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Do Christians, Muslims and Jews worship the same God?
September 1st, 2013
03:26 AM ET

Do Christians, Muslims and Jews worship the same God?

Opinion by Jeffrey Weiss, Special to CNN

(CNN) - Pope Francis surprised Israeli and Palestinian leaders last month when he invited them to a special prayer ceremony at the Vatican this Sunday - not least because religion has often been the source, not the salve, of the region's conflicts.

Still, Pope Francis offered his "home" - the Vatican - as the perfect place to plea for some divine assistance, and Israeli President Shimon Peres and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas dutifully agreed to attend.

"The Pope has placed it in this perspective: Prayer is like a force for peace,” Vatican Secretary of State Archbishop Pietro Parolin told Vatican Radio.

"We hope that there, where human efforts have so far failed, the Lord offers to all the wisdom and fortitude to carry out a real peace plan."

But Sunday's special ceremony at the Vatican raises an interesting question: When Francis, Peres and Abbas bow their heads in prayer, will they be talking to the same God?

After all, Jews, Christians and Muslims all trace their faiths back to a fellow named Abraham, whom they all claim was chosen for special treatment by the Almighty.

Not academic

The “same God” question is one theologians have hammered at for as long as there have been enough religions for the query to make sense.

The question is hardly academic, though. In fact, a number of politicians, religious leaders and scholars have expressed hope in recent years that a convincing answer on the God question might dampen the violence committed in His name.

Yale Divinity School theologian Miroslav Volf recently edited a book titled “Do We Worship the Same God? Jews, Christians, and Muslims in Dialogue.”

In the introduction, Volf explained why the title question matters:

"To ask: ‘Do we have a common God?’ is, among other things, to worry: ‘Can we live together?’ That’s why whether or not a given community worships the same god as does another community has always been a crucial cultural and political question and not just a theological one."

On the other hand, there’s CNN Belief Blog contributor and Boston University religion professor Stephen Prothero.

His book on this subject is titled “God Is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions That Run The World.”

Prothero writes:

“For more than a generation we have followed scholars and sages down the rabbit hole into a fantasy world where all gods are one … In fact this naive theological groupthink – call it Godthink – has made the world more dangerous by blinding us to the clash of religions that threaten us worldwide.”

In the world of politics, President George W. Bush asserted the unity side of the argument more than once in the years after the 9/11 attacks - often as a way to deflect accusations that America was at war with Islam.

Bush told Al Arabiya television, “I believe there is a universal God. I believe the God that the Muslim prays to is the same God that I pray to. After all, we all came from Abraham. I believe in that universality.”

Pope Francis invites Israeli, Palestinian leaders to Vatican peace talks

Pope John Paul II drew from the same rhetorical well several times.

“We believe in the same God, the one God, the living God, the God who created the world and brings his creatures to their perfection,” he first said in a speech to Muslims in Morocco in 1985.

Looking for a more recent example? Consider the plight of Vatican envoy to Malaysia.

Shortly after he arrived there last year, Archbishop Joseph Marino said that is was fine by him that Christian translations of the Bible into Malay use the word “Allah” for “God.”

“Allah” is, of course, the Arabic word for God and is found in the Quran. The Christian translators explained that since most Malaysians are Muslim, it’s the word they’re most comfortable with and therefore the best choice for the translation.

But many Muslim authorities in Malaysia were furious. They say Christians are slipping in the familiar word as a way to convert Muslims. And conversion of Muslims is all but illegal in Malaysia.

There’s a lawsuit ongoing about the translations. Marino had to apologize for pushing into Malaysian politics.

Points of disagreement

So what do the “Abrahamic” religions disagree about?

Among other things: the purpose of humanity, the relationship of God and humanity, sin, forgiveness, salvation, the afterlife, Jesus, Muhammad, the calendar, and the religious importance of Abraham himself.

Plus the nature of God.

Any summary will leave out enormous nuance. Internal divisions within religions have fueled some of the worst examples of human violence. Consider the long and frequently bloody history of troubles between Catholics and Protestants or the growing death toll of Muslim-on-Muslim attacks.

But there are common elements about God widely accepted in each tradition.

Judaism

Start with Judaism, since it came first and established roots that carried into the other two.

Jewish tradition teaches that there is one and only one God, creator of everything, and He established physical and moral laws. As Judaism’s preeminent prayer says: “The Lord our God, the Lord is one.”

This God walks and talks directly with His creations – for a while.

Eventually, He chooses one particular nomad (Abraham) to father a mighty nation that God sets up as an example to other nations.

This God likes the smell of burning meat and demands other extremely specific physical offerings as evidence of obedience and repentance. And He gives His chosen people a particular set of laws – but doesn’t mind discussion and even argument about those laws.

A famous rabbinic saying implies that every word in Judaism’s sacred texts can be understood in 70 correct (but related) ways. And human reasoning can even trump divine intention. (No kidding. It’s in the Talmud)

This God judges His people every year. Tradition says he’s willing to accept imperfection, as long as it comes with repentance.

He’s big on obedience, not so much on faith. He’s not nearly as attentive to the behaviors of non-Jews. (There’s a famous Jewish joke with the punch line “Would you mind choosing somebody else once in a while?”)

Tradition holds that there’s a World To Come after death where moral accounts will somehow be settled. But this God is vague on details.

Christianity

The most obvious differences in the Christian God are the traditional teachings about the Trinity and Jesus. God is three separate persons who are also one. How? Christianity says the Trinity is a “mystery” of faith.

According to Christian tradition, God begets a son who is somehow also Him but not Him to atone for Original Sin. He sacrifices that son though a brutal death and thus achieves humanity's salvation.

But the son, who also is God, rises from the dead. And that sacrifice redeems eternally all who accept and believe in it. Faith, not behavior, is the essential measure of salvation.

This God is willing to vastly expand what it means to be among His “chosen people.” He’s also willing to cancel many of the laws that had applied to that chosen group for this expanded membership.

Orthodox Jews say that God prohibits them from eating a cheeseburger; Christians say God has no problem with them wolfing down Big Macs.

Unlike the Jewish God, whose instructions are almost all about this world, the Christian God is focused more on eternal salvation: heaven and hell.

Finally, for this God, much of the Jewish scriptures (which are all God’s word) are actually about foreshadowing Jesus. Including Abraham.

Islam

The Muslim God is a bit more like the Jewish God.

There is no Trinity in Muslim tradition. Jesus was a prophet, but no more divine than other prophets.

God has never has had anything like physical attributes and has no gender. (Some Muslim commentators say that the noun “Allah” is masculine, but only in the way that all nouns in some languages include gender.)

Muslim tradition holds that God wants one thing from humans: Submission. The word “Islam” is defined as “submission to the will of God.”

For Muslims, all true prophets in Jewish and Christian traditions were actually Muslim because they knew to submit correctly to God. Differences between Muslim, Jewish and Christian interpretations of God are due to errors that crept into the other two faiths, Islam teaches.

The Muslim God, like the other two, initially demanded that Abraham sacrifice a son. But the Muslim God wanted Abraham’s son Ishmael, not Isaac, who Jewish tradition holds was offered as a the sacrifice.

The Muslim God also designated, from before the world began, a perfect man to be his final prophet: Muhammad. God’s perfect truths are found only in the Quran and in the sayings of Muhammad, the hadiths.

And the Muslim God, like the Christian God but unlike the Jewish God, will welcome believers to paradise and condemn many non-Muslims - exactly which ones is a matter of much discussion - to eternal torment.

Final answer

So do Christians Muslims, and Jews, really all worship the same God?

In two major volumes on the subject recently published by scholars from various faiths and traditions, including Volf’s, the most inclusive response from these scholars is basically: Yes, and it’s our God.

This is not a new way of answering the question.

In 1076, Pope Gregory VII wrote this to a Muslim leader: “We believe in and confess one God, admittedly, in a different way…”

But like many other religious leaders on all sides of the argument, Gregory insisted that his version of the Almighty is the one whom the others are unknowingly and incompletely worshiping.

A less exclusivist set of religions might shrug off the differences. But all three claim to have the only “True Faith.”

So do all three faiths actually worship the same deity, whether they call him God or Allah or Adonai?

God only knows.

Jeffrey Weiss is an award-winning religion reporter in Dallas.The views expressed in this column belong to Weiss. A version of this story first ran in September 2013. 

CNN's Daniel Burke contributed to this article. 

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • History • Islam • Judaism • Muslim • Religious violence • Torah • Vatican

soundoff (7,438 Responses)
  1. Slayer

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GZSbIwE_BKM&w=640&h=390]

    September 1, 2013 at 11:33 pm |
    • Free Stylin'

      Mecca
      Blankety blank out about to catch ya

      Rollin it up, got my paper
      L.A. is a friendly neighbor yo

      Don’t put on the upities and yuppities
      I like dogs better

      Give it a rest yo, chill and be a friend and not on facebook
      You can take that junk, place it in the oven to cook yo

      Raised on religion, living on stealin’
      Mecca’s in my head buy not in my religion.

      September 1, 2013 at 11:36 pm |
  2. Rex

    Interesting to see that from religious talks this thread has moved to a discussion on the existence of God.

    I'm sure everybody will have an opportunity to face the truth. That day, the believers will get reassured for what they believed and the non-believers will get a chance to look at God and believe in Him. My sincere wish and prayer is that everybody, dead, living or will be born, get an opportunity to realize the truth of this age-old debate and believe in the One True God. No soul shall perish, that's every believer's prayer.

    September 1, 2013 at 11:32 pm |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

      I assume you're referring to Odin.

      September 1, 2013 at 11:35 pm |
    • tony

      Enjoy chatting to miscarried fetus's souls for eternity.

      September 1, 2013 at 11:46 pm |
      • Peggy

        LOL! Christians are so blind in their obscure ego-driven belief system it boggles the mind!

        September 1, 2013 at 11:55 pm |
        • lol?? Pithiest, YES!!

          The ego concept is built on sand. Freud had a wet nurse. You bought it, though. The rich are like that.

          September 2, 2013 at 12:20 am |
        • Doobs

          What's wrong with having a wet nurse?

          September 2, 2013 at 12:40 am |
    • Morgan King

      I want to live forever too, and I know the idea of not being anything is terrifying, but the reality is that when your brain ceases to function and you can no longer access the stored memories and impulses that comprise what you think of as 'you,' the conscious part of your self will no longer exist. And isn't that really what the Garden of Eden parable is about anyway – mankind's knowledge of the inevitability of death? We have, relative to each of us, 'eternal' life already – we'll all live 100% of our lives, and never know a moment that we weren't alive. The promise of the soul and the afterlife is designed to make us not fear the end by viewing it as a new beginning, which it is, in a way, as we rejoin our ancestors in the carbon from whence we came.

      September 1, 2013 at 11:52 pm |
      • Will

        Well, that makes total sense if you believe that each person is just a physical body. Christians and those of most other religions believe that there is a spirit or soul element that is also a part of each person. They believe (I included myself in this) that after a person dies, their physical body of course dies, but their spirit or soul lives on

        September 2, 2013 at 12:03 am |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Some people believe that they are crime fighting chipmunks from the planet Freakout. It doesn't make it so.

          September 2, 2013 at 12:05 am |
        • Will

          Very true, I'm merely trying to say that, that is what most religious people believe, so if you want to understand religious people, you have to view it through that lens

          September 2, 2013 at 12:09 am |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Fair enough.

          September 2, 2013 at 12:12 am |
        • Will

          May I ask what you believe?

          September 2, 2013 at 12:13 am |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          I believe in whiskey and wh.ores.

          September 2, 2013 at 12:21 am |
        • Will

          What do you mean by that? Do you just believe that people should basically just live for themselves and have fun?

          September 2, 2013 at 12:25 am |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          You betcha.

          September 2, 2013 at 12:28 am |
        • Will

          Well, do you believe that there could be a god?

          September 2, 2013 at 12:30 am |
        • Morgan King

          I understand that's the case, but I don't know why anybody would actually think that, barring that somebody told them that and they just liked the sound of it.

          September 2, 2013 at 12:28 am |
        • Will

          Well, I do for one
          As to answer your question though, my best answer would be faith.
          Which I don't know if you believe that is good enough for you, but regardless, there are almost definitely things you all ready put faith in

          September 2, 2013 at 12:33 am |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          No.

          September 2, 2013 at 12:33 am |
        • Will

          What do you believe will happen when you die?

          September 2, 2013 at 12:34 am |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Eternal nothingness.

          September 2, 2013 at 12:37 am |
        • Will

          If I did not believe in God, I would agree with you, expect for the fact that I believe in God, your believe makes perfect sense
          I would try to convince you that God is in fact real, but my guess is that you don't want that. Do you?

          September 2, 2013 at 12:43 am |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          It would be like trying to convince me that Oscar te Grouch is real.

          September 2, 2013 at 12:45 am |
        • Will

          Ok, well, I have to ask then, why do you believe what you believe? Jw

          September 2, 2013 at 12:50 am |
        • Morgan King

          Well, there are things that I hope for, and things that seem likely, but I don't think there's anything I choose to take as unshakably true, particularly something rooted in ancient texts that involve a broad spectrum of supernatural phenomena. I can totally get 'wouldn't it be cool if our sense of consciousness survived our physical deaths and we got to hang out with the consciousnesses of all the people we loved who died' but the jump from that to 'I'm positive we have immortal souls' seems too much like wishful thinking that's been codified by some form of group consensus.

          September 2, 2013 at 12:52 am |
        • Will

          Yeah, it is a big step, I'll give you that much. Religion is tough stuff, because it deals so much with our minds and stuff we can't see. Frankly, I don't know of any way to explain it to you, that might help. I believe out of faith, but the reason I believe isn't just because I want to see my family and friends after I die, I believe because I believe in God if that makes sense. And I believe in Him because of the work He has done in my life so I have physical evidence

          September 2, 2013 at 1:03 am |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Why wouldn't I is a more salient question.

          September 2, 2013 at 12:54 am |
        • Will

          Because there is plenty of evidence to support not only the existence of a god, but the God of the Bible

          September 2, 2013 at 1:05 am |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          No there isn't.

          September 2, 2013 at 1:09 am |
        • Will

          Yes there is, I have seen the evidence, from both sides, and tons of religions and promise you, Christianity is the only one where the more you look into it, the more it makes sense

          September 2, 2013 at 1:20 am |
        • Morgan King

          Thank you very much for the discussion – I have further questions, but this isn't a particularly great forum for them. It's been interesting!

          September 2, 2013 at 1:15 am |
        • Will

          I agree, would you like to continue talking some other way?

          September 2, 2013 at 1:21 am |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          No it doesn't.

          September 2, 2013 at 1:21 am |
        • Will

          Ok, prove it

          September 2, 2013 at 1:26 am |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          After you.

          September 2, 2013 at 1:27 am |
        • Will

          Ok, sure, give me your email and I'll send you the links to prove that what I am saying is true

          September 2, 2013 at 1:29 am |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Are you a Nigerian monarch/businessman/official? Would you also like my bank details?

          September 2, 2013 at 1:31 am |
        • Will

          No, I'm just a Christian. You talk me to prove what I'm saying, I'm telling you that if you give me the chance, I will

          September 2, 2013 at 1:36 am |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          If it could be proven, 99% of scientists on the planet would be Christian, as their's is the search for truth.

          September 2, 2013 at 1:41 am |
        • Will

          Yeah, but they are biased in that they seek to prove everything through the lens of evolution so they often look in the wrong direction, and a large number of scientists are in fact Christians
          My point is this, if you take the time to look for the evidence and be open to it, you will find that there is a respectable amount of evidence to support the fact that there is a god and that he is the God of Christianity

          September 2, 2013 at 1:48 am |
  3. mykroft

    It all boils down to "This is what I was raised to believe in, therefore it has to be true". The "proof" each belief system relies on are the religious texts each religion venerates due to long tradition. Each faith fears and fights any other system that may contradict it (including science), because faith is inherently fragile due to the lack of any tangible proof.

    Thus each group shouts that their particular invisible man is the right one, too often killing others who disagree. It is obviously insane, except for those in the thrall of religion.

    September 1, 2013 at 11:30 pm |
  4. Play List

    "Fire Bug" by JD McPherson

    September 1, 2013 at 11:28 pm |
    • Play List

      "Tiny Light" by Grace Potter And The Nocturnals

      September 1, 2013 at 11:30 pm |
  5. Pest

    Three weeds of the same root...

    September 1, 2013 at 11:25 pm |
  6. tony

    The good philistines were just the early victims of religious "good" people.

    September 1, 2013 at 11:22 pm |
  7. mzh

    People do wrong things regardless of faith… it mostly because greediness, power and so on… very few among the mankind fear Lord The Almighty which includes Muslims as well… and which is why today we see these actions are being done by human in everywhere… as a matter of fact its been there since the beginning of mankind… now we have been blessed with media and anything happens, next minute we can see it and sometimes we see what the media wants us to see…

    I have mentioned few verses from the Quran addressing the Mankind / Muslim:

    49:13 – O mankind! We have created you from a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know one another. Verily, the most honorable of you with Allah is that (believer) who the one most righteous. Verily, Allah is All-Knowing, All-Aware.

    4:1 – O mankind! Be dutiful to your Lord, Who created you from a single person (Adam), and from him (Adam) He created his wife [Hawwa (Eve)], and from them both He created many men and women and fear Allah through Whom you demand your mutual (rights), and (do not cut the relations of) the wombs (kinship). Surely, Allah is Ever an All-Watcher over you.

    4:135 – O you who believe! Stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to Allah, even though it be against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, be he rich or poor, Allah is a Better Protector to both (than you). So follow not the lusts (of your hearts), lest you may avoid justice, and if you distort your witness or refuse to give it, verily, Allah is Ever Well-Acquainted with what you do.

    If people especially who claims to be a Muslim follows these few verses, there will not be any killing or anything like that…

    I wish you all peace and blessings…

    September 1, 2013 at 11:17 pm |
  8. Lionly Lamb

    Michael J. Fox it's ☆Rick Simpson Oil☆ NOT Pine Nut Oil **V**

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NpVxYA9FF1g&w=640&h=390]

    September 1, 2013 at 11:12 pm |
  9. Dany

    La-ilaha-iLLaLLah- Muhammadur-Rasulullah (لا اله الا الله محمد رسول الله)

    September 1, 2013 at 11:08 pm |
    • mzh

      Ash hadu al La-ilaha-iLLaLLah, wa ash hadu anna Muhammadur-Rasulullah (saw)...

      September 1, 2013 at 11:19 pm |
      • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

        Heyyyy Macarena.

        September 1, 2013 at 11:28 pm |
        • Mark

          Dave for the win!

          September 1, 2013 at 11:49 pm |
      • mzh

        Meaning of it: I bear witness that there is no ILAH (God) except Allah and I also bear witness that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah and also Jesus the son of Marry is messenger of Allah Almighty...

        September 2, 2013 at 6:18 am |
  10. glenn

    Get rid of religion.All our problems will be over.Surely the world can agree on that.

    September 1, 2013 at 11:04 pm |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

      No.

      September 1, 2013 at 11:10 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      "all" our problems? Yup, we can agree on that. No problem.

      September 1, 2013 at 11:20 pm |
    • mzh

      NO....

      September 1, 2013 at 11:20 pm |
  11. Lou

    Abuta nah nah nah kika manui poohlu ranna fa lala ...

    I just said "Thank You" in tongues with some Holy Ghost power....

    September 1, 2013 at 10:59 pm |
    • Some sins will not be forgiven

      Be careful!

      September 1, 2013 at 11:05 pm |
      • Rick

        That must be a demon possessed pagan

        September 1, 2013 at 11:06 pm |
      • Doobs

        Oooh! The big bad grandaddy of all sins!

        The one, the only, the unforgivable......blasphemy of the holy spirit!

        September 2, 2013 at 12:08 am |
      • Lou

        careful with what? Your the ones who made the mockery...Am just mirroring it

        September 2, 2013 at 12:29 am |
  12. Lionly Lamb

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_nm7nqUigFA&w=640&h=390]

    September 1, 2013 at 10:59 pm |
  13. Lou

    I was always depressed when I believed in the deity my parents taught me about. After I learned for myself about the history of religions I was able to put all that non-sense in the fiction folder in my head. Now I live life to the fullest and treat everyday as a blessing. My faith is in humanity because at the end of the day we tend to do what is best for ourselves even if we are kicking and screaming about it.

    September 1, 2013 at 10:55 pm |
    • Guest

      Lou:

      people who are brought up in religious families and as they grow realize themselves that religion is nonsense are intelligent people.

      Best regards.

      September 1, 2013 at 10:59 pm |
    • lol?? Pithiest, YES!!

      Karnal Korn, ....................Breakfast of Champions. The General said so.

      September 1, 2013 at 11:14 pm |
      • Doobs

        That reminds me, I need to buy some candy corn tomorrow. But Karnal Korn sounds more fun!

        September 2, 2013 at 12:10 am |
  14. Guest

    I am confused now. Until today I had no doubt that God existed. But now I see some posts saying that is not the case. Even some posters mock the God. Can someone please confirm that the God, Santa, Easter Bunny, fairies, and Spaghetti Monster exist? Yes or no? Thank you.

    September 1, 2013 at 10:54 pm |
    • mzh

      Please use your intellectuals to decide rather depending on others... use it to do your research...

      67:9 – They will say," Yes, a warner had come to us, but we denied and said, ' Allah has not sent down anything. You are not but in great error.' "

      67:10 – And they will say, "If only we had been listening or used our intelligence/intellectuals/brains, we would not be among the companions of the Blaze."

      Peace!!!

      September 1, 2013 at 11:25 pm |
    • Will

      I'd just like to tell you, that yes, God exists. As to weather the god of Muslims, Jews, and Christians is the same, is another story. I believe they are not, for a variety of reasons. As a Christian, I believe that God created man, man sinned and disobeyed God, God in His grace and mercy sent Jesus, who lived a sinless life and died on the cross and rose again on the third day to give salvation to the world. I believe that if you put your faith in Him, He will forgive your sin, and give you the free gift of salvation. Even more so, He will walk beside you and guide you and never leave you no matter what is going on in your life. That's the message of Christianity in a nutshell.
      Long story short, yes, there is a god

      September 1, 2013 at 11:30 pm |
      • Doobs

        You believe these things. But your believing them doesn't make them true.

        September 2, 2013 at 12:15 am |
        • Will

          No, that is very true, but I believe in faith in Jesus Christ and stake my life on it. I will say that there is a lot of evidence for the Bible and Christianity

          September 2, 2013 at 12:18 am |
    • Sunshine100

      Spaghetti Monster? Now you're just being silly.

      September 1, 2013 at 11:53 pm |
      • Guest

        The existence of Spaghetti Monster is as silly as the existence of God/Santa/Easter Bunny/fairies/Zeus/Thor/... they are all nice stories and they are all imaginary.

        September 2, 2013 at 12:36 am |
        • Will

          I assure you, God is not false, imaginary, or simply part of a nice story. He is the most real thing there is

          September 2, 2013 at 12:39 am |
  15. Age of Reason

    ..." This Jesus Christ and the twelve apostles are just a parody of the SUN God and the twelve signs of the zodiac!"
    The Religious Compilations of Thomas Paine

    "Jesus" was a mythical, political construct who NEVER existed and do NOT believe in him!"

    September 1, 2013 at 10:52 pm |
    • lol?? Pithiest, YES!!

      Why are you propagating myths?? Wanna rule??

      September 1, 2013 at 11:00 pm |
    • Will

      I challenge you to look at the facts, there is as much evidence for Christ as there are most things in our history books today, in fact to deny Christ almost requires effort to discount all of the evidence. I understand, you have your beliefs and I won't try to push my on you, just saying, there is a lot of evidence out there

      September 1, 2013 at 11:33 pm |
    • Syed Ali

      12 constellations
      12 Apostles of Jesus Christ
      12 Apostles of Prophet Muhammad

      1 foot equals to 12 inches
      No doubt this is an age of reason.
      BUT
      Reason should sound rational.

      September 1, 2013 at 11:51 pm |
      • Doobs

        What about people who use the metric system? You know, like almost everyone outside the US?

        September 2, 2013 at 12:17 am |
  16. The Bible is a badly written book of fairy tales

    LOL. What useless conversation will be on Belief Blog next? How about "how many angels fit on the head of a pin"?

    September 1, 2013 at 10:50 pm |
    • Lou

      That's a trick question...pins don't exist

      September 1, 2013 at 11:01 pm |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      Shouldn't the question be, "How many angels would have fits while giving head on a pin?"

      September 1, 2013 at 11:24 pm |
    • Will

      Why do you say that? Jw

      September 1, 2013 at 11:34 pm |
  17. Lionly Lamb

    Why use up the forests which were centuries in the making and the mines which required ages to lay down, if we can get the equivalent of forest and mineral products in the annual growth of hemp fields..?- Henry Ford

    Dad Gives 2-Year-Old THC Oil to Fight Brain Cancer, Son Now Cancer vvVvv

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8rWZtnY_Tp4&w=640&h=390]

    September 1, 2013 at 10:50 pm |
  18. David

    Yep. It is called Master of Puppets.

    September 1, 2013 at 10:48 pm |
  19. GetReal

    Christian 31.5%
    Muslim 23.2%
    Unaffiliated 16.3%
    Hindu 15.0%
    Buddhist 7.1%
    Folk 5.9%
    Other 0.8%
    Jewish 0.2%

    Pew Research Center, 2012[2]

    September 1, 2013 at 10:47 pm |
    • lol?? Pithiest, YES!!

      They left out the A&A's 12 step folk.

      September 1, 2013 at 10:53 pm |
  20. RH

    And the Jews say, ‘The Christians stand on nothing;’ and the Christians say, ‘The Jews stand on nothing;’ while they both read the same Book. Even thus said those who had no knowledge, like what they say. But Allah shall judge between them on the Day of Resurrection concerning that wherein they disagree. Holy Koran 2:114

    Allah will punish their mockery and will let them continue in their transgression, wandering blindly. 2:16

    Allah has set a seal on their hearts and their ears, and over their eyes is a covering; and for them is a great punishment. 2:8

    How can you disbelieve in Allah? When you were without life, He gave you life, and then He will cause you to die, then restore you to life, and then to Him shall you be made to return. 2:29

    Surely, the Believers, and the Jews, and the Christians and the Sabians — whichever party from among these trulybelieves in Allah and the Last Day and does good deeds — shall have their reward with their Lord, and no fear shall comeupon them, nor shall they grieve. 2:63

    Do you expect that they will believe you when a party of them hear the word of Allah, then pervert it after they have understood it, and they know the consequences thereof ? 2:76

    Do they not know that Allah knows what they conceal and what they disclose? 2:78

    Woe, therefore, to those who write the Book with their own hands, and then say: ‘This is from Allah,’ that they may take for it a paltry price. Woe, then, to them for what their hands have written, and woe to them for what they earn. 2:80

    And they say: ‘The Fire shall not touch us except for a small number of days.’ Say: ‘Have you taken a promise from Allah? Then, Allah will never break His promise. Or, do you say of Allah what you know not?’ 2:81

    And remember the time when We took a covenant from the children of Israel: ‘You shall worship nothing but Allah and show kindness to parents and to kindred and orphans and the poor, and speak to men kindly and observe Prayer, and pay the Zakat;’ then you turned away in aversion, except a few of you. 2:84

    Yet you are the people who slay your own brethren and turn out a section of your people from their homes, backing up one another against them with sin and transgression. And if they come to you as captives, you ransom them, while their veryexpulsion was unlawful for you. Do you, then, believe in part of the Book and disbelieve in part? There is, therefore, no reward for such among you as do this, except disgrace in the present life; and on the Day of Judgment they shall be driven to a most severe chastisement; and surely, Allah is not unmindful of what you do. 2:86

    Evil is that for which they have sold their souls: that they should disbelieve in what Allah has revealed, grudging that Allah should send down His grace on whomsoever of His servants He pleases. So they incurred wrath upon wrath; and there is an humiliating chastisement for the disbelievers. 2:91

    And thou shalt surely find them of all people, the most covetous of life, even more than those who set up equals with God. Every one of them wishes that he may be granted a life of a thousand years, but his being granted such life shall not keep him away from the punishment; and Allah sees all that they do. 2:97

    ‘Whoever is an enemy to Allah, and His angels, and His Messengers, and Gabriel, and Michael, then surely, Allah is an enemy to such disbelievers.’ 2:99

    And now when there has come to them a Messenger from Allah, fulfilling that which is with them, a party of the people to whom the Book was given have thrown the Book of Allah behind their backs, as if they knew it not. 2:102

    They who disbelieve from among the People of the Book, or from among those who associate gods with Allah, desire not that any good should be sent down to you from your Lord; but Allah chooses for His mercy whomsoever He pleases; andAllah is of exceeding bounty. 2:106

    And those who have no knowledge say, ‘Why does not Allah speak to us, or a Sign come to us?’ Likewise said those before them similar to their saying. Their hearts are alike. We have certainly made the Signs plain for a people who firmly believe. 2:119

    But they who will disbelieve and treat Our Signs as lies, these shall be the inmates of the Fire; therein shall they abide. 2:40

    And some of them are illiterate; they know not the Book but their own false notions, and they do nothing but conjecture. Holy Koran 2:79

    September 1, 2013 at 10:42 pm |
    • Don't just ramble

      "Christians say, ‘The Jews stand on nothing"

      –what exactly are you trying to say???

      September 1, 2013 at 10:44 pm |
      • Newton

        As far as we know both the Jews and Christians stand on solid ground. Gravity defies no one unless you are a pothead imagining yourself walking in space.

        September 1, 2013 at 10:47 pm |
      • mzh

        This verse was reveled to Muhammad (pbuh) while he was not with them (the Jews and Christians) were talking like this... and then when this verse was being recited to them (the Jews and Christians), they got surprised that how did he know what we talked about... some of them accepted Islam and some of them did not...

        The entire Quran was reveled in 23 years and sometimes few verses, sometimes chunk and sometimes entire surah (chapter) as per the situation was...

        Peace be upon you all...

        September 1, 2013 at 10:59 pm |
    • RH

      @RH... Look we can be anything online... Look, I am you...

      September 1, 2013 at 10:48 pm |
      • RH

        I am both of you! Trinity completed!

        September 1, 2013 at 10:56 pm |
    • Reality

      From the studies of Armstrong, Rushdie, Hirsi Ali, Richardson and Bayhaqi--–

      The Five Steps To Deprogram 1400 Years of Islamic Myths:

      ( –The Steps take less than two minutes to finish- simply amazing, two minutes to bring peace and rationality to over one billion lost souls- Priceless!!!)

      Are you ready?

      Using "The 77 Branches of Islamic "faith" a collection compiled by Imam Bayhaqi as a starting point. In it, he explains the essential virtues that reflect true "faith" (iman) through related Qur’anic verses and Prophetic sayings." i.e. a nice summary of the Koran and Islamic beliefs.

      The First Five of the 77 Branches:

      "1. Belief in Allah"

      aka as God, Yahweh, Zeus, Jehovah, Mother Nature, etc. should be added to your self-cleansing neurons.

      "2. To believe that everything other than Allah was non-existent. Thereafter, Allah Most High created these things and subsequently they came into existence."

      Evolution and the Big Bang or the "Gi-b G-nab" (when the universe starts to recycle) are more plausible and the "akas" for Allah should be included if you continue to be a "crea-tionist".

      "3. To believe in the existence of angels."

      A major item for neuron cleansing. Angels/de-vils are the mythical creations of ancient civilizations, e.g. Hitt-ites, to explain/define natural events, contacts with their gods, big birds, sudden winds, protectors during the dark nights, etc. No "pretty/ug-ly wingy thingies" ever visited or talked to Mohammed, Jesus, Mary or Joseph or Joe Smith. Today we would classify angels as f–airies and "tin–ker be-lls". Modern de-vils are classified as the de-mons of the de-mented.

      "4. To believe that all the heavenly books that were sent to the different prophets are true. However, apart from the Quran, all other books are not valid anymore."

      Another major item to delete. There are no books written in the spirit state of Heaven (if there is one) just as there are no angels to write/publish/distribute them. The Koran, OT, NT etc. are simply books written by humans for humans.

      Prophets were invented by ancient scribes typically to keep the un-educated masses in line. Today we call them for-tune tellers.

      Prophecies are also invali-dated by the natural/God/Allah gifts of Free Will and Future.

      "5. To believe that all the prophets are true. However, we are commanded to follow the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings
      be upon him) alone."

      Mohammed spent thirty days "fasting" (the Ramadan legend) in a hot cave before his first contact with Allah aka God etc. via a "pretty wingy thingy". Common sense demands a neuron deletion of #5. #5 is also the major source of Islamic vi-olence i.e. turning Mohammed's "fast, hunger-driven" hallu-cinations into horrible reality for unbelievers.

      Walk these Five Steps and we guarantee a complete recovery from your Islamic ways!!!!

      Unfortunately, there are not many Muslim commentators/readers on this blog so the "two-minute" cure is not getting to those who need it. If you have a Muslim friend, send him a copy and help save the world.

      Analogous steps are available at your request for deprogramming the myths of Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism and Paganism..
      ======================================================================================

      September 1, 2013 at 10:59 pm |
    • jeffallan

      I have read those verses in context before and after and you should too. They were in specific context of specific tribes. For example you put up Chapter 9 verse 5 which does infact order to kill, but you have to read the context where it was specifically against Treaty Breakers who just happened to be polytheist.

      However, if I look into the bible specifically the old testament part where God pretty much asks to murder even the animals around the "infidels".

      September 1, 2013 at 10:59 pm |
    • yukon409

      For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
      John 3:16

      September 1, 2013 at 11:12 pm |
      • Observer

        Yep. If you are one of the unlucky billions of people who never heard of God, he will send you to hell no matter how good of a person you are. Sounds fair - to God and some Christians.

        September 1, 2013 at 11:18 pm |
      • tony

        He was the all-powerful god, yet he couldn't produce more than one son or even lie with more than one impressionable young girl???

        September 1, 2013 at 11:26 pm |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

      'On the seventh day of floating around infinite nothingness, after six days of rest, the FSM said, 'Let there be a Universe, or something!' And there was a Universe, or something not terribly far off. And the FSM saw that it was pretty damn good, especially the bits with a light sauce.'
      —the Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster

      September 1, 2013 at 11:17 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.