Judaismís affect on other World Religions

Paper assignment 7

April 15, 2003

Judaism, though the smallest of all the world religions, has had a major impact in world religions. The influence Judaism has had on other religions has not only helped shaped these religions, but also has impacted Judaism itself by reminding Jews what the essence of their religion is.

Since Judaism was the first major monotheistic religion, it changed certain views that were most accepted at the time. It was drastically different from other eastern religions, like Buddhism, and Hinduism, that did not give any significance to time or history. Unlike these eastern religions, Judaism believed in the myth of history, that is the story of a God who made promises to Abraham, and later in history fulfilled these promise to Abrahams descendents through Moses. Moses led these people out of slavery and into their ďpromised land.Ē Judaism then believed in a God who acts in time and who leads his followers through time to an end that ends all suffering. The God that is worshipped in Judaism is the same God that is worshipped in Christianity and Islam. Judaism believed in this myth of history strongly, consequently they laid the foundation for other religions to build from. Therefore, Christianity and Islamís faith is rooted in the story of the God of Judaism.

The God of Judaism is the same God of Christians and Muslims, and these religions share many of the same ideals for living. All three religions believe in a God that wants order for his people. This is the reason God gave his people 613 commandments after he delivered them from slavery. These commandments were to help his people live in harmony with one another. This God demands justice and compassion. The three religions share the idea that the main focus of life is to live by Godís will, of harmony with one another. They strive to overcome lifeís greatest struggle. In their eyes this struggle is the failure to live the way God want them too. This disharmony is known as sin, and they believe that they can avoid this problem with the guidance of their God. Judaism affected other religions with their concept of a God who demands this harmony, this idea carried over into other world religions.

These three religions that believe in the same God, and share the same reason for being, share the same founders, on earth. Abraham, Moses, and David were all prophets of Godís word. These prophets prophesized the coming of a messiah that would lead Godís people. This prophecy shaped other world religions. Christians separated from Jews because they believed the messiah was Jesus of Nazareth. Without the founding ideas of Judaism Christianity would not have existed. Likewise Islam grew from the ideas of Judaism.

Judaism affected Islam in such away that Islam is seen as a continuity of Godís message. That is the message God gave to those who became Jewish. Islam is not unlike Judaism because ďsubmission to the will of GodĒ which is the goal of Islam, has always been part of the covenant that Jews entered in with God. For this reason, Islam is the true "natural religion", and it is the same eternal message revealed through the ages to all of God\'s prophets and messengers. Muslims believe that all of God\'s prophets, which include Abraham, Noah, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad, brought the same message. For this reason, the Prophet Muhammad was not the founder of a new religion, but he was the Final Prophet of the same God of Judaism.

The prophet Abraham shows strong evidence that Judaism played a significant role in the shaping of other world religions. Abraham was the first of Godís prophets. He is a great prophet in all three of the religions that are rooted in Judaism. Not only is Abraham present in all these beliefs, he also stands for the same idea. He serves as a testimonial to the reward of faith in this God. Both the Bible and the Qur\'an portray Abraham as a towering example of someone who submitted himself completely to God and worshipped Him without doubt. In all of these western religions that stemmed from Judaism there is an importance in devoting yourself completely to God. This is