What’s The Difference Between Judaism Christianity

What’s The Difference Between Judaism and Christianity?

At first glance, Christianity and Judaism seem remarkably similar. They both trace their roots to the Middle East, hold many of the same commandments, and base their philosophies heavily on the bible. Yet, beneath the surpice, the two religions are actually quite dissimilar. Their core beliefs and practices differ in numerous ways.

From a historical perspective, Christianity formed out of Judaism in the first century AD. Jesus of Nazareth, who is considered the founder of Christianity, was Jewish. Christianity maintains many of the Jewish tenents, such as honoring the sabbath and temple worship, but also incorporates their own beliefs, such as the concept of Jesus being the messiah.

One of the main differences between Judaism and Christianity is the concept of God’s chosen people. Judaism is firmly based on the principle that the Jews are God’s “chosen people” – the nation that has a unique covenant with God. The Jewish faith is therefore centered around the Jewish people, rather than around Jesus as in Christianity. The teachings and practices of Judaism are focused primarily on the guidance to understand and inhabit the world as a holy people.

In contrast, Christianity views Jesus as the chosen one and his life as a model for all Christians to live by. Christianity does not consider Jews to be God’s only chosen people, but rather that all believers are go through Jesus to reach a connection with God. This distinction is highlighted in the fact that Christianity incorporates different religious practices than Judaism, such as baptism and the Eucharist.

When it comes to their end goal, there is another fundamental difference between Judaism and Christianity. For Jews, the ultimate goal is to be “in a relationship with God”, or to create a world with justice, peace and love. Christians, however, seek to find the Kingdom of Heaven, or to be reconciled with God. The entire basis of the Christian faith is centered around the concept of redemption and the belief that Christ is the savior of mankind who died on the cross to take away the sins of humanity.

Finally, the practices of these two religions show stark contrast. Jews practice religious rituals and traditions such as bar mitzvahs and have dietary laws known as the Kosher laws. In sharp contrast, the majority of Christians do not observe many religious rituals and they typically eat anything they wish. They often opt instead to focus on personal spirituality and attending traditional services at their local church.

The Bible

The Bible serves as one of the primary sources of truth for both Judaism and Christianity, however, the two religions approach its interpretation differently. Christianity believes in the concept of sola scriptura, meaning that scripture is the ultimate authority for matters of faith, apart from tradition and personal experience. On the other hand, Jews consider the Bible to be the authority for matters of faith and practice, but also consider tradition and communal experience as important.

Perhaps the biggest difference between Christian and Jewish interpretations of the Bible is their attitude towards the text itself. Christianity takes a literal approach to the scriptures, believing that the events narrated in the Bible actually happened. In contrast, Judaism reads the Bible in a more symbolic manner and more emphasis is given to interpretation and understanding the text’s meaning, rather than a strict adherence to the literal meaning of ideas or words.

Moreover, the Old Testament, which is rooted in Judaism, plays a significantly larger role in the Christian tradition than the Hebrew Bible plays in Judaism. This is because much of Christianity is rooted in ideas from the Old Testament, such as the concept of the messiah and the notion of the redemptive mission.


Jews and Christians have strikingly different beliefs about Jesus. Jews consider him a prophet and a teacher, but not the messiah. Christians, on the other hand, believe that Jesus is the son of God and was sent to Earth to atone for the sins of mankind. Christianity sees Jesus as the ultimate savior of humanity, while Judaism does not recognize him as anything other than a teacher or a prophet.

Furthermore, Christianity places significantly more emphasis on Jesus than Judaism does. Christianity revolves around Jesus and his teachings, with the Eucharist being a key part of the mass. Judaism, conversely, does not make the same level of emphasis on Jesus, as the focus is on their relationship with God and the laws that Jews are to follow.

Sacred Sites

The sacred sites that are important to each religion also reflect their differences. Judaism considers the Western Wall and the Tomb of the Patriarchs as two of their most sacred sites. The Western Wall is seen as a remnant of the ancient temple and a symbol of divine presence and holiness, while the Tomb of the Patriarchs is thought to have been the resting place of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

Christians, on the other hand, consider the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the Garden of Gethsemane to be the holiest sites. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre is believed to contain the site of the crucifixion of Jesus, while the Garden of Gethesemane where Jesus prayed before his arrest is also held in great reverence.


Each religion also has distinct regulations concerning dress. Jews typically dress modestly, usually wearing clothes that are long and not form-fitting. For men, many will wear a yarmulke, a head covering that is viewed as a symbol of their special relationship with God.

Christians, meanwhile, do not necessarily have any restrictions on clothing choices, other than abstaining from certain behaviors or items of clothing, such as belly shirts and mini-skirts. Some Christian denominations, however, strongly discourage certain forms of dress, such as women wearing pants or showing exposed midriffs.

Marriage and Family

Marriage and family are also viewed differently in Judaism and Christianity. Judaism stresses the importance of marriage and having a family, while Christianity takes a more nuanced approach, allowing for marriage but also encouraging celibacy among its followers.

For Jews, marriage is seen as a pact between two people and a God, while Christian marriages are more focused on the joining of two people in a holy matrimony. Christians encourage marriage as a way to become “one flesh”, and having a family is seen as a sign of God’s blessing.

Divorce is also treated differently in each religion. In Judaism, divorce is allowed, but actively discouraged. In Christianity, divorce is typically discouraged, although not all denominations see it in the same light. Some Christian denominations believe that divorce is acceptable in certain situations, such as adultery, while other denominations see it as always being wrong.

Conclusion of Life

Lastly, the conceptions of death and the afterlife are distinct between Christianity and Judaism. Judaism focuses primarily on honoring the deceased through grieving rituals and ensuring they are remembered properly, rather than on reincarnation or an afterlife. Christianity looks towards the next life, believing that those who accept Jesus will be granted eternal life in Heaven.

Overall, Judaism and Christianity are two very different religions with many distinctions. They both have the same roots, but their core tenets, practices, and beliefs are ultimately different. Though they both have their own unique characteristics, each offers an avenue to seek a meaningful relationship with God and to live a life based on faith.

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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