Denomination Differences

Messianic Judaism vs. Eastern Orthodox Beliefs

Messianic JudaismEastern Orthodox
Number of Members350,000[1]210,000,000[2]
How does one get saved?Sola fide: Repent of your sins and believe in Jesus Christ's death and resurrection alone to save you.Repent of your sins, believe in Jesus Christ's death and resurrection, and be baptized.[3]
Who gets saved?Anyone who chooses by his own free will to believe and accept God's gift of grace will be saved.Anyone who chooses by his own free will to believe and accept God's gift of grace will be saved.
Can one lose his salvation?Eternal security: No, once a Christian is saved, he is always saved.Yes, a Christian can lose his salvation by apostasy.
Who gets baptized and why?Saved people get baptized as a public demonstration of their new lives.The unsaved, typically as infants, get baptized as the first sacrament of Christian initiation, cleansing them of all sins.
How should baptism be done?Baptism should be by immersion.Baptism should be by triple immersion.
When does one receive the Holy Spirit?The Holy Spirit is received at the moment of salvation.The Holy Spirit is received at chrismation, generally immediately after baptism.
What is the trinity?Most believe the Trinity is God existing as one god in three equal, eternal, cosubstantial persons: God the Father, God the Son (Jesus Christ), and God the Holy Spirit.The Trinity is God existing as one god in three equal, eternal, cosubstantial persons: God the Father, God the Son (Jesus Christ), and God the Holy Spirit.
What is the human nature?Humans have a יֵצֶר הַרַע (yetzer hara)—an inclination to do evil—and, upon reaching 12 for girls and 13 for boys, develop a יֵצֶר הַטוֹב (yetzer hatov)—a weaker inclination to do good.Human nature is intrinsically good but is wounded and incapable of choosing God in our fallen environment.[4][5]
Are we guilty of Adam's original sin?No, we are not guilty of Adam's sin, but we did inherit the consequences and a corrupt human nature from him, causing us all to sin.No, we are not guilty of Adam's sin, nor did we inherit a sinful nature from him, but we did inherit the consequences.[6]
Are Christians required to keep the Old Testament ceremonial laws?Yes, Messianic Jews should follow the Torah, although Gentile Christians are not required to.No, the ceremonial laws of Judaism were fulfilled and done away with by Jesus.
Can Christians become sinless in this earthly life?No, although Christians can and should sin less, they can never become sinless in this life.Yes, Christian perfection is possible.
Do the elements of communion become the body and blood of Christ?No, the elements merely symbolically represent the body and blood of Christ.Metousiosis: Yes, the bread and the wine change in essence into the body and blood of Christ.
Can one be baptized of behalf of someone who has died?No, the dead cannot be baptized.No, the dead cannot be baptized.
What happens if a saved person dies without being perfect?Once Christians leave their sinful bodies, nothing else is needed to receive glorified, sinless bodies.There is no purgatory, but Christians will continue in theosis after death.[7]
Did Mary ever sin?Yes, Mary sinned like all other humans except Jesus.Mary was prone to sin like anyone else, but no, through her own free will she still never did.
What spiritual gifts are available today?Continuationism: All spiritual gifts are still available to believers.
What is the gift of tongues?Speaking in tongues is sometimes unintelligible and sometimes foreign human languages.[8][9]
What are the requirements for clergy?Priests must be men over 30 ordained by bishops.
How many church ordinances/​sacraments are there?Messianic Jews should practice Immersion.[10][11][12][13][14]The church has seven sacraments: Baptism, Chrism, Holy Eucharist, Confession, Ordination, Marriage, and Holy Unction.[15]
To whom do Christians need to confess their sins?Confession should be made directly to God, but confession to another believer is beneficial for some sins.[16][17]Confession should be made to God before a priest.[18]
How should a church be structured?Congregationalist: Every church congregation should be independent and governed by its members.Episcopal: Churches should be governed by the bishop in that episcopacy, who in turn is governed by a patriarch of an autocephalous church. The Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople is first among equals.
What day of the week should Christians worship?Messianic Jews observe Shabbat on Saturday.Christians worship on Sunday.
How does God's revelation come to us today?Prima scriptura: There are many sources of God's revelation, although none can contradict the Bible.[19]Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition have equal authority and comprise one finished deposit of faith.
How many books are in the Bible?There are 66 canonical books of the Bible: 39 Old Testament books and 27 New Testament books.There are 76 canonical books of the Bible: 39 protocanonical books, 10 deuterocanonical books, and 27 New Testament books.
Who can speak with God's authority today?The church as a whole speaks with God's authority at ecumenical councils.
What is marriage?Marriage is a covenant before God between one man and one woman.[20]Marriage is a covenant before God between one man and one woman.
Is sex permissible outside marriage?No, sex outside of marriage is not permissible.[21]No, sex outside of marriage is not permissible.
When is divorce permissible?Divorce is permissible for adultery, abuse, or abandonment.[22]Divorce is permissible for adultery, abuse, or abandonment.[23][24]
May a Christian remarry while his former spouse is still alive?Yes, a Messianic Jew may freely remarry after a divorce which was for a valid reason.[22]Yes, a Christian may remarry a second or third time for human weakness.[24]
When does a fetus become human?Humanity begins at conception.[25][26]Humanity begins at conception.[27]
Is contraception permissible?Yes, contraceptives are permissible as long as the couple eventually have at least two children.[28]Most believe that yes, contraceptives are permissible.[29][30]
Are blood transfusions permissible?Yes, blood transfusions are permissible.[31][32]Yes, blood transfusions are permissible.
Should women cover their heads?Varies widely[33][34][35]Varies widely
Should Christians drink alcohol?Yes, drinking alcohol is fine as long as one does not get drunk.[36]Yes, drinking alcohol is fine as long as one does not get drunk.
Should Christians fight in wars?Yes, Christians can fight in just wars.[37][38][39]
Whom does the Holy Spirit come from?The Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father alone.
Do icons glorify God?Yes, icons are holy and should be venerated.[40]
Where does a Christian's soul go after death?After death, souls sit conscious in an Intermediate State, with a foretaste of heaven for Christians.[41]