Most people around the world believe in a particular religion Christianity and Judaism are among them. Christianity and Judaism are not much different. Due to this, to maintain peace in the world, laws have been put in place by states and governments to give people the freedom to participate in any religion they deem fit. It should be noted that each religion has its own beliefs and ideologies (Gerhards, 2007). Research reveals that it is very hard to convert a person from one religion to another. This is because, from a very tender age, people have been raised to believe that they worship in the right religion. Even though there are so many religions all over the world, this essay paper narrows down to Christianity and Judaism. Just to mention, these two religions have many similarities as compared to the other major religions. They both believe that God is the most Supreme Being and that everyone ought to worship Him. However, the purpose of this paper is to highlight the major differences between these two religions.
To begin with, it is absurd to talk about Judaism without briefly exposing its history. It is believed to have started in 2000 BC during Abraham’s time (Gerhards, 2007). God promised Abraham many descendants, who would occupy the land of Canaan, by making a covenant with him. According to educators, the main purpose of God reaching out to mankind was to amend the broken relationship between Him and man; a relationship destroyed by Adam and Eve who were the first people on earth. After the Israelites had occupied the land of Canaan, a major division amongst them saw the conversion of some Jews who became Christians. Some of the ancient beliefs were shunned and new laws were instigated. Through these changes, today there are few major differences separating these two religions.
Jews do not believe at any point that Jesus is the chosen being. According to them, Jesus is not the Messiah whom they were promised by God to bring blessing on earth. They believe that the chosen Messiah is not a Supreme Being. Instead, it will be a common human being who will lead every soul to righteousness. They believe that Jesus was just a teacher and a prophet just like the many other prophets of the ancient times. However, Christians believe that the coming of Jesus was the fulfillment of the much-awaited prophesied Messiah (Micah 5:2; Isaiah 9:6-7; 7-14). According to Christians, Jesus and God are one. They strongly believe that God came to earth in human flesh and body (John 1:1, 14; Hebrews 1:8). Jesus’ main mission on earth was to suffer and die for the sins of man (Romans 5:8; 2; Corinthians 5:21). It should be noted that the Jews do not believe in this sacrifice and they strongly deny that Jesus is God. The issue of Jesus is the major outstanding difference between Judaism and Christianity. Jews have never believed that Jesus is the chosen Messiah even after Jesus said he was sent on earth to give direction to the lost sheep (Mathew 15:24)
The other clear difference between these two religions concerns sin and how human beings, are anointed and forgiven. Since the ancient times, the Jews believed that sin was bad and the Almighty God was against it. The Ten Commandments that were given to Moses are to be followed to the latter. According to them, the human nature is evil, and as much as man tries to remain clean by avoiding sin, there are many challenges that come his way. Over the years, both Jews and Christians believe that God is a merciful and forgiving being. However, the Jews believe the only way to achieve forgiveness is through prayers and sincere repentance. They do not believe that man can be pardoned of his sins through the death of another man. Christians also believe in the forgiveness of sin through prayers and repentance. The only difference is that they acknowledge the death of Jesus and believe that it was a major sacrifice, which brought forgiveness of sins to all humanity. Christians believe that the escape of the Israelites from the evil hands of the Egyptians was a biblical illustration of Gods’ plans to rescue man from the wrath of sin. They strongly believe in Jesus Christ, and honor Him (Mathew 15:24).
In conclusion, even though there are major differences between the two faiths, their similarities are vast. The fact that they both believe in one Supreme Being, the Almighty God, makes them worship a common Being. The Bible, which is the most respected book amongst Christians, is used to guide them by giving them rules to follow. Another point to take home is that, the religious state of the world should not be altered (Kogman-Appel, 2009). It is wise to let people make their own decisions in life concerning their spiritual growth and beliefs.