Cristianity vs. islam

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This section looks at some of the differences and similarities between the three great monotheistic faiths: Christianity, Islam and Judaism.

Topic Christianity Islam Judaism
Origin of the Name From the Greek:christos, 'Anointed' - referring to Jesus Christ. Derived from an Arabic word for 'submission'. Also related to the Arabic word salaam, 'peace'. From the Hebrew:Yehudim, 'Judah'.
FounderJesus Christ
(c. 4 B.C. - 30 A.D.) Mohammed
(570 - 632 A.D.) Abraham (First Patriarch, born c. 1800 B.C.)
Divisions Three main groups: Orthodox, Protestant and Roman Catholic.
Two main groups: Sunni and Shia (The division occured due to a dispute as to the legitimate successor of the prophet Mohammed). There is also a mystical/ascetic movement in Islam known as Sufi. Several divisions,including Hasidic, Conservative and Reform Judaism. Ethnic groupings include Ashkenazi (The majority) and Sephardi Jews.
(2006 Estimate) 2,100 Million 1,300 Million 14 Million
Nature of God 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 strictMonotheism (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: "...true God from true God" (Nicene Creed), and born of the Virgin Mary. Aprophet, 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.
Jesus Christ, The Mission of To reconcile Man to God, through his death as a sacrifice for the sins of all mankind. To proclaim the Injil, or gospel. This gospel has been corrupted over time by human additions and alterations. As Judaism rejects the idea of Jesus asMessiah, his mission is of no relevance.
Jesus Christ, The Death of "...For our sake he was crucified...he suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again...he ascended into heaven..."(Nicene Creed) Jesus was not crucified (Quran 4:157), but was raised to Heaven by Allah (4:158). Jesus was crucified for his claim to be divine.
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 collectionof 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 areadded, 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...
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