Module 6 image of Christian, Islamic, and Jewish symbols Judaism, Christianity, and Islam share the belief in one God. The traditions of the faiths recorded in the Hebrew Scriptures form the foundation for all three of these world religions. Where did it all begin?
World Religions Notes image of a farm “Turn it and turn it again, for everything is in it. Pore over it, and wax gray and old over it. Stir not from it for you can have no better rule than it” (Chapters from the Fathers [Mishnah Pirkei Avot], 5.25). image of a Torah Why is the Torah (Law) so important for Jews? Do Jews believe that by keeping God’s Law they earn their way to heaven? How do modern science and the scholarly study of the Bible affect Jewish beliefs and practices today? image of a man and a woman worshipping “Holy, Holy, Holy is the LORD of Hosts!” (Isaiah 6:3). What does it mean that God is “Holy”? What does it mean that God’s people are “holy”? image of a Qabalistic Tree of Life What is Qabalah? How is it related to Judaism? "He will judge between the nations, and will settle disputes for many peoples. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore" (Isaiah 2:4). Why do Jews reject the Christian belief that Jesus is the Messiah? The Emergence of a Great Tradition In the early Iron Age around 1000 BC in Canaan (Palestine), a group of tribal clans formed a confederation bound together by exclusive devotion to one deity alone (Yahweh) and mutual support. The narrative of their history involved remembrance of an escape from enslavement in Egypt centuries earlier. A sort of war palladium, the Ark of the Covenant between their clans, was a symbol of unity and spent several months out of each year at ancient shrines located in different tribal locations. Because the confederation failed in its aims of mutual support (cf. Judges), eventually they instituted a primitive monarchy with a standing military, a capital, and permanent place of worship (Jerusalem Temple). Thus the nation of Israel was born. The religion of ancient Israel and its later scriptures would become the foundation of the three great monotheistic religions of the world: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Ancient Near Eastern Religious Influences A primitive form of monotheism existed in ancient Egypt (behind the many gods there was one ultimate reality). The Midianites, who lived between Egypt and Canaan, worshipped a deity named Yahweh. Moses’ father-in-law was said to be a priest from Midian (Exodus 18:1). The creation story recorded in Genesis chapter one has detailed parallels with an ancient Babylonian creation myth, the Enuma Elish , and the story of the flood in Genesis
World Religions Notes chapters six through nine has detailed parallels with an ancient Mesopotamian flood story in the older Epic of Gilgamesh . Solomon’s Temple was structured like, and shared decorative features with, ancient non-Israelite temples to other gods in Canaan. All ancient Semitic