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Judaism and Christianity. The Semitic religious hearth. Christianity, Judaism, and Islam all arose among Semitic-speaking people All three arose from the margins of the southwestern Asian deserts

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the semitic religious hearth
The Semitic religious hearth
  • Christianity, Judaism, and Islam all arose among Semitic-speaking people
  • All three arose from the margins of the southwestern Asian deserts
  • Judaism, the oldest, originated about 4,000 years ago probably along the southern edge of the Fertile Crescent

Divisions in Judea

  • Romans conquered Judea in 63 B.C.
  • Zealots called on Jews to revolt against Rome
  • In 66 A.D., Roman forces crushed the rebels, captured Jerusalem & destroyed the temple
  • Many enslaved and many left Judea & survived in communities around the Mediterranean: diaspora
judaism is
Judaism is…
  • “A 4000 year old tradition with ideas about what it means to be human and how to make the world a holy place”

(Rabbi Harold Kushner, To Life)

  • A “covenant relationship” between God and the Hebrew people
  • A faith, a people, a way of life…
as a faith jews believe
As a faith, Jews Believe…
  • In one God, creator of the universe, personal but non-corporeal
  • In prophets of old – especially Moses, through whom Torah was revealed to the Hebrew people
  • In Torah (first five books of the Bible), containing religious, moral and social law which guides the life of a Jew
    • the Hebrew Bible does not include the New Testament
as a people jews are
As a people, Jews are…
  • 15 – 16 million in worldwide population
  • United by a common heritage, divided in contemporary practice:
    • Orthodox:
      • Modern
      • Chasidic (Ultra Orthodox)
    • Reformed (18th century Germany)
    • Conservative – moderates, response to reform
as a way of life judaism is based on
As a way of life, Judaism is based on…
  • 613 commandments found in Torah (“Written Law”)
  • Talmud (“Oral Law”) – commentary of ancient rabbis that elaborates on how to apply God’s Law in everyday life through:
    • Dietary rules (Kashrut/Kosher)
    • Dress and other symbols
    • Prayer and devotion to the one God
    • The Temple and Temple rites
    • Observance of Holy days
    • Proper social relations between male and female, in business, judicial rulings, etc.
  • Thus sanctifying life, blessing it in every way
how is judaism related to christianity
How is Judaism related to Christianity?
  • Judaism predates Christianity – it is the foundation of Christianity but is not a part of it
  • Jesus was Jewish, as were his followers and the Apostles
  • Jews do not believe that Jesus was anything more than a good and wise man who lived and died 2000 years ago – Jews still await their messiah
the semitic religious hearth1
The Semitic religious hearth
  • About 2,000 years later, Christianity arose as a child of Judaism from this same area
  • Islam arose about seven centuries later in western Arabia, partly from Jewish and Christian roots
  • Religions spread by both relocation and expansion diffusion
    • Expansion diffusion can be divided into hierarchical and contagious subtypes
    • Hierarchical diffusion — ideas are implanted at top of a society, leapfrogging across the map taking root in cities
    • Use of missionaries involves relocation diffusion
the semitic religious hearth2
The Semitic religious hearth
  • Christianity spread through the Roman Empire using the existing splendid road system
    • Clearly reflected hierarchical expansion diffusion
    • Early congregations were established in cities and towns
    • Temporarily established a pattern of Christianized urban centers and pagan rural areas

Jesus and His Message

  • Jewish
  • Most info comes from the “Gospels” Matthew, Mark, Luke, & John
  • Born about 4 B.C.
  • A descendant of King David
  • Virgin birth of Mary
  • Started preaching in Galilee at age 30
  • 12 apostles, …Peter
  • Based on Judaism – 1 g-d, law of Moses, and new beliefs
  • Many believed he was the messiah
  • Emphasized God’s love, service, & forgiveness

Jesus and His Message

  • Some Jews welcomed him
  • Jewish leaders thought he was challenging them
  • Roman authorities thought that he was a revolutionary who might lead Jews into rebellion
  • Jesus was betrayed by one of his disciples
  • He was arrested, tried and condemned to be crucified
  • Although there were guards at the tomb, his body disappeared & Christians believe he was resurrected

Orthodox altar tables always have the GoOrthodox altar tables always have the Gospel enthroned



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