Saturday, 10 November 2012

The Abrahamic faiths.

Some of you might have heard this term, others might have not. So to start, I want to explain more my chosen title. The Abrahamic faiths are three, Judaism, Christianity and Islam. They are monotheistic faiths that trace their common origin back to prophet Abraham.

~The story of Abraham~

Prophet Abraham plays a significant role in all three faiths. Specifically, it is believed that both the Jews and the Arabs are the descendants of prophet Abraham through his two sons, Ish'haaq and Isma'ail.
To explain a little further his story in the light of all three religions, prophet Abraham was born and originated from a city in ancient Iraq named 'Arr.' After marring an infertile woman, Sarah, it follows that he was unable to have children. Being offered a slave girl by the name of Hagar, later he was given permission by his wife, Sarah, to wed her in order for her to conceive so that they may have children. Hagar gave them the blessing of a son which they named Isma'ail and It was not long afterwards, that by Gods will, Sarah became impregnated and gave birth to another boy which they named Ish'haaq.

From initially not being able to conceive with his wife, Prophet Abraham was not only given the blessing of having two sons, but he was made the ancestor of many tribes and generations of prophets. He was the starting point in History which revived monotheism in a world which at the time was lacking this concept completely.

Many of the Jewish prophets descended from Isha'aq; prophet Moses and prophet Jesus are two main examples. Hagar, along with her son Isma'ail went to live in an area deep in the desserts in a place now known as Mecca. It was through Isma'ail that the Arabs originated and it was generations and tribes after, that the prophet Muhammad, as Muslims believe, descended. This is the common origin of both the Arabs and the Jews and the common ground of the three main monotheistic faiths, also referred to with obvious reason as, the Abrahamic religions.

I plan to produce a blog post where I will highlight, in even more detail, the common ground between the three faiths. I will show, with proof and understanding, that the three main and most common religions in the world preach the same message. Sit tight and pay attention.

~An introduction to the three faiths~

Judaism, in literal 'Judah-ism' was named after Judah, the fourth son of Jacob and Leah, according to the book of Genesis and is one of the ancestors of an ancient tribe of Israel. The religious scriptures they follow is called the Torah and is the part of the bible known as 'the old testament.'

Christianity is named after the 'Christ' which comes from the word Christos meaning anointed and translated from the Hebrew, 'Messiah.' This is of course referring to Jesus. When I quote, I shall quote from the old and new testament which covers both faiths, that being Judaism and Christianity.

Islam is the third monotheistic religion and comes from five root words in the Arabic language; Peace, submission, surrender, obedience and sincerity. The book that the Muslims follow is called the Qura'an and, as Muslims believe, this is the last and final testament.


Lets discuss monotheism, since this is the 'glue' that unites the three faiths.

The prophet Moses, in Arabic Musa (peace be upon him) was sent to the children of Israel, as all three religions agree, to deliver the monotheistic message and restore correct social order. He set the laws of God and laid down the ten commandments.

The first of the ten commandments listed in Exodus 20 as given to the Children of Israel at Mount Sinai and is also found in Deuteronomy 5, is;"Thou shalt have no other Gods before me" as quoted from the king James version and, in the new living translation, which is written in more common English;
"You must have no other god but me." 
The first of the ten commandments is center to not only Judaism, but all three faiths. It signifies monotheism, that there should be no other God but Him, the only God. It is a very straight forward message and you will find it is repeated through out the old and new testament and through out the Qura'an.

In Mark 12:28-29, we run into this theme again.

'One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus gave them a good answer,  he asked him, "of all the commandments, which is the most important?"'
"the most important one" answered Jesus, "is this: Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one."

Not three, but one.

In James 2:19, using 'the new living translation', one that I quite like, Jesus says:
"You say you have faith for you believe that there is one God. Good for you! Even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror."
A side note I'd like to discuss about the last point, Jesus says that the 'demons' believe in this, yet they still tremble in terror; what does this show? That even though they believe in the most important commandment, they still fear for themselves. What about those who don't believe in the main commandment or another version of the main commandment?
The message of monotheism is clear, especially in Judaism and Islam, but with Christianity is gets a little complex.There is the idea of a 'trinity' which states, from the christian point of view, that there are three Gods which together make one, a concept that isn't mentioned in the old or new testament but it is a concept that came years afterwards. It is believed that Paul had a mirage on his way to Bethlehem in which he saw Jesus telling him this, and so it began. What I find interesting is what Jesus tells his followers in Mathew 7:21.
"Not everyone who says to me 'Lord Lord' will enter heaven but he who does the will of my Father. Many will say to me on that day 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name? and in your name drive out demons and preform many miracles?' Then I will tell them plainly 'I never knew you, away from me you evil doers!'"
To explain further, here Jesus is telling his followers, that not all who believe in him will enter heaven, but those who follow his father - God. He is putting the emphasis on those who forget the message and worship the messenger. Which group of people do we know today that refer to Jesus as 'Lord' and perform miracles and drive out demons in Jesus' name? It is those who elevate Jesus' status to a higher one than the Father, those who Jesus warned about. Even Jesus himself elevates the status of God higher than his own.
In John 5:30, in the 'new living translation' he says:
"I can do nothing on my own, I judge as God tells me. Therefore, my judgement is just, because I carry out the will of the one who sent me, not my own will."

If Jesus was God, why would he make a statement like that? If he was God then he would be able to do all on his own, he would be able to judge by himself, his judgement would be all that matters! But he has said clearly, he carries out the will of the one who sent him, that is God.

The more you read the bible, the more you notice the statements that point you towards monotheism and no matter how long you search for statements that directly point towards the trinity, you will realize that this contradicts most of the statements that Jesus made himself, especially the first and most important commandment.

The most obvious is this; In Mathew 5:17 Jesus speaks and says something which abolishes the trinity, he says;
"Don't misunderstand why I have come, I did not come to abolish the law of Moses or the law of the Prophets. No, I came to accomplish their purpose."
What is the law of Moses and the law of the prophets, I hear you ask? It is monotheism, pure monotheism. Jesus came to emphasize the first commandment, not to abolish it. This in itself contradicts the trinity.

In the Qura'an, we find that it is very firm in it's message about the aspect of monotheism.
In Surat a-Nisa, 4:171, it is written:

"Oh people of the scripture! Do not commit excess in your religion and do not say about God except the truth. The Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, was but a messenger of God."
Here, the Qura'an is completely removing the idea of the trinity and it is giving both Jesus and God their rightful status. God is the only deity worthy of worship and Jesus was the mighty messenger of God.
Moses came and preached one, Jesus came and preached one, Paul came and preached three, Muhammad came and preached one. Which, to you, sounds like the anomaly?

The fact that Jesus has human characteristics proves that he is not a God, he is only human, a messenger of God. People then say, but Jesus is the 'son of God.' To you, I say this. The bible not only refers to Jesus as the son of  God but it also refers to many other prophets as the 'sons of God.' This is a term viewed by the Jewish bible as meaning someone who is close to God as a father is to his son.
We see this in Chronicles, 28:5-6 where David speaks and quotes what God has told him.
"And of all my sons, He has chosen Solomon, my son, to sit upon the throne of the kingdom of the Lord over Israel. [David now Quotes God and continues] 'It is Solomon, your son who shall build my house and my courts, for I have chosen him to be my son and I will be His father.'"
But then people say, 'Jesus is the begotten son of God since he had no father.' To you, I say this. Firstly, this isn't a term you would want to associate with your Lord, if he is all mighty, surely he would not beget. This is a human and animal characteristic and you are associating it with your Lord. Does it sit right? And if you refer to Jesus as God's only begotten son because Jesus had no father, then what about Adam? He had neither mother nor father.

The Qura'an is very clear about associating this characteristic with God, Infact, it is very clear about the description of God. In Surat Ikhlas, 112:3, as it is written in the Marmaduke pickthall translation;
"He begetteth not, nor is he begotten."
A very clear, straight forward statement.

I have come to the conclusion that the trinity is something that God has not taught, but it has been made by man. It is a fabrication, something outside the teachings of Jesus. There is no statement in the bible which presents this ideology clearly. If this, to the Christian, is believed to be what will save you in the next life, wouldn't God be more explicit about it? But what God was definitely explicit about, was the first commandment. Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one.