By Herb Silverman
First there were the Jews, with their holy book; then there were the Christians, with their holy book; and then there were the Muslims, with their holy book. Together they formed the three major monotheistic religions, with lots in common and lots not.
Christianity, a cult of Judaism that eventually had enough members to rise to the status of sect, became a separate religion when they added their own holy book, the New Testament. For some Christians, this superseded the Old Testament (which Jews call the Hebrew Bible), though Christians also consider the Old Testament holy. Jesus said he did not come to change one jot or tittle from the old law. Subsequent bibles actually contain anywhere from 24 to 66 books, depending on sect. Muslims much later added their own holy book (the Quran), but also consider the Jewish and Christian bibles holy.
Each religion added at least one prophet. Jews had Noah, Abraham, and Moses, and then Christians added Jesus (who is also somehow the God of the Old Testament, as well as being his own son). Muslims kept all these prophets and added Muhammad.
Here’s what else these three religions have in common. If you can find an interpretation in one holy book to justify an atrocity, then you can most likely find a comparable interpretation and justification in the other holy books. These include genocide, holy wars, slavery, misogyny, and death for crimes like blasphemy, homosexuality, and worshipping the wrong god or even the right god in the wrong way.
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