Judaism and Christianity

However, it was not Judaism which became the most widely influential of the faiths of mankind. It was Christianity. In one sense Christianity was the outgrowth of Judaism. Yet in a very real way it was not the offspring of Judaism but was new. It was the culmination of Judaism, but it was more. It regarded the lawgivers, psalmists, and prophets of Judaism as its own and as preparing the way for Christ. It was the fulfillment of Judaism, but it went beyond Judaism. At the outset it appeared to be another Jewish sect, although very small. Yet eventually it far outgrew in dimensions and influence all the Jewish sects combined. It did this because of distinctive qualities which at once related it to Judaism and distinguished it from Judaism. It was not just another Jewish sect. It was a new and fresh faith. An understanding of Judaism is essential to a full knowledge of Christianity. But Judaism does not explain Christianity. Even a complete knowledge of

Judaism would by no means ensure a knowledge of Christianity. Indeed, it might make difficult a real understanding of Christianity. Christianity was built on Jewish foundations, yet it was radically different. In this difference lies the secret of Christianity and of its phenomenal history.

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