Judaism Vesus Christianity Essay, Research Paper
JUDAISM and CHRISTIANITY The term Judaism and religion do not exist in the pre modern Hebrews. Judaism originated in the land of the Israel in the Middle East. Subsequently, Jewish communities have existed at one time or another in almost all parts of the world. Judaism religion culture of Jews is one of the world s oldest continuing religious traditions. On the other hand, Christianity originated as one among several completing Jewish ideologies in 1st century Palestine and Islam drew in part of the Jewish sources at the outset. Because most Jews, from the 7th century on have lived in the cultural ambit of either Christianity or Islam, these religions have had an impact on the subsequent history of Judaism.One truly decisive factor separating the Jew and the Christian 2000 years ago, was a theological problem involving the change from Saturday to Sunday as the day of Sabbath. With the subsequent change of the day of worship and the re-writing of the Ten Commandments by the early Christians it became increasingly clear that conversion to Christianity appeared to Jews and Messianic Jews as a denial of Judaism and Sinai faith. This was an importance matter of conscience. Very Early Christians felt that emancipation from the Jewish background was essential. Messianic Jewish Christianity was a “new covenant” without any attachment whatsoever to the “old covenant.” Thus, this new “Christianity” was not to be an extension of Israel as it had once been as it flourished as a sect within Judaism as in its inception. Yet, there are other similarities and differences between Judaism and Christianity in the following terms: Law, Canon, Covenant, Messiah and Social Justice.First, the Law that God gave Moses was divided into three parts: 1) civi1 law, which legislated the social responsibilities with their neighbor; 2) ceremonial law, which legislated Israel s worship life; 3) moral law, found principally in the Ten Commandants, which identified God s timeless standards of right and Wrong. Moreover, the bible was the central document used directly and indirectly to shape the live of the Christians as well as the Jews. The Law (Torah from the Hebrew for instruction or teaching) was the most sacred that referred to the first five books. This is an irreconcilable difference that exists between Judaism and Christianity. In 90 AD an assembly of rabbis drew up a list called the Canon. This Canon was in turn excepted by the Christians in which they added twenty-seven more books and called it the New Testament. The canon of the bible refers to the definite list of books that are considered to be divine revelation. A canon distinguishes what is revealed and divine from what revealed and human. Christians and Jews used the bible not only for worship but, for a moral guide, anchor for ethical, religious stability as well as the rule of faith. Secondly, a major concept in Judaism is that the covenant between God and the Jewish people. According to the tradition, the God of creation entered into a special relationship with the Jewish people at Sinai. They would acknowledge God as theirs sole ultimate king and legislator, agreeing to obey his laws: God, in turn, would acknowledge Israel as his particular people and be especially attentive of them. The notion of convent religion not only gave form to the Hebrews religions; the ideas of a renewed covenant became the central claim of Christianity. Early Christianity quickly developed the belief that it replaced the Jews as God’s chosen people. Although, Israel represented the old covenant with God and the Christians took part in a new covenant with God. The Old Testament was seen as the books that described the old covenant and prophesied the new covenant. It can be said that the Christians borrowed the Old Testament from Judaism. Since its books were about the old covenant and Christianity was about the new covenant, why did the Christianity need to know about the old covenant? But, the dominant position was reply that Christians needed to know about God s work on earth prior to Jesus, and that information was contained in the Old testament. Secondly, the other issue was the question of which books should be in the Old Testament. The easy answer is that since the Old Testament is about the Jews, then Christianity should borrow the sacred books of Judaism. But, which sacred book? The answer was: the books written in Greek.
The Hebrew translation word Messiah for Jews and Christian means “anointed one.” Although, present day Jews still believe the Messiah is coming in the future. Whereas, the Early Christians insist that Jesus overcame death by rising in the tomb three days later. This belief in the resurrection became a centerpiece of Christian faith and the preaching and the basis on which Early Christianity proclaims Jesus as Christ. In other words, Jesus suffered, died and was buried and on the third day he rose and was ascended into Heaven but, he will come again. However, the prophetic element in religion was one of Israel s most enduring contributions to the religious sensibility of the world. The ideal that certain people are called directly by God to preach peace and justice in the context of religious faith would continue beyond the biblical period in Judaism and Christianity. Until modern times relatively few Jews or Christians actually read the Bible on an individual basis. Although, Judaism excepted the eye for an eye circumstance while, the late Christians were practicing forgiveness and compassion Yet both Judaism and Christianity has the same moral, as far as helping their fellowman. In conclusion, regardless of the truth, Jews could not accept the Christians message unless it met the ancient criterion: “To the Law and to the testimony! Whoever will not speak according to this word, there shall surely be no dawn for him” (Isa. 8:20). So, because the Law (Torah) was the principle object of Christian assaults the Jews hardened their stand within the Law. This was the major point that separated the Jews from the Christians. Because the Law rather than a Messiah, the Jews could not bring themselves to recognize Christianity s claims to a higher truth. The conflict over the Law is still the major element dividing the two communities. In rejecting the Law, the church rejected Israel. We must not forget the close dependency between the Law and Israel (Law) that begin in the fourth century.