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About Tanach

The Complete Hebrew Scriptures

Tanach

Tanach (תנך in Hebrew) is an ancient Hebrew acronym that stands for Torah (the teaching), the Nevi'im (the prophets), and the Ketuvim (the writings). Together, these three sections of the Hebrew Bible comprise a unified whole. Unlike the contemporary Protestant and Catholic division of the Hebrew scriptures into Pentateuch, history, poetry, and prophets, the Tanach structure is as old as the text itself, woven into the composition of the canon. 

For an excellent visual and animated explanation of the shape of the first two-thirds of the Bible, see the short overview video from The Bible Project. They do an amazing job of showing how structure matters! In fact, the text’s structure actually amplifies its message. The Bible is a unified message that leads to God and His Messiah. The Parashah approach to scripture offers you weekly readings to help you engage the God of the Bible by making an ancient tradition accessible in a modern context.

In the 6th century BCE, during the Babylonian captivity, the Tanach began to be divided into weekly readings. Jesus pointed to these divisions in Luke 24:44 when he said “Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses [Torah], the Prophets, and the Psalms [the largest and signature book of the Writings]”. This ancient tradition has persisted to this day, and every synagogue and Jewish home will be reading the same selection of scripture, regardless of where they are in the world. Steeping yourself in this ancient rhythm of scriptural study cultivates a Tanachian worldview.