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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
[twitter-follow screen_name='WeissFaithWrite']

(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. DC

    anyone working for CNN is condemned to hell

    September 2, 2013 at 5:17 am |
  2. The Most Liberal Guy on the Blog Guaranteed

    Humans are a bit of debris rolling about on a little water covered rock aren't they. Nothing more than cosmic grains of sand soon to erode. The solar winds will take as all on journeys beyond our imaginations.

    September 2, 2013 at 3:55 am |
    • Allen Smith

      That's a cold harsh fact. The religion is nothing but an occupation for preachers. If people stop being religions, they will run out of business. More hatred, more suffering, more extremism. That's what they want regardless of religion.

      September 2, 2013 at 4:00 am |
      • Mirosal

        Preachers, regardless of whatever religion they represent, are nothing more than welfare recipients living off of the donations of others, because they know they cannot hold down a REAL job.

        September 2, 2013 at 4:16 am |
        • Evert van Vliet

          That sounds "just" like politics!

          September 2, 2013 at 4:32 am |
    • Evert van Vliet

      Where does that leave the notion that there would be things like countries and the "value" of gold or even worse; printed pieces of paper and the "right" to inherit all?

      September 2, 2013 at 4:05 am |
      • Allen Smith

        It's all illusion my friend. Enjoy every bit of your life until your heart stops beating. Teach your kids to treat others the way they want to be treated. That's all what matters, not the religion thay choose.

        September 2, 2013 at 4:12 am |
        • Evert van Vliet

          Religion is never a choice, actually, fact is that everything abstract being dictated to be real is a religious mandate.

          Mind you, a mandate which dictates kids to maintain nothing but a "reality" which comes in handy for some....a "reality" which stands in the way for most to live life "just" the way you just described to boot.

          September 2, 2013 at 4:24 am |
    • The Most Liberal Guy on the Blog Guaranteed

      You can have it Evert.

      September 2, 2013 at 4:10 am |
      • Evert van Vliet

        You're too kind, but thanks, have no use for it.

        September 2, 2013 at 4:26 am |
  3. Mel Stricker

    God made man and man made religion. To people who have a religion, everyone is condemned except those following the dogma of their religion. Look around the world and see that it is religion, most religions, that have caused death and destruction throughout history, up to and including this moment.

    I believe in God but I have no religion and the only dogma I follow is to be kind to all I meet.

    September 2, 2013 at 3:55 am |
    • The Most Liberal Guy on the Blog Guaranteed

      Who made God?

      September 2, 2013 at 3:56 am |
      • not made

        god is uncreated.
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ytn4yiRt4ko

        September 2, 2013 at 5:27 am |
    • Allen Smith

      Well said!

      September 2, 2013 at 3:57 am |
      • Evert van Vliet

        All asume, in order to be able to "believe" something one (and a bunch of others) have to observe and reason first before any potential conclusion is granted to the vault-keepers.

        September 2, 2013 at 4:02 am |
        • Allen Smith

          Sorry man, I couldn't understand what were you trying to say here. Please elaborate.

          September 2, 2013 at 4:04 am |
        • The Most Liberal Guy on the Blog Guaranteed

          Who made Evert?

          September 2, 2013 at 4:12 am |
        • Evert van Vliet

          Exactly as I stated it Allen; How can anybody "believe" anything without the slightest observation which (might) lead to such (and so on)?

          How do you think interest can be charged at the end of every non-existing month?, how come one has to pay for the rights to be present on this planet?

          September 2, 2013 at 4:30 am |
        • sof

          I am sorry – I have to say what you said is ambiguous.
          Who are the 'vault keepers'?
          And religion is used to explain things we cannot/do not know. Just look at the gods of Egypt, Greece and Rome. They had a sun god, planet gods, lightning gods, moon gods, gods of love etc. They used them to explain things they could not otherwise explain. These gods were then replaced by the 'one god' of christianity, Judaism and islam who was pretty much just all the gods combined together – does 'god' not do all these things? It was merely an evolution from older religions, these older religions which were only an evolution from prior religions etc.
          The world is very old yet religion evolves (although the Roman Empire was probably the only reason Christianity spread so far).
          To believe in something – you do not need to have observed it or to have the facts – the whole point of 'believing' is that you do not 'know' – you cannot know.
          Therefore it is ludicrous to suggest that someone who says they 'believe' in god, 'knows' god exists and is watching over them. Ultimately we cannot really 'know' anything. Therefore we move into the world of postulation and justifications which is where we find religion.
          I don't mean to offend you in the slightest – I am not saying God is not true, just that we cannot know for certain (until there is a test to prove it) and if we do not know, we can only believe. The power of belief is no small thing – just look at the devastation it causes in wars over slight, immaterial differences!

          September 2, 2013 at 5:17 am |
  4. Rodeo Clown

    No. Christians believe in the Holy Trinity, Muslims believe in Allah who is of the Moon, and Jews do not worship God. They crucified him.

    September 2, 2013 at 3:51 am |
    • Roger that

      Jews do not worship God. They crucified him.

      That's some god you've got there.

      September 2, 2013 at 4:21 am |
    • Ron

      If Jesus knew the horrors and persecutions his "devout" followers committed in his name, he'd never had started a religion.
      Ironic isn't it – the biggest mass murders in history perpetrated by the most religious followers of a religion promoting turning the other cheek...

      September 2, 2013 at 4:50 am |
      • Evert van Vliet

        History is about (in)action, mostly willingly and knowingly, actually it's still going on and on, and on.......

        Does time exist?...nope.

        September 2, 2013 at 4:57 am |
      • Mark

        Jesus knows the horrors that's why he came. Jesus did not start religion, humans started religion, thus religion is fallible, Jesus was not.

        September 2, 2013 at 4:57 am |
        • Evert van Vliet

          Jesus was not.

          That makes sense.

          September 2, 2013 at 4:59 am |
  5. Evert van Vliet

    I'ts all utterly nonsense "just" to make sure we won't start to look like one another, same goes for everything we are being taught as kids! to be the truth and nothing but the truth yet can't be proven for the slightest bit.

    There's a whole list (where all lay claims on) ranging from countries to science and beyond ownership of all involved by mandate of founding daddies and the alike.

    Oh and by the way, time doesn't exist either, history is nothing but (in)action by those who claim to have the rights to inherit whatever comes in handy while donating all else.

    September 2, 2013 at 3:48 am |
  6. Play List

    "Found A Job" by Talking Heads

    September 2, 2013 at 3:39 am |
  7. wikipoops.com

    Rabbits are psychic.

    September 2, 2013 at 3:30 am |
    • wikipoops.com

      Oops sorry, wrong blog.

      September 2, 2013 at 3:31 am |
      • Animal Shelter

        Rabbits are fun and loving, intelligent pets that will become a part of your family. Adopt today!

        http://www.wikipoops.com

        September 2, 2013 at 3:37 am |
      • livinginva

        OK, I can't help but wonder on what blog that statement IS appropriate. Sounds worth reading. 🙂

        September 2, 2013 at 6:05 am |
  8. Catahoula

    This article is incorrect in its description of Christianity. It incorrectly cites that Christians believe that non- Christians are damned and that faith is all that matters not acts. While this is true of Evangelical Protestantism, Catholics and Orthodox Christians believe that to follow Jesus is to love your neighbor as you love yourself and that acts are more important than faith. One does not need to be a Christian to obtain eternal paradise in these Christian tradition, merely behave in a Christ-like way more than not.

    September 2, 2013 at 3:24 am |
    • Apple Bush

      Total Bullshit.

      September 2, 2013 at 3:27 am |
    • Rodeo Clown

      You are a complete idiot. They believe no such thing, fool.

      September 2, 2013 at 3:52 am |
      • Catholicgirl

        It is true. Here from the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

        "Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience—those too may achieve eternal salvation." (CCC 847)

        September 2, 2013 at 4:20 am |
        • Evert van Vliet

          Really, you don't have to read everything you "believe"...

          September 2, 2013 at 4:52 am |
    • sof

      I thought the latter part of your post is Buddhism?
      It is talking about christianity as an all encompassing umbrella – there are many different denominations of every religion and if they went into the idiosyncrasies of every one they would be arguing more about the differences between the different denominations and not between the three religions mentioned above.
      I agree the point is important, but maybe for a longer article which is not on cnn.

      September 2, 2013 at 5:20 am |
  9. Allen Smith

    The religions are created by charismatic people who know how to mesmerize masses. Smart, opportunistic people take advantage of that and spread that idea for monetory benefits. Dumb, scared people accept those words as truth, and adopt that religion. Violent, mentally unstable people become extremists and start killing people in the name of religion. Give a few hundred years, and the religion that has more smart, dumb and violent people becomes prominent and majority of people in world believe that the origional words by that great religious leader, which have been distorted several times, were true. What a shame!

    September 2, 2013 at 3:22 am |
    • Guest

      Sadly true!

      September 2, 2013 at 3:28 am |
    • Apple Bush

      I see no facts in this post.

      September 2, 2013 at 3:30 am |
      • Allen Smith

        IThe discussion is not about facts it's about logic my friend.
        Judaism was created by people, who knew Abrahm. They believed he was the son of God and started trusting what he said.
        The Bible was written by people, who knew Jesus. They believed his words that he was the son of God and started trusting what he said.
        The Quran was written by people, who knew Mohammed. They knew he was the son of God and started trusting what he said.
        Does anyone else see any similarities? I can start my own religion if I were charizmatic enough 🙂

        September 2, 2013 at 3:52 am |
        • The Most Liberal Guy on the Blog Guaranteed

          I see know facts in this post.

          September 2, 2013 at 4:13 am |
        • Mirosal

          Not one single author of your "new testament" ever met, walked with, or talk to your dead zombie savior guy. NONE of them. There is no historical claim for the existence of Abraham, or of Moses. And as far as Mohammed, it's the ramblings of a desert roaming ped-o-phile who likes 9 year old girls, and was suffering from hallucinations caused by heat exhaustion and fasting while in that desert.

          September 2, 2013 at 4:22 am |
        • Evert van Vliet

          To top it off; the bible is a selection of many more primitive stories dating back to when our species just started to learn how to write, use the wheel and the rest is history.

          One would argue that's all scientific, no religion nor other form of politics has ever done a single thing but playing for "neo"-managemnet.

          September 2, 2013 at 5:06 am |
    • sof

      I agree – but the bible for christians was not even written by people who knew him – it was written over 200 years after his death. It is based more on the stories of the time than any thing else.
      Also calling people 'dumb' is a little harsh. Impressionable is probably a better word to use. People are not perfect and everyone has to believe in something (even if it is not religion)

      September 2, 2013 at 5:23 am |
  10. piusIX

    Yeah sure.
    And it's all explained to us by by Weiss, a Jew...

    September 2, 2013 at 3:22 am |
    • ReligionBlows

      Hahahaha! You are an idiot.

      September 2, 2013 at 5:22 am |
  11. whadface?

    interesting. i am a hindu by birth and thus am unfamiliar to prophets and such. I find it fascinating that one man supposedly chosen by one god is the subject of 3 different religions. Could someone answer these questions for me?
    What historical evidence supports the existence of a god-chosen prophet? and Why does the text of the religion govern its believers so? It seems that they are very restrictive a bit like "love me or suffer." I have trouble submitting to the idea that an almighty being would have that philosophy. Anyone care to sway my opinion?

    September 2, 2013 at 3:19 am |
    • Apple Bush

      No, you are pretty much right on.

      September 2, 2013 at 3:28 am |
    • Catholicgirl

      "Love me or suffer" is not the message of Jesus. It is "I prove my love by suffering for you".

      If you think of it, suffering is the measure of true love. Laying down your life is the greatest love one human can show for another. If you say, "I love you," but don't show it when the tough times come along then your love is not true and you and self-serving.

      If you give your girlfriend a flower you picked up on the side of the road it says, "I love you a bit." If you spend $50 bucks at the florist to give her a dozen roses it may say that you love her more. If you walk 10 miles in a snow-storm to bring her flowers and chicken soup because of a power outage...well...now we're really talking love. 🙂

      Jesus shows us what true love and humility is. What other "god of the universe" would humble himself to become a tiny defenseless infant, submissive to a woman, suffer false accusations at the hands of man and die a brutal death to prove his love?

      The question is, are we wiling to love Him back, even to the point of suffering? After all, when this world passes away all that will be left is love.

      September 2, 2013 at 4:35 am |
      • Evert van Vliet

        Nice way to use your qwerty but you're not saying anything, love doesn't demand, let alone chicken soup or flowers in the middle of winter, therefor you're better of getting wood, and close the door when you're going out will ya?

        September 2, 2013 at 4:46 am |
      • truthprevails1

        Okay, so it's maybe not "Love me or suffer" but it most definitely is "Believe in me or suffer". Outside of the bible, there is no evidence that jesus returned from death after 3 days (that is scientifically impossible) or that he was born of a virgin (another line that is scientifically impossible). Nothing was written about jesus until 30-40 years after he died, so any account of who he might have been would have been taken too far out of context to make the stories accurate. If jesus existed, he was nothing more than a man.

        September 2, 2013 at 5:35 am |
    • not made

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fxd1XV2oShU

      September 2, 2013 at 5:41 am |
  12. cacabuns

    Every day scientists are finding black holes with gas emmmiting from it containing signs of life. MEaning we are god farts. Your ideas are all poo.

    September 2, 2013 at 3:15 am |
    • wikipoops.com

      For more visit us on line!

      September 2, 2013 at 3:18 am |
  13. Ankit Jain

    Read this:
    If you convert whole world into any single religion. Over the course of time say 100 or 200 years, people in different regions of the world will start practicising that same religion in their own way, making their own unique religion and give it a unique name. This variety comes by nature's way or adaptation. This is mostly due to the languages they speak, kind of food they eat, kind of crops that grow there, how is the water availability, what is the kind of weather – hot, cold, etc. and other factors.

    September 2, 2013 at 3:11 am |
    • The Most Liberal Guy on the Blog Guaranteed

      Read this:
      If you convert the whole world into one religion, you got them right where you want them. Every dime.

      September 2, 2013 at 3:16 am |
    • Ankit Jain

      Reason for factors mentioned:
      Languages they speak or write: will create their own version of religious books
      Crop harvesting creates their own religious festivals all over world.
      Kind of food they eat creates their own festivals and delicacies during their season.
      Certain weather season ends creates festivals like when winter season ends creates spring festival in many parts of the world.

      Why religious clashes are happening and increasing day by day? Because people are now more mobile due to avaition and faster transport, this causes people to migrate and causing pressure to local populations.

      September 2, 2013 at 3:40 am |
    • The Most Liberal Guy on the Blog Guaranteed

      Reasons factors mentioned:

      If you convert the whole world into one religion, you got them right where you want them. Every dime AND all the food from their cancelled festivals.

      September 2, 2013 at 3:47 am |
  14. Patty Biller

    Jesus said "I am the way, the truth, and the life, NO one comes to the Father, except by me. Nuff said!!!

    September 2, 2013 at 3:09 am |
    • The Most Liberal Guy on the Blog Guaranteed

      It is enough said to know he was insane.

      September 2, 2013 at 3:10 am |
      • Mark

        You are but a blip, and your time is short.

        September 2, 2013 at 5:01 am |
        • ReligionBlows

          and how long are you going to last, you nothing.

          September 2, 2013 at 5:26 am |
        • MArk

          Long enough to capitalize my first word. Duh!

          September 2, 2013 at 2:36 pm |
    • truthprevails1

      No way to know if jesus said anything like that considering nothing was written about him until 30-40 years after he died. It takes true gullibility to accept stories written that long after ones death as being factual.

      September 2, 2013 at 5:51 am |
  15. Play List

    "Heavy Metal Drummer" by Wilco

    September 2, 2013 at 2:58 am |
  16. miscreantsall

    First off, left in the hands of man, anything becomes corrupt.

    The Jews started with the practice of changing and/or omitting words and punctuation marks in the bible. Rabbis (because they wanted more power and influence…………how human is that) decided to delete the name of God (Jehovah or Jahweh or however you say it…………..Aramaic and ancient Hebrew are funny with the vowel thing) from the bible and declared that only "very special" people (them) could utter the name. Then of course they ignored the prophesied coming of Christ (one of their own) because their power and influence were challenged.

    Then we have the Christians, the most guilty in manipulation, mendacity, perversion and a host of other atrocities. They continue to change words and punctuations in the bible to suit their purposes and actually create things like purgatory to further there needs. The trinity……………a complete distortion in its intent.

    Then came Islam, a religion borne from resentment. Ishmael (born from one of Abrahams concubines) was not "chosen" and there is the genesis. Mother and son were banished from camp. Resentment, jealousy, anger, etc.

    Not even Jesus was able to set straight the abomination of what man was or is. We are a mess.

    The multi God religions are far better off historically and to the present.

    Possibly great concept, poorly managed and left in the hands of a ridiculous species.

    September 2, 2013 at 2:57 am |
  17. israel

    doesn't the author realize that the wars and violence have nothing to do with god and everything to do with the beliefs of each of the separate religions and the teachings of the major prophets behind them?? shiite's and sunnis constantly fight over who the next prophet is going to be, and because their beliefs are vastly different on the concept. Shiits believe that only direct descendents of mohammed can be the next prophet and sunnis believe anyone can fulfill the role. As a former teacher of mine once said "if you're a shiite and not a direct descendent of mohammed you're shiite out of luck". Also islam believes that if you do not follow the prophet mohammed and his teachings that you are not a true follower of god and deserve punishment for such "crimes" Meanwhile christians are just simply waiting for jesus to return and believe that when that happens god will pass his judgement on the earth and we all will die and only those who are worthy of gods love will ascend to heaven and that those who do not believe in christ (who also happens to be gods only son in their eyes) will spend eternity in hell for their non-belief. And jews just simply believe that the messiah has yet to appear and that when he does we will be judged by god and not based on what our beliefs are but whether or not we are good people as per the 10 commandments that he handed down to moses to give to the israelites during the exodus from egypt. However since judaism is such an old religion, it has been through alot considering the majority of religions prior believed in multiple gods. Judaism essentially laid waste to those religions over the course the following 3000 years and was demonized as a result of so many civilizations feeling threatened. Jews have been blamed for nearly every major disaster short of asteroid strikes in humanity's history over the course of the last 5000 years even today.

    maybe the author can learn something about the reasons behind the violence. Regardless the reasoning is ridiculous but that's the truth behind it all.

    September 2, 2013 at 2:45 am |
    • The Most Liberal Guy on the Blog Guaranteed

      Israel sucks and they are war mongering genocidal maniacs.

      September 2, 2013 at 2:53 am |
    • seafoodwatch

      There are many uneducated victims of propaganda puppetized by leaders with alterior motives. (A big issue with the Jews is through history that they like to be the bankers, this would not help anyone's popularity!)

      September 2, 2013 at 3:02 am |
      • Rina

        Like to be bankers? Did you ever looked in history books? Jewish could be anybody, but Christiand didn't let them be. Jews where forbidden to work with anything, but money. Jews where forsed to be bankers. not ofther way around. And now all Jews where bankers. There where millions Jews, who was doctors, artists, musicians, scientists, workers, builders amd many more. In USSR lived many Jews, who never where bankers (because all banks than belonged to government). The same is in Israel and all around the world. Just idiots think Jews just bankers. There is not so much banks in the world to make every Jew all bankers. It's just stupid antisemit and Islamist propaganda. Jews, like any other people can be rich and poor, just stupid idiots think all Jews are rich. From 6,000,000 of Jews in Israel, we probably have not more, than 5% rich people. Others are overage people with overage income.

        September 2, 2013 at 3:20 am |
    • sof

      How do you explain the current situation in Israel? Do you think that is more of a 'european culture-revenge for the Germans genocide' coming into an arabic culture who just happens to be the target of the Israeli's revenge (even though they had nothing to do with the genocide where the Jews are from)? Or a religions debate? I believe the world views the conflict as one of purely religious, but I think the religious aspect is a justification of the violence rather than the reason behind it.
      Ultimately, I think all the religions in the world are used and warped to justify our actions which is why so many people believe the conflicts are ultimately religious, when in fact they are ethnic, fuelled by hate. Although I am not too sure what the difference between the serbs and croats were in the Bosinan wars if it was not orthodox v Catholicism as I am not sure how else a divide between the people could be formed (the official croatian language is almost identical to the Serbian language (with a few exceptions) and the culture seems quite similar).

      September 2, 2013 at 5:09 am |
  18. Imtias - Colombo

    Why did GOD only started appearing in Middle East alone ?. Why did he selected desert men to lead the masses ? Why the rest of the world would need to follow these barbarians at a time ? Could all these leaders have been hallucinating due to whatever the reason . May be pot or some kind of food they were consuming. Honestly my opinion is all these guys were on weed and preaching the same thing in different style. Now killing each others to populate their style in order to make profits. Want wisdom ? look into the teachings of Buddha .....

    September 2, 2013 at 2:43 am |
    • The Most Liberal Guy on the Blog Guaranteed

      I am a Buddhist in name only. I like the statues and killer wisdom.

      September 2, 2013 at 2:55 am |
      • Imtias - Colombo

        You may be a Buddhist , how ? is the question. My suggestion is to look into the teachings do not follow. I am a Muslim. I am learning.

        September 2, 2013 at 3:04 am |
        • The Most Liberal Guy on the Blog Guaranteed

          Look into the teachings???? Are you nuts! I eat, drink and breath the teachings every day!!!

          September 2, 2013 at 3:13 am |
  19. Reggie

    Fun article. But actually Muslims believe (or are supposed to believe) that Jesus is more than a prophet, but is actually "the breath of God" – and that he will return. Specifically, Mohammed stated that Jesus will return from a specific white minaret, called the "Jesus minaret" which is located at a certain mosque in Syria. Look it up, I'm serious.

    September 2, 2013 at 2:37 am |
    • The Most Liberal Guy on the Blog Guaranteed

      Jesus came back a long time ago. We missed it.

      September 2, 2013 at 2:38 am |
  20. lol?? Pithiest, YES!!

    How's the God playoffs coming along??

    September 2, 2013 at 2:36 am |
    • lol?? Pithiest, YES!!

      It's gettin' late for the race. The war to end war has come and gone, pwogwessives.

      Digest of Rules Main
      Sudden Death
      The sudden death system of determining the winner shall prevail when score is tied at the end of the regulation playing time of all NFL games.

      September 2, 2013 at 2:55 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.