Counter-Missionary Education
Judaism and Christianity: The Twain Shall Never Meet
A Counter-Missionary Education Lesson
Uri Yosef, Ph.D., Director of Education
Virtual Yeshiva of the Messiah Truth Project, Inc.
[The article on this topic is located here -]
Copyright © Uri Yosef 2011 for the Messiah Truth Project, Inc.
All rights reserved
January 20, 2011
Judaism and Christianity:
The Twain Shall Never Meet
Page 1 of 8
A variety of opinions exists on the similarities and differences between
Judaism and Christianity. The general trend among all these opinions is
that, although there are some similarities between the two faiths, many
more differences separate them. The similarities are cultural in their
nature, whereas the differences stem from diametrically opposite
Many people think that the only difference between Jews and Christians
centers around Jesus, that Christians believe Jesus is the Messiah, but
the Jews do not. The problem with this understanding is that it does not
take into account the full scope of the theology on which is based the
belief that Jesus is the Messiah. The disparity between the two
theologies becomes evident when their major elements are contrasted.
In this lesson we explore several theological concepts that highlight the
major differences between Judaism and Christianity.
January 20, 2011
Judaism and Christianity:
The Twain Shall Never Meet
Page 2 of 8
Comparing the Two Theologies
Scholars tell us that Christianity could be reduced to "faith in God," and Judaism
to "wrestling with God." As Jews, we are obliged to question, struggle with and
even, in extreme cases, take God to a holy court for the injustices of the world –
where do you find this in Christianity? [From a letter by Jim Brule to the "Readers
Page" in The Post-Standard, a daily newspaper in Syracuse, NY (date not available).]
The following are key elements that Judaism and Christianity share, yet
differ on their specific theological understanding and application:
• Scriptures
• Nature of God
• Messianic Vision
• Attitude Toward Other Beliefs
• Sin & Sinfulness, Atonement, and Righteousness
• Nature of Satan
• Concept of “Hell”
We shall now take a closer look at each of these elements in both
January 20, 2011
Judaism and Christianity:
The Twain Shall Never Meet
Page 3 of 8
Christianity ()
Judaism (Y)
Hebrew Bible (‫)תְּ נַ״ְך\תַ נַ״ְך‬
Christian Bible
• Torah (‫)תֹורה‬
[5 Books]
• Old Testament [“OT”; 39 Books]*
• Prophets (‫[ )נְּבִיאִים‬21 Books]
• New Testament [27 Books]
• Writings (‫[ )כְּתּובִים‬13 Books]
- Gospels [4 Books]
- Acts of the Apostles [1 Book]
• Oral Torah
- Pauline Epistles [13 Books]
- The Talmudis & Tosefta
- Epistle to the Hebrews [1 Book]
• Jewish Law & Codes of Law
- Catholic Epistles [7 Books]
• Various works by Jewish Sages
- Apocalypse of John [1 Book]
- e.g., RaMBaM’s Mishneh Torah
• Commentaries by Jewish Sages
* “OT” of the RCC, Eastern Orthodox Church, Armenian
and Ethiopian Oriental Orthodox Church includes: Tobit,
Judith, 1&2 Maccabees, Wisdom of Solomon, Baruch,
Ecclesiasticus. (Apocrypha for Jews and Protestants.)
January 20, 2011
• Catholic & Orthodox denominations
- Oral Apostolic Tradition
• Protestant denominations
- Commentaries; no oral tradition
Judaism and Christianity:
The Twain Shall Never Meet
Page 4 of 8
Nature of God
Christianity ()
Judaism (Y)
God is
The Trinity* comprises
• One and Unique
• The Father
• Incorporeal
• The Son (Jesus, born of a virgin)
• Eternal
• The Holy Spirit/Ghost
Messianic Vision
* Among Christian denominations that reject the doctrine of the
Trinity are the Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons, and Unitarians.
Christianity ()
Judaism (Y)
Central figure: Future King/Messiah
Central (dominant) figure: Jesus
• Will be a biological descendant of David
• Is God manifest in the flesh
• His lineage will pass through Solomon
• Was sacrificed to redeem mankind
• He will be a Jew (and Jewish)
• Has fulfilled 300+ “OT” prophecies
Centerpiece: Messianic agenda
Messianic agenda
• Two-to-three dozen prophecies about
conditions to prevail in the messianic era,
including: universal knowledge of God,
world peace, 3rd Temple built (+ few more)
• Jesus will return and reign over the
Kingdom of Heaven (2nd coming)
• Jesus will complete the (Jewish)
messianic agenda in his 2nd coming
January 20, 2011
Judaism and Christianity:
The Twain Shall Never Meet
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Attitude Toward Other Beliefs
Christianity ()
Judaism (Y)
• Multiple paths to God
• Only one path to the Father
- Jews
- Jesus is the “gatekeeper”
- Righteous Gentiles of the nations
- Must be a “saved” Christian
Sin & Sinfulness, Atonement, and Righteousness
Christianity ()
Judaism (Y)
“Doctrine of Original Purity”
Doctrine of “Original Sin”
• Mankind is born with a “clean slate” –
free of sin and with a pure soul
• Mankind is born sinful; condemned to
death from the instant of conception
• Mankind owns a good and an evil
inclination; has free will to act
• Mankind is sinful and cannot
overcome sinfulness on own merit
Path to righteousness
Path to salvation
• Through:
• Only through the blood of Jesus
January 20, 2011
- Prayer,
- Contrite repentance, and
- Good deeds
Judaism and Christianity:
The Twain Shall Never Meet
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Nature of Satan
Christianity ()
Judaism (Y)
The Satan (‫)הַשָ טַן‬
Satan (a.k.a. the Devil, Lucifer)
• Is an angel among the Heavenly Host
• Is the “fallen angel” who rebelled against
God and fell from grace
• Has no free will (like all other angels)
• Has his own power and authority, which
are used to oppose God
• Carries out missions assigned by God
• Will be slain by Jesus in the end times
Concept of “Hell”
Christianity ()
Judaism (Y)
Geihinom* (‫ ;גֵּיהִּנֹום‬a.k.a. Gehenna)
• A post-biblical Talmudic concept
• Underground domain ruled by Satan
• Populated by souls of those who did
not lead exemplary lives on earth
• Populated by souls of those who fell out
of God’s grace at time of death
• Souls get “cleansed” from stains of sin
• Souls endure continuous punishment
• 0 ≤ Time in Geihinom ≤ 12 months
• Some say eternal stay; others, temporary
* Views vary about its nature and what transpires there, whether it is ** The RCC views Hell not as a place but as a state of separation from
a physical or spiritual place, and if the dead or their souls inhabit it.
January 20, 2011
God, which results from dying in mortal sin without repenting.
Judaism and Christianity:
The Twain Shall Never Meet
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• Judaism’s Scriptures
• Christianity’s Scriptures
• Judaism’s concept of God
• Christianity’s concept of God
• Judaism’s messianic vision
• Christianity’s messianic vision
• Judaism’s attitude toward
other beliefs
• Christianity’s attitude toward
other beliefs
• Judaism’s view of sin,
sinfulness, and the path to
• Christianity’s view of sin,
sinfulness, and the path to
• Judaism’s concept of the
• Christianity’s concept of
• Judaism’s concept of “Hell” • Christianity’s concept of “Hell”
Conclusion: Judaism and Christianity are incompatible theologies!
January 20, 2011
Judaism and Christianity:
The Twain Shall Never Meet
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