The creation of the universe still remains a mystery to many of us. Almost all mankind is obsessed with trying to discover how the creation of everything that exists came about. Some are convinced about the divine existence of God while others are atheist. The religious people are also faced with many differences and disagreement about the existence and the nature of the real God. The purpose of this paper is to compare and contrast two specific characteristics that are evident in Christianity and Judaism.
As much as there are differences between the two religious groupings, there are also similarities between them. This is because, Christianity emerged and protested from Judaism, but it is not a continuation of Judaism as some people would suppose it to .Therefore, there are various characteristics that makes the two different. The first characteristic is how they define sin and the second is how they define atonement and religious human intercession.
Similarities Between Judaism and Christianity
Both religions define sin as rebellion, and God has made his will to be known to all people through His word. Acting contrary to this set will against God is a sin. Although Wyschogrod states that Judaism doesn’t take the consequences of sin seriously, Plantinga feels Christians should go back to their original religion so that they can understand the consequences of sin. Therefore, both believe that sin has its consequences.
God is all powerful and supreme, the only thing he can do is to allow people to sin but he limits the freedom. One of the reasons for allowing the people to sin is so as He can demonstrate his will and achieve his objectives; which could be to demonstrate his love since his lover supersedes his hatred. Therefore both religions believe that God is a God of mercy.
God has provided atonement in order to reconcile all his people with him. This shows that whenever people are engaged in sin and have a deep repentance for it, there is a way out for both religions. This cleanses and erases all the sins and the makes man right with God. They both believe that in order to be forgiven, faith must be incorporated with the atonement.
Since there is a continuous behavior of rebellion, both religions believe that they live under two principles which include being loyal to God and being rebellious. Therefore, sin is a continuous process and cannot be avoided by any human being.Because of this repentance must be done regularly.
Differences in Judaism and Christianity
In regard to Sin, Christianity’s center of attention is found on “The Original Sin” which is the sin that committed by Adam and Eve while they were in the Garden of Eden and continues on from that generation to this generation we are living today .While Judaism’s center of attention on “Sin” which means the continuous sins committed after a person is born, thus proving that at birth a person is with no sin. Therefore, according to Judaism, repentance is done for disobedience done either intentionally or unintentionally after the person is born while for Christianity, repentance is done for an entire person’s life since his birth even to the extend of repenting the sins of a former generation.
While reviewing the Holy Bible in Genesis chapter 3, the two religions interpret this differently. According to the Christian perspective, when Adam and Eve sinned, the glory of God in them was taken away, thus making the whole creation perverted. While in Judaism, when Adam and Eve sinned, God made them to suffer the consequences by only chasing them out of the Garden of Eden but never meant that sin will follow their forthcoming generation.
Christianity’s element of redemption that is meant to return the glory of God which was lost after Adam and Eve sinned in the garden of Eden is only through Jesus Christ who is claimed to be God in the flesh and a part of the Holy trinity, cleanses the sins of the whole world for those who accept this redemption. The Judaism element of redemption is done through is through prayer which cleanses the sin impartially, and full cleansing is done after they ask for forgiveness from the people.
According to Judaism Jesus was just a good man and was not reincarnation of God into mankind, he has no powers to save souls as Christianity perceives and believes it to be, and he never resurrected from the dead. Since piece has never reigned in this world. Judaism has never approved Jesus as the Prince of Peace and the Messiah. They claim that the Prince of Peace shall rule the world later and peace shall dominate this whole world. But Christianity believes Jesus as the Prince of peace and the promised Messiah and all them that accept this divinity have peace in their minds and souls.
Furthermore, Judaism continues to state that God is one. God cannot be made of three parts which are termed as the Holy trinity, even though Christianity claims it to be a mystery. They claim that this can be compared to pagans who worship many god and that the capacity of claiming that God is in three parts diminishes the preeminence of his power. Therefore, it has no room for Jesus having a position of being God the Son. This is opposed by Christianity since according to the Bible in the Book of John 1:1, 14 which claims that “In the beginning there was the word, and the word was with God and the word was God. The word became flesh and dwelt among us in this world.”
As much as there are differences and similarities, only time can tell since Christianity is based on faith. There is no religion that can be placed above the other. Its hard for worshipers also to judge themselves since they can not identify and accept easily their shortcomings since it may be to their disadvantage. Therefore, judgment is left to God alone.