City of Brass

City of Brass


The Judeo-Christian debate

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

My friend Razib has started an interesting debate on the meaning and value of the concept, “Judeo-Christian” – his initial post attracted a vigorous discussion, a response from Ross Douthat at The Atlantic, and lively discussion at Talk Islam. Frankly I think that the phrase “Judeo-Islamic” is a more defensible construct (agreeing with Razib’s general point).

You can follow the entire debate via this link at Talk Islam.



  • Susan

    The term Judeo-Christian is completely wrong. It really just means Christian. I’ve never heard anyone talk about the Judeo-Christian tradition and mention the Talmud or Midrash, for example. They really just mean what they call the “Old Testament.” Unfortunately, the vast majority of Christians seem to think that Judaism begins and ends with the “Old Testament.” When Jews read the Tanach, the Hebrew Bible, they do not read it by itself. They read it with centuries of Torah commentaries beside it. As a matter of fact, my rabbi said that you shouldn’t read the Bible. You should study and debate it. If you are reading the Bible by yourself you should be muttering and arguing with yourself.

  • Mark

    Well, I hope Susan and I won’t be the only ones to join this “debate”. Here is my delimma. I have been raised in a Christian society, but have a questioning mind. I have been christened as a baby and baptized as a very young adult. Decades later I still have questions. Is christianity a truth or a fabrication of man? I believe in the christian principals of goodness of heart but we learned the golden rule in school. Does Judaism, Islam, Hindi, and others, in truth (not media)hold the same principals? I am not studied enough to know.
    Does any man really know “the truth”? Or do we only believe what is told by man. Basic Christianity teaches of Heaven and Hell. Are the Christian Descriptions true? Will I go to Hell because I have doubts?
    Are the Jews convinced they will meet God in Heaven without giving their “hearts” to Jesus Christ? If so, why is this so? Do the Christians not assume then that all non-christians will go to Hell? Do we believe in a loving God and if so why would He send good Jews and Hindis and other good people to Hell?
    It is torment to live in a Christian Society and be told your lack of conviction will send you to eternal damnation and pain. I know self-proclaimed devout Christians whom I believe may live further from my knowledge of the Christian “Word” than I do, yet they are to be “saved” because of their acceptance of Christ. I can not refute nor validate the New Testament. In fact, I can only say “I don’t know”. I pray to God, whom I believe I am the loved child of, that I won’t go to Hell for my ignorance.

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