The Eternal Books Retold: A Rabbi Summarizes the 39 Books of the Bible

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Therefore, some violations like suicide would be punished by separation from the community, such as not being buried in a Jewish cemetery in practice, rabbis often rule suicides to be mentally incompetent and thus not responsible for their actions. Judaism also does not have a notion of hell as a place ruled by Satan since God's dominion is total and Satan is only one of God's angels.

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Catholics also believe in a purgatory for those who are going to heaven, but Christians in general believe that Hell is a fiery place of torment that never ceases, called the Lake of Fire. A small minority believe this is not permanent, and that those who go there will eventually either be saved or cease to exist. Heaven for Christians is depicted in various ways. As the Kingdom of God described in the New Testament and particularly the Book of Revelation , Heaven is a new or restored earth, a World to Come , free of sin and death, with a New Jerusalem led by God, Jesus, and the most righteous of believers starting with , Israelites from every tribe, and all others who received salvation living peacefully and making pilgrimages to give glory to the city.

In Christianity, promises of Heaven and Hell as rewards and punishments are often used to motivate good and bad behavior, as threats of disaster were used by prophets like Jeremiah to motivate the Israelites. Modern Judaism generally rejects this form of motivation, instead teaching to do the right thing because it's the right thing to do.

As Maimonides wrote:.

It is not proper to serve God in this fashion. For one who serves thus serves out of fear. Such a way is not that of the prophets and sages. Only the ignorant, and the women and children serve God in this way. These are trained to serve out of fear until they obtain sufficient knowledge to serve out of love.

One who serves God out of love studies the Torah and practices the precepts and walks in the way of wisdom for no ulterior motive at all, neither out of fear of evil nor in order to acquire the good, but follows the truth because it is true and the good will follow the merit of attaining to it. When man loves God with a love that is fitting he automatically carries out all the precepts of love.

Jews believe that a descendant of King David will one day appear to restore the Kingdom of Israel and usher in an era of peace, prosperity, and spiritual understanding for Israel and all the nations of the world. Jews refer to this person as Moshiach or "anointed one", translated as messiah in English. The traditional Jewish understanding of the messiah is that he is fully human and born of human parents without any supernatural element.

The messiah is expected to have a relationship with God similar to that of the prophets of the Tanakh. The Christian view of Jesus as Messiah goes beyond such claims and is the fulfillment and union of three anointed offices; a prophet like Moses who delivers God's commands and covenant and frees people from bondage, a High Priest in the order of Melchizedek overshadowing the Levite priesthood and a king like King David ruling over Jews, and like God ruling over the whole world and coming from the line of David.

For Christians, Jesus is also fully human and fully divine as the Word of God who sacrifices himself so that humans can receive salvation. Jesus sits in Heaven at the Right Hand of God and will judge humanity in the end times when he returns to earth. Christian readings of the Hebrew Bible find many references to Jesus. This can take the form of specific prophesy, and in other cases of foreshadowing by types or forerunners.

Traditionally, most Christian readings of the Bible maintained that almost every prophecy was actually about the coming of Jesus, and that the entire Old Testament of the Bible is a prophecy about the coming of Jesus. Leonard Feeney , interpreted as limiting salvation to Catholics only. At the same time, it does not deny the possibility that those not visibly members of the Church may attain salvation as well. In recent times, its teaching has been most notably expressed in the Vatican II council documents Unitatis Redintegratio , Lumen gentium , Nostra aetate , an encyclical issued by Pope John Paul II: Ut unum sint , and in a document issued by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith , Dominus Iesus in The latter document has been criticised for claiming that non-Christians are in a "gravely deficient situation" as compared to Catholics, but also adds that "for those who are not formally and visibly members of the Church, salvation in Christ is accessible by virtue of a grace which, while having a mysterious relationship to the Church, does not make them formally part of the Church, but enlightens them in a way which is accommodated to their spiritual and material situation.

Pope John Paul II on October 2, emphasized that this document did not say that non-Christians were actively denied salvation: " On December 6 the Pope issued a statement to further emphasize that the Church continued to support its traditional stance that salvation was available to believers of other faiths: "The gospel teaches us that those who live in accordance with the Beatitudes—the poor in spirit, the pure of heart, those who bear lovingly the sufferings of life—will enter God's kingdom.

The document stated: "Jews already dwell in a saving covenant with God" and "Jews are also called by God to prepare the world for God's Kingdom.


In December , the Vatican released a 10,word document that, among other things, stated that Jews do not need to be converted to find salvation, and that Catholics should work with Jews to fight antisemitism. Eastern Orthodox Christianity emphasizes a continuing life of repentance or metanoia , which includes an increasing improvement in thought, belief and action.

Regarding the salvation of Jews, Muslims , and other non-Christians, the Orthodox have traditionally taught that there is no salvation outside the church. Orthodoxy recognizes that other religions may contain truth, to the extent that they are in agreement with Christianity. God is thought to be good, just, and merciful; it would not seem just to condemn someone because they never heard the Gospel message, or were taught a distorted version of the Gospel by heretics. Therefore, the reasoning goes, they must at some point have an opportunity to make a genuine informed decision.

Jews, Muslims, and members of other faiths, then, are expected to convert to Christianity in the afterlife. Judaism is not a proselytizing religion.

Orthodox Judaism deliberately makes it very difficult to convert and become a Jew, and requires a significant and full-time effort in living, study, righteousness, and conduct over several years. The final decision is by no means a foregone conclusion. A person cannot become Jewish by marrying a Jew, or by joining a synagogue, nor by any degree of involvement in the community or religion, but only by explicitly undertaking intense, formal, and supervised work over years aimed towards that goal.

Some [ which? In the past, Judaism was more evangelistic, [41] but this was often more akin just to "greater openness to converts" rather than active soliciting of conversions. Since Jews believe that one need not be a Jew to approach God, there is no religious pressure to convert non-Jews to their faith. The Chabad-Lubavitch branch of Hasidic Judaism has been an exception to this non-proselytizing standard, since in recent decades it has been actively promoting Noahide Laws for gentiles as an alternative to Christianity.

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By contrast, Christianity is an explicitly evangelistic religion. Christians are commanded by Jesus to " Therefore go and make disciples of all nations ". Historically, evangelism has on rare occasions led to forced conversion under threat of death or mass expulsion. Many Jews view Jesus as one in a long list of failed Jewish claimants to be the Messiah , none of whom fulfilled the tests of a prophet specified in the Law of Moses.

Others see Jesus as a teacher who worked with the gentiles and ascribe the messianic claims that Jews find objectionable to his later followers. Because much physical and spiritual violence was done to Jews in the name of Jesus and his followers, [ citation needed ] and because evangelism is still an active aspect of many church's activities, many Jews are uncomfortable with discussing Jesus and treat him as a non-person. In answering the question "What do Jews think of Jesus", philosopher Milton Steinberg claims, for Jews, Jesus cannot be accepted as anything more than a teacher.

Judaism does not believe that God requires the sacrifice of any human. This is emphasized in Jewish traditions concerning the story of the Akedah , the binding of Isaac.

In the Jewish explanation, this is a story in the Torah whereby God wanted to test Abraham's faith and willingness, and Isaac was never going to be actually sacrificed. Thus, Judaism rejects the notion that anyone can or should die for anyone else's sin. Judaism does not believe in the Christian concept of hell but does have a punishment stage in the afterlife i. Gehenna, the New Testament word translated as hell as well as a Heaven Gan Eden , but the religion does not intend it as a focus. Judaism views the worship of Jesus as inherently polytheistic, and rejects the Christian attempts to explain the Trinity as a complex monotheism.

Christians believe that Christianity is the fulfillment and successor of Judaism, retaining much of its doctrine and many of its practices including monotheism , the belief in a Messiah, and certain forms of worship like prayer and reading from religious texts. Christians believe that Judaism requires blood sacrifice to atone for sins, and believe that Judaism has abandoned this since the destruction of the Second Temple.

Most Christians consider the Mosaic Law to have been a necessary intermediate stage, but that once the crucifixion of Jesus occurred, adherence to civil and ceremonial Law was superseded by the New Covenant. This position has been softened or disputed by other Christians [ who? New Covenant theology is thus in contrast to Dual-covenant theology. Christians embracing aspects of Judaism are sometimes criticized as Biblical Judaizers by Christians when they pressure gentile Christians to observe Mosaic teachings rejected by most modern Christians.

Judaism and Other Religions

Some scholars have found evidence of continuous interactions between Jewish-Christian and rabbinic movements from the mid- to late second century CE to the fourth century CE. In addition to each having varied views on the other as a religion, there has also been a long and often painful history of conflict, persecution and at times, reconciliation, between the two religions, which have influenced their mutual views of their relationship over time.

We decree that no Christian shall use violence to force them to be baptized, so long as they are unwilling and refuse. Without the judgment of the political authority of the land, no Christian shall presume to wound them or kill them or rob them of their money or change the good customs that they have thus far enjoyed in the place where they live. Persecution , forcible conversion, and forcible displacement of Jews i. Pogroms were common throughout Christian Europe, including organized violence, restrictive land ownership and professional lives, forcible relocation and ghettoization , mandatory dress codes, and at times humiliating actions and torture.

All had major effects on Jewish cultures. There have also been non-coercive outreach and missionary efforts such as the Church of England 's Ministry Among Jewish People , founded in For Martin Buber, Judaism and Christianity were variations on the same theme of messianism. Buber made this theme the basis of a famous definition of the tension between Judaism and Christianity:. Pre-messianically, our destinies are divided. Now to the Christian, the Jew is the incomprehensibly obdurate man who declines to see what has happened; and to the Jew, the Christian is the incomprehensibly daring man who affirms in an unredeemed world that its redemption has been accomplished.

This is a gulf which no human power can bridge. Following the Holocaust , attempts have been made to construct a new Jewish-Christian relationship of mutual respect for differences, through the inauguration of the interfaith body the Council of Christians and Jews in and International Council of Christians and Jews. The Seelisberg Conference in established 10 points relating to the sources of Christian antisemitism. The ICCJ's "Twelve points of Berlin" sixty years later aim to reflect a recommitment to interreligious dialogue between the two communities.

Pope John Paul II and the Catholic Church have "upheld the Church's acceptance of the continuing and permanent election of the Jewish people" as well as a reaffirmation of the covenant between God and the Jews.

The Eternal Books Retold: A Rabbi Summarizes the 39 Books of the Bible

The Statement Between Jerusalem and Rome does not hide the theological differences that exist between the two faith traditions while all the same it expresses a firm resolve to collaborate more closely, now and in the future. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Part of a series on Christianity Jesus Christ. Jesus in Christianity Virgin birth Crucifixion Resurrection. Bible Foundations. History Tradition. Denominations Groups. Related topics. Main article: Jewish Christian. See also: Christian theology.