How Judaism is the Root of Chrisitanity

Understanding the Roots of Christianity

Ten Commandments Tablets. Jemal Countess/Getty Images

Why Learn About Judaism?:

If Jesus was a Jew, why did his own people reject Him? What connections do Christians share with Jews? How does a Christian relate to a Jew? All of these questions may be running through your mind when you find out one of your friends is Jewish. In order to be a good witness, you need to understand a little about Judaism.

Who are the Jews?:

Jews today are the descendents of the ancient Hebrews.

Their religion is intertwined with the Jewish culture. Their history is outlined in the Old Testament of the Bible. The first five books of the Old Testament are known as The Torah, or the laws of the Hebrew people, yet there is also a lot of guidance offered in the books of the prophets. Deuteronomy 7:6–“The LORD your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession.” (NIV)

What Do Jews Believe?:

Jews believe in the one, true God. They also believe that man is born neither good nor evil. Instead, they believe people have a choice whether or not to choose sin, something also known as Free Will. Jews also believe that a person can be saved by embracing the one, true God and by living a moral life. Deuteronomy 6:4 – “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one!” (NKJV)

How is Christianity Different?:

While Christianity has its roots in the Old Testament, there are several important differences between Christians and Jews.

First, Jews believe that there is one, true God, while Christians believe in God as part of a Holy Trinity (the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost). Christians believe that man is born a sinner and will never quite be up to the standard God has set.  There is also the difference in the belief that Jesus is the Messiah...

What About Jesus?:

Christians believe that Jesus is the Messiah who died to atone for the world’s sins. Jews dismiss Jesus as the Messiah, because they feel that his claims of being divine and failing to deliver Israel from oppression mean he was only a prophet or a teacher. Therefore Christians believe that salvation comes from faith and Christ’s dying on the cross. Mark 10:45 – “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (NLT)

What About Messianic Jews?:

While most Jews dismiss Jesus Christ as Messiah, Messianic Jews believe that Jesus is the Messiah. It used to be that a Jew that accepted Jesus Christ as Messiah would have to leave the synagogue and join a gentile (a non-jewish) church. The acceptance of Jesus was thought to be a betrayal of the faith. Today, though, there are 350 Messianic congregations worldwide. They believe in Jesus but retain their Jewish traditions and practices.

Bible Quote to Remember:

Romans 10:12 – “For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him” (NIV)