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Torah vs. Bible: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Janet White || Published on January 8, 2024
The Torah is the foundational text of Judaism, consisting of the first five books of the Hebrew Bible, whereas the Bible is a collection of religious texts in Christianity, including the Old and New Testaments.

Key Differences

The Torah, central to Jewish tradition, comprises the first five books of the Hebrew Bible, known as the Pentateuch. In contrast, the Bible in Christianity includes not only the Old Testament, which contains the Torah, but also the New Testament, detailing the life and teachings of Jesus Christ and the early Christian Church.
The Torah is written in Hebrew and outlines Jewish law, history, and stories from creation to Moses. The Bible, while including these Torah texts, is broader, encompassing additional historical, poetic, and prophetic books in the Old Testament, and the New Testament written primarily in Greek.
The Torah is considered the direct word of God in Judaism, given to Moses on Mount Sinai. The Bible, however, is seen by Christians as divinely inspired but includes writings by various authors over centuries, reflecting both Jewish and Christian beliefs.
In practice, the Torah is read cyclically in synagogues, with a portion read each week. The Christian Bible, while also read regularly in churches, is not typically structured around a weekly reading schedule, and its interpretation varies widely among different Christian denominations.
Interpretation of the Torah is central to Jewish life and law, often accompanied by commentaries like the Talmud. The Bible’s interpretation in Christianity, particularly the New Testament, forms the basis for Christian theology and denominational differences.

Comparison Chart


First five books of the Hebrew Bible
Old and New Testaments


Originally written in Hebrew
Old Testament in Hebrew, New Testament in Greek

Religious Significance

Core text in Judaism
Core text in Christianity


Traditionally attributed to Moses
Various authors over centuries


Central to Jewish law and tradition
Basis for Christian theology and practice

Torah and Bible Definitions


The Torah is regarded as the literal word of God by Jewish believers.
In Judaism, studying the Torah is seen as a way to connect with God.


The Bible is the holy scripture of the Christian religion.
The Bible is often read for inspiration and guidance in Christian worship.


The Torah sets forth the law and teachings for Jewish life.
Observant Jews turn to the Torah for guidance on ethical and ritual practices.


The Bible includes the Old and New Testaments.
The New Testament of the Bible focuses on the life and teachings of Jesus Christ.


The Torah includes narratives, laws, and instructions.
The Exodus story, a central narrative of the Torah, recounts the Israelites' departure from Egypt.


The Bible is considered a sacred text with divine inspiration.
Christians believe that the Bible conveys moral and spiritual truths.


The Torah consists of the first five books of the Hebrew Bible.
Genesis, the first book of the Torah, describes the creation of the world.


The Bible encompasses a range of literary genres, including history, poetry, and prophecy.
The Psalms in the Bible are a collection of religious poems and hymns.


The first five books of the Hebrew Scriptures. See Table at Bible.


The Bible serves as the foundation for Christian beliefs and practices.
Biblical teachings influence various aspects of Christian life, from worship to ethics.


A scroll of parchment containing the first five books of the Hebrew Scriptures, used in a synagogue during services.


The sacred book of Christianity, a collection of ancient writings including the books of both the Old Testament and the New Testament.


The entire body of religious law and learning including both sacred literature and oral tradition.


The Hebrew Scriptures, the sacred book of Judaism.


A law; a precept.
A considerable body of priestly Toroth.


Divine instruction; revelation.
Tora, . . . before the time of Malachi, is generally used of the revelations of God's will made through the prophets.


The Pentateuch or "Law of Moses."
The Hebrew Bible is divided into three parts: (1) The Torah, "Law," or Pentateuch. (2) The Prophets (Nevi'im in Hebrew) . . . (3) The Kethubim, or the "Writings," generally termed Hagiographa. From the first letters of these three parts, the word "Tanakh" is derived, and used by Jews as the name of their Bible, the Christian Old Testament.


The whole body of the Jewish sacred writings and tradition including the oral tradition


The first of three divisions of the Hebrew Scriptures comprising the first five books of the Hebrew Bible considered as a unit


(Judaism) the scroll of parchment on which the first five books of the Hebrew Scripture is written; is used in a synagogue during services


The Torah is the central reference of the Jewish religion.
The Torah scroll is read during services at a synagogue.


What is the Torah?

The Torah is the central religious text of Judaism, consisting of the first five books of the Hebrew Bible.

Who wrote the Bible?

The Bible was written by various authors over centuries.

Who wrote the Torah?

The Torah is traditionally attributed to Moses.

How is the Bible used in Christian worship?

The Bible is read and interpreted in churches, guiding Christian beliefs and practices.

What is the Bible?

The Bible is the holy scripture of Christianity, comprising the Old and New Testaments.

How are the Torah and Bible similar?

Both are sacred texts in their respective religions, containing historical, legal, and moral teachings.

How do the Torah and Bible differ in content?

The Torah is part of the Old Testament of the Bible, which also includes the New Testament.

How is the Torah used in Jewish worship?

The Torah is read in synagogues, typically in an annual cycle.

Do Jews study the Bible?

Jews study the Torah and other Hebrew Bible texts, not the Christian New Testament.

Can non-religious people read the Torah or Bible?

Yes, both texts have cultural and historical significance, and anyone can study them.

What are some notable stories or events in the Torah and Bible?

The Torah includes stories like the creation, Exodus, and the Ten Commandments. The Bible includes the life of Jesus, the Crucifixion, and the Resurrection.

Do Christians study the Torah?

Yes, as part of the Old Testament in the Bible.

Are there different versions or translations of the Torah and Bible?

Yes, there are numerous translations to make them accessible to different languages and audiences.

Are there specific rituals associated with reading the Torah and Bible?

Yes, there are customs and rituals for handling and reading these texts in religious settings.

Is the Torah the same as the Old Testament?

The Torah is part of the Old Testament, which includes other books as well.

What role does the Bible play in Christianity?

The Bible is the core scripture, providing guidance on faith and conduct for Christians.

How do interpretations of the Torah and Bible vary among different Jewish and Christian denominations?

Interpretations can vary widely, leading to different religious traditions and practices.

What languages were the Torah and Bible originally written in?

The Torah in Hebrew; the Bible’s Old Testament in Hebrew and New Testament in Greek.

What role does the Torah play in Judaism?

The Torah is foundational, guiding religious practice and ethics.

Can the Torah and Bible be studied for historical and literary purposes, apart from religious reasons?

Yes, they are valuable sources for understanding ancient history and literature.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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