A Comparison of Early Christianity and Judaism
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 and 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 brit milah. 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. 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” (Bereishit 17:11 Tenahk). If any male went uncircumcised he would be breaking the covenant and as such “be cut off from his people” (Bereishit 17:14 Tenahk). 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...
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