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Laws Of Judaism And Christianity On Marriage Religion Essay

It is well know that Christianity is originated from Judaism so Christianity and Judaism share a great part of historical root. The sacred text of Judaism is also included in the sacred text of Christianity. Hence, it is a great similarity on religious teaching and rules exist between those two great religions. However, lots of teaching and religious rules from Judaism were denied or expended by Jesus and following Christian apostles down the road, leading to a significant gap between those two religions. The teaching or rules on marriage is one of these issues. This essay takes insight into teaching and rules on marriage both from Christianity and Judaism. A comparison and contrast are carried out and any reason behind the difference and similarities would be described in this essay as well.

The story narrated in the first chapter of Genesis which is included both in sacred text of Christianity and Judaism is possibly the best blueprint to illustrate the guts concept on marriage for both Christianity and Judaism. The essay is expended from this story as well. The storyplot is described such as this :God had a rest on the seventh day after working for six days to set-up the cosmos. At the climax of creation, God had not been satisfied with his creation so he continued to create a man named Adam from clay. Adam was located in a Garden called Eden as a cultivator and keeper. However not long after that God didn't want to Adam lived in your garden alone and he said that "It isn't good for the person to be alone. I am going to make a helper ideal for him". God took out one bone from Adam's body and closed up the place with fresh thus he created a woman named Eva. God brought the girl to Adam. Once Adam saw the woman he was very joyful and said that " this is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh". Following that Genesis wrote that " That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh. " However the lovely story did not have a good ending. Shortly from then on the couple were surviving in happily in your garden, Eva was tempted by the serpent to consume the fruit of knowledge tree with Adam, which was forbidden by God. Both of them were expelled from the joyful garden by God later.

The story here's closely studied as a teaching or an example of marriage both in Christianity and Judaism. Eva was created because God don't want Adam to be alone. The creation of Eva is some sort of a symbol of the creation of marriage in the interpretation of the storyplot. Furthermore in bible marriage is also used to spell it out the relationship between the God and Israel by Judaism while in Christianity it is symbolize the partnership between Christ and Church. It is therefore that marriage is undoubtedly a divine institution instead of a human institution devised in the history. This essay illustrates the so how exactly does this story influence the concept of Christian and Judaism on marriage in several perspectives, like, celibacy, monogamy or polygamy, sex, women role in marriage, divorce and remarriage, Intermarriage.


Since it is said that God thought that "It is not good for the person to be alone", celibacy is not recommended both in the two religions. God want man and woman live together as a physical and spiritual mate with one another. In Judaism, marriage and raising children are understood as strongly holy obligations. Traditionally, it was impossible for a unmarried male to maintain leadership position in the Jewish society. Historically there is only 1 prophet Jeremiah, who didn't marry in Bible, that's because that he lived in prescribed periods of sexual abstinence in relation with rituals, sacrifices and the prosecution of holy wars. However there were rather a few exceptional examples, in line with the historian Josephus, some members of the Essence sect, rejected marriage, and the medieval Talmudic scholar Ben Azzai remained celibate.

Compared to Judaism, Christianity though highly approve the necessity of marriage, do not give all the weightiness as Judaism do. That is because that Christian assume that people do not marry each other in the coming kingdom. Furthermore, the examples of that some Jesus' followers who quit their family to be able to proclaim the coming kingdom are being used as demonstrations for the validity of celibacy in reason for completely devotion to preach the coming kingdom. In addition it was believed by Paul a devoted life of celibacy is effective for a deeper commitment to spirituality. However, since adultery is strong opposed and marriage is regarded as a effective way to avoid adultery, marriage was still recommended in a few degree in the New Testament. The attitude toward Celibacy vary a lot among different church groups. Currently general speaking, Protestant is the church group which most strongly support marriage as the correct and normal way of Christian living while Catholic still now command clerical celibacy.

Monogamy or Polygamy

Since God created only 1 woman for Adam, pointing to monogamy, most of Jewish rabbis claimed that monogamy is ideal for Jews today though polygamy is permitted as well. Additionally it is because that the relationship between a guy and his wife is also used to illustrate the love between God and Israel by Hebrew prophets, for this metaphor, monogamy is ideal. Actually monogamy has became the Jewish married custom because the return from the Babylonian exile. Furthermore, Monogamy is assumed in the description of restoration of people in the flood period of time. While monogamy is the dominance, polygamy was also practiced in Jewish community ever sold like King David who had two wives and Solomon who had 700 wives. However the two examples of polygamy have been normally regarded as negative examples by most of Jews. The polygamy case of Solomon led to his idolatry and finally destruction of the complete Israel. There are still some polygamy examples today, such as Mediterranean Jews residing in Yemen, rabbis permitting Jews to marry up to four wives. In modern Israel, where a wife cannot bear children or is mentally ill, the rabbis provide a husband the right to marry a second woman without divorcing his first wife.

Generally speaking, like Judaism, Christianity has the same understanding on the Eden story in terms of monogamy. It is common assume that monogamy is further strengthen in many places in the sacred text of Christianity "new testament" by Jesus and Paul. Polygamy is undoubtedly a kind of idolatry in almost all of churches. To be noticed, the practice of serial monogamy is also rejected as immoral by traditional teaching in Christianity since it contradicts the biblical purpose of marriage which is to build up a lifelong "one flesh" relationship. While monogamy has been accepted by almost all of churches groups, there's been a few churches like some sets of Mormon practice polygamy in several periods of time in the annals and even today. The reason why Mormon practice polygamy is that they believe Jesus told his followers to multiply and replenish the Earth.

Sex in marriage

Sex is not described in the storyline that's because sex desire is regarded as a evil impulse after human was expelled from the Eden garden in Judaism. However it is not said that Jews disregard sexual desire. Sexual desire is considered a human instinct like hunger and thirst. In Judaism sex isn't only for physical pleasure but also offers a impressive holy significance and it is practiced as a way to reinforce the relationship between a husband and a wife. The requirement of marriage before sex means that sense of commitment and responsibility. It is therefore that sex is only permissible inside the context of a marriage.

In Jewish marriage, Sex is undoubtedly a right of any wife not a husband. A husband has a duty to have sex with his wife if she has sexual desire but cannot compel to do so if she doesn't want to. A wife though have a right to have sex, cannot use sex as a weapon to punish her spousal.

Compared to Judaism, Christianity views sex much less important as Judaism does. Paul of Tarsus thought sex was totally unnecessary thing and Jesus' coming kingdom does not have any interest in that. Furthermore, libido is regarded as a physical enjoyment therefore of human's fall so it should be restrained in order to accomplish God's desire. Any sexual activities unless in reason for giving offspring is undoubtedly a negative thing via human's fallen flesh. For some periods in history, Christian couples only have sex for the purpose of giving offspring and the couples lived apart in the other time. However since adultery is strong opposed by Jesus and Paul in the brand new Testament. To be able to prevent having sex with unmarried people, Paul supported sex within marriage as a mean to resist the sexual temptation. Due to the various interpretation of verse, Sex within marriage is practiced quite differently by Christian from different church groups. Generally speaking, Christian Churches hold a conservative attitude towards Sex and sex is not discussed publicly in the churches, mostly is personal experience.

Women role in marriage

In the storyline, Adam was made from earth and the Eve was made from Adam. In addition, the woman was created to be always a helper and companion for the man. This story reflects woman marital status in Jewish marriage. A wife is often regarded not only as a helper who's directed at her husband by God to fulfill her husband's wishes but also a soul mates in the spiritual level. Hence, it is that a wife is highly valued in marriage in Judaism. A husband was taught by Judaism law to love his wife around love himself. A husband is also encouraged to go over worldly matter which might raise in his life. Traditionally a wife in Jewish family has many rights, for example sex is undoubtedly the right of woman not man. Jewish woman also can have her own asset in her family. Furthermore, without consent of his wife, a husband cannot divorce his wife. However there are a few obligations of woman are listed in Judaism law. A married woman should be modest and is required not to leave home too frequently. The descriptions of the bible claim that a wife was expected to perform certain household tasks: spinning, sewing, weaving, manufacture of clothing, fetching of water, baking of bread, and animal husbandry.

The martial role of women is quite controversial in Christianity. While some believe that women should live under men leadership, others advocate the equality between men and women in marriage. For those holding the first opinion, they declare that woman is created from man and acted as an assistant and governed by man at first in the Eden garden. They think that the first choice status of men in marriage is further affirmed by New Testament. Paul said that "For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ is the head of the church" (Ephesians 5:23). Hence, it is that the authority of husband in marriage is unshakable. However egalitarian argue that equity between men and women were mentioned in the New Testament, like "there may be neither male nor female; for you are one in Christ" (Galatians 3:27). This verse means that Christian marriage, both husband and wife enjoy equal status and privilege before God because of their position in Christ. Furthermore like Judaism, New Testament asked husbands to love their wives as loving themselves in many times, implying the equality between two genders. The first thoughts and opinions is mainly adopted by traditional man dominant societies like Asia and Africa. The next judgment is widely accepted by western culture societies.


"One flesh" from the story indicates that God wanted the couples lived with one another permanently. Couples who have been married for quite some time learn to think, act, and feel as one; they become one at heart, heart and spirit. Divorce thus leaves not two persons, but two fractions of one. Hence, it is that divorce is a tragedy both for Christianity and Judaism.

However Judaism do approve divorce, in a few conditions even encourage so. Historically divorce is merely the right of men under some circumstances like: if the marriage was childless after ten years; if the husband refused to have sex with his wife; if the husband beat his wife; or if the husband contracted a "loathsome" disease. The prerogative was changed by rabbinical law across the year 1000 CE a husband cannot divorce his wife without her consent. Nowadays a couple who are seeking divorce should be interviewed in a rabbinical law to assure that the divorce is an agreement between your two parties. Financial and offspring matters would be discussed in the court as well, normally the vulnerability of woman would be looked at. In case the divorce is granted, a get (divorce decree) is drawn up in hand-lettered Hebrew. Remarriage is regarded as the same with the first marriage as long as the divorced person obtain a get in Rabbinical Court when he got divorce.

Traditional Christian views on marriage disapproves divorce. Divorce is even regarded as a kind of adultery. This is affirmed by Matthew 5:32. Jesus teaches about divorce:"But I say that a man who divorces his wife, unless she's been unfaithful, causes her to commit adultery. And anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery. " The permanence of marriage is emphasized by Jesus here. However divorce is practiced among Christian nowadays and the attitudes towards divorce vary among different church groups. The Catholic Church prohibits divorce. The Catholic doctrine claimed a couples even divorce civilly but they remain one before God. The Eastern Orthodox Church permits divorce and remarriage in church using circumstances, though its rules are usually more restrictive that the civil divorce rules of most countries. Most Protestant churches though do not prohibit divorce through church doctrine, discourage divorce except as a last solution.

Interfaith marriage

Intermarriage is disfavor by Torah and Jewish rabbis out of fear of idolatry and Jewish assimilation historically. In Bible it records that Jews were forbidden to marry Canaanites in worries of children might be raised to check out Canaanites religion. Historically marriage between Jews and non-Jews were extremely rare until recent 19 century under the influence of Jewish enlightenments. Nowadays this issue of intermarriage is quite controversial among Jewish society. While growing amount of intermarriage are approved by reformists so long as the intermarried couples are consent to their raise their children as Jews, Orthodox rabbis still assume that intermarriage is kind of rejection of Judaism leading to be take off from Jewish community. In most cases, due to recent reformation and liberty movement, intermarriage is treated a lot more tolerably than before in Jewish community. There was a survey shows that an intermarriage rate of 52 percent among American Jews.

Compared with Judaism, Christianity has much more tolerable attitude towards interfaith marriage. However worry over that religious conflict in intermarriage is still exist in Christianity. Furthermore the sacramental essence of marriage is thought to be retained better by Christian couples in a few churches. It is therefore that some churches disapprove intermarriage like Orthodox and Catholics churches. In Protestant churches inter faith marriage is not totally forbidden but Christians are encourage to marry people who has the same faith. Because of this, most Protestant denominations will allow interfaith marriage.

In conclusion

Eden story sometimes appears as a style of marriage, which guides and supports the view of believers from the religions on Marriage. While celibacy is disfavored by Judaism, it is undoubtedly a gift from God but not strongly recommended in Christianity. Although monogamy has been dominant marriage custom in the two religions, polygamy has been practiced minority right now. In comparison to Christianity, Judaism has more opened attitude toward sex within marriage. Women had higher status in Judaism marriage than Christianity marriage historically, but nowadays equality between two parties is accepted commonly. Divorce is seen as a tragedy for both religions. While divorce and remarry is allowable literally in Judaism, it is forbidden in many Christian churches out fear of adultery. Christianity has more tolerable attitude on interfaith marriage than Judaism.

Marriage is vital to both of the religions. Although both religions share a great portion of similarity, the difference of views on marriage is still significant. Being noticed, different groups holds different views on marriage within the same religion.

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