Judaism vs. ChristianityJudaism respects Jesus as a prophet, but not as the Son of God like the Christians do.
We can safely say that Christianity has evolved from Judaism. Despite its Jewish descent, Christianity considers itself as a separate religion, rather than a branch of Judaism. However, there has always been an age-old dispute between the followers of both religions. Both share similar origins, beliefs, mythologies, rules, etc. Thus, it is obvious that both these religions have similar beliefs. But also, in contrary to that, besides a great deal of overlapping beliefs between these two religions, there are many vital distinctions too.
As such, let us look closer into finding the commonalities and differences between these two widely followed religions.
Similarities Between Judaism and Christianity
- Palestine is the origin of both the religions.
- The original languages are Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic.
- Monotheistic; belief in one God.
- Core principles are values of charity and chastity.
- Core belief is that Elijah will return.
- The sacred text; the Old Testament or the Jewish Bible is shared by both the religions.
- Believe that they are the children of Abraham
- Believe in the Prophet Moses
- Their belief in the Trinity or Three Jewels; Christians believe in The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit. Whereas, Jews believe in God, People, and Israel.
- Jews, Christian Orthodox, and Catholics face Jerusalem while praying.
- They believe that mankind has originated from Adam and Eve.
- The gathering over Jerusalem.
- Acknowledge Moses led the children of Israel out of bondage.
- They believe in paradise or heaven in the after-life.
- All the first Christians were Jewish before they became Christians.
- Believe that God is omniscient and omnipotent.
- Believe that God can bring people back to life.
- They believe in Pentateuch (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Deuteronomy, and Numbers).
- Have a strong belief in Eternal Life
Though some may consider Christianity to be a branch of Judaism, there are some very vital distinctions between the two. Some important distinctions are mentioned below.
Differences Between Judaism and Christianity
Original Name Christianity
: Greek: Christos, meaning the 'Anointed' referring to Jesus Christ
: 'Yehudim', 'Judah'
: Jesus Christ
Holy Book Christianity
: Bible; meaning book by God given to man, Word of God (Timothy 3:16)
: Hebrew Tanakh, comprises the Torah (Law), Nevi'im (Prophets), and Ketuvim (Writings)
Nature of God Christianity
: God exists in 3 distinct entities (The Holy Trinity) Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Mathew 28:19)
: Yahweh or Jehovah (Deuteronomy 6:4)
Sacred Text Christianity
: Jewish Bible or the Old Testament and New Testament
: Tanakh or the Jewish Bible
Inspiration of the Sacred Text Christianity
: Inspired human accounts and directly from God
: Human origins and inspired human accounts
House of Worship Christianity
: Basilica, Chapel, Church, Cathedral
: Shul, Synagogue, Temple
Direction of Worship Christianity
: God is present everywhere so direction isn't important. But Orthodox and Catholics usually face Jerusalem.
: Towards Jerusalem
Religious Leaders Christianity
: Church father and Church council Judaism
: Talmud, Halakhah
: Roman Catholic, Protestant, and Orthodox
: Hasidic, Conservative, Reform, Ashkenazi, Sephardi, Christianity, and Islam
Holy One Christianity
: Resurrection of Christ
: The Messiah
Jesus Christ Christianity
: Believe in Jesus Christ to be both human and divine―the Son of God
: Believe Jesus is merely a prophet
Human Authorities Christianity
: Father, Pastor, Nun, Bishop, Cardinal, Pope
: Rabbi, Rebbe
Human Nature Christianity
: Original sin
: Good and bad co-exist
Holy Days Christianity
: Christmas (birth of Jesus), Good Friday (death of Jesus), Sunday (day of rest), Easter (resurrection of Jesus), Lent (time between Ash Wednesday and Easter), saints' feast days
: Rosh Hashanah (beginning of the calendar year), Sukkot (celebration of harvest), Simchat Torah (end of Sukkot, celebrate finishing the reading of Torah), Chanukah, Tu Bishvat (the New Year for Trees), Pesach or Passover (God liberating Israelites from Egyptians), Hanukkah (8 days holiday, commemorates the Jewish recapture and re-dedication of the Temple in Jerusalem), Purim (celebration of the narrow escape from genocide), Sabbath (a day of rest and enjoyment every week)
Major Sacred Rituals/Rites Christianity
: Prayer. Sacraments including baptism, communion, confirmation, marriage, penance, holy orders, anointing of the sick
: Sabbath, circumcision of newly born Jewish males, wearing the Tallit and tefllin, prayer services, Bar Mitzvah and Bat Mitzvah are for 13-year old boys and girls who must read the Torah in front of the congregation, after which they are considered adults
Other Spiritual Beings Christianity
: Angels, demons, spirits
: Angels, demons
Use of Statues and Images Christianity
: Anglicans and Lutherans allow pictures but forbid venerating them. Catholics and Orthodox encourage statues and pictures and venerating them.
Major Symbols Christianity
: Alpha and Omega, Anchor, Chi rho, Crucifix, Cross, Dove, Ichthus- Fish, Halo, Mary, Baby Jesus
: Chai, Star of David, Tree
Divine Revelation Through Christianity
: Prophets and Jesus, and their records in the Bible
: Prophets and their records in the Bible
Means of Salvation Christianity
: Faith, correct belief, good deeds, sacraments
: Belief in God, good deeds
Religious Laws Christianity
: Canon Law in Catholics
: Halakhah, Ethics Commandments, 613 Mitzvot, charity, prayer
Goal of the Religion Christianity
: Love God and obey his commandments and spreading the gospel
: Celebrate life, fulfill the covenant with God, do good deeds, help fix the world, love God and be very just when it comes to ethics
: Catholics, Anglicans confess to priests, Protestants directly to God
: In ancient times, they had sin offerings, but today people individually fix their sins. On Yom Kippur, they confess their sins, but prefer to ask for forgiveness directly to the person they have wronged.
: Jesus in Mathew (19:3-9), "Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. Therefore what God has put together let man not separate"
: Marriage permitted, monogamous
: As the descendents of Adam we inherit sin. Jesus Christ atoned for our sin through his crucifixion (Romans: 5: 12-17)
: Atonement is made only through seeking forgiveness from God in prayer and repentance. A day is set aside (Yom Kippur) for atonement.
: Grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8-9)
: Through good deeds, prayer, grace of God
Good Afterlife Christianity
: Eternal heaven
: Varied views: heaven or no after-life
Bad Afterlife Christianity
: Eternal hell
: Reincarnation, no after-life or eternal Gehenna
Religion has, and will always been a very sensitive, controversial, and an extremely personal subject. But to sum it all, all religions speak of love, brotherhood, duty, kindness, respect towards people, and ultimately reaching the omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent―God.