How Judaism and Christianity Diverged

Category: Christianity, God, Jesus, Judaism
Last Updated: 02 Aug 2020
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The origins of Christianity can be originated in Judaism and for that reason it is no surprise that both religions have many beliefs in common. During the earliest beginnings, Christianity was a part of Judaism, but currently they are two distinct communities. However, they are bound together by their belief in one God and to worship any other is to deny Him. The separation between both religions did not happen fast or easy. The entire division took some hundred years and the very complex separation didn’t happen all at once. Christianity began with Jesus Christ and his disciples about 2000 years ago in Judea.

Throughout that duration of time, Judea was ruled over the emperor of Rome, Constantine. The Romans were pagan and had polytheistic beliefs that made it difficult for the Jews. Therefore, the Jews began to disgust Romans and wait for their Messiah as was promised. The Jewish law secures that a descendant from the house of David will come to set up God’s Kingdom on earth. Jesus Christ has been known in many names: Son of Man, Son of God and the Word. “Christ” comes from the Greek word Christos which can be translated of the Hebrew word Messiah.

Jesus Christ himself followed the Jewish faith and the Jewish law. From village to village, Jesus began teaching synagogues and healing the suffering. Before long, a group of twelve men followed Jesus after his teachings motivated many people and caused instability that the Jewish authority weren’t pleased of. This had threatened the Jewish people. Jesus commenced on talking about the “new covenant” that God would bring people through him. It would restore the association between humankind and God that was gone because of sin. It would, also, re-establish the fellowship of forgiveness and love.

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As a prophet, Jesus knew he would be crucified on the Roman cross to pay for the sins committed by all humanity. As he was saying that he was the Son of God, the Jews weren’t opened to his message. Priests of temples have called Jesus Christ blasphemous because he didn’t fit the mold as the Son of Man, “Glory of the Heavens”, or the Messiah. He doesn’t look like a king they have imagined and thought of him as pathetic and rejected him. When Jesus first came to Israel, Jesus said publicly, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel. ” “Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One? ” a high priest ask him and Jesus replied, 'I am,' ...

And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven" (Mark 14:61-62). This haven’t convinced them that Jesus was the Messiah and condemned him to torture and death for lying. “Eli Eli lama sabachthani! ” was Jesus’ last words as he was crucified as stated in the New Testament. After three days, he was resurrected and ascended to the heavens in front of six hundred people. His disciples began to spread his word to various parts of the world. After Paul, one of Jesus’ disciples and his right hand man, failed to convince the Jews, Paul had to resort to converting the Romans.

Around 312 A. D. , Emperor Constantine I adopted the Christian faith and, therefore, legalized Christianity. He supported the Christian Church and tried to abandon all the pagan temples. In 325 A. D. , he sent for the Council of Nicaea to establish the Nicene Creed. The emperor wanted to enforce orthodoxy and to eradicate heretics. Christianity began to spread and detached it’s way from Judaism. The Roman government began to acknowledge its independence and the emperor let them go from paying the fiscus judaicus, a tax for Jewish people as a penalty after the revolt of 66 A. D.

Finally, the success of Christianity made it the official religion of the Roman Empire in 324 A. D. The main Christian belief was that Jesus was the savior of all people. Those who believed that Jesus was the fulfillment of messianic prophesy of the Old Testament converted to Christianity, including some Jews. Judaism and Christianity both share the Old Testament and the Word of God. However, in Christian teachings Jesus Christ is the Messiah and the Savior and Judaism denies the idea of him being the Messiah. Initially being a Jewish sect in the first century, Christianity stretched into the Greco-Roman areas.

During the Middle Ages it spread into Northern Europe and Russia. Currently, Christianity extended to all parts of the world and is now the largest religion in the world with around 2 billion followers. The religion has broaden to many sects such as Roman catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Protestant and so forth. Bibliography: The Bible. N. p. : n. p. , n. d. RSV Bible. Web. 26 Feb. 2010. . "Christianity. " Religion Facts. N. p. , n. d. Web. 26 Feb. 2010. . Wenner, Sarah. "History of Christianity. " MNSU. Ed. Salman Hakim. N. p. , 2009. Web. 26 Feb. 2010. . All About Religion. N. p. , n. d. Web. 26 Feb. 2010. .

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