1) In Islam, they do view Hell similar to that of Christianity, but not so much as Judaism. It is a place of damnation, where endless torture is the only pastime from more torture. Jannah or Paradise is what heaven is called in Islam, but even though they have a similar heaven the atmosphere is a lot more natural than Christians vision. There are rivers and gardens, not streets paved in gold etc. Interestingly, in the Islamic view of heaven, they believe there is no such thing as “original sin,’ thus everyone goes to heaven as long as they don’t do evil. Although Islamic heaven and hell are divided into multiple tiers for severity of good or evil dead which brought them to the end road. Out of all three religious sects, only Christianity and Islam have both an heaven and hell form of propaganda.
3)There are various demigod and characters in Christianity such as Jesus, Virgin Mary etc., as well as various forms such as the holy trinity. The dove from Christianity also represented a zoomorphically theistic concept, which is found in many pagans religious. There is an interesting film called Zeitgeist, which breaks down how Christianity became what it is by essentially engulfing other culture religious elements to make Christianity seem more “friendly.’ Furthermore, Christianity switched out pagan religious day’s with Christian holy day furthering the smooth transition into “holiness.’ In addition now that the Old Testament is not the focus, the New Testament can yank on peoples need for love rather than fear that was the tactic of the Old Testament. Oddly enough, each religion is bursting with metaphors, so a big part of successful religions is the ability for there to be ambiguity through interpretation, meaning everyone could find some aspect of it applicable to their own well being. Everyone wanted gods on their side, and if the Christian god could fill the void of being protected, then more people would be willing to conform to the rules. Also it is poetic in how it describes the events in the New Testament, drawing the listeners to feel as though it was actually happening.
3) The god of older mythologies equated to a polytheist realm of understanding why things happen the way they do. When Christianity came about it combined all gods into one “god’ with various deity time characters remaining for easy transition from poly- to monotheism. In both Gilgamesh and the Iliad Gods were more like guides for the main characters to find themselves, whereas the New Testament is manly focused on taking a sinner and turning them into a righteous one. Because a person who did bad knows what evil is worth leaving for holy reasons they are more in tune with god, but if a person never sinned then they are never aware of what god has to offer and negating the concept of original sin. Intervention is found a lot in both Christianity and paganism, yet the severity of those interventions depends greatly on the moral of the story. There also seemed to be an aspect of cosmopolitan in Christianity, “everyone,’ is included in the various promises no matter if their rank is of king or their title is slave. In the Iliad and Gilgamesh, the guidance from the gods seemed rather biased and focused on why, who, and consequences of actions. Also in Greek mythology not everyone worshiped the same gods, thus battles raged between men and gods of their respective positions on diplomatic or moral disputes.