comparison of judaism and Christianity Essay

Comparison Of Judaism And Christianity Term paper

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A comparison of Judaism and Christianity provide many interesting perspectives on the issue of faith that characterize and separates them .These two faiths have much in common yet there are glaring fundamental differences that separate them. What makes the contrasts between Judaism and Christianity so fascinating is that in spite of the much later origin of Christianity, the two faiths were in essence “separated at birth” because Christianity arose out of Judaism. An exploration of them both highlights where they have remained the same as well as where they have grown apart. The details of their beliefs comprise the difference between them. Some of the differences are obvious and significant of nearly any examination of the two groups. Other differences may seem to take only a second to most examinations and may be insignificant to the members of the two groups as well. Now lets discuss a little bit on the basics on Judaism so we can all have a better understanding of how it works. Judaism is one of the world’s oldest religions, dating back up to 2000 years BC from the time when God first called Abraham to leave his home and follow him. At that time, God made a covenant (or agreement) with Abraham in which he promised to make Abraham the father of a great nation and that one day his descendants would inherit the land of Canaan if Abraham followed him. Now through Moses, God gave the law of the people of Israel and the fulfillment of the promises became conditional on abiding by the law. To Jews, the law is called the Torah and comprises the written law (basically the Old Testament) and the oral law which the Jews believe is handed down from Moses. Since we know the basics of Judaism, lets go into the similarities and differences between Judaism and Christianity. When it comes to similarities Christianity and Judaism both believe in one God who is almighty, omniscient\\ omnipresent, eternal and infinite. Both religions believe in a God who is holy, righteous, and just, while at the same time loving, forgiving, and merciful. Christianity and Judaism share the Hebrew scriptures (the Old Testament) as the authoritative word of God, although Christianity includes the New Testament as well. Both Christianity and Judaism believe in the existence of heaven, the eternal dwelling place of the righteous, hell, the eternal dwelling place of the wicked (although not all Christians and Jews believe in the eternality of hell). Christianity and Judaism have basically the same ethical code, commonly known today as Judeo-Christian. They also believe and teach that God has a special plan for the nation of Israel, the Jewish people . Christians and Jews share lots of common heritage – after all Jesus himself was Jewish too. Though there are a lot of differences when it comes to both religions in this world, and most of the differences between Christianity and Judaism are mostly- about Jesus Christ. Now Christianity teaches that Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of the Old Testament of a coming Messiah / Savior (Isaiah 7:14 ;9:6-7 ;Micah 5:2). Though Judaism only recognizes Jesus Christ as a good teacher, and perhaps even a prophet of God. Judaism does not believe that Jesus Christ was the Messiah or some may say the Son of God. Taking it a step further, Christianity teaches that Jesus was God in the flesh (John 1:1,14: Hebrew 1:8). Christianity also teaches that God became a human being in the person of Jesus Christ so he could lay down his life to pay the price for our sins (Romans 5:8 ;2 Corinthians 5:21). Judaism strongly denies that Jesus was God or that such a sacrifice was necessary. When it comes to down to it, Jesus plays an all important role distinction between Christianity and Judaism, and the person and work of Jesus Christ is the major and number one issue that Christianity and Judaism cannot agree on. When it comes to this, Jesus being the savior, for all mankind, there is always going to be a turning away by the people who follow Judaism. They are still waiting for their savior to come. They might have been more encouraged to believe in Christianity, or Christ as their savior, if Christians had not laid aside the Torah. To the people following Judaism the Torah is the sacred word from God, the instruction booklet for the survival and makeup of how mankind should be. In fact in Mathew 5:17 Christ himself said” Do not think I have come to abolish the law or the Prophets ;I have come not to abolish them but to fulfill them. Christians took the stand that Christ nailed all that was in the Old Testament to the wall when he was crucified. Christians, or at least the majority of them, never understood that Christ was the law, or Torah incarnate. God sent his only begotten son to be a living example of his laws. Whenever Yeshua (Jesus) is the primary subject between both religions, they are always going to agree to disagree. . A social factor that shows the differences between the two religions would be their form of worship services. They vary, for example Christians attend churches on Sunday where the service is led by a priest or minister and the sermon is usually referenced to the Bible. As for the followers of Judaism, their holy days are from Friday at sunset through Saturday at sunset. They attend their worship in a synagogue as opposed to a church. This is another major difference when it comes to religion, celebrations, and traditions. Judaism religion believes that the Sabbath was supposed to be celebrated on a Saturday only because that’s the seventh day that God rested when creating the earth. Christians on the other hand celebrate it on a Sunday because of a move that began in the first Century A.D. when Christians met on the first day of the week to worship (which is Sunday). However Christians are affected by the 4th of the Ten Commandments all of which are in force. The moral law of God has never been revoked, otherwise Christians could do whatever immoral things they wanted to! Jesus also condemned all who would teach others not to keep God\'s law ;not the judicial, dietary part - the moral imperatives (Mat 5:17-20). Both the followers of Judaism and Christianity believe in the existence of God who was the one to create the universe and everything inside it. What differs is the connotation of God. Christianity lays claim to the belief that God is a trinity. In Judaism God cannot be divided into different parts but is holistic. For believers of Judaism God is unique and a wholesome entity, which is “solid”. There is a difference between the two religions when it comes to holidays as well. So lets discuss the differences between Christianity and Judaism when talking about holidays. Now everyone knows that there are two major Christian holidays that celebrate the life of Jesus Christ (well not everyone) which
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