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Differences and Similarities of Christianity and Judaism Essay

Many people today still believe that Christianity and Judaism are both the same religion. This is not so, despite the fact that they both share certain similarities; Christianity and Judaism are both different religions. It is my pleasure to shed some light on the differences and similarities of both religions’ views on salvation. In this research I will first define salvation in its literal form. Secondly, I will take a closer look into the history and development of both religions and shed further light on how they differ. Finally, I will go on to further compare and contrast both religions and show where they differ and where they are alike. At the end of this research, people will have a greater understanding of both Christianity and Judaism and be able to identify how different they both are.

According to Matt Slick, “Salvation is being saved from the righteous judgment of God upon the sinner.” Most people in the world believe that salvation means being saved from the devil or from themselves, but this is not a fact. Your salvation depends on the judgment God has on you. All who sin against God falls under his judgment, this judgment is known as damnation, and this is where God condemns to eternal hell anyone who has offended him by breaking his law. Matt Slick went further to say, “This does not mean that God is unfair. It shows that God is holy. God must punish the sinner. But, he has provided a way of escape so that people will not face his righteous judgment. This means that God is both holy and loving. He must manifest each quality equally. So being saved from the wrath of God is called salvation.” The bible states that salvation is found in Jesus and only in him, who is also known as God in flesh and also who died for our sins and rose from the dead. 1 Cor. 15: 1-4 says,

“Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received in which also you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word I preached to you, unless you believe in vain. For delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures, and that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.”

All of us have sinned against God and deserve judgment. But Jesus never sinned ( 1 Pet. 2:22). It is through Jesus we all gain salvation based on evidence in the scriptures and this is how salvation works.

To define it simply, Christianity is one of the world’s major monotheistic religions. Christians believe in Jesus Christ and follow his teachings. they believe Jesus is God’s own son, sent by God to become human. As the son of God, Jesus is divine, but he was also a human being who lived among us on earth, over 2,000 years ago. Followers of Jesus are part of God’s people, whose heritage includes the Jewish people and the Christian Church throughout the world today. Christianity strongly supports salvation and everything it stands for. According to Patheos Library, an online religious community, “Christianity developed out of Judaism in the 1st century C.E. It is formed on the life, teachings, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and those who follow him are called Christians.” Christianity’s origin came out of Palestine and they believe in God (Trinity), which means God in three forms, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

The publication posted on Patheos Library went further to state, “Christianity has many different branches and forms with accompanying variety in beliefs and practices. The three major branches of Christianity are Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, and Protestantism, with numerous subcategories within each of these branches.” It was not until the latter part of the 20th century that most adherents of Christianity were in the west, even though it had spread to every continent and is now the largest religion in the world today. The traditional Christian beliefs include the belief in the one and only true god, who is one being and exist as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Christianity also believes in Jesus as the divine and human Messiah who was sent here on earth to live and dwell with man and save the world from sin.

The Christian church has many ethics that governs the activities of the church and aid in ensuring that its members walk in the correct path and grows closer in faith and closer to God. The Christian church ethics stands firm against abortion and believes this practice is of the devil. Christianity also disagrees with same sex marriage as well, based on the fact that in creation, God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve. This has been a very controversial topic for many years, as many do believe that same sex marriage should be accepted as human rights activist backs up this claim. There has been not one case in the bible where same sex marriage or same sex relationships were encouraged or practiced freely, and it’s based on this that Christians do not believe in the practice.

A brief look into the culture of Judaism should shed some light on the culture and help persons to differentiate better. According to, thinkquest.org,

“Judaism is the religious culture of the Jewish People and is one of the world’s oldest religions. Judaism makes up the cultural system of Jewish law, custom, and practice of the whole individual and community. It is a system in which everyone is under God’s rule. Judaism originated in the Middle East and has spread throughout all parts of the world because of both voluntary migrations and forced exile or expulsions. The total world Jewish population is about 15 million, most of whom live in the United States, Israel, and the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republic.”

A very important topic when discussing faith in Jewish text is that of Romans in the New Testament. A 20th century western definition of faith is often used to support theologies that claim to be based on the Hebrew Scriptures.

For instance, within modern Christianity there is a range of belief regarding faith. The idea that faith is totally separated from “works” based on verses such as Ephesians 2:8-9 and Romans 3:28 and others taught by some protestants. Also the idea that works must be performed to “earn salvation.” According to, yashanet.com, an online publication, “When dealing with the texts of the “New Testament,” the English language word “faith” must be interpreted in the Hebrew context it was originally conceived in by the author. As such, the word “trust” may be a better one to use, at it conveys a combination of belief and action.” The Jewish view of faith, including that of Paul, is established in ideas such as, “Faith is active and includes the “works” of following Torah.

The foundational statement of faith in Judaism is the “Shema,” from Deuteronomy 6:4. The term “hear” (as in “Hear O Israel …”, means t_o hear and respond obediently._ Faith and obedience are woven together. This is clearly reflected in the words of Yeshua, Paul and James.” According to, Ariela Pelaia, “Judaism is a monotheistic faith, meaning that Jews believe there is only One God. Often this God is beyond our ability to comprehend, but God is nevertheless present in our everyday lives. How individual Jews choose to understand this manifestation of the divine varies. Some connect with God through prayer, others see the divine in the majesty of the natural world, others may not think about God on a daily basis. Each individual’s relationship with God is unique and personal.”

The Jewish religion teaches that everyone, whether Jewish or non-Jewish, is created “b’tzelem Elohim,” which is Hebrew for “in the image of God.” It is with this reason every person is equally important and has an infinite potential to do good in the world. The Jewish community also believes that Jews are uniquely connected with each other, regardless of where they live in this world. The Torah is Judaism’s most important text. It contains stories and commandments that teach us about life and death. It contains the 10 Commandments as well as the 613 commandments (mitzvot). All Jews consider the 10 Commandments to be the most important commandments in the Torah, though not all Jews adhere to the 613 mitzvot (one of the main differences between the different branches of Judaism). The Torah also tells us that the Land of Israel (Eretz Yisrael) was apart of the covenant made between God and the Jewish people on Mount Sinai.

Even though Judaism and Christianity have a lot in common, they do both share some major differences that clearly set them apart. Traditionally, Jews recite prayers three times daily, with a fourth prayer added on Shabbat and holidays. Most of the prayers in a traditional Jewish service can be said in solitary prayer, although communal prayer is preferred. Jews also have certain religious clothing which a traditional Jew wears. Christians believe that all people should strive to follow Christ’s commands and example in their everyday actions. For many, this includes obedience to the Ten Commandments. Other Christian practices include acts of piety such as prayer and Bible reading. Christians assemble for communal worship on Sunday, the day of the resurrection, though other liturgical practices often occur outside this setting. Scripture readings are drawn from the Old and New Testaments, but especially the Gospels.

The place of origin for Christianity is Jerusalem while Judaism reigns from out of Israel and Christianity believes in Jesus Christ as founder and messiah, and for Judaism its Abraham, Moses. Christian practices includes, Prayers, Sacraments, worshipping in Church, reading the Holy Bible, acts of charity, Communion-partaking in the Body and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, under the appearance of Bread and Wine. The practices of Judaism differs in that, Orthodox Jews recite prayers 3 times daily, with a fourth prayer added on Shabbat and holidays.

Shacarit prayer in the morning, Mincha in the afternoon, Arvit at night. Musaf is an extra Shabbat service. When it comes down to the source of scripture, Christianity uses the Holy Bible, a collection of canonical books in two parts (Old and New Testament). For Judaism it’s the Tanakh (Jewish Bible), Torah. When it comes down to life after death, the Christian view of this is that Man is appointed to die once, and after that come judgment. Those that are redeemed, live on in Heaven, those that rejected God suffer for eternity in Hell, while Jews believes in a World to come, Reincarnation (some groups); temporal suffering in Hell; eventual return to Paradise(Garden of Eden), unifying with God

Works Cited

(Spain, Islands, Arab countries, Turkey) Ashkenaz (Central/Eastern Europe, Germany, France) Greek, MIzrachi: Jemen, Conservative, Reconstructionist, and Reform. “Christianity vs Judaism – Difference and Comparison | Diffen.” Diffen – Compare Anything. Diffen. Discern. Decide.. N.p., 11 Apr. 2012. Web. 11 Apr. 2013. .

BBC Religion . “BBC – Religion: Christianity.” BBC – Homepage. N.p., 21 Jan. 1013. Web. 11 Apr. 2013. .

Books Of Romans. “Jewish views of salvation, faith and freedom.” YashaNet HomePage. N.p., 23 Apr. 2010. Web. 11 Apr. 2013. .

Krell, Marc. “Afterlife and Salvation.” Patheos | Hosting the Conversation on Faith. N.p., 22 Oct. 2009. Web. 11 Apr. 2013. .

ORACLE. “Judaism: Introduction.” ThinkQuest : Library. N.p., 31 Dec. 2008. Web. 11 Apr. 2013. .

Religion Facts. “Comparison Chart: Christianity vs. Judaism – ReligionFacts.” Religion, World Religions, Comparative Religion – Just the facts on the world’s religions.. N.p., 19 June 2009. Web. 11 Apr. 2013. .

Religion Facts. “Christian Salvation – ReligionFacts.” Religion, World Religions, Comparative Religion – Just the facts on the world’s religions.. N.p., 12 Sept. 2009. Web. 11 Apr. 2013. .

Slick, Matt. “What is salvation? | Discuss what is salvation. | Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.” CARM – Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry. N.p., 13 Feb. 2010. Web. 11 Apr. 2013. .

iconoclasms, zantine. “History of Christianity – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.” Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. N.p., 23 Nov. 2011. Web. 11 Apr. 2013. .


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