Introduction  to Judaism

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Judaism was the first monotheistic religion. Both Christianity and Islam have their roots in Judaism. Introduction to Judaism. As of 2010, there were nearly 13.5 million Jews worldwide: . ID: 775826 Download Presentation

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Introduction to Judaism

Judaism was the first monotheistic religion. Both Christianity and Islam have their roots in Judaism. Introduction to Judaism. As of 2010, there were nearly 13.5 million Jews worldwide: .

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Introduction to Judaism

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Introduction to Judaism

Judaism was the first monotheistic religionBoth Christianity and Islam have their roots in Judaism


Introduction to Judaism

As of 2010, there were nearly 13.5 million Jews worldwide:


5.7 million

U.S. :

5.2 million


: just under 1 million

Russia and Ukraine

: 272,000

Jews are both an ethnic group and a religion. However:

according to the Jewish faith, anyone may be considered to be a Jew if:

1. they were born to a Jewish mother

2. they are a convert to Judaism



The founder of Judaism was Abraham

Abraham was born in the Sumerian city of Ur around 1900 B.C.

God called out to Abraham, offering to make him the father of a great nation, if he would leave his home and settle in the land which God promised to him.

This promised land was called Canaan. It was located in present day Israel and Jordan



Route Abraham took to Canaan



Abraham entered into a


with God:

Abraham had to keep God’s laws. In return, God granted Abraham and his wife Sarah a son, who they named Isaac.

What was the most important of God’s laws?

That Abraham and his people worship no other gods but the one God



All of the Jewish people are descended through Abraham’s son IsaacIsaac’s grandson Joseph led the Hebrews out of Canaan to the land of Egypt.


The Exodus

The Hebrews were eventually enslaved by the EgyptiansWere led out of Egypt by Moses. This was known as the Exodus (around 1200 B.C.)Moses led his people back to the land of Canaan. They were given the Ten Commandments by God as their rule of law.


The Ten Commandments

The Ten Commandments are the most important and best-known Jewish laws.They require people to respect and honor God. They also tell people how they should treat each other: do not lie, steal, commit adultery, or murder


Kingdom of Israel

Under their great king David, the Hebrew people created a kingdom in Canaan, which was located in modern day Israel and Jordan (around 1000 B.C.)Established Jerusalem as the religious and political capitalThis kingdom grew wealthy and powerful under David’s son, King Solomon


Kingdom of Israel

Solomon built a magnificent temple to house the Ark of the Covenant, which is said to have contained the Ten Commandments


The Temple

This Temple was eventually destroyed and rebuilt many times. It was destroyed once and for all by the Romans in 70 A.D.

The only remaining part of the Temple is the Western or Wailing Wall

It is an important place of pilgrimage to the Jewish people


The Temple

Wailing Wall in Jerusalem


The Diaspora

The Romans forced the Jewish people out of Palestine. The Jews scattered throughout the known world. This scattering was known as the Diaspora


The Torah

The Torah is the first five books of the Hebrew Bible, and is considered their most sacred textIt provides the Jews with their early history, as well as moral and religious laws


The Prophets

A prophet is a person who speaks or acts on behalf of GodMoses, who gave the Jews the Ten Commandments, is considered their most important prophet


Key Teachings of Judaism

There is only one God

and God provides standards of right and wrong that people should follow. Judaism introduced this belief, called ethical monotheism, to the world



teaches that there is such a thing as “right” and “wrong” and that people have an obligation to do what is right.

Ethical World View

. Since

the Hebrew Bible states that all people are created in the image of God, Jews believe that every individual is important and deserves to be treated with respect.

3. Honor

the Sabbath.

Judaism teaches that Jews should spend one


a week, the Sabbath, focusing on things other than work and




is the origin of the idea of a weekly day of rest that is part of many religions and is widely followed in many parts of the world.


Key Teachings of Judaism

Live According to God’s Laws



Judaism teaches that studying the Hebrew

Bible, especially the Torah, leads

to wisdom and good deeds, so Jewish culture emphasizes the importance of learning.

Dietary Laws


Sects of Judaism


– most traditional branch; emphasizes observance of moral and ritual obligations


– not as strict on ritual laws


– middle ground; emphasizes the study of traditional Jewish texts




Christianity in the Middle East

As of 2010, there were 2.18 billion Christians in the world

This religion has many denominations, or sects:

1. Roman Catholic

2. Protestant

3. Eastern Orthodox

Christianity has its roots in the beliefs and traditions of Judaism




The religion of Christianity is based upon the life and teachings of a Jewish man known as Jesus of NazarethOther religions, such as Judaism and Islam, believe Jesus to be a Prophet



Christianity in the Middle East

Unlike other religions, such as Judaism and Islam, Christians believe that Jesus was the Messiah, which means “Annointed One,” and the Son of GodJesus came down to earth in human form in order to bring God and humanity back together



The Christian Bible

The Christian Bible is divided into two parts: the Old Testament, which contains the witness of God originally to the Jews, and the New Testament, which is an account of those who knew or were closely associated with Jesus



The Holy Bible

The four Gospels written by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, together with three other books, form the New Testament of the Bible, which is the basis of Christianity


The Apostle’s Creed

The Roman Emperor Constantine promoted the spread of Christianity throughout the Empire

In A.D. 325, he convened a council of bishops at Nicaea, in modern day Turkey, to come to an agreement about Church doctrine

They came up with a formal expression of Christian faith, known as

The Apostle’s Creed

Christianity would become the official religion of the Roman Empire



Resurrection and Ascension

Jesus was executed by the Romans because his teachings were viewed as a threat, both to the Empire as well as the Jewish EldersAccording to Christian beliefs, Jesus was resurrected from the dead and ascended to heaven5.


Resurrection and Ascension

Through his death and resurrection, Jesus forgives all sins and offers people the opportunity to gain eternal life5.


Christianity in the Middle East

After Jesus’s death, his disciples resumed his work, and spread his teachings throughout the Roman world

All Christians believe that Jesus was


and ascended into heaven

Jesus reconciled humanity with God through this death and resurrection



Christianity in the Middle East

These early Christian communities were met with suspicion by the Roman authorities

Roman authorities viewed the Christians as dangerous to the state, since they would not sacrifice to the pagan gods, nor recognize the divinity of their emperor

By the middle of the 1


century, Christians came under intense persecution by Rome



Christian Persecution in the Roman Empire


Extent of Christianity by 5th century A.D.

Despite this persecution, Christian communities began to grow


Appeal and Spread of Christianity

Christianity appealed to many people, both rich and poor, because it offered the hope of salvation and eternal life

Jesus also preached that ALL people were EQUAL, regardless of social class or wealth


Reasons for Spread of Christianity

Jesus’s message of the universality of humankind: all people are the same, and should be treated with respect

Promise of an afterlife appealed to those whose daily existence was difficult


Appeal and Spread of Chrisianity

Christianity was able to spread for the following reasons:

Appeal of Jesus’s message

Infrastructure of the Roman Empire

Early missionary activities of the Apostles, especially Peter and Paul

The Second Jewish Diaspora



Eastern Orthodox Church

The Roman Empire eventually split into two halves: East and West. The Christian Church had two main centers: Rome and Constantinople

The Eastern Empire (Byzantine) eventually refused to recognize the Pope as the head of the Christian Church. This


split became formal in 1054 A.D.


Eastern Orthodox Church

The Eastern Orthodox Church (centered in Constantinople)


Similarities of Judaism & Christianity

All religions:A way to rejoice and give thanksmoral codeGive to needyGolden rule: “do unto others”Supreme power

C and J:


Old Testament


Ten Commandments

Idea Heaven

Belief in the idea of a Messiah

Jerusalem Holy

Coming of Age ceremonies

Several Denominations/movements

Sacred text

Sabbath (Sat/Sun)


Comparison of Statistics and Basics




adherents called



current adherents

14 million

2 billion

current size rank

12th largest


major concentration

Israel, Europe, USA

Europe, North and South America, rapid growth in Africa

sacred text


Bible (Jewish Bible + New Testament)

other written authority

Talmud, Midrash, Responsa

church fathers, church councils, papal decrees (Catholic only)



priests, ministers, pastors, bishops

house of worship


church, chapel, cathedral

main day of worship




Comparison of Origins and History




date founded


c. 33 CE

place founded

Palestine (





Moses or Abraham


original language(s)


Aramaic, Greek

early expansion

little expansion; mostly confined to Palestine

within 60 years, churches in major cities in Palestine, Turkey, Greece and Rome (


); entire Roman Empire by end of 4th cent.

major splits

Reform/Orthodox, 1800s CE

Catholic/Orthodox, 1054 CE; Catholic/Protestant, 1500s CE


Comparison of Religious Beliefs

 JudaismChristianitytype of theism strict monotheism Trinitarian monotheism ultimate realityone God one God names of God Yahweh, Elohim Yahweh, the Holy Trinity other spiritual beings angels and demons angels and demons identity of Jesus not prophet Son of God, God incarnate, savior of the world death of Jesus death by crucifixion death by crucifixionresurrection of Jesus Not part of beliefsaffirmeddivine revelationthrough Prophets, recorded in Bible through Prophets and Jesus (as God Himself), recorded in Bible means of salvation belief in God, good deeds correct belief, faith, good deeds, sacraments (some Protestants emphasize faith alone) afterlife views vary: some heaven eternal heaven