Christianity versus Judaism

Judaism is generally a way of life of the Jewish people. The Hebrew Bible explains that there is a relationship between God and the children of Israel. It goes in record as the first religion to embrace monotheism, that is, the belief that there is only one God.

The religion has been in existence for thousands of years, with much emphasis of the one God. The religion has simplicity in it as it is made up such beliefs as a long tradition and issues of God, inverse as well as humanity. Torah is the name given to their Bible and studying it is considered as a means of experiencing God.

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The temple mount in Jerusalem is located in the center of Jerusalem. Based on the natural rock, the temple faces El Kas. The location also had an Aqueduct; it would be therefore safe to conclude that the temple and the gates were at the southern wall of the eastern wall (Shekerka, 2008). The holy of holies rested on the dome of the rock. The place of worship smelled incense as it was burned during commemoration of various ceremonies.

Judaism has various holidays that it celebrates as part of their tradition. Rosh Hashanah is one of the holidays, which is a celebration of New Year to Jewish people. Yom Kippur is also an important day that is used to bring to an end to the days of repentance. It is also considered the most sacred day.

As a religion, Judaism has shaped my life to such a way that I am now aware that there is need for me to do good since it will define whether I will enjoy eternal happiness or eternal suffering. My morals have in turn been improved to such a level that they are defined by the torah teachings of the Jews. However, it is notable that there are challenges that come with practicing this religion.

For one, the laws that are defined by the scriptures are hard to follow like the Ten Commandments where sinning can be said to occur if someone visualizes some things in mind. Bar mitzvahs, according to Judaism is the age where young children are considered as adults. It occurs usually as a ceremony when the boys are at age 13, while girls are 12 years of age.

The importance of this ceremony is to ensure that both boys and girls respect the traditions and religious believes that Judaism preaches about. In Judaism, Rabbi are considered as spiritual leaders. However, they do not have any special status and according to Judaism, they are obligated to marry and even have children. As Torah describes, they are supposed to “be fruitful and multiply”. It is further notable that Rabbi does not have to vow to celibacy.

As earlier noted, the fact that he has no special spiritual religious status means that regardless of what people may think, he has the freedom to choose whatever he desires (Athans, 2010). The Passover is also another important ceremony celebrated by the Jews. It is a remembrance ceremony of how Moses rescued the Israelites from captivity in Egypt. The Jews worship one God whom they believe in, and who desires them to have a personal relationship with each and every Jew.

Christianity and Judaism relate in so many ways. To start with, these two religions believe in one God; the God who is described by the two religions has similar characteristics. To start with, God is descried to be omnipresent. The meaning of this is that God is everywhere among the dwelling of humans.

At every point to these two regions, God is also brought about as an eternal and infinite God who has reign and will reign for ever and ever. Other characteristic of God given by these two regions are all time loving, Holy, and just. The two religions also share the Old Testament as the guide book towards what God intends them to do in their lives.

To these two religions, the Old Testament is an authoritative script that makes them keep in line with what God intends them to do. It is believed among the two religions that God was involved in the writing of the Old Testament and the intentions of how mankind should live are included here. However, it is also notable that Christianity incorporates the New Testament as an added Guide book to the Old Testament.

Notably, the two religions also have a belief of existence both heaven and hell. The righteous people who follow the teachings of God are deemed to have an eternal life in heaven, while those people who do not live according to what God demands of them are intended to live in hell.

The description of heaven in both religions is similar as it is brought out as a place where there will be no suffering and only happiness will be experienced for the rest of their lives. The hell also has the same description. To both religions, hell is a place for the non righteous people who do not follow God’s commands and they are deemed to suffer for the rest of their lives.

The two religions believe also that being assigned to go to these two places, that is hell or heaven, will come about due to the judgment that God will have on each and every person according to the way people live their lives in the world (Neusner, 2002). The two religions also have the same definition of sin and faith. To them, these two are spiritual in nature. Both sin and faith are said to come from the heart of the person who believes in these two religions.

The similarities also extend when it comes to the relationship between God and man. Unlike the other religions that exist in the world today, these two are the only ones that believe that the faith that one has towards God is like a covenant.

Actually in both of them, such relationship is brought out to be similar to a marriage covenant where failure not to follow what God says is considered as infidelity. The two religions therefore believe that there be faith among the members, and that faith is brought out as the opposite of sin.

In the two religions, there is description of prophets who were sent by God to deliver his message to the people (Hollerich, 2003). The prophets are brought out as very powerful people who the people of God should listen to as they carry important information about God. The prophets are brought out as great beings that could at times perform miracles in helping God’s people.

Though there are so many similarities between these two religions, they also have some differences. It is also notable that most of the differences between the two regions are based from the fact that Christianity incorporates the New Testament as part of the holy scriptures of God. Judaism believes of a wrongdoer being punished according to the act one does. The meaning of this is that when one does a wrong thing, he or she is subject to some punishment that suits the crime one does.

However, when it comes to Christianity there his forgiveness that is brought out where one is expected to forgive others as God extends the same to him or her. Another difference that comes up when it comes to the two religions is the issue of taboo on drinks and food eaten. Judaism believes that consumption of some specific foods or beverages renders one to be unclean in front of God. Consumption of kosher foods for example for Judaism means that they become unclean (Kreeft, 1987).

To Christians, such does not exist as they believe they are no longer bided by the Law of Moses, which states that. However, it is notable that some Christian’s denominations like the Jehovah Witness still adherer to these believes by making sure that they do not get to eat blood products, and even do not allow blood transfusion among their believers.

Abortion is also another difference that exists among the two religions. Judaism believes a lesser punishment for people who kill fetus when they are at a younger age as compared to killing a person when he or she is of age. The reasoning of their argument is backed by the fact that fetus is not fully developed and killing a fetus is not considered murder.

When it comes to Christianity, the case is different as killing a fetus at any age to them is murder. To them a person is formed immediately after conception. It is therefore irreverent to them to consider the age of the fetus to determine whether one has killed or not. When it comes to aborting, Judaism supports the abortion that doctors may think it is necessary, especially if the life of the mother is on the line.

To Judaism believers, abortion would also be done for family planning or convenience so long as the Rabbi and the mother who is carrying the pregnancy agree on it. The same sentiments are however, not shared by Christians. Christians seem to stick to the fact that abortion is murder, which should not be practiced in Christian teachings. Some Christian domination especially the Catholics believe that abortion should not be practiced at whatever reason there may be (Donfried, 1998).

They stand with the policy that human life needs to be protected and respected. On the other hand, the Protestants, another denomination of Christianity usually say that the same is wrong as the Ten Commandments prohibit it. Though both the two religions believe in the existence of one God, Christianity has a description of God existing as a trinity. Christianity believes on God the father, God the son and God the Holy Spirit.

There is also believe that God existed among us in a human form through Jesus Christ, who was born in Jerusalem. However, it is notable that some Christian sects sometimes question this doctrine of God existing in three forms. On the other hand, such believes are not welcome among the Judaism believers, as they believe that God is one entity.

Believing in sin also differs among the two religions. To Judaism believers, the original sin that was committed by Adam and Eve does not make us sinners. They believe that each and every one of us was born with a free will of doing what one wants, right or wrong and nobody should suffer because of someone else wrongs. They therefore do not believe that they bear the sin that Adam and Eve committed at the Garden of Eden. Christians believe that the sin that Adam committed in the beginning still acts on us as we are all descendants of them.

Due to existence of this sin, Christians therefore believe it is important to repent this sin as we are born as sinners. The need of having salvation for Christians is backed by his revelation. The issue of salvation is also another difference that exists between the two religions. The fact that Christians believe there is need to have salvation in their lives as it is the only way they can live according to the teachings of God (Davidmann, 2006).

To Christians, every one is a sinner and they believe that one needs to believe through God’s mercy and not the good deeds one does in his or her time in God’s world. To Judaism believers, living according to God’s believe is what will take for God to consider them holy. They mostly highlight on the good deeds that one does so that one can be right with God.

The greatest distinction between Judaism and Christianity has to do with the issue of Jesus Christ. To Christians, Jesus Christ is the messiah that the Old Testament talks about who would come to save the world. Christianity believes the messiah was a son of God in a human form.

It is basically a fulfillment of the Old Testament prophesies of a person who would save the whole world from the sins they committed. Judaism however, do not share the same sentiments as they believe that Jesus Christ was like any other prophet that existed in the world and that there was no way that he could have been God.

The believe about Jesus dying on the cross for humanity sins and resurrection is not also shared by Judaism believers as they tend to believe that there was no necessity of someone dying for their sins. It is also worth noting that the description of the messiah that is given in the Old Testament in a way fit Jesus Christ as even some Jews like Paul changed their beliefs when they met into contact with the vision of this messiah.

Christianity found its basis from Judaism. Christianity and Judaism share many beliefs. However, it is notable that the biggest distinction between these two religions is when the story of messiah is brought into context. Judaism do not believe that Jesus was the messiah that was described in the scriptures as they see Jesus Christ as any other prophet that existed in the world.

The Old Testament is shared by these two regions but Christianity includes the New Testament, which included the life and times of Jesus Christ. Most of the differences that these two religions have are actually due to the presence of the New Testament, which Christians consider it as betterment of the Old Testament. It is therefore evident that most of the Old Testament scriptures are agreed upon by these two religions.

References

Athans, M, C. (2010). Courtesy, Confrontation, Cooperation: Jewish-Christian/Catholic Relations in the United States: New York. Cengage publishers

Davidmann, M. (2006). ORIGIN OF CHRISTIANITY and JUDAISM:. Retrieved May 11, 2011, from http://www.solhaam.org/articles/origin.html

Donfried, K, P. (1998). Judaism and Christianity in first-century Rome. Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing .

Hollerich, M. (2003). The Didache: It’s Jewish Sources and its Place in Early Judaism and Christianity: New York. Cengage publishers

Kreeft, P. (1987, May). Comparing Christianity & Judaism. Retrieved May 12, 2011, from http://www.catholiceducation.org/articles/apologetics/ap0007.html

Neusner, J. ( 2002). Judaism when Christianity began: a survey of belief and practice. Loisville: Westminster John Knox Press.

Shekerka, T. S. (2008). The location of the Temple on the Temple Mount based on theAqueduct and rock levels at Mount Moriah in Jerusalem. Retrieved May 12, 2011, from http://www.templemount.org/tuviatemple.pdf

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