Similarities between Christianity and Judaism
Similarities between Christianity and Judaism
One of the most important aspects of every society is religion. It forms the basis of a belief system and also curves out some of the primary cultural practices, norms, and ways of life. It also dictates the direction of common traditions that are intergenerational in nature. For example, Catholicism in Italy and other parts of Europe has defined how people relate, what is tolerated as acceptable, what is considered unethical, and the basic definitions of right and wrong. Apart from forming a culture, religion is also important in driving how people interact with others of a different faith. On this basis, it is important to look at some of the common religions in the world. In this report, Christianity and Judaism will be compared. In the research paper, the question of whether the similarities between the two systems of faith are significant or not will be answered. The report begins by providing background information and biography of the person who started the religions followed by an overview of their teachings. The report will then move on to exploring how the teachings in Judaism are different or similar from Christianity. An explanation of the significance of the similarities and contrasts will then be made before concluding with final thoughts on the two. Conclusively, the report posits that Judaism and Christianity are two closely related systems of faith and Christianity is a slight variation of Judaism based on their foundational belief in God.
The Christian religion as well as the church started with Jesus’ ministry and his apostles. The religion started out from small groups of Jewish people. It later spread to all parts of the Roman Empire and into the Northern European nations and Russia. Due to the influences of Judaism, Christianity maintained practices from the Jewish culture and traditions. Jewish scriptures are still regarded as sacred and utilized a majority of them to create a basis for Christianity. At its core, Christianity stems from the teachings, life, and the consequent death of Jesus Christ, also referred to as Jesus of Nazareth. It is currently the largest religion in the world in terms of physical and geographic presence. Kaplan and Kaplan (1992) found Christianity to be the most widely diffused religion with groups in the Protestant sections, Roman Catholic, and the Eastern Orthodox faiths. Some of the branches of Christianity, such as the Protestant faith, could be further looked at in terms of denominational boundaries, including fundamentalism, Pentecostalism, evangelicalism, and charismatic Christianity. Overall, Christianity is a system of beliefs that has created a culture, ideology, way of life, artifacts, practices, and sets of ideas handed down generations since Jesus Christ became the object of the belief. Thus, Christianity is now a faith, a cultural basis, and a living tradition with the church being the main agent where a communion of believers make up the entire Christian body.
Judaism is regarded as the oldest monotheistic faith in the world having been in existence for more than four millennia (Reed, 2018). Believers of Judaism pray to one God who spoke to ancient prophets. The religion is heavily founded on tradition, culture, and law. Judaism has its origin from the Torah, ancient texts that describe the relationship between God and people in a definition of laws. Abraham is regarded as the father of Judaism from his interactions with God and the agreement that he made regarding the Jewish people. Abraham is described as a humble man, born in an era where his father worshiped the Sun and the Moon, and later encountered God in old age where he made a covenant that birthed Judaism. From Abraham, ancient prophets and servants of God like Moses emerged, leading Israelites to worship God through laws and requirements. Ultimately, Judaism can be regarded as a complex existence and interaction between a total lifestyle for Jews, consisting of the law, theology, and cultural traditions that are in agreement with ancient scriptures on said relationships.
Christianity and Judaism are among the major monotheistic religions that have a number of similarities worth exploring. The two faith systems are ethical and share some common ground in terms of scriptures and doctrine. The Bible is the main source of guidance, with Jews using the Tanakh, an equivalent of the Old Testament for the Christians, and Christianity using the same and additional books in the New Testament (Lange & Grossman, 2019). The two religions have a fair share of similarities. First, they believe that there is only one God. This is important because it is a major distinction from other world religions such as Hinduism and Atheism. The Christian and Judaic God is described as the creator, good, mighty, and one who reveals himself to His people. Secondly, the two religions affirm that the world is an arena of God’s interaction with people. The religions demand that people act according to the cultural, legal, and traditional foundations setup in the ancient scriptures. They both speak against injustices and unethical behavior. Another major similarity is how the two believe in future life after death in a doctrine of resurrection. Lastly, a major similarity between Christianity and Judaism is how the two look forward to a consummation of human history and a final realization of complete sovereignty of God on earth through a Messiah. Overall, Christianity borrows a lot of its traditions and cultures from Judaism, leading to similarities that are significant in understanding some of the key beliefs held by both of these two factions.
Despite the similarities shared by Judaism and Christianity, some deep contrasts occur not just in the individual belief systems but also in the fundamental principles that define each faith. For example, Judaism teaches about one unique God. However, Christians believe in one God who is in three persons in the Holy Trinity: he father, the son, and the Holy Spirit. Jesus Christ is a key element of the Christian faith. He is the second person in the Trinity and the Messiah. Boyarin (2009) notes that the adoration given to Jesus in the Christian faith is not offered to man but to a God who became a man. Jesus’ sacrifice yielded salvation for mankind. In Judaism, a majority of believers are still expecting the Messiah, one who will save Jews in a military fashion. Another significant difference between the two religions is the teachings on practicing faith. Christianity lays a lot of emphasis on Jesus, the giver of grace, guidance, and empowerment for a life carved out of ethicality and morality. Judaism requires holiness through an adherence to the standards set out by prophets in the scriptures. There is also notable divergence in relation to how the two religions view the fall of man. For Christians, the original sin depicted in the bible regarding Adam and Eve is emphasized as the beginning of evil. However, Judaism does not emphasize on this, although it is mentioned in the Torah. Therefore, there are key differences that are the true definition of each religion, marking boundaries where one religion ends and the other begins.
The close relationship between Judaism and Christianity is because of how the founders of the latter were first Jews and carried on a number of traditions, cultures, and expectations. Nonetheless, the similarities only serve to show the idea that Judaism and Christianity share a few common beliefs. The differences extend to the way both of these religions regard scriptures and other sacred texts. Judaism prides itself of taking all of its teachings and beliefs in God from its sacred books. It uses these teachings to define how people relate with others and with God (Rukuni & Oliver, 2019). For Christians, the Old Testament, an extension of the Judaism faith by Jesus Christ and his apostles, is only a preparation for the revelation of God through Jesus Christ. This revelation and consequent covenant with the world are represented in the sacred books in the New Testament of the Bible. The consequent outcome for these differences is that Christianity has become a religion for all people. While it shares a lot of scriptural and structural beliefs relating to the people of Israel and the religion of the Jews, it welcomes all other entities to participate in enjoying the goodness of God through Jesus Christ. The significance of the similarities and contrasts between Judaism and Christianity is important to show and better understand why the Christian faith is welcoming to everyone. It is important because it provides the basis of grace, the main ingredient for salvation brought about by Jesus Christ, the son of God.
The discuss has provided some background information on Christianity and Judaism and an overview of their teachings. It has given an explanation of how the teachings in Judaism are different or similar to Christianity. An explanation of the significance of the similarities and contrasts is provided that Christianity is different because of how it introduced the reconciliation of humans with God. The similarities with Judaism are an affirmation of the will of God and his desire to interact with people. The similarities lay a foundation for the expectations of every Christian and the understanding of their faith. It is evident that Judaism and Christianity are two closely related systems of faith and Christianity is a slight variation of Judaism based on their foundational belief in God.
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