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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. Rosa

    Christian, believe God, and believes Jesus Christ the Son of GOD; and die, on the cross, for every single one of us.
    Muslim, believe different, Muslim, did not believe Jesus Christ, is the Son of GOD; and die for our sins.

    September 2, 2013 at 7:18 pm |
    • Jens Gessner

      Got it. And Jesus HAD to die on the cross because otherwise our 'sins' could not be forgiven. God can not just forgive without a sacrifice, even though HE (and not the sinner) was the one doing the sacrifice. And since God and Jesus are one, God was sacrificing himself. Makes sense. But then.......Why did Christians – for hundreds of years – blame Jewish people for the crucifixion? – You know that whole 'Jewish deicide' thing? Even the Vatican did not refudiate their position on this issue until the 60s (Second Vatican Counsil). I mean, should Christians not have been happy that Jewish people killed their messiah?

      September 2, 2013 at 7:35 pm |
    • Spinoza

      Rosa, believes, that, commas and other punctuation should be, inserted; so that the meaning can be, clearer. What if it is, not so! There is a PRESUMPTION that ALL CAPS is putting emphasis but with THAT and bad, punctuation does not, lend itself to smooth, communication? Yes.

      September 2, 2013 at 7:36 pm |
      • Doobs

        I just took it as a second language thing. I could probably type something out in Spanish, and maybe it would make sense, but it wouldn't be pretty.

        September 2, 2013 at 10:45 pm |
    • Akira

      And yet both are Abrahamic religions.

      September 2, 2013 at 7:41 pm |
    • Athy

      Rosa, you have a bad case of commitis. You have to have your commatosa removed immediately.

      September 3, 2013 at 12:51 am |
    • Atheist, me?

      Simply put Allahi is the correct pronunciation for the Yiddish/German spelling Eli found in most Englizh Bibles. This is simply because the first English translations during the Reformation stemmed from German Translations.
      The Arab Allah should therefore not shock anyone into propaganda mode. It definitely won't take u to Heaven!

      September 3, 2013 at 1:30 am |
  2. Jens Gessner

    All religions are equally misguided, but religious delusion manifests itself in believers in various forms. To that extent – and only to that extent – Christians, Muslims and Jews worship different gods.

    Pretty simple, actually.

    September 2, 2013 at 7:06 pm |
  3. bostontola

    "Atheists have mass murdered more people in the last 100 years than were killed in all previous centuries. Most rational people find mass murder unhealthy."

    1) the statement is false on numbers alone. Adding all killed by Stalin, Pol Pot, etc. doesn't add up to all killed by leaders previously.
    2) Stalin didn't kill for atheism, he killed to consolidate his power. In fact, I know of no case where mass murder was committed in the name of atheism.

    The top statement is as useful as saying more people have been killed by men with mustaches, therefore mustaches are not healthy for children and other living things. Absurd.

    On the other hand, many have perpetrated mass murder/genocide in the name of their religion or to devastate another religion. Less than 20 yeas ago there was a religious genocide in Bosnia. Hitler was not an atheist, his genocide was primarily targeted at Jews (even if you claim Hitler was atheist, he clearly didn't kill for atheism). There are plenty more examples.

    Please provide 1 example where a mass murder was perpetrated in the name of atheism.

    September 2, 2013 at 7:00 pm |
    • Maani

      Repeating an insupportable over and over does not make it true.

      Rudolph Rummel is arguably the most respected historian of "death in history" in the world. According to Rummel, the number of people who died in all of the Crusades, Holy Wars, inquisitions, witch hunts, etc. – in all of recorded history – is ~75-100 million. Yet according to Rummel, the number of people who died under Lenin, Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot is the same – in less than 100 years.

      And, again despite your claim, there is zero question that most of the people who died under the regimes of Lenin, Stalin and Pol Pot (though somewhat less under Mao) died as the result of SPECIFICALLY anti-theist policies.

      Lenin stated openly that atheism was his "philosophical worldview," and his very first decree upon seizing power in 1917 was the confiscation of all ecclesiastical and monastic lands. A month later, he deprived the church of ALL its property. A week after that, he closed down all the monasteries. He rounded up thousands of priests, monks, nuns, etc. and sent them to gulags. Others were simply shot. By the 1920s, "anti-God" exhibits were plentiful. In 1918, Lenin said, "After the implementation of the separation of church from state and school from church have taken effect, it is essential to strive for the separation of the people from religion and the church." In the early 1920s, he added, "Our aim is not to 'renovate' the church, but to abolish it, to eradicate all religion."

      As for Stalin, his vicious anti-theism is legendary. In 1931, he ordered the largest Russian Orthodox church dynamited in broad daylight as thousands of Christians watched in horror. In the 13 years starting in 1927, churches in Russia fell from 25,000 to 500. In the same period, over 130,000 priests were arrested; 95,000 of those were executed. Both Lenin and Stain inst.ituted policies that made it a crime to own sacred objects, to teach one's faith to one's children, and even to pray.

      I could go on. Suffice to say that it is almost a certainty that I have read FAR more widely than you on this subject (for a period of over 30 years). In that regard, you might want to do some deeper research before you make absurd claims.

      September 2, 2013 at 9:54 pm |
      • bostontola

        If you are so well read, why are you so wrong? The majority of those killed were by famine and Stalin refused to free up reserves. The next most were political foes. You are another pseudo intellectual.

        September 2, 2013 at 11:08 pm |
        • Maani

          bostonola:

          Your response would be amusing were it not so sad. Indeed, you are the kind of atheist who gives atheists a bad name. You come on threads like these, making claims and pronouncements, and simply telling anyone who disagrees with your position that they are "wrong" without providing a single shred of support. You don't even provide cites from scholarly works, much less the names and credentials of those scholars.

          I provided the name of the person who is among the, if not THE, foremost experts on this subject in the entire world. I then offered cites (statistics, facts) from a couple of scholarly works.

          Your response? "You're wrong." Nothing to support it, just that statement. And in telling me I am wrong, you are also suggesting that you know more than the world's foremost expert on this subject, and more than the dozens of scholars (both secular and religious) whose works I have read over a period of more than three decades.

          Skytag recently offered a couple of lengthy posts on the things he finds must frustrating about many (possibly most) believers, and the way they present their positions. I disagree with Skytag on most things, but as a believer, I would say that what you do is among the things that frustrate me (and probably many believers). That is, all too many atheists come on these boards and take pot shots and snipes at believers, whether those believers are arguing faith/religion specifically or one of its relevant side topics (like the present one), calling them "wrong." Yet all too few of those atheists provide a single shred of ACTUAL SUPPORTING EVIDENCE for THEIR OWN claims. For example, we all debate evolution regularly. But I wonder how many atheists (or, admittedly, believers) have actually READ Origin of Species. Or, perhaps more importantly, read it recently enough to actually know what it says – and what it doesn't. That is, it is easy to make claims regarding a book one read in high school or college, but it is likely that most people have very little actual memory of the specifics of Darwin's argument. Instead, too many atheists simply regurgitate the "official" atheist position (ironic, given that this is what they accuse believers of doing vis-a-vis the Bible...), not only without having read the book recently enough to cite it accurately, but also not taking into account the most recent arguments supporting or undermining – not only by believers, but by atheist scientists as well.

          Again, I could go on. Perhaps I will write a post similar to Skytag's citing the things that frustrate me most about many atheists. In the meantime, unless and until you can provide scholarship equal to what is provided by others, I suggest you refrain from simply telling people they are "wrong." Because it only shows how weak your own arguments are, and you come off like a bully.

          September 3, 2013 at 3:19 pm |
        • G to the T

          Wow! Think we hit a nerve...

          September 4, 2013 at 11:18 am |
      • HotAirAce

        "Repeating an insupportable over and over does not make it true." – how ironic that this is 100% applicable to perhaps the greatest Big Lie, that gods exist.

        September 2, 2013 at 11:12 pm |
        • Maani

          Actually, a "lie" is a CONSCIOUS untruth. In this ergard, belief in the existence of God might ultimately be a "mistake," but it is not a "lie." Might want to tone down the anger there, pal.

          September 5, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
        • joe

          Actually, a “lie” is a CONSCIOUS untruth. In this ergard, belief in the existence of God might ultimately be a “mistake,” but it is not a “lie.” Might want to tone down the anger there, pal.
          -----
          I don't believe anyone is speaking to a belief in an unknowable creator. The conscious untruth as you call it are the claims that the bible is inerrant.

          When the book on absurdity states things like a God made Adam and Eve and flooded the earth and came to the earth as a man to sacrifice itself to prove it was God. Those things are conscious untruths.

          September 5, 2013 at 2:41 pm |
        • HotAirAce

          Maani, you need to improve your "reading between the lines" act as there was not a bit of anger in my post above. Anyone that claims they *know* that any gods exist, or don't, is a liar.

          September 8, 2013 at 1:34 pm |
  4. jknbt

    Trinitarian Christians worship God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit who are three persons and yet one being, co-equal, co-eternal, and transcendent. There are many minority opinions on the nature of the Godhead to be found in Christian sects which do not accept this orthodox position.

    Jews worship Jehovah God. This is how God reveals his Word, Jesus, in the Old Testament. Jesus' name is actually Jehovah-Shuas, the Lord who Saves, Jehovah who Save, aka the Salvation of the Lord. "Jesus" is the greek form of this name. He appears many times in the Old Testament, most notably to Abraham in Gen. 17-18.

    Muslims worship Allah, which is the Arabic version of the name Jesus used on the cross for God, "Eli" Originally the gods worshipped in Mecca and Medina were the Babylonian god and goddess of the moon. The lunar calendar and the crescent moon symbolism were important in Babylonian religions, are they are also important in Islam. The root of belief goes back to the goddess of Sin worshipped in Babylon. The deserts of NW Arabia are called the Wilderness of Sin in the O.T. Mohammed drew on the religious roots of paganism in the Arabian peninsula and also Judaism and Christianity when he founded Islam. He originally intended his Islam to be an extension of Jewish and Christian belief. It grew into a different religion entirely as the writings of the Koran were recorded. It is an Abrahamic Monotheistic religion since muslims look to Abraham as the founder of the faith, and since they worship the One God.

    September 2, 2013 at 6:02 pm |
    • jungleboo

      And in the day of jet travel, instant communication and Mars on our desktop, everything you posted is absolutely worthless and witless.

      September 2, 2013 at 9:04 pm |
  5. Joel

    Yeshua, who's name means salvation, is indeed the key to heaven. This was God's plan from the beinning. We see after the fall of mankind that God said concerning the woman and the Serpent: "I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; He (Yeshua-the promised seed of the woman) shall bruise your head, and you (Satan)shall bruise his heel." Genesis 3:15 From the beginning the salvation of mankind was foretold immediatly after the fall. The serpent would be crushed by the atonement of Yeshua, and Yeshua Himself would suffer (bruised his heel) by accomplishing our salvation. Shalom

    September 2, 2013 at 5:53 pm |
    • Dippy

      It's "whose," not "who's." Typical believer's mistake.

      September 2, 2013 at 6:12 pm |
    • jungleboo

      Shalock

      September 2, 2013 at 9:05 pm |
    • sam stone

      joel: pure conjecture on your part. good luck with it, though

      September 2, 2013 at 9:16 pm |
  6. One one

    My false god and religion are more valid than your false god and religion.

    September 2, 2013 at 5:25 pm |
  7. mgc6288

    The Athanasian, Nicene, and Apostles' Creeds summarize the beliefs of Christians. So, how can one be Christian if one does not believe in the creeds or the teachings of being a Christian? If one is not considered a Christian then how can one be worshiping Jesus?

    Also, the Trinity is God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. If other faiths like Muslims, Jews, Jehovah's Witness, Mormons, etc. do not believe in Jesus or the Holy Spirit then effectively they do not believe in the God.

    They may be worshiping who they foresee as a god, but it is not the God.

    September 2, 2013 at 5:12 pm |
    • Akira

      You already posted this. Once again, your disdain for other Christian denominations is noted, and dismissed.

      September 2, 2013 at 5:21 pm |
      • mgc6288

        Your obvious ignorance on Christianity is sad.

        September 2, 2013 at 11:55 pm |
    • Doobs

      I was never that big on creeds. – Newman

      September 2, 2013 at 10:49 pm |
    • tallulah13

      I believe what mgc6288 is trying to say is that christianity was created and codified by very human men at these councils to in an effort to promote and support their own agenda.

      September 3, 2013 at 12:05 am |
  8. Maani

    A simple primer re the three Abrahamic faiths.

    In ~2000 B.C., YHWH made a covenant with Abraham to be "his God" and the God of his progeny (of which he had none at the time). With Sarah getting too old to have children, the impatient Abraham had a child with their servant, Hagar. That child was Ishmael. YHWH then blessed Abraham and Sarah with a child of their own. That child was Isaac. YHWH then established His covenant with Isaac. However, He also "blessed" Ishmael, making him father to "twelve princes." Isaac's progeny became the Hebrews (Jews), while Ishmael's progeny became the Middle Eastern tribes (what we collectively call the "Arabs."). As an aside, this was the seed of the enmity between the Jews and the Arabs.

    In ~30 A.D., Jesus arrived on the scene, and some of the Jewish people "recognized" Him as their prophesized "Messiah," and became followers, disciples and apostles. Upon Jesus' death and resurrection, those Jewish sects broke off, creating a separate sect that was eventually referred to as "Christians." They believed that a "new covenant" had been made with them because the Jews "rejected" their Messiah. [N.B. Among Christians, some believe that the covenant made with Abraham remains in force, and that the "new covenant" is in addition to it; others believe that the "new covenant" supersedes the old.]

    In the early 7th century, a man named Mohammed went into a revelatory/epiphanic trance and, with the guidance of the angel Gabriel, wrote the Qur'an, and founded Islam. According to Mohammed, he was the "final prophet" of the Abrahamic God ("Allah," in Islam), and thus the Qur'an represents the "final" revelation of God to humankind. Islam refers to the Jews as the "People of the Book" (meaning the Old Testament), and believes that the covenant of YHWH was actually made with Ishmael, not Isaac and, thus, that Muslims are the "chosen" ones, not the Jews. Islam reveres Jesus as the second most important prophet, and even possibly "divine" (though not "God").

    So...

    For Jews, YHWH's covenant with Abraham remains in force, and they remain the "chosen people" of God, rejecting both Jesus as Messiah and Mohammed as a prophet.

    For Christians, YHWH made a "new covenant" with them, which either supersedes or is in addition to the covenant with Abraham. They believe that Jesus was the foretold Messiah, and that Mohammed was, at best, a later prophet.

    For Muslims, YHWH made His original covenant with Ishmael (not Isaac), and thus the Middle Eastern peoples (i.e., "Arabs") are the "chosen ones." They accept Jesus as second in importance only to Mohammed, and consider the Qur'an the "final" revelation from God to humankind.

    Thus, while YHWH is the God of all three monotheistic faiths (and Abraham is the "father" of all three), those faiths view their relationship to YHWH in significantly different ways.

    Shalom, Peace, Salaam

    September 2, 2013 at 4:59 pm |
    • Akira

      You've explained it much better than the author, but the message is the same: all three worship the same God.
      Thanks for a great post.

      September 2, 2013 at 5:07 pm |
      • One one

        Does that mean it was Jesus who killed all those people in the OT ?

        Is this passage referring to Jesus ?

        2 Samuel 12:11: “Thus says the LORD, 'Behold, I will raise up evil against you out of your own house. And I will take your wives before your eyes and give them to your neighbor, and he shall lie with your wives in the sight of this sun.”

        September 2, 2013 at 5:20 pm |
        • Akira

          I'll leave that to the biblical scholars here.
          All I said was that the OP explained it very well.

          September 2, 2013 at 5:31 pm |
        • Maani

          One One: That's just silly. The only passages in the OT that make "reference" to Jesus are the prophetic passages that foretell His appearance at a much later date. Peace.

          September 2, 2013 at 9:21 pm |
    • Colin

      allah is not the God of Abraham, allah is a false god, an idol

      September 2, 2013 at 5:14 pm |
      • mzh

        What is your source/reference Colin?

        Are you expert in Arabic Language?

        Please be honest with at least yourself... 🙂

        September 2, 2013 at 5:16 pm |
      • Colin

        Only modesty prevents me from declaring I am widely known for my honesty. allah the word means god nothing more, allah is an idol, allah is not the God of the Bible.

        September 2, 2013 at 5:19 pm |
        • mzh

          I do not anticipate myself to know all but I do learn and correct myself if I find something that I have incorrectly understood... and there is nothing wrong with that...

          You are perhaps right that the God in Bible is not the same as Allah in Koran... here are few verses that warns mankind which was incorrectly taught to mankind about Allah with the concept of trinity:

          5:72 – They have certainly disbelieved who say, " Allah is the Messiah, the son of Mary" while the Messiah has said, "O Children of Israel, worship Allah , my Lord and your Lord." Indeed, he who associates others with Allah – Allah has forbidden him Paradise, and his refuge is the Fire. And there are not for the wrongdoers any helpers.

          5:73 – They have certainly disbelieved who say, "Allah is the third of three." And there is no god except one God. And if they do not desist from what they are saying, there will surely afflict the disbelievers among them a painful punishment.

          Salaam...

          September 2, 2013 at 6:02 pm |
        • pzh

          Prosciutto...

          September 2, 2013 at 8:39 pm |
        • Vegan Sue

          Biscotti...

          September 2, 2013 at 8:40 pm |
        • Atheist Ken

          Baloney...

          September 2, 2013 at 8:41 pm |
        • Athy

          Spam.

          September 2, 2013 at 9:25 pm |
      • Maani

        Not so. "Allah" is simply the Arabic word meaning "God" or "the God." And the "God" they refer to is YHWH, since they trace their ancestry back to Ishmael, and the blessings that YHWH gave him. Peace.

        September 2, 2013 at 9:23 pm |
        • Athy

          What does the acronym YHWH stand for? Young Hot Women's House? Where is it?

          September 2, 2013 at 9:28 pm |
        • G to the T

          No vowels in the early hebrew script. Some think it was an abbreviation for "that which cannot be nammed"...

          September 4, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
      • Reality

        من الدراسات من أرمسترونغ ، رشدي ، هيرسي علي ، ريتشاردسون و البيهقي ----–

        في خمس خطوات ل أبطل تأثير 1400 سنة من الأساطير الإسلامية :

        ( – خطوات اتخاذ أقل من دقيقتين لإنهاء – ببساطة مدهشة ، دقيقتين لإحلال السلام والعقلانية إلى أكثر من مليار فقدت النفوس لا تقدر بثمن !)

        هل أنت مستعد؟

        استخدام " الفروع الإسلامية 77 من " الإيمان " مجموعة الإمام البيهقي المترجمة كنقطة انطلاق . في ذلك، وهو ما يفسر الفضائل الأساسية التي تعكس صحيح " الإيمان " ( إيمان ) من خلال الآيات القرآنية ذات الصلة، و أحاديث نبوية . " أي ملخص لطيفة من المعتقدات القرآن والإسلامية .

        الخمسة الأولى من الفروع 77 :

        " 1 . الإيمان بالله "

        كما يعرف أيضا باسم الله ، الرب ، زيوس ، الرب ، الطبيعة الأم ، وما إلى ذلك يجب أن تضاف إلى الخلايا العصبية التطهير الذاتي الخاص .

        " 2 . إلى الاعتقاد بأن كل شيء غيرها مما كان الله غير موجود. بعد ذلك، الله سبحانه وتعالى خلق هذه الأشياء ، وبعد ذلك جاءوا إلى حيز الوجود . "

        التطور و الانفجار الكبير أو " غي ب G- NAB " ( عند بدء الكون لإعادة تدوير ) هي أكثر ترجيحا و ينبغي أن تدرج في " المندرجة " في سبيل الله إذا كنت لا تزال تشكل " بجمعية العقارات، tionist " .

        " 3 . إلى الاعتقاد في وجود الملائكة . "

        A بندا رئيسيا لتطهير الخلايا العصبية . الملائكة / دي VILS هي الإبداعات الأسطورية من الحضارات القديمة ، على سبيل المثال HITT خائبي ، لشرح / تعريف الأحداث الطبيعية ، والاتصالات مع آلهتهم ، والطيور الكبيرة ، والرياح المفاجئة ، وحماة خلال الليالي المظلمة ، وما إلى ذلك لا " ثينجيس افسح المجال ل جميلة / UG- LY " بزيارة أي وقت مضى أو تحدثت إلى محمد ، يسوع ، مريم أو يوسف أو جو سميث . اليوم سوف نصنف الملائكة كما F- airies و " القصدير كير تكون LLS " . تصنف الحديثة دو VILS مثل دي مونس هيئة اجتثاث mented .

        " 4 . إلى الاعتقاد بأن جميع الكتب السماوية التي تم إرسالها إلى الأنبياء مختلفة صحيحا . ومع ذلك ، وبصرف النظر عن القرآن ، كل الكتب الأخرى ليست صالحة بعد الآن . "

        ومن البنود الرئيسية في حذفها. لا يوجد كتب في ولاية روح السماء (إذا كان هناك واحد ) فقط حيث لم تعد هناك ملائكة لكتابة / نشر / توزيعها . القرآن ، OT ، NT وما هي ببساطة الكتب التي كتبت من قبل البشر للبشر .

        اخترعت الأنبياء من قبل الكتبة القديمة عادة للحفاظ على الجماهير غير المتعلمة في الخط. اليوم ونحن ندعو لهم فرز الأصوات لل تناغم .

        النبوءات كما invali مؤرخة من قبل الطبيعية / الله / الله الهدايا من الإرادة الحرة و المستقبل.

        " 5 . إلى الاعتقاد بأن جميع الأنبياء صحيحا . ومع ذلك ، ونحن مأمورون اتباع النبي محمد ( عليه الصلاة والسلام
        صلى الله عليه وسلم) وحده " .

        قضى محمد ثلاثين يوما " الصيام " (أسطورة رمضان) في كهف الساخن قبل أول اتصال له مع الله الملقب الخ الله عبر " ممتزوجات افسح المجال ل جميلة " . الحس السليم يتطلب حذف الخلايا العصبية من # 5 . # 5 هو أيضا المصدر الرئيسي لل الاسلامي VI- olence أي تحول محمد "سريع ، يحركها الجوع " hallu – cinations إلى واقع فظيع لغير المؤمنين .

        المشي هذه خمس خطوات ، ونحن نضمن الانتعاش الكامل من الطرق الإسلامية الخاصة بك! !

        للأسف ، لا توجد العديد من المعلقين مسلم / القراء على هذا بلوق لذلك " مدة دقيقتين " العلاج هو عدم الحصول على لأولئك الذين في حاجة إليها . إذا كان لديك صديق مسلم ، ترسل له نسخة و تساعد في إنقاذ العالم .

        تتوفر خطوات مماثلة في طلبك للحصول على deprogramming الأساطير المسيحية واليهودية والبوذية والهندوسية و الوثنية ..

        September 3, 2013 at 12:19 am |
        • Reality

          The English translation of the above from Google Translate:

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

          The Five Steps To Deprogram 1400 Years of Islamic Myths:

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

          Are you ready?

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

          The First Five of the 77 Branches:

          "1. Belief in Allah"

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

          September 3, 2013 at 12:26 am |
    • HotAirAce

      Got anything factual, objective, independent and factual to convert your bullsh!t to reality?

      September 3, 2013 at 12:05 am |
      • tallulah13

        I wouldn't hold my breath...

        September 3, 2013 at 12:06 am |
        • HotAirAce

          I've been working on a definitive list to help the delusionals out. Here's what I've got so far:

          Start Of List

          End of List

          September 3, 2013 at 12:10 am |
    • Reality

      For the new members:

      origin: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482 NY Times review and important enough to reiterate.

      New Torah For Modern Minds

      “Abraham, the Jewish patriarch, probably never existed. Nor did Moses. (prob•a•bly
      Adverb: Almost certainly; as far as one knows or can tell).

      The entire Exodus story as recounted in the Bible probably never occurred. The same is true of the tumbling of the walls of Jericho. And David, far from being the fearless king who built Jerusalem into a mighty capital, was more likely a provincial leader whose reputation was later magnified to provide a rallying point for a fledgling nation.

      Such startling propositions - the product of findings by archaeologists digging in Israel and its environs over the last 25 years - have gained wide acceptance among non-Orthodox rabbis. But there has been no attempt to disseminate these ideas or to discuss them with the laity - until now.

      The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, which represents the 1.5 million Conservative Jews in the United States, has just issued a new Torah and commentary, the first for Conservatives in more than 60 years. Called "Etz Hayim" ("Tree of Life" in Hebrew), it offers an interpretation that incorporates the latest findings from archaeology, philology, anthropology and the study of ancient cultures. To the editors who worked on the book, it represents one of the boldest efforts ever to introduce into the religious mainstream a view of the Bible as a human rather than divine doc-ument.

      The notion that the Bible is not literally true "is more or less settled and understood among most Conservative rabbis," observed David Wolpe, a rabbi at Sinai Temple in Los Angeles and a contributor to "Etz Hayim." But some congregants, he said, "may not like the stark airing of it." Last Passover, in a sermon to 2,200 congregants at his synagogue, Rabbi Wolpe frankly said that "virtually every modern archaeologist" agrees "that the way the Bible describes the Exodus is not the way that it happened, if it happened at all." The rabbi offered what he called a "LITANY OF DISILLUSION”' about the narrative, including contradictions, improbabilities, chronological lapses and the absence of corroborating evidence. In fact, he said, archaeologists digging in the Sinai have "found no trace of the tribes of Israel - not one shard of pottery."

      September 3, 2013 at 12:24 am |
  9. Apple Chong
    September 2, 2013 at 4:59 pm |
  10. Apple Chong

    This is a paragraph.
    This is another paragraph.

    September 2, 2013 at 4:58 pm |
  11. Apple Chong

    click here

    September 2, 2013 at 4:56 pm |
  12. Apple Chong

    underlined

    September 2, 2013 at 4:55 pm |
  13. Apple Chong

    1
    2

    September 2, 2013 at 4:54 pm |
  14. Dd

    This very topic becomes practically moot when we totally exclude the 2 largest sized populations on Earth: the Chnese and the Indians

    And I certainly do not think he Buddha is anywhere similar to Shiva and all he other Indian Gods

    So in conclusion, no, Gods are not the same! And people's do not worship identical Gods either.

    September 2, 2013 at 4:24 pm |
    • Akira

      The author was talking about the Abrahamic religions, not all religions in general.

      September 2, 2013 at 4:29 pm |
      • mzh

        Did you know that Abraham was neither a Jews nor a Christian?

        Here are few verses from Koran for your references:

        3:65 – O People of the Scripture, why do you argue about Abraham while the Torah and the Gospel were not revealed until after him? Then will you not reason?

        3:67 – Abraham was neither a Jew nor a Christian, but he was one inclining toward truth, a Muslim [submitting to Allah ]. And he was not of the polytheists.

        3:68 – Indeed, the most worthy of Abraham among the people are those who followed him [in submission to Allah ] and this prophet, and those who believe [in his message]. And Allah is the ally of the believers

        Also fyi... Moses and Jesus the son of Marry and any other prophets – they were all muslims meaning submitted to one True God Almighty but after the death of prophets, the followers of each times had invented what we see today...

        September 2, 2013 at 5:11 pm |
        • Fredc

          Which came first, the Torah or the Koran?

          September 2, 2013 at 5:27 pm |
        • ME II

          He was also not a follower of Mohammed, right?

          September 4, 2013 at 5:42 pm |
      • Fredc

        He named the religions that he was writing about. So what is to discuss.

        September 2, 2013 at 5:24 pm |
      • mzh

        @Fredc

        Of course Torah... there are plenty of verses in Koran talks about Torah and Injeel… both Torah and Injeel were having the name of the prophet and the koran to come if you see in 3:70 and they knew it both the Jews and Christians… but after the revelation of Koran some of them believed and most of them did not and we have people till today that they do not believe even though their history tells the truth…

        3:3 – It is He Who has sent down the Book (the Quran) to you (Muhammad SAW) with truth, confirming what came before it. And he sent down the Taurat (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel).

        3:48 – And He (Allah) will teach him ['Iesa (Jesus)] the Book and Al-Hikmah (i.e. the Sunnah, the faultless speech of the Prophets, wisdom, etc.), (and) the Taurat (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel).

        3:50 – And [I (Jesus the son of Marry) have come] confirming what was before me of the Torah and to make lawful for you some of what was forbidden to you. And I have come to you with a sign from your Lord, so fear Allah and obey me.

        3:65 – O people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians)! Why do you dispute about Ibrahim (Abraham), while the Taurat (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel) were not revealed till after him? Have you then no sense?

        3:70 – O people of the Scripture! (Jews and Christians): "Why do you disbelieve in the Ayat of Allah, [the Verses about Prophet Muhammad SAW present in the Taurat (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel)] while you (yourselves) bear witness (to their truth)."

        3:93 – All food was lawful to the Children of Israel except what Israel had made unlawful to himself before the Torah was revealed. Say, [O Muhammad], "So bring the Torah and recite it, if you should be truthful."

        I hope this will help to know something about people of the book...

        September 2, 2013 at 5:56 pm |
    • Dippy

      It's "people," not "people's."

      September 2, 2013 at 5:12 pm |
  15. mzh

    “Allah” is, of course, the Arabic word for God" – if a non-Muslim uses the name of Allah, it will negates all that you associate with The Almighty... for example Christian believes in Trinity and if a Christian uses Allah for the one of the third, that will negate other two deities that they associate with...

    The word Allah comes from two words 'AL' and ILAH' meaning The and there is not translation of 'ILah' but the closest one could be 'God Almighty', and then when you connect these two words, it comes ALLAH and this is the way Arabic language works...

    Peace!!!

    September 2, 2013 at 4:15 pm |
    • Bethune

      Why are you promoting your religion of violence here?

      September 2, 2013 at 4:22 pm |
      • truthprevails1

        I don't agree with his belief either but I do believe in his right to free speech. Why do christians post so much from the religion of horror??

        September 2, 2013 at 4:50 pm |
        • mzh

          I appreciate it Truth... its really nice of you...

          September 2, 2013 at 5:00 pm |
        • Colin

          There is something evil and unnatural with someone who would deny freedom of speech.

          September 2, 2013 at 5:11 pm |
        • truthprevails1

          We are seeing prime examples of what happens when freedom of speech is denied...Russia is a prime example.

          September 2, 2013 at 5:17 pm |
      • mzh

        I am not promoting here B... as a matter of fact if you study Islam, you will find that Islam never teaches to force anyone to convert or revert to Islam unless its from the heart by itself...

        We learn from each other... 🙂

        September 2, 2013 at 4:59 pm |
        • Tony

          mzh, the sheer number of your posts is evidence that you are fibbing.

          September 6, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
    • Vic

      I believe the origin of the word is Aramaic.

      Quick reference:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eloah#Eloah

      September 2, 2013 at 4:29 pm |
    • Akira

      No, it really doesn't negate Christian belief if a Christian uses the word God in another language. I find that absurd.

      September 2, 2013 at 4:32 pm |
      • mzh

        Here is another thing:

        God word has both pluralistic and gender words... like God in plural Gods and God in gender Goddess(s)...

        But Arabic word Allah has no plurality or gender word in the Arabic Language... in this case – Christian may negate their believe if they use Allah because it has no plural word or female gender names...

        Peace!!!

        September 2, 2013 at 5:03 pm |
        • Johnny

          Who cares? If I want to use the word Allah to describe a dump a took I'll do it.

          September 3, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
      • sam stone

        my folks were lebanese christians (orthodox) and they (we) used the term allah

        September 2, 2013 at 5:05 pm |
        • mzh

          I am sure you never thought of it like in detail, did ya?

          What is your opinion in this regards about what I said that it negates the believe? like you believe in trinity which is multiples (more than one) and you call Allah which is totally singular and pure monotheistic...

          Appreciate it Sam...

          Salam3alayka Sam...

          September 2, 2013 at 5:27 pm |
        • sam stone

          i did not think anything of it then and i do not think anything of it now

          alaikum salaam

          September 2, 2013 at 9:19 pm |
        • mzh

          That's cool Sam...

          September 2, 2013 at 10:28 pm |
    • Vic

      I believe the origin of the word is Aramaic. Also, Arab Christians and Mizrahi Jews use the same word for God.

      Quick reference:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eloah#Eloah

      September 2, 2013 at 4:38 pm |
      • mzh

        I have zero knowledge about Aramaic language...

        September 2, 2013 at 5:04 pm |
    • mzh

      It could be but I was talking from Arabic language point of view...

      Sometimes it fascinates me when I see my Arab Christian friends says 'Isa ibn Allah' meaning 'Jesus Son of Allah' or 'Jesus son of Al Ilah' and they adds partners with 'Al Ilah'...

      I don't understand or I don't know if they realize what they say... or they just say for sake of saying as they were taught by their forefathers and no one thought of it...

      May be an Arab Christian clarify this...

      Peace...

      September 2, 2013 at 4:57 pm |
      • Sendai King

        mzh is short for monkey zoo haberdashery

        September 2, 2013 at 5:04 pm |
        • mzh

          I am sure you didn't like my postings SK... my apologies if I have offended you in any ways...

          September 2, 2013 at 5:24 pm |
      • ME II

        I suspect they use it the same way western Christians use "God", that is, that it can/does mean both the singular and the Trinity god. Thus is the "mystery" of the Christian mind when talking about a logical impossibility.

        September 4, 2013 at 5:52 pm |
  16. spencer

    Belief in God, the God of Abraham, I believe is a mistake in focus. The devil believes in God. Believing in God will not distinguish you from Satan himself.

    Focus on the differences between the faiths.....Two of the faiths focus on the law and obedience which man throughout time has proven he cannot maintain, and man consistently fails. If the Law and God are the basis of your salvation, remember Satan is subject to the Law and he too believes in God.

    I would suggest you focus on Christ who can ONLY be one of three things – LIAR, fully aware that he was tricking mankind, OR a LUNATIC – of a demented mind and actually believing he was GOD, but was not OR He was LORD. He left no middle ground to be a good man or a prophet or teacher

    September 2, 2013 at 3:36 pm |
    • G to the T

      You forget another options: LEGEND. We have no writings from Jesus only what others have said about him. It's very possible (indeed almost certain) that stories about Jesus and his works were not based on eyewitness accounts and as such, could be misrepresenting Jesus.

      Problem with Lewis' argument is that it assumes that the Bible is an accurate description of the words and actions of Jesus. I don't believe the evidence supports this assumption.

      September 4, 2013 at 11:07 am |
  17. Superman

    NO! Christians, Muslims, and non-Christian Jews do not worship the same god! Jesus said, "I and the Father are one." (John 10:30) Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me." (John 14:6)

    September 2, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
    • Time For You To Grow Up...

      But you're ignoring the fact that the bible is a book of fiction, that Jesus never existed and that the concept of god is a fabrication so weak-minded people can feel as if their lives have purpose...

      September 2, 2013 at 3:23 pm |
      • lol?? Pithiest, YES!!

        It's time fer you to lay down yer mythspeakin'.

        September 2, 2013 at 3:34 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.