Two Theories Compared
Rebecca Nicholson
Siena Heights University


Two Theories Compared
There are a multitude of different views in “Twelve Theories of Human Nature” by
Stevenson, Haberman & Wright (2013). Finding two chapters to compare and contrast was
extremely difficult, but the chapter on Christianity and the chapter on Islam seemed to pose a
good challenge. The uniqueness of Christianity and Islam coming from the same origin but
having great differences was interesting to intertwine for this report.
First let us look at some of the similarities that are mentioned in the two chapters.
Christianity and Islam religions originated from a Semitic beginning along with Judaism
(Stevenson, Haberman & Wright, 2013). Christianity and Islam also begin with God and His
creation of Adam and Eve (Stevenson et al., 2013). Christianity and Islam religions both have
Abraham, other similar Old Testament figures, they both even refer to Mary, the virgin birth, and
Jesus (Stevenson et al., 2013). Each of these religions teach that God loves us and wants nothing
but good things for us (Stevenson et al., 2013). Not only do both Christianity and Islam have the
Old Testament, but they both have an added testament that follows the Old Testament with the
Christian version called the New Testament and The Islam version called the Quran (Stevenson
et al., 2013). With all of these similarities a person might wonder how the two religions can seem
diametrically opposed. That is probably best answered by not only their differences but how
both of these religions deal with the people or stories that they have in common.
Even though both religions tell the story of Adam and his eating of the apple, the
Christian religion views this as the “Original Sin” and that through this sin, a sinful nature was
passed down to all mankind; whereas, Islam views this sin as sin by one man that does not affect
all of mankind (Stevenson et al., 2013). In fact Islam teaches that Adam did not intend to break

his covenant with God but that he simply forgot and God had to remind him and then goes on to
lift Adam to the status of a prophet (Stevenson et al., 2013).
The Christian New Testament teaches that Jesus was born of a virgin and that was both
completely man and completely God, then goes on to teach that salvation comes through belief
in Him and lifts Jesus to the status of deity (Stevenson et al., 2013). While Islam acknowledges
the virgin birth of Jesus but the Quran teaches that Jesus was completely man and not God
(Stevenson et al., 2013). Islam treats Jesus as a prophet and a great man but not a deity and that
to give him deity status is a sin.
God, Himself, is yet another difference between the Islam Quran and Christians New
Testament. The New Testament teaches a trinity of God which are the Father, the Son, and the
Holy Spirit (Stevenson et al., 2013). The Quran teaches a singular God and from our previous
discussion that there is no son of God (Stevenson et al., 2013).
One of the other differences between the two religions is the existence of the New
Testament and the Quran (Stevenson et al., 2013). They are in essence competing testaments.
The New Testament is based on the life and teachings of Jesus and his disciples and teaches
Jesus is God (Stevenson et al., 2013). The Muslim religion teaches that Jesus is just a man and
could not possibly use a book that consistently gives deity status to anyone other than a singular
god, their Allah (Stevenson et al., 2013). Also the two books are different in that the bases of the
New Testament can be traced back through historical documents where the origins of the Quran
are somewhat shrouded in secrecy (Stevenson et al., 2013). The New Testament also was
written by many people and is truly a collection of books and letters, while the Quran is one
book compiled by one man (Stevenson et al., 2013).

The last and maybe greatest difference is Mohammed. In the New Testament
Mohammed does not exist and he is the center point and perhaps the greatest prophet for Islam
(Stevenson et al., 2013). So in retrospect there are a lot of similarities as well as differences
between these two religions. Even though they overlap with some of their beliefs, there are many
differences that show us a different world view on the God within an individual religion.


Stevenson, L., Haberman, D., & Wright, P. (2013). Twelve theories of human nature:
Confucianism, hinduism, buddhism, plato, aristotle, the bible, islam, kant, marx, freud,
sartre, darwinian theories. (6th ed., pp. 115-153). New York, NY: Oxford University