Christianity and Judaism
Christianity is founded on the life and teachings of Jesus, a first century C.E. Jew. Christianity became an independent religion as it spread beyond its Palestinian borders. However, since during its first few decades, it was a sect within Judaism, there must be a relationship of Judaism to Christianity. In the "independent religion", two elements of its doctrine are essentially Jewish. First, Jesus is the messiah, or anointed king, who is spoken of in Jewish prophetic writings. Second, the message of Jesus is the kingdom of God. Keeping with Jewish apocalyptic notions of the messiah, early Christians expected that the kingdom would be established by cataclysmic events.
The primary body of scriptures in the Christian tradition is the Bible, containing an Old and New Testament. The Old Testament is the Jewish Tanakh, which means that Christianity is carrying forward the teachings of Judaism. The dominant message that emerges from the sayings of Jesus, in the Gospels, is the kingdom of God. The concepts of both a future and present kingdom of God can be found in Jewish apocalyptic literature.
Christianity may seem to depart from Judaism as, in Christianity it is accepted that Jesus is God in human form, and that by his work, teachings, death, and resurrection, Jesus became the savior of the world. However, Jesus did not see himself as the messianic ruler of the kingdom he proclaimed, and it was after his execution that he was seen as the crucified and risen messiah who would return from heaven at any moment and begin an apocalyptic reign.
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus explains how citizens of the kingdom must distinguish themselves through obedience to a new law, principally one of love for others, forgiveness, and trust in God. The...