The Great Commandment and Summary of the Law say: Love God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength, and your neighbor as yourself — and your neighbor is whoever happens to cross your path.
Jesus said that if we observe these, we will gain eternal life.
But these commandments come straight from the Hebrew Scriptures, aka the Old Testament.
Craig, a correspondent on the TitusOneNine blog, asked: What, then, is the difference between a Christian and a Jew?
Under Jesus’ definition, there’s no material difference between a good Christian and a good Jew. (That makes sense; after all, Jesus and his original followers were Jews.)
It was only after Jesus' death that his later followers and his Jewish compatriots excluded each other from fellowship.
If Jesus had still been around, I don’t think he would have put up with that.
 Luke 10.25-37 tells how Jesus explained the Great Commandment and Summary of the Law:
On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
“What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”
He answered: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
“You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”
But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
In reply Jesus [tells the parable of the Good Samaritan]. * * *
“Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”
The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” [Editorial comment: I wonder if a better translation might be “The one who practiced acts of mercy toward him.”]
Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”
The difference between Christians and Jews would seem to be the understanding of how our relationship to God is conceived. Christians believe that obedience and fulfillment of the Great Commandment/Summary of the Law are only possible through the work of the Holy Spirit who is received as we are incorporated in the Body of Christ through baptism. While I can't speak for Jews, I imagine they would configure this process a bit differently.
You're right. Devout Christians and devout Jews *should* act the same way and place their faith in the same God. Our understandings about our identity and the means through which we act and believe are the difference.
Posted by: Derek | February 02, 2005 at 11:24 AM
It seems that many episcopalians are restoring a sense of midrash and other rabbinical techniques to scripture. I think some Episcopalians would like, very much, to get rid of the platonic / Greek elements of the faith.
Posted by: John Wilkins | February 04, 2005 at 03:11 PM
wat i dnt get it..
Posted by: pete | January 17, 2007 at 03:20 AM
"The difference between Christians and Jews would seem to be the understanding of how our relationship to God is conceived. Christians believe that obedience and fulfillment of the Great Commandment/Summary of the Law are only possible through the work of the Holy Spirit who is received as we are incorporated in the Body of Christ through baptism. While I can't speak for Jews, I imagine they would configure this process a bit differently."
Actually, the Old Testament has many texts expressing our total dependence on grace, and Philo of Alexandria was a great theologian of grace. To characterize Jews as Pelagians does not work, though Paul formulated his doctrine of grace in response to those he characterized as Judaizers intent on works-righteousness.
Posted by: Joseph O'Leary | April 17, 2007 at 02:30 AM
this is rubbish i'm doin it in english
Posted by: steve | August 21, 2007 at 03:36 AM
The difference, between a Christian and a Jew? You must be kidding right?
The Jews have 613 man made laws.
The Christian has one Divine Law.
Love your neighbor as yourself.
Posted by: James | February 17, 2008 at 05:57 PM
No one knows when and who wrote the Old Testament. The rumor is, during the Babylon
captivity of the Hebrews, about 400 years before Christ, some men wrote the Old
testament to give the Hebrews slaves some self-esteem, by calling them the chosen ones. This became a curse upon the Jews, but more importantly, a curse upon humanity. The Jews are taught, they alone have souls and all non-Jews are only talking animals. If Israel
persuades the USA to attacks Iran, then Iran can send a few biological missiles to Israel, killing enough of them to enable the Palestine's to take back their country. At this point, it seems Israel is on a self destructive path and are doomed. A greater problem is, when the USA attacks Iran, it will cause a series of events that will take out most of the civilized world. Those old men, that wrote the Old Testament in Babylon, did not know, that their words would lead to so much destruction on Earth, or perhaps they just didn't care. Every Old Testament should have a warning label: Caution, Judaism may be hazardous to the welfare of humanity.
Posted by: Amalek | February 24, 2008 at 06:10 PM
I watched a video of John Hagee giving a speech at an AIPAC meeting. It's hard to believe an anti-Catholic Protestant could get an audience of Jews excited, but he did. Especially when he named the Old Testament Prophets and said, "not a Baptist among them." John Hagee may be anti-Catholic and anti-Baptist, but he's definitely not anti-Jewish. I read, that he is inviting Jewish guests to his congregations to teach Hebrew culture. Creating Christian Zionists is hazardous to the welfare of humanity. I would guess that 99% of people, that say they are Christians are only half Christian. Many do, but many don't know, they are in fact Judao-Christians.
Combining Christianity with Judaism, creates a complex religion and nullifies the New Testament. Ministers will teach from the Old Testament for basically two reasons. One is, it makes the religion so complex, it creates a mystery and two, tithing is a law of the first Covenant. What Preacher doesn't preach, that ye have robbed God, by withholding your tithes?. The Rabbi's have become Preachers, the Temples have become Churches and religion is still taught for profit, just as Judaism.
Heb 8:13 In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.
The greedy Preachers doesn't want the Old Testament to vanish away, they want you to study the Old Testament, eventho they know it will blind the mind.
2 Cor 3:14 But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same veil untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which veil is done away in Christ.
Saint Paul referred to the religion that Moses taught, as the ministration of death.
2 Cor 3:7 But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away:
Saint Paul also knew that Christianity could be subverted.
2 Cor 11:3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.
Today, Christianity is corrupted by Judaism. Some people are so blinded, they will write checks to T.V, evangelists or pay their tithes, thinking they are serving God, while their children or relatives go needy.
1 Tim 5:8 But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.
Today, some people are trying to force, the Ten Commandments to be displayed in Court Houses, not realizing that Jesus abolished all the laws of Judaism.
Eph 2:15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;
Jesus was born on Earth and sacrificed himself to abolish Judaism and creating a religion so simple, even the less intelligent can easily follow his one Law. "Love your neighbor as yourself" and taught that His Father in Heaven was not the mean warrior God of the Jews, but instead that God is Love. No man has ever seen God, but most have felt God. When you genuinely love another, the love you are feeling is the power of God.
Posted by: James | March 01, 2008 at 08:36 PM
Ummm...this is a bit late in the game, but did James here just say that most people are too stupid to follow God's laws and that God made Christianity as a religion for the "less intelligent?"
Posted by: gcc | May 08, 2009 at 02:23 PM
In response to James' post, I have to say that you should be careful not to take scriptures out of context. The Bible clearly says that Jesus came, NOT to abolish the law, but to fulfill it!
"Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven..."
Posted by: Melody | April 04, 2010 at 08:43 AM