Project Genesis

Basics of Judaism

Judaism vs. Christianity

What are some difference’s between Jews and Christians (other than the Jesus being the messiah belief)?

The differences between Judaism and Christianity are myriad, and it would be impossible for me to give you a comprehensive answer in the small space allowed. Nevertheless, here are a few key points:

Judaism believes that God is Spirit, that He has no form, no likeness that could be fashioned.

Christianity teaches that God put some of his essence into a human body, in the form of Jesus.

Judaism teaches that man can have a direct and intimate relationship with God.

Christianity teaches that man must go through an intermediary because he is unable to have a relationship with God in his sinful state.

Judaism teaches that God does not change and that the way man has always accomplished a relationship with God is through sincerity and humility of heart, approaching God in repentance and love.

Christianity teaches that God has changed and that the original method of relating to God was through the sacrifices, but now Jesus was the final sacrifice and one must claim his blood in order to establish that relationship.

Judaism teaches that man has to take personal responsibility for the choices he makes, and that those choices carry with them consequences. Some of these consequences are meted out on earth, and some after death.

Christianity teaches that it is not man’s fault that he is a sinner – he was born that way. There is no personal responsibility related to salvation – it is taught in most churches that one can do nothing at all to merit this relationship with God, it is entirely a “gift” given only to those who believe in Jesus. The rest of the world goes to Hell.

Judaism teaches that the righteous of all the nations will have a place in the World to Come. That means that all people who try to have a relationship with God, and to serve him and live rightly go to “heaven” (to use a Christian concept).

Whereas, Christianity teaches that ONLY those who believe in Jesus will go to Heaven, no one can have a relationship with God without Jesus, no matter how much they love God and try to serve Him.

Judaism teaches that Hell (for lack of a better term) is finite – its equivalent (the word Hell is not accurate here) is just a process of refinement. When the soul is ready to enter the World to come, the refinement process is finished, and one goes on to eternity. If one is entirely evil and cannot be refined, they are destroyed. In Judaism, God is just, but never vengeful.

Christianity teaches that Hell is a place where nonbelievers descend forever to be punished through burning in fire eternally. In Christianity, either one merits Heaven or Hell. That’s it. And according to most sects of Christianity, that merit is based solely on whether or not one believes in Jesus. Period, end of subject. In Christianity, God heaps punishment on those who don’t believe in Jesus for eternity. Rather than the Justice of Judaism, Christianity paints God as Sadistic and vengeful.

I could go on and on about the differences between Christianity and Judaism, volumes have been written on the subject. There is more to the differences that whether or not Jesus is the messiah. Who God is, how he accomplishes relationship, atonement, salvation, and forgiveness are all seen from an entirely different paradigm.

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