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God in Abrahamic religions

God in Abrahamic religions
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God in Abrahamic religions
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Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are sometimes called "Abrahamic religions" because they all accept the tradition
that God revealed himself to the patriarch Abraham. The theological traditions of all Abrahamic religions are thus to
some extent influenced by the depiction of the God of Israel in the Hebrew Bible, and the historical development of
monotheism in the history of Judaism.
The Abrahamic God in this sense is the conception of God that remains a common attribute of all three traditions.
God is conceived of as eternal, omnipotent, omniscient and as the creator of the universe. God is further held to have
the properties of holiness, justice, omni-benevolence and omnipresence. Proponents of Abrahamic faiths believe that
God is also transcendent, meaning that he is outside space and outside time and therefore not subject to anything
within his creation, but at the same time personal and involved, listening to prayer and reacting to the actions of his
God in Abrahamic religions
Main article: Split of early Christianity and Judaism
Further information: Hellenistic philosophy and Christianity, Origins of Christianity and Medieval Christian views
on Muhammad
The development of monotheism during Classical Antiquity was a process of complex interaction between
philosophical and religious traditions, specifically between the philosophical monotheism of The One in Platonism
and the strict monolatrism of Second Temple Judaism, giving rise to syncretized traditions such as Hellenistic
The split between Pharisaic/Rabbinic Judaism and Early/Proto-orthodox Christianity was a slowly growing chasm
between Christians and Jews in the first centuries of the Christian Era. Even though it is commonly thought that Paul
established a Gentile church, it took centuries for a complete break to manifest. However, certain events are
perceived as pivotal in the growing rift between Christianity and Judaism. Some scholars propose a model which
envisions a twin birth of Proto-Orthodox Christianity and Rabbinic Judaism rather than a separation of the former
from the latter. For example, Robert Goldenberg asserts that it is increasingly accepted among scholars that "at the
end of the 1st century CE there were not yet two separate religions called "Judaism" and "Christianity".
Daniel Boyarin proposes that nascent Christianity and Judaism in late antiquity were intensely and complexly
intertwined. The theological split of Judaism and Christianity was complete with the development of the Athanasian
Creed during the 4th century and its widespread adoption as Christian orthodoxy by the 6th century. The radical
monotheism of Islam (tawhid) as formulated in the 7th century is a reaction to the preceding centuries of
Christological debate. The Qur'an makes this explicit by commenting on Christian doctrine, as in sura 2:116,
"And they (Christians) say: Allh has begotten a son (children or offspring). Glory be to Him (Exalted be He
above all that they associate with Him). Nay, to Him belongs all that is in the heavens and on earth, and all
surrender with obedience (in worship) to Him."
For this reason, early Islam was long considered one of many Christological heresies in medieval Christianity, for
example by John of Damascus (born c. 676) in his Fount of Wisdom.
It was only with the Crusades of the High
Middle Ages that Islam came to be considered a separate religion.
Contemporary religion
Main article: God in Judaism
The conception of God in Rabbinical Judaism is strictly monotheistic. The god of Israel in the Torah is known by
two principal names, YHWH being God's "personal name", used when God is depicted as an active character, while
Elohim is used when God is depicted more as an impersonal or abstract principle. However according to the
documentary hypothesis whilst the hypothetical Jahwist source; the hypothetical Deuteronomist, Elohist, and Priestly
source documents all contain numerous uses of the personal name Yahweh, the Jahwist source document is the only
one to use the personal name Yahweh prior to Exodus 3.
The proper name YHWH, probably historically
"Yahweh" came to be avoided for tabuistic reasons in Second Temple Judaism, around the 3rd or 2nd century BC.
From that time, occurrence of the name in scripture was replaced by Adonai "my Lord" in liturgy.
In Judaism, the Seven Laws of Noah (Hebrew: Sheva mitzvot B'nei Noach), or the Noahide Laws,
are a set of moral imperatives that, according to the Talmud, were given by God
as a binding set of laws for the
"children of Noah" that is, all of humanity.
Rabbinic Judaism adheres to the view that people who follow the
Noahide covenant, are said to worship the one true god with no need of conversion and no need to join a religion to
fulfill man's duties to the creator.
God in Abrahamic religions
Main article: God in Christianity
Christianity originated within the realm of Second Temple Judaism and thus shares most of its beliefs about God,
including his omnipotence, omniscience, his role as creator of all things, his personality, Immanence, transcendence
and ultimate unity and supremacy, with the innovation that Jesus of Nazareth is considered to be in one way or
another, the fulfillment of ancient prophecy or the completion of the Law of the prophets of Israel.
Most Christian denominations believe Jesus of Nazareth to be the incarnation of God as a human being, which is the
main theological divergence with respect to Judaism and Islam. Although personal salvation is implicitly stated in
Judaism, personal salvation by grace and a recurring emphasis in right beliefs is particularly emphasized in
Christianity, often contrasting this with a perceived over-emphasis in law observance as stated in canon Jewish law,
where it is contended that a belief in an intermediary between man and God is against the Noahide laws, and thus not
For most Christians, beliefs about God are enshrined in the doctrine of Trinitarianism, which holds that the three
persons of God together form a single god. The doctrines were largely formalized at the Council of Nicea and are
enshrined in the Nicaene creed. The Trinitarian view emphasizes that God has a will, and that God the Son has two
wills, divine and human, though these are never in conflict but joined in the hypostatic union. However, this point is
disputed by Oriental Orthodox Christians, who hold that God the Son has only one will of unified divinity and
humanity, a doctrine known as Miaphysitism.
A small minority of Christians hold non-trinitarian views, largely coming under the heading of Unitarianism.
Part of a series on
Islam portal
Main articles: Allah and God in Islam
In Islam, God is believed to be the only real supreme being, all-powerful and all-knowing creator, sustainer,
ordainer, and judge of the universe.
Islam puts a heavy emphasis on the conceptualization of God as strictly
singular (tawhid).
He is unique (wahid) and inherently one (ahad), all-merciful and omnipotent.
According to
the Qur'an there are 99 Names of God (al-asma al-husna lit. meaning: "The best names") each of which evoke a
distinct characteristic of God.
All these names refer to Allah, the supreme and all-comprehensive divine Arabic
Among the 99 names of God, the most famous and most frequent of these names are "the Most Gracious"
(al-rahman) and "the Most Merciful" (al-rahim).
Creation and ordering of the universe is seen as an act of prime mercy for which all creatures sing his glories and
bear witness to his unity and lordship. According to the Qur'an, "No vision can grasp Him, but His grasp is over all
God in Abrahamic religions
vision. He is above all comprehension, yet is acquainted with all things" (Qur'an 6:103)
God in Islam is not only majestic and sovereign, but also a personal god: According to the Qur'an, he is nearer to
person than person's jugular vein. He responds to those in need or distress whenever they call him. Above all, he
guides humanity to the right way, the "straight path".
Islam teaches that God is the same god worshipped by the members of other Abrahamic religions such as
Christianity and Judaism (29:46
This is not universally accepted by non-Muslims, as Islam denies the
divinity of Jesus Christ as a son of God, Islam views that God does not have any offsprings or descendants, he
created all things including prophets such as Jesus Christ. Most Muslims today believe that the religion of Abraham
(which now split into Judaism, Christianity, and Islam) are of one source, which is The Almighty God.
Main article: God in Mormonism
In the Mormonism represented by most of Mormon communities (including The Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-day Saints), "God" means Elohim (the Father), whereas "Godhead" means a council of three distinct gods;
Elohim, Jehovah (the Son, or Jesus), and the Holy Spirit. The Father and Son have perfected, material bodies, while
the Holy Spirit is a spirit and does not have a body. This conception differs from the traditional Christian Trinity; in
Mormonism, the three persons are considered to be physically separate beings, or personages, but united in will and
As such, the term "Godhead" differs from how it is used in traditional Christianity. This description of
God represents the orthodoxy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), established early in
the 19th century. However, the Mormon concept of God has expanded since the faith's founding in the late 1820s.
Bah' Faith
Main article: God in the Bah' Faith
The Bah' writings describe a monotheistic, personal, inaccessible, omniscient, omnipresent, imperishable, and
almighty God who is the creator of all things in the universe. The existence of God and the universe is thought to be
eternal, without a beginning or end.
Though transcendent and inaccessible directly, God is nevertheless seen as conscious of creation, with a will and
purpose that is expressed through messengers termed Manifestations of God. The purpose of creation is for the
created to have the capacity to know and love its creator, through such methods as prayer, reflection, and being of
service to humankind. God communicates his will and purpose to humanity through intermediaries, known as
Manifestations of God, who are the prophets and messengers who have founded religions from prehistoric times up
to the present day.
The Manifestations of God reflect divine attributes, which are creations of God made for the purpose of spiritual
enlightenment, onto the physical plane of existence. In the Bah' view, all physical beings reflect at least one of
these attributes, and the human soul can potentially reflect all of them. The Bah' view rejects all pantheistic,
anthropomorphic, and incarnationist beliefs in God.
God in Abrahamic religions
[1] http:/ / en. wikipedia. org/ w/ index. php?title=Template:God& action=edit
[2] "Robert Goldenberg. Review of "Dying for God: Martyrdom and the Making of Christianity and Judaism" by Daniel Boyarin in The Jewish
Quarterly Review, New Series, Vol. 92, No. 3/4 (JanApr, 2002), pp. 586588
[3] Critique of Islam (http:/ / www. orthodoxinfo. com/ general/ stjohn_islam. aspx) St. John of Damascuss
[4] [4] W.H.C. Propp, Introduction to Exodus, The Anchor Bible, Doubleday (1999) p. 50
[5] According to Encyclopedia Talmudit (Hebrew edition, Israel, 5741/1981, Entry Ben Noah, page 349), most medieval authorities consider that
all seven commandments were given to Adam, although Maimonides (Mishneh Torah, Hilkhot M'lakhim 9:1) considers the dietary law to
have been given to Noah.
[6] Encyclopedia Talmudit (Hebrew edition, Israel, 5741/1981, entry Ben Noah, introduction) states that after the giving of the Torah, the Jewish
people were no longer in the category of the sons of Noah; however, Maimonides (Mishneh Torah, Hilkhot M'lakhim 9:1) indicates that the
seven laws are also part of the Torah, and the Talmud (Bavli, Sanhedrin 59a, see also Tosafot ad. loc.) states that Jews are obligated in all
things that Gentiles are obligated in, albeit with some differences in the details.
[7] [7] Compare .
[8] http:/ / en. wikipedia. org/ w/ index. php?title=Template:Allah& action=edit
[9] Gerhard Bwering, God and his Attributes, Encyclopedia of the Quran
[10] John L. Esposito, Islam: The Straight Path, Oxford University Press, 1998, p.22
[11] John L. Esposito, Islam: The Straight Path, Oxford University Press, 1998, p.88
[12] "Allah." Encyclopdia Britannica. 2007. Encyclopdia Britannica
[13] Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East and North Africa, Allah
[14] Annemarie Schimmel,The Tao of Islam: A Sourcebook on Gender Relationships in Islamic, SUNY Press, p.206
[15] Britannica Encyclopedia, Islam, p. 3
[16] http:/ / org/ cmje/ religious-texts/ quran/ verses/ 029-qmt. php#029. 046
[17] F.E. Peters, Islam, p.4, Princeton University Press, 2003
[18] The term with its distinctive Mormon usage first appeared in Lectures on Faith (published 1834), Lecture 5 ("We shall in this lecture speak
of the Godhead; we mean the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit."). The term "Godhead" also appears several times in Lecture 2 in its sense as used
in the Authorized King James Version as meaning divinity.
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