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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
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(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. coolusernametwo

    Faith is an irrational, ridiculous belief. The sooner we reject it, the sooner we can focus on the rational. Only then people can get along.

    September 1, 2013 at 5:35 am |
    • Dan W

      Unless there's a God in which case the opposite is true, we have to get you on board and then we can all get along. 🙂

      September 1, 2013 at 5:38 am |
      • truthprevails1

        Imaginary friends are only for children and schizophrenics. There isn't evidence to support your god or any other god. When the world drops religion, it will finally know peace until then silly bigger-imaginary friend-battles will continue. Why don't you attempt to join the 21st century and make the best of the only life you are guaranteed of instead of just living this life to die??

        September 1, 2013 at 5:41 am |
        • Dan W

          What would evidence of the Creator look like? Rumor has it every bit of material comes from His body which is broken before us to create this world. So we're sitting here in His guts and you still can't figure it out. Also God left, if God left and hid Himself what makes you think ANYONE can find Him? We barely understand science, He authored it.

          September 1, 2013 at 5:44 am |
        • truthprevails1

          You're an idiot! None of what you claim is evidence! These are strictly your delusions and unless they are testable, they can't be shown to be true. Time to grow up and reside in this century little boy!

          September 1, 2013 at 5:45 am |
        • Dan W

          What proof could there be? This is an atheist trap, I faced it many times. Atheists love leaning on mental illness and evidence to silence believers. But what I find more interesting is that Atheists as intelligent as they point out that they are cannot reason outside of those constraints. We can reason about all kinds of stuff that's hard, but this one, it's like there's a block, atheists WONT talk about it using the language of believers, you just want to berate us with equations. Spirituality is first an individual journey, once you find faith, it becomes communal. Having tangible evidence removes the need to think for myself about these things, which is why there is no tangible evidence.

          September 1, 2013 at 5:49 am |
        • S-3B Viking

          Dan says:

          "Rumor has it every bit of material comes from His body which is broken before us to create this world..."

          So there is a third creation story in Genesis? Wonder what translation it's in.

          I can't imagine the theological conundrum "were sitting in his guts" is going to provide the seminaries across the country.

          And what of Jesus saying: "“If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first." (John 15:18)...Is Jesus hated by his body? Or does his body hate the world? Or do Christians hate him?

          September 1, 2013 at 5:53 am |
        • S-3B Viking

          "This is an atheist trap!"

          LOL!!! Thanks...needed that laugh, Dan.

          September 1, 2013 at 5:55 am |
        • truthprevails1

          How is asking for evidence an Atheist trap??? Are you that weak minded that you need a god to help you through life even though there is zero evidence to support it? You are a fool and still a liar! I'd rather things that are based on solid scientific evidence be taught in this world than to mislead people to believe in things that are not justified by evidence.
          Asking the atheist what evidence we require is a typical Theist ploy to try to turn the burden of proof from themselves.

          September 1, 2013 at 5:55 am |
        • truthprevails1

          Good Morning S3 🙂
          On the first page this guy claims he had medical tests confirm that he has an out of body experience...lol. He's good for a laugh but sadly not much more.

          September 1, 2013 at 5:57 am |
        • S-3B Viking

          Mornin' Truth...

          When he coded in the MRI unit, his soul dented the top of it...that's an old one 🙂

          September 1, 2013 at 6:00 am |
        • Dan W

          I don't just think in terms of 3 religions. I think in terms of many religions. That particular reference comes from Pandiesm, and I borrowed a quote from Jesus. I am not Jewish (although I love them), I'm not Christian (because I fear them), and I'm not Muslim (because I dont know them). I know God. This fact of knowing God and being from none of these religions means I can think outside their boxes. My box is much bigger.

          September 1, 2013 at 6:01 am |
        • Dan W

          The soul resides in a place where we can not see or measure. My body is just the radio receiver picking up on a signal that is ME. Even if my body dies, the signal goes on being transmitted. This could be what people experience as ghosts. They cant control how they are tuned and some times they tune to death, and death surrounds them. Sometimes people are thinking about a loved one, essentially configuring themselves to that loved ones station, allowing for aberrations. You can mock me all you want, it's nothing new. On December 29, 2010 @ 1pm I changed forever. I have spent 14,000 tweets having conversations just like this one. You don't have anything to say to the words I am placing in front of you other than personal attacks, which means your position is weak and you lack the skills to reason beyond what you've been told by someone else.

          September 1, 2013 at 6:09 am |
        • S-3B Viking

          No, Dan, you're comments are just pretty damn funny. But feeling persecuted goes with the territory....sure you're not a Christian?

          September 1, 2013 at 6:12 am |
        • truthprevails1

          S3: I doubt he totally grasps what the word christian refers to. Everything he has described goes back to the christian version of god. I find it hard to take anyone seriously when they make claims such as medical tests confirming an out of body experience. I'm not sure if you're aware of JREF but JREF has been involved in testing claims such as Dan's and none of the people making the claims have been found to be accurate. As long as he keeps his beliefs from affecting other people or impeding on their rights, all will be good. And of course, he needs to realize that he won't win anyone over by telling them they shouldn't be commenting on a belief blog when they don't believe.

          September 1, 2013 at 7:45 am |
        • CMON PLEASE

          VERY WELL SAID!!!!

          September 1, 2013 at 9:07 am |
        • Michael

          You do realize that a man named Jesus did in fact walk on this earth and was crucified, right? It's been substantiated in references outside of the Bible. You also realize that his followers (the apostles) thought he was the Son of God...probably until He was killed. After that they must have been seriously confused as to what to believe. And yet something happened after Jesus' death that made His apostles believe again so much so that they would all be killed for their beliefs. Of course, I believe that 'something' was Jesus appearing to His followers after His death. Why would people make up a God that would come to earth in human form to be humiliated, tortured and killed?

          September 1, 2013 at 11:00 am |
        • truthprevails1

          You do realize that you are wrong. Jesus might have roamed the earth but nothing was written about him until 30-40 years after his death. People make up stories all the time. Christianity is a fools game. Some ancient men needed a way to take control and they found it in the gullibility of their fellow man. What references are you talking about? Feel free to list away, don't be overly hurt though when your claims are further debunked.
          As for the crucifixion, how very gullible you are. He might have been slaughtered but there is not way he could have come back to life 3 days later-nowhere else in recorded history has this happened, why the hell would you be so ignorant to believe jesus is so special???

          September 1, 2013 at 11:17 am |
        • ImIrish

          I actually feel sorry for you. I have something to look forward to after I die You, apparently, do not think that you do, and that is very sad.

          September 1, 2013 at 12:01 pm |
        • truthprevails1

          No you don't! There is no evidence for anything after this life, that is all unsubstantiated stories. I feel sorry for you. You waste this only guaranteed life for something that can't be shown with EVIDENCE to exist, so you live for death. I don't care about what happens after because as far as the evidence shows, there is nothing.

          September 1, 2013 at 12:07 pm |
        • Michael

          I can tell you're very passionate and angry over the fact that people believe in Jesus. Why should you care so much unless it affected you. You should be honest with yourself and realize that your conscience is bearing witness to the truth of God and you are rejecting it because you don't have proof. I've found that to be true in all atheists...they get very animated and upset over the fact that others choose to believe in Christ. Misery loves company.
          And by the way, if we're wasting our lives by choosing to be humble and put others first, then you should take a deep look at your life. It's completely against human nature to think of our fellow man before ourselves. Survival instinct proves this to be a foreign concept...therefore it must have it's origins in the divine. So by accepting the fact that tending to the cares of others is a good idea you are accepting a divine decree...whether you believe it or not.

          September 1, 2013 at 12:26 pm |
        • Rett

          Where is your evidence that a world without religion would be a peaceful one? Seems like every regime that has tried to oppress religion has been far from utopian.

          September 1, 2013 at 8:10 pm |
        • AtheistSteve

          " So by accepting the fact that tending to the cares of others is a good idea you are accepting a divine decree...whether you believe it or not."

          That's a pile of bull. As social animals our survival as a group is dependent upon mutual cooperation. Within such a structure utterly selfish behavior is self defeating. Human empathy and compassion is just as evolutionarily consistent as individual self preservation is. Where these two societal elements collide is where moral dilemmas occur.

          September 2, 2013 at 6:03 am |
      • coolusernametwo

        Why insist on god when there's no rational reason to believe it? Aren't people at least nominally rational?

        September 1, 2013 at 5:41 am |
        • Dan W

          Science likes to explain away things so they don't have to think it's part of Gods plan, like coincidence. I do not believe in coincidence, I believe everything happens for a reason, we're just too stupid to figure it out so we throw it away and say there's nothing to it.

          September 1, 2013 at 5:46 am |
        • ReligionBlows

          Unfortunately, science has more pressing matters than spending its day, month, year explaining away coincidences like curing terminal illness which your god who is master of all creation created. Perhaps, science is wasting its time. After all god created these illnesses so therefore they must have a purpose and saving that mans life would go against the will of god but wait a tic maybe god put that scientist on this planet to stop that disease and cure that man. Which is it!!!? If only we werent too stupid to figure it out.I know lets consult the bible to answer our question about science, you know that book that believes the sun and the universe orbits the earth. Yeah, lets see what that says we should do about science.

          September 2, 2013 at 5:47 am |
    • agnar150

      How can I up vote this comment. These guys need help.

      September 1, 2013 at 5:40 am |
      • Dan W

        What do we need help with? Talking sense into you?

        September 1, 2013 at 5:42 am |
        • truthprevails1

          This coming from someone who lied and claims medical tests prove he experienced god. How sad and pathetic.

          September 1, 2013 at 5:43 am |
        • Dan W

          I hold fast to the truth, especially when its inconvenient for me. I am that kind of person who tell the truth, even when I know it's going to get me in to trouble to say it. Lying is easy, reasoning is hard.

          September 1, 2013 at 5:51 am |
        • Sara

          Dan, did you say there were medical tests to back your claim? If you did, I missed it. If so, could you explain what they were?

          September 1, 2013 at 6:11 am |
        • jungleboo

          Danny, you should just open a church, very self-impressed are you that you have obliterated you own time creating "14,000 tweets". There are enough strange people to fill up your hall and stare at you in rapture as you insist that nonsense is sense. Meanwhile science gets us to the Moon and back, and brings us the magic of the Internet. It is a crime that you use your time on Earth for such a waste of energy. But religion does promote that very idea, which makes it easier for you to barrel straight ahead, babbling all the way.

          September 1, 2013 at 6:19 am |
        • truthprevails1

          Sara: I wouldn't have accused him of making such a claim had he not made the claim.
          This is found on page 1:
          Dan W

          Keep in mind that I had many medical tests done, talked to many people in the medical profession and the resounding answer that I got, was that this was normal. I talked to Rabbis who seemed to know what I was talking about, the Christians said I was a demon, and the Muslim people that I've spoken to embraced it. I'm not bat s- crazy. Read my twitter @GaysWithFaith from the beginning. Its quite the read.
          September 1, 2013 at 4:21 am

          September 1, 2013 at 9:53 am |
    • Belzehup13

      if God doesnt exist i should slap you!!because you cant see a pain of slap, but you can feel it!

      September 1, 2013 at 9:01 am |
      • 4ormorechars

        And one will feel the slap from a man, not god.

        September 1, 2013 at 9:13 am |
    • voiceoftruthusa

      Jesus loves you even when you reject Him

      September 1, 2013 at 11:35 am |
      • jc55

        But i thought i will burn in hell if i rejected Jeebus!!

        September 1, 2013 at 1:18 pm |
        • Tima

          No, after Jesus cut my lawn last week he said all is good. I gave him a fiver for a tip.

          September 1, 2013 at 7:11 pm |
    • Rick

      If faith is so ridiculous then why do you have faith in the fact that someone tells you jumping off a tall bridge without any sort of protective gear you will die instead of simply trying it and finding out?

      Maybe because faith is part of everyone's life whether you are religious or not.

      September 1, 2013 at 12:08 pm |
    • RH

      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. 2:79

      September 1, 2013 at 10:43 pm |
      • ReligionBlows

        Thanks, I needed the nap.

        September 2, 2013 at 5:50 am |
    • Chloe Morgan

      I don't care whether or not you believe in God. Why should you care that I do? My spiritual beliefs are mine and do not have an effect on you. I don't expect anyone to share my beliefs, but why do you feel it necessary to attack those with spiritual beliefs?

      September 2, 2013 at 9:57 am |
    • Alihoo Akbad

      Poop

      September 24, 2013 at 3:38 pm |
  2. allenwoll

    ONE and ONLY one agency created the Universe. . END of story ! !
    .
    Epilogue - Beyond THAT is unmitigated divisive speculation to no good purpose.

    September 1, 2013 at 5:32 am |
    • Dan W

      Dictators love to tell people to stop arguing over stuff they are passionate about. You aren't humanities parent, you can't tell us to shut up and go to our respective rooms. Refusing to talk about the things that divide us is more dangerous than talking about them.

      September 1, 2013 at 5:37 am |
    • One who loves God

      You are obviously making a faith statement which I also believe. If there is a God in the universe, there is only One." Any other answer contradicts the very essence of God. The more important question of religion though is "Can we know God and if so how?" I believe Jesus is the fullest revelation of God in all of history and we can know God personally through a reconciling relationship with Him through Jesus' atoning death and resurrection for us. Jesus fulfilled the Jewish prophecies of the coming Messiah. Islam reverts to a god revealed through Muhammad. Muhammad is dead and buried in Medina. I chose to put my faith in Jesus, the risen Savior and Son of God who historically supported his claims through many miracles and ultimately, through His resurrection from the dead. I can't prove it, but I wholly believe it because I have personally experienced God's love for me and in return I love Him.

      September 1, 2013 at 5:44 am |
      • Mark

        Amen!

        September 1, 2013 at 8:13 am |
      • KevinDean

        Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe, sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow.

        In Christ, His birth, His life, His sacrifice for my behalf, His resurrection from being dead, has given me:

        1) Forgiveness of sin.
        2) Power over the bondage and prison of sin.
        3) Eternal life in Heaven with Jesus Himself.

        Now, who would not want to have forgiveness, strength, and eternal life?

        Jesus Christ is the way, the truth, the life. Can I get an amen?

        September 1, 2013 at 3:06 pm |
      • Jeff Williams

        """If there is a God in the universe, there is only One." Any other answer contradicts the very essence of God."""

        Even your christian god supposedly recognized that other gods existed:

        "THOU SHALT HAVE NO OTHER GODS BEFORE ME"

        Or is this commandment a misquote?

        September 1, 2013 at 7:15 pm |
        • Rett

          Come on Jeff, surely you understand what that commands.....nothing should be worshipped besides the onetrue God....other passages explain that idols/gods ate simply images of wood or stone

          September 1, 2013 at 8:17 pm |
      • RH

        And the Jews say, ‘The Christians stand on nothing;’ and the Christians say, ‘The Jews stand on nothing;’ while they bothread 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. 2:79

        September 1, 2013 at 10:45 pm |
        • John

          You need a better publicist. Maybe you will get more replies.

          September 1, 2013 at 11:04 pm |
      • ReligionBlows

        As long as you admit there is no proof. Thanks!

        September 2, 2013 at 5:52 am |
    • 4ormorechars

      It may be the end of your story, but scientific progress marches on.,

      September 1, 2013 at 9:16 am |
  3. One who loves God

    I decided to repost my comment to Dan W by itself because it also responds to the overall article.
    If Muslims believe Jesus is the Messiah and Prophet of God, then why does the Qur'an also teach that Jesus was created, not eternal, was not crucified as the "Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world" as declared by John the Baptist (a prophet they also claim to believe in but called Yahya in the Qur'an), was not raised form the dead, did not ascend into heaven, is not God, and well, you get the picture, Islam ultimately rejects everything Christians believe and everything Jesus taught about Himself. Otherwise, why do Muslims in every Islamic country threaten to kill Muslims who convert to Christian beliefs about God as revealed through Jesus. In the end, Islam and Christianity cannot both be true. The conclusion of the article above states, "only God knows." Well, that is a lame conclusion. We do have a conscience, free will, access to the truth, reason, and the ability to pursue truth. Faith is our response to revealed truth. I can't prove it. Otherwise, it would not be faith. I have not experienced anyone closer to the truth than the person of God revealed in Jesus and His works on earth as recorded in the New Testament. He said, "I and the Father are one. If you have seen me, you have seen the Father." I believe in God as revealed in Jesus and my relationship is based upon my faith and trust in HIs loving forgiveness for my sin and my personal relationship with Him. Muslims don't even believe in a personal relationship with God. Their doctrine of God includes a concept called deanthropomorphism and in Arabic, "tanzeeh." This concept states that God cannot associate with anything created, now or in the future. So, God does not exist in the Islamic concept of paradise. Paradise in Islam according to the Qur'an is a brothel of virgins for every man and filled with rivers of wine. God is not present. This is the so far removed from the concepts of heaven in Christianity. I hope you are beginning to see that the God of Islam and the God of the Christian scriptures is not the same. The belief system is completely different. What is lacking is the respect of Muslims for other faiths and the respect of Muslims for other Muslims born to Muslims to pursue a different faith. Islam is imposed on all Muslims born into Islam and threatens Muslims with death it they try to leave. Wow, this obviously a different expression of God than the Christian and Jewish expression of God in the ten commandments when God said, "Though shall not kill" and "love your neighbor as yourself."

    September 1, 2013 at 5:25 am |
    • coolusernametwo

      Religion is like digging in sh.. looking for diamonds.

      September 1, 2013 at 5:37 am |
      • Dan W

        It's more like digging in diamonds thinking they are all s-. 🙂

        September 1, 2013 at 5:38 am |
        • ReligionBlows

          You are so clever.

          September 2, 2013 at 5:54 am |
        • ReligionBlows

          Either way its sh–!

          September 2, 2013 at 5:55 am |
    • jungleboo

      You posted, " In the end, Islam and Christianity cannot both be true." Very true statement. But did you ever consider that they both could very well be FALSE, and therefore the source of untold trauma on the civilized world. Behold the ability of someone who calls himself Dan W to post nonsense and say it is sense. Ratchet that up a few bars and there's mayhem for you.

      September 1, 2013 at 6:27 am |
    • voiceoftruthusa

      You forgot to mention that the Judaic religion is at odds with Christianity, too. Why single out Islam? And why focus on the differences between them? Don't take the bait of this article. People disagree, but we can peacefully co-exist.

      September 1, 2013 at 11:38 am |
    • Muslimah

      I have to disagree with your comment of Muslims not having their own relationship with God. I was taught to have my own relationship with Allah. I don't have to wait for prayer time to talk to him. Also every persons belief in Allah or God is different. It depends on the person and what and how they were taught. I reverted to Islam 3 years ago from Christianity and I have found nothing but peace. People who kill in the name of a religion are nothing more than murders who have chosen to slander a religion and make it harder on the people who do practice Islam in peace. I would also like to point this out as well, Islam is not the only religion to have blood shed. Christianity and Judaism also had wars the difference is none of us were alive to see it.

      September 1, 2013 at 6:36 pm |
    • RH

      In Islam God says that he is closer to us than our own jugular vein is. Of course God has a relationship with us! Are you kidding!

      And the Jews say, ‘The Christians stand on nothing;’ and the Christians say, ‘The Jews stand on nothing;’ while they bothread 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. 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. 2:79

      September 1, 2013 at 10:47 pm |
      • One who loves God

        Need I remind you that you are quoting verses from a man who fought in 27 wars against pagans, Christians and Jews. Islam's worldview is defined by those who are in the house of peace i.e. Muslims and those who are in the house of war i.e. non-Muslims. Why else do Muslims in Islamic countries kill Muslims who discover truth and God in another religion i.e. convert to Christianity, HInduism, Buddism, or any other religious belief. A prophet is known by his life. Examine his life carefully and you'll discover that his character was far from righteous and good. Islam spread on the spoils and blood of those he killed because they would not pay a tax to Islam or convert. This is not politically correct but Islamic history supports what I am saying. Read it and judge for yourself!!!!! Submit to God in love, not fear.

        September 2, 2013 at 6:04 am |
    • John

      None of it is true.

      September 1, 2013 at 11:07 pm |
  4. Peter the rock

    hey Jeffrey Weiss, why do you make it sound like the Jews in Israel are so peaceful? they are killing Christians and Muslims alike in their blind extremist and fundamentalist Jewish rage,. are you biased because you are Jew? are you tasked with distorting reality so that the gentiles can be controlled better?

    September 1, 2013 at 5:22 am |
    • Yep

      Jesus also preached more than just faith and eternal life.
      Faith without works is dead. With faith in Jesus our behavior will align with God's will. With just faith we act like pious religious leaders (Pharisees).

      September 1, 2013 at 5:26 am |
      • faith

        just needs to be the size of a mustard seed. that is all.

        September 1, 2013 at 5:28 am |
      • agnar150

        You talk like you knew the guy lol

        September 1, 2013 at 5:39 am |
        • faith

          Jesus says to know God, not just know about Him.
          Personally know him.

          September 1, 2013 at 5:57 am |
        • RH

          And the Jews say, ‘The Christians stand on nothing;’ and the Christians say, ‘The Jews stand on nothing;’ while they bothread 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. 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. 2:79

          September 1, 2013 at 10:49 pm |
    • Dan W

      This is an article about God, not who is killing more people.

      September 1, 2013 at 5:41 am |
    • Rett

      Jews in Israel are killing Christians?

      September 1, 2013 at 8:21 pm |
      • Azriel

        You are full of hatred, is that what Islam gave you?

        September 1, 2013 at 8:27 pm |
        • Rett

          That is funny. I'm actually Christian.....i have not heard of Jews in Israel kiling Christians in Israel....I am sure some very orthodox Jews probably dont want anything to do with Christians but i have never heard of them killing them. Correct me if I am wrong.

          September 2, 2013 at 6:26 am |
    • ReligionBlows

      Are you biased, Peter the Rock, because you are a bigot?

      September 2, 2013 at 6:01 am |
  5. vodbro

    As I've said before to friends.. the Jews triangulated in on a God, the Christians targeted a specific One and not much else, and the Muslims attempt to encircle them all with violence rather than a religion of pure LOVE like Christians teach though has been subverted against old and new testament laws forbidding such that Islam endorses namely justified killing,.

    September 1, 2013 at 5:19 am |
    • Dan W

      Yin and Yang. Islam seeks to be a balance to Christianity.

      September 1, 2013 at 6:11 am |
      • Sam

        I am not Muslim but the sad part is that even the Quran instructs against violence, encourages other religions to be allowed and not to interfere and the violence that is in the Quran was to be brought against those who tried to interfere with Islam. Most are just unable to pick up a book and read it before belittling the messages within. From your comments here it looks like you are not one of that majority.

        September 1, 2013 at 10:02 am |
  6. dennis

    NO THEY DO NOT WORSHIP THE SAME GOD, AS ISLAM
    CHRISTIANS AND JEWS WORSHIP THE SAME GOD
    BUT MOST JEWS DO NOT ACCEPT JESUS

    John 1:18 KJV
    No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.
    John 14:6 KJV
    Jesus saith unto him, I am the way , the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
    John 6:65 KJV
    And he said , Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.

    GOD IS NOT A MYTH
    people refuse to acknowledge that bible prophecy is coming true, before our very eyes
    only the bible has predicted the future, including the the world trying to bring peace to Jerusalem
    only the bible named nations that would be involved in end time wars and events
    only the bible has given signs of the end times that are coming true

    Zechariah 12:9 KJV
    And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.

    Zechariah 14:2 KJV
    For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken , and the houses rifled , and the women ravished ; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city.

    Zechariah 14:16 KJV
    And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles.

    The bible even tells us when GOD HIMSELF WILL COME TO THE EARTH
    Daniel 2:44 KJV
    And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed : and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.

    Revelation 21:2 KJV
    And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
    3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying , Behold , the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. 4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away . 5 And he that sat upon the throne said , Behold , I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write : for these words are true and faithful. 6 And he said unto me, It is done . I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.

    Jesus is still healing people to this day in his name
    The LORD healed me of heart disease. 2 arteries were 100% blocked, and others were 90% blocked
    THE WORD OF THE CAME TO ME, BECAUSE I BELIEVE, AND TOLD ME TO TELL HEART DISEASE TO BE REMOVED.
    WITHIN A WEEK, ALL SYMPTOMS OF ANGINA WERE GONE, AND MY HEALTH IS BETTER AFTER FOUR YEARS THAN EVER BEFORE.
    I could not walk 100 yards with out chest pain. Had a heart attack. Had a stint placed in me, and the doctors told me later the stint was 100% blocked, the medicine was not working, and I needed quadruple bypass surgery ASAP. That was 3 1/2 years ago.

    SO, WE DO NOT SHARE THE GOD OF ISLAM.
    BY THE WAY, THERE WILL BE PEACE BETWEEN ISRAEL AND THE PALESTINIANS VERY SOON
    THE BIBLE HAS PREDICTED IT.

    Daniel 9:27 KJV
    And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease , and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate , even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate .
    Daniel 11:39 KJV
    Thus shall he do in the most strong holds with a strange god, whom he shall acknowledge and increase with glory: and he shall cause them to rule over many, and shall divide the land for gain.
    Daniel 8:25 KJV
    And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand.
    Daniel 7:25 KJV
    And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.

    THIS HE THE BIBLE IS SPEAKING OF IS THE ANITCHRIST

    September 1, 2013 at 5:17 am |
    • Dan W

      That's a bunch of self serving Christian rhetoric. They have to say it's not the same God otherwise people will start asking why God wants different people to follow different rules, the truth of the matter is Christians don't want to live by rules, they want to live by grace, they don't want anyone to tell them not to eat or drink too much or to do anything anyone else says. It's obvious. There is only one God, thus when you worship the wrong one, you still are worshiping the only God there is. He understands that, you should too. He made all of us different. He made Islam so Christians can see how far from the path they've wandered.

      September 1, 2013 at 5:35 am |
      • jungleboo

        If you make a fist, Dan, you can pretend to be punching dennis for his irrational ideas. It's the root of religion, and you'd fit right in.

        September 1, 2013 at 6:30 am |
      • Rett

        Dan, i think you miss the crux of Christianity....my take n the teachings of Christianity is that the "rules" are God's standards and because of the sinful condition of the human heart no man has a hopeof reaching the standard...therein lies the dilemma. By accepting the sacrifice christ made one obtains the ability to better live up to his standard and are counted right with God because of what christ did.

        September 1, 2013 at 8:29 pm |
  7. Welcome

    Do Christians, Muslims and Jews worship the same God?

    No. Some are actually worshiping false idols.

    September 1, 2013 at 5:08 am |
    • bezboznik

      Nobody ever worshiped anything but themselves.

      If triangles had a god, he would have three sides.
      [ Montesquieu ]

      Religion is self-deification

      September 1, 2013 at 10:53 am |
  8. Mary Smith

    There is only one God. All the religions in the Universe are expressions of our human need to feel connected to God's love. Unfortunately, heaping piles of human-generated myth and dogma get in the way. Let go of organized religion altogether, sit quietly in reverence, and you will feel the presence of God the All Loving. God is love.

    September 1, 2013 at 5:06 am |
    • Dan W

      Organized religion has it's place. It's like a union for believers. And more than that, it's a family. But you're right, you can feel Gods love with or without religion.

      September 1, 2013 at 5:15 am |
    • Omar Ballsack

      There is no god, you just have a delusion that has been passed down generation after generation by scared fools

      September 1, 2013 at 9:39 am |
  9. Seyedibar

    No, they don't worship the same god. The Muslims worship Allah, mythologically descended from El, the Canaanite king of Eden. Jews and Christians worship Yahweh, who was the son of El (in most tales, the evil son), although there are elements of Egyptian Ptah worship.
    All 3 are borrowing from Uguritic legend and adding their regional folklore: the Jews added Egyptian religion, the Christians added Greek love, and the Muslims added Persian unity (and xenophobia).

    September 1, 2013 at 5:02 am |
    • Dan W

      Each religion is a racial expression of the divine. Different cultures do things differently. They use different sounds, different letters. The Jewish/Christian God has 72+ names. A rose by any other name smells just as sweet.

      September 1, 2013 at 5:05 am |
    • MJ

      Christians in Egypt worship 'Allah' too. It's just the Arabic translation of the word 'God'.

      September 1, 2013 at 5:16 am |
      • Dan W

        A rose by any other name still smells just as sweet. :))

        September 1, 2013 at 5:29 am |
    • Dan W

      El is 'the light of God' it's part of the 'holy spirit' on the tree of life. Look it up.

      September 1, 2013 at 5:56 am |
      • Seyedibar

        El was an ancient Canaanite king that lost a naval battle, was kicked out of his kingdom and started a new one named Eden, and then was killed by wild boars.
        He was never a god until the Uguritic historians made him one. People didn't often differentiate between their pharoah and their gods.

        September 1, 2013 at 11:30 am |
  10. Holsingers

    It is like asking a bunch of astronomers whether they all study the same sun when they are all using different equipment and without recognizing that they all think about what is meant by the words "study", "same" and "sun in different ways.

    But just as it is silly to think that something as impossibly complex as DNA just spontaneously came into existence, so it is to infinitely more silly to extend such reasoning to the universe itself. Thus a singular truth as to the authentic nature of God does exist which means some belief systems are more consistent with truth than are others.

    It is not rational to conclude otherwise.

    September 1, 2013 at 4:53 am |
    • jungleboo

      It is not rational to imagine that 14 billion years is not a long time for combinations and recombinations to have a good time.

      September 1, 2013 at 6:34 am |
  11. Craig

    Many other issues aside...and they are not unimportant, each religion cited includes claims that God talked to certain people. In fact, many other religions do that too. So...the faithful believe that their respective books are divinely inspired, that the written word, no matter how screwed up it has become through translation, is actually "the word of God."

    Okay, for the sake of discussion, let's assume that's accurate. Apparently at some time God stopped talking to people. Why? Was he tired of the conversation? Did he simply give up on humankind? Regardless of which God, or which version of this one God, you believe in...assuming you believe, who is he talking to today? How does he pick the people he talks to? If you and I both claim God talks to us, but we profess very different versions of what God told us who makes the decision which of us...if either...is actually talking to the Real God?

    In the end the problem remains that your conversation with your imaginary friend is a heck of a way to try to rule the world, even if your friend is a great guy. I happen to like mine better than yours. However, mine doesn't say I should kill you because you have a different friend. Mine isn't that jealous or vindictive. In fact, on most days he's a pretty decent guy. However, he can't pick stocks worth heck.

    September 1, 2013 at 4:45 am |
    • Dan W

      I'll try to answer your questions, I know this God pretty well, and although I can't speak for Him, I can try to help you understand. Why did God stop talking to us? Free will. This concept for an atheist is silly, but for a believer it's everything. Free will cannot exist if the Creator is here, and answering everyone every time. It leaves no room for mistakes to happen. People often say our brains are so big because of how evolved we are, but I say our brains are so big because we messed it all up and now we need the space to sort it all out. Ever try to organize your garage? Everything get's messed up and takes up way more space while you're cleaning and organizing. Who is he talking to? He's does talk to us, it's just that we forgot how to listen. God talks to me, and through me. Why did He choose me? Because I refused to lose faith even when I didn't know for sure for sure there was a God, I just trusted the feeling in my heart. And because I begged a lot. I reasoned with Him. I said "I don't know what you look like, maybe you're afraid I will reject you or be repulsed, but I love you, I really really do." It didn't take long after that.

      September 1, 2013 at 4:57 am |
      • jessej

        Dan, you know God pretty well. I am always both amazed and horrified at the arrogance of those people that make that claim. They claim to know God exists, to know which of the 1000s of gods is the only true god, and to know how he wants us to live our lives. What a humble person you are. I wish the rest of us had the same sources of information you have. And your argument about free will, haven't we had free will since our "creation?" God seemed to talk to prophets so often in the old testament. Seems now with science and technology enabling us to test credibility, God has really seemed to quiet down.

        September 1, 2013 at 5:38 am |
        • Rett

          Jesse, it is also arrogant to categorically dismiss the the existence of God though millions attest through the agesof his work in their life

          September 1, 2013 at 8:34 pm |
      • jungleboo

        Dan, my garage has never been a mess, and that would put us in very different camps. I can just imagine you staring at a wrench and wondering where it goes.

        September 1, 2013 at 6:37 am |
      • Hobo Banana

        Dan, there's a hole in your thesis, here, which seems to be that if we *knew* god-idea had reality outside of people's minds then there'd be no free will. The hole is that, with all of the science and astronomical data we have, repeatedly and independenly confirming that the Earth is (pretty close to) a sphere, there is still a Flat Earth Society, and people who try to bend the data to serve their ends, even when it yields contradictions within itself, not just to physics, etc. So independently repeatable proof of a datum is insufficient to stymie free will, otherwise the Flat Earth Society couldn't exist.

        September 1, 2013 at 5:09 pm |
  12. phil_177

    outlaw religion and politics and the world will be a calmer friendlier place to live ...

    September 1, 2013 at 4:43 am |
    • Welcome

      What planet do you live on?

      September 1, 2013 at 4:45 am |
    • Dan W

      Sounds like you want to live in a dictator ship.

      September 1, 2013 at 4:46 am |
      • Welcome

        To outlaw religion and politics he will need to murder people. Round them up, in say camps to concentrate them into one place to make his plan work...

        September 1, 2013 at 4:53 am |
        • Greg

          It sounds like you have a solution. Finally.

          September 1, 2013 at 5:27 am |
    • Anon

      I'm with you on the religion part, but outlawing politics (civil government) would make life, to quote Hobbes, "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short."

      September 1, 2013 at 12:14 pm |
    • joanie

      Just like what happened in Soviet Russia?

      September 1, 2013 at 1:19 pm |
  13. Jay Jay

    No – they exploit the same people. Organised religion is the vulture on the tree of dispair.

    One cannot argue that it is directly responsible for the deaths of millions of people. Period.

    September 1, 2013 at 4:41 am |
    • Dan W

      Then you don't get it. We were cast out, this is prison from eden, remember the apple? Death is an exit, parole. How could God allow for millions to die? Because death is the only way to go home for good, God probably loves death, it means His children are coming home. Is that a license to kill? No. God has a plan. He really does.

      September 1, 2013 at 4:45 am |
      • John

        Then why can't we all die one instant after "life"? Save us a lot of trouble.

        September 1, 2013 at 11:16 pm |
    • Welcome

      Everything leads to death.

      Horrible wars are fought over property disputes. Should we blame real estate agents?

      September 1, 2013 at 4:47 am |
  14. Hebrews 11

    "...what is seen was made from things that are not visible."

    September 1, 2013 at 4:41 am |
    • Science

      Science comes from something unscientific.

      September 1, 2013 at 4:43 am |
  15. Charlie

    Do they exist? Are they the same? There will never be an end to this discussion.

    My take is......It all comes down to faith.

    September 1, 2013 at 4:40 am |
    • Omar Ballsack

      Faith is the most dangerous thing on the planet. It is a blind belief in something that you have been told to believe by parents/friends. You do not look for evidence in anything, you are just an arrogant person with their head shoved up their @$$. any reasonable, thinking person will see the truth of the natural world

      September 1, 2013 at 9:41 am |
      • Rett

        We are not called to blind faith in the bible....but faith based on Gods activities in the past.....God often told his people to remember his deliverance of them from egypt to build heir faith in him for future ventures.

        September 1, 2013 at 8:37 pm |
        • John

          Got any proof?

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

          Evidence....yes.....evidence that would convince you....i doubt it. Can everything be tested scientifically?

          September 2, 2013 at 6:33 am |
  16. Justin H

    As an atheist, I see all three as coming from the same man-made origins. But the point really doesn't seem to matter, and I doubt a conclusive answer would resolve any of the world's conflicts stemming from religion. As was noted in the article, there have been plenty of examples of war and violence within the different denominations of each religion; just as there have been wars between adherents to the three large religions.

    I consider myself to be a humanist, as well as atheist. I strongly believe that the only way we'll ever come close to the goal of world peace is by setting religion aside and viewing one another with human eyes and recognizing the human struggles common to each of us.

    September 1, 2013 at 4:39 am |
    • Dan W

      So you came here to reaffirm atheism? K...

      September 1, 2013 at 4:41 am |
      • John

        "reafirm"? What do you mean? Why does it need that? It is just not believing in magic super beings.

        September 1, 2013 at 11:20 pm |
    • TrueBlue42

      Finest, most intelligent post on this thread, Justin. This fellow Atheist thanks you.

      September 1, 2013 at 5:00 am |
      • Dippy

        It's "atheist" not "Atheist".

        September 1, 2013 at 5:10 am |
      • Dan W

        Faith cannot be set aside, nor should it be. That's like a theist asking you to put science aside forever until we can figure out how to get along with out it. Atheists need to be OK with theists believing and vice versa. That's how we will get along, by making room for each other in our hearts and our minds to allow for people to be different.

        September 1, 2013 at 5:11 am |
        • coolusernametwo

          The difference is, one is a rational belief, the other one unsubstantiated and irrational. The sooner we reject the irrational, the sooner we can start doing rational things.

          September 1, 2013 at 5:33 am |
        • Justin H

          I'm sorry Dan, but I can not agree with you on this. Religion, by it's nature is exclusive. Many religious people may be good and moral. But my experience with religion is that people tend to stick with others that share their beliefs and often take a negative view of those who don't share their beliefs. This is at the very heart of the Israeli conflict, as well as many of the conflicts in the Middle East, and most cases of genocide.

          I could perhaps accept your position on maintaining faith if people could stick to the basic principle of believing in a god, but set aside the dogma of religion.

          September 1, 2013 at 5:39 am |
        • Dan W

          It's because we operate on a different paradigm. You look at death as the end, and for me its the beginning. I think in opposite and equal reactions. If you want the people to be good, you act bad. This is true in my life. When I try to be a saint everyone shows their teeth and tries to knock me down, they don't like it when other people are trying to be better, it makes them feel like they aren't doing enough, and so they devalue that persons attempt to be better by whatever means necessary. So trying to be a saint brings out everyone else's demons. This would be mean being bad like you are saying religion seems to be from your perspective, then the opposite and equal reaction to their evil will be EVERYONE being good. It's child psychology + Bernoulli's Principal.

          September 1, 2013 at 6:17 am |
  17. Loudest

    We are all subject to something we can't fully explain and therefore must only be one "God". If we even knew the complete answer then we would be the "God". Even Atheists believe in reason and something called nature or objective reality yet their always seems to be some unknown boundary to the 'knowing'. Before the big bang, every more confounding questions related to dark matter and energy. The fighting is based only on the most trivial of issues and often based on materialistic proofs.

    September 1, 2013 at 4:36 am |
    • Dan W

      When it comes down to it, they aren't fighting over religion, they are fighting over race. Our focus is on their religion because it scares us since we refuse to study it at all.

      September 1, 2013 at 4:38 am |
      • Welcome

        Syria. Races fighting.

        September 1, 2013 at 4:49 am |
    • atheist

      I can't believe people in this time of age still believes in such nonsense. Not even a shred of proof and people are gullible. It is proof of selfish people believing that they will live forever. If you really think about it, it isn't about others it is all about "you". If you truly believed in a god you would be a priest or person who would priest to others all day everyday. But you aren't so you really don't care about anyone except yourself. If you truly believed in a hell than you would do everything possible to help others. You wont live forever and when you die that is it. Eventually nobody will remember you and life goes on. Get over it. Enjoy your life now and stop wasting it.

      September 1, 2013 at 4:45 am |
      • Welcome

        When an atheist dies, that's it? They just stop existing. Their spirit dies, too? Eternal energy, which we can witness, miraculously ends?

        September 1, 2013 at 4:52 am |
        • John Sharp

          You can witness eternal energy? Okay i will bite, send me the youtube video I want to see this.

          September 1, 2013 at 6:33 am |
        • John

          Same thing will happen when you die. Poof. Over. No working body and certainly no energy (except what the worms and bugs get from your rotting remains).

          September 1, 2013 at 11:24 pm |
  18. Dan W

    And FYI author, Islam believes that Jesus was the Jewish Messiah. I quote, "The Qur'an states that Jesus, the Son of Mary (Arabic: Isa ibn Maryam), is the Messiah and Prophet sent to the Children of Israel."

    September 1, 2013 at 4:36 am |
    • One who loves God

      If Muslims believe Jesus is the Messiah and Prophet of God, then why does the Qur'an also teach that Jesus was created, not eternal, was not crucified as the "Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world" as declared by John the Baptist (a prophet they also claim to believe in but called Yahya in the Qur'an), was not raised form the dead, did not ascend into heaven, is not God, and well, you get the picture, Islam ultimately rejects everything Christians believe and everything Jesus taught about Himself. Otherwise, why do Muslims in every Islamic country threaten to kill Muslims who convert to Christian beliefs about God as revealed through Jesus. In the end, Islam and Christianity cannot both be true. The conclusion of the article above states, "only God knows." Well, that is a lame conclusion. We do have a conscience, free will, access to the truth, reason, and the ability to pursue truth. Faith is our response to revealed truth. I can't prove it. Otherwise, it would not be faith. I have not experienced anyone closer to the truth than the person of God revealed in Jesus and His works on earth as recorded in the New Testament. He said, "I and the Father are one. If you have seen me, you have seen the Father." I believe in God as revealed in Jesus and my relationship is based upon my faith and trust in HIs loving forgiveness for my sin and my personal relationship with Him. Muslims don't even believe in a personal relationship with God. Their doctrine of God includes a concept called deanthropomorphism and in Arabic, "tanzeeh." This concept states that God cannot associate with anything created, now or in the future. So, God does not exist in the Islamic concept of paradise. Paradise in Islam according to the Qur'an is a brothel of virgins for every man and filled with rivers of wine. God is not present. This is the so far removed from the concepts of heaven in Christianity. I hope you are beginning to see that the God of Islam and the God of the Christian scriptures is not the same. tThe belief system is completely different. What is lacking is the respect of Muslims for other faiths and the respect of Muslims for other Muslims born to Muslims to pursue a different faith. Islam is imposed on all Muslims born into Islam and threatens Muslims with death it they try to leave. Wow, this obviously a different expression of God than the Christian and Jewish expression of God in the ten commandments when God said, "Though shall not kill" and "love your neighbor as yourself."

      September 1, 2013 at 5:14 am |
      • Dan W

        Jesus is Issa, and all the miracles that took place in the Bible were written hundreds of years after Jesus died. The first book Mark has NO miracles, by the end, there are lots of miracles. There is also the question of the word Messiah which means savior but that's just mistranslated from mashiach to be anointed. Now lets think about Moses while he was wandering through the desert. He was the one who had to decide who was going to inherit the Earth, Issac or Ishmael (Esau). He chose Issac. But who are Issac and Esau representative of? Europeans and Arabs. The reason Christians don't get along with Muslims is because they are both racist. This can be seen in the sectarian violence (fancy word for race war). Shia comes from Iran, Sunni from the Arabs. Light skin vs dark skin.

        September 1, 2013 at 5:24 am |
      • Dan W

        You're not getting that Islam has consciously decided to be the opposite and equal reaction to Christianity. Arabs and Persians are tired of Europeans coming to kill them. That's why they don't like us. They refer to us as being pale, and they can tell the difference between the Jewish people who stayed and the ones coming back from Europe they say their faces are pale with fear.

        September 1, 2013 at 5:26 am |
  19. Jason

    During the relatively short span of recorded world history, various religious beliefs came ...... and went.
    Looks to me as if it's just a matter of time.

    September 1, 2013 at 4:34 am |
    • Dan W

      This is why a prophet is born to every generation. Everything is a circle, once it seems like it ends, it just begins again.

      September 1, 2013 at 4:36 am |
      • jungleboo

        You are up to 14,043. And the day hasn't even started yet.

        September 1, 2013 at 6:45 am |
  20. Buddy

    When all deity worship is dispelled and replaced with reason and science, only then will there be peace.

    September 1, 2013 at 4:31 am |
    • Dan W

      Science-Faith = Yin and Yang. Two opposing sides of 1 coin.

      September 1, 2013 at 4:39 am |
    • Harry Cline

      Science is just as fraudulent as religion is. The problem is the confusion that a God belongs to a religion.

      September 1, 2013 at 4:40 am |
      • Dan W

        How are science and religion fraudulent?

        September 1, 2013 at 4:42 am |
        • Harry Cline

          Neither science or an 'intelligent design' can exist without each other. They are mutually dependent on each other. We all grew up hearing about a God through religion. But I believe had mankind never been exposed to religion we would have still question our existence here/purpose.

          September 1, 2013 at 4:46 am |
    • Loudest

      Nuclear bombs are a wonder of reason and science. And if we set off enough of them guess we would have peace. Depleting the natural resource of the earth is using the wonders of the enlightenment tools created with the fantastic powers of reason and science yet we are on the brink of extinction. I agree we are worshiping deity of our own making. It just maybe surprising that many of our worship is not directed to well crafted visions of the God of old but to the new religion of happiness via things and living in the moment and doing what feels good.

      September 1, 2013 at 4:45 am |
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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.