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Comparing Beliefs About Jesus in Different Faiths

Other Beliefs About Jesus
Biblical Christian Answers
Islam, the religion of Muslims Muslims believe Jesus was a prophet, was not the Son of God, and cannot save us from our sins. Jesus is the Son of God who died to save those who believe in Him. (See Mark 1:11, 1 Corinthians 15:3, and John 3:16.)
Judaism Jews believe Jesus was an important prophet and teacher but not the Messiah, Lord or Savior. Jesus is the Messiah, Lord and Savior. (See Acts 2:36.)
Buddhism Buddhists believe Jesus was just a good teacher, and like many others, may have been “enlightened.” Jesus is unique, God’s “one and only Son” (John 3:16, NIV).
Atheism Atheists believe there is no God, Jesus was just one of many teachers, and people do not have souls in need of salvation. Referring to Jesus, Christians believe “there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12, NIV).
New Age New Agers believe Jesus was just a man who was able to use powers to heal people. He was a great teacher. Jesus was not just a man, but “the way, the truth, and the life.” He said, “No one comes to the Father (God) except through Me” (John 14:6).
Transcendental Meditation Maharishi M. Yogi, the founder of TM said, “I don’t think Christ ever suffered.” “It was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead…and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations” (Luke 24:46,47).

Comparing Hinduism and Christianity in America

Numbers More than one million Hindus live in North America. Hindu sources list almost 200 Hindu temples in America. Hundreds more are being planned or built. Hollywood stars and many others experiment with Hindu customs. More than 270 million Christians live in North America.
Senate prayers On July 12, 2007, the U.S. Senate opened with a Hindu prayer for the first time in history. The U.S. Senate has opened with prayer since 1789. Most of the prayers have been Christian.
Youth Many Hindu immigrants came to the U.S. years ago. At first, they worked to blend into America, sometimes ignoring their faith. Now they are spending more time passing their faith on to Hindu youth. Youth in America have many temptations and much confusion. “The next generation could be America’s most traumatized ever if there is not a decisive work of God’s Spirit” (Operation World). God is raising up Christians to help youth.
Beliefs and practices Hindus believe in one main god, but Hindu teachings tell of many gods. Salvation for Hindus means freedom from reincarnation (being reborn after death again and again). They believe they become part of their main god when the cycle of birth and death ends. Some of the ways Hindus try to get closer to this “salvation” include: rituals, good works, meditation, yoga, and the worship of gods. Christians believe in one God (Deuteronomy 6:4) and that people die once (Hebrews 9:27). The way to eternal life with God is through faith in His Son Jesus. (See John 14:6.)

Comparing Jesus and Muhammad

When and where they lived Muhammad grew up around Mecca (now in Saudi Arabia). He was born in about A.D. 570 and died in 632. He spread the teachings of Islam, the religion of Muslims. Jesus grew up in Nazareth. He was probably born between about 8 B.C. and 4 B.C. He died at the age of 33. His followers are called Christians (Acts 11:26).
Who they were Muslims believe Muhammad was a prophet of Allah. Muslims worship Allah. They believe Jesus was also just a prophet and not the Son of God (Quran 3:84, 4:171, and 9:30). Christians believe Jesus is “the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16,20).
Sin The Quran talks about Muhammad’s sins (Quran 47:19, 48:2). The Bible says Jesus lived a sinless life (2 Corinthians 5:21).
The Quran and the Bible Muhammad is not mentioned by name in the Bible. Jesus is mentioned many times by name in the Quran.
Salvation Muslims believe people are born sinless. They do not seek a savior, but depend on their own works to please Allah. They believe Allah will let them into paradise when they die if they have done enough good deeds. They hope they will do enough good deeds, but they can’t be sure. The Bible says all have sinned (Romans 3:23, 5:12). Ephesians 2:8–9 says, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast” (NIV). The Bible teaches that Jesus saves people from sin. “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16, NIV).

Comparing Vietnam’s Cao Dai Religion and Christianity

Cao Dai Religion
Beginnings Cao Dai started in 1926 in Vietnam. The founder was a man named Ngo Van Chieu. He said he received spiritual guidance during a séance, leading him to start Cao Dai. The Bible speaks against trying to communicate with the dead, which is a common part of séances. (See Deuteronomy 18:10–12.) Christianity was started by Jesus Christ, whose followers believe He is the Son of God. He was with God from the beginning of time (John 1:1,2).
Followers Cao Dai is the third largest religion in Vietnam, where there are 3-8 million followers. An estimated 20,000 Cao Daists live in the U.S., and about 20 Cao Dai temples can be found in California. More than 2 billion people in the world claim to be Christians.
Symbol God is represented by the image of an eye. The cross is the symbol of Jesus’ sacrificial death to save those who believe in Him from sin. (See John 3:16.)
God Cao Daists believe in a supreme god. They also highly honor dead ancestors, the founders of other religions, Shakespeare, “the Mother Goddess,” Louis Pasteur, deceased French writer Victor Hugo, and many other noted persons from the past. There is one God who created everything. God sent Jesus to seek and save lost sinners because He loves the world. God is like a loving Father to His children. (See Luke 19:10, Romans 5:8, and 2 Corinthians 6:18.)
Jesus Jesus is one of many honored teachers from the past. Jesus is God’s “one and only Son” (John 3:16, NIV). “There is no other name under heaven by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12, NIV). Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. He said, “No one comes to the Father (God) except through Me” (John 14:6).
Salvation Cao Daists believe that after a bad life, they may be reborn on a less enjoyable planet. After a good life, they may be reborn into a happier life on earth. Trying to live a good life is not enough for salvation. (See Ephesians 2: 8,9.) Salvation is by the grace of God through faith in Christ. Believers enjoy unbroken fellowship with God for eternity. (See 2 Corinthians 5:8, 1 Thessalonians 5:10, and Romans 6:23.)

Comparing Buddhism and Christianity

Founder A prince in India, Siddartha Gautama, started Buddhism. He was called “Buddha.” Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
God Buddhists do not believe in a Supreme Being, or Creator God. There is one God (Mark 12:29). He reveals himself to us in three ways: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
Followers About 478 million people, or about 7 percent of the world’s population, are Buddhists. (Source: Operation World, 7th edition) More than 2 billion people are Christians. (Source: Operation World, 7th edition)
What is our problem? Buddhists believe that all suffering comes from desire. They think the way to get rid of desires is to work hard to do right things and to think right thoughts. “The Eightfold Path” and “The Four Noble Truths” are Buddhist lists of ways to think and do right. Christians know that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Good works alone cannot earn God’s favor (Ephesians 2:8–9). Jesus did not sin, so he was the perfect sacrifice for sin. Whoever believes in him is saved, not condemned (John 3:16–18, Romans 1:16).
The afterlife Many Buddhists believe that after they die, they can be reborn on earth as someone else. This belief is called “reincarnation.” The cycle of rebirth and death is over when one becomes “enlightened” by following Buddhist principles. Believers who have trusted Christ for their salvation will enjoy unbroken fellowship with God for eternity. (See Romans 6:23, 2 Corinthians 5:8, and 1 Thessalonians 5:10.)