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Contemporary Issues in Western Religions

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Commonalities between Islam, Judaism and Christianity
Islam, Judaism, and Christianity have many similar beliefs and much that they disagree on. The common notion of one God governs the world and all of its creation’s; it is omnipotent, omniscient, and everlasting. God is transcendent, beyond all that we hear, see, taste, smell or touch, beyond space and time, and yet acts in history and through time. The Jewish and Muslim people stress the Oneness and Unity of God, and Christians who are sometimes misunderstood, still believe in the Oneness of God but differ in the belief in the triune (the Holy Trinity).

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All believe in scripture, writings or texts, The Hebrew Bible, which roughly corresponds to what Christians call the “Old Testament,” is made up of the Torah (the first five books: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy). The Qur’an differs from the Hebrew Bible and New Testament it is understood by Muslims to be the direct speech of God, revealed to the Prophet Muhammad through the medium of the archangel Gabriel over the course of twenty- three years, from 610 to Muhammad’s death in 632.

The Hebrew Bible, New Testament and Qur’an contain passages that condemn homosexuality. They share a sense of men and women being created equal in the sight of God, even though then and now, women rarely achieved true equality with men in their daily lives.

All three books contain passages that encourage followers to make war against their enemies, and others that advocate peace and forgiveness. Likewise, the legal traditions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have, with varying degrees of specificity, rules about the conduct of a “just war.” Still, all three also look forward to an era when social justice will be established on the earth and war will no longer be necessary.

Judaism, Christianity and Islam each have the belief in a “heaven” or “paradise,” referring to God’s dwelling-place in the skies, the place where the righteous go after death, or a just, utopian society that will exist on the earth at the end of history. Judaism, Islam and Christianity are collectively known as “Abrahamic religions” because they trace their history to the covenant God made with Abraham in the Hebrew Bible.

Commonalities between Islam and Christianity

Islam and Christianity are connected because the Islamic Prophet Mohammad instructed the Muslims to defend the Christian faith from aggressors after the treaties of Peace had been signed as in the document called the Achitiname of Mohammad. Both share the twin commandments of paramount importance in regards to Loving God and Loving one’s neighbor, although the interpretations are a bit different the message is the same.

Commonalities between Islam and Judaism

In Islam Moses is considered Prophet and messenger and in Judaism Moses is the most important prophet of all. There are approximately forty-three references to the Israelites in the Quran (excluding individual prophets). Islam was strongly influenced by Judaism in its fundamental religious outlook, structure, jurisprudence and practice.

Christianity
Islam
Judaism
Monotheism

One God, who exists in three distinct persons (The Trinity): Father, Son and Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19). One God (Arabic:Allah), who is not a trinity. The Islamic view of God is called strict Monotheism (Quran 112:1). One God (known in English as ‘Yahweh’ or ‘Jehovah’) – “…Hear Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is one.” (Deuteronomy 6:4). Holy Book(s)

The Bible (from the Greek:Biblos, ‘books’), given by God to man. The Bible writers were inspired by God in their writings. Thus Christians refer to the Bible as the Word of God (2 Timothy 3:16). The Quran or Koran (Arabic: ‘recitation’), revealed to the prophet Mohammed over a period of about 20 years. The Quran is the final revelation given by Allah to mankind. The Hebrew Tanakh, similar to the Christian Old Testament, comprised of the Torah (Hebrew: ‘Law’), Nevi’im (‘Prophets’) and Ketuvim (‘Writings’). Jesus Christ

The second person of the Trinity and born of the Virgin Mary. “…true God from true God” (Nicene Creed)

A prophet, sent by Allah and born of the Virgin Mary, but not divine (Quran 5:17). An ordinary Jew, not the Messiah nor a divine person.

Holy Spirit
The third person of the Trinity, truly divine: “….with the Father and the Son he is worshipped and glorified.” (Nicene Creed)

Identical with the Angel Gabriel, who appeared to the Prophet Mohammed giving him the Quranic text. Not a distinct person, but a divine power which for example, was given to the Prophets. Other Traditions

The writings of the early church fathers and ecumenical councils, including the Creeds. The Hadith, a collection of traditions/sayings of the Prophet Mohammed. The Hadith functions as a supplement to the Quran, giving guidance to Muslims for daily living. The Talmud, an oral tradition explaining and interpreting the Tanakh. It includes the Mishnah – a code of Jewish law. Examples of Rituals

The Sacraments, including Baptism and Holy Communion(Eucharist). In Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism, five more are added, viz: Confirmation (Chrismation), Marriage, Penance, Holy Orders and Anointing of the sick. Prayer is also an important part of the faith.

Five important rituals (known as the pillars of Islam):
1. Shahadah – A profession of faith.
2. Salat – Prayer five times daily.
3. Zakat – alms giving.
4. Sawm – Fasting during the Holy month of Ramadan.
5. Hajj – Pilgrimage to the Holy city of Mecca.
Rituals include the Circumcision of newly born Jewish males,Barmitzvah – a ceremony marking the ‘coming of age’ of Jewish Boys and observation of the Sabbath (Shabat). As in the other faiths, prayer is important. The Jewish prayer book is called thesiddur. Sin

We inherit a sinful nature through our common ancestor Adam, who rebelled against God. Jesus Christ atoned for our sins through his death on the Cross (Romans 5:12-17). There is no concept of original sin, nor vicarious atonement. All Humans are born sinless, but human weakness leads to sin. Judaism rejects the doctrine of original sin. Atonement for sins committed is made through seeking forgiveness from God in prayer and repentance. In addition, the day of atonement (Yom Kippur) is set aside specially for this purpose. Salvation

By grace through faith in Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:8-9).3
Achieved through good works, thus personal righteousness must outweigh personal sin (Quran 23:101-103). Through good works, prayers and the grace of God. There is no parallel to the Christian view of substitutionary atonement. Hell

A place of everlasting punishment for the unrighteous (Matthew 25:46). There is no crossover between Heaven and Hell. A place of torment and fire (Quran 25:65, 104:6-7). In Islam, Hell has several levels and a person may not necessarily spend eternity there. Those who die in sin may suffer temporary punishment, but certain sins merit eternal punishment. Judaism does not emphasize the afterlife.

REFERENCES

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/globalconnections/mideast/themes/religion/

http://www.alislam.org/library/links/00000129.html
Author: Arshad Khan The Review of Religions October 1992

www.changethestory.net/quran-bible-torah-comparison

http://christianityinview.com/xncomparison.html

Cite this Contemporary Issues in Western Religions

Contemporary Issues in Western Religions. (2017, Jan 19). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/contemporary-issues-in-western-religions/

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