Christianity and Judaism

Christianity is rooted in Second Temple Judaism, but the two religions diverged in the first centuries of the Christian Era. Christianity emphasizes correct belief (or orthodoxy), focusing on the New Covenant as mediated through Jesus Christ,[1] as recorded in the New Testament. Judaism places emphasis on correct conduct (or orthopraxy),[2][3][4] focusing on the Mosaic covenant, as recorded in the Torah and Talmud.

Christians believe in individual salvation from sin through receiving Jesus Christ as their Lord (God) and savior. Jews believe in individual and collective participation in an eternal dialogue with God through tradition, rituals, prayers and ethical actions. Christianity generally believes in a Triune God, one person of whom became human. Judaism emphasizes the Oneness of God and rejects the Christian concept of God in human form.

Jewish self-identification

Judaism's purpose is to carry out what it holds to be the only covenant between God and the Jewish people. The Torah (lit. "teaching"), both written and oral, tell the story of this covenant, and provides Jews with the terms of the covenant. The Oral Torah is the primary guide for Jews to abide by these terms, as expressed in tractate Gittin 60b, "the Holy One, Blessed be He, did not make His covenant with Israel except by virtue of the Oral Law"[5] to help them learn how to live a holy life, and to bring holiness, peace and love into the world and into every part of life, so that life may be elevated to a high level of kedushah, originally through study and practice of the Torah, and since the destruction of the Second Temple, through prayer as expressed in tractate Sotah 49a "Since the destruction of the Temple, every day is more cursed than the preceding one; and the existence of the world is assured only by the kedusha...and the words spoken after the study of Torah."[6]

Since the adoption of the Amidah, the acknowledgement of God through the declaration from Isaiah 6:3 "Kadosh [holy], kadosh, kadosh, is HaShem, Master of Legions; the whole world is filled with His glory".[7] as a replacement for the study of Torah, which is a daily obligation for a Jew,[8] and sanctifies God in itself. This continuous maintenance of relationship between the individual Jew and God through either study, or Isa 42:6) (i.e., a role model) over the course of history, and a part of the divine intent of bringing about an age of peace and sanctity where ideally a faithful life and good deeds should be ends in themselves, not means. See also Jewish principles of faith.

According to Christian theologian Alister McGrath, the Jewish Christians affirmed every aspect of then contemporary Second Temple Judaism with the addition of the belief that Jesus was the messiah,[9] with Isaiah 49:6, "an explicit parallel to 42:6" quoted by Paul the Apostle in Acts 13:47[10] and reinterpreted by Justin Martyr.[11] According to Christian writers, most notably Paul, the Bible teaches that people are, in their current state, sinful,[12] and the New Testament reveals that Jesus is both the Son of man and the Son of God, united in the hypostatic union, God the Son, God made incarnate;[13] that Jesus' death by crucifixion was a sacrifice to atone for all of humanity's sins, and that acceptance of Jesus as Savior and Lord saves one from Divine Judgment,[14] giving Eternal life.[15] Jesus is the mediator of the New Covenant.[1] His famous Sermon on the Mount is considered by some Christian scholars[16] to be the proclamation of the New Covenant ethics, in contrast to the Mosaic Covenant of Moses from Mount Sinai.