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World Religions Comparative Analysis

Clarisse Ramos 11-Benevolence

Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are traditionally called the Abrahamic religions. They highlight
and trace their common origin to the patriarch Abraham or recognize a spiritual tradition
identified with him. Abraham appears in the scred texts of all of these religions. The major
Abrahamic religions in chronological order of founding are: Judaism (late second millennium
BCE), Christianity (first century CE), and Islam (seventh century CE).

Influence to the World:

Christianity claims 33% of the world's population, Islam comes second with 21%, and Judaism
has 0.2%.

Judaism, a monotheistic religion developed among the ancient Hebrews. It is


characterized by a belief in one transcendent god who revealed himself to Abraham, Moses, and
the Hebrew Prophets and by a religious life in accordance with scriptures and rabbinic traditions.
Judaism is based on a Torah (the law of God as revealed to Moses and recorded in the first five
books of the Hebrew scriptures), the foundation of all Jewish beliefs, practices, and scholarship,
recorded in the first five books of the Hebrew scriptures (the Pentateuch).

Torah refers to the five books of Moses which are known in Hebrew as Chameesha Choomshey
Torah. These are: Bresheit (Genesis), Shemot (Exodus), Vayicra (Leviticus), Bamidbar
(Numbers), and Devarim (Deuteronomy).

Rituals:

- Jews pray 3 times a day. The morning prayer is called Shacharit, afternoon is Mincha, and the
evening is called Ma’ariv. On Shabbat and other holidays, a fourth prayer called Mussaf is
added.

- According to Jewish beliefs, the God of Judaism has never asked for child sacrifice, but rather
required firstborn sons to devote their life to service in the Temple. Parents may "redeem" their
sons from this obligation by paying a small sum of money to a kohein (a member of the priestly
family).

Issues:

Standards - The explanation of what it means to keep kosher varies among Jews in today’s world
(Jewish Law prohibits causing any pain to animals). Kosher is abstaining from pork or shellfish,
or by not drinking milk with a meat dish.

Racism - Jews come in many languages, colors, and with diverse menus. Most people fail to
remember the horrific and terrible battle in Israel, after 1948, to make Yiddish the official
language of Israel; or the numerous attempts to prevent Falash from having infants from the
state-sanctioned chemical de-fertilization of women.

Judaism claims that what separates it from all other religions is mainly it's proof of Divine origin
as demonstrated through God's revelation of Himself to all the Jews at Mount Sinai. This was
said to be witnessed by approximately 3 million Jews as an intelligent voice speaking to them
from the fiery mountain. Judaism states that no other religion makes such a claim because Divine
revelation to the masses never happened to others, and as the Torah says, it will never happen
again (Deut. 4:32-34). All other religions are founded on a single person's claim that God
appeared to him.

Moreover, Judaism is said to be founded on principles which are rational and comply with man's
nature as a philosophical and psychological being. Not one law in all of Judaism goes against
man's nature. Unlike Catholicism which frowns upon divorce, and praises celibacy, Judaism
embraces the need at times for married couples to divorce if they will be happier that way, and
Judaism also embraces man's need for sexual happiness and children.

Concerning destiny, Jews are messianists. For Christians, messianism is a spiritual concept that
speaks to mankind’s redemption from original sin. But for Jews, messianism is a physical
concept that connotes mankind’s capacity to make the world a nearly perfect place. Jews believe
in humankind’s promised destiny of an era in which peace will reign over the earth.

In short, Judaism believes in the perfectibility of mankind.

Islam, is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion teaching that there is only one God (Allah)
and that Muhammad is the messenger of God. It is the world’s second largest religion.

Muslims believe in all of the true prophets that preceded Muhammad, from Adam to Jesus,
Muslims believe they brought the same message of voluntarily surrending to God’s will.

- Sharia is the law that regulates the daily life of a Muslim and serves as a guide for living by
Islamic principles. Islam is not only a belief system but a complete way of life, the law covers all
aspects of living.

- The Christian concept of “vicarious atonement” (the idea that Jesus died for the sin of
humanity) is alien to the Islamic concept of personal responsibility. Islam teaches that on the Day
of Judgement, every person will be resurrected and will be accountable to God for their every
word and deed. Consequently, a practicing Muslim is always striving to be righteous while
hoping and praying for God’s acceptance and grace.

Rituals:

Certain sacred practices and rituals are very important to Muslims. They are a significant way
that followers of Islam remember history, express conviction, and grow in devotion.

- Confession of faith (shahada) is the Muslim profession of faith, expressing the two simple,
fundamental beliefs that make one a Muslim: There is no god but God and Muhammad is the
prophet of God.

- Fasting during the month of Ramadan: Sawm (also siyam), fasting, commemorates the
revelation of the Quran to humanity during Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic year.

- Pilgrimage to Mecca (hajj). At least once in his or her lifetime, each Muslim is expected to
undertake a pilgrimage to Mecca, the sacred city of Islam. This holy journey is called the hajj in
Arabic.

Issues:

- Quran Is Not Universal: Muslims believe that Islam is a universal religion and the teachings of
Quran are also universal as well. This is what gives rise to another allegation where people think
that Quran is not universal, for them Quran is just a book with religious instructions and it has no
other implications regarding any matter of the world. Moreover, further to this allegation people
also attribute the Muslim association and affiliation with Quran as a source of Muslims being
backward and knowing nothing about the contemporary world.

- Regressive Religion: Islam faces is its impression as a regressive religion. People who have
limited knowledge of Islam, especially the people from West think that Islam is a regressive and
backward religion that does not adapt and sticks to the teachings of Quran that was revealed
1400 years ago.

- The Jihad undertaken by Mujahedeen’s across the globe. The Jihadists consider west as their
mortal enemy and go to all the measures in combating with them. As a result of all their
activities, people of the world consider Islam as an intolerant and destructive religion that only
accepts the existence of Muslims in the world and has no tolerance for people from other beliefs
and religions. Moreover, this image of intolerance of Islam complimented with Jihadists
activities make people think that Islam relies on the force of power to eradicate all those who
resist Islam or are not Muslims.

Islam is exceptional in that it is not named after any person, tribe, region or culture. Islam is
named after a belief in one God, Allah, and submission to His will. In other words, Muslims
ideally put Allah’s Will before their own.

Muhammad’s message is not new. His message of absolute monotheism is a reaffirmation of


what came before it. “We as humans constantly stray from guidance if we are left on our own
without a divine reminder, thus Allah the Merciful has sent us prophets to remind us. Islam
preaches the same message of all previous prophets (peace be upon them). That message is:
Allah is One, worship Him alone.”

“Islam is a religion without any mythology. Its teachings are simple and intelligible. It is free
from superstitions and irrational beliefs. The oneness of God, the prophethood of Muhammad,
and the concept of life after death are the basic articles of its faith. There is no hierarchy of
priests, no farfetched abstractions, no complicated rites or rituals.”

Coceni destiny, Islam offers eternity in Paradise if people obey Allah’s commands. “If we
believe and do good deeds, we will be rewarded, while if we deny the message and do evil, we
will be punished.”

Christianity is a monotheistic religion founded by the followers of Jesus of Nazareth.


Jesus, a Jew, was born in about 7 B.C and assumed his public life, probably after his 30th year, in
Galilee. The new testament gospels describe Jesus as a Teacher and miracle worker. Jesus'
teachings focused on the themes of the kingdom of God, love of God and love of neighbor.
Along with some of his teachings, his growing popularity with the masses was seen as dangerous
by Jewish religious leaders and the Roman government, leading to his execution by crucifixion.
Christians believe Jesus rose from the dead three days later, and in so doing made it possible for
those who believe to be forgiven of sin and attain eternal life. Much of Christian belief and
practice centers on the resurrection of Christ.

With over 2 billion adherents worldwide, Christianity is the largest religion in the world.

- The ten commandments:


Are biblical principles of Christianity. Although different denominations have different
interpretations, they have major similarities. Most interpretations prohibit murder, theft, adultery,
blasphemy, and worshipping idols other than God.

- A second element of the faith tradition, with rare exceptions, is a plan of salvation or
redemption. That is to say, the believers in the church picture themselves as in a plight from
which they need a rescue. - The most important Christian holiday is Easter, a spring holiday that
celebrates Christ's resurrection from the dead. Easter is immediately preceded by Holy Week,
which includes Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, and Good Friday. The 40 days prior to Easter
form the Lenten season, a time of fasting and repentance. Another holiday that has become
important is Christmas, which commemorates the birth of Jesus on December 25.

Some basic Christian concepts include:

- Christians are monotheistic, i.e., they believe there’s only one God, and he created the heavens
and the earth. This divine Godhead consists of three parts: the father (God himself), the son
(Jesus Christ) and the Holy Spirit.

- The essence of Christianity revolves around the life, death and Christian beliefs on the
resurrection of Jesus. Christians believe God sent his son Jesus, the messiah, to save the world.
They believe Jesus was crucified on a cross to offer the forgiveness of sins and was resurrected
three days after his death before ascending to heaven.

- Christians contend that Jesus will return to earth again in what’s known as the Second Coming.

- The Holy Bible includes important scriptures that outline Jesus’s teachings, the lives and
teachings of major prophets and disciples, and offer instructions for how Christians should live. -
The cross is a symbol of Christianity.

Christian practices vary by denomination, but common elements include a Sunday worship
service, private and corporate prayer, study and reading of the Scriptures, and participation in the
rites of baptism and communion. Distinctive Catholic practices include recognition of seven
sacraments, devotion to Mary and the saints, and veneration of relics and sacred sites associated
with holy figures.

Rituals:

- Worship and Devotion in Daily Life

Christians seek to sanctify their daily lives with prayer and scripture reading. These activities,
performed in solitude or in groups, help Christians cultivate a close personal relationship with
God.

- Sacred Space
Christians worship and pray together in churches built in a variety of shapes and styles. The use
of art and decoration varies greatly according to denomination, but almost all churches feature a
cross and a pulpit.

- Gender and Sexuality

Christians teach that sexual relations should be expressed within marriage. The roles of women
and gay Christians are being debated within the Christian community.

Issues:

- Premarital sex: I Cor 7:36 explicitly states that if an unmarried couple have sex before
marriage, there is no sin as long as they subsequently do get married.

- “Traditional Values”?

One point that needs special emphasis is the way in which modern evangelicals create a specific
code of Puritanical “morality,” especially in matters of sexuality, and then claim it to represent
“traditional” or Biblical values when they bear little, if any, resemblance to sexual standards of
the Bible.

- Abortion

The Catholic Church teaches that "human life must be respected and protected absolutely from
the moment of conception."[11] Accordingly, it opposes procedures whose purpose is to destroy
an embryo or fetus for whatever motive (even before implantation). The Church holds that "the
first right of the human person is his life" and that life is assumed to begin at fertilization. The
Church has affirmed that every procured abortion is a moral evil, a teaching that the Catechism
of the Catholic Church declares "has not changed and remains unchangeable.

Christianity is also based upon the most amazing event in all of human history—Christ’s
resurrection.

“Christians believe that mankind was created specifically to have a relationship with God, but
sin separates all men from Him (Romans 3:23, 5:12). Christianity teaches that Jesus Christ
walked this earth, died on the cross to restore the relationship that was broken by sin. After His
death on the cross, Christ was buried, He rose again, and now lives at the right hand of the
Father, making intercession for believers forever (Hebrews 7:25). The intimacy of this
relationship is revealed in two poignant pictures. Now no longer seen as law-breakers, the people
who benefitted from Christ’s sacrifice have been adopted into God’s own family as His children
(Ephesians 1:5). Even more intimately, true believers are the very “body of Christ” of which He
is the head (Ephesians 1:22-23), having been purchased by His blood (Hebrews 9:12).”

Probably the most defining principle of Christianity that makes it truly unique in every way and
provides its fundamental basis is the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Within Christianity, the
resurrection is vitally important, for without it, Christianity does not exist, and Christian faith is
useless (1 Corinthians 15:14). It was Jesus' resurrection that changed the lives of the disciples.
After Jesus was crucified, the disciples ran and hid. But when they saw the risen Lord, they knew
that all Jesus had said and done proved that He was indeed God-sent.

The resurrection is proof of who Jesus is and that He did accomplish what He set out to do:
provide the only means of redemption for mankind. Buddha did not rise from the dead.
Muhammad did not rise from the dead. Confucius did not rise from the dead. Krishna did not rise
from the dead. Only Jesus has physically risen from the dead, walked on water, and raised others
from the dead.
“The God of Judaism and Islam can forgive the sins of men without demanding an ultimately
worthy substitute sacrifice. But the justice of the Christian God demands that all sin be paid for
in full. Christianity teaches that Christ died as the substitute sacrifice for the sins of mankind. In
this way God remains just for He has punished all sin by punishing Jesus on the cross of Calvary.
Still, God can justify and forgive sinners who decide to obey Jesus and the Father, for Jesus paid
the price for their sins (Romans 3:20-26). So when the Christian God forgives sin, He does not
ignore sin, for all sin has been paid for in full. Since Jesus is the begotten Son of God, He is the
ultimately worthy sacrifice and able to atone for the sins of all mankind.”

The God of Christianity is more loving for He loved mankind so much that He sacrificed His
only begotten Son in our place (John 3:16; Romans 5:8). Christian God is a personal God who
loves us, a totally just God that must punish all sin, and an all-loving God that offers us the free
gift of salvation that comes only through His Son. What makes Christianity different from other
religions is the love of God.

Differences of the three religions


 Islam:- Jesus was a true Prophet of God born to virgin Mary and not the son of God.
Prophets are Human Beings and not divine.
 Christianity:- Jesus was the son of God born to virgin Mary and an incarnation of God
himself.
 Judaism:- Don’t believe in Jesus prophecy. They don’t consider him to be a true prophet.
 Islam and Judaism:- Strictly monotheist. God is One. Reject trinity.
 Christianity:- Believe in trinity. “Trinity = God the father + God the son + God the holy
spirit.”
 Islam and Judaism:- There is no concept of original sin.
 Christianity:- Believe in original sin.
 Islam:- Believe that The Torah and The Gospel are Holy Scriptures but the present day
Old and New Testaments’ messages have been corrupted by humans. Believe in The
Holy Quran.
 Judaism:- Believe in The Tanakh/Hebrew Bible (The Torah = Old Testament) but don’t
believe in the New Testament and The Holy Quran.
 Christianity:- Believe in The Bible (Old and New Testaments) but don’t believe in The
Holy Quran.

Similarities
 All three religions acknowledge that Moses was a prophet of God.
 Monotheism.
 Abrahmic Religions.
 Have Faith and Worship God.
 Have Holy Scriptures.
 Have Prophets.
 Have Worship Places.
 Followers of these three religions divided themselves into sects on the basis of
differences (sometimes very slight) in beliefs and hence practices.

Resources:

http://christianityinview.com/xncomparison.html
https://www.bartleby.com/essay/Comparative-Analysis-of-Judaism-and-Christianity-
FK5THN9KRYYS

https://prezi.com/z-lmzskem19n/the-comparative-study-of-christianity-to-islam-and-judaism/