Comparative Analysis of Judaism and Christianity

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Research Paper: Comparative Analysis of Judaism and Christianity

When a person hears the terms Jew or Christian we recognize those terms as a name for someone who belongs to a certain religion. What many people do not realize is that a Jew is born into their religion, Judaism, whereas a Christian is baptized into Christianity (Fower, 7). In the world today there are approximately 14 million Jews (Oxtoby, 63) compared to approximately 1.5 billion Christians, making them the world’s largest religions group (Oxtoby, 131). Judaism and Christianity are similar in many ways. Both religions are considered to be monotheistic religions because they both believe in one God and one God only. They, along with Islam, are also known as the Children of Abraham because all three religions share the belief of the covenant Abraham made with God (Peters, 1) two thousand years before the time of Christ (Soltes, 11). In this covenant God promises Abraham a long life with many descendents and the land of Canaan in return for keeping faith with God (Oxtoby, 67).

In both the Jewish and Christian religion there is a ceremony that is held to mark the day in which you become a part of your religious community. Jew’s are born into their religion but on the Sabbath closest to a boy’s thirteenth birthday a Bar Mitzvah takes place. When a boy turns thirteen it is expected that he should practice and know all the commandments and religious rites. This is the day in the Jewish religion that a boy becomes a man (Fowler, 13). In the Christian religion as a child or as an adult, you are initiated into the Christian community by Baptism, the act of pouring on, or immersion in water (Wilkins, 66). The Baptism ritual symbolizes the bathing practised during the time of Jesus. The bathing was a symbolic washing away of sins and impureness before beginning a new Christian life (Oxtoby, 176). Both of these rituals signify the beginning of a person’s life in their religion but they are very...
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