What are the similarities between the three Abrahamic religions?

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Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are what are termed "Abrahamic religions" because they all share scriptural texts. The Jewish "Old Testament," God, and figures such as Moses and Abraham are shared among all three faiths; the "New Testament" and Jesus Christ are present in Christianity and Islam; and the Quran and the Prophet Muhammad are unique to Islam. Thus the first areas of similarity are found in the shared scriptural texts, including the account of the origin of the world in Genesis.

All three religions are monotheistic, believing in the existence of a single God and condemning all beliefs in other gods as heretical or infidel. Although some thinkers in all three religious traditions advocate ecumenism, all three have a history of intolerance of rival religious beliefs, unlike, for example, ancient polytheistic religions, which admitted a wide range of gods and spirits and readily made room for diverse belief systems.

All three religions believe in some form of afterlife and contain accounts of some sort of reward or salvation for believers who suffer in ordinary life. This sense of life as we know it having a beginning and end against a permanent divine world is recapitulated on the cosmic level, where God creates the material world and then eventually destroys it, with human souls then returning to a spiritual cosmos.

All three religions are historical, with their sacred scriptures not simply having philosophical or theological claims, but telling narratives about their peoples and prophets. All three have extensive grounding in historical claims about people and their biographies.

Finally, all three religions have complex codes regulating the lives of believers, including dietary codes, sexual moralities, and codes of conduct.

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The three Abrahamic religions—Christianity, Islam, and Judaism—all stem from their belief in the prophet Abraham, whom they view as the father of their religions. These three religions all believe that Abraham, an Israelite, had a direct relationship with God in which fundamental religious values were communicated.

The first and most obvious similarity between these three religions is that they are all "prophetic" or believe in prophets, as they do with their common patriarch, Abraham. The definition of a prophet is a person who speaks on behalf of God through divine inspiration. There are many prophets in the Christian Bible, the Islamic Quran, and the Jewish Torah.

Another similarity between these religions is that they are all monotheistic. They believe in a single God. In contrast to the Abrahamic religions, many other religions, such as Hinduism, are polytheistic and believe in many gods.

Lastly, each of these three religions provides an ethical framework, as given by God, to differentiate between good and evil in order to live a good life.

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The three Abrahamic faiths are Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. They are related through several fundamental beliefs and a shared history, beginning with the figure of Abraham. These three religious traditions are called "Abrahamic" because they each trace their beginning to Abraham, who founded the Covenant (relationship of respect and obligation) between his people and God. The Abrahamic Covenant, specifically, was God's promise to protect and shepherd Abraham's descendants, and Judaism, Christianity, and Islam all value this Covenant but may have different opinions about what else happened between God and mankind. For example, Christianity holds that Jesus Christ was prophesied as the Messiah and died for the forgiveness of all sins. In Islam, while Jesus Christ is regarded as a prophet, he is not believed to have been the Messiah. 

One of the main things the Abrahamic faiths have in common is that they are monotheistic. That means they believe in just one god, the God, who is creator of all things. 

These three religions also share similar cosmologies and eschatologies. Cosmology deals with how the world and the universe were created, and the Abrahamic traditions agree that God created the world, separating the once united heavens and earth, in six days and took a rest on the seventh. Eschatology has to do with the end of a person's life as well as the "end of time," and all three religions hold that if a person acts in accordance with God's will during their time on Earth, there is peace awaiting them after death. They also believe that there will come a time when God will intervene on Earth and make it into a paradise, banishing people who do not act in accordance with God's will, for some amount of time.

In practice, the three Abrahamic faiths have some traditional rules regarding personal conduct. All three religions engage in periods of fasting throughout the year, observe a weekly holy day, and encourage regular, ritualized prayer. Of course, the extent to which individuals hold to these rules varies widely. Judaism, Christianity, and Islam each also have a holy book containing many of the same stories of creation, God's stewardship of mankind, and rules for living.

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What are the similarities and differences between Christianity, Judaism, and Islam? 

Christianity, Judaism and Islam are what we commonly call the "Abrahamic Religions." 

The association with Abraham, and thus the biblical story of The Call of Abraham, influences all three of the above religions in terms of their beliefs about God and the origin of humanity. 

In short, the very first tale of Abraham--found in the first of three sections of the Hebrew Bible, also known as the Torah--is essentially about God's creation of the paradigmatic human being. In an effort to see if Abraham would (unlike Adam and Eve) follow his will unconditionally, God tested Abraham with a series of difficult tasks, all of which Abraham completed without argument. 

Abraham also heeded God's will when he was told to sacrifice his son, Isaac, to God. He prepared a ritualistic killing for the child and was stopped just before the actual killing when God intervened and told him that he needn't see anymore; he was pleased.

Christianity, Islam and Judaism all refer to this story when speaking both of the origin of humanity and the paradigmatic human being. All three religions believe, essentially, that Abraham is a pure and exemplary representation of a human formed in God's image, living without sin, and they trace their histories back to this text. 

Some more similarities/differences:

  • The Western Traditions are all monotheist, meaning they believe in only one God.
  • They each have prophets (human messengers of God) associated with their religions. 
  • Each has a version of Heaven/Paradise and Hell, though some Jews do not believe in any afterlife.
  • All believe that humans do have the tendency to do evil, though where Islam and Judaism believe that humans have equal impulses for both good and evil, Christianity believes we are all born good, but inherit evil from Adam (called "original sin").

An important similarity is their belief in Jesus Christ. However, their beliefs do change among the religions. For example:

  • Judaism believes Jesus had a normal birth, while Islam and Christianity believe in his virgin birth.
  • Christianity worships Jesus as a true prophet, and as an incarnation of God. Islam also believes Jesus was a true prophet, but does not consider the man divine or an incarnation of God. Judaism believes that Jesus was not God or the Messiah (savior), and that his sacrifice was not entirely necessary. 

There are also some technical differences, such as the names and designs of their houses of worship, the days which they consider sacred, the languages in which they practice their religion, etc. These are a given, considering these are different religions and not denominations (subsets) of one religion. 

Generally, though, it is each of the three religions' beliefs about God and Abraham that tie them together as similar religions. 

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