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Judaism is one of the most common, old, and strong religions that have existed since time memorial with a very strong and unwavering monotheism belief.
Prior to its current state of integrating a Jewish state and a religion, in the past Judaism was only a religious practice of the Hebrews. Although it is a distinct religion and other religions have their own set of doctrines, which they follow, influences of Judaism on other religions are many.
This is because, although religions such as Christianity and Islam have their own doctrines, which its believers follow strictly, they have many concepts borrowed from Judaism, it being one of the primary symbols of human civilization. Globally, there exist more than fourteen million Jewish believers, and approximately 3.5 billion others who belong to other religions that apply borrowed Judaism doctrines.
To the Jewish, strict adherence to ritual laws is one of the doctrines that any Jewish believer must respect. Most Jewish believers never believe is the rigid religious beliefs, because most of them hold very liberal views towards spiritual viewpoints (Bamberger, 2010, p.1).
As research studies on the origins of Judaism show, this religion has existed since the time Abraham was alive; one of the most respect biblical figures, for Jews consider him one of their greatest ancestors. According to the Jewish believers, Judaism is a symbolic representation of God in their midst, for it represents the covenantal agreement between God and the children of Israel.
Historically, Judaism is one of the religious groups that have endured extreme suffering and persecutions, although this has never been an impediment to its spreading. Their suffering goes back to the times of the Pharaoh in Egypt, travelling through the desert and their eventual receiving of the Ten Commandments and the Promised Land.
Although the Jewish people believe in the commandments, their views on what God gave Moses and the extent of including modern religious concepts in their practices varies; hence the current splitting of the early Jewish religion into the present Judaism groups namely the Orthodox, Reform, and Conservative Judaism.
All this groups have differing Judaism beliefs, which guide their religious practices, although they al believe in the existence of one God (Bamberger, 2010, p.1).
Comparison between Christianity and Judaism
Although the two biggest world religions namely Christianity and Islam have distinctive doctrines, which their believers must adhere to, these regions have numerous Judaism borrowed concepts. It is important to note that, although the Islam and Baha’i religions use some Judaism borrowed concepts, the level of borrowing is not much as Christianity has done.
Judaism and Christianity share very many theological and historical facts for example, the existence of Jesus and his twelve followers. In addition, according to biblical teachings Jesus’s entire family lineage was of the Jewish origin, hence his upbringing among the Jews. This is a fact both Christians and Jews believe hence, clearly showing the resemblance between this to religious groups in beliefs and systems of operation.
Both the Christians and the Jewish depend on the bible for spiritual nourishment, a fact that is evident in the Christians and Jews’ practice of referring to their bibles for guidance and spiritual providence. Further, theologically all the writers of the Old Testament; a section of the bible read by both Christians and the Jews,were of the Jewish origin hence, proving that although this two religions differ in doctrines, they must be sharing very many concepts (British Broadcasting Corporation: BBC, 2009, p.1) .
Although Christians and Jews are both monotheistic holding the ideas that only one God exists; Jesus existed; human beings are products of God, and God will come to take his faithful ones (although some Judaism groups do not believe in the second coming of God), many variations exist in ways which these religions interpret biblical and other spiritual books.
In addition, although they show some form of conceptual co-existence and interdependence, they are contending religions, for each believes that, its teachings emphasizes Godly doctrines. For example, the Jewish dispute the notion held by Christians that God Manifests himself in three forms namely God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
According to the Jewish, this trinity idea is inconceivable; hence, the Christian practice of emphasizing the Trinity of God goes against provisions of God’s holy books. Another Christian concept that faces much antagonism from the Jews is the idea of the origin sin.
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According to Judaism, the original sin concept held by Christians lack a basis of explanation hence, the varying atonement modes adopted by Jews and Christians. On the other hand, Judaism never accepts the concept of the communion ceremonies, because to the Jewish, this is a form of worshiping idols (Rich, 2001, p.1).
As theological research studies show, almost all doctrines that govern Christianity are Jewish-borrowed, although with new definitions and interpretations. According to Christianity, acceptance of a Jewish believer to follow Christian doctrines is not a religious transfer, but rather it is acceptance to be a complete child of God.
This is different when it comes to Judaism, because for one to qualify to be Jewish, new converts have to abandon their early beliefs, vow to respect, and adhere to Jewish principles and church doctrines. Therefore, to some extent accepting the Jewish doctrines is like being reborn again with a new identity and affiliation, a case that is different in Christianity.
Another primary difference between these religions is the personhood of Jesus Christ. According to Christianity, the primary reason why Jesus came to earth was to save humankind from perishing in the final fire; a fact that authors of the Old Testament had prophesied was to happen.
In addition, according to Christian doctrines, Jesus is the only Messiah; hence, through him the world should receive eternal salvation. Although Judaism accepts the belief that Jesus was the son of God, it opposes the idea that he is the Messiah of the world hence, its belief that Jesus might be a prophet of God blessed with good and Godly teachings.
In addition, according to Christianity, because of God’s mercies and in the endeavor to save humankind, God transformed Jesus’s Godliness, and made Jesus a human being through making his mother conceive through the Holy Spirit. Jewish doctrines greatly oppose this idea, by arguing that, Jesus was and will never be Godly, and although God wanted to save humankind, such a sacrifice was not essential (Herberg, 2007, pp. 7-21).
Because the New Testament carries primarily teachings of Jesus, which the Jewish do not value very much, the Tanakh (the Jewish Bible) does not have the New Testament. Unlike the Tanakh, the Christian bible has both testaments, which are very crucial in a Christian’s spiritual endeavors. The Tanakh has three main sections namely the Torah, Ketuvim, and the Nevi’im. According to the Jewish (although not all), there exist two forms of the Torah (written and oral) for spiritual nourishment.
According to Christians only the written Torah exists, which Christians accept as a religious book, although they use a Koine Greek Septuagint decoded version of Torah. On the other hand, although this two groups share some biblical concepts of the Torah, the naming system they use in naming constituent books in their bibles vary.
That is, unlike Jews who named constituent books in their bible using the traditional Jewish system, Christians have named the constituent books in their bible using names that resemble those used by the creators of the Septuagint (Meyer, 1995, pp. 7-19).
In addition to the personhood of Jesus and books that these two groups use, although cultures within which these two religions thrive vary, the effect of the Jewish culture on Judaism is great.
For example, unlike Judaism that permanently prohibits the consumption on certain foods, for example, pig and meat products and that all individuals must adhere to Kashrut laws in preserving their foods, Christian doctrines never specify any preservation method. In addition, although the Christian bible specifies certain animal products that Christians must not consume, it is not very rigid hence, giving Christians the flexibility of choosing foods to consume (BBC, 2009, p.1).
As concerns church rituals, as a respect to the existence of humankind, the Jewish incorporate their traditional practices in church activities, for example, when dedicating newborn babies to God and during marriage ceremonies. Therefore, largely the Jewish traditional practice plays an important role in church, a fact that is contrary in Christians, because traditional rituals are distinct components of a Christian society (Bamberger, 2010, p.1).
In conclusion, although Christians and the Jewish have many antagonizing ideas, these religions share very many concepts. For example, although these religions give their churches and leaders different names, for example, in Judaism Synagogue or Schul, led by a Rebbe or Rabbi, and a church or chapel in Christianity led by a priest, minister, and other Christian leaders, both religions emphasize one concept, the salvation of mankind from sin.
In addition to their common goal, these two religions share a common heritage, although their levels of accepting religious concepts vary. Common variations among these religions occur in the personification of Jesus, the nature of God, and some religious practices for example, eating of the sacrament as a representation of Jesus’s body and drinking of wine as Jesus’s blood.
Bamberger, B. J. (2010). Judaism general information. Web.
British Broadcasting Corporation: (2009). Religion: Judaism. BBC. Web.
Herberg, W. Judaism and the Modern man-an interpretation of the Jewish religion.
Woodstock: Jewish Lights publishing. Web.
Meyer, M. A. Response to Modernity: a history of the reform movement in Judaism. Wayne state University Press: Detroit. Web.
Rich, T. R. (2001). What do Jews believe? Judaism 101. Web.