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Christianity, Islam, and Judaism are three of the most influential world religions in history. While Judaism isn’t as large as Christianity and Islam, its impact on the world has still been as profound. Judaism, Islam, and Christianity are sometimes called “Abrahamic religions” because they trace their history to the ancient figure of Abraham, first mentioned in the Hebrew Bible.
All three faiths emphasize their special covenant with God, for Judaism through Moses, Christianity through Jesus, and Islam through Muhammad. Christianity accepts God’s covenant with and revelation to the Jews but traditionally has seen itself as superseding Judaism with the coming of Jesus. Thus Christianity speaks of its new covenant and New Testament. So, too, Islam and Muslims recognize Judaism and Christianity: their biblical prophets (among them Adam, Abraham, Moses, and Jesus) and their revelations (the Torah and the New Testament, or Message of Jesus). Muslim respect for all the biblical prophets is reflected in the custom of saying “Peace and blessings be upon him” after naming any of the prophets and in the common usage of the names Ibrahim (Abraham), Musa (Moses), Daoud (David), Sulayman (Solomon), and Issa (Jesus) for Muslims. In addition, a true fact about Islam is they make frequent reference to Jesus and to the Virgin Mary, who is cited more times in the Quran than in the New Testament.
However, Muslims believe that Islam surpasses Judaism and Christianity that the Quran is the final and complete word of God and that Muhammad is the last of the prophets. In contrast to Christianity, which accepts much of the Hebrew Bible. Muslims believe that what is written in the Old and New Testaments is a corrupted version of the original revelation to Moses and Jesus. Moreover, Christianity’s development of “new” dogmas such as the belief that Jesus is the Son of God and the doctrines of redemption and atonement is seen as admixing God’s revelation with human construction.
Islam is similar to Judaism by in its emphasis on practice rather than belief in law rather than dogma. The primary religious discipline in Judaism and Islam has been religious law; for Christianity, it has been theology. Generally, in Judaism and Islam the major debates and disagreements have been among scholars of religious law over matters of religious practice, whereas in Christianity the early disputes and cleavages in the community were over theological beliefs; the nature of the Trinity or the relationship of Jesus’ human and divine natures.
Christianity is similar to Judaism by both religions define sin as rebellion, and God has made his will to be known to all people through His word. Acting contrary to this set will against God is a sin. Although Michael Wyschogrod states that Judaism doesn’t take the consequences of sin seriously, Alvin Plantinga feels Christians should go back to their original religion so that they can understand the consequences of sin. Therefore, both believe that sin has its consequences. Another similarity between is God has provided atonement in order to reconcile all his people with him. This shows that whenever people are engaged in sin and have a deep repentance for it, there is a way out for both religions. This cleanses and erases all the sins and the makes man right with God. They both believe that in order to be forgiven, faith must be incorporated with the atonement.
Islam is similar to Christianity by both religions believe that practicing their faith is good for them personally now, creates peace and harmony among people, and brings blessings in the life after mortality. People of both faiths believe in similar rules given by God for all people and obeying them keeps humankind in a right relationship with God. Both Muslims and most Christians believe Mary was a virgin and that Jesus was born miraculously. Islam and Christianity both ascribe that Jesus Christ was the promised Messiah and did perform miracles. Both Muslims and Christians believe Satan is real and evil and that he tries to make people follow him instead of God. The belief that there will be an antichrist who appears before the end of the world and that Jesus will return and conquer him is common to both theologies. Both religions believe a day of judgment will really happen and people will be judged for the lives they lead on Earth. Muslims and Christians believe hell and paradise to be literal places. Muslims and some Christians have codes of health such as not drinking alcohol or not eating certain foods. These codes of health are part of their covenants made with God.
The way Muslims view Christians and Jews is the Quran and Islam regard Jews and Christians as children of Abraham and refer to them as “People of the Book,” since all three monotheistic faiths descend from the same patrilineage of Abraham. Jews and Christians trace themselves back to Abraham and his wife Sarah; Muslims, to Abraham and his servant Hagar. Muslims believe that God sent his revelation (Torah) first to the Jews through the prophet Moses and then to Christians through the prophet Jesus. They recognize many of the biblical prophets, in particular, Moses and Jesus, and those are common Muslim names. Another common Muslim name is Mary. In fact, the Virgin Mary’s name occurs more times in the Quran than in the New Testament; Muslims also believe in the virgin birth of Jesus. However, they believe that over time the original revelations to Moses and Jesus became corrupted. The Old Testament is seen as a mixture of God’s revelation and human fabrication. The same is true for the New Testament and what Muslims see as Christianity’s development of “new” and mistaken doctrines such as that Jesus is the Son of God and that Jesus’ death redeemed and atoned for humankind’s original sin.
These are the many similarities between Christianity, Islam, and Judaism. These religions are three of the most influential world religions in history. While Judaism isn’t as large as Christianity and Islam, its impact on the world has still been philosophical.
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