About This Website

“Your righteousness is an everlasting righteousness and your law (Torah) is truth.”        Psalm 119:142

In my own life, I have found this statement to be true. Having studied God's Torah (literally, God's teaching and instruction) for several decades, it has proven to be an inexhaustible source of truth and insight into God's character. I've also found that the best way to study the Torah is in a small group. This has been proven to me over and over as I've seen people's lives changed forever (including my own) by the study of God's Word.

Over the years, I've developed a series of study guides for participants in a small group study of the Torah. I've also developed leader's guides for those who are leading the study group. There are five guides, one for each book of the Torah and each is broken down into the traditional portions defined by Jewish sages many years ago. The individual portions are listed on the left and you can view and/or print any portion. Additionally, bound copies of both the student study guides and the leader's guides are available for purchase.

As I lead study groups year after year, I become more and more convinced that God's Torah is indeed "Truth." I feel so strongly about this that I've given up my career to devote myself entirely to helping others discover the joy and fulfillment of knowing God intimately through the study of His Word. You are welcome to make use of these materials without cost. However, if you feel God's leading, I would greatly appreciate your support of this ministry, either by making a donation or by purchasing bound copies of the materials from me.

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About this study

“ . . . the words of this law (Torah) . . . . are not just idle words for you ­ they are your life.”              Deuteronomy 32:46-47

The Torah Together study series began when I was asked to teach a class on the Torah to a small group of believers. I felt unqualified and untrained to take on such a task, but I wanted to give it a try. Knowing that there would likely be people in the class who knew more than I did about the subject, my first decision was to make the class very interactive, soliciting the opinions and knowledge of the participants. The best way to do this, I felt, was to simply ask questions to stimulate a discussion. Furthermore, we had limited access to books other than the Bible, so I decided the best approach was to simply read a passage of scripture and then discuss it. All I needed to do was to prepare some thought-provoking questions and moderate the discussion. I felt confident that I could do that much.

Meeting weekly, the first group was very successful. We always had interesting discussions, challenging people to examine their own thoughts and opinions. I saw Proverbs 27:17 in action: "As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another." After spending the better part of a year going through the Torah, I saw people's lives being changed, including my own. I believe that God really enjoys it when people get together to study His word. Furthermore, I believe that God blesses people who are truly trying to understand Him and His word better.

It has been almost ten years since I first began to lead small groups and I continue to be amazed at the blessings God pours out on those who study His Torah. I've concluded that if a person will commit to spend a year studying the Torah in this way, at the end of the time, he or she will be a truly changed person. For me, each year that I go through the Torah, I learn new things about God. He continues to bless me with a deeper and deeper understanding of Him and His word. I've come to believe that the verse above, spoken by Moses just before he died, it true.

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About small groups

“For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.”              Matthew 18:20

The most wonderful thing about small group Bible studies is that God (through the Holy Spirit) is really the teacher. In an open and accepting atmosphere, people are free to speak their mind and ask the questions that are really on their hearts. While there needs to be a leader to keep the discussion on track and to assure that time constraints are met, the leader is not expected to be the expert or the teacher. I'm convinced that in this type of situation, God works in the heart of each participant and blesses him or her with a new and deeper understanding of His character and love.

This is how a small group Bible study works: a group of people (usually between 4 and 12 in number) who are interested in God's word meet together (usually weekly) for an hour or two (maybe longer). A passage of scripture is read and then discussed among the group. The questions in the Torah Together study guides are designed to get the ball rolling, asking questions about how specific characters might have felt or why you believe God did a specific thing. The participants are encouraged to express themselves and their feelings. Agreement among participants is not required -- it is perfectly acceptable to "agree to disagree." In this way, God is given the responsibility of correcting any wrong ideas or attitudes. Over time, a consistent picture of God emerges and people are truly changed as they experience a closer relationsip with God.

About the author

“Blessed is the man . . . [whose] delight is in the law of the LORD and in His law he meditates day and night.”              Psalm 1:1-2

My name is Jerry Watkins. I've been a believer in Jesus (or Yeshua as I like to call Him) for over 35 years. My personal relationship with Him began while I was in graduate school at the University of California in Berkeley. I was what I call a "traditional Christian" for about 25 years although I always had a strong interest in the Old Testament and biblical history. During this time, I learned a great deal about God both by attending a wide variety of Bible courses as well as by "hands on" learning experiences as God directed my life. About 13 years ago, I was introduced to the Hebrew roots of my Christian faith and I began to see the full picture of what God has in store for "His people," both Christians and Jews. It was as if a veil had been lifted from my eyes, providing a much clearer view of God: His character, His love for His people, and His plans for mankind.

During this process, I've come to believe that God's Torah, His teaching and instruction, is the foundation upon which a believer's relationship with God must stand. (During my early years as a believer in Jesus, I learned that it was Jesus upon which our relationship with God must rest. But as I found out, this causes no problem because Jesus is really the living Torah.) I believe the Bible is a truly miraculous thing, a tangible piece of God that enables those with the desire to know Him and to grow their relationship with Him. I've committed to spend the rest of my life teaching others about God through the study of His word. I've been leading small groups in the study of the Torah for the past ten years and each year I grow more amazed by God and His word. I'd be happy to help you start a group of your own. Just contact me if you'd like to discuss ways that I might help.