Comparison of Islam, Judaism and Christianity



Similarities and Differences



Christianity, Islam, and Judaism are three of the most influential world religions in history. While Judaism isn't as large as Christianity and Islam, its impact on the world has still been as profound. Judaism, Islam, and Christianity are sometimes called "Abrahamic religions" because they trace their history to Abraham in the Hebrew Bible. (See main pages for Islam, Judaism, and Christianity.)

What do these three religions believe about God, the universe, people, and the afterlife, and how do those convictions compare with each other? The charts below are intended to start answering those questions. As a brief guide of the similarities and differences of Islam, Judaism and Christianity, the following chart compares the statistics, origins, history and religious beliefs of these three great monotheistic faiths. (See main pages for Islamic beliefs, Jewish beliefs, and Christian beliefs.)



Comparison of Statistics and Basics

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Islam
(main page)
Judaism
(main page)
Christianity
(main page)
Adherents called
Muslims
Jews
Christians
Current adherents
1.3 billion
14 million
2 billion
Current size rank
2nd largest
12th largest
largest
  See
Islam fast facts
See
Judaism fast facts
See
Christianity fast facts
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)
  See
Islam sacred texts
See
Judaism sacred texts
See
Christianity sacred texts
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
  See
Islam practices
See
Judaism practices
See
Christianity practices

Comparison of Origins and History

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Islam
(main page)

Judaism
(main page)
Christianity
(main page)

Date founded
622 CE
unknown
c. 33 CE
Place founded
Saudi Arabia
Palestine (def)
Palestine
Founder
Moses or Abraham
  See
History of Islam
See
History of Judaism
See
History of Christianity
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 (map); 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
  Compare
Sunni and Shia
Compare
Jewish denominations
Compare
Christian denominations


Comparison of Religious Beliefs

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Islam
(main page)

Judaism
(main page)
Christianity
(main page)
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
  Islamic beliefs
about God
Jewish beliefs
about God
Christian beliefs
about God
Other spiritual beings
angels, demons, jinn
angels and demons
angels and demons
Revered humans
prophets, imams (especially in Shia)
prophets
saints, church fathers
  Islamic beliefs
about human nature
Jewish beliefs
about human nature
Christian beliefs
about human nature
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)
  Afterlife in Islam Afterlife in Judaism Afterlife in Christianity
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.


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