definition: par•a•digm (pār'ə-dīm', -dĭm')

3. A set of assumptions, concepts, values, and practices that constitutes a way of viewing reality for the community that shares them, especially in an intellectual discipline.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004.

Statement of Purpose

The purpose of this blog is four-fold:
to recognize that every person functions within a basic paradigm, which affects how all information is processed;
(2) to understand the paradigms of others;
(3) to discuss, in particular, paradigms which are related to science, religion, and philosophy.

(4) to reveal the paradigm shifts in my own life, a process that has completely changed the direction and purpose of my existence.

The purpose of this blog is NOT to convince anyone that their paradigms or beliefs are correct or incorrect. I am hoping for an honest dialog, but the discussions must remain respectful of others, even if there is profound disagreement. If any comments are not respectful, they will be removed.
(Revised 1/13/09)

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Some Discussions are Bigger than I had Imagined--The Bible and the Qur'an--Part 1

Some days ago, I started a project that I thought would be interesting: a comparison of the main messages of the Bible and the Qur'an. It is interesting. The only problem was, when I looked up what scholars said about the Qur'an, and hence Islam, it was not at all what I had expected, considering all that we hear on the news about radical Islam. It was clearly going to be no simple task to compare the Bible and the Qur'an. At least, with the Bible, I can show pretty clearly what it actually says, even if different denominations have varying interpretations. However, I could not do that with the Qur'an, because I am not familiar with its content, as I am with the Bible. My solution was to go to several web sites about Islam, to see what Islamic scholars said about its key doctrines. This is where I ran into trouble. Scholar after scholar explained that the Qur'an teaches that "The Qur’an’s main message is to call people to turn to the Source of all being and the Giver of life, and to serve Him with a pure heart, free of idolatry or superstition." (From: In addition, they explained that the Qur'an teaches that "Muslims were allowed to wage war only because they were oppressed and subjected to violence. To put it in another way, God granted permission for war only for defensive purposes. In other verses, Muslims are warned against use of unnecessary provocation or unnecessary violence." ( It was clear, then, that this project was going to be harder than I thought. I have therefore decided to open this post up for contributions from other scholars of Islam.


FishHawk said...

From what I understand, Judaism and Islam is actually quite similar in regards unto intent. For they both seek to promote the worship of the one true God. Their approach unto doing so is rather different, however, and this marks the difference between true believer and infidel unto the devout, of course.

wayfarerjon said...

I don't feel qualified to comment upon the Qur'an and I agree that you have opened something up that is really big.

Put simply, the Bible is essentially about a Love Relationship with Jesus - ie: LRJ - three vital words. I would be interested to hear comments on how Islam compares with this.

S.S. said...

In my reading, I noticed many similarities between the Bible and the Qur'an, with regard to stated intent. However, Christians view the entire Bible, from early Genesis to the end of the New Testament, as showing why humanity needs a messiah; how Jesus met the criteria for The Messiah; and how the death and resurrection of Jesus opened the path for humanity to become reconciled with God. The Qur'an states that Jesus was only one of many of God's special messengers, and that He was most definitely not God. This one difference is so crucial that it is hard to believe that people can still say that the two religions have significant common ground. Yes, they promote the same religious "culture" and the same respect for humanity and the creatures of earth, but, since the entire theme of the Bible is humanity's need for salvation, all the other similarities between the two books are thus dwarfed.