The Pentateuch is the Greek name for the first five books of the Bible. These books, Genesis through Deuteronomy, are known in Hebrew as the Torah. There is a New Testament Torah or Pentateuch. It is composed of the first five books of the New Testament, Matthew through Acts. And (I know this surprises you) these books form a Torah design, where the themes of these books follow the themes of the first five books of the Bible.
Matthew, the first, corresponds to Genesis. The first position in a Torah design represents the beginning and the sin of man. Matthew is clearly the beginning. This book starts with the human beginning of Jesus by giving His genealogy. In Matthew we find John the Baptist preparing the way for Jesus to begin His ministry.
Mark corresponds to Exodus in the Old Testament Pentateuch. The second position in a Torah design represents deliverance or redemption, just as the Children of Israel were delivered from slavery in the Book of Exodus. The first words of Jesus in Mark (1:14) speak of deliverance. “The time has come. The Kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news.” The message of Jesus was redemption of man, as evidenced in the Book of Mark.
Luke, the third book, corresponds to Leviticus in the Torah. The theme of Leviticus is sanctification or setting apart. It is in Luke that Jesus is set apart as the Messiah. An angel told Mary “he will be the Son of the Most High.” (1:32) Zechariah, the father of John, prophesied “He (the Lord) has raised up a horn of salvation for us.” (1:69) It is in Luke that an angel appeared to the shepherds to tell them that “today . . . a Savior has been born.” (2:11) When Jesus was eight days old he was taken to the Temple where Simeon announced, “Sovereign Lord . . . my eyes have seen your salvation.” (2:30) This was immediately followed by Anna, the prophetess, telling everyone in the Temple about this special child. (2:38) The Gospel of Luke clearly sets Jesus apart as the Son of God, the Promised One, the Messiah.
The fourth book, the Gospel of John, corresponds to the Book of Numbers in the Pentateuch. The theme of Numbers is the trials in the Wilderness. The Gospel of John does not describe the physical trials of Jesus for forty days in the Wilderness, but rather the spiritual trials. In John 4:4-26 Jesus is alone in a spiritual wilderness in Samaria. The Assyrian king Sargon and Alexander the Great both settled Samaria with non-Jewish people. Some Jewish traditions remained, but the people were largely pagan. Hence, a spiritual wilderness. In verse 4:27 the Disciples, who were elsewhere, rejoin Him.
The theme of the last book of the New Testament Pentateuch, Acts of the Apostles, is easy to discern. The last book of the Torah is Deuteronomy and its theme is Establishing the Kingdom. The Book of Acts is about the establishment of God’s New Covenant and it began in Acts chapter two on the Day of Pentecost.
It should not surprise us that there are Torah designs in the New Testament just as there are in the Old Testament. The Bible is a unit. It has one author who dictated through many “secretaries.” May His Name be praised now and forever for His Holy Word.