3Yahweh Jehovah God Allah Abraham Jesus MONOTHEISTIC RELIGIONS JudaismChristianityIslamApproximate Creation Datec BCAD 33AD 610DeityYahwehJehovahGodTrinityGod: FatherGod: SonGod: Holy SpiritAllahFounder or the person responsible for spreading the religionAbrahamJesusMohammadName of place of worshipTempleSynagogueChurchMosqueName of Religious TextTorah (OT)TalmudBible(OT & NT)KoranQu’ranLocation of Holy CitiesJerusalemBethlehemMeccaMedina
4JudaismFounded around 2000 BC when God (Yahweh) spoke to Abraham (a Sumerian) of Ur in Mesopotamia.Based on the Covenant (promise) between God and his followers. (Follow my command, recognize me as the one true god, and I will give you the “Promise Land”)Lived as nomads for many years before settling down in the Holy Land. (Hebrew means wandering nation.)
5Judaism (con’t)Believe that God promised the land of Israel to them as part of the Covenant.After many centuries, they were conquered by outsiders and sent into exile.Eventually this lead to the Jewish Diaspora or scattering of the Jewish people from the Holy Land to Europe and other parts of the Middle East.The Diaspora lasted until the founding of the modern state of Israel in 1948.
6But what is a Jew?Judaism- a religion that believes in Yahweh and the Covenant. Anyone can become a follower of Judaism. A follower of Judaism is called a Jew.Hebrew- an ethnic group, the descendent of Abraham. Most follow Judaism as a religion, but not all.Israeli or Israelite- a citizen of the nation of Israel. Can be of any religion or ethnic group.
7Christianity Founded by Jesus in around AD 30 . Early followers believed that they were fulfilling the Covenant the God by believing and following the “promised Messiah”.Early Christians were viewed as criminals by both the Jews and Roman Empire.Later, non Jews became Christians and the religion spread without Judaism.Believe in the Old Testament and the New Testament.
8Islam Founded by Muhammad in AD 610. Muhammad and his followers believe that he as the last and greatest prophet of Allah (god.)Muslims (followers of Islam) believe that they have “perfected” the worship of God started by the Jews and Christians.Muhammad authored the Qur’an, the holy book of Islam as “a perfection” of the Torah and the Bible.They do believe in Jesus, but he was a prophet and not the “son of God”.
9Islam (con’t)Many Muslim nations follow Shari Law, the law found in the Qur’an. The same consequences for crimes created in the Middle Ages are still enforced today.Some Muslims take up a jihad (to struggle) against evil. Evil can be their own sin, to help other, or to make holy war against non Muslims. Terrorists today have twisted the original interpretation to justify terrorism.All Muslims must follow the Five Pillars of IslamFaith in AllahPrayer 5 times a day facing MeccaGiving to the poorFasting during the month of RamadanMaking the Hajj (pilgrimage) to Mecca once in your life
11But why are Muslims, Jews, and Christians all fighting over the land of Israel today? I thought all three religions preached keeping the peace?It goes back to Abraham! Let’s paraphrase (put in our own words) the story. You can read more details of this story in the Jewish Torah: book Genesis, the Christian Old Testament book Genesis, or the Koran.Abraham came from the Sumerian city of Ur on the Euphrates river. In Ur the people were polytheistic. As Jewish tradition states, Abraham heard the voice of Yahweh (God). He told Abraham that He was the only true God and to leave the city. If he followed directions Abraham would be rewarded with “The Promised Land” and Abraham’s descendants would be blessed and protected by HIM. Abraham gathered up his family and left, going to what is now called Israel. By doing this, this made him the first Hebrew. Hebrew means Wondering Nation.
12Abraham, after settling down in “the Promised Land”, told his wife Sarah of God’s promise, and his descendants would be blessed, protected and inherit the earth. They had a good chuckle… Sarah was 80 years old and Abraham was in his 90’s.Sarah came up with the plan to let Abraham take her servant, Hagar, as not a wife, but close enough to have a child.Hagar had Ishmael and life went on as normal for the family. However, when Ishmael was 12 years old, Sarah became pregnant and had Isaac.PROBLEM! Who did God intend to be the first born child? Did he mean the actual first born child or the first born child in the marriage recognized by God? Remember, Hagar and Ishmael were a product of Sarah taking matters in her own hands.Sarah and Hagar fought over this issue often! So often that Hagar and Ishmael were banished from the family into the desert to die.
13What happened to Hagar and Ishmael? According to Islamic tradition, God took care of them and provided food and water.Ishmael grew up and married a local girl. His descendants are the Canaanites, Hittites, and Amorites. (Verified in Genesis and the Koran)These groups of people lived in this land ever since.In modern day, this land is called Palestine and the people are now called Palestinians.They claim Jerusalem and the country Israel/Palestine as theirs because Ishmael was the first born son and they are descendants of Ishmael.
14But why do the Jews claim the land as theirs? Jews believe that God intended Isaac to be the first born son. Isaac eventually had twin sons: Esau and Jacob (Esau was the older by minutes.)Jacob tricked his brother Esau into giving up his birthright, thus Jacob inherited as the first born son.Jacob had had 12 sons. (This is where we get the 12 tribes of Israel.) His oldest was Judah, next to youngest was Joseph.From the line of Judah came the great King David and his Son Solomon who unified the Hebrews under one nation, Israel, and settled in the Promised LandHebrews and Jews claim this land through this lineage
15Muslims’ counter argument: You want to claim first born son in the marriage inherits the earth, and you claim Isaac was the first born?Ok, then the first born son of Isaac was actually Esau. Esau married a Hittite woman, and Palestinians are descendants of the Hittites, Canaanites, and Amorites; thus the Palestinians are STILL entitled to the land.
16So why are Christians claiming the right to be there, too? According to the Jewish prophecy, the savior of the earth would be a descendant of King David in the family of Judah, descendant of Jacob and Abraham.Jesus was a descendant of King David, who was a descendant of Jacob and Abraham.Christians believe that Jesus is the savior of the earth and the Son of God.Jerusalem is where Jesus died and accended into heaven; therefore, Christians claim Jerusalem as their Holy City.
17Muslims also claim Jerusalem as a Holy City One of Ishmael’s descendants was MohammadMohammad was a sheep herder. One day he heard the voice of God (Allah in Arabic) and Allah told him that people misunderstood Jesus. According to Muslims, Jesus was a prophet, not a savior, and Allah needed Mohammad to “correct” everyone. He dictated the Koran to him to make corrections.Mohammad had a hard time convincing people. He was run out of Mecca and fled to Medina where he raised an army and attacked Mecca.He forced people to convert to Islam. Eventually he attacked and conquered Jerusalem, where he ascended into heaven, making it a Holy city. (Muslims believe that Mohammad never died, just was taken up into heaven.
18So who is right? Who should Israel/Palestine belong to? All three groups believe that they are correct and will fight to the death to prove that they are.Remember: The purpose of the Crusades was for Christians to liberate the Promised/Holy Land from the Muslims.All three groups are STILL Fighting over this land. All three sides will never give in because they all think they are right. No compromise.Will there ever be peace in the Middle East? Probably Not!