Comparative Theology Notes




My theological position has evolved throughout my life. The essay below was written at a time when I was more monotheistic; at this time, I am more of an atheist, although I would believe in a god if I ever met one, provided they could answer some very important questions to my satisfaction.


Comparative Theology Notes


Man is created twice in Genesis: Once in 1:26 and again in 2:7.  This occurs in both the Christian and Jewish versions of Genesis.


The Koran tells a bit of the story of Noah, but a slightly different version than the one in Genesis.  The Flood is mentioned, but more in passing; it seems focused on the behavior of men, which led to the punishment. 


The Koran seems to be an attempt to continue or add to the existing scriptures, in that it does not mention the creation of the world, but does refer to previously written texts.

This makes sense, as it was written long after most of the Bible books.


The Koran account of the virgin birth of Jesus makes no mention of Joseph whatever, and seems to imply that Mary was alone at the time of the birth.  It discounts Jesus as the begotten son of God while acknowledging him as a prophet.


You can see the hand of another author at work in the story of Noah.  The style and characterizations are distinctly different.  The story is actually told twice, but the two are woven together to look like one.  The number of beasts is particularly telling, and the distinction is more obvious in the Pentateuch version.

The story of Noah carries another connotation, which seems so obscure as to be missed on a regular basis:  There can be no Apocalypse, because of the covenant between God and His creation.

Size of the Ark, translated to feet from cubits: l.450’ x w.75’ x h.45’ Three stories high; each story being 15’ from floor to ceiling, with approximately 33,750 square feet of floor space per floor.

The water rose to a depth of 22.5’ (fifteen cubits), scarcely enough to drown a small knoll, and yet it claims that all the mountains were covered.


God as He speaks to Abraham, Sarah, and Hagar seems almost like a psychologist, asking questions to which He surely knows the answers, but knowing that mortal man sometimes needs to say out loud what he thinks.


In the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, not only are the ‘sins’ of the two cities never specified, it seems also that the ‘men’ or ‘angels’ sent by God completely forget about Lot’s sons and sons-in-law during the flight from Sodom.  There seem to be many accounts in Genesis where someone is ‘wicked in the sight of the Lord’ without any details of the nature of that wickedness.


Abraham does indeed use the ‘my wife is my sister’ ploy twice, in two different places, one before Sodom and one after.  The second time, however, he explains that she is in fact his half-sister, daughter of his father but not his mother.


Isaac, son of Abraham, also uses the wife/sister ruse, in Gerar.


The term “Lord of Hosts” seems a contradiction to the monotheistic paradigm.


The story of Joseph the dream-interpreter is told in the Koran, the Pentateuch, and the Bible.


Excerpt from “The Pentateuch and Haphtarah” edited by Dr. J.H. Hertz, C.H.:

            “In brief, evolution is conceivable only as the activity of a creative Mind purposing, by means of physical and biological laws, that wonderful organic development which has reached its climax in a being endowed with rational and moral faculties and capable of high ethical and spiritual achievement; in other words, as the activity of a supreme directing Intelligence that has planned out, far back in the recesses of time, the ultimate goal of creation-‘last in production, first in thought.’  Thus evolution, far from destroying the religious teaching of Genesis 1, is its profound confirmation.”


Time Zero could be looked upon as the awakening of God, or His arrival into this universe.  From where?  It is truly impossible to discover.


There seems to be a continuing theme, among Jewish and Muslim texts at least, to discredit the other three major monotheistic religions.  Having heard the very same sort of slander from Christians regarding Jews and Muslims, this seems to be a common enmity.  It almost gives the impression that, without this ongoing mud-slinging, there would be very little to distinguish the three monotheistic religions from one another.


Similarities: Admonition to charity, forgiveness, Divine retribution taking the place of human, the command to love thy brother, submission to the will of God, and, of course, monotheism replacing idolatry and animism.



Are we not all sons and daughters of God Almighty, descendants of Abraham?  Therefore, is not any ground upon which we set our feet holy ground, and every other man and woman our brother and sister?


If God is anywhere, He is everywhere.


The true nature of God is unknowable.  All we have is the small and personal sense within of His presence.  No single creed or theology can contain all of the Truth. 


If the three major monotheistic religions set aside their differences and acknowledged their similarities, it would be the greatest step forward mankind has ever or will ever achieve.


The Bible is selective and exclusive in content.  If any of it is to be taken literally, it falls short of credibility.  Too much is taken out of context and used for the validation of personal beliefs, which may or may not be reflected elsewhere.


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