What is the difference between Islam and Christianity?
ISLAM AND CHRISTIANITY DISAGREE OVER JESUS' IDENTITY
Although Muslims believe in one God, as do Christians, they reject as heresy that this one God is three persons. For more detail on what Christians believe on this, see the slot we did on this a few weeks ago which is posted on our website. For now, let's suffice to say that Muslims reject the idea of God being three in one. Especially, the Qu'ran (main holy book of Islam) is strong on saying that Jesus isn't God;
'Isa (Jesus) was simply a created human being, and a slave of Allah'
Jesus is given great honour in the Qu-ran, his status as a prophet and as a miracle-worker, even as God's Christ is strongly affirmed. But he's not God. In contrast the Bible is adamant that far from being just a created being, that Jesus is God himself become a human being.
'In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God...The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.'
John 1:1 and 14
ISLAM AND CHRISTIANITY DISAGREE OVER JESUS' DEATH
Because Jesus is just a prophet, (albeit a great one) it is unthinkable to the teachings of Islam that a prophet of Allah could die a horrible shameful death like a crucifixion. So the Qu'ran actually goes so far as to claim that Jesus didn't die on the cross, Judas died in his place, God made him to look like Jesus as payback for his wicked betrayal of Jesus and the two were switched at the crucial time.
'...in reality he was not killed or crucified, and those who said he was crucified lied.'
In contrast, the early Christians were willing to stake their honour, face ridicule and shame, by declaring that Jesus was the messiah who was crucified, that he did die a shameful painful public humiliating death. So Paul can even boast that
'...we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to the Jews and folly to Gentiles.'
1 Corinthians 1:23
Because they disagree over these two things there is a third fundamental disagreement between Islam and Christianity.
What are the similiarities?
There are many similarities between Christianity and Islam, here are some of the main ones as far as I can tell.
Both say that there is One God.
And that God is sovereign, he rules history.
The existence of Angels is another similarity.
Islam and Christianity both have Prophets and prophecy (Including many of the same characters Adam, Noah, Abraham, David, Jesus).
Both believe in a Heaven and Hell and God's future judgment.
So, what's the difference, given all these things in common? After all, isn't 'Allah' just the Arabic word for 'High God'?
The main differences centre around Jesus.
What are the differences between Jews and Christianity?
The all-important difference between Christianity and Judaism is the Person of Jesus Christ. Christianity teaches that Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecies of a coming Messiah / Savior (Isaiah 7:14; 9:6-7; Micah 5:2). Judaism often recognizes Jesus as a good teacher, and perhaps even a prophet of God. Judaism does not believe that Jesus was the Messiah. Taking it a step further, Christianity teaches that Jesus was God in the flesh (John 1:1; 14Hebrews 1:8). Christianity teaches that God became a human being in the Person of Jesus Christ so He could lay down His life to pay the price for our sins (Romans 5:8; 2 Corinthians 5:21). Judaism strongly denies that Jesus was God or that such a sacrifice was necessary.
What are the similiarities?
Both religions share the Old Testament. The interpretations differ. They share the Old Testament prophets.Both monotheists. Both use some of the same scripture, but they have wildly different interpretations.
Belief in the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament, etc.)
Belief in angels and one God
Belief in the patriarchs of the Hebrew Bible - Abraham, Moses, etc.
Belief that Adam was the first man
Belief in the final judgement and resurrection .
Belief in helping others and doing what is right