The three religions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have many things in common Monotheism, the belief in a single God; Angels, Greek angelos,
”messenger” Moses as a prophet, the Ten Commandments, Satan and Abraham. The differences are, however very subtle, mostly due to the twists that
Islam puts on conventional Christian and Jewish beliefs. Stories, such as those of Abraham, Moses, and Jesus, are given in intricate detail and with
slight revisions of the Christian biblical accounts. The political context must also be taken into account when trying to reconcile these three
Islam recognizes the divine origins of the earlier Hebrew and Christian Scriptures and represents itself as both a restoration and a continuation of
their traditions. Although Muslims believe that the original messages of Judaism and Christianity were given by God; they also believe that Jews and
Christians eventually distorted them. The self-perceived mission of Islam, therefore, has been to restore what Muslims believe is the original
monotheistic teaching and to supplant the older legal codes of the Hebrew and Christian traditions with a newer Islamic code of law that corresponds
to the evolving conditions of human societies. As a result, Islamic traditions maintain that Jesus was a prophet whose revealed book was the Christian
New Testament, and that later Christians distorted the original scripture and inserted into it the claim that Jesus was the son of God. (1) Or to
take another example, Muslims maintain that the strict laws communicated by Moses in the Hebrew Bible were appropriate for their time. Later, however,
Jesus introduced a code of behavior that stressed spirituality rather than ritual and law. Christians believe that Jesus introduced a code of behavior
that stressed spirituality rather than ritual and law and did away with the Laws of Moses, but not the Ten Commandments. Those of the Jewish faith
believe in the Laws of Moses and the Ten Commandments.
Most Muslims believe in angels, the Day of Judgment, heaven or paradise, and hell.
They believe that Angels are immortal beings that are incapable of unbelief and commit no sins and serve as guardians (Protectors) and recorders of
deeds, a link between God and humanity (Messengers). On the Day of Judgment, people will be held accountable for their actions. Pilgrimage is required
to Mecca once in a person’s lifetime. Jihad "to struggle" or "to exhaust one's effort," in order to please God or redemption by Good Works.
Five prescribed daily prayers, ritual cleansing or purification of the body, standing, bowing, and prostrating during prayers and facing towards
Mecca, Almsgiving, 2.5%, among other required tithes as a means to Salvation.
Most Christians believe in angels, the Day of Judgment, heaven and hell.
Angels have free will and are guardians, recorders of deeds, and a link between God and humanity. On the Day of Judgment people will be held
accountable for their actions, mediated by the Christ. Fasting is recommended but not required and pilgrimage is not required. Almsgiving and tithing
to the Local Church for support of that church and its missions typically 10%, other giving above the tithe is strongly encouraged, this is not a
means to salvation. Daily Prayer is not regimented but is expected. Jesus’ crucifixion, death and resurrection Virgin birth and Divinity are
integral to a Christian’s belief. Lowering the status of the Christ to a prophet would definitely cause conflict.
Most Jews believe in angels and heaven. No Day of Judgment or hell. Pilgrimage is recommended but not required. Justification comes by Good Works.
Jews recite numerous benedictions throughout the day. Ritual cleansing or purification of the body is required. Almsgiving and tithing to the Local
synagogue for support of that synagogue and its missions typically 10% as a means to Righteousness, there are many more required tithes on top of the
According to the Bible Old Testament or Torah, Ishmael was Abraham's first son, born when Abraham was 86 years old. Ishmael’s mother was Hagar, an
Egyptian slave in Abraham's household. Isaac, born to Abraham by Sarah in his 100th year, was the first of his legitimate descendants. God demanded
that Abraham sacrifice Isaac as a test of faith, but because of Abraham's obedient compliance, God permitted him to spare Isaac and rewarded Abraham
with a formal renewal of his promise. After Sarah died, Abraham married Keturah and had six sons by her. He died at the biblical age of 175 and was
buried beside Sarah in the Cave of Machpelah, in what is now Hebron, West Bank
According to Islamic tradition, Hagar was the true wife of Ibrahim and Ishmael the favored son and intended sacrificial victim. This would be a major
cause of conflict between the three religions.
Jewish and Muslim dietary laws relate to the Temple cult. Ones table at home is deemed comparable to the table of the Lord. Certain animals,
considered unclean, are not to be eaten (see Deuteronomy 14:3-21). Into this category fall pigs as well as fish without fins or scales. Edible
animals, those that have split hooves and chew their cuds, must be properly slaughtered (kāshēr or “fit” and the blood fully drained before the
meat can be eaten. Meat and milk products are not to be eaten together. This alone proves that Abraham was not kosher (see Genesis 18:7-8) Christians
have no dietary restrictions believing that these Laws were supplanted by Christ. Mat 15:11 Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but
that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.
Eucharist, (Not universally observed among Christian denominations) or the Lord's Supper, in which Christians share in bread and wine and, through
them, express and acknowledge the reality of the presence of Christ as they commemorate him in the communion of believers with one another. Most
protestant denominations do not believe that the bread and wine actually turn into flesh and blood, Catholics say they do. Communion is taken in
remembrance of the sacrifice and resurrection of Jesus and not without cost. Cor. 11:25 - 27After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had
supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread,
and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord's death till he comes. Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily,
shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.
Baptism (Not universal among Christian denominations) “in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,” or sometimes perhaps more
simply “in the name of Christ,” was in the beginning the means of initiation into Christianity now it has taken on the same status it had in
Judaism, a public display of faith and a changed life. At first it seems to have been administered chiefly to adults after they had professed their
faith and promised to amend their lives, but this turned into a more inclusive practice with the baptism of infants called “christening” this also
is not universal.
Allah, the supreme, all knowing, all-powerful, and above all, all-merciful God. The Arabic word Allah means “the God” and this God is understood
to be the God who brought the world into being and sustains it to its end. By obeying God's commands, human beings express their recognition of and
gratitude for the wisdom of creation, and live in harmony with the universe.
Christians and Jews teach that God is almighty in dominion over all that is in heaven and on earth, righteous in judgment over good and evil, beyond
time and space and change; but above all they teach that “God is love.” The love of God and the love of neighbor are the two chief commandments in
the ethical message of Jesus. The Bible forbids representations of God. It also forbids praying to an image or statue, in my opinion this puts the
Catholic Church in danger of Idolatry. For the religious Jew, the entirety of life is a continuous act of divine worship. “I keep the Lord always
before me” (Psalms 16:8), a verse inscribed on the front wall of many synagogues, aptly characterizes Judaic piety. Jehovah, name of the God of the
Hebrew people as erroneously translated from the Masoretic Hebrew text. The word consists of the consonants JHVH or JHWH, with the vowels of a
separate word, Adonai (Lord). What its original vowels were is a matter of speculation, for because of an interpretation of such texts as Exodus 20:7
and Leviticus 24:11, the name came to be regarded as too sacred for expression; the scribes, in reading aloud, substituted “Lord” and therefore
wrote the vowel markings for “Lord” into the consonantal framework JHVH as a reminder to future readers aloud. The translators of the Hebrew, not
realizing what the scribes had done, read the word as it was written down, taking the scribal vowel markings as intrinsic to the name of their God
rather than as a mere reminder not to speak it. From this came the interpretation Jehovah. Translations in the Greek Orthodox church shows the forms
Jabe and Jâo to be traditional, as well as the shortened Hebrew forms of the words Jah (see Psalms 68:4, for example) and Jahu (in proper names). It
indicates that the name was originally spoken Jaweh or Yahwe (often spelled Yahweh in modern usage). Etymologically, it is a third person singular,
imperfect, probably of the verb hawah (or hajah), signifying “to be.” The older interpreters explain the verb in a metaphysical and abstract
sense; the “I am” of Scripture is “He who is,” the absolutely existent. (Exodus 3:14) And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said,
Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.
The Arabic name for God, Allah, refers to the same God worshiped by Jews and Christians. Most Jews and Christians alike do not believe this statement.
They believe that the Arabic word Allah comes from an older sect that had many gods and Allah was the name of one of the minor gods. Whether or not
this is true only God knows for sure.
Muhammad as prophet is recognized only in Islam, and there are many stories about him, such as the one where he captures two Christian missionaries
and requires them to write the Qur’an as he dictates it to them, or that he married a 9 year old girl and consummated that marriage (a reasonably
common practice at that time), these stories are not proven but they do affect the way Christians and Jews perceive the Islamic religion. Historically
the Jewish people were treated better under Muslim rule in Spain than at any time after, especially by the Christian churches which viewed the Jews as
the murderers of Jesus when through a thorough reading will show that it was the chief priests, elders and the council. (Mat 26:59) in other words the
Christians and Jews have had problems in the past but they are moving closer as more and more Christians remember that Jesus was a Jew and that
according to the Old Testament, God is a Zionist and the promises He made to the Israelites will be fulfilled.
Historically the Arab Governments around Israel have a real problem with the establishment of the country of Israel; the independent nation of Israel
was created in 1948. Five Arab nations: Egypt, Transjordan (now Jordan), Syria, Lebanon, and Iraq, immediately attacked Israel, and lost badly. These
mostly Islamic countries have as their stated goal the total annihilation of the Israeli state.
The self-perceived mission of Islam has been to restore what Muslims believe is the original monotheistic teaching and to supplant the older legal
codes of the Hebrew and Christian traditions with a newer Islamic code of law that corresponds to the evolving conditions of human societies. This
statement would imply that Islam has no intention of playing nice.
As individual people all three of these religions can live in harmony, as proved here in the U. S. As world powers and “Governments” history shows
that they have conflicting goals and desires for Jerusalem. On page 123 - 124 of Isis Unveiled H. P. Blavatsky states that Gautama based his moral
ethics on three fundamental principals. 1.) That everything existing, exists from natural causes; 2.) That virtue brings its own reward, and vice and
sin their own punishments; and 3.) The state of man in this world is probationary. She goes on to state that “on these three principles rested the
universal foundation of every religious creed; God, and individual immortality for every man, if he could win it.” She asserts that this is the
essence of every religious philosopher, Zoroaster, Pythagoras, Plato, Jesus and Moses.
Most consider Madam Blavatsky to be neither a scholar nor an unbiased documenter, but she is due some consideration as the founder of the Theosophical
Society and as the first to bring the comparative study of religion to print in the U. S.
As Religions they all say that Love is the Law but none really practice it. Conversion seems to be the guiding principal for Christians and Muslims,
Jews just want to be left alone to worship as prescribed in the Old Testament. Unlike the Christians and Muslims the Israelites never tried to conquer
another people for the purpose of conversion.
There are Fundamentalists and Moderates in all three of these religions, the moderates usually can agree to disagree, at the very least. The
fundamentalists in any religion do not consider anyone who does not agree with them on all points as a member of their religion. Fundamentalists and
Moderates are needed to balance each other within any belief system. If the Fundamentalists become too strong then the results can be episodes like
the Crusades or the Inquisition, when the Moderates become too strong then the whole belief system is in danger of being absorbed into another system
of belief, similar to what happened with many Pagan or Nature Worship systems when some of their beliefs were adopted by the Catholic church. (Working
on this subject for another thread)
As long as the Arab nations refuse the right of Israel to exist there will be conflict between Islam and Judaism and so long as the U.S. supports
Israel there will be conflict between Christians and Muslims. In some cases Religion and Politics make good partners but in other situations they
don’t, the Arab/Israeli situation is one in which they do not. With the combination of the conflicts in the beliefs and the political situation in
the mid-east there will be, at minimum, a certain level of tension between these three religious systems.
(1) © 1993-2003 Microsoft Encarta. All rights reserved.
(2) Isis Unveiled, Unabridged Edition, Theosophical University Press, 1976, Originally published in 1877