Islam, Judaism and Christianity – which one, if any, is true?
by Peter Saunders
If we take the three main theistic religions – Islam, Judaism and Christianity – one of which is believed broadly by almost half of the world’s population – we find they have several striking similarities.
All share belief in an all knowing, all powerful creator God who made the universe.
All share belief in a judgment and an afterlife
– in angels and devils
– in scriptures and prophets
– in a similar ethical code
All share belief that God has intelligibly revealed his will in the course of history and strikingly all began in Middle East and trace themselves back to a common ancestor Abraham who once lived in what is now Southern Iraq.
The similarities are astounding – but there are profound differences too – and the most striking difference between them is in their beliefs about one person Jesus Christ.
The traditional Jewish Jew is that Jesus was a sorcerer and a false prophet who led people astray and died on a Roman cross.
Muslims see him as a prophet of God who spoke God’s word who didn’t die but was taken up to heaven by God whilst still alive.
And Christians believe that he was God himself visiting the planet in human form who died on a cross and rose from the dead.
Now clearly these three beliefs about Jesus can’t be equally true – because they are mutually exclusive. But they are also subject to historical enquiry. Either Jesus was God or he wasn’t, and either he died and rose again or he didn’t…
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