Sunlight beams through arched windows encased in stained glass; reflecting rays of red, blue, green, and yellow throughout the entryway. Below our feet, a wood floor echoes as we walk, and silences with a step onto the red carpet. Dark mahogany pews stand at attention to our left and right. Directly above on the back wall, a stained glass image of a woman standing over an infant in a cradle, sunlight illuminating her delicate features, she gazes down at the child. Her thin angelic lips slightly open, her hands clasped together in a prayer-like stance. A blue veil cascades down her shoulders interlocking with her robe below. To the right of the infant, a table displays a large white book with gold-tipped pages. On the cover, prominent gold letters display the words The Holy Bible.
This extravagant Christian place of worship, located in St. Petersburg, Florida, shows the importance of religious establishments as additional resources used in teaching religion. Two of the world’s largest religions use faith-powered books, The Holy Bible and The Holy Quran, to educate members. The scriptures in these books have provided direction, spiritual guidance, and theologies from one generation to another, however, religious icons and historical occurrences within these books, when compared, are often contradictory, but have one major element in common: both believe its book is the “Word of God.” To understand their differences, we must examine the history of these books more closely.
Christianity is the largest practiced religion with 2.2 billion members, or 33% of the world population. Today there are hundreds of smaller Christian denominations all over the world; practicing Christians believe the Holy Bible is the word of God.
Scholars in both Christian and Judaic traditions agree the first translation of the Old Testament from Hebrew to Greek occurred about the year 3 BCE. This first volume contains 39 books, and 929 chapters: almost identical to the Tanakh or the Hebrew Bible. Interpretation of the scriptures are more about God ‘The Father’, himself, but lays the foundation for the second volume the New Testament. Originally written in Greek about 45 AD, this volume contains 27 books and 260 chapters. Its scriptures tell the story of the life of Jesus, believed by Christians to be the Messiah, Son of God in human form, and sent by God to fulfill the promises and prophesies of the Old Testament.
In comparison, the Holy Quran, written after the Old Testament, remains in its original form. Written in Arabic, Quran means “recitation” and contains Islamic teachings believed to bring guidance, direction, and “IS the word of God,” whom they call Allah. It is against Islamic law to change the text in any way because Muslims believe Mohammad, founder of Islam, wrote the verses as revealed to him by the angel Gabriel. Muslims view Mohammad not as the creator of the religion, but as the restorer of the original the Hebrew Bible. Islam teaches Mohammad was...