Comparing and Contrasting Different Religions – Term Paper Example
The paper “Comparing and Contrasting Different Religions" is a meaty example of a term paper on religion and theology. While many different religions have many features which may seem way too similar, there also exist other features which may appear to antagonize each other. The paper highlights those similar and antagonizing characteristics existing among the three most prominent religions on this planet. The three religions to be discussed in this paper are Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. These three religions are thought by many to be closely related in many respects and all three also have Holy Scriptures to their name. However, the similar characteristics do not guarantee that their followers can get along in harmony with each other due to the different ways in which these religions are practiced. Contrasting features between these religions also depend on the nature of the culture in which each religion is embedded.
The followers of Judaism, Islam, and Christianity see different prophets as their absolute Messiah and do not agree on following one same prophet (Robinson, 2011). Jews do not accept Jesus to be the Messiah because they basically follow many different prophets including Joshua, Moses, and Jeremiah. While Jews do not agree in the first place that Jesus ever did or could possess the personality properties of a Prophet, Christians think Jesus to be the son of God and consider him to be the Father of humanity. On the other hand, Muslims hold a totally different view and though consider Jesus to be one of the many sacred prophets sent by God for the benefit of humanity, they do not consider him to be God’s son and the last prophet. Though Muslims respect the status of Jesus as a prophet of God, they accept Prophet Muhammad to be the last messenger sent by God and claim that every human should think the same way (Judaism Online, n.d.).
Next, the Holy Scriptures followed by Jews, Christians, and Muslims also differ. Practicing Muslims observe the Quran, Jews follow the Torah, and Christians abide by the rules mentioned in the Old and New Testament. Now, while the prophets of Judaism prompt Jews to fully observe Torah and it is also stated in the book itself that anyone trying to change what is mentioned in Torah should at once considered to be a false prophet, Jesus is seen going against the Torah on many levels in the New Testament (Judaism Online, n.d.). Quran also highlights rules and regulations regarding many different subjects in a different light. While consuming or selling alcohol is not minded by Jews and Christians, it is clearly stated in the Quran that alcohol is highly forbidden and its drinking should be considered unlawful (Huda, 2012). However, all religions claim that intoxicants including many modern street drugs should be avoided by their followers since they are capable of leading them away from God. Also, while Christians absolutely claim that Jesus is the son of God, Muslims deny this by claiming that Jesus had no father as mentioned in the Quran by God.
All three religions revere many prophets mentioned in the Hebrew Scriptures, the Christian Scriptures, and the Quran. For example, all three religious holy books talk about the Prophet Abraham with respect at many points due to which these three religions are also mentioned as Abrahamic religions (Robinson, 2011). However, daily life practices differ hugely among Jews, Christians, and Muslims. For example, while second marriage is considered unlawful in all Christian countries, it is thought to be absolutely valid and lawful in all Muslim countries (Al-Islam.org, n.d.). Even the Quran clearly tells Muslim men that they can get married to as many as four Muslim women at one time, a rule which could get any Christian man land in jail if practiced by him. However, polygamy is a practice which is thought to be restricted by rabbis and not God in Judaism. Though many rabbis claimed that a man should take no more than four wives, Rabbi Gershom forbid polygamy in the 11th century outlawing it (IslamReligion.com, 2006).
The Muslim baby rituals are also very simple compared to other religions like in Christianity, where the newborn have to be baptized and various ceremonies are held. The Muslim call to prayer should be the first words heard by a newborn Muslim baby and later, the baby’s head is shaved within a week. Circumcision is a similar practice observed by both Jews and Muslims for baby boys and is considered absolutely necessary. A Christian baby receives his/her name during the formal baptism ceremony, while no such condition is observed in Islam and name can be awarded to a child at any day.