Thursday, October 21, 2010

❏This vs That ❐: Christianity vs. Judaism

Welcome to Thursday's

Christianity has a close relationship with Judaism, both historically and theologically. Jesus, the twelve disciples, the author of most of the New Testament, and the members of the earliest Christian churches were all Jews. Jesus' family followed Jewish customs and Jesus frequently quoted the Hebrew Bible. Jesus' followers believed him to be the messiah, a Jewish figure predicted in the Jewish Bible.

Despite its Jewish origins, it was not long before Christianity regarded itself as something other than a new Jewish sect. The first Christian council, convened by the apostles, concluded that pagan converts to Christianity did not have to follow Jewish ritual laws. Soon, converts to Christianity were almost exclusively pagans and Christianity moved further away from Judaism.
In the 2,000 years of history since Jesus, the relationship between Christianity and the ancient faith in which it is rooted has often been strained. Christians have criticized Jews for rejecting Jesus as their messiah, and Jews have criticized Christians for corrupting the concept of one God and following a false messiah. The New Testamant reports that Jews were the first to persecute Christians, and after Christians became the more powerful group, they frequently persecuted Jews.

Today, theological disagreements between Christians and Jews remain, but efforts are being made towards greater understanding and respect between the two great faiths. The following charts compares the origins, beliefs and practices of Christianity and Judaism.

A while vs. Awhile

A while is a noun meaning “a length of time”
  • “I slept for a while.”
    - (compare with “I slept for a bit” and “I slept for three hours”)
  • “I was away from my desk for a while.” - (compare with “I was away from my desk for two minutes”)
Awhile is an adverb, meaning “for a time,” or literally, “for a while”.
  • “I slept awhile before dinner.”
    (compare with “I slept deeply before dinner” and “I slept badly before dinner”.)
As you can see, the words can be used almost interchangeably in some cases – but a while needs to be accompanied by a preposition, such as “for” (“I slept for a while”) or “ago” (“I left work a while ago”). Awhile always means “for a while”.

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