What are the three great monotheistic religions?

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The three great monotheistic religions are generally identified as Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.  All of these religions are connected, sharing a common heritage of sorts.

Judaism was the first of these monotheistic religions.  We do not know exactly when it was founded, but it is clearly older than the other two.  Christianity arose as an offshoot of Judaism.  Christians were a sect of Judaism at one point and then diverged.  Christians still hold the Jewish Bible to be part of their scripture.  Islam came last, about 600 years after the rise of Christianity.  Islam sees itself as a reform religion that gets back to the truth that Christians and Jews have moved away from.  Muslims believe that Jewish and Christian scriptures are holy books, but that Judaism and Christianity have strayed from the actual truth about God.  They feel that their beliefs are what God truly wants.

All of these religions are monotheistic, believing in only one God.  They are the largest religions in the world to be monotheistic.

mrwickline | Student

The three major world religions are Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. All three of these religions are closely related, but contrast on important beliefs and doctrine. Interestingly, all three of these religions regard Jerusalem as their sacred, holy city. Judaism, the world’s first monotheistic religion was founded by Abraham around 4,000 years ago. Judaism subscribes to the belief in the almighty deity Yahweh, and has around 14 million followers worldwide. Their sacred books are the Hebrew Tanakh, Mishnah, Talmud and Midrash. While Christians believe that Jesus was the Son of God, Jews reject Jesus as the messiah and observe rituals such as: circumcision, observation of the Sabbath, and praying from the siddur. Christianity diverged as a sect of Judaism who followed Jesus, who claimed to be the messiah during the height of the Roman Empire (4 B.C.).  Christians subscribe to the Holy Bible, made up of the Old and New Testament, and account for the world’s largest religious population comprising of roughly 2.2 billion followers. Islam is the world’s second largest religion comprising of approximately 1.6 billion followers, known as Muslims. Islam was found by Mohammed in Mecca around 600 A.D. Mohammed claimed to be a prophet from Allah, and recited the Quran, which is believed by Muslims to be the spoken word of God. Although all of the three major world religions are related and endorse similar beliefs, the distinct areas of difference have caused continual conflict throughout the world up to the present.