Comparison of the Three Western Religions: Christianity, Judaism and Islam
The purpose of this paper is to correspond on the three Western religions namely Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Moreover, this will discuss each of these religions’ principles and representation of God, and their propositions with regards to the relationship between God and men.
In the book of Woodhead (2004), the faith of Christianity is based on the teachings, life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ as narrated in the Bible. Most Christians believed that there is one Godhead existing in three Persons: God the Father, God the Son and God the Spirit. In Genesis 61: 1, it has been quoted that the Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on Jesus, who has been commissioned to do the will of his Father in heaven. Christians are convinced that men were created and loved by God. The relationship between them was broken because of sins (Romans 3:23). God and men were reconciled through Jesus Christ who died and lived again in order to restore the broken relationship (Hebrews 7: 25).
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In discussing about Judaism, Rossel (1976) traced the descent of the Jews. It has been known that Judaism is not merely a religion, but also an ethnic and national term. In order to become a Jew, one must have a Jewish mother and must submit himself for a formal Judaism conversion (Leviticus 24: 10). Same with the Christians, Jews believe in the sovereignty of one God who has the characteristics of omniscience, omnipresent and omnipotence. Further, God must be worshipped as highest Supreme Being and Creator of all that has life. While Jesus is God for the Christians, in Judaism He is merely a man of nobility and even a prophet. There can be no one who can serve for them as mediator to God. The only way to please God is through sanctification of their lives by drawing closer to God in a manner of following His divine commandments or the mitzvoth.
Esposito(2002) discusses on the nature of the religion, Islam. Islam followers conceive that there is one God, in Arabic name, Allah and there is one messenger who is Muhammad. Compared to the conception of the Christians, the Muslims, meaning ‘one who submits to Allah’, reject the idea of three persons of God. The faith of the Muslims is grounded on the importance of submitting to the will of Allah. Their obedience is framed on the five tenets namely the testimony of faith, prayers, alms, fasting, and hajj.
In these three religions Christianity, Judaism and Islam, monotheistic conception of God is emphasized. There is only one divine God, and that their faith is grounded on their specific books, the Bible, Torah and Qur’an respectively, for which they believed to be either inspired or dictated by the Lord. This is an entirely different picture of god as depicted by the Greeks and Romans. They believe in variety of gods and goddesses, and they are involved in several rituals and ceremonies in order to gain favour to the specific god they so needed and offended during a particular period of their lives. Like paganism, the Greeks give more significance in worshipping the Twelve Pantheon gods, however other deities and lesser gods must not set aside.
In conclusion, the religions being mentioned were only a portion of so many existing religious sects around the globe. In relation to this, there can be hundreds of different portrayals of the being of God. For this reason, those who would want to seek the truth about God will get confused, and they will eventually fall into the skeptics’ notion that a God or a supernatural being is not real.
Genesis 61:1; Romans 3:23; Hebrews 7: 25; Leviticus 24:10. New King James Version
John L. Esposito. 2002. What Everyone Needs to Know about Islam. Oxford University Press: US
Rossel, Seymour. 1976. Judaism. F. Watts Publishing
Woodhead, Linda. 2004. An Introduction to Christianity. Cambridge University Press: UK