The first Christians were, of course, Jews. Christianity arose within Judaism, and the early Christians were all Jewish. It wasn’t until later that Christianity began to develop as a separate religion.
There are a few reasons why the early Christians were Jews. First, Jesus himself was a Jew. He was born into a Jewish family and lived his life as a Jew. Second, the early Christians were all people who knew Jesus personally. They had seen him preach and teach, and they had witnessed his death and resurrection. Because they had such close ties to Jesus, they naturally saw themselves as part of the Jewish community.
As Christianity began to grow and spread, more and more Gentiles (non-Jews) began to convert. At first, the Jewish Christians continued to practice Judaism alongside their new faith. But as time went on, differences began to emerge between the two groups. The Jewish Christians started to see themselves as a separate community, distinct from both Judaism and Christianity.
This process was gradual, but by the end of the first century, the Jewish Christians were no longer considered part of either religion. They were their own distinct group, with their own beliefs and practices.
Today, there are still some Christians who consider themselves Jewish. But most Jews do not consider them to be part of the Jewish community. And most Christians do not consider them to be part of the Christian community. They are, instead, a unique and separate group.
What Are the Main Differences between a Jew and a Christian?
There are many differences between Jews and Christians, but the most fundamental difference is that Jews do not believe that Jesus was the Messiah. Jews believe in one God who created the world and gave humanity the Torah (the first five books of the Bible).
They view themselves as God’s chosen people and have a special relationship with him. Christians, on the other hand, believe that Jesus was God incarnate who came to save humanity from sin. They see themselves as members of the body of Christ and have a personal relationship with Jesus.
Other significant differences include:
- Christians believe in the Trinity (God as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit), while Jews do not.
- Christians believe in original sin (the belief that all humans are born sinful because of Adam and Eve’s disobedience in the Garden of Eden), while Jews do not.
- Christians practice baptism (immersion in water) as a sign of repentance and new life in Christ, while Jews do not.
- Christians celebrate Communion (the sharing of bread and wine in remembrance of Jesus’ sacrifice), while Jews do not.
- Christians believe in the afterlife, while Jews do not.
Despite these differences, there are also many similarities between Judaism and Christianity. Both religions teach monotheism (belief in one God), and both have a rich history of ethical and moral teachings. Both religions also place a strong emphasis on social justice and helping those in need.
How Many Jews Became Christians in the First Century?
We don’t have any reliable way of knowing how many Jews became Christians in the first century. The best estimate is that it was a very small minority.
The main reason we don’t know for sure is that, as Judaism and Christianity began to diverge in the first century, Christians increasingly self-identified as a separate religion. This made it harder to track how many people were switching back and forth between the two faiths.
There are a few references in the New Testament to Jews who have converted to Christianity, but these are mostly isolated cases and don’t give us a sense of the overall trend.
So while we can’t say for sure how many first-century Jews became Christians, it’s safe to say that it was a very small number.
Do Jews and Christians Basically Have the Same Religion?
No, Jews and Christians do not have the same religion. While Judaism and Christianity share some commonalities, they also have many significant differences.
For starters, Jews do not believe that Jesus was the Messiah. Christians believe that Jesus was God’s son who came to Earth to save humanity from sin. Jews also do not believe in the Trinity, or the idea that God is three persons in one.
Another key difference is that Judaism is based on the Hebrew Bible, while Christianity also includes the New Testament. Christians believe that the Old and New Testaments are both inspired by God and should be read together. Jews, on the other hand, only consider the Hebrew Bible to be authoritative.
Finally, Jews and Christians have different views on salvation. Christians believe that having faith in Jesus Christ is the key to salvation, but Jews believe that it comes through good deeds and observance of the Jewish law.
Despite these differences, Judaism and Christianity are both Abrahamic religions that teach monotheism, or the belief in one God. Jews and Christians also share many ethical and moral values, such as the importance of loving one’s neighbor.
Why Don’t Jews Like the Christians Who Like Them?
It’s a question that has been asked for centuries, and one that still puzzles many people today: why don’t Jews like the Christians who like them?
There are a number of possible explanations for this phenomenon. One possibility is that Jews simply don’t trust Christians, due to centuries of persecution and discrimination at the hands of Christians. Another possibility is that Jews feel that Christians are trying to convert them to Christianity, and they don’t want to be proselytized.
Whatever the reason, it’s clear that there is a lot of mistrust and misunderstanding between these two groups. Hopefully, with time and dialogue, we can bridge the divide and build a better understanding between Jews and Christians.
Our Final Thoughts
As we have seen, Christians were once Jews. However, there are several key ways in which Christianity and Judaism differ. For one, Christians believe that Jesus is the Messiah, while Jews do not. Additionally, Christians follow the New Testament, while Jews stick to the Old Testament. Finally, Christians typically worship on Sundays, while Jews observe their Sabbath on Saturdays. While Christians and Jews may have different beliefs, they both share a common history and heritage.