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11 Key Differences Between Jews and Christians

If you are not a Jew or a Christian, you may not understand what the difference is between the two. Jews are found in the Bible as God’s chosen people, so doesn’t that mean that all Jews are Christian? No, that is not correct. And furthermore, Christians are not Jews. So, what is the difference between Jews and Christians?

religion difference between chrianity and islam

 

Differences Between Jews and Christians

Here are some key differences in beliefs between a Jew and a Christian.

 

1. Who is the Founder?

According to a Jew, Abraham is the father of Judaism. He was the first patriarch that is recognized in the Jewish faith. As for Christians, Jesus Christ is the cornerstone of the Christian faith, not Abraham.

 

2. Divisions of the Religion

christian vs jew difference

Within Judaism, there are several divisions including Hasidic, Conservative and Reform Judaism. There are ethnic groupings within the Jewish community including Ashkenazi and Sephardi Jews. Within the Christian faith, there are three main groups: Orthodox, Protestant and Roman Catholic.

 

3. Number of Followers

There are an estimated 14 million Jews worldwide. There are an estimated 2.2 billion Christians worldwide.

 

4. Nature of Their God

The Jewish community believes in one God, called Yahweh or Jehovah. Within the Christian community there is one God who exists in three distinct persons or the Trinity; God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.

 

5. Holy Book

A Jew has their holy book known as the Hebrew Tanakh which is similar to the Christian Old Testament. The Hebrew Tanakh is comprised of the Torah, Nevi’im and the Ketuvim. A Christian has the Holy Bible which they believe was given to man by God. In other words, the writers of the Bible were inspired by God to write His words.

 

6. Jesus Christ as the Messiah

christian cross

The Jewish faith believes that Jesus Christ was simply another ordinary Jew. He was not the Messiah or a divine person in any capacity. The Christian faith believes that Jesus Christ is the second person of the Trinity, God the Son.

 

7. The Mission of Jesus Christ

Jews reject that Jesus Christ was the Messiah and therefore had no holy mission. His work done on earth is of no relevance. Christians believe that Jesus Christ was sent by God to reconcile man to God. His sacrifice on the cross was atonement for man’s sins.

 

8. The Death of Jesus Christ

Jews feel that Jesus Christ was crucified for his claim to divinity, not as some godly intervention for man. They do not believe that Jesus Christ rose from the dead and ascended into heaven. Christians believe that through Jesus Christ’s crucifixion, all men were brought back into fellowship with God. Jesus died, was buried and on the third day rose again.

 

9. Hell

hell

A Jew’s belief in the afterlife are widely varied among the different groups, however, there is the common belief in Gehinnom or Gehenna. There are those who die while in sin and they may have to suffer a temporary punishment and then there are certain sins that do merit eternal punishment. A Christian’s belief is that there is a place of eternal punishment for the unrighteous or the unrepentant sinner. There is no crossing over from Hell to Heaven.

 

10. Salvation

jew praying

Jews believe that through prayers, good works and the grace of God you are saved. Christians believe that by grace through faith in Jesus Christ and accepting Him as Lord and Savior you are saved.

 

11. Sin

The Jewish community rejects the doctrine of original sin. Sins are atoned through seeking forgiveness through prayer and repentance. There is a day of atonement set aside for this purpose, known as Yom Kippur. The Christian community believes that man inherits a sinful nature through Adam and Jesus Christ atoned for man’s sins through His death on the cross.

 

Jews Vs. Christians

In a nutshell, below are the key differences between Christians and Jews.

Jew

Christians

  • Several divisions including Hasidic, Conservative and Reform Judaism.
  • Orthodox, Protestant and Roman Catholic.
  • Estimated 14 million Jews worldwide.
  • Estimated 2.2 billion Christians worldwide.
  • One God, called Yahweh or Jehovah.
  • Three distinct persons or the Trinity; God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.
  • Hebrew Tanakh.
  • Holy Bible.
  • Jesus Christ was just an ordinary Jew.
  • Jesus Christ was the Son of God.
  • Reject that Jesus Christ was the Messiah and therefore had no holy mission.
  • Jesus Christ was sent by God to reconcile man to God.
  • Jesus Christ was crucified for his claim to divinity.
  • Through Jesus Christ’s crucifixion, all men were brought back into fellowship with God.
  • Gehinnom or Gehenna.
  • Eternal Hell.
  • Through prayers, good works and the grace of God you are saved.
  • Grace through faith in Jesus Christ and accepting Him as Lord and Savior you are saved.
  • Rejects the doctrine of original sin.
  • Man inherits a sinful nature through Adam and Jesus Christ atoned for man’s sins.

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