Rambam states that for gentiles who wish to have a place in the world to come, they don't need to convert to Judaism. All they need to do is keep the 7 laws of Noah because they were mandated by Hashem.


The first of the seven Noahide commandments however is not to worship idols, and Christianity is considered by Rambam and others to be avodah zarah. This has also been discussed on Mi Yodeya here. Is Christianity Avodah Zara?

Given the discussions on the status of Christianity and the prohibition of avodah zarah for Noahides, can one be a Noahide and a Christian at the same time ?

How about being a Noahide and rejecting Christianity as a doctrine, but taking part in Christian religious activities such as sermons, baptisms, etc?

  • 4
    Didn't you answer your own question? Dec 8, 2020 at 18:15
  • In addition to OP's question, I would be interested to know whether there have been any pronouncements by Rishonim or modern scholars regarding the avodah zarah status of Unitarianism. i.e., those forms of Christianity that developed since the 16th century which regard G-d as one and Jesus as a divinely inspired teacher (I.e., a similar approach to that taken in Islam). Given that this development occured initially in Lithuania and Galicia and then spread to the English speaking world in the 18th/19th centuries, you might expect it to have caught the attention of the scholars of the time.
    – Jm Lewin
    Dec 9, 2020 at 9:28
  • There are Nontrinitarian forms of Christianity, which wouldn't be considered idolatry. Though most poskim considered trinitarian forms of Christianity to be idolatry. Can't point to a source now, but I think the Rambam holds that just fulfilling the 7 Noahide laws is not enough, one must also believe that it was to given to Moshe Rabeinu at Har Sinai (to give over to goyim).
    – benny
    Dec 9, 2020 at 18:06
  • R Sternbuch paskens that all branches of Christianity is definitely avodah zarah: hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=49820&st=&pgnum=356
    – Binyomin
    Jul 24, 2022 at 20:54

4 Answers 4


While there may be forms of Christianity which are less problematic than others, the underlying idea behind the religion is problematic. (Some forms reject the trinity and some forms don't practice the symbolic cannibalism others do) The fundamental nature of Christianity runs counter to what Judaism established.

  • Their religion is based around a human sacrifice for sin atonement. That concept contradicts very fundamental ideas in Judaism. Judaism rejects entirely the idea that a human sacrifice should occur at all. Our worst enemies practiced human sacrifice. Our rejection of that is part of what separated us from other nations at the time. Hashem separated himself by rejecting a human sacrifice (Isaac) and requested a ram sacrifice instead. That entire narrative relates to how human blood for sin is not how Hashem operates. When you add Jesus into the equation (a being they claimed was God in flesh) and then state God sacrificed a person (who was himself at the time) for sin forgiveness, it contradicts everything we established in Torah. Why would Hashem break his own standard? That makes no sense.
  • Their nature of sin itself is different. Judaism establishes that we each carry our own sins. We are not responsible for the sins of our families or ancestors unless we carry on their mistakes and continue them. Outside of that, we all have our own moral bank account. Christianity changed that relationship with the concept of Original Sin. They state that we all carry the universal burden of the sin Eve made when she disobeyed God (the original sin). While it's true her actions fundamentally changed the nature of humanity (and made us as we are) the fact is Judaism rejects the idea that Hashem has added a sin debt to every human by default because of her actions. Our sins are our own and her sins were hers. We don't all start off in the negative because of her actions. Hashem is just and such a standard would be the opposite of justice.
  • Their fundamental belief in Christianity is that you need Jesus for heaven. That statement is the "no, no" to end all "no, nos". Jesus fundamentally changed the system by stating that no one can get to the father except through him. That statement is a gross violation of everything established beforehand and it created a situation where a middle-man positioned himself in a such a way where you needed him piggybacking onto your teshuvah process if you wanted full forgiveness. Nothing about that has anything to do with Judaism. It's a perversion of it to build something new around one man.

How about being a Noahide and rejecting Christianity as a doctrine, but taking part in Christian religious activities such as sermons, baptisms, etc?

What if I cheat on my spouse physically but I promise to never do so emotionally? That's still being faithful, right? (sarcasm)

The relationship between God and his people is described like a marriage. You're faithful to God in the same way you are faithful to your spouse. When you commit to your spouse, you remove yourself from temptations or inappropriate relationships which border on unfaithfulness.

  • You don't have secret friends.
  • You don't get physical with other men/women.
  • You don't speak flirtatiously with someone as you would your spouse.
  • etc.

There are lines drawn to establish that respect.

Whether you are a Jew or whether you are a Noahide, if you are still participating in religious activities developed by Christian tradition, you're cheating on Hashem. You're giving an aspect of your divine life to someone else and pretending you're not being unfaithful because your "heart is in the right place" while doing it.

That's not how it works. When you take on foreign worship practices, you are cheating on Hashem.

There's a reason we no longer pray on our knees (except Karaite Jews) - It's because we actively wanted to separate ourselves from other faith practices we may unintentionally emulate. Risking that means risking cheating on Hashem and breaking our covenant as a nation.

  • 1
    Very clear and detailed, thank you very much for this! It explains so wonderful what I am always being asked.
    – Binyomin
    Jul 24, 2022 at 20:46
  • 2
    It should be noted that the majority of Christians hold that any diluting of the trinity idea is considered blasphemous.
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Jan 20, 2023 at 14:32

Maimonides did not like Christianity because he felt, and I agree with him, that the idea that there are three gods was philosophically impossible. He considered it idolatry.[1] One of the Seven Noahide Commandments prohibits idolatry.[2] Yet others felt that Christianity wasn't necessary avodah zarah, idolatry. I think gentiles can celebrate and enjoy holidays like Christmas. However, if they reject Jesus, they should not observe the holiday in a manner that recognizes Jesus as divine.

[1] Maimonides’ Code lists idolatry as the first Noahide commandment.

[2] Although he did feel that Chrisntiny and Islam played an important role in preparing the world to accept the Messiah.

  • What does it behind impossible have to do with avoda zara?
    – Shlomy
    Jan 8, 2021 at 21:28

Not all Christians follow the trinity dogma.

Reformed and Presbytarian Churches only accept the teachings of the Bible. Members are allowed to accept the trinity dogma but it is not part of reformed theology.

Witnesses of Jehova and Unitarians reject the trinity dogma.

In this sense, it is possible to be Christian and Noahide.

It is to mention that other churches do not consider trinity as a form of idolatry.

  • 1
    Reformed and Presbyterians accept the Trinity as part of their catechism and rejection of Trinity is considered heresy. Feb 13, 2023 at 20:04
  • @TerjijKassal Calvin defended trinitarian positions, but Swiss Reformed Christians have no catechism. A good friend of mine is an active member of the Reformed Church and confesses Unitarian positions.
    – Jeschu
    Feb 14, 2023 at 21:09

No, it is not. The Ran rules (Sanhedrin 61b) that the belief in any religion except Judaism constitutes avodah zarah. He says the following: “…even the Christian saints, and even the…leader of the Ishmaelites, even though their followers do not consider them gods, nevertheless, since they bow to them to acknowledge that they are human incarnation of their divinities, they all have the halachic status of avodah zarah.."


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .