Christianity vs. Judaism

Christianity
Judaism

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


Comparison chart

Christianity

Christianity

Judaism

Judaism
Place of origin Roman province of Judea. The Levant
Place of worship Church, chapel, cathedral, basilica, home bible study, personal dwellings. Synagogues, Western Wall of the Temple in Jerusalem
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.
Time of origin Approx. 33 AD. c 1300 BC
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Birth of Jesus Virgin Birth, through God. Normal man, normal birth. Not part of liturgy.
Symbols Cross, ichthys ("Jesus fish"), Mary and baby Jesus. Star of David
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.
Branches Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant. Religious: Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, Renewel, Reconstruction. Traditions: Sephard, (Spain, Arab countries, Turkey). Ashkenazi: (Europe, Russia). MIzrachi: (Iraq, Persia, India).
Death of Jesus Death by crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension to heaven. Will return. Not mentioned in Jewish texts.
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.
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. For Bar Mitzvah ceremony (13 years old) boys must read from the Torah in front of the congregation, and is then considered an adult. Bat Mitzvah is a similar ceremony for girls.
Offshoot religions Rastafarianism,Universalism, and Deism, and Masonry. Abrahamic religions -- Christianity and Islam.
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.
Legislation Varies through denomination. Prerogative of the people
Status of Vedas N/A. N/A.
Goal of Philosophy Objective reality. Worship of God who created life, the universe, and is eternal. Christianity has its own philosophy, found in the 66 books of the Bible. 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.
Direction of Prayer Catholics and Orthodox usually face Jerusalem 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.
Resurrection of Jesus Affirmed Simply not mentioned. not part of liturgy in Judaism. Considered authentic part of Christianity.
Promised Holy one. Second Coming of Christ Belief in the Coming of a Messiah.
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 other Dharmic religions N/A N/A.
Followers Christian (follwers of Christ) Jews
View of God N/A 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.
Promised Holy One Second Coming Of Christ. The Messiah.
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. Almost never, ever, is there any violence between Jewish sects.
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,
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.
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
Virtue(s) in which religion is based upon Love. Justice; strict adherence to God's law. Reading the Holy Books, and following the Commandments.
Saints Catholics and Orthodox venerate very Holy people as Saints. Most Protestants do not do this. Jewish holy figures are known as Tzaddics.
sects Catholic, Protestant, & Orthodox. Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, Sephardim, Karaite, Samaritan, and so on.
Three Jewels/Trinity The Blessed Trinity: In the name of the Father the Son and the Holy Spirit God, people, and Israel

Contents: Christianity vs Judaism

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, Rabbi Tovia Singer and William Lane Craig debate 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.

Groups/Sects

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.

References

Share this comparison:

If you read this far, you should follow us on:

"Christianity vs Judaism." Diffen.com. Diffen LLC, n.d. Web. 24 Oct 2014. < http://www.diffen.com/difference/Christianity_vs_Judaism >

Related Comparisons Follow Diffen
Make Diffen Smarter.

Log in to edit comparisons or create new comparisons in your area of expertise!

Sign up »
Top 5 Comparisons

Comments: Christianity vs Judaism

Comments via Facebook

Anonymous comments (8)

January 10, 2012, 7:53pm

A rather poor and static account of Judaisim with no distinction between the period
of Temple worship and the evolution of Judaism after the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE, which involved innovations such as synagougue worship and the codification of the Oral Law. Halakha is merely a term for law or legaly study (see the Penguin Dictionary of Judaims by Nicholas De Lange). No mention of the fact that Judaism deals with how to bevave ethically in a divinely create world whose permissible pleasures and benefits which are enjoined to enjoy. Likwise, no mention of the seven basic Noachic Commandments, the observance of which places non-Jews and Jews on a equal footing. Therefore, I do not stop Christians in the street and try to convert them to Judaism. I wish that they would accord me the same courtesy. Judaism today covers a wide range of groups, some of whom, such as the Chassidim, have beliefs that are coloured by Christian thought such as original sin and the existence of Satan. In traditonal Jewish thought, everything is created by the Almighty and there is no supernatural source of evil. Every human being has an inclination towards good and towards evil and we are all indiviudally rsponsible for our own actions. Human beings therefore are capable of change and no Redeemer who died for our sins is required.
I resent the historical treatment of Jews by Christians and their belief that theirs is the one truth faith, despite Christ's statement about the many mansions in my Father's house. I aslo resent Christians' sometimes deliberate misinterpretation of passages in the Old Testament such as "eye for eye" in a literal manner, in order to portray Judaism as a brutal religion that has been supersed by Christianity, the religion of love, although throught the ages we Jews have seen percious little of this virture. Even today, the indifference of most Christians towards animal welfare and animal cruelty is striking. In Judasim, all living beings are part of the divine creation and are to be respected accordingly. I suggest that you do more reading to deepen your knowledge and understanding of our religion, without which
Christianity would not have been possible.

— 82.✗.✗.178
1

December 14, 2011, 3:04am

I am a little late for the discussion here. I find it interesting that with the similar beliefs in the Old testament and the Torah that the two diverge as much as they do. I have yet to find one mention of the trinity in either the Old or New Testament (if I missed it please enlighten me). To me is seems both religions claim to worship the same G-d. One teaches redemption while the other preaches salvation. To me this are a lot alike it is where man is removed from his own sin and evil. I know on a social scale there is much difference. A person is Jewish by birth and or choice. In almost any event they will be Jewish even if they choose not to believe in g-d. In Christianity you are a Christian by choice , you must ask g-d to accept you. You must apologize for a sinful nature that is part of the human condition. You must live the best you can to G-d standards and the 10 commandments. However there were a number of restrictions lifted most notably diet.
I am trying to get to the root of the differences myself as I sit and look at the two religions. I know that G-d's people are to be tormented and the Jews have had that throughout history. I see this happening with the Christians now as well. I will keep digging and hope somewhere someone can help me by shedding light on the Jews and Christians. Untill then may G-d bless every one of you as he does.

— 71.✗.✗.121
1

September 9, 2011, 1:00am

First of all, to the comment below; a man is talkin about changin his religion to Catholic because of his girl, but catholic is a TYPE of christian, so she's Christian too. You guys are BOTH Christians. You dont have to CHANGE it! You're probably just a different type, but it doesnt matter. My parents are both Christians but different types. My mom is catholic and my dad is presbyterian. It really doesnt matter. Dont change if you dont want to, :)

— 69.✗.✗.68
1

May 2, 2014, 3:33pm

no that is a hole different religion that that the cover their hair if you thought that because of the movie gods not dead her family was islamic

— 209.✗.✗.254
0

December 1, 2012, 9:41am

Are you talking a out a religion that came years after the Hebrews stopped using the name of God when he told you to keep it and remember it for it is his name forever? If I recall most jews don't even utter or even try to pronounce the name anymore. Jesus the rebel had to come along and use the name,lol, Jesus said Ehyah has sent me, and said he is one with Ehyah and most jews wanted to stone him and if possible kill all his followers or mess with there teachings due to the fact Gentiles after being exposed to Messiah and his culture were being taught that they needed to be circumcised and of that other such. I didn't come to say all jews are bad, in fact there are as many good as there are bad, we are all humans. What I am saying is Judaism formed over the years compared to there predecessors. I mean lets be rash No prophet in the bible was claiming to be apart of Judaism, what they claimed was there tribe and the God. If you ask Moses what's Judaism he wouldn't know what to say because its a religion and if I go to the nearest synagogue over a year I can possibly be called a Jew too. Does that make me Judah's descendant NO. Big difference between tribes and religion

— 71.✗.✗.160
0

August 16, 2013, 5:21am

Start writing down how many times your prayer have been answered and how they were answered. So next time some one tells you there's no god show 'em the list. They may say that's just a coincidence but they are probably going to start wondering if what they've been told is true and start looking into it. And for those of you who say your prayers haven't been answered, here's some advice. APPRECIATE THE little THINGS.

— 72.✗.✗.10
-1

February 3, 2013, 11:57pm

Aren't Christian women supposed to cover their hair?

1 Corinthians 11:6

— 72.✗.✗.222
-1

July 16, 2011, 7:41am

This article does not address the main difference between Christianity and Judaism. Christianity believes that you absolutely must be baptized in the name of Jesus or you go to hell. No one else gets into heaven. Period. Christians follow the teachings of Paul, not the religion of Jesus, which is Judaism. Also, there are Christian Jews who believe that Jesus was the Messiah but interpret His teachings within a Judaic perspective, as opposed to recognizing Paul as a legitimate apostle of Christ. So not all Jews reject Christ, but Christianity is founded on the teachings of Paul, who claimed that Jesus chose him to be an apostle after His (Christ's) death.

— 68.✗.✗.128
-2

share

Up next

New Testament vs. Old Testament