Aviva Directory » Faith & Spirituality » World Religions » Abrahamic Religions

The Abrahamic religions claim descent from Abraham, also known as Avram or Abram, the common patriarch of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. In Judaism, he is the founding father of the Covenant, the special relationship between the Jewish people and God. In Christianity, he is the prototype of all believers, Jewish or Gentile. In Islam, he is a link in the chain of prophets that begins with Adam and flows to Muhammad. Of the major Abrahamic religions, Judaism was founded in the 7th century BC, Christianity in the 1st century AD, and Islam in the 7th century AD. Abrahamic religions with fewer members include Yazdânism, Samaritanism, Druze, Bahá'í , and Rastafari. More than half the world's population are adherents of one of the Abrahamic religions. Abraham is recorded in the Torah as the ancestor of the Israelites through his son Isaac, who was born to Sarah, the fulfillment of a promise made in Genesis 17:16-17. The Christian Bible includes the Old Testament, which is derived from the Jewish Bible. In Islamic tradition, Muhammad is descended from Abraham's first son Ishmael, born to Hagar, his wife's handmaiden. Jewish tradition also considers the Arabs to have been descended from Ishmael. Bahá'í  traces its line through Muhammad, who was descended from Ishmael. Although the Abrahamic religions share a common history, the religions are far apart. Judaism holds to a strict monotheistic view of God, while most of Christianity, although it began as a sect of Judaism, has a Trinitarian view of God in three persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost, which is also monotheistic, in that Christians believe that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are separate yet one, in a way that can be difficult to understand. Like Judaism, Islam also holds to a strictly unitary view of God, but considers the Qur'an to be the ultimate authority. Even within Judaism, Christianity and Islam, there are sharp differences in doctrine.

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