Many people focus on the similarities between Judaism and Christianity, but the religions are quite different—and it’s not just because one accepts Jesus as the messiah and the other does not.
The rise of Christians calling themselves messianic “Jews,” the successes of Christian missionaries, Jews ingratiating themselves to Evangelical Christians because of their support for the State of Israel, the overuse of the term “Judeo-Christian,” and the increasing use of Jewish rituals in Christian churches, blur the lines between Judaism and Christianity.
Develop a better understanding of the irreconcilable differences between Judaism and Christianity, and where the two faiths hold mutually exclusive beliefs. You’ll learn how
• Their views differ regarding God, humanity, the devil, faith versus the law, the Messiah, and more; • Both faiths read the same Biblical verses but understand them so differently; and • Missionary Christians use this blurring of the lines between the two faiths, and other techniques, to convert Jews to Christianity.
Real interfaith dialogue begins when those engaging in it not only speak of how they are similar, but also where they differ. Real understanding begins when the topics discussed are in areas of disagreement. Judaism and Christianity: A Contrastwill help you understand the Jewish view of these disagreements.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I’m proud to say that my colleague and friend R’ Stuart Federow has just released his long awaited book Judaism and Christianity: A Contrast. I want to wish him a hearty mazal tov on joining the ranks of Shakespeare, Stephen King, and Snooky as a published author. And what a book to publish. As far as anyone of us are aware, this is the first counter-missionary book available as an ebook, which is an important step into modernizing the movement. Hopefully there will be more, but this is a good beginning. It’s very well written, dynamic, and engaging. The purpose of the book is to put side by side Judaism and Christianity so that people understand that Judaism is not just Christianity-Jesus. The two religions happen to be entirely different systems of thought, one a Northern Semitic Earth religion and the other a Greco-Roman mystery/gnostic religion. This may not be clear to most but R’ Federow does an excellent job of doing it. He addresses every major topic on the issue from the differing conceptions of G-d, Trinitarianism, the Messianic concept, prooftexts, well everything. Short, brief, to the point. The best part of the book is how he does it. He does it in an honest and sincere way that makes the reader feel he’s speaking to them. At the same time, it’s in-your-face and unapologetic, something that is a breath of fresh air given what most Jewish writers do when they write on sensitive material. I can hear his voice as I read it. The first part even reads like a conversation rather than a piece of literature. In short, it is written for people, not academics. There is something that I do feel a need to mention about the book/the author. R’ Federow has a very interesting philosophical view of the world that I call Reformidox. He is an ordained rabbi from the Reform movement and the rabbi of a Conservative synagogue. However, his belief system is basically Orthodox with some touches that betray his academic foundations. He believes in G-d, the divine original of the Torah, and the binding nature of the commandments, totally in line with traditional Judaism. The nuances of where he differs are largely academic, but pop up quite a bit in two chapters: Chapter 5 the Oral Law and Chapter 10 the definition of a Jew. The issues there are significant, at least from my view. Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach was asked about the whether someone could really on the book Shabbat K’Hilchata for Sabbath observance, a book with his rulings. His answer was that there were only a few mistakes and it could be relied upon. No book is going to be perfect, but if you want to know if this book should be read and used I say emphatically yes.
This book presents a refreshingly clean-cut picture on the most basic, and some of the more particular, aspects and differences between the two most prevalent Abrahamic faiths found in this country (United States) today. Where others have emphasized the similarities, of which there are many, this author uses the straight-razor approach to portray the theologies and philosophies of each belief system in clearly demarcated lines. In so doing, He facilitates each reader, of whatever faith, in their understanding of the particularities and specialness of their faith, as well as that of the other. I consider this a must for the bookshelf of any lay-person, pastor, preacher, priest, imam or rabbi who wishes to have an affordable handy reference book within quick and easy-to-reach for grasp. The book is divided into two sections and has a clear Table of Contents allowing speedy location of any particular point of interest. The author has provided his interpretation of several verses of scripture from both the Christian and Jewish points of view. Many of these verses are those one would find in any standard, Christian guidebook on how to approach Jews during missionizing. Not only will this book prepare Jews who will one day encounter these Christian missionaries, it will also inform potential proselytizers why Jews have been, for 2,000-years, by-in-large unaffected by these appeals and approaches. I give this book a five-star rating for of its conciseness, preciseness and clarity of purpose and execution. The work is informative; it is not overburdened with footnotes, as are many scholarly works, yet has sufficient references in support of the author’s offerings to satisfy the curious mind.