|Matthew 6: 25-26, Galatians 3: 7-14, Romans 12: 9-21|
The attempt of some scholars to label as “Abrahamic” the religions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam as sharing a core identity, is part of what can eventually bring forth a greater common ground between people who identify with these three religions.
Yet there is a misunderstanding already present when grouping together these three very distinct interpretations of God.
I personally consider the label “Abrahamic religion(s)” to be an obvious misnomer that may mislead people who are not learned regarding the details.
Yes, the three religions lay claim to Abraham in a major way.
But do mere claims legitimize, or qualify as support, an argument?
In a positive manner, the misnomer is a method to forward dialogue.
The effort is agreeable as a method towards building mutual understanding aimed at peaceful ends.
No argument with this.
From a learned Christian's point of view (if I may), such a misnomer may be confusing to the unlearned.
There is a common misunderstanding, even among certain scholars, but surely in the news media.
What is commonly assumed about the three religions is:
“all three (Abrahamic religions) allow for, or teach, killing / violence / corporeal punishment”.
This misunderstanding is only true for two of the three religions when looking at the primary sources (Old Covenant / Hebrew Bible in Judaism, New Covenant / Gospel and letters in Christianity, Quran and Hadith in Islam).
I am not ignoring the later development in certain Christian religious groups that hypocritically allowed for violence, but the fact is that no such allowance is found in the primary sources...nor founded in the first three centuries of Christian history.
I am also not blindly laying blame to Judaism or Islam.
The primary sources literally (and has been interpreted) allow for violence (even killing)...and their reasons are explicitly explained.
In ancient Israel and the primary source of the Old Covenant / Hebrew Bible, there are specific directions for violence or physical justice within and without the Hebrew community, and these can be further studied in order to be understood in context, but this is not the scope of this particular article.
In ancient Islamic culture and the primary source of Islam (Quran and Hadith), there are specific directions for violence or physical justice within and without the Muslim community, and these can be further studied in order to be understood in context, but this is not the scope of this particular article.
In ancient Christian culture and the primary source of Christianity (New Covenant and letters), there are specific directions for peace at all costs, non-violence nor physical justice within and without the Christian community, and these can be further studied in order to be understood in context, but this is not the scope of this particular article.
The distinction between the three religions that are unfortunately lumped together as a single unity is very clearly seen when it comes to violence within and without the respective community...according to the primary sources (the believed-to-be inspired writings).
Opinions vary, but the primary sources are quite explicit and clear.
People are plagued with various identities, and this plague causes crises...and interpretations can vary wildly and liberally alter the meaning of a very clear message found in the primary texts.
This, I think, is the basis of division among all of humanity; dissonance within what is supposed to be unison.
The Tower of Babel is explained to be the beginning of division between humans who previously shared a common core language.
Notice in that article the various traditional and cultural interpretations regarding this Tower, showing that either the narrative was missing or has been changed.
This can be analogous to the manner people today, although being able to once again communicate through a common language, explains how their ideas can still be in conflict.
When love and peace seem to be a basic human desire, the manner people define 'love' and 'peace' varies widely in some instances...according to identity, religious programming, political affiliation, cultural values, personal tastes, etc..
There is a logical argument that is rationally undefeated when it comes to defining love and peace according to one of the primary sources of the three religions in question.
Sadly, human logic is limited according to preconceived value sets and identity based on specific understandings.
Where do you draw the definitions of love and peace?
Is there room for violence within your definition of love and peace?
If so, how do you rationally and logically resolve the obvious hypocrisy or contradiction?