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The Connection Between The Monotheistic Traditions Of Christianity, Judaism And Islam With Respect To Divine Revelations Within The Traditions

3390 words - 14 pages

In looking at the world, one would not be surprised to find a great variety of people with varying beliefs and cultural traditions according to the culture’s history and geographic location. But what might strike one as odd is a great similarity across most of those people as well: a belief in God. And not just any God, but a single God who has divine knowledge and power over humanity. Yet with these commonalities, the three traditions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam each have a unique take on what they feel is the correct belief about God. But with so many commonalities, one might think the three traditions would be closer linked than they appear. Could these three faiths all have a common source beyond simply monotheistic beliefs, but rather a common belief in the same deity? For this paper, through the lens of divine revelation, I wish to research the connection between the three monotheistic traditions of Christianity, Islam, and Judaism with respect to the identity of the Supreme Being (God, Allah, YHWH) and discover if these three identities are found in the same being.
Divine Revelation within Traditions
If we are to understand the connection between the three traditions, then we must first understand the lens through which we are looking. Divine revelation is understood be to an avenue in which God reveals God’s self, whether through supernatural means or in manners more directly related to humanity. By this, God can reveal God’s self in modes which are sometimes referred to as either horizontal or vertical. In his book Claiming Abraham, Michael Lodahl closely examines the traditions of Islam and Christianity (with Judaism as a reference point) in a side-by-side analysis of their beliefs and narratives. At one point, Lodahl distinguishing the difference between the Muslim understanding of revelation and the Jewish or Christian understanding (though he uses these terms in light of scripture, which we will get to later). In the traditional Islamic faith, Allah revealed Allah’s self through the Qur’an (the holy book of Islam) as a vertical revelation meaning God/Allah spoke in a direct, absolute form to someone (in this case Muhammad) that was undeniable. (72) It might be understood that a vertical revelation is a one-way street where God speaks to one person or one group directly that they might have knowledge of God and spread the word to others of this revelation they have received. Whereas horizontal revelation is understood as “historical…dynamic in which God is patiently laboring to communicate and to commune with humans”. (72) For the horizontal way of revelation, God is revealed in other people and those people gather the knowledge and experience of God by interacting with each other. This can be seen as more of a Christian understand of God, as the Bible was written after and on account of horizontal revelations occurring. Both are tangible ways for God to reveal God’s self to humanity, but even if God does reveal God’s self...

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