Essay on Christian Interpretation Of The Jewish Torah

Essay on Christian Interpretation Of The Jewish Torah

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Possibly mimicking the Jewish Torah, Christians have their beliefs written down in the Bible. Like the Torah, the bible contains rules to abide, miracles, guidance and history (Biblica, 2013). But in my academic opinion, the main similarity is that both texts contain the Pentateuch/old testament. Yes, Christianity has the added New Testament with stories of Jesus Christ, but it’s important not to forget the Jewish origins of the Bible and that Jesus himself, and even the word messiah, is Hebrew. This has lead Federow (2012, p.130) to say that the “greater burden is on the Christian to prove that the Christian interpretation of the Jewish scriptures are true”. I would agree with this view because despite the popularity of Christianity in western society, it will always be a religion based on Hebrew traditions.
One may be forgiven for assuming that the belief that Jesus was the messiah separated Christianity from Judaism soon after his resurrection. However, according to Callan (1986, p.19), the early church was not separate from the Jewish Synagogue as soon as one might think. They only separated when those who believed that Jesus was the messiah began to “deviate from adherence to the Jewish law”. And so one religion became two very similar but still very different religions devoted to the same God.
Christianity even inherited Jewish etiquette regarding God’s name. This is because “Jews call God Adonai, or my Lord” as saying the name of God is “considered sinful” (Faigin, 2002) and so do Christians. My own reflections on this are that Jews and Christians alike are being respectful because in Exodus when Moses told the commandments, “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain” was included. As the commandment is so va...

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...are some differences, for example: for Christians, “a priest is a person with special authority to perform certain sacred rituals”, whilst a Rabbi “has no more authority to perform rituals than any other adult male member of the Jewish community” (Rich, 2011). Whilst one could argue that this separates them, both Rabbis and Priests will act as teachers of their sacred text and provide guidance in times of both grief and celebration for their congregation. But of course one paramount figure to remember is Abraham who is “recognized as the founder of their faith by all three religions: Islam, Judaism, and Christianity” (Khan, 1992). As the founder of Judaism which is also recognised by Christianity, both religions follow his beliefs. Such examples show Christian beliefs which have clearly been derived from Hebrew beliefs which are still alive today in the 21st century.

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