous prophet from Nazareth, who performed many miracles and was expected to restore Israel, had died. He was duped, humiliated, and crucified among criminals.

Do Jews Believe in Old Testament?

The Tanakh, sometimes known as the “Hebrew Bible,” is the holy book of the Jews. It comprises the same books as the Old Testament of the Christian Bible but in a slightly different order.

The Torah (the first five books of the Tanakh) contains a summary of Jewish law. It is occasionally referred to as the Pentateuch.

The New Testament refers to the biblical books concerning Jesus, whereas the Old Testament refers to the canon of Hebrew texts. The retronymic naming of its sacred scriptures as the “Old Testament” is not accepted by Judaism, and some Jews refer to the New Testament as the Christian Testament or Christian Bible.

Is Jesus Found in Old Testament?

The dominant person in the Old Testament, albeit not named, is Jesus Christ. Following his resurrection, Jesus told this to his followers: God recognized that once the Jewish people were no longer wanderers in the desert, the regulations contained in the written Torah would be insufficient.


  • This article shares the differences between “The Torah” and “The Talmud.”
  • The primary difference is that Torah is a written version, while Talmud is an oral version.
  • The Torah gives guidance, while the Talmud gives instructions. You will get an idea better when you learn about both of them.

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