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Christianity and Judaism: What Do They Have in Common

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Christianity vs. Judaism


St. John Chrysostom, a catholic priest, takes on an account of the major differences between the two most related faiths on earth that is Christianity and Judaism. For quite a long time, there has been a raging debate between the mandarins of the two faiths on who actually is on the right side with God. The belief that has brought a sharp difference between the two faiths is the concept of Jesus Christ. Christianity is mainly founded on the belief in Jesus Christ (Barker, 2010).

Christians not only believe that Jesus was a prophet of God but that also he was sent by God to come and save the human race by dying as a sacrificial lamb. They also assert that Jesus Christ was God in the flesh that God assumed the human flesh and descended to the earth to come and show the human race how they ought to live. Judaism, on the other hand does not believe the fact that Jesus Christ was God or that he was sent to save the human race. They only acknowledge him as one of the prophets of God. It is on this division on thought that John Chrysostom builds his arguments concerning the side he believes is doing the right thing (Palmer, 2014).

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John Chrysostom’s criticism of Judaism

John Chrysostom distinguishes the two religions siding with Christianity more than on Judaism. His assertions on Christianity were based on a number of set of beliefs as well as the scripture from the Bible that portrays Jesus as the Messiah (Barker, 2010). In his sermons, he describes the Judaism as a group of believers that were at first right with God. He explains that they had the grace of God from the beginning and that they were right with God. He cites the many cases in the ancient days when the Judaism could speak to God directly and without any intermediary. He points the instances where God used to intervene and fight battles on their behalf (Harkins 2014).

He contrasts this with Judaists’ response and treatment to the son of the same God who had saved them all through. He is of the belief that since the Judaism out rightly rejected the same of God and crucified him; they have already fallen out of favor with God. It is also a point to note that John Chrysostom has used the analogy of St Paul in the Bible; where Paul was speaking to the Jews telling them that it was possible for those who were initially referred to as dogs to be called children and the children later be called dogs (Palmer, 2014).

According to Chrysostom, St. Paul was right in pointing out that the Jews were going to be regarded as dogs for their diversion from the path of Christ. He stands with the belief that those who were initially unwanted and are now worshipping God and recognizing Christ are on the right side with God. He attacks the Jews’ dismissal of Christ as gluttony of the grace that God had given the Jews all along. He points at them that the sheep that had grown too fat because of gluttony was bound to be unfit for the yoke but fit for slaughter. By this, he insinuated that the Jews were going in the path of self-destruction by opposing Christ (Harkins 2014).

John Chrysostom believes that the Christian faith has surpassed the Judaism faith in a number of ways. First, he asserts that the Christian faith has a well-balanced approach to the human life. By this, he means that the Christians believe and recognize the need for universal love for all humans regardless of their identity, beliefs, or cultural inclinations. He depicts Judaism as a religion peddling self-censorship ideologies and intolerance on other faiths as well as the fact that it speaks for a double standard in the application of justice. The Judaists have been shown, as having a set of beliefs that segregate the rest of the world as ungodly and sinful. It has as well been depicted by Chrysostom as a faith that is against the freedom of other faiths (Palmer, 2014).

The Gospel of Mark and the Christian faith

The Gospel of Mark was founded on the life and times of Jesus Christ. St. Mark gave a clear account of the life and times including the miracles, that Jesus did while on earth. For instance, the miracles that Jesus performed that included healing the lepers, turning water into wine at Cana as well as living a well accomplished life of a teacher of the word solidified the faith of most of the Christian believes. This in some sense emboldens them to strongly oppose and criticize the Christian faith stronger than before. The clear depiction of Jesus as an all powerful miracle worker made him or her strongly believe that he was the Messiah (Harkins 2014).

It is also clear from the teachings of St. Mark that Jesus was a peacemaker who surpassed the understanding and intellect of the church priests during that time. This made him stand out among the many other religious figures that were there then. St. Mark painted the life of a man that was close to God proving evidence of the many instances where Jesus spoke to God and instructed nature to obey. From the way the Gospel of Mark is presented, Jesus has been described as a man with the ability to unite the people of the world and a person who was righteous (Palmer, 2014).

One particular strong campaign for Jesus Christ as put by St. Mark was on the case of resurrection. Jesus has been shown as having resurrected from death and went straight to heaven to be with God. There was clear evidence of a miraculous persona in the life and times of Jesus Christ. In his book, St. Mark successfully described Jesus as a person who was beyond the normal realm of human life. These teachings largely influenced the way the Christians viewed Judaism. It has made Christians strongly believe that there is no other better faith unlike theirs (Palmer, 2014).

Modern repercussions of hard religious stands

Religious stands that are intolerant of each other can be very disastrous to the stability of the nations and the world at large. Such attitudes such as those of St. John Chrysostom, where there is a strong believe in one’s faith while strongly condemning the other is what makes the world unstable. John Chrysostom does a clear self-censorship campaign for the Christian faith while lashing out at the Judaism faith. This way of de-campaigning one’s own faith is what has led to the many instances where Christians have criticized the Judaism faith. Other case of the negative effects of hard-line religious beliefs is explained below (Harkins 2014).

Muslim-Christian rivalry is the latest gross effects of religious intolerance. It is an effect that stemmed from such attitudes as those portrayed by John Chrysostom in his attack on Judaism. Muslim clerics spread messages to their followers championing their stand on the faith that they have and insinuating that they did not like any other faith. The Muslim faithful was so radicalized and made to believe that the other believers were not on the right side of God and that they must not live. This has led to the current spate of faith-based attacks on each other pitying the Christians and the Muslims together.

The people of the world are now divided on religious believes more than before courtesy of such believes and stands like that of John Chrysostom. It can also be noted that governments are built with the consideration of faith at hand. For instance, in countries where the dominance of Christians and Muslims are significant relative to each other, politics are shaped along faiths. Such stands as those of Chrysostom serve to divide people (Palmer, 2014).

The current leading crisis facing the world is terrorism. The kind of terrorism that is perpetrated based on religious intolerance. For instance, the Arab-Muslim world is currently drawn against the Christian nations. Initially, it used to be a war of wits, words and mere ideologies. However, currently, it has moved to be a full-scale war that is fought on combat fronts. However, the fight is through proxies identified as terror groups/ movements that publicly confess their stand and intentions using the faiths and the beliefs that their people have. The terror gangs clearly represent the stand and the beliefs of the people where they come from. This is the fruit of the thoughts and attitudes such as those of John Chrysostom (Harkins 2014).

It is also now clear that the world geopolitics are being shaped and influenced by such faith beliefs. In order to have stability in the world and in any society in general, no particular faith group should champion their ideas and set of beliefs to the point of discrediting that of other people. Tolerance on matters of faith requires that everyone hold beliefs they deem right but not go ahead and forcefully impose them on other people who might not be sharing the same (Palmer, 2014).


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