A Comparison of Judaism and Christianity, Two World Religions

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Founded in c, 30 CE, Judaism is one of the first known religions Only over a thousand years later was Christianity founded in c. 1300 BCE. Both contrast each other in many ways, from the biggest in the belief of Christ to smaller issues and values Despite their differences, Christianity and Judaism share extremely similar stances on abortion, derive their stances from their similar texts, and receive similar backlash for their positions Judaism and Christianity share similar beliefs on abortion, especially when looking at the Old Testament, otherwise known as the Torah During the Biblical Period, the overall idea of abortion was not as prominent as we see today. Because of this, we do not have specific commentary from scriptures on abortion, however, both religions still use similar situations within their respective texts to establish their stances on abortion. The most explicit mention of abortion comes from Exodus 21:22-23.

This verse reads, “And if men strive together, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart, and yet no harm follow — he shall be surely fined… But if any harm follow — then thou shall give life for life.” Despite the harsh stances we see today taken on abortion by religions, the actual text these religions subscribe to appear to suggestion abortion is not “as bad” as murder, according to each crime’s punishment. In contrast, the interpretation of the text becomes more complicated with Judaism Various interpretations of the text, from Priestly to talmudic scholars, give it different meanings. We look to different examples for further clarification.

The Zohar, or the chief text of the Jewish Kabbalah, states, “a person who kills the fetus in his wife’s womb desecrates that which was built by the Holy One and His craftsmanshipfifl In Exodus 1:22, we see the Pharaoh of Egypt demand “every son that is born ye shall cast into the river” to avoid the eventual rise of Moses. In defiance, the Israelites resisted, “Israel is praised”, and the Zohar writes “there was found no single person to kill the fetus in the womb of the woman, much less after its birth. By virtue of this Israel went out of bondage” (Zohar, Ex,, ed, Warsaw, 3b) (jewishvirtallibrary) Looking at Christianity even closer, especially today, there is a fierce opposition to abortion within most Christian churches, especially the largest and most influential, the Catholic Church. Because abortion is not explicitly mentioned apart from Exodus 21 within the Bible, many Christians use verses from similar situations to justify their beliefs.

For example, another verse reads, “Now the word of the LORD came to me saying, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations,” (Jeremiah 1:4-5), Christians believe this verse asserts the idea of a fetus being a living being. Today, both religions face major scrutiny because of their stances against abortion. With the rise of feminism, gender equality, and women’s rights in the past century and a half, religions have garnered extreme backlash and securitization for their misogynistic practices, values, and overall institutions. For example, the story of an American nun who was excommunicated from the Church for assisting in an abortion where the mother’s life was at risk made national headlines in 2010. Many Americans, and people around the world, see acts such as these as heartless, cruel, and barbaric.

It shines an extremely negative light on Christianity, and religion as a whole, during a Lime where less and fewer millennials are choosing to participate in religion because of its intolerance, Similarly, Judaism faces the same backlash, though, it is important to note their exception to abortion when a mother’s life is directly threatened. Overall, we see extremely similar positions taken by the two religions. Though many today we say they are rather extreme, Judaism appears a bit more lenient by prioritizing the life of the mother over the unborn child. The two religions do not subscribe to modern-day practices or beliefs on abortion, though their beliefs do profoundly influence modern-day our politics and society.


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A Comparison of Judaism and Christianity, Two World Religions. (2023, Jun 28). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/a-comparison-of-judaism-and-christianity-two-world-religions/

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