Judaism and Christianity
Identify a religion that you believe has the most in common with the teachings of Christianity. Explain your choice by discussing at least three comparative aspects of these two religions.
Christianity has a close relationship with Judaism, both historically and theologically. Jesus, the twelve disciples, the author of most of the New Testament, and the members of the earliest Christian churches were all Jews. Jesus’ family followed Jewish customs and Jesus frequently quoted the Hebrew Bible. Jesus’ followers believed him to be the messiah, a Jewish figure predicted in the Jewish Bible. Despite its Jewish origins, it was not long before Christianity regarded itself as something other than a new Jewish sect. The first Christian council, convened by the apostles, concluded that pagan converts to Christianity did not have to follow Jewish rituals laws. Soon, converts to Christianity were almost exclusively pagans and Christianity moved further away from Judaism. In the 2,000 years of history since Jesus, the relationship between Christianity and the ancient faith in which it is rooted has often been strained. Christians have criticized Jews for rejecting Jesus as their messiah, and Jews have criticized Christians for corrupting the concept of one God and following a false messiah. The New Testament reports that Jews were the first to persecute Christians, and after Christians became the more powerful group, they frequently persecuted Jews. A few similarities between Christianity and Judaism is that they both were founded in Palestine, believe in spiritual beings such as angels and demons, ultimate reality- one God, Jehovah, and the God of Abraham, and the crucifixion of Jesus.
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