Do Christians, Muslims and Jews worship the same God?

This is a question that does pop up from time to time.  At the moment it is not a hot topic issue, but a background one (at least for this month).  Christianity, Islam and Judaism are often referred to as the ‘Abrahamic’ faiths, and you’ll find in many articles on the Middle East describe all these religions as having the same origin, with the ultimate assumption that they all worship the same God.

For many Christians, this is a confusing question.  We hear that Muslims have stories in the Koran about Adam and Eve, about Abraham and Moses, and say they worship the God that these historic figures worshipped.  Which sounds, on the surface, like they worship the same God.

The simplest approach to deal with this is to say that Christians worship Jesus as God incarnate.  That is, Christian believe that God himself became a human being – Jesus – to die in order to pay for the sins of all who will believe.  Christians believe Jesus is divine, died and rose from the dead, and is part of a trinitarian God (that is, God has revealed himself to be three persons in one substance – three in one – Father, Son and Spirit).

Muslims do not believe this, and so the conclusion can only be that Muslims do not worship the same God as Christians.

And this is where people then ask about Judaism.  Because Jews don’t believe that Jesus is divine, nor do they believe in a trinitarian God.  So do we also conclude that Jews don’t worship the same God?

The answer is no.

Because the source of Islam – Mohammad and the Koran – explicitly reject Christian teaching.  Their source documents deny the things that God has revealed through Jesus.  And so, in order to become Christian, a Muslim must reject Mohammad and the Koran.

But Jews who want to become Christians do not have to reject their source documents – the Law, Writings and Prophets (what Christians call the Old Testament).  These are also the source documents of Christianity, and the two are completely compatible.  These are the scriptures that Jesus himself used, quoted and fulfilled.  I would guess that most Jews who practice Judaism (actively try to follow the Law, Writings and Prophets) know as much about what Christians believe as the average non-Christian in a western society today – which is close to nothing!  As such, they are not rejecting Christian teaching, let alone having Christian teaching rejected by their source documents.

Which is the exact opposite for Muslims.

15 thoughts on “Do Christians, Muslims and Jews worship the same God?

  1. lifesrevolvingdoor says:

    Hello, Muslim here. I appreciate what you’re saying but I also think you are mistaken.

    If I am reading what you are saying correctly, your interpretation of the Quran is that we, Muslims, deny any teachings of Jesus and therefore do not accept Jesus as a Prophet who came with divine revelation from God?

    This is not what Muslims believe. Yes we do differ in our beliefs with Christians regarding how Jesus was conceived and Muslims do not believe in Jesus death and resurrection.

    “And [for] their saying, “Indeed, we have killed the Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary, the messenger of Allah .” And they did not kill him, nor did they crucify him; but [another] was made to resemble him to them. And indeed, those who differ over it are in doubt about it. They have no knowledge of it except the following of assumption. And they did not kill him, for certain.

    Rather, Allah raised him to Himself. And ever is Allah Exalted in Might and Wise.” 4:157-8

    We believe just as Christians and Jews do in the words Jesus and every Prophet before him was sent with but we do not worship anyone but Allah (swt) –

    “They have certainly disbelieved who say, ” Allah is the Messiah, the son of Mary” while the Messiah has said, “O Children of Israel, worship Allah , my Lord and your Lord.” Indeed, he who associates others with Allah – Allah has forbidden him Paradise, and his refuge is the Fire. And there are not for the wrongdoers any helpers.” 5:72

    So yes there are differences between Muslims, Christians, and Jews, but I and the Pope have all said we worship the same God or Allah (swt).

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    1. greatsouthernjeff says:

      Thank you for your comments, I appreciate you taking the time to reply thoughtfully and with good grace.

      I wasn’t intending to say that Muslims deny that Jesus came with divine teaching from God. As you note, Muslims certainly accept that Jesus was a Prophet who came with divine revelation from God. In fact, as you point out, Muslims say they believe in the words of Jesus and every Prophet before him.

      Which sounds the same as what Christians believe.

      But Muslims don’t actually look to Jesus and all the Prophets. While the Quran says that Muslims believe what is written in the Law (Torah), Writings, Prophets and Gospels, Muslims don’t actually read these or know what they say. While claiming that Muslims accept the word of Jesus and every prophet before him, in practice Muslims only listen to Mohammad and no one else.

      In doing so I think they unfortunately depart from the divine message that Jesus and all the prophets before him brought from God.

      I would encourage you to read the Gospels and see what Jesus said. Similarly, read all the Prophets before Jesus, and see what they said. I would love to discuss your thoughts about them.

      Peace be with you.

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      1. lifesrevolvingdoor says:

        Hello again.

        That’s not entirely true either.

        Muslims do in fact read and are aware of and study what all the Prophets before Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) said. However if those Prophets contradict the teachings, Sunnah, Hadith, or Quran, the previous Prophets are superseded by Prophet Mohammed (pbuh) and the Quran. I have read the Bible and know the stories of the Prophets also. The Pope has also said Christians and Muslims worship the same God, do you not agree with your own Pope?

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      2. greatsouthernjeff says:

        I think you have been misinformed by someone about the Pope. He does not represent Christians, or lead Christians. While the Roman Catholic Christians look to him for leadership and guidance, this is not the case for most Christians. And not even Roman Catholics are taught that everything the Pope says is always correct. I am sorry that you have been lead astray in understanding Christianity in this way.

        Where are Muslims taught that they should ignore the Prophets if something newer comes along? I would have thought that Muslims believe that God does not change, and yet your reply here seems to suggest that Muslims believe that you can ignore everything God has said before Mohammad. This certainly doesn’t sound like believing all the prophets!

        Take for example Jesus speaking in the Gospels:
        And he called the people to him again and said to them “Hear me, all of you and understand: There is nothing outside a person that by going in can defile him, but the things that come out of a person are what defile him”. And when he had entered the house and left the people, his disciples asked him about the parable. Ad he said to them “Then are you also without understanding? Do you not see that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot defile him, since it enters not his heart but his stomach, and is expelled?” Thus he declared all foods clean.
        Gospel According to Mark 7:4-19

        Why do Muslims say they follow the Prophets, but ignore the Prophet Jesus and say that some foods are forbidden?

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      3. lifesrevolvingdoor says:

        You are not reading my words correctly- I didn’t not say we ignore the words of God. Perhaps it would be more beneficial to you if you researched Islam on your own and read the Quran. As you’ve been given information that is not correct. I only say this because I don’t believe what I am saying is clear enough to you.

        I apologize for assuming you followed the instructions of the pope as I do understand many denominations do not follow his word or orders, etc.

        I would however encourage you to read the Quran from an unbiased viewpoint if you never have. Been a pleasure speaking with you.

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    2. factbasedtruth says:

      I think the larger point of this person’s post is that Muslims don’t believe Jesus is God. As you said, Muslims just believe Jesus was a prophet. So therefore, if Christians believe Jesus is God, and Muslims do not believe Jesus is God, then it appears contradictory to say that Christians and Muslims believe in the same God. With regards to your response to the poster about pointing to the Pope, many Christians do not view Catholicism as a part of Christianity, and therefore do not view the Pope as an authority on Christian matters.

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      1. lifesrevolvingdoor says:

        Hi, thank you for responding also, I welcome and enjoy the discussion! You are correct, Muslims do not believe that Jesus is a god, there can be and is only one God. The Arabic word for God is ‘Allah’ – I use both interchangeably since I am a native English speaker.

        If you would, can I ask you to indulge me a bit? Let’s say for example you and I were going to be rulers of an island. We discovered it, agreed to rule absolutely equally and everything is going wonderfully. At least so far. Some time has passed then some issue has come up with the people we are ruling over. You want to do one thing and I absolutely oppose it. I am stubborn, mind you. I am digging in my heels and am absolutely not going to agree or change my mind.

        What do you think is going to happen in terms of a resolution or finding common ground, a solution, etc? I’d be interested in hearing all hypothesis, no matter if the solution appears odd or silly, etc.

        I appreciate the discussion!

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      2. greatsouthernjeff says:

        For you and I, if we came to a disagreement, we would need to start working our way backwards to find common ground, where we both agree. We would then each need to think hard about what we consider non-negotiable, and how that applies to the situation.
        This is very much like the way we need to deal with each other in society. When the person who lives next door to me and I disagree over how to manage a common issue, we need to be able to find common ground and then discuss that going forward. Seek to understand and respect one another and try to find something we can both live with.
        As you note, the problem comes when one is stubborn and refuses to change their mind. And this is why discussion is important – find the common ground and work out why there is disagreement. But sometimes it isn’t possible to reach an agreement on an issue, for a variety of reasons.
        For you and I, we might come to an arrangement – your way on this, my way on that. Maybe we might need to decide to divide on an issue or a solution – whether for just that issue, or for more permanently, or set up boundaries around the issue in some way.
        Its a difficult situation, and I have seen families divided in this type of manner.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. lifesrevolvingdoor says:

        Hi again. You are absolutely correct and I completely agree with everything you said. I especially wish to quote the last portion you wrote here ‘Its a difficult situation, and I have seen families divided in this type of manner.’

        Essentially what we have here is two opposing figures of authority, wouldn’t you agree? Neither you or I are able to come to some form of agreement and as you have accurately described and I agree with, the two opposing rulers of the territory, would surely begin to argue, appeal to various members of the state in order to pull favor with voters if one were to be cast, etc. Do you also agree with that?

        Now on the other hand, let’s say you were the sole ruler. You discovered the territory on your own, have absolute sovereignty – what happens now if you, as ruler wish for one thing and I want my way?

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      4. greatsouthernjeff says:

        With regard to the first part, I do have some issues with the way you are framing things, but I’m happy to agree with your assessment.

        As for your question about being a sole ruler, that depends very much on what type of ruler I am, doesn’t it? If I want to listen and care for those who live in my territory, I may well be willing to listen to you and accommodate your desires, so long as they don’t contradict the central values I want to uphold in my territory.
        And, I suppose, that even if I don’t accept or wish to listen to you, you may well convince others to agree with you and overthrow me. That is the story of all human history, everywhere on earth!

        Or, you may well be invited to leave my territory, or have publicly explained why you are incorrect, or any number of other outcomes.
        When it comes to the purely hypothetical, you really run into problems of not having a clearly defined situation to respond to.

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      5. lifesrevolvingdoor says:

        Hi, please I’d like to hear your issues, I’m always open to criticism.

        You are right again, with everything you said. You would listen to my reasons for wanting X and based on what is best for me (or the community as a whole) you may OR may not grant me what I’m asking. Or like you said, I could try to get others to other throw you! Precisely! You will hold me accountable for my actions because I’m living in your territory. Please I’d like to hear your issues you mentioned first. Thanks!

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      6. greatsouthernjeff says:

        The issues I have with some of suggestions or conclusions you reach are generally based on the assumptions behind your conclusions.
        If we two, on the island you propose, actually start with the assumption that we must work together (kind of like the board of a company, or a husband and wife, or partners in a business, to use a few everyday examples) then we never need to see ourselves (or have anyone else see us) as two opposing figures of authority.
        That doesn’t mean that we would always agree – people will never always agree on everything, and it is unrealistic to expect we will. But if we do not think in terms of getting our own way, but instead think of working together, no matter what it takes, then it doesn’t have to come to a parting of ways.
        While I said I have seen families split apart by one or two people refusing to back down over an issue, I have seen many more families stay united – without any one person demanding their way in all things – because they prioritise unity together over getting their own way.
        Admittedly, this is less common in politics than it is in family, but I think that is due to the adversarial natural of politics (which I am guessing – hopefully not unkindly – is an assumption you may have going into this).
        I invite you to reflect on the families you know who are united without any one person being the dominant one who gets their way, but remain united because their goal is unity. Again, I am making assumptions, but I would like to think that you, like I, see these types of families all around. Sure, members of the family will disagree over issues, sometimes quite heatedly. But their desire for unity will bring them back together, as they work on these issues, because their mutual priority is unity, not in getting their own individual way.

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      7. lifesrevolvingdoor says:

        I apologize for the delay in response, been rather busy.

        I absolutely understand and respect the issues you pointed out and would advocate that any family found in a state of contention work together to solve the issue as you’ve stated —

        The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever would like his rizq (provision) to be increased and his life to be extended, should uphold the ties of kinship.” (Reported by al-Bukhaari, 5986 and Muslim, 2557).

        Essentially, what I was getting at with this is that, when I was attending church one of my major points of confusion and problems with Christianity was the concept of the Trinity.

        God (or Allah (swt) in Arabic, both mean the same) is the Creator and Sustainer of everything in Heavens and the Earth – for what purpose does He need a son?

        If God had a son in the concept as Christianity views, and taking into consideration the views we’ve established with the two rulers, can you reflect on that? Do you understand the Islamic point of view regarding the Trinity?

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      8. greatsouthernjeff says:

        No problems with the delay. I encourage everyone not to be on their computer every day!
        It is understandable that you had some confusion around the concept of the Trinity, as the nature of God himself is naturally the greatest thing that we can turn our minds to. We should not be surprised that what God has revealed about himself through all the Prophets, and ultimately through Jesus, should be hard to understand.
        I am also very sorry that the church you attended was not able to point you to a clearer understanding of God through the scriptures. As it is, I think that you have ended up a little confused as to what Christians mean by Jesus being the Son of God, and the nature of the Trinity. I am not sure if this confusion has come from Islamic sources, or from poor Christian ones. I will do my best to explain why Christians use the term Trinity to describe God.

        The passages are too many, and too extensive to quote fully, but I will point you to a few, and ask that you spend time looking them up to see what Jesus, and all the Prophets, say.

        Moses says “And God said “Let us make man in our image””… Genesis 1:26.
        God refers to Himself as plural, and only God is involved in creating.
        David says “Your throne, O God, will last forever and ever … therefore, God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy” Psalm 45:6-7.
        David refers to God being on a throne that God put God on, indicating plurality in God himself.
        David, in Psalm 110:1 says “The Lord says to my Lord ‘Sit at right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.”
        Jesus quotes this very passage in Matthew 22:41-46, demonstrating that he (Jesus, the Son of David) is indeed God himself. It is interesting to note here that “no one could say a word in reply, and from that day on no one dared to ask him any more questions”. While the prophets had testified to this truth about the nature of God, they had not understood it until Jesus came and made it clear to them.
        Isaiah 63:10 says that God’s people “rebelled and grieved His Holy Spirit”, showing that God the Father and God the Holy Spirit are two separate persons as part of the one God.
        John’s Gospel states “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made, without him nothing was made that has been made.” John 1:1-3.
        “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14.
        The Gospels refer to Jesus as the Word, and describe how he is both distinct from the Father, but One with him.
        Jesus said “I and the Father are one” John 10:30.
        “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say ‘show us the Father?’ Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me?” John 14:9-10.
        “As soon as Jesus was baptised, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. And a voice from heaven said “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”” Matthew 3:16-17.

        I’m sorry if that short list is overwhelming. There are a huge amount of things in the Law, Prophets, Writings and Gospels about God’s nature, and I didn’t want to give the impression everything hangs only one or two passages.

        Christians, in paying attention to all that the Prophets have said, recognise that God has revealed himself as three in one (Father, Son and Holy Spirit). This is undoubtedly the most difficult thing to understand about God, and we should not be surprised that God himself is more complicated than just a big version of a human. It might be easier to think of God as just a simple unity like a person, but given that this is not how God has revealed himself to all the prophets, we aren’t free to believe that.
        As such, for a Christian, the idea that Jesus and God are separate and might be seen as two different rulers doesn’t make sense when Jesus says “I and the Father are one.”
        It also doesn’t make sense to Christians that God ‘needed’ a son, because he didn’t make one, it is his very nature. We need to keep in mind that Father and Son, as described by Jesus, isn’t the same as father and son for my children and myself. It is an analogy to help us understand the very nature of God himself.
        I pray that you will take some time to look up and read the passages I’ve described above, and perhaps reflect on what it means to listen to all the prophets.

        I hope I haven’t made this too complicated, or given you too much too quickly. I freely admit that I struggle to understand the nature of God as he has revealed it through Jesus and all the prophets. It isn’t easy. But we should expect that with God, and remember that Jesus says the proof of who he is was testified to by all the miracles he performed (John 10:34-39).

        God bless you, and if I haven’t been clear enough, I hope you will ask me to clarify things for you.

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    3. greatsouthernjeff says:

      Thank you for your time and comments. I am sorry that I haven’t read your words as carefully as I needed to. If you would like to continue the discussion by email instead of on the comments section, I would appreciate the discussion.

      God bless you.

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