Is there a direct connection between Christianity, Islam and Judaism which traces back to the Old Testament? Also what are the origins of Islam and Judaism? -- Dany J. Mendez
Yes, there are connections between several of the major religions. Many people these days are taking an interest in the major monotheistic religions. All three--Judaism, Christianity, and Islam--relate to the Old Testament.
- Judaism began in the 15th or 13th century before Christ. The leading figure is Moses, who received the law at Mount Sinai after the Exodus from Egyptian slavery.
- Christianity came, of course, more than a millennium later. Jesus fulfilled the law, teaching the heart and substance of God's law and fulfilling that law in his own person by dying for our sins and rising from the dead.
- Islam, founded by Mohammed in Arabia, came on the scene some six centuries after the resurrection of Jesus.
Christianity is in some ways the extension of the covenant (testament) God made with the Jews at Sinai. The New Testament rests squarely on the old. The New Testament also warns that no one has the right to update the message, not even an angel from heaven (Galatians 1:7-9).
Although the Qur'an, which is the Bible of the Muslims, says in more than one place that the Old Testament law (Tawrat) and the New Testament gospel (Injil) should be respected and obeyed, the Qur'an also says many things about the Old and New Testaments that contradict them.
For example, the story of David and Goliath is confused with the one about Gideon and the Midianites, Noah's "fourth" son drowns in the Flood, and Abraham sacrifices Ishmael rather than Isaac! Jesus is born of a Virgin but does not die on the Cross. Though the Qur'an says his second coming is sure to take place, it denies that he was resurrected from the dead.
The Qur'an also consistently teaches that we earn our salvation. We deserve God's favor and grace and one day, if we have been good enough, we will deserve paradise. All of this flatly contradicts the Bible (Galatians 2:21, Ephesians 2:8, etc).
Interestingly, Muhammad claimed that he got his message from an angel "Gabriel" around 610 AD. While it is true that the "Christianity" of his day was terribly corrupt--and so to some extent he was right to challenge--it is not true that the Bible was in error. True Christians would have known that no one on earth--not even an angel--has the right to modify the message (Galatians 1:7-9).
The Bible is true forever, whether or not those who claim it as their book truly follow it or not. For more on this, please see chapter 11 of my book Compelling Evidence.
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