The World's Religions
How did the world's major religions come into being?
 The information in this chapter is derived primarily from Man’s Religions,
by John B. Noss, professor of philosophy at Franklin and
Marshall College (New York, NY: Macmillan Company, Revised Edition,
 “The History of Hinduism,” Encyclopedia Britannica Online, http://members.eb.combol/topic?eu=108344&sctn=9
 “Hinduism,” Encyclopedia Britannica Online, http://
 Noss, Man’s Religions, p. 114.
 Ibid., p. 161.
 Ibid., p. 162.
 Ibid., p. 163–165.
 Ibid., p. 166.
 Today there are several forms of modernized Buddhism practiced primarily
throughout the Asian world.
 Noss, Man’s Religions, p. 692–693.
 It would be expected then, that Muhammad’s message be consistent
with that of the previous prophets.
 According to the Christian Bible’s New Testament, Jesus contrarily
taught that He was the Son of God.
 The Christian Bible teaches that it was Jesus who was crucified, a
foundational doctrine for all Christian belief. The Bible says that Judas
hung himself in guilt for betraying Jesus to the Cross.
 Noss, Man’s Religions, p. 710; see also “Islam,” Encyclopedia Britannica
Online, http://members.eb.com/bol/topic?eu=108138&sctn=2. There is division even amongst Muslims about how exactly to define
jihad. For instance, many believe that it is appropriate to engage
in war in defense of Islam, while a growing number believe jihad refers
only to a “spiritual” battle and has no place in the material world.
 It should be noted that in contradiction to Muhammad’s teaching of
salvation through specific acts of obedience, Jesus taught a message of salvation through faith alone. Muslims often explain the differences
between the Koran and the Christian Bible by suggesting that,
over time, the text of the Bible has been tampered with. The argument
for such tampering generally occurs where the teachings and
predictions of Jesus do not line up with the teachings of Muhammad.
 The Christian Bible is made up of two major parts: the Old Testament
and the New Testament. The Old Testament, called the Tanakh
by the Jewish people, was written in the period before the rise of
Christianity. While the Christian faith is based on both the Old and
New Testaments, the Judaic faith is based on only the Old Testament
portion; Judaism rejects the teachings of the New Testament.
 The authenticity of the area and era in which this biblical narrative
takes place has been confirmed by recent archaeological discoveries,
and dates to approximately 2000 B.C. (“Abraham,” Encyclopedia
Britannica Online, http://members.eb.com/bol/
 However, if a person has gone through the formal process of conversion
to Judaism, he or she may be considered Jewish.
 The writers of the Bible’s Old Testament prophesied of a future Savior
(Messiah) who would come to rule the world with righteousness
and justice. Judaism rejects Jesus as the fulfillment of this prophecy,
whereas Christianity accepts Jesus as the prophesied Messiah who
died and rose again, and who will return in the last days to rule the
Such miracles included healing the blind, healing the crippled, walking
on water, and more.
 Groups such as the Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Mormons that reject
some of these central teachings of the New Testament cannot be, and
are not considered, Christian denominations.
 As at Christmas, so also at Easter, popular customs reflect many ancient
pagan survivals — in this instance, connected with spring fertility
rites, such as the symbols of the Easter egg and the Easter bunny.
(“Easter,” Encyclopedia Britannica Online, http:/members.eb.com/