Jesus vs. Judaism: Comparison of the Golden Rule

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Judaism is a religion practiced by Jews that is based on teachings from the Torah and Talmud. Two leading rabbis in Judaism were Hillel and Shammai, both respected religious teachers and leaders. The golden rule, which states to treat others as you would want to be treated, is found in the teachings of both Jesus and Hillel. The version in Judaism emphasizes avoiding doing harm to others, while Jesus promotes doing good to others. Both recognize the universality of the law and its importance in living a moral life. Jesus is known for adjusting and improving upon Jewish teachings and doctrines.

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Judaism known as the religion practiced by the Jews has teachings or doctrines based mainly on Torah or the five books of the Hebrew Bible and the Talmud, which is the compilation of Jewish laws and traditions. Two leading rabbis of the Jews were mentioned in the story found in Talmud, and they were Hillel and Shammai. Rabbi Hillel lived around the same time with Jesus. They were both respected and recognized religious teacher and leader. The writings about the golden rule were both found in the teachings of Jesus and Hillel. The message of the golden rule is familiar to everyone. The version of the golden rule in Judaism was found in the passage from Hillel (Shabbat 31a) which said” What is hateful to thee, do not unto thy fellow; this is the whole law. All the rest is commentary to this law; go and learn it. Jesus version of the golden rule was found in (Matthew 7:12) and it said “In everything do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets.”

Jesus vs. Judaism

            This principle of the golden rule could be trace originally to (Lev. 19:18) which said “Love your neighbor as yourself”.  The two great teachers conveyed similar message but expressed it in different context and approach. We can also see some of their differences and similarities. Judaism emphasized more on avoiding evil actions to others while Jesus promoted more on doing good things toward others. Jesus recognized also the universality of this law and how other prophets promoted this teaching. In Judaism it mentioned that this golden rule summarized the whole law and advice its hearer to go and learn it by applying the teaching on their lives. Jesus was not merely copying the teaching; he changed and improved it making it more morally sound to its listeners. Jesus encouraged the listeners during his time to be consistent in doing the right to others if you desire them to do the same thing to you. Jesus was known to adjust or even reverse some of the teachings and doctrines of the Jews.


  • Chodos, R., (2008).” Hillel and the Impudent Stranger: The Golden Rule in Judaism” Commentaries on the Golden Rule. Retrieved August 18, 2008, from

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Jesus vs. Judaism: Comparison of the Golden Rule. (2016, Nov 01). Retrieved from

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