Christianity and Noahide Law
Within Judaism it is a matter of debate whether all Christians should be considered Noahides. The strict view is that Christian theology is considered avodah zarah (loosely translated as "idolatry") for all people, both Jew and gentile, as it subscribes to the Trinity. Therefore most Christians could not be considered Noahides. However, Unitarian Christians and other followers of Jesus who do not believe that Jesus is a deity would still be considered Noahides.
The liberal orthodox view is that Christian theology is only considered avodah zarah for Jews, but it is permissible for gentiles. The Tosafist (early Talmud commentators) Rabbi Jacob Tam (Rashi's grandson), in Bekhorot 2b and Sanhedrin 63b, ruled that trinitarianism could be permitted to gentiles as a form of shittuf ("association"). This view was echoed by Rabbi Isaac ben Sheshet (Rivash, responsa 119) and accepted by Rabbi Moses Isserles (Rema, Orah Hayyim 156:1.). However, no Jewish source allows the worship through any form of shittuf; rather, all worship must be directed to the one and only Creator.
The view of Maimonides is difficult to ascertain due to text alterations in different editions of his Mishneh Torah (code of Jewish law), Ma'akhalot Asurot 11:7. In any case, in this view Christian theology is not forbidden to gentiles, and all Christians are Noahides. Today most of Reform and Conservative Judaism view all Christians as Noahides.
Christian critics of the Noahide laws contend that insisting upon a basic set of moral laws is contrary to religious pluralism. Some believe that their existence implies that Jews may set up a legal system that would effectively outlaw Christianity. The Jewish community responds by noting that it makes laws and customs for its own members (like all faiths) and does not set up governments to force Jewish beliefs on non-Jews; in contrast, some non-Jewish faiths have carried out such actions in practice. In addition, with their minimal threshold of morality, the Noahide law may be compared to Catholic social teachings.
The major Christian bodies (e.g. the Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Churches and the Protestant Churches) believe the Ten Commandments to be binding on them and would regard the Noahide laws as essentially a subset of these (though the requirement to set up courts, and the dietary regulation, are not explicit in the Ten Commandments). By contrast, most Jewish thinkers consider the Seven Noahide Laws a parallel system of general categories of commandments, each containing many components and details. Some Jewish thinkers regard the determination of the details of the Noahide Law as something to be left to Jewish rabbis. This, in addition to the teaching of the Jewish law that punishment for violating one of the seven Noahide Laws includes a theoretical death penalty (Talmud, tractate Sanhedrin 57a), is a factor in modern opposition to the notion of a Noahide legal system. The Jewish community responds by noting that Jews today no longer carry out the death penalty, even within the Jewish community. Jewish law, in contemporary practice, sees the death penalty as an indicator of the seriousness of an offense; violators are not actually put to death. Some Jewish thinkers believe that penalties are a detail of the Noahide Laws and that Noahides themselves must determine the details of their own laws for themselves. According to this school of thought - see N. Rakover, Law and the Noahides (1998); M. Dallen, The Rainbow Covenant (2003)- the Noahide Laws offer mankind a set of absolute values and a framework for righteousness and justice, while the detailed laws that are currently on the books of the world's states and nations are presumptively valid.
Some Christian writers, particularly those affiliated with Primitive Apostolic Christianity see the verses in Acts 15:19-21 as a directive from the first Council of Jerusalem to observe the basic understanding of the Noahide Laws in order to be considered righteous Gentiles, and not be required to live completely as Jews. According to Acts 15, the Council of Jerusalem determined that circumcision was not required of new converts, only avoidance of "pollution of idols, fornication, things strangled, and blood" (KJV, Acts 15:20). The basis for these prohibitions as found in Acts 15:21 states only: "For Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every sabbath day". The evidence of these Noachian inclusions to primitive Christian observance were in addition to the moral Ten Commandments given to Moses at Sinai, which covers the most essential requirements of the Noachian covenant. The additions of the four cited above were to complete the requirements of the new Gentile converts to primitive Christianity.
Several Christian congregations have abandoned traditional Christianity (rejecting the Nicene Creed) and adopted the First Covenant or Noahism in recent years. In the United States a few organized movements of non-Jews (primarily of Christian origin) have either chosen to reject mainstream religious affiliation and live by the Apostolic Decree, which they view as the original Christian observance of Noahide Laws, or, under the influence of Orthodox Judaism, adhere to the Talmud's listing of the Laws (without converting to Judaism).