Judaism and Christianity
Similar to the parables and metaphors used by Jesus in His teachings, the scriptures of the New Testament are scholarly in nature. Most of the scriptures have a direct meaning making the book simple to read. The book consists of scriptures written by apostles to churches (Chilton & Good, 2011).
Christians all over the world associate their actions of goodwill with this book. They take it as their guide to better their lives and create friendship with God. It is their source of hope and inspiration as they continue facing challenges in life. However, there has been mounting criticism on the validity of some texts found in the New Testament. It is hard for one to ascertain which among the many variations, brought forward by different scholars, is the original version. During the ancient time, the apostles used to write the scriptures on papyrus and cotton marts, which are perishable.
This led to the original apostolic manuscripts being lost and replaced by scholarly scriptures. Most of the texts in the New Testament comprise Acts and Epistles that were read and studied in ancient churches. These readings differed from region to region and from generation to generation. Another shortcoming of the New Testament occurred during its translation from the original Hebrew version to other languages. Some meanings were lost or the interpretation of some verses was done differently, hence giving ambiguous meaning to the scripture (Ehrman, 2004).
The question about who Jesus was has continued to raise arguments among religious groups. According to Apostle John, Jesus is the son of God and whoever believes in Him will have an eternal life (John 3:16). Many Christians consider Jesus as their Lord. The Bible tells us that no one gets to God without passing through Christ. Jesus died so that through the blood He shed, all sinners could be forgiven their sins. On the other hand, Judaism and Muslims do not consider Jesus as the Messiah; they regard him as an ancient prophet just like John the Baptist, Abraham, Elijah, and other prophets before him (Scrivener & Miller, 1894).
According to Harris, Jesus was an entity that signified a new beginning in the way people thought of God (Harris, 1995). The coming of Jesus encouraged the underprivileged to have hope in God, as He would deliver them against the authority of the Roman Empire. Harris does not support the idea that Jesus is the Lord. To him, most of the work that Jesus did cannot e verified and some of the original scriptures have been altered, hence we cannot rely on the information currently available. He thinks of Jesus as a Jewish revolutionary who fought against the oppression of the poor (Harris, 1995).In my own opinion, Jesus was truly the son of God.
I will base my opinion on the works he did when on earth and the prophesizes found in the Old Testament as well as the messages that were put across by John the Baptist before he met Jesus. In the Old Testament, the scriptures tell us that God would send a savior who will come to deliver all the sinners so that they do not perish. This came to happen through the coming of Jesus. The fact that Mary, the mother of Jesus, conceived while still a virgin was another unique phenomenon. More so, Jesus gained a lot of fame through his work which led to the Roman authority being threatened by his actions.
They feared that Jesus was a political figure that might cause people to rebel against the authority. But the greatest distinguishing aspect about Jesus was his ability to fight death. He died only to rise on the third day and ascend to heaven (Carson, 2001). The most crucial difference between Christianity and Judaism is the fact that Christians believe that Jesus was a messiah. According to Jewish, a messiah is someone anointed by God to do His service (Martin, 1975). On the other hand, Christians regard messiah as the son of God.
Jews believe that Jesus did not qualify to be a messiah because he never accomplished the requirements that were prophesied in the Old Testament by past prophets. The messiah was supposed to bring all the Jews back to Israel and usher in an era of perfection characterized by world peace, free from diseases and all types of suffering. He would unite all the nations so that no nation would ever turn against the other (Scrivener & Miller, 1994). To the Jews, Jesus fulfilled none of this. Christians on the other hand, believe that Jesus will fulfill all this is in his second coming.
Christianity has over time been accepted by people from all parts of the world. The reason for this are the values they stand for in relation to loving your enemies, not seeking revenge, and forgiving those who wrong you (Ehrman, 2004). Unlike other religions, Christianity maintains values that are in alignment to the contemporary world. Tooth for tooth has been blamed on the current wars facing the western and Islamic nations, as they all beelieve in revenge. The New Testament has been seen by both scholars and Christians as a companion book rich in advice and meaning to life.
It cuts through all generations and ages with words full of hope and that inspires one to always do the right. The spiritual aspect of believing in Christ and ability to adjust to the contemporary world may have resulted in the success of Christianity.Paul exercises dualism as a result of his hatred towards the Jews for forcing him to obey the Jewish law or Torah (Chilton & Good, 2011). He was forced to marry the daughter of the priest as it was required by the law so that, according their customs, God would continue speaking to their lineage. This was also a way of keeping their covenant with God. Paul assisted in the writing of four accounts of the New Testament though they were contradictory and had to be dismissed.
Paul worked hard to convert Jews into Christianity as he rebuked those who followed the Torah. Paul faced rejection by his family for his failure to obey the Levite-Israeli traditions and this motivated him to seek revenge by becoming a spy to the Romans. Together with his friend Constantine, they omitted some Biblical prophecy, such as the naming of the messiah as Emmanuel. They were not versatile with the Hebrew language and did not realize that messiah only meant a human messenger (Scrivener & Miller, 1994). Around this time, Judaism was very rigid for the Romans to follow, as they always broke the commandments.
This gave Paul an advantage to replace the 10 commandments with the one that Jesus gave out, i.e. do unto the others what you would want them do unto you. With the little Hebrew he knew, Paul together with his mother and Constantine created Catholicism that persisted in the present day’s Christianity. It is through the determination of Paul that Christianity was able to prevail during the Roman Empire. The introduction of Catholicism and the accommodative nature of its commandments attracted the less privileged Romans most of whom fed on pork as it was the cheapest meal.
Eating pork was against God’s commandment. The two commandments Jesus gave to represent the other ten have been crucial to the modern day Christians as most of them are able to associate with them. In addition, Christians believe everyone can be forgiven his/her sins irrespective of their magnitude. This makes it easier for one to relieve their sin’s burden by seeking forgiveness through Christ.