Modern Religions Operating as Discriminate Monotheists

 

Modern Religions Operating as Discriminate Monotheists

From time immemorial, there has been debate if indeed the many religions that exist in the world today worship more or less the same God. It is debated that regardless of the faith one chooses to subscribe to, they will still worship the same Supreme Being as others of different faiths, even founded on conflicting doctrine. One wonders to what extent this may be true.

In evaluating this, it may be important to understand a very central concept in this topic; monotheism. Many religions do exist but more often than not, debate has risen if or not they worship one God. Monotheism stresses that there exists only one God, who is very powerful.  Christianity, Islam, and Judaism are basically the three largest monotheistic systems that stand out in the world today. To what degree is the statement that Jews, Muslims and Christians all worship the same God true? Perhaps this could be truer than it sounds.

The three systems are more related to one another than is usually thought. This is especially because in examining the very foundational Christianity and Judaism tenets, for instance; it is discovered that they are similar in many ways (Assman, 2008). An intricate relation exists between them, a fact attributed to their common and largely similar scriptural texts. The ‘Old Testament’ is to Christians while the ‘Tanakh’ is to Jews (Langermann, 2012). The two texts are similar in nature and content, which suggests that they might have had a common origin. This could be several centuries back. Although various scriptural alterations have been made to the two texts here and there through additions deemed necessary by each religion, the fact that they are largely alike in content then implies that all of them worship more or less the same God. As regards Islam, the fact that it uses a ‘holy book’, just like the rest is itself a similarity. In a word, Islam’s Quran, the Holy Bible of Christianity, and Tanakh of Judaism are all holy texts in each case that provide guidelines on the nature and way of worship.

Jesus Christ is mentioned in all the three religions, although each gives a different story about him. The fact that they all talk about this figure may be used to support the statement that indeed, they all serve and worship the same Supreme Being. But what does each say about him? In the Bible, Jesus Christ is depicted as being among the three persons up the Holy Trinity. He is the Savior of humanity and salvation is only through him. He is even likened to God Himself. To be more precise, he is God Himself. He can forgive sins. Indeed, differentiating between him and God the Father is not particularly easy. In connection to the Koran, he is brought out as a mere prophet, though still the son of Virgin Mary. Amongst the Jews it is believed that he is just an ordinary being, like the rest of the people. The point here is not how each religion depicts him, rather the fact that they all refer to him gives insight as to what the nature of the god in all the three cases may be. (Cataldo 2012).

Of importance in this context is the Holy Spirit. In the Bible, he is a helper, meant to aid Christians in their spiritual journey, and the third person in The Holy Trinity (McHall 2010). Quite differently, the Koran compares him to angel Gabriel, a being who appeared at the time Mohamed was being given the laws. Amongst the Jews, he is said to have appeared in a similar way as is in the Bible. Of specific interest here and worth mentioning is the fact that the three religions all talk about him. That such a central identity should exist in three different systems is not a mere coincidence. It must be an indicator of a specific God being worshipped.

In light of the facts discussed, it suffices to conclude that all three monotheistic systems worship the same Supreme Being. In as much as their doctrines differ, the similarities are more than the differences. A few disparities may be clearly observed here and there, but the systems greatly overlap in many aspects. Indeed, there exists only one God.

References

Assmann, J. (2008). Of God and gods: Egypt, Israel, and the rise of monotheism. Madison, Wisc: University of Wisconsin Press.

Cataldo, J. W. (2012). Breaking monotheism: Yehud and the material formation of monotheistic identity.

Langermann, Y. T. (2012). Monotheism & ethics: Historical and contemporary intersections among Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Leiden: Brill.

McCall, T. H. (2010). Which Trinity? whose monotheism?: Philosophical and systematic theologians on the metaphysics of Trinitarian theology. Grand Rapids, Mich: W.B. Eerdmans Pub. Co.

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