Jesus, Paul, And Mohammed: Com Essay

1275 words - 5 pages

Michael Hart is an amateur historian and also the author of The 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History. In this book Hart lists in order the people he believes to be the top 100 most influential people. In this essay I am going to look at three specific people, and compare Hart's ranking of their impact on society against my own. The three people are Jesus of Nazareth, the founder of Christianity; Paul of Tarsus, Christianity's most important missionary; and Muhammad, the founder of Islam. Since religion did play a considerable role in the shaping of civilizations, it is no coincidence that these three people are respectively the three most important people in the founding of the top two religions in the world. Also Hart's ranking of these three men will be analyzed, and compared to my own rankings of these three influential men. In Hart's book, The 100, he regards all three of these men as being very important in contributing to the rise of two great religions. In his ranking of the top 100 Muhammad, Jesus, and St. Paul rank one, three, and six respectively. Now right from this statement most people would believe that Hart is already wrong, and that Jesus should be one. In some sense those who believe that Jesus are right because the amount of Christians in the world almost doubles that of the Moslems. Yet if we carefully look at Hart's reasons for ranking them the way he does, you would see that his ranking seems more understandable. First we should start by analyzing Hart's reasons for ranking Muhammad one. His main point for ranking him one, above Jesus, is because " Muhammad played a more important role in the development of Islam then Jesus did on the development of Christianity"(9). He believes this statement to be true because St. Paul complemented Jesus in helping to spread the belief of Christianity. Though Jesus was responsible for the main ethical and moral precepts it was St. Paul who was the main developer of its theology, its proselytizer, and for writing a large portion of the New Testament. While on the other hand Muhammad was the only one responsible for the teachings of Islam, and also to the moral and main ethical principles. This is shown in the idea that the Koran, the sacred book of Islam, contains the teachings of Muhammad, and that his teachings are said to be the words of God. Another reason that Muhammad is ranked one is that he was also a successful political leader, and not just a preacher of a new faith. It was Muhammad who led the Arabic conquest to Morocco in which they not only spread the Faith of Islam but also the language, culture, and history. It is these same reasons that Jesus is ranked three, and not one, behind Muhammad. Jesus did have a prominent impact on Christianity, but there is nothing to prove that if St. Paul wasn't there that Christianity would have still reached the status that it did. Also as Hart points out, "Jesus had virtually no impact on political...

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