- How do Islamic perceptions of Heaven and Hell differ from those of Christianity and Judaism?
These religions are similar on a broad perspective. Basically follow the laws written, and you will succeed to heaven. However, there is more to it. With Judaism and the Islamic people, they must follow the laws written and the good deeds they do is what gets them in to heaven. It’s not just believing but also following the laws. Furthermore, the amount of good deeds they do in the Islamic culture will grant you more rewards in heaven. On the contrary the Christian religion is very similar but, the biggest thing is confession of your sins followed by real repentance. In the Christion religion the good deeds still exist, however spreading the word of God id the most important thing once you’ve accepted Christianity. The Christians are told not to live in the flesh of the world and to live for God. With the Christians there is no extra rewards for you in heaven based on what you’ve done on earth like the Islamic.
- Although Jesus was a Jew, the religious institutions created in his name proved difficult for Jews to embrace but attractive to Greeks. What elements in the Nativity and the Passion narratives seems particularly and culturally familiar to a pagan audience?
Similar to Achilles, Jesus was born from a woman that God impregnated. The Greeks are familiar with this type of divine intervention. Making it easier to accept. The Jews rejected Jesus as the messiah because he did not fit all of their criteria of the returning messiah and he was born with no wealth or power. There is debate today about the prophecies that the Jews expected to be fulfilled when the messiah returned. One portion of the debate is whether or not the prophecies were supposed to be fulfilled when Jesus came the first time, some believe once they are all fulfilled he will return again.
- Jesus claims the redeemed sinner is more precious to God than the righteous person who never sinned. This implies a conception of God unlike that found in the Old Testament or in The Iliad. How does this emphasis on human repentance and divine mercy change human relations to God? What different aspects of the divine/human relationships were emphasized in Gilgamesh, or The Iliad?
My answer to this is going to be a little bit pieced out. I will say that I am no theologian, however my father is a non-domination Christian pastor, so I have a relatively decent understanding of the old and new testament.
I would first argue that precious is an inaccurate word in this question, to elaborate, God has an equal love of everyone that follows him and for those that don’t. However, god loves to see a son repent and turn towards him. Now this doesn’t make him more precious but, it is a joyful moment to see a son return or turn to him.
Also God is in my opinion establishing a point. The emphasis is being put on repentance of sins. Saying that someone who has never sinned isn’t any better off than someone who just recently turned to God, unlike is the Islamic culture where you earn higher statue that way. Moreover, I think is trying to show he loved when any person chooses to accept him, and it brings great joy in heaven.