What Was The Religion Of Abraham?
This article is a summery of a dialog between a Christian (C) and a Muslim (M).
C. If all three religions, Judaism, Christianity and Islam, claim to emanate from the One and same Creator, why do they differ?
M. All prophets from Adam to Muhammad were sent with the same message: man's total submission to Allah. In Arabic, this submission is called "Islam," which also means peace, peace between the Creator and His creatures. Unlike the names Judaism and Christianity, the name Islam was given by Allah Himself, as mentioned in Qur’an 5:3: This day I have perfected your religion for you and completed My favor on you, and have chosen for you Islam as your way of life. Neither "Judaism" nor "Christianity" is found in the Bible or in a Bible dictionary. No Israelite prophet said the word "Judaism." Jesus never claimed to establish Christianity and never called himself a Christian. The word "Christian" is mentioned only three times in the New Testament and first by pagans and Jews in Antioch about 43 A.D., long after Jesus had left this earth. Read in Acts 11:26: "And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch."
The first Muslim on earth was not Muhammad but Abraham, who submitted totally to Allah. But Islam as a faith had been revealed to other prophets prior to Abraham, such as Adam and Noah. Then Islam follows as the faith for all humanity.
C. How could Abraham be a Muslim? It is known that he was a Jew.
M. A Jew? Who told you that?
C. We are taught that, so it must be confirmed by the Bible.
M. Can you show me where in the Bible it says that he was a Jew? If you can't find it quickly, let me help you. Read Genesis 11:31.
C. "And Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran his son's son, and Sarai his daughter-in-law, his son Abram's wife, and they went forth with them from Ur of the Chaldees, to go into the land of Canaan; and they came unto Haran and dwelt there."
M. So Abraham who was born in Ur of Chaldees could not have been a Jew. First because Ur of Chaldees was in Mesopotamia, which is now a part of Iraq. He was then more an Arab than a Jew. Secondly the name "Jew" came after the existence of Judah, the great-grandson of Abraham. Read further, Genesis 12:4 and 5.
C. " ... and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran.... and into the land of Canaan they came."
M. So Abraham immigrated to Canaan at the age of seventy-five and the Bible clearly mentioned that he was there a stranger m Genesis 17:8: "And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God." Read now Genesis 14:13.
C. "And there came one that had escaped, and told Abram the Hebrew.... "
M. How can you call Abraham a Jew if the Bible itself calls him a Hebrew which means a man from the other side of the Euphrates. It also means pertaining to Eber, a descendant of Shem. Read now in Genesis 32:28 what happened to the name of Jacob after wrestling with an angel (or with GOD as in some versions of the Bible).