Judaism, Christianity and Islam
Published 09 Mar 2017
Judaism, Christianity and Islam are some of the major religions in the world, close to a third of the world population follow or are affiliated to these religions. They have followers from every corner of the world particularly in Middle East and Europe. There are common roots and elements that apply to the three religions which are referred as Abrahamic religious heritage. These religions exhibit similar characteristics yet they have divided the world into different groups which have been constantly in war with each other. In this paper, I will discuss the similarities and differences in these major religions as well as explore the success of each one of them as far as their spread in different corners of the world is concerned. (Peters, F 1990 309)
Judaism, Islam and Christianity are monotheistic in nature; they believe and profess in only one Supreme Being who is called God. Muslims and Jews stress on the oneness and unity of God.Christins also affirm in the oneness of God who exists in three persons, that is the son, and the Holy Trinity. This has sometimes been misunderstood but has been explained as the complexity of the divine Being. The three religious share same characteristics as far as the nature of the Supreme Being is concerned. God is the origin of all that exists in the universe, He cares for all the creation .The supreme being is just and wants his creatures especially man to lead a righteous life .To facilitate this He has given man basic rules which serve as guidelines so that he can lead a good and righteous life. He has been described as merciful as he provides for all the creatures as well as forgiving those who wrong him as long as they repent and correct their evil ways.
In the three religions human being have a special place in the creation. Man was created by God as a special creature which was supposed to be above all other creatures. As human being we are capable of living a righteous life as God wishes. God intended humans to be good to fellow men as well as other creatures. When humans abuse the freedom they have been granted by God they are basically going against God’s will and this is what the three religions refer to as sin. (Vroom, H and Gort, J 1997 98)
Hope for the future is a common characteristic that is shared by the three religions, this is regardless of how life has been difficult in the past and present. They believe that evil and suffering of the people of God can not prevail for ever. Those who will have led a righteous life on earth will be rewarded with eternal life. Although this life is referred in different names in the three religious there is a common agreement that the future is bright for those who obeyed Gods rules whereas those who went against His will awaits eternal punishment.
The three Abrahamic religions have a common belief that there exists communication between God and human being. Through revealing himself to men God communicates to them and passes the message which he wants them to act on. This revelation is usually done through special people who are called prophets. These communications are well documented in the Holy Scriptures which is found in each religion. The better part of these scriptures is common in all the religion safe for some differences which have been recorded. The differences form the basis through which the three religion deviate from each other. The interpretation of these writings has been argued to be one of the reasons as to why the three religions parted ways despite having the same origin
Christianity has much respect for Jesus Christ who is the fonder of this religion. They believe that God reveled himself through sending one of his angles to make a way for the salvation of the mankind. Muslims on the other hand believe that Prophet Mohammed was the one who was chosen by God to come and prepare his people for redeeming. They believe that Jesus Christ was just one of the prophets and was not a son of God as claimed by the Christians. Jews did not recognize Jesus, they constantly accused him of blasphemy as he claimed he was God something that put him in to collision with them culminating to the crucification as a punishment. To Christians crucification of Jesus Christ was the most important aspect of this religion. It was prophesied and was on purpose, redemption of the human beings.( Soltes, O 2008 310)
Christianity has been described as the most successful religion in the world. It has managed to reach all corners of the world since its inception. It has met stiff opposition from the other religions particularly Islam which threatened its spread in some of the religions particularly in the Arab world and some parts of Africa. Christianity has the majority of followers cutting across the entire continent in the world yet it has been around for only a few millenniums. This confirms the success of this religion in attracting believers. It has grown tremendously to be one the major players in the matters of faith in the world.
The three major religions had a common origin as confirmed by the characteristics shared in the areas of beliefs and nature of Supreme Being. Differences arise sharply when the question of Jesus Christ is brought to the picture with Judaism portraying Him as the enemy of religion in the world and on the other hand Islam describing Him as just any other prophet. The three religions have a lot in common yet the conflict which are being registered across the world as mainly as result of the differences that have arisen over the years concerning the beliefs
- Peters, F Judaism, Christianity and Islam, Princeton, NJ, Princeton University Press (1990)
- Vroom, H and Gort, J Holy Scriptures in Judaism, Christianity and Islam, Atlanta, Rodopi (1997)
- Soltes, O. Mysticism in Judaism, Christianity and Islam: Searching for Oneness, New York, Rowman and Littlefield (2008)