thoughts on abrahamic religions

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thoughts on abrahamic religions

Postby TerraFrost » Tue Feb 22, 2005 9:38 am

although i can't consult wikipedia, atm, i believe that the chief differences between the three abrahamic religions are who is the main prophet of each. christians believe that jesus christ is their prophet, muslims believe that muhammed is their prophet, and jewish people don't believe there yet exists a prophet.

pursuant to this, it seems as if a true convert to either christianity or islam would first have to consider themselves a jew. belief in the god that's common to all three of those religions is a requisite for belief in either jesus christ or mohammed. to simultaniously decide to believe in both (god and a prophet) seems rather dogmatic.

while they're a jew, it seems like a true convert to christianity of islam ought to read the koran and the new testament (i believe the old testament is common to all three religions) and decide, for themselves, who, if any of them, is the true prophet.

if people did this, it seems like the intensity of religious conflicts would be greatly subdued. everyone would have a common understanding and appreciation of ea. religion, seeing as how they, themselves, would have actually considered that religion, at one time, a viable possibility.

on that note, i guess the new testament, the koran, and possibly the later half of the torah are consiered apocrypha to one another?

also, perhapes i'm basing this off of negative stereotypes, but seeing people study / discuss the bible in small groups seems somewhat ironic. i mean, what do they discuss? do they debate interpretation? if so, then why would the people participating in the debate undoubtedly belong to the same denomination? i mean, you can't expect a quality debate on abortion from two people who have the same attitutdes on it, so why should one be expected of people who study the bible in groups? further, if people so devoted to the bible that they'd want to discuss it with friends could have a debate worth having then how could any faith have any conflict with another? shouldn't they all just be open minded to one anothers views?

finally, bill moyers, in this article suggests that there are christians who believe that the antichrist of the book of revelations will be the prophet of the jews. however, why can't their prophet be seen, by the christians, as the second coming of jesus? likewise, if muslims believe that muhammed will make a second appearance on this earth, then perhapes the prophet of the jews could fill that role, as well? i mean, wouldn't it be nice if the three arguably most powerful religions on the planet could come together and rediscovered common ground?
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Postby Evlfrost » Tue Feb 22, 2005 8:07 pm

Some die-hard Baptists believe that the anti-christ is going to be the pope.
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Postby Exalted Ugu » Thu Feb 24, 2005 6:58 am

I think that your arguement, while insightful, misses the point. Religion is not merely a system of beliefs codified in a book, it is a culture and a history. Look at the MASSIVE differences in belief and dogma between Catholics and Baptists, see the schizm that can result from a difference of opinion on the inheritance of a man (the Sunni/Shi'ite split in Islam is based, largely, on a difference of opinion as to who was Mohammed's legitimate heir).
If Baptists and Catholics cannot see eye-to-eye, despite their virtually identical holy texts, what possible hope can you see for a broader religious tolerance?

That said, i do not believe that religion has ever, in all of history, caused a war or major conflict. Any serious study of a 'religious war' shows the base cause to be something other than religion, be it land, politics, or simple racism, religion is used to justify and promote war, it is never the reason for it. Muslims and Jews are not fighting in the middle east because of religious differences, they're fighting over land, oil and influence. Historically, Muslims and Jews got along reasonably well, and it's only in the last century or so that their religions have taken up combative stances against one another. Likewise, without differences of opinion as to the dispersal of land, and without racial tensions, Christians and Muslims got along just fine as well (the Greek Orthodox church sided with the Muslims, particularily Syrian muslims, quite frequently during the crusades).

Until we discover some way of reducing cultural and ethnic tensions, religious differences are basically irrelevant.

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Postby TerraFrost » Thu Feb 24, 2005 8:34 am

If Baptists and Catholics cannot see eye-to-eye, despite their virtually identical holy texts, what possible hope can you see for a broader religious tolerance?

that seems quite reasonable. incidently, i think this also goes to show that group discussions of the bible are kinda pointless. if people can't accept the different viewpoints history has provided, what makes them think that they can accept the different points ea. other can provide? unless, of course, they don't discuss their interpretations, and just reenforce everyone elses interpretation (which i think is kinda pointless; by the time you're participating in study groups, i don't think you need reenforcement)

That said, i do not believe that religion has ever, in all of history, caused a war or major conflict.

that seems reasonable, too.

also, on a somewhat unrelated note, is there a sorta "family tree" for religions? ie. at the top would be, i guess, abrahamic religions, and then three nodes would split off from that, with the justifications for the split being whom believes whom was a prophet. i guess a more accurate description would be a finite state machine where the transitions are determined by what distinguishes one religion from another...
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Postby Exalted Ugu » Thu Feb 24, 2005 11:08 pm

Group discussions of the bible might be pointless in the context of open intellectual debate, or group discovery and interpretation but they have never been in that context. Instead, and i have been in some of these, they seem more to act as a mechanism whereby newcomers or the unclear can be told what the general group consensus is as to the interpretation. They are a mechanism by which the culture of that particular religious sect can perpetuate itself. You see this clearly shown in discussions with a leader or facilitator, who can provide the 'right' answers to questions, but even in looser unmoderated discussions, the majority will generally influence the minority in their direction.

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Postby TerraFrost » Tue Mar 08, 2005 12:56 am

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Postby paleofrrrost » Fri Jul 15, 2005 9:54 pm

TerraFrost wrote:
also, on a somewhat unrelated note, is there a sorta "family tree" for religions? ie. at the top would be, i guess, abrahamic religions, and then three nodes would split off from that, with the justifications for the split being whom believes whom was a prophet.


I know I'm coming late to this conversation, buuuuut ....

Why would the top of the tree be abrahamic religions? Hindu belief and culture is at least as old if not older than Judaism, and if you look at Buddhism as a "descendant" of Hinduism, it was born long before Christianity.
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Postby Roadkill » Fri Jul 15, 2005 10:36 pm

excuse me if i'm wrong, but don't jews consider jesus as a prophet too? Christians see jesus as the son of god, something more than just a prophet, even if it is the primary prophet. It's this beleif that the holy man himself already visited earth that seperates christians from jews. I do not doubt that if jesus came again, whether as himself as he was back then or as an entirely different person, the jews would reconsider their views, but that has to happen first.

Islam makes no indication of a second coming of any major prophets in its religion, and i don't think the ideology behind the religion would allow that to happen. that's not to say anything is possible in a religion. It is very probable that if jesus came again there would be many converts to judaism and christianity, or he, if he came in a different body, would be logged as another prophet.

On the note of prophets, it makes me wonder why in judaism and christianity there have been no great prophets noted after jesus christ. Muhammed was not recognized by either. Now in this modern world of 7 billion people all interconnected, you would have to launch a massive campaign to get another person recognized as the next prophet. Or a visit from the pope. Kina makes you wonder -- will we still be considering jesus and muhamed as our last prophets another 2000 years from now? will we still be waiting for jesus's second coming?

aobut those study groups: Think of these bible study groups more as a way for people of the same faith to smooth out their beleifs and relations between eachother. Enlightenment is only a secondary goal, obtaining a mainstream version is the most important. Also note that religions incorporate regular, usually sensible but also irrational, everday people. Any such discussion between two groupds would easily turn into a group or culture struggle. "A person is smart; people are dumb panicky dangerous animals and you know it." K. -- MIB
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Postby TerraFrost » Sat Jul 16, 2005 10:11 pm

Why would the top of the tree be abrahamic religions? Hindu belief and culture is at least as old if not older than Judaism, and if you look at Buddhism as a "descendant" of Hinduism, it was born long before Christianity.

That's a good point, heh. I guess what I'd most be interested in is a family tree of abrahamic religions and how ea. sect branches off from that. Sects of hindiusm, buddhism, or whatever, are probably things I wouldn't recognize. As such, being enlightened by a family tree would be overkill when just a brief list of names would be sufficient.

excuse me if i'm wrong, but don't jews consider jesus as a prophet too? Christians see jesus as the son of god, something more than just a prophet, even if it is the primary prophet. It's this beleif that the holy man himself already visited earth that seperates christians from jews. I do not doubt that if jesus came again, whether as himself as he was back then or as an entirely different person, the jews would reconsider their views, but that has to happen first.


To quote from wikipedia's entry on Jesus Christ...

Judaism sees Jesus as a false messiah, and also rejects the Muslim belief that Jesus was a prophet. Religious Jews are still awaiting the coming of the Messiah (a notable exception concerns many members of the Chabad Lubavitch sect, who view their last rebbe as being the Messiah). As for the historical personality of Jesus, Judaism has fewer objections to quotes attributed to him than they do with subsequent confessions by early Christian adherents, Paul in particular. Some Jewish scholars believe that Jesus is mentioned as Yeshu in the Jewish Talmud, although other scholars dispute this. Joseph Klausner, a prominent Israeli scholar, was vigorous in asserting the Judaism of Jesus.

Jewish movements (both religious and secular) view Messianic Judaism as a Christian and not a Jewish movement.


Islam makes no indication of a second coming of any major prophets in its religion, and i don't think the ideology behind the religion would allow that to happen. that's not to say anything is possible in a religion. It is very probable that if jesus came again there would be many converts to judaism and christianity, or he, if he came in a different body, would be logged as another prophet.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't Christianity only mention Jesus' return in the Book of Revelations? I ask because if that's the case, then someone with only a passing knowledge may not know that Jesus' is supposed to return.

Likewise, if muhammed was supposed to return, would someone with only a passing knowledge of islam know about it?
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Postby Roadkill » Sun Jul 17, 2005 2:01 am

i do not claim to be a christian so therefore i am not prohibited, if christians are, from referring to jesus's possible return with the word 'if' rather than 'when'.

while i was incorrect about judaism, it is no surprise to me. I have only heard of it what my friends have suggested in conversations. However on the basis of islam i am supremely confident in my statement. Not so far a cry as hoping and yearning for something that is not to exist, only so that ye may be right.

also note that wikipedia, a truely remarkable source, makes no mention of any resurrection, which i would consider to be an important point concerning any person.
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Postby chaotic century » Tue Jul 19, 2005 4:20 pm

Well Terra, in all the new testiment it tells about or mentions the second coming of Jesus. Really in revelation is when it is explained in detail. But it is also described in detail in a few other places. It would be really hard for a christian who reads the bible, to not know about the second coming.
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Postby TerraFrost » Tue Jul 19, 2005 6:56 pm

ah. okay. Thanks, chaotic century! :)
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Postby Exalted Ugu » Wed Aug 17, 2005 8:15 am

Indeed, did Jesus not tell his disciples that he would return while some of them still lived? Certainly, since they _must_ still be around, perhaps we could ask one of them?

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nice topic to start ... .here a few links ...

Postby rooqi » Fri Jun 02, 2006 5:27 am

Hey .. ok ..
I have been researching on this topic for quite some time ...

here are some references I found in the Holy Book of the religion of islam ...

You can check out the given references on this site..

http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/quran/

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SO here goes ---
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Be they Muslims, Jews, Christians, or Sabaeans,
Those who believe in God and the Last Day
And who do well
Have their reward with their Lord.
They have nothing to fear,
And they will not sorrow. (Qur'an: 2:62 and 5:69)

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note: the current knowledge of the religion of Sabaeans is disputed
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They say (to the Muslims): "Become Jews or become Christians and find the right way." Answer them: "No. We follow the way of Abraham the upright, who was not an idolater." Say: "We believe in God and what has been sent down to us, and what was given to Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac and Jacob and Jacob's sons, and that which was given to Moses and Christ, and to (all) the (other) prophets by their Lord. We make no distinction among them, and we submit to God." (2:135-136)

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"If God had so willed, He would have made all of you one community, but he has not done so, in order that he may test you according to what he has given you; so compete in goodness. To God shall you all return, and He will tell you the truth about what you have been disputing."
(Qur'an: 5:48.)

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With reference from these and my understanding of the religions it seems like Islam is the "updated/final" version of Judaism and Christianity.

by the way - In Islam they also believe in the descending of Jesus from heavens to earth to defeat the anti-christ "Dajjal"
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