Essay: The similarities between Christianity and Judaism

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  • Subject area(s): Religious studies and Theology essays
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  • Published on: November 8, 2018
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Adam and Eve were the first human beings that God created according to the accounts of the Qur’an and Bible. The Book of Genesis in the Bible describes the story of creation of Adam and Eve, the temptations in the Garden of Eden, the fall of man and the expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden. This story experienced extensive amplification in the traditions of Abraham and the modern scholars of the bible. Both Judaism and Christianity share some similarities and differences in the story of Adam and Eve. However, there is the story of the original sin. Original sin refers to the propensity to the evil allegedly in all the human beings, which is termed to be hereditary from the first human beings (Adam and Eve) after their fall. Furthermore, the original sin concept was established by St Augustine writings. Unlike Christianity, the Judaism oppose the concept of original sin because they do not believe in it. Therefore, this paper is going to discuss the differences and similarities regarding the perception of Adam and Eve and the “original sin” in Judaism and Christianity.
 
To begin with, according to Christianity teachings, due to the original sin by Adam and Eve, there were disastrous spiritual penalties for the race of human beings (Wold 330). In addition, the Christianity believe that all the devastating consequences go beyond and past the painful curses of the childbearing and labor conditions as stated in Genesis chapter three. Furthermore, the doctrine of the Church suggests that when the first humans rebelled against the will of God and disobeyed Him by eating the forbidden fruit, all of their children (descendants) became poisoned (infected) with their transgression strain (Wold 331). On the other hand, the Judaism religion does not accept the notion of original sin. The Jews are certain that any human being is born with original cleanliness (purity) rather than the original sin (Wold 332). However, despite the fact that Judaism does not dwell on the original sin, they believe and understand that human race has the chance to choose between good and evil. However, Judaism rejoices because they believe that God is happy when people do good deeds.

Moreover, according to Christianity, man is regarded hopeless and lost in the condition of sinful life because of the effect of the original iniquity. Due to this, man has no power that can enable him to follow the right path of righteousness and obedience freely (Wold 335). Reasonably, the missionaries oppose that because humans are born into the world with an uncontrollable and inner desire for sin, there is nothing they can do to achieve their own freedom and salvation from sin. In spirit, the human race is completely evil, and the true free drive is past their reach (Wold 338). It can be said that (totally depraved) is a harsh view of Christian policy to depict the awful condition of mankind, yet the Church use the exact term to describe the sinful and desperate predicament of man. Therefore, Christians state that the hopeless human race can only be saved through repentance and having faith in Christ (Wold 339). On contrary, the Judaism believe that man was not born with sin and is a pure being. They believe that man is not hopeless because God gave him the opportunity to choose between what he thinks is right and wrong, thus he has the right to do good. Unlike Christianity believing that Adam and Eve brought death to the humans due to their sins, the Judaism believe that people die because death is a natural thing and not a punishment for the sins (Christensen et al 100). Finally, the Christianity state that man is just inherently evil in the eyes of God because of the sins of the forefathers. The Judaism have a different belief, as they think that human beings are sinners because they are imperfect beings.

To add on, the fall of Adam and Eve is described by Christianity to have been caused by the trickery of the serpent. The Christians linked the serpent to the satanic figure as stated in the New Testament; “The serpent called Satan and Devil, the world’s deceiver.” (Revelation chapter 12 verse 9). However, the theologians of Christianity seem to be vague because it does not make sense that eating a physical literal fruit could destroy the spiritual relationship between mankind and God and the lineage’s integrity. Instead, the main aim is on the entire act of disobedience of man (Christensen et al 102). As a result, Calvin enlightened Christians that the human kind’s disobedience originated from the egoism and pride, which turned them against God (Christensen et al 103). On contrary, the traditions of Judaism are quite obvious that Satan utilized either the form of a person or a serpent to lure Eve into sin (Christensen et al 106). The Slavonic Baruch book states that the serpent filled the fruit with lust, thus arousing the sexual desire in Eve after she ate it. In addition, in another context, the Kabbalistic imply that the serpent followed Eve one day, saying that, “she is a descendant of the north and thus will be able to seduce her.” The text states that the serpent seduced Eve by having sex with her, which is a different account of what the Christians believe (Christensen et al 120). Furthermore, the other tradition of Judaism is that Eve was the Satan’s lover in the Eden, and thus he impregnated her with a son called Cain. Therefore, as per the teachings of Unifications, the disaster of the fall implied that the sexual relationship and unity with Adam, Satan and Eve including all the mankind, who was supposed to be the family of God, were destined to the ancestry of Satan and could not identify their God as the father. When Eve, Adam and human race united with Evil, they, in addition, inherited the fallen nature of Satan.

However, despite the differences in beliefs of Christianity and Judaism in regard to the notion of Original Sin, Adam and Eve and, there are some similarities between the two religions (Sandmel 136). Much of the differences dwell on the cause of sin, the weaknesses of man and the consequences of sin. The following are some of the similarities between Judaism and Christianity on the concept of the Original sin and Adam and Eve.

First, both Christianity and Judaism believe in the notion that God created Adam and Eve. God placed them in the Garden of Eden, allowed them to eat fruits from all the trees except the tree of knowledge (Sandmel 137). Therefore, God demanded total obedience from his creation, which they did until they were convinced by Satan to eat the fruit from the forbidden tree.

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