The traditional religion of the Jewish people. It’s basis is God’s choosing of His people (Israel), and membership is primarily by birth (Ex 19:5; Deut 7:6, 14:2). It stresses keeping of the laws of God as found in the Torah (also called Pentateuch – the books of Moses, Genesis to Deuteronomy) as the means to draw closer to God, with the 613 commandments governing all aspects of Jewish life.  Actions and behaviour are highly important in Judaism, with beliefs coming from those actions, in contrast to Christians whose belief is the primary focus that, in turn, governs the actions. As with all other religions it is works-based, as opposed to the grace of God adhered to by Christians. They do not consider there is a need for a Saviour and beliefs about Jesus vary from being a great moral teacher to an idol of Christianity. They believe the Messiah (anointed one of God) will come and gather all the Jews into the land of Israel and the temple in Jerusalem will be rebuilt.

There are several branches or sects of Judaism – Orthodox, Conservative and Reformed – each with their own emphasis or beliefs and requirements, yet all affirm God is the creator and He alone is to be worshipped.

See also: anti-Semitism, feasts, Jews, Torah