Judaism and Christianity

Judaism is an old religion dating back up to 2000 years BC while Christianity was founded in 30 CE as a Jewish offshoot (Oesterley, Rosenthal & Loewe, 2016). Pertaining places of worship, Christians usually worship in a church whereas Jew worship in a synagogue. At the church’s front, there is a cross which symbolizes where Christ was crucified. In the synagogue, there is the Bimah at the middle of the room. Both religions have holy books, Christians have the bible whereas, in Judaism, the Torah, Talmud and the Tanakh are used (Smith & Marranca, 2009). In Christian churches, there are different rooms such as the confession box, baptism room with a pool of water, Sunday schools where kids are taught to get a firm foundation on their religion. Christians believe in Jesus as their Messiah whereas, in Judaism, the Messiah has yet to come. In both religions, there is the belief in the existence of demons and angels as spirits. The two religions share and differ in many aspects including beliefs in sex, marriage, divorce and the role of women (Oesterley et al., 2016).

Marriage in Christianity is also viewed as a way to prevent lust and preserve themselves from sin. Despite the Christian’s perception of marriage, the church considers it as an attachment to the material possessions in the world. Sometimes; some people avoid the institution of marriage to pursue the mission of Christ which is a traditional view of sanctity and purity in Christianity (Mayer, 2013). Polygamy is usually prohibited, and it is justified in the scriptures. Being mature is one of the core conditions validating marriage and also the consent of both parties in Judaism (Oesterley et al., 2016). Judaism also permits polygamy; one can marry up to four wives. Jews also had a customary law of marrying their slaves but with allowed reasons of course. Judaism does not permit intermarriage with non-Jews which is the same case in Christianity. Other impediments in Christianity include on with a former marital contract is not allowed to marry another time.

Smaller religions tend to give women a more significant role whereas fundamentalists in religion usually tend to hold on to conventional gender roles. Women tend to have a large portion of the population in many faiths. Some of the significant roles include caring for children, passing skills and doctrines to them, service to the husband, take care of the family assets and sometimes given power in places of worship and politics among other roles (Oesterley et al., 2016). In Christianity, women raise and teach children skills and also tasked with the responsibility to maintain a godly home and social groups in the church. In Judaism, the case is different as women take on more mental tasks while the men perform physical responsibilities. In Judaism context, women roles are considered distinct from the men’s, but they are equal. Women were accorded minor roles as a man was associated with God. But in the modern times, Christianity has revolutionized the role of women as they can lead in sermons, prayers and take part in decision-making in the church as opposed to Judaism.

In the Christianity context, divorce is not permitted. The bible has also stated that remarriage after divorce usually constitutes adultery. This has seen many young people ready for marriage to abstain from it. Many individuals have resulted to non-conventional activities such as cohabitation which is discouraged. Sex in the biblical sense is reserved only for the married, but due to issues with commitment and strict laws of religion, people are opting to remain single or marry without having gone to church. On the contrary, Judaism permits divorce, and the man is accorded the power to initiate the divorce. The woman has no say in this matter. Which is quite demeaning as after the divorce is passed, the woman becomes forbidden to the man. The religion does not also allow remarrying of divorced wives. The remarrying policy for females is neglected in the Jewish faith. They usually do not take into consideration the effects of divorce on a family (Oesterley et al., 2016).

These two religions have undergone numerous changes over time. In Christianity especially, commitment to one spouse or partner is becoming increasingly harder. This has resulted in the rising number of divorce cases. People identify themselves as Christians, but only a small percentage uphold the traditional doctrines of Christianity regarding marriage and divorce matters (Mayer, 2013). Church weddings are also not common nowadays as people can be wed in the presence of a judge or a magistrate and a few witnesses. So the marriage has no religious backing or foundation in case something does not go according to plan. There has also been the integration of different cultures in religion that modifications in these institutions are inevitable (Oesterley et al., 2016). There is civil intervention when it comes to marriages and divorces nowadays. This has made divorce to be easier as opposed to how it was in the earlier times.  Even after a divorce, remarrying is not prohibited and people have chosen to walk down this road.

Marriage according to Christian constructs is supposed to be a permanent affair. Christianity does not permit early marriage but nowadays this is usually the norm since being wed is not a matter of the church anymore. There have been several impediments constituted in both religions since inception. One of the most important one is the prohibition of marrying a person who does not belong to your faith. In the pursuit of love and happiness, people are intermarrying from different religions (Mayer, 2013). It has been shown that these marriages do not last, and they are coupled with a lot of instabilities due to their religious differences. Some of the problems arise when children are old enough to choose the faith they want to pursue, and both parents cannot conclude. Concerning celibacy, Christianity has no problem in one being celibate. There is evidence from the scriptures that Jesus did not marry, but this is not the case for Judaism. They reject celibacy, and people have no choice but to marry after being mature (Oesterley et al., 2016).

A religion such as Judaism has laws on the practices concerning women when it comes to a divorce. Such include the fact that a woman has no right in initiating a divorce claim. In the traditional times; maybe the strict rules regarding divorce in Christianity worked as they had a strong belief in their faith. Times are changing, and things are not taken from a religious aspect (Smith & Marranca, 2009). Cases of divorce are viewed from a literal point pertaining wealth accrued, custody of the children among others. In the spirit of cohesion, people have decided to marry people outside their religion. Despite this, there are the conservative folks that choose to stick to their traditional outlooks (Mayer, 2013). In some nations due to the freedom of worship, religion has been stripped of its mandate in influencing marriages and divorces. This has affected people to adopt polygamy or practice both monogamy and polygamy. Individuals tend to justify this from the scripture part when Christ told his followers to replenish the earth by multiplying.

 

 

The subject of women’s role in most societies has always been under scrutiny and criticism. In the early times, Judaism functions concerning women were few and were usually inferior (Smith & Marranca, 2009). But they were always held in great regard. In Judaism, women were viewed to have more faith than men, and they were more compassionate than men. Women were also revered as they were thought to bring happiness and blessings to a man and his family. The belief of women being intelligent and having intuition made them be involved in decision-making matters. Initially, there were prohibitions on educating women (Smith & Marranca, 2009). Their prayer groups were also not allowed. But with reforms as the world changed these prohibitions were lifted. The role of women in the church was also limited to Christianity. They would not speak in church or perform related tasks. Establishment of monasticism in Christianity made influential roles available to women.

Christianity and Judaism have helped me appreciate how the freedom of women has evolved up to now. Some religions such as Islam still have strict rules imposed on women which are coupled with harsh punishments (Smith & Marranca, 2009). Many rights are still denied to women regarding their roles in the society. Being a Christian woman in this modern world, you’re free to pursue anything even remarrying. When it comes to marriage, one can comfortably have a say in decision-making in the household rather than it being a taboo. The teachings of these religions have also stipulated that men should respect women and treat them well just like Jesus did in the New Testament (in John 4: Jesus and the Samaritan woman) (Smith & Marranca, 2009). The teachings of Christ, the Messiah, raised women’s status to new statures. The teachings of Jesus have shown me that one should pursue what is right in spite of the consequences especially the women.

Women have always been under oppression, but from the scriptures in the New Testament, women are given new roles in teaching and supporting others due to their compassionate nature (in Luke 8:3). The fact that Jesus after resurrection appeared to women first has a definite meaning. Women’s testimonies were usually considered worthless, but this changed when Christ instructed them to tell his followers of his resurrection (in Matthew 28) thus elevating the value of their roles. Concerning marriage, Paul called for women to respect and submit to their husbands and for the men to submit to Christ and love their wives in the same way Jesus loved the church (1 Corinthians 11:5). In a culture where ladies were regarded as property and disrespected, they are elevated to an honorable position. Christianity as it spread through the world, it had redeeming effects towards women such that for the first time they could be allowed to be the solemn guardians of their kids.

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