As someone with a Christian background, I can honestly say I had never contemplated what it meant to be Jewish. Anti-Semitism is something I myself have never encountered. This has, of course, been something I have heard about and read about, but never really "thought" much about. My understanding of Judaism came from my "Christian" education. This education included that the Jews (Hebrews) were God's chosen, albeit misguided, people. The fact that they were collectively responsible for the crucifixion of Jesus was taught in Sunday school, but as this was part of God's plan, and their actions did not change their status as God's Chosen, then they were basically okay. However, as I did the research for this essay, I began to realized how very full of ourselves we Christians tend to be. I also discovered that my understanding of what it meant to be Jewish was extremely limited. I am going to contrast and compare three major differences, though there were several more, that I found most distinctly interesting between Christianity and Judaism.
First off, Judaism and Christianity, while being monotheistic in their worship of the God of Abraham, originating in Palestine and sharing some of the same sacred texts including Old Testament prophets, they are more different than similar when it comes to what emphasis they place on what it means to be Jewish than Christians, especially Baptists and Methodists, place on what it means to be Christian.
Jewish people see themselves as having a contractual relationship with God. They are expected to obey his laws, follow his commands and in return they will be rewarded for this obedience. However, failure to comply with particular obligations and responsibilities (they have 613 commandment versus Christians' 10) will result in punishment of some sort.
Christians place more of an emphasis on the love of God rather than obedience. They focus on... [continues]
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