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Comparison/Contrast of Various Religions & Christianity

Timeline of Various Religions
  • HINDUISM 1500 B.C.

  • JUDAISM 1400 B.C.
  • SHINTO CA. 660 B.C.
  • TAOISM CA. 600 B.C.
  • BUDDHISM CA. 563 B.C.
  • ISLAM CA. A.D. 622
  • SIKHISM CA. A.D. 1469

Differences between the Religions





Ultimate Reality

impersonal essence; or many gods no god;or impersonal "buddha essence" a creator who is unknowable a creator who is personal & who has made himself known


divine in our essence no personal essence created by god, but nothing is at all like him created by god and in his image

Humanities Problems

trapped in reincarnations in an illusionary world, due to ignorance & karma trapped in reincarnations in a world of suffering, due to desire and karma under the judgment of allah, due to failure to keep the law under god's judgment, due to sinful rebellion


deliverance from the world through knowledge, works, or devotion deliverance from the world of suffering through the cessation of desire deliverance from judgment through obedience to the law deliverance from judgment by faith in god's gracious provision of salvation through Jesus Christ

Final State

merging with ultimate reality, or heavenly bliss in the presence of gods extinction of suffering, desire, and individuality (nirvana) paradise or hell heaven or hell

Buddhism & Christianity Contrasted





Nirvana, an abstract void Nirvana, an abstract void, but also an undifferentiated Buddha essence A personal God who is self-existent and changeless


An impermanent collection of aggregates an impermanent collection of aggregates. For some, personal existence continues for a while in the Pure Land Made in God's image. Personal existence has value. We continue to exist as persons after death.


We suffer because of desire that which is temporary, which causes us to continue in the illusion of the existence of the individual self Same as Theravada We suffer because of the consequences of our sin. But we also suffer because, being made in God's image, we are fulfilled only when in relationship with God. Rebellion against God causes alienation from God.


To cease all desire in order to realize the non-existence of the self, thus finding permanence To become aware of the Buddha nature within To be forgiven and reconciled with God. Finding permanence in the immutability of God


Self-reliance. Must follow the middle path and accrue karmic merit Self-reliance. The means vary from that following the Eightfold path, to emptying the mind, to accruing merit by performing rituals, to realizing the Buddha nature within, to depending on the merits of a bodhisattva Reliance on God. Repenting of sins and trust in the saving work of Jesus Christ


The enter Nirvana where the ego is extinguished The outcome varies from that of returning as a bodhisattva in order to guide others, to entering nirvana, to living in a Pure Land from which one can enter nirvana Our existence as individuals survives death, and we are fulfilled as we are in eternal fellowship with a loving and personal God
Buddha and Jesus



Buddha did not claim to have a special relationship with God. Jesus did claim to have a special relationship with God
Buddha claimed to point to the way by which we could escape suffering and attain enlightenment Jesus claimed to be the way by which we could receive salvation and eternal life
Buddha taught that the way to eliminate suffering was by eliminating desire Jesus taught that the solution to suffering is found not in eliminating desire but in having right desire

Islam and Christiantiy Contrasted




A singular unity. No partner is to associated with God A compound, or complex unity-one in essence, three in person


Good by nature Sinful by nature


is thought of in terms of rejecting right guidance. It can be forgiven through repentance. No atonement is necessary Sin is serious in that it is spoken of as causing spiritual death. It reflects an attitude of moral rebellion against the holy God, which causes us to be alienated from him. An atonement is necessary before relationship with God can be restored


The standard for salvation is having one's good deeds outweigh one's bad deeds. Therefore it is based on human effort The standard for salvation is the absolute holiness of God. Therefore, it can only be offered as a gift by God, based on his grace and Jesus' atoning work, and it can be received through faith. Salvation cannot be earned


One of the major prophets. To associate Jesus with God is blasphemy. Muslims affirm the virgin birth of Jesus and the miracles that he performed The one and only son of God

Death of Jesus

According to Islamic tradition, Jesus did not die on the cross. Instead, he ascended to heaven, and Judas died in his place on the cross. Muslims believe that it is disrespectful to believe that God would allow one of his prophets-and especially one of the most honored of the prophets-to be crucified. Jesus died a physical death and gave his life as the substitutionary atonement for our sins. He then rose from the dead in a physical but immortal body and appeared to hundreds of witnesses. The end was not that of dishonor but that of the highest exaltation.

The Bible

Corrupted. Abrogated by the Qur'an Authenic. Divinely inspired. The final authority in all matters of faith and truth

The God of the Qur'an & The God of the Bible (Similarities)
Both are One Both are sovereign
Both are transcendent Creators of the universe Both are omnipotent
Both have spoken to humanity through messengers or prophets, through angels, and through the written word Both know in intimate detail the thoughts and deeds of mankind
Both will judge the wicked

The God of the Qur'an & The God of the Bible (Differences)



God is a singular unity

God is a compound unity who is in essence & three in person

God is not a father, and he has begotten no sons

God is a tri-unity who has eternally existed as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit

God broke into history through a word that is written

God broke into history through the Word who is Jesus Christ

"loves not the prodigals"

Jesus tells the story of a father, a metaphor for God the Father, who longs for the return of his prodigal son

Allah loves not those that do wrong & are treacherous, sinful

Source: A Compendium of Christianity
Placed On-Line May 26, 2000

Melbourne, Fla. Dreams & Metaphysics