The Old Testament is filled with numerous commandments (‘mitzvot’ in Hebrew), 613 in total to be precise, and in Judaism one’s standing as a believer is measured by one’s keeping of the commandments. Total obedience to the Law of Moses is God’s covenant with the children of Israel and the core message that all the Israelite Prophets brought. By contrast, Christianity teaches that whether you are Jew or Gentile, one’s standing as a believer is not based on rigorously keeping God’s laws, but rather on belief in Jesus. From this point of view, you can say that Judaism is characterised by the Law, and Christianity by its lack of it. We can see that a major distinguishing factor between these religions is that of their attitude towards the Law of Moses, and it’s all because of one man – Paul. He is seen by Christians as an Apostle of God and he claims that his message was divinely sanctioned and represents a new covenant that replaced the old Mosaic one.
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The foundation of Christianity lies on one man: the Apostle Paul. Much of what distinguishes Christianity as a standalone religion, separate from Judaism, are Paul’s teachings. Without the writings of Paul, the New Testament (in particular the Synoptic Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke) paint the picture of a very Jewish Jesus primarily concerned with the Israelites and adherence to the Law of Moses.
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