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Comparison Chart: Christianity and Islam and Judaism

Christianity, Islam, and Judaism are three of the most influential world religions in history. While Judaism isn't as large as Christianity and Islam, its impact on the world has still been as profound. Judaism, Islam, and Christianity are sometimes called "Abrahamic religions" because they trace their history to the ancient figure of Abraham, first mentioned in the Hebrew Bible.

What do Christianity, Islam, and Judaism believe about God, the universe, people, and the afterlife, and how do those convictions compare with each other? The charts below are intended to start answering those questions. As a brief guide of the similarities and differences of Islam, Judaism and Christianity, the following chart compares the statistics, origins, history and religious beliefs of these three great monotheistic faiths.

On a mobile device? You can scroll right to see more columns, but you'll probably have to use a larger device to have a decent view of the chart. Sorry about that.

 ChristianityIslamJudaism
Adherents CalledChristiansMuslimsJews
Name Meansfollowers of Christ (Greek christos, Messiah)Arabic, "submission"of the Kingdom of Judah
Date Foundedc. 30 CE622 CEc. 7th century BCE
Place FoundedPalestineArabian Peninsulaancient Palestine
Original LanguagesAramaic and GreekArabicHebrew
Founders & Early LeadersJesus, Peter, PaulMuhammadAbraham, Moses
Expansionwithin 60 years, churches in major cities in Palestine, Turkey, Greece and Rome; entire Roman Empire by end of 4th cent.within 12 years, entire Arabian peninsula; within 100 years, Muslim world stretched from the Atlantic to Chinalittle expansion; mostly confined to Palestine area throughout history
SchismsCatholic-Orthodox (1054); Catholic-Protestant (1500s)Shia-Sunni (c. 650 CE)Reform-Orthodox (1800s CE)
BranchesRoman Catholic; Eastern Orthodox; Protestant

Christian Denominations
Sunni, Shi'a, Sufism

Islamic sects and schools
Orthodox, Reform, Conservative

Jewish Sects and Movements
Main LocationsEurope, North and South America, AfricaMiddle East, Southeast AsiaIsrael, Eastern Europe, USA
Adherents2.2 billion1.6 billion14 million

Adherents of Judaism
Adherents in USA159 million3.3 million5.6 million
Adherents in Canada21 million500,000350,000
Adherents in UK51 million320,000
TextsBible (Hebrew Bible + New Testament)

Christian Texts
Qur'an (sacred text); Hadith (tradition)

Islamic sacred texts
Hebrew Bible (Tanakh); Talmud

Jewish sacred texts
 ChristianityIslamJudaism
Hebrew Biblecanonical; called "the Old Testament"noncanonical and corrupted but useful as a inspired textcanonical
Apocryphacanonical (Catholic) or useful but noncanonical (Protestant)noncanonicalnoncanonical but useful
New Testamentcanonicalnoncanonical and corrupted but useful as a inspired textnoncanonical
Statements of FaithApostle's Creed, Nicene CreedSix Articles of Faith13 Articles of Faith
Religious Lawcanon law (Catholicism)ShariaHalakhah
Religious AuthorityBible; some also look to church fathers, church councils, ecumenical creeds; papal decrees and canon law for CatholicsQur'an, HadithBible, Talmud, halakhah
Doctrine of Scriptureviews vary: most believe inspired by God; some believe literal Word of God, inerrant in original languages

Christian Doctrines of Scripture
inspired, literal word of God; inerrant in original languageviews vary
ProphetsBiblical prophets were true prophets of GodBiblical prophets were true prophets; Muhammad is the final and greatest

Islamic beliefs about the prophets
Biblical prophets were true prophets of God
GodHoly Trinity = God the Father + God the Son + God the Holy SpiritOne God (Allah in Arabic); the same God revealed (imperfectly) in the Jewish and Christian BiblesOne God: Yahweh (YHVH)

God in Judaism
Spiritual Beingsangels and demonsangels, demons, jinnangels and demons
Revered Humanssaints, church fathersprophets; imams (especially in Shia Islam)prophets
MessiahJesus Christ is the Messiah awaited by the JewsSunni: the Madhi (Messiah) will come in the future; identity is known only to Allah; Shi'a: was born in 869, is now the Hidden Imamthe Messiah will come in the future

Jewish beliefs about the messiah
JesusSon of God, God incarnate, Word of God, Messiah, savior of the world

Christian beliefs about Jesus
true prophet of God, whose message has been corrupted

Islamic beliefs about Jesus
false prophet
Birth of Christvirgin birthvirgin birthnormal birth
Death of Christreal physical death plus spiritual sufferingJesus did not die, but ascended bodily into heaven (a disciple died in his place)normal death
 ChristianityIslamJudaism
Resurrection of Christaffirmeddid not die; ascended into heaven during crucifixiondenied
Second Coming of Christaffirmedaffirmeddenied
Revelationthrough Prophets and Jesus (as God Himself), recorded in Biblethrough Muhammad, recorded in Qur'anprophets, recorded in Hebrew Bible
Human NatureCreated good but all inherit "original sin" from Adam, causing a tendency to evil

Christian Beliefs about Human Nature
born with equal ability to do good or evil

Islamic beliefs about human nature
two equal impulses, one good and one bad

Jewish views of human nature
Salvationcorrect belief, faith, good deeds, sacraments (Protestants emphasize faith alone)

salvation (Christianity)
correct belief, good deeds, Five Pillars

salvation in Islam
belief in God, good deeds
Predestinationaffirmed by most denominationsaffirmed
AfterlifeResurrection of body and soul; eternal heaven or hell (most denominations); temporary purgatory (Catholicism)

Christianity on the Afterlife
eternal Paradise or eternal Hell

Islamic beliefs about the afterlife
Not emphasized; views vary: no afterlife, shadowy existence, World to Come (similar to heaven), Gehenna (similar to hell), reincarnation

afterlife (Judaism)
View of Christianitytrue religionrespected as fellow "People of the Book" but have wrong beliefs and only partial, corrupted revelationfalse interpretation and expansion of Judaism
View of Islamrespected as a fellow monotheistic religion, but Muhammad is not seen as a true prophetfalse interpretation and expansion of Judaism
View of Judaismtrue religion but with incomplete revelationrespected as fellow "People of the Book" but have wrong beliefs and only partial, corrupted revelationtrue religion
House of Worshipchurch, chapel, cathedral, basilica, meeting hallmosquesynagogue, temple, schul
Day of WorshipSundayFridaySaturday
Clergypriest, bishop, archbishop, patriarch, pope, pastor, minister, preacher, deaconimamsrabbis
PracticesPrayer, Bible study, baptism, Eucharist (Communion), church on Sundays, numerous holidays.

Christian Practices
Five Pillars: Faith, Prayer, Alms, Pilgrimage, Fasting. Mosque services on Fridays. Ablutions before prayer. No alcohol or pork. Holidays related to the pilgrimage and fast of Ramadan.

Muslim rituals and practices
Circumcision at birth, bar/bat mitzvah at adulthood, observing Sabbath, wearing tallit and tefilin, prayer services

Jewish practices
head covered during prayergenerally noyesgenerally yes (especially men)
 ChristianityIslamJudaism
Major HolidaysLent, Holy Week, EasterEid-al-Fitr, Eid-al-Adha, month of RamadanYom Kippur, Days of Awe, Passover
Other HolidaysChristmas, saints daysMawlid, AshuraChanukah, Purim
SymbolsCross, dove, anchor, fish, alpha/omega, chi rho

Christian symbols
Star and crescent; name of Allah in Arabic; color green; mosque silhouette.

Islamic symbols
Star of David, chai, hamsa, tree

For sources, please see linked articles.

Article Info

Title Comparison Chart: Christianity and Islam and Judaism
URL www.religionfacts.com/charts/christianity-islam-judaism
Short URLrlft.co/1858
Published
UpdatedNovember 21, 2016
MLA Citation“Comparison Chart: Christianity and Islam and Judaism.” ReligionFacts.com. 21 Nov. 2016. Web. Accessed 10 Dec. 2016. <www.religionfacts.com/charts/christianity-islam-judaism>

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