Comparison Of Judaism And Christianity

Anocer

There are many substantial and vital distinctions between Judaism and Christianity. Of course there are many similarities, primarily because Christianity emerged from Judaism. However, the emergence was not a direct line. Christianity broke from Judaism, forming a new religion, so it is misleading, however comfortable the thought might be, to believe that the two religions are essentially the same, or to see Christianity as the natural continuation of Judaism.

Judaism's central belief is that the people of all religions are children of God, and therefore equal before God. All people have God's love, mercy, and help. In particular, Judaism does not require that a person convert to Judaism in order to achieve salvation. The only requirement for that, as understood by Jewish people, is to be ethical. While Judaism accepts the worth of all people regardless of religion, it also allows people who are not Jewish but who voluntarily wish to join the Jewish people to do so.

God


Judaism insists on a notion of monotheism, the idea that there is one God. As Judaism understands this idea, God cannot be made up of parts, even if those parts are mysteriously united. The Christian notion of trinitarianism is that God is made up of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Such a view, even if called monotheistic because the three parts are, by divine mystery, only one God, is incompatible with the Jewish view that such a division is not possible. The Jewish revolutionary idea is that God is one. This idea allows for God's unity and uniqueness as a creative force. Thus, for Jewish people, God is the creator of all that we like and all that we don't. There is no evil force with an ability to create equal to God's. Judaism sees Christianity's trinitarianism as a weakening of the idea of God's oneness. Jewish people don't have a set group of beliefs about the nature of God; therefore, there is considerable, and approved, debate within Judaism about God. However, all mainstream Jewish groups reject the idea of God's having three parts. Indeed, many Jewish people see an attempt to divide God as a partial throwback, or compromise with, the pagan conception of many gods.

The Jewish View of Jesus


To Christians, the central tenet of their religion is the belief that Jesus is the Son of God, part of the trinity, the savior of souls who is the messiah. He is God's revelation through flesh. Jesus was, in Christian terms, God incarnate, God in the flesh who came to Earth to absorb the sins of humans and therefore free from sin those who accepted his divinity.

To Jewish people, whatever wonderful teacher and storyteller Jesus may have been, he was just a human, not the son of God (except in the metaphorical sense in which all humans are children of God). In the Jewish view, Jesus cannot save souls; only God can. Jesus did not, in the Jewish view, rise from the dead.

He also did not absorb the sins of people. For Jewish people, sins are removed not by Jesus' atonement but by seeking forgiveness. Jewish people seek forgiveness from God for sins against God and from other people (not just God) for sins against those people. Seeking forgiveness requires a sincere sense of repenting but also seeking directly to redress the wrong done to someone. Sins are partially removed through prayer which replaced animal sacrifice as a way of relieving sins. They are also removed by correcting errors against others.

Jesus, for Christians, replaced Jewish law. For traditional Jewish people, the commandments (mitzvot) and Jewish law (halacha) are still binding.

Jesus is not seen as the messiah. In the Jewish view, the messiah is a human being who will usher in an era of peace. We can tell the messiah by looking at the world and seeing if it is at peace. From the Jewish view, this clearly did not happen when Jesus was on Earth or anytime after his death.

Jewish people vary about what they think of Jesus as a man. Some respect him as an ethical teacher who accepted Jewish law, as someone who didn't even see himself as the messiah, who didn't want to start a new religion at all. Rather, Jesus is seen by these Jewish people as someone who challenged the religious authorities of his