Medieval Christianity and Islam


Elveth Bentley

Topic: Christianity and Islam similar and difference.
Objective: To Identify and recognized the differences between Islam and Christianity and emphasize the similarities. Addressing the age old question do Christians and Muslims worship the same God; and to show why this is a false assumption.
Christianity and Islam are the two largest religions in the world and they have many points of contact. Both inherited from Judaism a belief in one God who created the world and cares about behavior and beliefs of human beings.

History Stats
Date founded
Place founded
Founders &early leaders
Original languages
Major location today
Major branches

C. 30 AD
Jesus, Peter, Paul
Aramaic and Greek
Europe, North and South America.
Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant

622 CE
Arabian Peninsula
Meddle east, Southeast Asia
Sunni, Shiite

Religious Authority

Scared text

Inspiration of sacred text

Status of Jewish Bible

Summaries of doctrine
Religious law
Other written authority

Bible = Old Testament(Jewish Bible) + New Testament
Views vary: literal Word of God, inspired human accounts, or of human origin only

Apostle’s Creed, Nicene Creed
Conan law (Catholics)
Church fathers, church councils, ecumenical creeds(all branches); papal decrees

Qur’an (Koran)

Literal Word of God

Noncanonical but useful as a (corrupted inspired text
Six Articles of Faith


Beliefs and Doctrine

Ultimate reality
Nature of God
Other spiritual beings
Revered humans
Identity of Jesus

Birth of Jesus
Death of Jesus

Resurrection of Jesus
Second coming of Jesus
Mode of divine revelation

Human nature

Means of Salvation

God’s role in salvation
Good afterlife
Bad afterlife

View of the other religion

One creator God
Trinity-One substance, three persons
Angels and demons
Saints, church fathers
Son of God, God incarnate savior of the world
Virgin birth
Death of crucifixion

Through Prophets and Jesus (as God Himself) recorded in Bible
“original sin” inherited from Adam-tendency towards evil
Correct belief, faith, good deeds, sacraments (some Protestants emphasize faith alone)
Predestination, various forms of grace
Eternal heaven
Eternal hell, temporary purgatory (Catholicism)
Islam is respected as a fellow monotheistic religion, but Muhammad is not seen as a true prophet

One creator God
Unity-one substance-one person
Angels, demons, jinn
Prophets, imams’
True prophet of God, whose message has been corrupted
Virgin birth
Did not die, but ascended bodily into heaven (a disciple died in his place)
Denied, since he did not die
Through Muhammad, recorded in Qur’an
Equal ability to do good or evil

Correct belief, good deeds, Five Pillars

Eternal paradise
Eternal hell

Christians are respected as “People of the Book” but they have mistaken beliefs and only partial revelation

Focus: Guibert’s addresses geographic areas of influence on Christians by Muslims proximity and how the violations of their location influence and affected Christians. The fact that Jews denied the incarnation of Christ; Muhammad who was once a Christian then founded Islam base on this denial.

Crucial Relations
Medieval Christianity
Territory and Location
-How Muslims location affected and influence areas of Christian faith.
-Christian Europe, made for a vivid belief in Islam’s dangerous proximity, expressed most intensely I the repeated enterprise of crusading
Historical relations among the two religions intensified such geopolitical tensions

-Stood in simultaneous proximity to and distance form Western European Christians
- their positions that guaranteed them a certain ideological and emotional significance within the processes of Christian self-definition
- Occupation of Jerusalem position them to violate border of Christian Europe

Incarnation Denied
- As stated in Chart above: Christians’ believe Jesus is God incarnate savior of the world
-Judaism first denied the incarnate of Christ, Muhammad who was first a Christian; founded the Islam religion upon the rejection of Christianity. (Denied Jesus death)
Rejection of Christian Doctrine
-This historical account, medieval Christian disavowal of Islam
-Islam is presented as a monstrous, debased birth; “heretical” fall from Christian revelation
Implication: Guibert makes clear the beginning separation in Muslims and Christian faith. Both faiths are pulled from Judaism, and the rejection of a major faith base belief by Christian is denied developing division and heretical outcome.
Focus: Muslims fascination and curious about other religions, with an intense effort to describe and understand them. Heresiographies dealt extensively with different sects and theological groups within Islam as well as with other religions and denominations.

Medieval Christianity
Views on Christian Doctrine
-Christian Doctrine
-Authors could neither accept nor understand the dogmas of Christianity
-greater suspicion was place on Christian doctrine
-Christian doctrine depicted as being a false, concocted opposite of Judaism

Arguments against Christianity
-Christianity abrogated Judaism through God’s preordained decree
- Accused of concealing, deleting, distorting, or rewriting verses from their scripture

-naskh, abrogation or supersession of earlier religions, is repeatedly found in Muslim sources aimed at Christianity
- Islam argued that it contains God’s final dispensation for mankind, later abrogated both Judaism and Christianity
-believed both the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament to be divine relations, but never considered the actual texts of both sacred

Implication: Reveals within these study them develop a religious belief; and argued other religious belief and claim theirs as the final dispensation.


Medieval Christian (Dis) identifications: Muslims and Jews in Guibert of Nogent Source: New Literary History, Vol.28, No. 2 Medieval Studies (Spring 1997), pp. 185-203 Published by: the Johns Hopkins University Press

Neglected Aspects of Medieval Muslim Polemics against Christianity: Source: The Harvard Theological Review, Vol. 89, No. 1 (Jan., 1996), pp. 61-84 Published by: Cambridge University Press on behalf of the Harvard Divinity School

Religion Facts: Comparison Chart Christianity vs. Islam: Dreamweaver 2004-2011
What the difference between Christianity and Islam: Christ Church Central Sheffield 2003-2011

The Argument; Do Muslims and Christians worship the same God? In establishing the argument many facts had to be displayed to give a clear understand of both religious positions. Christianity and Islam both believe in one God; in Christians terms God is normal refer to as Heaven Father, and in Islam terms the Great Creator. He is considered to be a sovereign God by both religious beliefs. The existence of Angels, Prophets and prophecy, are shared by both religions the characters such as Adam, Noah, Abraham, David, but in account for Jesus Islam sees him as a prophet only; Christian see him as the Son of God; in some case God himself in human form, The Savior. In the area of afterlife, both believe in a Heaven and Hell and God’s future judgment. With all this similar the questions then because what is the difference that would separate and lead to the assumption that the two faith do or do not worship the same God.
The major difference goes back to Islam positioning of Jesus in the Quran; Jesus is given great honors in the Quran, his status as a prophet and as a miracle worker, even as God’s Christ is strongly affirmed; but he’s not God. It is also said that because Jesus is a prophet it is unthinkable in Islam to believe that a prophet of Allah could die a horrible shameful death like a crucifixion. As a result the Quran actually states that Jesus did not die on the cross, Judas died in his place, God made him to look like Jesus as payback for his wicked betrayal of Jesus and the two were switched at the crucial time. (Sheffied-pete Jackson)
On the other hand, the early Christians were willing to stake their honor, face ridicule and same, by declaring that Jesus was the messiah who was crucified, that he did die a shameful painful public humiliating death.
In pointing out the fact and views religion as such is an s subject about which human beings hold strong yet divergent opinions though out history. Geographical proximity plays roles in the spread of both faiths, because of Islam occupation in Jerusalem, coupled with the sense that it might easily violate and had fact violated the borders of Christian Europe. Along with Jews, Muslim stood in simultaneous proximity to and distance from Western European Christians and that position guaranteed them a certain ideological and emotional significance within the process of Christian self-definition.
After address the similarities, difference, perception and point out the geographical influence, facts and issue of both faiths. I belief look into the teaching of historic view of both religions would help to narrow down the questions “Do Christianity and Islam worship the same God?

The historically Islam teaches of the appointed faith of Isaac and his brother Ishmael. One faith is based on keeping your duty to the one and only god of the universe Islam and the other is based on a three headed power structure called trinity were god his on and the unseen energy co rules. Lastly the faith of it all is the difference, Islam gives its’ believes a set pattern in which to guide them along a path were the choices made can be measured.
The historically Christians teaches Jesus Christ is the messiah, and that was to come as the savior of the world. Who did on the crucified and resurrected; for the sake of all mankind. This position on Christ as savior show Christians as not being measured by works alone, but the salvation be based on the actions of Christ Jesus
With all the research gathered, information stated the main point to my argument would have to gear in the direction of the split. The perception that Islam has on Jesus is a major factor that answers the question do we worship the same God. Christianity faith base foundation is on Jesus being the messiah, savior and God in the flesh, dying for the remission of people sins. Experience all that human being would experience here on earth, for the love of mankind. Making a way for God to see mankind through Jesus, for those who have accepted him as the Son of God. “The only way to the father is through the Son”. So if Jesus is just a prophet and not God in the flesh; then how can we worship the same God!

Ultimately then Islam and Christianity present two very different gods who may share the some of the similarities but who have different identities and ultimately different standards. To pretend they are the same is patronizing to both Muslims and Christians. Denying the major faith based stand on Jesus Role makes a difference in identifying both Gods as the same.