The religions Christianity and Judaism have a great deal in common. Early Christianity was influenced by Judaism as it was created by Jews. As a result of early Christianity being practiced by mostly Jews, there were more similarities between early Christianity and Judaism than there is between modern Christianity and Judaism. However, there were also differences between the two.
These differences ND similarities are essential in examining the relationship between the two religions. One of the most important differences between early Christianity and Judaism is the fact that Jewish boys are circumcised while early Christians weren’t. Jewish boys are circumcised eight days after birth at a ceremony known as the bruit Mila. Circumcision is so important that it is the most observed commandment out of the 613 commandments in Judaism. Almost every Jewish boy is circumcised. Men who convert to Judaism in adulthood are circumcised as well.
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Circumcision is extremely important to Jews because Abraham (the founder of Judaism) made a covenant with God in which God told Abraham, “And ye shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of a covenant betwixt Me and you” (Beriberi’s 17:1 1 Tenant). If any male went uncircumcised he would be breaking the covenant and as such “be cut off from his people” (Beriberi’s 17:14 Tenant). Christians abandoned circumcision as a requirement at the Council of Jerusalem. This was done because they believed that Jesus’ actions changed their relationship with God.
By atoning the world’s sins when he was crucified, Jesus had created a new covenant which replaced the old one. As a result of this, there was no longer any need to circumcise male babies. Perhaps the most important difference between the two religions was their stance on Jesus. Early Christians believed that Jesus was the Son of God and the Messiah the Jews had been awaiting. Jews however, have always believed that Jesus was a false prophet. Jews don’t believe Jesus was their Messiah because they don’t think he fulfilled the messianic prophecies.
According to Jews, the Messiah was supposed to build the Third Temple (Ezekiel 37: 26-28 Stone Chums), and end suffering, war, disease and hatred. They support this claim with the Bible verse which says “nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall man learn war anymore” (Isaiah 2:4 Common English Bible). Christians came to refer to Jesus as Christ (meaning the Messiah or Anointed One). This can be attributed to the fact that early Christians were Jews who believed that Jesus was the Messiah they had long awaited.
In addition, when Christianity spread to the Roman empire the inverts there were quick to believe that Jesus was the Messiah because of the frequent intermingling of divinity and humanity within their society, for example the worship of men like Julius Caesar. Early Christianity and Judaism also had many similarities. They had so much in common that early Christianity was seen as a sect of Judaism. This can be attributed to the fact that the early Christians were Jews. These early Christians included Jesus’ twelve disciples as well as the first 3000 to 5000 converts (Acts 2:41 ; 4:4 Common English Bible).
As such, they upheld Jewish practices. Among these practices was the observance of the Sabbath or Shabby. This was later modified. Instead of observing the Sabbath on the seventh day, they would worship on a Sunday (which is considered as the first day of the week) in order to commemorate the day (a Sunday) on which Jesus rose from the dead. The line between Christianity and Judaism was so fine that the Apostle Paul who was raised as a Torah-observant Jew, observed a Jewish lifestyle until his death even after converting to Christianity (Phil. 6 Common English Bible). Jesus also celebrated the Feasts of the Lord (Level. 23; Acts 21 :20 Common English Bible). These included Passover, Pentecost and the Day of Atonement. In addition, early Christians used the Torah as the basis for their holy scripture. They had grown up as Jews and as such, teachings from the Torah were ingrained in them. As a result of this, the Torah became the first five books of the Bible. Jesus often quoted passages from the book of Deuteron while teaching, even stating where he (the Messiah) was mentioned in the Torah.
In conclusion, it can be said that early Christianity, because of its roots in Judaism, bore a great resemblance to it. Many of the teachings and practices of Judaism were found in early Christianity. However, there were also differences between the two religions which resulted in modern Christianity and Judaism being almost completely different. References Common English Bible: A Fresh Translation to Touch the Heart and Mind. Nashville, TN: Common English Bible, 2011. Print. The Tanana [Full Text]. N. P. , n. D. Web. 13 Feb.. 2014.