What's more similar to Judaism? Christianity, or Islam?

What is more similar to Judaism? Christianity, or Islam?

Personally, I think it depends on how you look at it.

When it comes to laws, particularly dietary laws, Jews and Muslims have a ton more in common. Christians don’t follow any dietary laws. Though, if I am not mistaken, Eastern Orthodox still abstain from blood in their meat products. I also know Ethiopian Orthodox follow virtually the same laws as Jews, and some Coptic Orthodox abstain from pork. But that’s a topic for another time. Generally, Christians (particularly in the west) don’t have dietary laws, or at least laws we don’t see as obligatory. Jews and Muslims on the other hand have virtually the same dietary laws. Kosher and Halal are very similar with some modifications. Other than that, they are very similar.

Also when it comes to the nature of God, again Jews and Muslims have the same outlook. Whereas Christians believe in Trinitarian Monotheism, that God is one being but three persons; both Jews and Muslims are Unitarians, seeing God as one being and also one person. That is why Muslims, though they believe in Jesus, do not believe in his divinity.

Muslims and Jews also have stricter views of prayer. Muslims pray 5 times a day towards Mecca. Jews typically pray 3 times a day towards Jerusalem. Christianity doesn’t have a specific guideline on how many times to pray a day, though priest in the Latin Church have to pray the liturgy of the hours several times a day. Eastern Christians also generally face the east for prayer.

Those are the primary similarities between Islam and Judaism. But, there are also a lot of similarities between Christianity and Judaism that Islam does not acknowledge.

The most obvious is the Tanakh (Old Testament) story’s, which Jews and Christians have no difference over and we generally believe in the same things. True,Christians do have some extra books in their Old Testament (with the exception of Protestants) although, Jews don’t really deny the reality of most of those extra books they just don’t include it in their canon’s. For example, Catholic’s and Orthodox include 1 and 2 Maccabees which relates to the story of Hanukkah, something very important to Jews. Now, Muslims on the other hand, while generally believing the basics of the Hebrew biblical story’s, do have some modifications and additions. Both Jews and Christians believe it was Isaac Abraham was going to sacrifice, but Muslims believe it was actually Ishmael. There is also Solomon, who Jews and Christians acknowledge fell into idolatry, whereas Muslims believe he never did.

There are also concepts such as a Priesthood which both Jews and Christians share, but Islam has no concept of. Jews believe priest (Kohen) were descendants of Aaron, the brother of Moses. who would offer many different kinds of sacrifices in the Temple. Since the Temple has been destroyed, sacrifices can no longer be offered (though, Orthodox Jews believe that in the future age they will resume), priest however do still have some limited duties in the Jewish world, even today, particularly among the Orthodox, and to small extent among Conservative Jews. Christians also believe in a priesthood, believing that Jesus is our high priest in the order of Melchizedek and that all priest today act in the person of Christ. Even though Protestant generally don’t believe in a ministerial priesthood, they still believe in a universal priesthood, which is something foreign to Islam.

Jews and Christians also believe the duty of a priest is to offer sacrifices. Though Christians and modern Judaism today may have different views of the purpose of sacrifice, it is still seen as the highest way to worship God. As said before, Jews can’t offer sacrifice because there is no temple, but Orthodox Jews want to resume the practice again sometime in the future. Christian priest offer the sacrifice of Mass on Sunday, and in the Roman rite, everyday. It is seen as a true sacrifice, offered up to God, the very body and blood of Jesus Christ in the form of bread and wine, it is united to the sacrifice of the cross, and has been continually offered up throughout the ages. Muslims do practice animal sacrifice today, however they typically only offer them up on special occasions or during Hajj because they see it as a way of recalling what Abraham did. They view prayer as the ultimate form of worship, and while prayer is very important to both Judaism and Christianity for worship, the sacrifice is where the highest form of worship is.

Jews and Christians also share some similarity’s in the conversion process. Catechesis is about 6 months to a year and afterwards a person is baptized. For Jews, it is Mikveh, which converts have to preform (if they’re men, circumcision first, then Mikveh). Muslims on the other hand see conversion (or reversion from their perspective) as simply reciting the Shahada which takes 5 seconds to recite and it can be done by anybody anywhere.

When it comes to the Messiah, although Jews and Christians have very different views, we both generally acknowledge the ultimate power of the Messiah and that he will (or already is) king and that he will draw many to him. Muslims simply see the Messiah [Jesus] as the last prophet sent to the Israelite’s, and although he will play a bigger role in his second coming, he is not the “ultimate end” if you will. His arrival is not the ultimate fate of humanity, and that he too will be judged by God one day.

There are many more similarities between Christianity and Judaism, and Judaism and Islam, but these are the few I have put forth. Ultimately, depending on how you look at it, Christianity could be seen as more similar to Judaism, after all, it came of Judaism; but Islam can also seem more similar to Judaism than Christianity does. I think from the outside, Islam has more similarity’s to Judaism. But from the inside, Christianity has more similarity’s. What do you think? What is your opinion?

Jews i have interacted with say they are closer to Islam theologically. Because they, like the Muslims, seem to think we worship 3 Gods.

Of course the ones who have read the Koran do not take too kindly to being called apes and pigs…

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You provide a nice summary of a really complicated question. I have a couple of points to add. One is the notion that sacrifice is the highest form of worship in Judaism. This is not really the case according to the Hebrew Bible. The highest form of worship is and always has been prayer and good deeds. Another point involves the idea of heaven and hell, particularly the role of Satan, in the three Abrahamic religions. I think Christianity and Islam are closer to one another on this than Judaism. The latter regards HaSatan as an agent of G-d rather than a rebellious fallen angel. There is no real apocalyptic good vs. evil conflict according to Judaism. Rather, Satan is under the strict control of G-d and does G-d’s bidding. Satan’s mission is to test humanity severely, yet hoping that it will pass the test. In other words, Satan is on G-d’s side, not His archenemy. Hell is seen in Judaism as the separation from G-d (similar to Catholicism, I believe); however, Satan does not rule this domain as he does in both Christianity and Islam.

I really hope you do not believe that we call people as apes or pigs.
I apologize to the original poster because my post will deviate from the discussed topic, but I had to clarify.

This is what Muslims believe happened to some people who were warned in a village.

Surah Al-Araf 7:163
Ask them concerning the town standing close by the sea. Behold! they transgressed in the matter of the Sabbath. For on the day of their Sabbath their fish did come to them, openly holding up their heads, but on the day they had no Sabbath, they did not come: thus did We make a trial of them, for they were given to transgression.

7:164
When some of them said: “Why do you preach to a people whom Allah will destroy or visit with a terrible punishment?” - said the preachers: "To .discharge our duty to your Lord, and perchance they may fear Him.

7:165
When they disregarded the warnings that had been given them, We rescued those who forbade evil; but We visited the wrong-doers with a grievous punishment, because they were given to transgression.

7:166
When in their insolence they transgressed (all) prohibitions, We said to them: "Be you apes, despised and rejected.

Prayer and good deeds are also very important, and Christianity believes this too. I know modern day Judaism has a different view of sacrifice than Christianity, but both put a great deal of stress on it. Particularly the Orthodox Jews and Orthodox (Catholic, Orthodox, and mainline Protestants) Christians. Reform Jews don’t really see the need of sacrifice and priest because in my understanding, they see it as primitive. Conservative Jews have a similar view, though they still hope for a Temple and a priest without sacrifices. The Orthodox on the other hand put a lot of stress on the rebuilding of the Temple and sacrifices in the future. They include it in their prayers. So, I guess the view of sacrifices depends on Jewish denomination, but I was mostly going by the Orthodox view which put a great deal of stress on sacrifice, I’m not saying necessarily for atonement, but because of its expression of worship offered to God. And it must be admitted, just about every culture has had sacrifice because it was recognized even by the ancients the importance of sacrifice as a way of worshiping. Christians still do it in the Eucharist, and Orthodox Jews want it to be reestablished when the Temple is rebuilt.

Also, yes I recognize that. Christianity adopted its views of good and evil from Second Temple Judaism and what the common Jew at the time believed in. As Judaism developed further after the destruction of the Temple, evil was less and less personified in demons and evil spirits and such. Islam further developed what Christians had gotten from the Second Temple period and adapted it within the commonly held Arabian mythology of Jinn’s.

I do see why Jinn is considered a myth or ghosts by others, also there is no such a thing as ghosts.
Regarding the case of Shaitan (Iblis) or whom you call Satan, where in Islam, Satan is not a fallen Angel nor there are fallen Angels.

Surah Al-Kahf 18:50
Behold! We said to the angels, “Bow down to Adam”: they bowed down except Iblis. He was one of the Jinns, and he broke the Command of his Lord. Will you then take him and his progeny as protectors rather than Me? And they are enemies to I you! Evil would be the exchange for the wrong-doers!.

However, I do not know what is meant by demons and evil spirits in Christianity.

I personally believe in Ghost. I don’t believe in Jinn though. You can’t really use the Qur’an against me because I don’t believe in it since I’m Christian. I do believe in the Bible!

“Then war broke out in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. The great dragon was hurled down–that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.” - Revelation 12:7-9

“And the angels who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their proper dwelling–these he has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for judgment on the great Day.” - Jude 1:6

“For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them in chains of darkness to be held for judgment;” - 1 Peter 2:4

“the sons of God saw that the daughters of humans were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose… The Nephilim were on the earth in those days–and also afterward–when the sons of God went to the daughters of humans and had children by them.” - Genesis 6:2-4

First I apologize, I never intended to use that verse to offend you or anyone for that matter.
I did not use it against you,I acknowledge the differences between Christianity and Islam.
All I wanted is to provide the Islamic point of view by using that verse.

Aside from that you made a capital G in Ghost, are you referring to the Holy Ghost in Christianity?
Because what I meant by ghosts are those things which some people refer to when they talk about hunted houses for example.

This is another place where Christianity and Islam differ, where in Islam we believe Satan was not created as Angel, for the lack of better word, he was born in another species.
But he was given a high status among other Angels to stay in Heaven and worship with the Angels, while the rest of the Jinn were already on Earth.
And was cast down to Earth because he defied God’s order when He ( The Mighty ) ordered the Angels to bow down to Adam (peace be upon him) because of jealousy.

Both religions disagree on the subjects of death, Paradise, Purgatory and Hell.
I am only stating the dissimilarities.

First I apologize, I never intended to use that verse to offend you or anyone for that matter.
I did not use it against you,I acknowledge the differences between Christianity and Islam.
All I wanted is to provide the Islamic point of view by using that verse.

Aside from that you made a capital G in Ghost, are you referring to the Holy Ghost in Christianity?
Because what I meant by ghosts are those things which some people refer to when they talk about hunted houses for example.

Offended? No, it’s fine. I just was telling you that using the Qur’an to convince me of Islamic beliefs is insufficient since I do not believe it.

Also, yeah that was a grammar mistake. I meant “ghost.” I do personally believe in ghost. The Church has no real position on this, only that when someone dies they are judged and go to heaven, hell, or purgatory. These aren’t real physical places, at least not in the intermediate state, but are just states. Perhaps ghost’s are in purgatory, or possibly hell, maybe even heaven. I do not know. But there is a lot of evidence for paranormal activity.

This is another place where Christianity and Islam differ, where in Islam we believe Satan was not created as Angel, for the lack of better word, he was born in another species.
But he was given a high status among other Angels to stay in Heaven and worship with the Angels, while the rest of the Jinn were already on Earth.
And was cast down to Earth because he defied God’s order when He ( The Mighty ) ordered the Angels to bow down to Adam (peace be upon him) because of jealousy.

Both religions disagree on the subjects of death, Paradise, Purgatory and Hell.
I am only stating the dissimilarities.

Yes, Christianity does not believe in the existence of Jinn. We believe in angels, some good, and other bad [demons]. We believe Lucifer, Satan, the Devil, or whatever he may be called by, rebelled against God because we believe angels have free will. Satan wanted to be like God, but nobody can be like God. Satan and his army were cast from heaven and brought sin into the world.

Judaism and Christianity both teach the man has free will, but Islam denies this. So Judaism and Christianity are closer.

Islam teaches man has free will, but that angels don’t.

So then this must be wrong, from the Catholic Encyclopedia:

The Mohammedan doctrine of predestination is equivalent to fatalism. They believe in God’s absolute decree and predetermination both of good and of evil; viz., whatever has been or shall be in the world, whether good or bad, proceeds entirely from the Divine will, and is irrevocably fixed and recorded from all eternity. The possession and the exercise of our own free will is, accordingly, futile and useless. The absurdity of this doctrine was felt by later Mohammedan theologians, who sought in vain by various subtile distinctions to minimize it.
Oussani, G. (1911). Mohammed and Mohammedanism. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. newadvent.org/cathen/10424a.htm

That is also what Judaism teaches. Mankind is, in a sense, superior to angels since only the former has free will.

Interesting difference with Christianity which teaches that by free will the angel Satan fell and 1/3 of the angels fell with him. Fourth Lateran Council:

“Diabolus enim et alii dæmones a Deo quidem naturâ creati sunt boni, sed ipsi per se facti sunt mali.”

(“the Devil and the other demons were created by God good in their nature but they by themselves have made themselves evil.”)

… Muslims believe that man has free will to chose good and evil…

Based on the strictness of theology and religious law, I’d say Islam. IIUC.

ICXC NIKA

Quoting verses is like telling you why I am as a Muslim believe in so and so, was not intended to convince you of my beliefs.

This is really an interesting topic I would like to know more about.
In the perspective of the Catholic Church, when a person dies who will judge him and where?

Does the Church teach anything about Resurrection of us I mean and Judgement day?

In Islam we have a different point of view how everything started, as why he was cast down to Earth as I stated in a previous post.
I do believe Satan has an army of “demons” but those are not Angels but of his kind.
The good we call Jinn and the bad we call Shaitan ( demon ).

Humans can not see the Jinn.

Quoting verses is like telling you why I am as a Muslim believe in so and so, was not intended to convince you of my beliefs.

Alright, fair enough.

This is really an interesting topic I would like to know more about.
In the perspective of the Catholic Church, when a person dies who will judge him and where?

Does the Church teach anything about Resurrection of us I mean and Judgement day?

God judges him. Where? There is no “where” as in it’s some place within space and time with actual spacial dimensions. Heaven, hell, and purgatory are not really a “place”, but rather states that transcend time and space and relate to a persons relationship with God. The Eastern and Western traditions of Christianity have different perspectives, both of which are totally acceptable in the Catholic Church. I will present the western view since I am a Latin Catholic, although I do have some leanings to the eastern view of things.

Heaven is a place where someone who has died in the state of grace is in full and absolute communion with God. It is the joyous love and presence of God, it is where the faithful who have departed wait until the universal resurrection of the dead. In the resurrection they will attain glorified bodies, and live in heaven on earth forever. Purgatory is a place where those who have died in a state of grace, but have not completed their journey with God on earth go to in order to perfect this before entering into heaven (my view of purgatory is more akin to the eastern Christian view of “purgatory”) Hell is a place where those who rejected God are eternally separated and cut off from God. Hell is a very despairing place and these are the true “flames” of hell. At the resurrection, those in hell will also be resurrected and judged. They will of course remain in hell. The Church doesn’t necessarily believe the flames of hell won’t be literal, but most interpreters don’t see it as literal since hell is not really a place. Thus, as said before, the true “flames” of hell are what one experiences when he/she is cut off from the love and grace of God.

What do you mean by “us?” Muslims? Well, the Church has no idea what your final fate is. She does not know anybody’s final fate, not even those in the Church. Of course, the Church offers the best hope for salvation, but that doesn’t mean people from other religions can’t be saved. It’s very possible Muslims will be saved alongside other people in other religions. You do believe in the one true God. You do have some faith in Jesus Christ too and the other prophets as well.

In Islam we have a different point of view how everything started, as why he was cast down to Earth as I stated in a previous post.
I do believe Satan has an army of “demons” but those are not Angels but of his kind.
The good we call Jinn and the bad we call Shaitan ( demon ).

Humans can not see the Jinn.

Interesting. Well, we can’t see anything spiritual. Christians believe angels and demons to be spirits, so we cannot see them either. Though, they have the ability to take the form of material things and have do so many times in both the Old and New Testament.

Thank you for the clarification.
Could you please provide me with links to more materials regarding this subject?

I am sorry for the confusion that I made, what I meant by us is humans, after the resurrection of us humans.

In Islam we believe that they have that ability as well but they do have their original forms.
And those forms differ in one way or another from one to another.

Then Judaism and Islam are closer. Both reject the divinity of Jesus Christ.

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