4 Differences Between Christianity & Islam3
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For Christians, this is the biggest week of the year because we are celebrating Passion week: the week where Jesus was betrayed, arrested, crucified, and rose again from the dead. Millions of people around the world will celebrate Easter, millions will not. One large group that will not are Muslims.
The two largest religions in the world are Christianity and Islam (Pew Research Center). Based on my research and interview with a local Muslim leader, Nadeem A. Siddiqi, a long-time member of the Muslim Community of Knoxville, I came up with 4 major differences between Christianity and Islam.
#1) A Different View of Holy Books
Christians view the Old and New Testament as the Holy Word of God. Muslims view the Quran as the Holy Word of God.
The word Quran means ‘recitation’. Muslims claim that the Quran has been preserved in its exact, original form in Arabic because large groups would recite it to other large groups with no variation. Muslims recognize the Torah (law) of Moses, Psalms of David, and Gospels of Jesus as books from God; however, they believe these writings have been corrupted over time due to many different translations. Muslims claim that no manuscript of the Quran in Arabic has any variation.
Christians believe that the Bible of the Old and New Testament in Its original language (Hebrew, Greek, Aramaic) is God’s Word without error. Our English Bibles today are still trustworthy and sacred because of textual criticism. To learn more about textual criticism, check out my blog “Why Our Bibles Today are Trustworthy.”
Muslims believe the Quran was formed when the prophet Muhammad received revelations from the angel Gabriel for a 23 year period beginning in 609 AD.
The Bible contains 66 books, written by 40 authors, covering a period of approximately 1,600 years, while the Quran was revealed to one man over a period of 23 years.
#2) A Different View of God
Christians believe in the Trinity: 1 God in 3 persons: God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19-20; 2 Corinthians 13:14; John 10:30).
The God of Islam is one God, in 1 Person, not a Trinity. Here are some passages from the Quran that explain how the God of Islam is not a Father…
“In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful
Proclaim, “He is the One and only God. The Absolute God. Never did He beget. Nor was He begotten. None equals Him.” – Surah 112:0-4
“He to whom belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth and who has not taken a son and has not had a partner in dominion and has created each thing and determined it with (precise) determination.” – Surah 25:2
#3) A Different View of Jesus
Nabeel Jabour says:
“So they (Muslims) believe that God intervened miraculously and took Jesus up to Himself and that someone else was placed on the cross. It appeared to the Jews that it was Jesus, but in reality it was someone else. Some of them believe it was Judas (The Crescent Through the Eyes of the Cross).”
Although Muslims hold a high regard for Jesus, they don’t believe He is divine (How Muslims View Easter).
#4) A Different View of Sin
Christians believe every human is born with original sin (Psalm 51:5; Ephesians 2:1). Muslims believe when you are born, you have a ‘clean slate.’ Islam claims that sin exists because of human weakness and forgetfulness (Surah 4:28).
“The original sin concept is not fair…because no one should be made to bear the burden of someone else’s sin or mistake.”
According to Islam, Satan is responsible for sin, and there is no curse over Adam or creation. The Bible says Satan tempted Adam & Eve to sin and that God later cursed Satan, Adam, and Eve (Genesis 3).
One central truth of Christianity is that although we inherited Adam’s sinful nature, we were given a new nature in Jesus (Romans 5:12-21). Adam was our representative, and Jesus has now replaced Adam in that role. Where Adam failed, Jesus succeeded by living a perfect life, dying on the cross and bearing the punishment for our sins, and rising again from the dead (I Corinthians 15:21-22).
If you’re a Christian, as you approach Easter Sunday, embrace your faith from God’s Word. Be thankful that God loved you so much that He sent Jesus to die on the cross for your sins.