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Judaism, Islam and Christianity: Differences and Similarities Research Paper

Beliefs and practices Judaism

Jews believe in ethical monotheism; that is, one God. God is the controller of life and the human actions on earth. Judaism is governed by the Torah (Biblical books of Moses). Torah illustrates God’s will to the people and it guides their lives. Jews believe in the Hebrew Bible (Steinberg 51); they interact with God through prayers and worship in Synagogues. They have three holy festivals which include the Passover, Shavuot and Sukkot and several holy seasons. They have different denominations with significant variations in beliefs.

Islam

Muslims are rigorous monotheists; they believe in one God, Allah and his prophet, Mohammed. They believe in angels, as the messengers of God. They believe in books which are contained in one Holy book, the Quran (Nigosian 85). They believe in prophets such as Moses, Jesus and Abraham. Muslims believe in resurrection and judgment after death. The judgment day is called Qiyama. There are five basic pillars or acts of Islam that guide all Islam undertakings. These pillars include daily prayers, almsgiving, pilgrimage, the creed, and fasting. Muslims pray three times a day in a Mosque. They believe in Sharia law and Jihad. Family is the basic unit of Islam and polygamy is legal in Islamic religion.

Christianity

Christians believe in one God and His son, Jesus. Christians also believe in holy trinity, that is, the three personalities of God- the Father, the son and the Holy Spirit. Bible is the word of God through which people get to understand His will. They also believe that through death and resurrection, Jesus saved the world. They believe in life after death where people will live eternally. They worship God in Church through prayers and songs of praise. The religion has several denominations (Price and Collins 21). They believe in prophets such as Isaiah and Jeremiah. They also believe in angels as messengers of God. Polygamy is strictly prohibited. They have holy festivals such as Christmas and Easter. To Christians, angels are messengers of God.

Formation Judaism

Historians believe that Judaism was formed by the Israelites whom Moses led in exodus from Egypt to the Promised Land, Canaan. They believe that Abraham was the first Hebrew (Steinberg 57). The Israelites were the children of Jacob, son of Abraham. When Moses led these people from Egypt, God gave them the law or Torah on their way to Canaan.

Scholars refer it as the laws of Moses. On arrival to Canaan, these people built a temple for God to thank Him for taking them to the Promised Land, Canaan. In this temple, people kept Torah which formed the basis for Judaism. From then, people built temples to worship their God guided by Torah which led to the spread of Judaism.

Islam

Muhammad, a trader in Mecca City, began to receive revelations from God in form of Quran in 610 CE. As a result, he started to preach and convert the people of Mecca into Muslims. In order to avoid persecution by the Mecca authorities, Muhammad fled to Medina with most of his followers in 627 AD. He had preached for 12 years in Mecca and had garnered a good number of followers (Nigosian 87).

In Medina, Muhammad fought the Jews and those who opposed Islam. In 629 AD, he had acquired all the desert tribes around Medina. Muhammad died in 632 AD having spread Islam and conquered the Arabian Peninsula. He is indeed the father of Islam.

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The Apostles of Christ developed Christianity from the Jewish sects of 1st century. Before then, Jewish authorities persecuted those who glorified God. Christians’ end of persecution in 4th century by Constantine I and the subsequent “Theodosius’ enactment in 380 AD resulted into establishment and recognition of Christianity as a religion in the Roman Empire” (Price and Collins 26). Since then, Christianity has spread to all over the world.

Differences

The three major world religions viz. Islam, Judaism, and Christianity have different perception on marriage and family. Polygamy is illegal in Christianity, whereas it is legal in Judaism and Islam. Islam and Judaism emphasize on purity of women before marriage, whereas Christianity emphasizes on purity of both sexes before marriage.

The culture of architecture and eating habits varies among these religions. Christians have the Roman based architecture; Muslims the traditional Medina architecture and Judaism use the ancient Jewish architecture. Christianity and Judaism have denominations with varied teachings unlike Islam where the teaching is universal.

Christians believe in Holy trinity while Judaism and Islam believe in God as one. Muslims pray at designated times whereas Christians pray at volition. Jews pray at the synagogues led by prayer leaders; Muslims pray facing Mecca, as the origin of their religion while Christians believe in universality of God’s presence and therefore they do not face any specific direction when praying while Jews pray facing the sacred altar usually at the front of the synagogue.

Similarities

They all have holy places of worship; that is, Church, Mosque and Synagogue for Christians, Muslim and Jews respectively. They all believe in Monotheism. They have Holy books, the bible for Christians, Hebrew Bible and Torah for Jews and Quran for Muslims.

They believe in prophets; Jews believe in Moses, Abraham and their descendants as God’s messengers, Christians believe in Jeremiah and Isaiah while Muslims believe in Jesus and Muhammad as God’s prophets.

Prayer is the means of communication with God for all the religions. All the religions have Holy annual festivals and seasons; Christians have Easter and Christmas; Muslims have Ramadan and Hajji, while Jews have Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur as holy seasons.

We will write a custom Research Paper on Judaism, Islam and Christianity: Differences and Similarities specifically for you! Get your first paper with 15% OFF Learn More Works Cited Nigosian, Shah. Islam: Its History, Teaching, and Practices. Indiana University Press, 2004.

Price, Matthew, and Collins, Michael. The story of Christianity. New York: Dorling Kindersley, 1999.

Steinberg, Milton. Basic Judaism. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1947.

“The Epic of Gilgamesh” a Story by Maureen Kovacs Term Paper

Nursing Assignment Help Heroism is a characteristic that entails a demonstration of unique traits by an individual, beyond ordinary expectations. The story of Gilgamesh and his achievements in the Epic of Gilgamesh portrays him as a true hero of the people.

From the story, Gilgamesh, the protagonist, demonstrates many character traits that pass him for a hero. Gilgamesh demonstrates high skillfulness in his work. Besides, he is intelligent and possesses great courage.

The fact that Gilgamesh is ready to die for the sake of his people, also shows that he is selfless, a character of a true hero. From the story therefore, it is in order to argue that Gilgamesh’s search for immortality is suitably heroic as developed in this paper.

To begin with, it is quite evident that throughout the story, Gilgamesh demonstrates his character as a leader with high skilfulness. According to Kovacs Gilgamesh “is strong to perfection…an awesome beast with unmatched strength and a chant that fosters armies…leads his tribe into battle fearlessly and defeats everyone…” (8).

Gilgamesh, as a skilful warrior, leads fellow warriors of his tribe to fight their enemies and in no occasion do they lose a battle. His strength is unrivalled; he has been able to slay even the most feared men like the highly feared Humbaba. In fact, his successful demonstration that he could fight Humbaba makes people of Urok village to fear him for such act is a great achievement.

The task he accomplishes by slaying Humbaba has made the Great Gilgamosh to cower since his strength is incomparable to someone who was once their king. The revelation that the people of his tribe are angered by even small things just but demonstrates their confidence in Gilgamesh; they are confident that even if they go to fight with any tribe, their king will not let them down.

Gilgamesh is a man of great intelligence; throughout his reign as a king, he demonstrates great intelligence through the way he governs his people.

Get your 100% original paper on any topic done in as little as 3 hours Learn More He naturally possesses hindsight of what is likely to happen to his people and prepares in advance to overcome it. Besides, Gilgamesh has the ability to make wise decisions on urgent matters concerning his people (Heather Para. 9). This ability has earned his tribe a good name; a powerful tribe.

By accepting to challenge Humbaba, Gilgamesh knows he could convince his people that he is strong and powerful and could actually slay the beast. It takes intelligence for an individual to look up and heed the counsel of the wise and for Gilgamesh he heeded his mother’s words of wisdom; Gilgamesh’s mother convinces him that Enkidu is a true friend not an enemy in disguise.

The epic portrays Gilgamesh as a selfless man. Being selfless is one of the characters that people do admire in a hero. Selflessness as a character trait that “requires an individual to put his/her personal needs aside to care for other people’s needs even if it requires a sacrifice that would not benefit him/her” (Prine 23).

By agreeing to fight Humbaba, Gilgamesh verily knows that it is possible that he may die during the fight; nevertheless, his selfless character compels him to take the risk and the fact that he is ready to die for his people’s safety passes him for a true hero. Only few people can give their lives for the sake of others and this move by Gilgamesh qualifies him as a true hero.

His selfless nature also comes out when he fights the sky sent-bull (earthquake). When an earthquake hits his tribe, nine dozen people die but Gilgamesh does not flee to save his life; he simply stays put because he knows his people need him at a time like this. The earthquake incident further reveals his selfless nature as a true hero.

Finally, Gilgamesh demonstrates high degree of courage that portrays him as a hero. His acceptance to fight Humbaba, a great fighter, shows great courage because he does not fear death, which is a possible outcome from this fight. His courageous nature comes out when he manages to climb up the steep cliff on Mt. Mashu.

He does not cower midway but goes up until he reaches the top of the cliff. At the top, Gilgamesh meets the scorpion guard who reveals to him that in the past, no one had ever climbed to the top of that cliff. This revelation by the scorpion guard further brings out the courageous nature of Gilgamesh; he manages to do what no other man has done before and that’s what true heroes do; they go where no ordinary man has ever gone.

We will write a custom Term Paper on “The Epic of Gilgamesh” a Story by Maureen Kovacs specifically for you! Get your first paper with 15% OFF Learn More From the epic, it is evident that Gilgamesh’s search for immortality is suitably heroic because his character throughout the story demonstrates that he is indeed a hero. Many at times he has done things that underscore his courageous nature. As a leader, Gilgamesh shows great intelligence. In the battle field, Gilgamesh is a skilful warrior. Finally he is a selfless man ready to die for his people’s safety.

Works Cited Heather, Leah. True Love Conquers All – Love and Heroes in the Epic of Gilgamesh, 2006. Web.

Kovacs, Maureen. Trans. The Epic of Gilgamesh. California: Stanford University Press, 1989. Print.

Prine, Jackson. The Epic of Gilgamesh. Illinois: Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers, 1997.

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