Religions

 

 

 

 

Islam

Judaism

Christianity

adherents called

Muslims

Jews

Christians

current adherents

1.3 billion

14 million

2 billion

current size rank

2nd largest

12th largest

largest

major concentration

Middle East, Southeast Asia

Israel, Europe, USA

Europe, North and South America, rapid growth in Africa

sacred text

Qur'an (Koran)

Bible

Bible (Jewish Bible + New Testament)

other written authority

Hadith

Talmud, Midrash, Responsa

church fathers, church councils, papal decrees (Catholic only)

religious law

Sharia

Halakhah

Canon Law

clergy

imams

rabbis

priests, ministers, pastors, bishops

house of worship

mosque

synagogue

church, chapel, cathedral

main day of worship

Friday

Saturday

Sunday

church and state

integrated

separate

separate

Comparison of Origins and History

 

Islam

Judaism

Christianity

date founded

622 CE

unknown

c. 33 CE

place founded

Saudi Arabia

Palestine 

Palestine

founder

Muhammad

Moses or Abraham

Jesus

original language(s)

Arabic

Hebrew

Aramaic, Greek

early expansion

within 12 years, entire Arabian peninsula; within 100 years, Muslim world stretched from the Atlantic to China

little expansion; mostly confined to Palestine

within 60 years, churches in major cities in Palestine, Turkey, Greece and Rome; entire Roman Empire by end of 4th cent.

major splits

Shia/Sunni, c. 650 CE

Reform/Orthodox, 1800s CE

Catholic/Orthodox, 1054 CE; Catholic/Protestant, 1500s CE

Comparison of Religious Beliefs

 

Islam

Judaism

Christianity

type of theism

Strict monotheism

Strict monotheism

Trinitarian monotheism

ultimate reality

one God

one God

one God

names of God

Allah (Arabic for God)

Yahweh, Elohim

Yahweh, the Holy Trinity

other spiritual beings

angels, demons, jinn

angels and demons

angels and demons

revered humans

prophets, imams (especially in Shia)

prophets

saints, church fathers

identity of Jesus

true prophet of God, whose message has been corrupted

false prophet

Son of God, God incarnate, savior of the world

birth of Jesus

virgin birth

normal birth

virgin birth

death of Jesus

did not die, but ascended into heaven during crucifixion

death by crucifixion

death by crucifixion

resurrection of Jesus

denied

denied

affirmed

second coming of Jesus

affirmed

denied

affirmed

divine revelation

through Muhammad, recorded in Qur'an

through Prophets, recorded in Bible

through Prophets and Jesus (as God Himself), recorded in Bible

view of sacred text

inspired, literal word of God, inerrant in original languages

views vary

inspired, some believe inerrant in original languages

human nature

equal ability to do good or evil

two equal impulses, one good and one bad

"original sin" inherited from Adam - tendency towards evil

means of salvation

correct belief, good deeds, Five Pillars

belief in God, good deeds

correct belief, faith, good deeds, sacraments (some Protestants emphasize faith alone)

God's role in salvation

predestination

divine revelation and forgiveness

predestination, various forms of grace

good afterlife

eternal paradise

views vary: either heaven or no afterlife

eternal heaven

bad afterlife

eternal hell

views vary: either eternal Gehenna, reincarnation, or no afterlife

eternal hell, temporary purgatory (Catholicism)

view of fellow Abrahamic religions

Jews and Christians are respected as "People of the Book," but they have wrong beliefs and only partial revelation.

Islam and Christianity are false interpretations and extensions of Judaism.

Judaism is a true religion, but with incomplete revelation. Islam is a false religion.