Article 318: Common Grounds of Creation among Christianity, Islam and Judaism, Part II

Hasan A. Yahya, Ph.Ds, a writer from the Unholy Land

 Judaism, Christianity and Islam share much in common in the telling and interpretation of how the world and all within it were created.  All faiths  agree that God accepts Man’s humanity, but expects all humans to strive to live ethically, behave morally, and to take responsibility for his/her individual actions. The Story of Creation teaches us that we are all responsible for our actions and the consequences of those actions. All three traditions teach that we live in a universe created with order, purpose, beauty and love, and that our task is to preserve the world we have been given for future generations. We believe that even though there are differences in scripture, the “spirit” of creation is to require us to act responsibly and to work together and with God to make our world a better .  All three religions teach that God existed first and was the “creator” of all else. All three religions also teach that creation happened in six periods, though there is room for interpretation as to what constitutes a period. Fundamentalists in Judaism and Christianity would hold to the literal interpretation that the world was created in 6 days. A more modern and liberal view would share the Islamic interpretation that 6 periods refers to periods of time that could have been millions or billions of years.

All three religions teach that God created Earth and its bounties purposely and for use by man. All three religions teach that Adam was created as an adult and that Eve was created from Adam’s rib. The eating from the Tree of Knowledge and the subsequent expulsion from Eden are also points of similarity.

Christians and Jews both observe a formal day of rest based on the passage in Genesis 1;2 “God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy.” Muslims do not have a specific or formal day of rest, but do have 5 specified periods each day in which they pray. The concepts of “original sin” and the “Fall of Man” are uniquely Christian. . Judaism and Islam share the interpretation that the eating of the apple was simply a consequence of being human. “Seeking wisdom and distinguishing between good and evil become essential human attributes. Toiling for food and suffering pain in childbirth are the prices paid for knowledge” * and the consequences of humanity. Christianity sees the eating from the Tree of Knowledge as a major human fault that then affects all of future humanity. This concept leads to another belief that is unique to Christianity. That, of course, is the belief in Jesus, the Son of God, and that through his death the possibility of redemption is available to all who believe in him. Christianity emphasizes the importance of “creed” along with “deed” meaning that for Man to be redeemed he must not only behave morally but must commit to accepting Jesus as the son of God and believe that his life was given as a necessary sacrifice for his/her personal redemption. Jews and Muslims do not accept that Jesus is the Son of God. Judaism does teach that Jesus was a gifted Rabbi and Islam reveres Jesus as an important Prophet. But followers of Judaism and Islam do not believe in the idea that his death atones for the personal sins of mankind. Both Judaism and Islam teach that the individual himself must live a moral life and seek redemption directly with God through his/her personal deeds. Judaism also teaches that God intended for Man to be a partner in constantly trying to repair and perfect the World. (629 words)


Source: Bowker, John, The Complete Bible Handbook, New York: DK Publishing, 1998-p. 31