Comparison of Beliefs of Judaism and Christianity
Religion is an important cultural aspect that is seen all throughout history and the modern world today. Religion is something that is used in many people’s everyday lives. It is important to understand the different religions and to respect them. The reader has great information about all the religions that we’ve discussed in this class. In this essay, Christianity and Judaism will be discussed and how their worldviews are similar as well as different.
Christianity is a monotheistic religion, which means that they believe in one God. Christianity conceives the divine in that he is the only God and that he is the single being that exists and is one God as three different people, the Trinity which is the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The reader discusses the Trinity which Christianity believes in, “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all” (256). This quote from the reader presents how the Trinity is Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit, which is three different people into one God. Christianity understands that that relationship between human beings and the divine is that God created all human beings and he created them to resemble him and spread his word. The relationship between human beings and the divine would be as the creator and creature. The relationship of creator and creature relates to human morality in this religion in that Jesus died on the cross for the people of Christianity so that the sins they were born with would be washed away. Christianity believes that the meaning of life is to spread the word of God and to serve God and follow his Ten Commandments and to love one another like God would want them to. In the reader, the Ten Commandments that give purpose to the humans in Christianity are discussed, “I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you should also love one another” (242). This quote presents that it is the purpose of the Christians to love one another and to follow the Ten Commandments, which is their meaning of life. Also, another meaning of life for Christianity is for the disciples to go out and spread the word of God to the people. That purpose of life is demonstrated in this quote, “Go, therefore, make disciples of all the nations; baptize them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teach them to observe all the commands I gave you.” (253). The next paragraph will be discussing Judaism and how it answers the questions.
Judaism is also a monotheistic religion just like Christianity is. Judaism conceives the divine in that he is One God, he is the only source of everything. God is the one who creates everything and is the only one responsible for creating the world and the things in it. In the reader, it discusses how Judaism believes that God is the one who is responsible for everything, “Implicit in its opening line is the foundational as the ultimate source of all being” (176). This quote from the reader presents that in the Bible it states that there is one God who is the one who created everything. This religion understands that the relationship between the human beings and the divine is that humans are created by God and are the resemblance of him. The reader proves that this is accurate in, “And God created humankind in His image;… male and female He created them” (177). While God created these humans in his image, they have free-will, but they do need to follow the covenants that he set out for them. The relationship of God being the creator of the humans being an image of God relates to human morality in a way that God sets forward commands for the humans to follow and they are expected to follow them or there will be consequences. For example, in the reader this is portrayed in the story of the Garden of Eden, “And the LORD God commanded the man saying, ‘Of, every tree of the garden you are free to eat, but as for the tree of knowledge of good and bad, you must not eat of it; for as soon as you eat of it, you shall die.’” (178). This quote shows what happens when a human disobeys a command that God lays out for them and that relates to human morality because in this example, eating from the tree like God said not to, will kill you. Judaism believes that humans were created for the purpose of following God’s covenant and to try to satisfy God’s mission that he set out in the Bible.
Humans’ purpose of following God’s covenant is portrayed in this quote, “And if you obey these rules and observe them carefully, the LORD your God will maintain faithfully for you the covenant that He made on oath with your fathers: He will favor you and bless you and multiply you; He will bless the issue of your womb and the produce of your soil…in the land that He swore to your fathers to assign to you” (188). This quote, while it does not directly mention the human’s purpose of life, it discussed the Commandments and how they should obey them, which is their purpose in life. Human morality is not very often mentioned in Judaism because they do not tend to discuss much about the afterlife, because they do not believe in Heaven and Hell like Christianity does. Judaism does not believe in an afterlife of Heaven or Hell and that is seen in this quote, “For man is a creature of chance and the beasts are creatures of chance, and one mischance awaits them all: death comes to both alike…Men have no advantage over beasts… All go to the same place: all came from the dust, and to the dust all return” (212). Now that the questions have been answered in regards to Christianity and Judaism, there will be a discussion of how the two religions are similar and how they differ from each other.
Judaism and Christianity have several similarities with each other especially since, “Judaism in the parent tradition from which Christianity and Islam spring” (176). That relationship brings about many similarities between these two religions. The first similarity between the two is that they are both monotheistic religions where they only believe in one God. Another similarity between the two worldviews are that they both have rules set out for them to follow which are known as the Ten Commandments. Christianity and Judaism both have a purpose in their lives to love God and to follow the rules that are laid out for them in the Ten Commandments. Another similarity between the two is that God created humans in both religions. God was the creator of humans and humans are the image of God in both religions. While there are many similarities between these two religions, there are also many differences between the two which will be discussed in the next paragraph.
Even though Judaism is considered the parent religion to Christianity, there are quite a few differences that were seen while reading the reader. The first difference that was noticed between these two religions is that Christianity believes in the Trinity, which is idea that there is one God but he represents three different people and Judaism rejects their belief of the Trinity. Judaism believes that God is one person, and absolute person. Another difference between the two is the location of where their religious services or worshipping are held. Christianity holds their religious services in the church or chapels, whereas Judaism holds theirs in Synagogues. Christianity and Judaism also differ on their day of rest, known as the Sabbath. In Judaism, the Sabbath starts Friday night and ends Saturday night. The reader provides this insight about the Sabbath, “On the seventh day, God finished his work that He had been doing… and God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, because on it God ceased from all the work of creation that He had done” (177). Christianity declared the Sabbath to be on Sunday, because that was when Jesus resurrected. In the reader, one of the accounts of Jesus’s resurrection, “When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb… When they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had already been rolled back” (237). This account of his resurrection shows that it happened on Sabbath which is a Sunday because when the people showed up to his tomb on the first of the week, which would be Monday, he was already resurrected, which would have meant that he resurrected the day before, which would have been Sunday, which meant Sabbath would be the day he resurrected. Another difference between Christianity and Judaism is that Christianity believes in Heaven and Hell, and Judaism does not believe in Heaven and Hell. In the reader, how Judaism does not believe in Heaven and Hell can be seen in the section called Death Is the End, “For man is a creature of chance and the beasts are creatures of chance, and one mischance awaits them all: death comes to both alike…Men have no advantage over beasts… All go to the same place: all came from the dust, and to the dust all return” (212). This quote from the reader is insight into the fact that Judaism does not recognize that there is a Heaven or a Hell like Christianity does.
In conclusion, Judaism and Christianity have several similarities with how they answer the questions, as well as with their beliefs. While they have similarities, they also have a lot of differences between each other. After reviewing the reader and thinking about it through, it seems that they have more differences between each other than they do similarities. Analyzing the reader about these two religious worldviews was quite interesting and eye opening to how different and similar religions can be to each other. Studying religion is quite important to understand today so that one can understand how and why people do things that some people may not quite understand if they did not study that religion. Everyone should study religion and take a deep look into them and compare and contrast the different religions and the traditions that they all have.
Cite this Essay
To export a reference to this article please select a referencing style below