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Christianity vs. Judaism: A Medieval Conflict

The world’s most significant religions existed together for millenniums, and even in the modern world of globalization and science’s domination, they stay valuable worldwide. Indeed, Christianity has more than two billion followers now, and a smaller but older religion, Judaism, is being supported by at least fourteen million (Hicks-Keeton, 2018). The former was established on the latter’s roots, therefore the analysis of ways these beliefs developed within humanity’s progress can help understand various social processes. This paper aims to compare the history, concepts, and influence of Christianity and Judaism and discuss the Medieval conflict that appeared between them more than five centuries ago.

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The religions have deep historical roots through which their central beliefs and traditions were formed. Judaism is older than Christianity, and it occurred more than four thousand years ago based on the Mesopotamian values of the Hebrew people. Scientists divide the history of Jews religion into Biblical (before the fourth century BCE), Hellenistic (fourth century BCE–second century CE), Rabbinic (second to eighteenth century CE), and modern Judaism (1750-present) (Carter, 2018). Christianity, in contrast, is much younger as it has been primarily mentioned in the first century CE. The religion is perceived as based on Judaism because Jesus’s mission was to change the Jewish values for helping the divine faith spread. Christianity became the primary faith in Europe and developed in the colonized countries due to its strong influence on people’s lives.

Both Judaism and Christianity are monotheistic religions: the former perceives God as the True Creator and the latter beliefs in the Trinity of his figure. Judaism’s faith defines all people as equal and encourages the followers to praise God through particular actions. In contrast, Christianity’s values are formed based on Jesus’s teachings and the experience of resurrection (Evans, 2017). Both religions’ beliefs are written in the scriptures – Holy Bible for Christians and Tanakh for the Jewish, where the concepts are supported by the events that prove God’s divine power. Judaism’s beliefs state that they were chosen to be God’s commandments, while Christianity centralizes the demand in following Jesus’s example to attain God’s mercy (Carter, 2018). The Jews dedicate their lives to acting good and making the world better, while the Christians follow Jesus in their attempts to reverse their sinful nature.

Religion had significant governmental power in ancient and medieval times, thus many laws were formatted according to the believers’ values. Judaism is strictly tied to rituals, and formatting regulations provided the ability to make all the procedures necessary to praise God (Hicks-Keeton, 2018). In Israel, the legislators tend to have Jewish roots and make decisions based on the religion’s definition of goodness. Compared to Judaism, Christianity’s law formatting power is much broader because the teachings of Jesus became central beliefs for various countries and had to comply with different traditions and social structures. Indeed, the religious institutions became the leading legislators in Medieval Europe, and the church regulated the countries’ social, economic, and cultural segments (Pohl, 2018). Consequently, many modern laws with European roots include Christian values and definitions of good and evil.

Both Christianity and Judaism applied the Ten Commandments as fundamental directions to their actions, and social justice was based on an individual’s dedication to following them. Christians evaluated the measures according to which of them were recognized as sins and went against the teachings of Jesus (Evans, 2017). For Jewish, the equality of people with different religions was crucial, and one’s willingness to do the good deems (Hicks-Keeton, 2018). No wars based on faith have involved Judaism supporters in contrast to dozens of the Christians’ battles with ones who refused to follow Jesus’s example.

Although Christianity is formed from Judaism, the conflicts between the two religions occurred throughout history. In Medieval times, the Christian church had enormous power in Europe and made numerous attempts to conquer the other religions’ supporters (Pohl, 2018). In the tenth to fifteenth centuries, various Jewish tribes migrated to Spain and France were judged by the church, imprisoned, deported, or executed (Carter, 2018). Theistic philosophy states that God cannot be the creator of evil; the Christians’ desire to establish their religion for the Jews goes against that fundamental statement. The number of Judaism followers has been significantly less than the Christians’, and their faith prohibited them from being harmful to the other faith’s neighbors. The reason for the conflict’s appearance is that Christianity defines humankind as sinners who must fight their nature and follow Jesus’s example in order to be saved.

Judaism is an ancient religion based on a group’s belief that they were chosen to praise God on Earth by doing good deeds, praying, and respecting others. Christianity was formatted as a segment of the Jewish faith, and its fundamental was Jesus Christ’s teachings on how to follow God’s will to have his mercy in the afterlife. Judaism maintained a religion of a specific group, mainly Israel’s inhabitants, while Christianity spread almost worldwide and influenced legislation, social justice attitudes, and overall history for many countries. The conflict between the two similar beliefs occurred in Medieval times because Christians discriminated against others for having a different religious basis.

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References

Carter, E. C. (2018). Finding the voice of Judaism within practical theological research. Practical Theology, 11(1), 67-78. Web.

Evans, G. R. (2017). A short history of medieval Christianity. Bloomsbury Publishing.

Hicks-Keeton, J. (2018). Aseneth between Judaism and Christianity: Reframing the debate. Journal for The Study of Judaism, 49(2), 189-222. Web.

Pohl, W. (2018). Narratives of origin and migration in early medieval Europe: Problems of interpretation. The Medieval History Journal, 21(2), 192-221. Web.

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