Judaism and Christianity Are Two Important Religions Essay

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Judaism and Christianity are two important religions of the world, which share a common abrahamic origin. Christianity has its roots from Judaism and hence there are many common percepts between the two religions. However, there are some striking differences between them in their appreciation of the attributes of godhead, sin, suffering, atonement, etc. A comparison between the two religions would highlight the commonalities and the differences that exist between them. Let us consider two related aspects namely 'Sin and Evil' and discuss as to how the two religions interpret them.

Treatment of Evil

One important difference between Judaism and Christianity is that Judaism does not consider the existence of an evil force. The purely monotheistic stand of Judaism does not consider any opposing force to god. This leaves Judaism wanting when it comes to explaining the underlying cause for evil in this world. However Judaism does offer an explanation for this problem, albeit in a much subtler way. Though Christianity is also a monotheistic religion it does accept Satan as the personification of all evil and the opposing force of god in the world. All the evil deeds in the world are accepted to be the result of the manipulations of Satan.

The Hebrew Bible also has a rare mention of Satan. However, the concept of Satan as perceived by the Jews is entirely different to that entertained by the Christians. Satan from the Jewish perspective is viewed as an angel (although an accusing angel), a subordinate of godhead and not as personification of evil. The Lurianic Kubbalah mentions that the darker aspect of life or the 'sitra achara' is also an expression of another aspect of god. That is to mean that god creates both good and evil in order that men may have a chance to express their free will. The central idea of Judaism is that there is nothing extrinsic to god and even evil is a projection of self contracted (tzimtzum) aspect of god. Christianity on the other hand views godhead and evil as two entirely different, opposing, and extrinsic forces that operate in the world. Thus, in the perception of evil there is a fundamental difference between them. [Goldberg, 249]


In general Judaism considers suffering as…

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