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Abrahamic religions

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Symbols of the three largest Abrahamic religions the Jewish Star of David, the
Christian cross, and the Islamic star and crescent
The Abrahamic religions, also referred to collectively as Abrahamism, are a group
of Semitic-originated religious communities of faith that claim descent from the
practices of the ancient Israelites and the worship of the God of Abraham. The term
derives from a figure from the Bible known as Abraham.[1] Abrahamic religion was
able to spread globally through Christianity being adopted by the Roman Empire in
the 4th century and the Islamic Empire from the 7th century onward. As a
consequence, today the Abrahamic religions are one of the major divisions in
comparative religion (along with Indian, Iranian, and East Asian religions).[2]
Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are the largest Abrahamic religions in terms of
numbers of adherents.[3][4][5]

The major Abrahamic religions in chronological order of founding are Judaism in the
7th century BCE,[6] Christianity in the 1st century CE, and Islam in the 7th
century CE.

Abrahamic religions with fewer adherents include the faiths descended from
Yazdnism (the Yezidi, Yarsani and Alevi faiths), Samaritanism (sometimes
classified as a branch of Judaism),[7] the Druze faith (often classified as a
branch of Isma'ili Shi'i Islam),[8] Bbism,[9] the Bah' Faith and Rastafari.[10]
[11]

As of 2005, estimates classified 54% (3.6 billion people) of the world's population
as adherents of an Abrahamic religion, about 32% as adherents of other religions,
and 16% as adherents of no organized religion. Christianity claims 33% of the
world's population, Islam has 21%, Judaism has 0.2%[12][13] and the Bah' Faith
represents around 0.1%.[14][15]

Contents [hide]
1 Etymology
2 Challenges to the terms Abrahamic religions and Abrahamic traditions
3 Religions
3.1 Judaism
3.2 Christianity
3.3 Islam
3.4 Other Abrahamic religions
3.4.1 Bah' Faith
3.4.2 Abrahamic ethno-religious groups
4 Origins and history
5 Common aspects
5.1 Monotheism
5.2 Theological continuity
5.3 Scripture
5.4 Ethical orientation
5.5 Eschatological world view
5.6 Importance of Jerusalem
5.7 Significance of Abraham
6 Differences
6.1 God
6.2 Scriptures
6.3 Eschatology
6.4 Worship and religious rites
6.5 Circumcision
6.6 Food restrictions
6.7 Sabbath observance
6.8 Proselytism
7 Dialogue between Abrahamic religions
8 Violent conflicts
8.1 Between Abrahamic religions
8.2 Between branches of the same Abrahamic religion
8.3 Between Abrahamic religions and non-adherents
9 See also
10 Notes
11 References
11.1 Citations
12 Further reading
13 External links
Etymology[edit]

Major religious groups as a percentage of world population.


It has been suggested that the phrase, Abrahamic religion, may simply mean that all
these religions come from one spiritual source.[according to whom][3] Christians
refer to Abraham as a father in faith.[Rom. 4] There is an Islamic religious term,
Millat Ibrahim (faith of Ibrahim),[4][5] indicating that Islam sees itself as
having practices tied to the traditions of Abraham.[16] Jewish tradition claims
descent from Abraham, and adherents follow his practices and ideals as the first of
the three spiritual fathers or biblical Patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

All the major Abrahamic religions claim a direct lineage to Abraham

Abraham is recorded in the Torah as the ancestor of the Israelites through his son
Isaac, born to Sarah through a promise made in Genesis.[Gen. 1716][17]
The sacred text of Christianity is the Christian Bible, the first part of which,
the Old Testament, is derived from the Jewish Bible, leading to similar ancestry
claims as above, although most Christians are gentiles who consider themselves as
grafted into the family tree under the New Covenant, see significance of Abraham
for Christians for details.
It is the Islamic tradition that Muhammad, as an Arab, is descended from Abraham's
son Ishmael. Jewish tradition also equates the descendants of Ishmael, Ishmaelites,
with Arabs, as the descendants of Isaac by Jacob, who was also later known as
Israel, are the Israelites.[18]
The Bb, regarded by Bah''s as a predecessor to Bah'u'llh, was a Sayyid, or a
direct descendant of Muhammad and thus traces his ancestry to Abraham's son
Ishmael. Tradition also holds that Bah'u'llh is a descendant of Abraham through
his third wife, Keturah.[19]
Other terms sometimes used include Abrahamic faiths, Abrahamic traditions,
religions of Abraham, Abrahamic monotheistic religions, Semitic religions, Semitic
monotheistic religions, and Semitic one god religions.[20]

Adam Dodds argues that the term Abrahamic faiths, while helpful, can be considered
misleading, as it conveys an unspecified historical and theological commonality
that is problematic on closer examination. While there is commonality among the
religions, in large measure their shared ancestry is peripheral to their respective
foundational beliefs and thus conceals crucial differences.[21] For example, the
common Christian beliefs of Incarnation, Trinity and the resurrection of Jesus are
not accepted by Judaism or Islam (see for example Islamic view of Jesus' death).
There are key beliefs in both Islam and Judaism that are not shared by most of
Christianity (such as strict monotheism and adherence to Divine Law), and key
beliefs of Islam, Christianity, and the Bah' Faith not shared by Judaism (such as
the prophetic and Messianic position of Jesus, respectively).[22]

Challenges to the terms Abrahamic religions and Abrahamic traditions[edit]


The appropriateness of grouping Judaism, Christianity, and Isl