How are Jewish and Christian Old Testament beliefs different?

I was raised a Christian and I still am today. I was always taught a healthy respect for Jewish laws and teachings believing that our Christian tradition was an extension of Jewish tradition. I recently began studying different religions a bit more out of curiosity and I see some major differences even in the Old Testament interpretation which I thought was where we shared common ground. Most of the Jews that I have known seemed to not actually practice any religion or believe literally in Bible teaching. If you are a Jew how do you see Christian interpretations of the Old Testament Bible and do you believe in the word of God literally? Do you believe in Satan as a fallen angel who is able to act on his own free will? If you believe that a person must go to hell for up to 11 months to atone for his or her sins after death, then where does it say this in the Bible? These are just a few major things that I have recently been reading regarding Jewish beliefs that did surprise me. Thanks for the information!

4 Answers

  • 9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Simple answer that Christians fail to understand!

    The Old Testament Messiah or king was never divine, a human figurehead only.

    Christians completely invented the idea of a divine Messiah.

    Check it out for yourself.

  • 9 years ago

    The Old Testament

    The Prtoestant Christian Bibles have 39 Books, Roman Catholic Bibles have 46 Books, Eastern Catholic/Orthodox Bibles have 48 Books, Jewish Bibles have 24 Books.


    1. Genesis

    2. Exidus

    3. Leviticus

    4. Numbers

    5. Deuteronomy


    6. Joshua

    7. Judge

    8. Samuel

    9. Kings

    10. Isaiah

    11. Jeremiah

    12. Ezekiel

    13. The Twelve Prophets

    - Hosea

    - Joel

    - Amos

    - Obadiah

    - Jonah

    - Micah

    - Nahum

    - Habakkuk

    - Zephaniah

    - Haggi

    - Zechariah

    - Malachi

    Ketuvim - Books of Truth

    14. Psalms

    15. Proverbs

    16. Job

    Ketuvim - Five Scrolls

    17. Song of Songs

    18. Ruth

    19. Lamenations

    20. Ecclesiastes

    21. Esther

    Ketuvim - Writings

    22. Daniel

    23. Ezra-Nehemiah

    24. Chronicles

  • 9 years ago

    Actuallly, among the Jewish communities there are many different sects that understand many different parts of the old testament differently. The same is true of the Christian sects.

    The biggest difference, the one that divided the Christians from the other Jews at the time, was that the Christians accepted Jesus of Nazareth as their long promised Messiah, and the other Jews did not, and are therefore still waiting for their long promised Messiah.

  • Mathew
    Lv 7
    9 years ago

    I think the most central difference between the Jews and Christians is that the Jews follow the passage in Deuteronomy where it says to accept the teachings of the sages of Israel and their own parents to heart. God made sure the Jews would listen to their elders by making sure to tell them to do that over and over, as even a cursory look at Proverbs will confirm. The most specific passage is in Deuteronomy 17:8-13.

    If a matter eludes you in judgment, between blood and blood, between judgment and judgment, or between lesion and lesion, words of dispute in your cities, then you shall rise and go up to the place the Lord, your God, chooses. 9. And you shall come to the Levitic kohanim and to the judge who will be in those days, and you shall inquire, and they will tell you the words of judgment. 10. And you shall do according to the word they tell you, from the place the Lord will choose, and you shall observe to do according to all they instruct you. 11. According to the law they instruct you and according to the judgment they say to you, you shall do; you shall not divert from the word they tell you, either right or left. 12. And the man who acts intentionally, not obeying the kohen who stands there to serve the Lord, your God, or to the judge that man shall die, and you shall abolish evil from Israel. 13. And all the people shall listen and fear, and they shall no longer act wantonly.

    Jews take the Torah serious, whereas the Christians take the Torah only as "background information."

    The passages in the NT where the rabbis are insulted, especially those passages where Jesus and Paul mention 'man-made traditions' throw Deuteronomy 17:8-13 into the trashcan, not just the traditions of the rabbis.

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