Abrahamic religions have many similarities but also quite a few differences. Learn more about them below.
Religion has probably existed in one form or the other since humankind first became aware of its existence. Whether we worship the sun, the Moon, the stars, or something entirely different, religion is rooted in the very existence of humankind. However, organized forms of religion can perhaps be traced back to a period in human history known as the Neolithic revolution. This period, which took place 11,00 years ago, was a revolution for various reasons. For one, it is believed that the Neolithic revolution occurred in the Near East, but at the same time elsewhere around the world, and all of that independently. It was during this era that humans are thought to have invented early forms of agriculture, changing our previous hunter-gatherer lifestyle and evolving to a more sedentary society rather than a nomadic one. These small but essential revolutions led to others more significant, like, for example, some of the first examples of organized religion.
Early forms of religion
However, it is noteworthy that early forms of religion date back further in history than many are aware. Perhaps this is best explained by Nicholas Wade, who wrote, “Like most behaviors that are found in societies throughout the world, religion must have been present in the ancestral human population before the dispersal from Africa 50,000 years ago.” Of course, the exact moment when humans became religious is heavily debated among experts. However, some believe that some of the first religious steps taken by ancient humans can be traced back more than a hunger thousand years ago. But how can we possibly know this?
The evolution of religion
The earliest evidence of religious thought can be found by looking at how ancient humans treated their dead. Most animals on Earth show casual interest in the dead. With humans, it is different. Ritualistic burials offer clues about the first steps ancient humans took in the path of religion. But the first steps towards organized religion were taken during the Neolithic Revolution. It allowed for much fast sociological development. People built cities, there was more food, there was more trade, and our lifestyles changed. This change called for a more sophisticated form of religion. Following the invention of writing some 5,000 years ago, religion became more pronounced with the appearance of symbols and a much more effective means of communication, which in turn allowed for a more pronounced cultural evolution.
What are Abrahamic Religions?
Who was Abraham in the world’s religion? Historically, Abraham became known as the “Father of the many nations,” and this was through a promise given by God, so he became the patriarch of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Therefore, across millennia, Abraham has been venerated by these three religions. Originally referred to as Abram, the biblical book of Genesis tells us that Abram left the ancient city of Ur in Mesopotamia, answering a call from God. He was asked to establish a new nation in a faraway land that would later be known as Canaan. Having faith in God Almighty, Abraham set out to do as God had ordered. If he succeeded, he was given promises by God that his seed would inherit these promised lands. But all three religions have their differences, despite Abraham, Abram, or Ibrahim being their main character.
Differences and similarities of Abrahamic Religions
Based on statistics, of the three, Christianity is the biggest religion. Its foundations are based on the teachings of Jesus Christ, who lived in the Middle East approximately 2,000 years ago. On the other hand, Islam is believed to have started sometime around the 7th century after the Prophet Mohammed received divine revelations. According to Muslim teachings, Muhammed was the last prophet. Judaism is considered the oldest, having begun approximately 3,500 years ago. It is believed that God chose the Jews to represent an example of holiness. As all three Abrahamic religions are similar but different, they are represented by three very different ancient texts. For the Muslims, this is the Quran. Christians consult the Bible, while Jews the Torah. All three, however, are so-called monotheistic religions because all three worship One God. However, although these three texts mention the same people and places, they are mentioned in different circumstances and locations. Jesus is a central talking point regarding differences in Abrahamic Religions. In Christianity, Jesus Christ is the messiah and son of God. In the Muslim religion, Jesus is considered a prophet, but in Judaism, Jesus is considered a false messiah.