The religions of Christianity and Islam are guided by principles taken from their holy books, the New Testament and the Quran, respectively. One significant difference between the two books nevertheless is that the Bible is comprised of a collection of writing by many different people who claim to have witnessed the historical events that are described; the Quran, rather, has been dictated by the prophet Mohammed, who speaks directly in first person. Both books differ greatly regarding their worldviews, a sample of which will appear in this essay.
In the religion of Islam, there is but one God; the religion is monotheistic. The Quran states that, “I bear witness that there is no God but the Almighty God and that Mohammed is a messenger of God” and “for God hath said, “Take not to yourself two Gods, for He is One God” (Sura 16:53; cp. 20:7). In the Christian Scriptures, the Godhead is comprised of three separate figures: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. For example, Matthew I:20, 21 refers to “the Lord (the Father)”… The Holy Spirit… Jesus.” A substantial difference between the two religions is that Mohammed did not claim to be divine, but rather was the last prophet: “By position for me compares to the position of Aaron from Moses, but there will be no prophet after me”. Jesus believed that he was God, with all of His attributes: welcoming worship, forgiving sins, living a life without any acts of sinfulness, and finally, raising himself from the dead.
Mohammed does not accept Jesus as divine, writing, “The Messiah, Jesus the son of Mary, was no more than Allah’s Apostle and his word which he cast to Mary: a spirit from Him. So believe in Allah and his apostles and do not say “Three… Allah Is but One God (Quran 4:171.)
By contrast, Jesus was much greater in stature than a prophet, rather he is God. He “claimed to be God” (John 4:26; 8:23; 10:30; 13:13; 14:7-10.) In addition, he was God manifest in the flesh (1 Timothy 3:16) and Jesus Christ was characterized by the same attributes as God: he was omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotence, and immutable: “The Messiah, Jesus the son of Mary, was no more than Allah’s apostle on his word which He cast; a spirit from Him. So Believe in Allah and His apostles and do not say “Three… Allah Is but One God” (Koran 5:114.) Another difference between the two books is that in the Quran, God has no son, as it is written in many parts of the book: “Allah forbid that He should have a son (Quran, 4:171.) In addition, it is written that “He begets not, nor is he begotten, and there is none like unto him” (Quran 112:3.) In the New Testament, God proclaims Jesus to be his son, and Jesus himself proclaims himself to be the son of God (Luke 22:70.)
Another significant difference between the New Testament and the Quran is the principle of salvation: Islam rejects the notion of original sin, whereas in the New Testament, man is born into sin. Mohammed says that, “every human being is born in a state of pure nature; but through the influence of his parents, he may become non-Muslim” and “… No soul earns evil but against itself. Nor does the bearer of a burden bear the burden of another (Quran 53:38.) This is in direct contrast with the concept of sin in the Bible, when for example, it is written that “non-is born without the mark of sin upon his soul,” “all have sinned” (2 Chronicles 6:36; John 1:10.)
In both the New Testament and the Quran, salvation may be achieved only through the prophets Mohammed and Jesus Christ. In the Quran, only those who are obedient to Allah and the prophet Mohammed will be able to enter heaven. It is written that “if anyone desires a religion other than Islam (Submission to Allah), Never will it be accepted of him; and in the Hereafter you will be in the ranks of those who have lost (Quran 3:85.) Likewise, in the Bible, salvation may only be attained through Jesus; “neither is there salvation in any other [then Jesus]: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12.)
There is a distinct disparity in both books regarding the death of Jesus: in the Koran, the crucifixion is denied and in fact, Jesus did not die. It is written, “they denied the truth and uttered a monstrous falsehood against Mary. They declared “we have put to death the Messiah Jesus the son of Mary the apostle of Allah”. They did not kill him, nor did they crucify him, but they thought they did” (Quran 4:154-158.)
Both the Quran and the New Testament state that the word of God is without any error/contradiction, and both books claim that the words included in the book are eternal, i.e. will never perish. In addition, both the Quran and the New Testament claim divine ownership and inspiration. In the Quran, Mohammed writes that the words could never have been produced by anyone other than God, and it contains no words that come from humans. The New Testament, however, gives credit to the Old Testament as an inspiration for its existence.
Some of the most interesting differences between the Quran and the New Testament involve the issue of violence and murder. Certain behaviors are forbidden in the Quran, such as killing unless it is in retaliation for another murder, fighting on behalf of Allah against those who attack them, but they must not attack first, and “And slay not the soul which God has forbidden except for the just cause…” (Quran 17:33) However, the Koran permits violence in certain circumstances, such as against Jews and Christians, with whom they must make war and not befriend, “killing the disbelievers wherever they may be found” (Quran 2:191) and “instill terror into the hearts of the disbelievers” (Quran 8.12) The New Testament teaches that killing and violence is always forbidden.