Compare and Contrast Christianity and Judaism

Compareand Contrast Christianity and Judaism

Christianityand Judaism

Themeaning of Christianity differs among the diverse Christianassemblies. For Roman Catholics and Protestants, a Christian refersto abaptized individual, who is afollower or an affiliate of theChurch. Jesus` death signified the beginning of Christianity as areligion. Christianity was initially restricted to the Jewish sect,but it soon extended to most of Europe. (Schäfer, 2012). Theexpansion of Roman Empire can be attributed to the rapid growth andspread of Christianity. Even though, the rubrics of Christian worshiphave changed over time, the principal belief of Christian rubric isGod sending his only son, Jesus to save the lost.

Judaismis one of the ancient faiths in the world. Judaism began about threemillennia ago. It is anchored on the view that there exists only oneGod. Judaism’s history dates back to the times of Abraham, wherethe laws were instituted by Moses. Judaism functions on the basis ofa covenant-based association between Jews and God. The followers arecertain of salvation as long as they keep obeying God`s laws and keepthemselves holy (Saldarini, Avery-Peck, Harrington and Neusner 2004).


Ofthe dominant world religions, Judaism and Christianity have severalcommonalities. Both religions share a common belief that there existsone almighty, omnipresent God. Followers believe in a holy, just andrighteous God, who is also loving, merciful and forgiving. Bothfaiths base their teachings on the Hebrew Scriptures, which is theOld Testament as the respected Word of God, even though Christianitytakes account of the New Testament as well. The reality of heaven,the everlasting dwelling residence for the righteous, and hell is acommon belief amongst the two religions. Judaism and Christianityhave a similar ethical code known as Judeo-Christian essentially(Schäfer 2012). Christianity and Judaism both believe that God hasmade a distinctive blueprint for the Jews and the Israel nation.Another widespread Christian philosophy of Christianity is theconception of family values and the promotion of peace. Jewscorrespondingly believe in following family values and themaintenance of peace.

Indeed,both religions believe in the samepromises about God`s ultimateplan for all mankind after the fall. Judaism and Christianity have asimilar view of the Bible. They both view it at least the OldTestament, as the revelation of God’s word. Another common featurebetween the religions is the nature of their relationship. They havethe same desire of worshipping God and having a cherishedrelationship with God (Poorthuis, Schwartz and Turner 2009). Additionally, Judaism and Christianity have the same consciousness ofsin. They are aware of the consequences of being sinful and thejudgment that is bound to come. Last but not least, they have theidentical credence in the necessity for a messiah to save his peopleand reinstate the kingdom of God.


Amidstthe similarities that both religions have, there exist certaindiverging viewpoints nonetheless. Christianity began approximately1,000 years after Judaism. Christianity has though grown to beamongst the leading faiths in the world. Due to its dominance,Christian holidays such as Christmas and Easter are universallyrecognized and celebrated. On the other hand, Jewish holidays are notthat prevalent (Poorthuis, Schwartz and Turner, 2009).

Thefundamental dissimilarity amid Judaism and Christianity is thediffering opinion of that nature of Jesus. To Christians, Jesus isthe savior and the only son of God. They believe in the resurrectionof Christ on the third day after being crucified. However, eventhough Judaism recognizes the presence of Jesus, he is taken to bemortal. The contradictory agreement of the nature of Jesusconsiderably touches the essential beliefs of both religions. Duringhis ministry, Jesus challenged several of the laws customary toJudaism. Jesus was, therefore, a rebel whose quest was to do awaywith the faith. To the supporters of Jesus, he was the Redeemer, Godembodied (Evans, 2000).

Bothreligions furthermore feature with different holidays. Christiansrejoice Christmas and Easter, which acts as a remembrance of thebirth and death of Jesus respectively. Judaism holidays converselyrecognize ancient events which include Yom Kippur the holy day ofatonement, Hanukah, which signifies the rededication of the templeand Shavuot which signifies the day of the Ten Commandments.

Additionally,the other predominant difference between the two beliefs is aboutatonement and sin. Sin refers to any disobedience towards theprescribed holy teachings whereas atonement refers to the means ofattaining forgiveness. In the past, Jews made sacrifices in order toget forgiveness (Schäfer, 2012). After the destruction of thetemple by the Romans, the sacrificial aspect is no longer practiced.Today`s Jews consider genuine litanies of repentance and deviatingfrom sin as adequate.

Conventionally,Jews are known to recite their prayers thrice in a day. Furthermore,most of the prayers by Jews are more solitary, even though communalprayer is highly recommendedby many of the followers. Jewsmoreover have a definite religious outfit that is worn by alltraditional Jews. On the other hand, Christians have no prescribeddesign of clothing. For Christians, everyone should endeavor to obeyChrist`s commands and emulate Christ’s examples in their dailyroutines. For all Christians, the Ten Commandments are the guidingstick in once life (Saldarini, Avery-Peck, Harrington and Neusner,2004).

Jewsworship in the synagogue or temples while Christians worship inchurches or chapels. Christians and Jews both observe Sabbathreverence nevertheless, they differ on the definite Sabbath day.While leading their spiritual obligations, Christians refer to thebible, which encompasses of both the new and the old testaments.Contrariwise, Jews refer to the Torah, Tanakh the Jewish bible(Avery-Peck and Neusner, 2009).


Inspite of the numerous divergent views on Christianity and Judaism,there exists a mutual ground by which they agree in terms of worship,beliefs among other matters. For instance, the differentdenominations in each faith and what they believe in likened to thenative impression of the religion when it begun. Christianity andJudaism are religious convictions that have differences as well assome affiliation between them.


Avery-Peck,A. J., &amp Neusner, J. (2009). Judaismand Christianity: New directions for dialogue and understanding.Leiden: Brill.

Evans,C. A. (2000). Theinterpretation of scripture in early Judaism and Christianity:Studies in language and tradition.Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press.

Poorthuis,M., Schwartz, J., &amp Turner, J. (2009). Interactionbetween Judaism and Christianity in history, religion, art andliterature.Leiden: Brill.

Saldarini,A. J., Avery-Peck, A. J., Harrington, D. J., &amp Neusner, J.(2004). WhenJudaism and Christianity began: Essays in memory of Anthony J.Saldarini.Leiden: Brill.

Schäfer,P. (2012). TheJewish Jesus: How Judaism and Christianity Shaped Each Other. Princeton: Princeton University Press.