Two beliefs that don’t realize they are one
The image at right is bound to offend both Jews and Christians, but that is not its purpose. Rather, the goal is to define the scriptural essence of each, and attempting to see how they fit together. As you can see, the man-made elements, some of which are of great value, are kept outside the heart as they should occupy a lesser position than scriptural revelation.
It’s important to remember that Christianity began as a sect of Judaism called ‘The Way’ (acts 9:2, 19:9, 19:23, 24:14, 24:22). In its original form, Christianity was not that different from Judaism other than the determination that Jesus, Yeshua (His Hebrew name) was the Messiah.
Over the years, internal and external pressures created a schism between the Jews and Christians, leading the Christians to move away from Jewish practices such as the Saturday Sabbath, the celebration of God’s festivals (described in Leviticus 23), the dietary laws and circumcision. The Romans subjected both early Christians and Jews to the Jewish tax (Ficus Judaicus) and other forms of persecution. The Jewish leadership rallied against Yeshua as being the Messiah in spite of compelling evidence. Around 100 AD, some early Christians sought to distance themselves from the Jewish aspects of their religion, so that they could escape persecution which was now coming from both sides.
I recognize that some of the man-made elements of Judaism are not embraced by all God-fearing Jews, just as some of the man-made elements of Christianity are not embraced by all believing Christians. There are different branches of Judaism and Christianity has had reforms so I am painting with a broad brush to make a point, that both religions have their scriptural and man-made elements.
Again, recognizing that many of the elements of each religion shown in black, outside the heart, can have positive elements, it should be clear that the two halves of the heart belong together.
Jesus, for example, never taught against the commandments of God, but emphasized that he who kept the law and taught others to do so would be considered ‘Great in the Kingdom of Heaven’ (Matthew 5:17).
I look at the scriptural evidences in both religions and I see one truth, and the New Testament becomes a commentary on the Old Testament, a revelation of the Jewish Messiah.
Both sides have much to learn from each other, and much to leave behind. But you don’t lose your Christianity by embracing God-breathed teachings from the Old Testament, and you don’t lose your Judaism by embracing a Messiah who is evident throughout the old and new testament.