Q. I have been reading your article From Adam to Abraham and pondering about the idol worship going on in Ur and ancient Mesopotamia at the time of Terah and Abraham. I came across an article giving more information than the Bible gives about Abraham and his father. It’s info from the Torah, Talmud, and the Midrash. I find it very informative; however, I don’t know how to trust this info since it goes into a lot of detail that I can’t find in our scriptures. I certainly would appreciate your take on this and I do appreciate your Q & A’s with your gifted knowledge of scripture.
A. The Torah is composed of the first 5 books of the Bible, often called the five books of Moses. The Talmud and Misrash are commentaries on the Torah and contain something called “the oral tradition.” Jews believe these are things God communicated to Moses but didn’t have him write them into the Bible. They were originally handed down orally from generation to generation of priests but were finally committed to writing out of fear they would otherwise be lost. Jews hold them to be second only to the Bible in terms of their authority.