Judaism and Christianity are two of the world’s largest religions. They are also religions that share similar roots. Much of the terminology is the same between the two religions, and those who study both will quickly find that the two religions share certain books. Despite all of these similarities and the fact that the two religions share many central figures, there are differences in doctrine that keep followers of the two religions worlds apart. Christianity follows, in many respects, the doctrines laid out in the New Testament of the Bible, while Judaism adheres to the Mosaic Law found in the Old Testament. The principal doctrinal difference between the two is that Christians believe that the messiah has already come to earth once, while Jews believe that this has yet to take place.
There are many similarities between Judaism and Christianity, starting with the books that both religions utilize. Christians believe that the entire Bible is holy, and for them, this includes the Old Testament. Perhaps more importantly, Christians feel that these scriptures were either inspired by God or dictated by God. For the most part, Jews hold to the same view, though there are some within Judaism who believe that the scriptures were written by human beings only. Still, both Jewish people and Christian people believe that the Old Testament of the Bible is holy, and they both adhere to the scriptures there in one way or another.
Another key similarity is that both religions claim to worship the same God, though there are some serious disagreements over the form of that God. Christians believe that the God of Abraham from the Old Testament is the one true God, though Christians believe that God comes in the form of the Trinity. This means that God comes in the form of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Jews believe something similar, though they stop short of believing in the Trinity. They believe, too, that the one true God is the God of Abraham from the Old Testament. To them, though, God, at least at this point in time, is a singular figure that cannot and should not be separated into three different forms.
One of the primary sources of agreement between the two religions is in regard to Jesus. Christians believe that Jesus walked the earth in human form, and they believe that he was killed by crucifixion. Though many disagreements exist that must be fleshed out, it is important to note that Jewish people also believe that Jesus was a real person who walked the earth. They believe that the New Testament is a useful resource to draw on for the purpose of understanding Jesus, so Jewish people generally believe the version of Jesus’s life on earth as described in those scriptures. The two sides differ in large part on how to treat Jesus and how to view his role within the being of God.
The primary disagreement between Jewish people and Christian people is over the role of Jesus and just who he was. Jewish people believe that though Jesus walked the earth, he was born naturally without the virgin birth. In addition, they view him as a false prophet and, in many ways, one of the earliest perverters of the Jewish faith. Though they do believe that Jesus was killed, and they do accept when and where he was killed, they do not believe that he was the Messiah. Jewish people believe, instead, that Jesus was just a normal man who lied in claiming to be the Messiah. In line with these beliefs, Jewish people do not believe that Jesus rose from the dead after his death, and they do not believe that he ascended into Heaven at that point in his life.
This is obviously a major point of contention with Christians, who believe that Jesus was the holy version of God as a human being. Christian people believe that Jesus was the Messiah, and they believe that his coming was a means of satisfying the prophecies put forward in the Old Testament. Rather than being a normal man born with a normal birth, Christians believe that Jesus was born to the Virgin Mary. They believe, as well, that Jesus lived a perfect life while on earth, and they believe that his death was meant as a sacrifice by God to cover the sins of humanity. A major part of the Christian belief, as well, is that Jesus rose from the dead three days after his death, and it was then that he ascended into heaven. Christians believe that Jesus will return again one day, while Jewish people believe that Jesus has still not come to earth the first time.
This has been a major source of dissention between the two religions for many centuries. The two religions are similar in many ways, but there is a great split when the two get to the question of Jesus. Once that portion of the doctrine is brought into play, Christianity and Judaism diverge, as Jewish people see Christianity as false teaching of a Jewish doctrine that has not yet taken place.
In a number of ways, it can be said that Judaism and Christianity are similar. Many of the major religious figures in both religions – including Moses, Abraham, and even Jesus – are the same. The religions simply differ on how they interpret these people, as Christians believe that God has been divided into three forms, with the human being Jesus being one form of God. Judaism believes that a Messiah is still to come and that Jesus was not that person.