What Is The Difference Between Christianity And Messianic Judaism

What Is The Difference Between Christianity And Messianic Judaism?

Christianity and Messianic Judaism are two faiths connected by history. They both follow the Old Testament, they both believe in Jesus Christ and they both revere him as a Messiah. But there are differences between the two faiths and it is important to understand them. To do this it is important to look at the similarities and differences of each faith.

Christianity and Messianic Judaism both stem from the Abrahamic tradition and follow the teachings of the Hebrew Bible. They both hold the Ten Commandments as central to their faith, and both view Jesus of Nazareth as the Son of God. Both also look to Jesus Christ as their main source of guidance and believe in his resurrection from the dead.

The main differences between Christianity and Messianic Judaism involve their approach to the Torah. Christianity believes that Jesus brought a “new covenant” that fulfilled the laws of the Torah. Messianic Judaism holds to the traditional Jewish interpretation of the Torah, which requires observance of traditional commandments such as circumcision, dietary laws, and Shabbat. Additionally, Messianic Judaism has a special reverence for the Messiah, whom they believe will come in the future, while Christianity views Jesus as the Messiah who has come.

In terms of practice and worship, Christianity practices weekly worship in a church and also offers practices such as baptism, receiving of the Eucharist and praying the Lord’s Prayer. Messianic Judaism tends to observe more of the traditional Jewish practices, such as weekly Shabbat and Chanukah celebrations, the keeping of kosher dietary laws, the use of the Hebrew language, and special rituals associated with the festivals of the Jewish calendar year.

Experts have highlighted the importance of understanding the differences between Christianity and Messianic Judaism in contemporary society. Dr. Susan Hazan, a religious scholar at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, points out that the differences between the two faiths are not always clear-cut. She explains, “There are nuances in the expressions of faith that can bridge these two communities closer together.”

There is an increasing trend of Messianic Jews and Christians coming together to form communities of faith. In these diverse contexts, mutual understanding is the foundation for building bridges between the two traditions, sharing their unique perspectives on faith, and in a respectful way, finding common ground.

Common Beliefs and Symbols

Though Christianity and Messianic Judaism have some key differences, they also share many common beliefs and symbols. Both Christianity and Messianic Judaism are monotheistic faiths which believe in one God, who is the Creator and Ruler of the universe. Both faiths also share many of the same symbols and rituals, such as the Cross and the celebration of Easter.

Another important common belief is the belief in the coming of the Messiah. A central tenet of Messianic Judaism is its belief in the coming of the Messiah, who will make all wrongs right, bring justice and peace, and restore the world to God’s original plan. Christianity believes in the same, but has already proclaimed Jesus as the promised Messiah who has already come.

Christianity and Messianic Judaism have similar theological foundations and share many teachings, particularly those of the Hebrew Bible. Both faiths support the concept of loving one’s neighbour, upholding justice, and worshiping God. They also share a passion for social justice and the refreshing of the spirit, as taught in the Bible.

In practice, Christians and Messianic Jews often co-exist peacefully in many areas, such as cities and villages. This shared environment sometimes leads to cross-cultural connections and an appreciation of the two faiths. It enables them to respect each other’s unique perspectives and to learn from each other.

Christians and Messianic Jews Together

Often, Christians and Messianic Jews come together to share in worship, attend services and other occasions. In these contexts, both groups learn about each other’s faith and come to appreciate the similarities between them, as well as the differences. They can often also find common ground in their faith and find opportunities to work together on social justice issues.

Events and organizations have been created with the aim of forging relationships between Christians and Messianic Jews. Organizations such as the Coral Gables Messianic Jewish Alliance and the International Messianic Jewish Alliance are two such examples. These organizations provide opportunities for Christians and Messianic Jews to come together, to learn, to exchange ideas and to support each other in their respective faiths.

These groups demonstrate the potential for Christians and Messianic Jews to come together in mutual respect and appreciation. This shared understanding of each others’ faith and culture can help foster a greater unity amongst the Abrahamic faiths and a sense of community between them.

Acceptance of Both Identities

Many Messianic Jews feel as though they must choose between their Jewish identity and their faith in Jesus Christ. However, there is a growing understanding that one can acceptably hold to both at the same time. Many Messianic Jews now identify as holding both Jewish and Christian faith, rejecting the notion that they must choose between the two.

This trend is attributed to the success of interfaith organizations who promote mutual understanding. Events such as the annual International Messianic Jewish Summit which brings together people of both faiths to share their beliefs, stories and experiences.

Furthermore, many academics and religious leaders, such as theologian Miroslav Volf, have dedicated their work to promoting a biblical unity between Messianic Judaism and Christianity. Volf sees a need to bring the two together as they are two branches of the same faith, sharing similar foundations.

It is clear that the differences between Christianity and Messianic Judaism can be bridged, and that the two groups can come together to understand, appreciate and co-exist with each other. It is exciting to see the emergence of organizations and events that bring people of both faiths together for meaningful conversations and collaboration.

Role of the Church

The Church has an important role to play in terms of fostering understanding between Christianity and Messianic Judaism. Through interfaith dialogue, the Church can learn from each other and create an environment which is conducive to understanding and acceptance.

In particular, the Church can help provide a platform for dialogue and discussion between Messianic Jews and Christians, and be a mediator in moments of misunderstanding or conflict. It can also act as a bridge between the two faiths and offer a safe space for meaningful conversations and debate.

People of both Messianic Judaism and Christianity can also benefit from gaining insights from the Church. The Church can share its own understanding of faith and beliefs, and help to deepen Messianic Jews’ and Christians’ own understanding of their faith traditions.

The Church’s willingness to open its doors to people of other faiths is a testament to its maturity in its approach to interfaith relationships. By showing love, understanding and respect, the Church can play a vital role in bridging the divide between Christianity and Messianic Judaism.


Messianic Judaism and Christianity are two Abrahamic faiths that share similar beliefs, while having some distinct differences. By recognizing and understanding the similarities and differences between the two faiths, it can be possible to build bridges of understanding and appreciation between them. Such understanding can come from interfaith organizations, events and conversations. The Church also has an important role to play in bringing Christianity and Messianic Judaism closer together and creating an environment of understanding and appreciation for both faiths.

Josephine Beck is a passionate seeker of religious knowledge. She loves to explore the depths of faith and understanding, often asking questions that challenge traditional beliefs. Her goal is to learn more about the different interpretations of religion, as well as how they intersect with one another.

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