Comparison Charts

Compare Christianity, Islam and Judaism

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 the ancient figure of Abraham, first mentioned in the Hebrew Bible.

What do Christianity, Islam, and Judaism 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.

etymologyfollowers of Christ (Greek christos, Messiah)Arabic, "submission"of the Kingdom of Judah
adherents calledChristiansMuslimsJews
date foundedc. 30 CE622 CEc. 1800 BCE (Abraham); 6th cent. BCE (Pentateuch); or 70 CE (destruction of Second Temple)
place foundedSouthern Levant (modern-day Israel, Palestine, and Jordan)Arabian PeninsulaSouthern Levant (modern-day Israel, Palestine, and Jordan)
languagesAramaic and GreekArabicHebrew
foundersJesus, Peter, PaulMuhammadAbraham, Moses
expansionwithin 60 years, churches in major cities in Palestine, Turkey, Greece and Rome; entire Roman Empire by end of 4th cent.within 12 years, entire Arabian peninsula; within 100 years, Muslim world stretched from the Atlantic to Chinalittle expansion; mostly confined to Palestine area throughout history
schismsCatholic-Orthodox (1054); Catholic-Protestant (1500s)Shia-Sunni (c. 650 CE)Reform-Orthodox (1800s CE)
branchesRoman Catholic; Eastern Orthodox; ProtestantSunni, Shi'a, SufismOrthodox, Reform, Conservative
main locationsEurope, North and South America, AfricaMiddle East, North Africa, Southeast AsiaIsrael, Eastern Europe, USA
adherents (world)2.2 billion1.6 billion14 million
adherents (USA)159 million3.3 million5.6 million
adherents (Canada)21 million500,000350,000
adherents (UK)51 million320,000
textsBible (Hebrew Bible + New Testament)Qur'an (sacred text); Hadith (tradition)Hebrew Bible (Tanakh); Talmud
Hebrew Biblecanonical; called "the Old Testament"noncanonical and corrupted but useful as a inspired textcanonical
Apocryphacanonical (Catholic) or useful but noncanonical (Protestant)noncanonicalnoncanonical but useful
New Testamentcanonicalnoncanonical and corrupted but useful as a inspired textnoncanonical
creedsApostle's Creed, Nicene CreedSix Articles of Faith13 Articles of Faith
religious lawcanon law (Catholicism)ShariaHalakhah
religious authorityBible (all), ecumenical councils and creeds (Catholic and Orthodox), papal decrees and canon law (Catholic), continuing revelations (Pentecostal)Qur'an, HadithBible, Talmud, halakhah
doctrine of scriptureviews vary: most believe inspired by God; some believe literal Word of God, inerrant in original languagesinspired, literal word of God; inerrant in original languageviews vary
prophetsBiblical prophets were true prophets of GodBiblical prophets were true prophets; Muhammad is the final and greatestBiblical prophets were true prophets of God
god(s)One God, who is a Trinity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit; angels; demons; saintsOne God (Allah in Arabic); the same God revealed (imperfectly) in the Jewish and Christian BiblesOne God: Yahweh (YHVH)
spiritual beingsangels and demonsangels, demons, jinnangels and demons
revered humanssaints, church fathersprophets; imams (especially in Shia Islam)prophets
MessiahJesus Christ is the Messiah awaited by the JewsSunni: the Madhi (Messiah) will come in the future; identity is known only to Allah; Shi'a: was born in 869, is now the Hidden Imamthe Messiah will come in the future
JesusSon of God, God incarnate, Word of God, Messiah, savior of the worldtrue prophet of God, whose message has been corruptedfalse prophet
birth of Jesusvirgin birthvirgin birthnormal birth
death of Jesusnormal death plus spiritual sufferingJesus did not die, but ascended bodily into heaven (a disciple died in his place)normal death
resurrection of Jesusaffirmedrejected, because Jesus did not die; he ascended into heaven during crucifixiondenied
second coming of Jesusaffirmedaffirmeddenied
revelationthrough Prophets and Jesus (as God Himself), recorded in Biblethrough Muhammad, recorded in Qur'anprophets, recorded in Hebrew Bible
human natureCreated good but all inherit "original sin" from Adam, causing a tendency to evilborn with equal ability to do good or eviltwo equal impulses, one good and one bad
salvationcorrect belief, faith, good deeds, sacraments (Protestants emphasize faith alone)correct belief, good deeds, Five Pillarsbelief in God, good deeds
predestinationaffirmed by most denominationsaffirmed
afterlifeResurrection of body and soul; eternal heaven or hell (most denominations); temporary purgatory (Catholicism)eternal Paradise or eternal HellNot emphasized; views vary: no afterlife, shadowy existence, World to Come (similar to heaven), Gehenna (similar to hell), reincarnation
view of Christianitytrue religionrespected as fellow "People of the Book" but have wrong beliefs and only partial, corrupted revelationfalse interpretation and expansion of Judaism
view of Islamrespected as a fellow monotheistic religion, but Muhammad is not seen as a true prophettrue religionfalse interpretation and expansion of Judaism
view of Judaismtrue religion but with incomplete revelationrespected as fellow "People of the Book" but have wrong beliefs and only partial, corrupted revelationtrue religion
house of worshipchurch, chapel, cathedral, basilica, meeting hallmosquesynagogue, temple, schul
day of worshipSundayFridaySaturday
clergy/leaderspriest, bishop, archbishop, patriarch, pope, pastor, minister, preacher, deaconimamsrabbis
practicesPrayer, Bible study, baptism, Eucharist (Communion), church on Sundays, numerous holidays. Five Pillars: Faith, Prayer, Alms, Pilgrimage, Fasting. Mosque services on Fridays. Ablutions before prayer. No alcohol or pork. Holidays related to the pilgrimage and fast of Ramadan. Circumcision at birth, bar/bat mitzvah at adulthood, observing Sabbath, wearing tallit and tefilin, prayer services
major holidaysEaster, Christmas, saints' days (some denominations)Al-Hijra, Ramadan, 'Id Al-FitrHanukkah, Rosh Hashanah, Purim
symbolsCross, dove, anchor, fish, alpha/omega, chi rhoStar and crescent; name of Allah in Arabic; color green; mosque silhouette.Star of David, chai, hamsa, tree

Article Info

Title Compare Christianity, Islam and Judaism
Last UpdatedFebruary 13, 2021
MLA Citation “Compare Christianity, Islam and Judaism.” 13 Feb. 2021. Web. Accessed 4 Mar. 2021. <>