Compare and Contrast the Belief Structure of Judaism Christianity and Islam Term Paper
- Length: 5 pages
- Subject: Mythology - Religion
- Type: Term Paper
- Paper: #35702564
Excerpt from Term Paper :
Judaism, Christianity, and Islam
When you first consider different religions, it can seem that they have little in common. Only Christianity believes that Jesus Christ is the son of God. Only Islam believes that Allah is the one true God and that Mohammed was his prophet. Only Judaism believes that the Jewish people were God's chosen race. These are the critical differences and the elements that define each religion. However, if you go beyond these differences, it can be seen that the three religions also have much in common. While they may consider themselves and their God's differently, there are some shared elements. This will now be considered by looking at the three religions and considering both their differences and their similarities.
Judaism is based on three elements. These are God, the Torah, and the people. God refers to the belief that in a personal God and the way that a Jewish person has a personal relationship with God. The Torah is made up of five books of the Jewish Bible and contains what Jewish people consider as God's laws. The people refers to the Jewish belief that the Jewish people are a chosen race, set apart from everyone else because of their obedience to God. Judaism has something in common with Christianity in the way that the Jewish people have a personal relationship with God. This is related to the Jewish belief in Yahweh. Yahweh includes the idea of the one and only God as well as the idea of God as a loving God who is interested in his people. This is similar to the Christian idea of God, where Christians also think of God as good and have a personal relationship with God via prayer. Another aspect that shows some similarities relates to the way that Jewish people have rules to follow, with this part of their worship. The Jewish worship is constant, where all the events of daily life are blessed. This occurs because every experience is seen as being a gift from God that should be appreciated. Christianity has a similar way of expressing thanks and appreciation. For example, people say grace to thank God for the food before they eat. People also pray to thank God for what they have received. In the Jewish religion, giving thanks is more constant and part of daily life than it is in the Christian religion. The idea of thanking God and appreciating what He has given you remains the same in both religions; it is just expressed slightly differently. The Jewish faith is also based on accepting God's law and trying to live as required by God. This also includes accepting the Torah as the law. Jewish individuals then have a set of rules and standards that define the way they live. This is similar to the way that Christians following the Ten Commandments, accepting these as rules for living. It is also similar to the Five Pillars of the Islamic faith, which are accepted by Muslims as their rules for living. The difference is that the Jewish religion has more extensive guidelines and follows them more closely. The Jewish religion is also stricter in relation to the rules for living. For example, the Jewish religion does not include the Christian idea of forgiveness, where you can just say sorry for your sins. Instead, Jewish people believe that you first have to make amends for your sins and right your wrongs before you can be forgiven for them. The Jewish faith also includes a stronger commitment to following the rules, as if following the rules and showing discipline is part of showing your devotion to God. This is related to the Jewish experience of Exile, where the rules became more important, because continuing to obey the rules was a way of continuing to be Jewish when the society around them did not support the religion. The commitment to the rules is also part of the Jewish belief that they are God's chosen people. They consider this a gift from God and show their appreciation by following God's plan for them.
The Muslim religion is based on the four fundamental beliefs in the Koran: that the world was created by Allah, that man is subject to the wills of Allah, that man must perform the tasks of Allah, and that Allah will reward good and punish evil after a man's life. These four fundamental beliefs suggest a life that is based on being devoted to Allah and accepting Allah's will. This is similar to the way that Jewish people accept God's will and follow his rules. The Muslim religion is also based on the Five Pillars of Faith. The first pillar defines the belief in Allah and in Mohammed as his prophet. This defines a view of one God, which is similar to the idea shared by Christianity and Judaism. The obvious difference is that the Muslim religion accepts Allah as the one true God. The second pillar is prayer, where Muslims are expected to pray to Allah at least five times a day, with this a way of keeping in contact with Allah and submitting to his will. This is similar to Judaism, where there is also the idea of having a personal relationship with God and the idea of submitting to God's will. The third pillar is the month-long fast. This has something in common with both Christianity and Judaism, which also include fasting elements. The fourth pillar is almsgiving, where Muslims are expected to give a percentage of what they own to the poor every year. This has something in common with Christianity, where Christians are also expected to give to the poor. The fifth pillar is the pilgrimage to Mecca, which is unique to the Islam religion. Another similarity between Islam and Christianity relates to Jesus Christ. Muslims believe in Jesus Christ; however they believe he was a prophet and not the son of God.
The main aspect that sets Christianity apart from the other religions is the belief in Jesus Christ as the son of God. Christians believe that Jesus Christ was the son of God and that he represents God's love for them, because God was willing to sacrifice his son. This includes the idea that Jesus Christ died for the sins of man. This sets Christianity apart from Judaism and Islam. However, some major similarities still exist. One is that all three religions consider Abraham as the father of their faith, where Abraham is considered the father of the Jewish faith, the father of the Christian faith, and the father of the Muslim faith. A belief in one true God is also shared by all there religions. For Christians, it is the one true God, with Jesus Christ a way for people to connect with the true God. For Judaism, it is the belief in Yahweh. For Islam, Allah is the one true God. This shows that while the way each religion understands their own God and who they see as their one true God differs, they do share a belief in that they all accept one God. The Jews, Christians, and Muslims also share some of the same stories. Mohammed learned the story of Abraham from the Jewish Bible and this story became part of the Koran. The Christian Old Testament and the Jewish Bible are also very similar. Another common element is the relationship with God. Jews, Christians, and Muslims all have a personal relationship with God and connect with God through prayer and by carrying out certain actions. Christians pray often, with this acting as a way to connect personally to God. This includes saying certain prayers at certain times. However, it also simply includes talking to God, whether it be to thank God or to ask Him for guidance and help. The main point is that Christians do consider that they have a personal relationship with God via prayer. This idea of prayer as a way of connecting is also shared by Islam and Judaism. The second pillar of the Islamic faith is about prayer, where Muslims stay in close contact with God by praying often. This has a lot in common with the Jewish faith, who also pray often.
Another similarity between the three religions can be seen by considering how the religions were established and what lies at their base. One important parallel in the three religions is that they all have a human individual as their creator, and that the individual has been enlightened in some way. For Christianity, Jesus Christ is the individual. He is a person in human form and is the basis for the Christian religion. He is also enlightened via the fact that he is God's son. For Judaism, Abraham is the enlightened one, with his enlightenment based on understanding Yahweh. For Islam, Mohammed is enlightened when God speaks to him through the angel Gabriel. This shows that there is a similarity in the history of the three…