Judaism refers to the religious tradition that came up nearly four-thousand years ago, and it was based in the ancient near the eastern Canaan region (now Palestinian and Israel territories). This religion originated as beliefs and practices that exist among the people, called “Israel,” rabbinic, or classical, and Judaism which emerged after the 1st Century C.E. The Judaism religion traces its origin to the Abraham’s covenant with God as well as his lineage (that God would hand them a holy land and make them to be a sacred people) (Diffen n. pag.).
Christianity developed from the Judaism religion in the first century C.E. The foundation of this religion is based on the life and teachings of Jesus Christ, as well as his death and resurrection. The followers of Jesus Christ are called Christians. In Christianity, there are several different forms and branches that have different beliefs and practices. However, the three main branches are Eastern Orthodoxy, Protestantism, and Roman Catholicism, with each having several sub-branches (Diffen n. pag.).
In history, about two-thousand years since Jesus, there have been conflicts that have negatively affected the relationship between Christianity and Judaism. The Christians have accused the Jews because of rejecting Jesus who is their Messiah, and on the other hand, the Jews have accused the Christians because of corrupting the existence of God as One – but instead, believed that God exists in Holy Trinity (God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit), and also that the Christians are following a “false prophet” (Jesus). In the New Testament, the Jews are reported to have been the first in persecuting the Christians, and once the Christians gained strength, they also engaged in persecuting the Jews (Diffen n. pag.).
Similarities between Judaism and Christianity
The two religions believe that there is only One God who is the creator of the universe. In addition, they also believe that God is righteous, loving and just in all His ways (Viner n. pag.).
The Holy Books in the two religions are almost alike, that is, the Judaism Holy Scripture is known as the “Hebrew Bible” while that of Christians is known as “Christian Bible”. The Hebrew Bible consists of thirty nine Books which are divided into 3 sections: the law (Pentateuch), the Prophets, and the Writings (Hagiographa). The traditional Judaism regarded Torah as God’s word given to Moses at Mount Sinai. Similarly, the Christian Bible consists of the Old Testament and the New Testament. In the Old Testament of Christian Bible mostly used by the Protestant (Christian denomination) contains similar books as those contained in the Hebrew Bible, such as the Torah, the Prophets, and the Writings, even though they are arranged in different order (Viner n. pag.).
In both the religions, the Angels are regarded as a servant of God who serves as a messenger, and also they exist invisibly in the midst of the humanity (Viner n. pag.).
Differences between Judaism and Christianity
The Jews rejected Jesus as the Messiah who was promised by the scriptures. The differences occurred since the time Jesus was on earth until even today. The Jews believe that the promised Messiah who is coming will be a human who has no divine powers and will physically restore the Israel kingdom, as well as rebuilding Jerusalem’s temple and bring peace to the earth. Contrarily, the Christians believe that the Israelites represent those followers of Jesus Christ and they are the descendants of Abraham by faith. The Christians believe that Jesus came to the earth to fulfill the promises of God and has restored the relationship between God and man by grace (Viner n. pag.).
The other difference is that of forgiveness of sin, that is, the disobedience of man and the way of getting forgiveness. Looking at the past, for the people of Israel to receive the forgiveness of their sins, they had to offer a truthful prayer of repentance and to totally separate themselves from their sins as well as offering the recommended sacrifices in Jerusalem’s Temple. On the other hand, the Christians do believe that Jesus, who is the Son of God, obeyed the commands of God fully and therefore he did not deserve the righteous judgment of God as well as the death punishment. Therefore, the death of Jesus is a perfect sacrifice for the sins of all human kind. The Christians believe that the escape of the Israelites from captivity in Egypt, as stated in the Bible, represent God’s plan to save people from the slavery of sin through His Son Jesus (Viner n. pag.).
The relationship between the two religions and politics is a complex one historically. For instance, in Judaism, the rabbinic writings contain rabbinic political models whereby Rabbi Judah made statement in Babylonian Talmud that is depicting kingship as one of the best form of governance in Jewish kingdom. This led to formation of government in the middle Ages, called ‘Qahal’, and it is believed to value Jewish principles. The modern Jewish political model indicates the abolishment of ‘Qahal’. However, the Jews have become more active participants in the political system of the larger nations because of the development of their governance as stipulated in their Holy Scripture.
Similarly, in Christianity, Roman Catholics, for instance, historically have held several positions on the problems of war and matters relating to peace. Today, the historical Christian churches of peace are the medium for Christian pacifism (the Christian faith does not accept any form of violence) in many systems of government in different nations, yet it was first applied during the period of Roman Empire. Generally, the Bible stipulates the importance of government for the nation and the duties of its citizens.
The two religions have experienced both historical and current social problems. For instance, historically, Jewish people have suffered social injustices over the past such as persecution because they were the minority. For instance, Adolf Hitler who was the German leader and his followers hated and killed many of the Jews during the World War II saying that they were inferior. Today, the Jews are still faced with such social injustices such as racial discrimination, especially in workplaces, in countries such as the United States of America.
In Christianity, historically the early Christians were faced with some social problems such as persecution by Islam religion because of differences in their beliefs and practices. Today, Christianity is faced with very many social problems in the world, which includes the introduction of homosexuals (gays and lesbians) marriages and yet it is forbidden in Bible because it is an abomination (sinful act).
Diffen.com. Christianity vs. Judaism. Diffen, n. d. Web. 5 Nov. 2013. <http://www.diffen.com/difference/Christianity_vs_Judaism>.
Viner, James. What’s the Difference Between Christianity and Judaism? Christ Church Central, n. d. Web. 5 Nov. 2013. <http://www.christchurchcentralsheffield.co.uk/tough-questions/whats-the-difference-between-christianity-and-judaism/>.