Christianity and Judaism are two Abrahamic religions that have similar origins but have varying beliefs, practices, and teachings.

Comparison chart




Place of worship Church, chapel, cathedral, basilica, home bible study, personal dwellings. Synagogues, Western Wall of the Temple in Jerusalem
Place of origin Roman province of Judea. The Levant
Use of statues and pictures In Catholic & Orthodox Churches. Ancient times: Not allowed as it is considered Idolatry. Today, great artwork is encouraged. Statues of people are fine, but not as religious icons.
Practices Prayer, sacraments (some branches), worship in church, reading of the Bible, acts of charity, communion. 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.
Scriptures The Holy Bible Tanakh (Jewish Bible) , Torah.
Means of salvation Through Christ's Passion, Death, and Resurrection. Through belief in God, good deeds, complete faith.
About Christianity broadly consists of individuals who believe in the deity Jesus Christ. Its followers, called Christians, often believe Christ is "the Son" of the Holy Trinity and walked the earth as the incarnate form of God ("the Father"). Judaism is created by Abraham 2000 BCE and his descendants of Issac and Jacob. The Law: the 10 Commandments was given to Moses (and 600 000 Jews who left Egyptian slavery) in c, 1300 BCE to return to Israel and follow God's will.
Belief of God One God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. God is the one True Creator. God has always existed, none existed before him and will exist forever. He transcends life and death.
Goal of religion To love God and obey his commandments while creating a relationship with Jesus Christ and spreading the Gospel so that others may also be saved. To celebrate LIFE! To fulfill the Covenant with God. Do good deeds. Help repair the world. Love God with all your heart. Strong social justice ethic.
Founder The Lord Jesus Christ. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Moses
Life after death Eternity in Heaven or Hell, in some cases temporal Purgatory. World to come, Reincarnation (some groups); unifying with God, there are different opinions and beliefs
Belief of God One God: The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Belief in the One God, often called HaShem—Hebrew for 'The Name', or Adonai— 'The Lord'. God is beyond human understanding. So, Jews do not pronounce the name of God during prayer.
Human Nature Man has inherited "original sin" from Adam. Mankind then is inherently evil and is in need of forgiveness of sin. By knowing right and wrong Christians choose their actions. Humans are a fallen, broken race in need of salvation and repair by God. You must choose good from bad. You are responsible for your actions, not thoughts.
Literal Meaning Follower Of Christ. A Jew (Hebrew: יְהוּדִי, Yehudi (sl.); יְהוּדִים, Yehudim (pl.); Ladino: ג׳ודיו, Djudio (sl.); ג׳ודיוס, Djudios (pl.); Yiddish: ייִד, Yid (sl.); ייִדן, Yidn (pl.))[1] is a member of the Jewish people/ethnicity.
Religious Law Has existed among Catholics in the form of canon law. Halakhah. Ethics. Commandments. 613 mitzvahs to be followed. Charity. Prayer. Rabbinical rulings with minority opinions. Debate very important part of system. Debate is encouraged in schools. Part of Bible addresses specific laws for everyday life.
Rites Seven sacraments: Baptism, confirmation, Eucharist, penance, anointing of the sick, holy orders, matrimony (Catholic and Orthodox). Anglicans: Baptism and Eucharist. Other denominations: Baptism and communion. Mitzvahs. Bar & Bat Mitvahs are the most well known, but, there are others too.
Holy days/Official Holidays The Lord's Day; Advent, Christmas; New Year, Lent, Easter, Pentecost, every day is dedicated to a Saint. Sabbath, Rosh HaShanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, Simchat Torah, Chanukah, Tu BiShvat, Purim, Passover, Lag BaOmer, Shavout. Holidays given by God or historical events, Israeli holidays. Holocaust remembrance.
Day of worship Sunday, the Lord's Day. Friday at sunset through Saturday sunset, is the Sabbath, THE most Holy Day (yes, all 52 of them). Taking time off from work, once a week, was invented by Judaism. It is more Holy than any other holiday, and is spent in contemplation and prayer.
Belief The Nicene Creed sums up Christian belief in the Holy Trinity. Jewish central belief is that they have chosen to follow the commandments of the One True God and God will look out for them in return. Every man is equal. Jews believe a Messiah coming and proof will be an end to war and hunger all over the world.
View of other Abrahamic religions Judaism is regarded as a True religion but incomplete (without Gospel, and Messiah) Islam is regarded as a false religion, Christianity does not accept the Qur'an as true. Believe that Christians are wrong in believing that Jesus is the Messiah; they neither believe nor disbelieve that Muhammad and/or Bah-u-llah are prophets.
God's role in salvation Humans cannot save themselves or ascend on their own to a higher level. Only God is good and therefore only God is able to save a person. Jesus came down from Heaven to save mankind. Divine revelation of God's law and to judge man's actions. Good deeds, and righteousness. Each New Year, during Yom Kippur, Jews fast and pray for forgiveness from God, and if accepted, are written into the Book of Life, for the next year.
Use of statues Forbidden in Protestant denominations; icons are used in Catholic & Orthodox denominations. Forbidden to use in religion
Confessing sins Protestants confess straight to God, Catholic confess mortal sins to a Priest, and venial sins straight to God (Orthodox have similar practice) Anglicans confess to Priests but considered optional. God always forgives sins in Jesus. Ancient times: there was a sin offering for individuals. Today people individually repair their sins. On Yom Kippur, they confess sins, and ask forgiveness from God. But also they must ask forgiveness directly from any people they may have wronged.
Resurrection of Jesus Affirmed Simply not mentioned. not part of liturgy in Judaism. Considered authentic part of Christianity.
Birth of Jesus Virgin Birth, through God. Normal man, normal birth. Not part of liturgy.
Offshoot religions Rastafarianism,Universalism, and Deism, and Masonry. Abrahamic religions -- Christianity and Islam.
View of Animistic religions Paganism is Heathenism. Witchcraft is communication and interaction with demons, fallen evil angelic beings. These have no real interest ultimately, in helping their worshipers. Demonic possession is common. The earliest Jewish holidays correspond to agricultural seasons. Jews uniquely developed monotheism as a God of All. They were surrounded by pagen tribes who believed in gods based on their location, or nature.
Promised Holy one. Second Coming of Christ Belief in the Coming of a Messiah.
Views on the afterlife Eternity in Heaven or Hell; some believe in temporal suffering in Purgatory, before admittance into Heaven. Jews beleive in a human Soul, and Orthodox believe in A World To Come and a form of Reincarnation. Differing beliefs accepted. Very little discussion on afterlife. Focus is on time on Earth now.
Geographical distribution and predominance Europe, North and South America, and Australia and New Zealand. Existing in Israel for 1500 years, but the Romans in 70 AD kicked all Jews out. Jews are dispersed all over the world, at one time present in almost every country. Now the majority live in Israel, USA, Canada, Russia, France, England.
Branches Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant. Religious: Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, Renewel, Reconstruction. Traditions: Sephard, (Spain, Arab countries, Turkey). Ashkenazi: (Europe, Russia). MIzrachi: (Iraq, Persia, India).
Prophets Prophets in the Bible are venerated. Moses, and the subsequent Prophets of Israel as told in the Jewish Bible (Tanakh).
Virtue on which religion is based upon Love. Justice.
Ressurection of Jesus Affirmed. Denied
View of other Oriental religions N/A. N/A.
Names of God God, Gud, Gott, Deo, Dios. Jehovah, YHWH, Eli Elohim, Allah, (depending on language Christians are of every language and culture around the world) HaShem, Adonai,
Views on other religion Christianity is the True Faith. Judaism is the chosen faith, however, others are good too, provided that they follow Noahide Laws.
Goal of Philosophy Objective reality. Worship of God who created life, the universe, and is eternal. Christianity has its own philosophy, found in the the Bible. That philosophy is Salvation from sin, through the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ. To live a proper and Holy Life. To appreciate Life in every way. To do Good Deeds. To live Ethically. To make choice based on Free Will. Universal Education for every Jew; to study, learn. read and write.
Legislation Varies through denomination. Prerogative of the people
Holy Days Christmas (celebration of the birth of Jesus), Good Friday (death of Jesus), Sunday (day of rest), Easter (resurrection of Jesus), Lent (Catholicism), saints' feast days. Rosh HaShanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, Simchat Torah, Chanukah, Tu BiShvat, Passover, Lag BaOmer, Shavout. Sabbath most important—one day a week no work, just peace, joy and prayer.
Status of Muhammad N/A. N/A.
Symbols Cross, ichthys ("Jesus fish"), Mary and baby Jesus. Star of David, Menorah.
Death of Jesus Death by crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension to heaven. Will return. Not mentioned in Jewish texts.
Original Language(s) Aramaic, Greek, and Latin. Hebrew. Every word has a 3 letter root word. Yiddish: part Hebrew, part German/East European language. Sephardic: part Hebrew, part Arabic language.
Place and Time of origin Jerusalem, approx. 33 AD. 1500 BC, Middle East. Religion formed over several centuries; was codified during the Babylonian exile. Literacy is encouraged to read Bible. Jews replaced animal sacrifice with prayer in Diaspora, after Romans destroyed Jerusalem Temple in 70 AD
Followers Christian (follwers of Christ) Jews
sects Catholic, Protestant, & Orthodox. Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, Sephardim, Karaite, Samaritan, and so on.
Three Jewels Christ, Grace, and Virtue Torah, People, Land, Law. love God.
Abrahamic Lineage Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are thanked every prayer day. Jacob's 12 sons became the 12 tribes of israel. Of these, 10 were lost during Assyrian Exile.
Clergy Priests, bishops, ministers, monks, and nuns. Ancient times: Hereditary privileged priest class--Kohen and Levi. Present day: Religious functionaries like Rabbis, Cantors, Scribes, Mohels.
Population Over a billion adherents worldwide. Around 13-16 Million, debated. Population varies due to conversion (although some types are not recognized by the state of Israel) and "marrying out" (of the faith)
Marriage A Holy Sacrament. Ancient times: unlimited polygamy with concubinage. In modern times, monogamy officially since 1310 AD.
Jesus Son Of God. A fellow Jew, a respected, learned scholar. Not mentioned in the Jewish texts.
Spiritual Beings Angels, demons, spirits. Angels, demons, and spirits.
Position of Mary Mother Of God. Not applicable, as Jews do not believe that Jesus is their Messiah, and therefore, his Jewish mother plays no role in the Jewish religion other than history.
Second coming of Jesus Affirmed. Not part of liturgy.
Revered People Varies by sect/denomination. Saints, the Pope, cardinals, bishops, nuns, church pastors, or deacons. The Patriarchs, Moses, various rabbis, and Tzaddics, down through the centuries.
Definition Disciple of Jesus Christ. Of the tribe of Judah.
Authority of Pope Leader and overseer of the Catholic Church. his authority is completely rejected by Protestants, and is viewed by Orthodox as first among equals. Orthodox and Protestants reject Papal infallibility and Papal supremacy. N/A
Belief of deities Only One God: The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. One God.
Prophet Moses, Samuel, Nathan, Elijah, Elisha, etc., as well as both Johns in the New Testament too. Moses, Samuel, Nathan, Elijah, Elisha, etc.
View of God One God, Who Is the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. God is the one True Creator. God has always existed, none existed before him and will exist forever. He transcends life and death. God is one and the only holiness. God is the creator. He is beyond human understanding, he is omnipotent.
imams identified as N/A. N/A.
Original Languages Aramaic, Common (Koine) Greek, Hebrew. Hebrew common till 500 BCE, Aramaic and Greek koine till 300 CE. Hebrew always for religious services. Local languages and different extinct and living Jewish languages like Carfati, Jiddish, Ladino, Judesmo etc
Religion which atheists may still be adherents of No. Yes, since Judaism emphasizes Deed over Creed; Many Jews profess to be atheists, and are committed and proud to be Jews.
Praying to Saints,Mary, and Angel Affirmed, in Catholic, Orthodox, Lutheran, & Anglican(Episcopalian)Christianity; most Protestants do not. N/A.
Use of statues, images some denominations regard It as forbidden and Idolatry. Anglicans and Lutherans allow pictures but forbid venerating them. Catholics encourage pictures and statues and venerate them. Orthodox encourage pictures and venerate them. Forbidden
Identity of Jesus The Son Of God. Simply not part of liturgy. Not mentioned one way or the other.
Original Language Aramaic, Greek, and Latin Hebrew has always been the central language of prayer. From 500 BCE, Aramaic and Greek koine and 'Aramized' Hebrew till 300 CE. Local languages and different extinct and living Jewish languages like Carfati, Yiddish, Ladino, Judesmo.
View of the Buddha N/A. N/A.
Status of Vedas N/A. N/A.
On Race All races generally viewed equal in Christianity. However, Bible passages on slavery were used to support the practice in the past in the U.S. The "curse of Ham" was sometimes thought to be black skin; modern interpretations reject this. Jews are God's chosen race. Jews also owned slaves in the past, in the U.S., too.
Marriage and Divorce Explained by Jesus in Mathew 19:3-9 and said, ‘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 seperate.' Monogamous. Marriage permitted.
On Clothing Conservative Christians dress modestly; women may cover their heads, wear long skirts or dresses; men may wear dress clothes that do not show the chest, legs, and arms. More moderate or liberal Christians generally reject such clothing restrictions. Orthodox men always wear hats; Orthodox women either wear hats or wigs. Orthodox dress is modest.
Saints Catholics and Orthodox venerate very Holy people as Saints. Most Protestants do not do this. Jewish holy figures are known as Tzaddics.
On Food/Drink Though the Old Testament of the Bible says certain meats should not be consumed, Christians usually feel this information does not apply to them (in the New Testament) and so eat what they want to eat. Pork is strictly forbidden.
Virtue(s) on which religion is based upon Love. Justice
Virtues in which religion is based upon Love, charity, and mercy. Justice, faithfulness, charity, modesty, Tikkun Olam (improving the world), mitzvot (good deeds, following God's law), Love of the creations. Ethics. Social Justice. Intellectual discussions, and study.
Direction of Prayer Catholics and Orthodox usually face the Tabernacle in their prayers but it is not considered necessary, but recommended. God is present everywhere recent reforms have prompted many Christians to not face anywhere in their prayers. Toward Jerusalem.
View of other Dharmic religions N/A N/A.
View of Jesus God in human form, "Son of God," savior. Death by crucifixion. Most, though not all, of Christians believe Jesus rose from the dead, was taken up into heaven, and will return during an apocalypse. Regular Person.
War between two churches/ major sects Catholics & Protestants used to be at war in Norther Ireland; In USA, many fundamentalist Protestants vehemently deny Catholics are Christian. Different sects agree and differ with each other. There is room for debate with no violence. Orthodox and Reform Jews greatly dislike one another.
Position of Abraham Father of the faithful. Father of Jewish Nation. From city of Ur. His father was an idol maker, but when he broke an idol, his father told him not to worry, the statue was not God Travelled to what is today Israel & purchased land. He found God during his travels in dessert
Promised Holy One Second Coming Of Christ. The Messiah.
Three Jewels/Trinity The Blessed Trinity: In the name of the Father the Son and the Holy Spirit God, people, and Israel
Authority of Dalai Lama N/A. N/A.
Praying to Saints, Mary, and Angel Encouraged in the Catholic & Orthodox Churches; most Protestants only pray directly to God. Jews only pray to God. They do not need Rabbis to pray. Each Jew can pray directly to God whenever he or she wants to.
Status of Elohim God God
View on Abrahamic religions All worship the One God. Jews began Abrahamic religions. Christians share early prophets.The Koran also has renditions of these prophets. The New Testament can be viewed as written by Jews for the Jews of that time.
What is it? Christianity is the religion Founded By Christ, to which He Is Central to. Judaism is the Abrahamic religion of the Jewish people, based on principles and ethics embodied in the Hebrew Bible (Tanakh) and the Talmud (the great written opinions of the different rabbi's and intellectuals and holy men throughout the years)
Virtue(s) in which religion is based upon Love. Justice; strict adherence to God's law. Reading the Holy Books, and following the Commandments.
Purgatory Believed in by Catholic Church. Believed in Judaism.
Days of worship Sunday. Sabbath, sundown Friday to sundown Saturday. (Days start at sundown.)
Founders and Early Leaders Jesus, Peter, Paul, and the Apostles. Abraham, Moses, David, and many Prophets.
Important Tenets The Ten Commandments, The Beatitudes. The Law of Moses.
Primary God(s) A single, all-powerful god known as God that is typically thought of in "trinity" form: God, the Father; Christ, the Son; and the Holy Spirit (or Ghost). Not all sects/denominations of Christianity believe in the Trinity. The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Israel).
Most Common Sects Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant. Askenaz and Sephardim.
Crucifix in the sunset.
Crucifix in the sunset.

About Judaism and Christianity

The definition of Christianity varies among different Christian groups. Roman Catholics, Protestants and Eastern Orthodox define a Christian as one who is the member of the Church and the one who enters through the sacrament of baptism. Infants and adults who are baptized are considered as Christians. Jesus's Jewish group became labeled 'Christian' because his followers claimed he was 'Christ' the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew and Aramaic word for 'Messiah.' Judaism is the religion of the Jewish people, based on principles and ethics embodied in the Hebrew Bible (Tanakh) and the Talmud.

Christianity began in 1st century AD Jerusalem as a Jewish sect and spread throughout the Roman Empire and beyond to countries such as Ethiopia, Armenia, Georgia, Assyria, Iran, India, and China. The first known usage of the term Christians can be found in the New Testament of the Bible. The term was thus first used to denote those known or perceived to be disciples of Jesus. The history of early Christian groups is told in Acts in the New Testament. The early days of Christianity witnessed the desert Fathers in Egypt, sects of hermits and Gnostic ascetics.

Jesus gave the New Law by summing up the Ten Commandments. Many of the Jews did not accept Jesus. For traditional Jews, the commandments and Jewish law are still binding. For Christians, Jesus replaced Jewish law. As Jesus began teaching the twelve Apostles some Jews began to follow Him and others did not. Those who believed the teachings of Jesus became known as Christians and those who didn't remained Jews.

Differences in Beliefs

The Religion of Mary and Joseph was the Jewish religion. Judaism's central belief is the people of all religions are children of God, and therefore equal before God. Judaism accepts the worth of all people regardless of religion, it allows people who are not Jewish and wish to voluntarily join the Jewish people. While the Jews believe in the unity of God, Christians believe in the Trinity. A Jew believes in divine revelation through the prophets and Christians believe it to be through Jesus and the prophets.

The Christian Religion encompasses all churches as well as believers without churches, as many modern practitioners may be believers in Christ but not active church goers. A Christian will study the Bible, attend church, seek ways to introduce the teachings of Jesus into his or her life, and engage in prayer. A Christian seeks forgiveness for his or her personal sins through faith in Jesus Christ. The goal of the Christian is both the manifestation of the Kingdom of God on Earth and the attainment of Heaven in the after-life.

In the following video, Christian apologist Lee Strobel interviews Rabbi Tovia Singer and fellow evangelical Christian apologist William Lane Craig about the Trinity of God:

Scriptures of Christianity and Judaism

Judaism has considered belief in the divine revelation and acceptance of the Written and Oral Torah as its fundamental core belief. The Jewish Bible is called Tanakh which is the dictating religious dogma. Christianity regards the Holy Bible, a collection of canonical books in two parts (the Old Testament and the New Testament) as authoritative: written by human authors under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and therefore the inerrant Word of God.

Jewish vs. Christian Practices

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.

Cathedral Petri at St. Peter's Cathedral, Rome
Cathedral Petri at St. Peter's Cathedral, Rome
The Great Synagogue, one of the largest Synagogue for Jews in Europe
The Great Synagogue, one of the largest Synagogue for Jews in Europe

Comparing Jewish and Christian Religious Teachings/Principles

Judaism teaches Jews to believe in one God and direct all prayers towards Him alone while Christians are taught about the Trinity of God- The Father, the Son and Holy Spirit. Jews generally consider actions and behavior to be of primary importance; beliefs come out of actions. This conflicts with conservative Christians for whom belief is of primary importance and actions tend to be derivative from beliefs.

Another universal teaching of Christianity is following the concept of family values, helping the powerless and promoting peace which Jews also believe in.

The View of Jesus in Christianity and Judaism

To Jews, Jesus was a wonderful teacher and storyteller. He was just a human, not the son of God. Jews do not think of Jesus as a prophet. Also, Jews believe that Jesus cannot save souls, and only God can. In the Jewish view, Jesus did not rise from the dead. Judaism in general does not recognize Jesus as the Messiah.

Christians believe in Jesus as a messiah and as the giver of salvation. Christians believe that all people should strive to follow Christ's commands and example in their everyday actions.

Geographical Distribution of Jews vs. Christians

The Jews have suffered a long history of persecution in many different lands, and their population and distribution per region has fluctuated throughout the centuries. Today, most authorities place the number of Jews between 12 and 14 million. Predominantly, Jews today live in Israel, Europe and the United States.

Data suggest that there are around 2.1 billion Christians in the world all around the globe inlcuding South and North America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Oceania.


Jews include three groups: people who practice Judaism and have a Jewish ethnic background (sometimes including those who do not have strictly matrilineal descent), people without Jewish parents who have converted to Judaism; and those Jews who, while not practicing Judaism as a religion, still identify themselves as Jewish by virtue of their family's Jewish descent and their own cultural and historical identification with the Jewish people.

There are many people who follow christianity and have divided themselves into various groups/ sects depending upon varying beliefs. The types of Christians include Catholic, Protestant, Anglican, Lutheran, Presbyterian, Baptist, Episcopalian, Greek Orthodox, Russian Orthodox, Coptic.


Share this comparison:

If you read this far, you should follow us:

"Christianity vs Judaism." Diffen LLC, n.d. Web. 28 Nov 2015. < >