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There are denominations self-describing as Christian who question one or more of these doctrines, however, see Nontrinitarianism. By contrast, Judaism sees God as a single entity , and views trinitarianism as both incomprehensible and a violation of the Bible's teaching that God is one. It rejects the notion that Jesus or any other object or living being could be 'God', that God could have a literal 'son' in physical form or is divisible in any way, or that God could be made to be joined to the material world in such fashion.


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Although Judaism provides Jews with a word to label God's transcendence Ein Sof , without end and immanence Shekhinah , in-dwelling , these are merely human words to describe two ways of experiencing God; God is one and indivisible. A minority Jewish view, which appears in some [ which? This theology is referred to in Hebrew as Shituf literally "partnership" or "association". Although worship of a trinity is considered to be not different from any other form of idolatry for Jews, it may be an acceptable belief for non-Jews according to the ruling of some Rabbinic authorities [ who?

Judaism teaches that the purpose of the Torah is to teach us how to act correctly. God's existence is a given in Judaism, and not something that most authorities see as a matter of required belief. Although some authorities [ who? The quintessential verbal expression of Judaism is the Shema Yisrael , the statement that the God of the Bible is their God, and that this God is unique and one. The quintessential physical expression of Judaism is behaving in accordance with the Mitzvot the commandments specified in the Torah , and thus live one's life in God's ways.

Thus fundamentally in Judaism, one is enjoined to bring holiness into life with the guidance of God's laws , rather than removing oneself from life to be holy. Much of Christianity also teaches that God wants people to perform good works , but all branches hold that good works alone will not lead to salvation, which is called Legalism , the exception being dual-covenant theology.

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Some Christian denominations [ which? Some [ who?

The first group generally uses the term "faith" to mean "intellectual and heartfelt assent and submission". Such a faith will not be salvific until a person has allowed it to effect a life transforming conversion turning towards God in their being see Ontotheology. The Christians that hold to "salvation by faith alone" also called by its Latin name " sola fide " define faith as being implicitly ontological —mere intellectual assent is not termed "faith" by these groups.

Faith, then, is life-transforming by definition. In both religions, offenses against the will of God are called sin. These sins can be thoughts, words, or deeds. Catholicism categorizes sins into various groups. A wounding of the relationship with God is often called venial sin ; a complete rupture of the relationship with God is often called mortal sin.

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Without salvation from sin see below , a person's separation from God is permanent, causing such a person to enter Hell in the afterlife. Both the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church define sin more or less as a "macula", a spiritual stain or uncleanliness that constitutes damage to man's image and likeness of God. Hebrew has several words for sin, each with its own specific meaning.

The word pesha , or "trespass", means a sin done out of rebelliousness. The word aveira means "transgression".

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And the word avone , or "iniquity", means a sin done out of moral failing. The word most commonly translated simply as "sin", het , literally means "to go astray". Just as Jewish law, halakha provides the proper "way" or path to live, sin involves straying from that path. Judaism teaches that humans are born with free will , and morally neutral, with both a yetzer hatov , literally, "the good inclination", in some views [ which? In Judaism all human beings are believed to have free will and can choose the path in life that they will take. It does not teach that choosing good is impossible—only at times more difficult.

There is almost always a "way back" if a person wills it. Although texts mention certain categories for whom the way back will be exceedingly hard, such as the slanderer, the habitual gossip, and the malicious person. The rabbis recognize a positive value to the yetzer hara : one tradition identifies it with the observation on the last day of creation that God's accomplishment was "very good" God's work on the preceding days was just described as "good" and explain that without the yetzer ha'ra there would be no marriage, children, commerce or other fruits of human labor; the implication is that yetzer ha'tov and yetzer ha'ra are best understood not as moral categories of good and evil but as selfless versus selfish orientations, either of which used rightly can serve God's will.

In contrast to the Jewish view of being morally balanced, Original Sin refers to the idea that the sin of Adam and Eve 's disobedience sin "at the origin" has passed on a spiritual heritage, so to speak. Christians teach that human beings inherit a corrupted or damaged human nature in which the tendency to do bad is greater than it would have been otherwise, so much so that human nature would not be capable now of participating in the afterlife with God. This is not a matter of being "guilty" of anything; each person is only personally guilty of their own actual sins.

However, this understanding of original sin is what lies behind the Christian emphasis on the need for spiritual salvation from a spiritual Saviour, who can forgive and set aside sin even though humans are not inherently pure and worthy of such salvation. Paul the Apostle in Romans and I Corinthians placed special emphasis on this doctrine, and stressed that belief in Jesus would allow Christians to overcome death and attain salvation in the hereafter.

This is referred to as "being born of water and the Spirit", following the terminology in the Gospel of St. Most Protestants believe this salvific grace comes about at the moment of personal decision to follow Jesus, and that baptism is a symbol of the grace already received. Christians will often use the Greek of the Septuagint to make distinctions between the types of love: philia for brotherly, eros for romantic and agape for self-sacrificing love.

Like many Jewish scholars and theologians, literary critic Harold Bloom understands Judaism as fundamentally a religion of love. But he argues that one can understand the Hebrew conception of love only by looking at one of the core commandments of Judaism, Leviticus , "Love your neighbor as yourself", also called the second Great Commandment. Talmudic sages Hillel and Rabbi Akiva commented that this is a major element of the Jewish religion. Also, this commandment is arguably at the center of the Jewish faith.

As the third book of the Torah, Leviticus is literally the central book. Historically, Jews have considered it of central importance: traditionally, children began their study of the Torah with Leviticus, and the midrashic literature on Leviticus is among the longest and most detailed of midrashic literature see Bamberger Bernard Jacob Bamberger considers Leviticus 19, beginning with God's commandment in verse 3—"You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God, am holy"—to be "the climactic chapter of the book, the one most often read and quoted" Leviticus is itself the climax of this chapter.

The only statements in the Tanakh about the status of a fetus state that killing an unborn infant does not have the same status as killing a born human being, and mandates a much lesser penalty Exodus 22—25 [27] although this interpretation is disputed, the passage could refer to an injury to a woman that causes a premature, live birth.

The Talmud states that the fetus is not yet a full human being until it has been born either the head or the body is mostly outside of the woman , therefore killing a fetus is not murder, and abortion —in restricted circumstances—has always been legal under Jewish law. Rashi , the great 12th century commentator on the Bible and Talmud, states clearly of the fetus lav nefesh hu : "it is not a person. Christians who agree with these views may refer to this idea as abortion before the quickening of the fetus. Judaism unilaterally supports, in fact mandates , abortion if doctors believe that it is necessary to save the life of the woman.

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Many rabbinic authorities allow abortions on the grounds of gross genetic imperfections of the fetus. They also allow abortion if the woman were suicidal because of such defects. However, Judaism holds that abortion is impermissible for family planning or convenience reasons. Each case must be decided individually, however, and the decision should lie with the pregnant woman, the man who impregnated her, and their Rabbi. Jews and Christians accept as valid and binding many of the same moral principles taught in the Torah.

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There is a great deal of overlap between the ethical systems of these two faiths. Nonetheless, there are some highly significant doctrinal differences. Judaism has many teachings about peace and compromise, and its teachings make physical violence the last possible option. Nonetheless, the Talmud teaches that "If someone comes with the intention to murder you, then one is obligated to kill in self-defense [rather than be killed]".

The clear implication is that to bare one's throat would be tantamount to suicide which Jewish law forbids and it would also be considered helping a murderer kill someone and thus would "place an obstacle in front of a blind man" i. The tension between the laws dealing with peace, and the obligation to self-defense, has led to a set of Jewish teachings that have been described as tactical-pacifism.

This is the avoidance of force and violence whenever possible, but the use of force when necessary to save the lives of one's self and one's people. Although killing oneself is forbidden under normal Jewish law as being a denial of God's goodness in the world, under extreme circumstances when there has seemed no choice but to either be killed or forced to betray their religion, Jews have committed suicide or mass suicide see Masada , First French persecution of the Jews , and York Castle for examples.

As a grim reminder of those times, there is even a prayer in the Jewish liturgy for "when the knife is at the throat", for those dying "to sanctify God's Name". See: Martyrdom. These acts have received mixed responses by Jewish authorities. Where some Jews regard them as examples of heroic martyrdom, but others saying that while Jews should always be willing to face martyrdom if necessary, it was wrong for them to take their own lives. Because Judaism focuses on this life, many questions to do with survival and conflict such as the classic moral dilemma of two people in a desert with only enough water for one to survive were analysed in great depth by the rabbis within the Talmud, in the attempt to understand the principles a godly person should draw upon in such a circumstance.

The Sermon on the Mount records that Jesus taught that if someone comes to harm you, then one must turn the other cheek. This has led four Protestant Christian denominations to develop a theology of pacifism , the avoidance of force and violence at all times. They are known historically as the peace churches , and have incorporated Christ's teachings on nonviolence into their theology so as to apply it to participation in the use of violent force; those denominations are the Quakers , Mennonites , Amish , and the Church of the Brethren.

Many other churches have people who hold to the doctrine without making it a part of their doctrines, or who apply it to individuals but not to governments, see also Evangelical counsels. The vast majority of Christian nations and groups have not adopted this theology, nor have they followed it in practice. See also But to bring a sword. Although the Hebrew Bible has many references to capital punishment , the Jewish sages used their authority to make it nearly impossible for a Jewish court to impose a death sentence.

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Even when such a sentence might have been imposed, the Cities of Refuge and other sanctuaries, were at hand for those unintentionally guilty of capital offences. It was said in the Talmud about the death penalty in Judaism, that if a court killed more than one person in seventy years, it was a barbarous or "bloody" court and should be condemned as such. Christianity usually reserved the death penalty for heresy , the denial of the orthodox view of God's view, and witchcraft or similar non-Christian practices.


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  4. For example, in Spain, unrepentant Jews were exiled, and it was only those crypto-Jews who had accepted baptism under pressure but retained Jewish customs in private, who were punished in this way. It is presently acknowledged by most of Christianity that these uses of capital punishment were deeply immoral. Orthodox Jews, unlike most Christians, still practice a restrictive diet that has many rules.