Dexter T. Kelly AP World History/ 1A Ms. Washington 9/30/10 Essay Christianity has a close relationship with Judaism; though Christianity started in the 1st century while Judaism started at 1500 B. C. E. These two religions are well known and have been seriously practiced for decades. Also, having similar beliefs/laws, deity, major works, and even how salvation is reached. These religions are still found all over the world teaching millions of people their way of life. The roots of Christianity can be found in Judaism; therefore it’s not surprising that the two religions share many similarities in their basic beliefs.
Some of these similarities include the belief of the existence of one God, the coming of the Messiah and the belief of some sort of afterlife. However these beliefs are also what sets the two religions apart, the most obvious of which is the Christian’s acceptances of Jesus Christ as the Messiah. Referring back to their beliefs in an afterlife, Christians believe that their souls go to heaven and hell after death based on good or bad conduct and Jews believe in some sort of afterlife, which is best left in the hands of God.
The Christian’s divergence from Judaism led to many changes that affected different aspects of the religion. Christians and Jews believe that this God is the origin and source of all that exists. God cares about the entire creation and desires the well-being of all. God is fair and has provided basic rules for our guidance so that we may be good and righteous, according to God’s intention. God is also merciful; by means of God’s grace we are given strength to be more like what we ought to be.
They also believe that human beings are the highest creatures here on earth and we are the children of Abraham. God created us being capable of both good and evil. When we grow in goodness, righteousness, and love we become more like what God intended human goodness to be. When we abuse our freedom and do harm to other people, ourselves, and the environment it means that we are going against God’s plans as we become evil-doers. The all important difference between Christianity and Judaism is the person of Jesus Christ.
Christianity teaches that Jesus was God in the flesh and 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 and believes that he’s also going to return to Earth in the future to choose his people to come to the promise land (heaven). Judaism strongly denies that Jesus was God or that such a sacrifice was necessary and that he is not going to return to Earth in the future, but also believes in the promise land after death.
In these two religions, there well known major work is the Bible. 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, and hell, the eternal dwelling place of the wicked. Christianity and Judaism have basically the same ethical code, commonly known today as Judeo-Christian.
Both Judaism and Christianity teach that God has a special plan for the nation of Israel and the Jewish people. The Judaism Bible (the Torah) starts off with the first five books of the core (sacred writings of the ancient Jews), which was traditionally written by Moses under divine inspiration containing 24 books divided into the three sections. The Christianity Bible holds the teachings and expectations for Christians and it’s his written word through his servants for his people.
The “Bible” consists of 39 books from the Old Testament and 27 books from the New Testament, the Old Testament describes the old covenant God made with Israel, while the New Testament is about the new covenant through God’s people. These two religions are sort of shaky with each other due to how salvation is reached, but both Christianity and Judaism believe in some form of judgment. Most Christians believe in the future second coming of Jesus.
Those positively judged will be saved and live in God’s presence in the Kingdom of Heaven, those who are negatively judged will be cast into the Lake of Fire (eternal Hell). Jews believe that there is significant prayer and talk of a “book of life” that one is written into, indicating that God judges each person each year even after death. This annual judgment process begins on Rosh Hashanah and ends with Yom Kippur. Additionally, God sits daily judging, concerning a person’s daily activities. Later, God will also judge the Jews over their observance of the Torah (Bible).
The Christian view is that every human is a sinner, and being saved by God’s grace, not simply by the merit of one’s own actions, but Jews only believe that they are judged by their actions, not by God’s grace (which is a mandatory sentence to Hell). But both Jews and Christians believe that there will be some sort of afterlife. Pertaining to the past and our presence today, Christianity and Judaism have always been an arguing religion of their similar beliefs, but both having different perspectives to live their way of life.
People will always ask questions of how these two religions are different or how these two religions are the same, but Christianity and Judaism are both amazingly popular religions around the world and will be practiced for decades to come among new people learning its ways. Jews and Christians will always have different opinions about each others religions and think differently on their own religions, but they believe that the God they serve is greater than anyone or anything in this world and they show great respect to Him, which is the most important comparison between these two religions in the end.