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Canon in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam

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Canon" in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam Introduction Canons are important laws in religion since they describe the nature of the relationship that exists between God and humans. Just as the name suggests, religious canon refer to a set of regulation whose primary objective is to guide the behavior of the adherents of a particular faith. Such religious faiths as Islam, Christianity and Judaism among many others have specific laws that guide the morality of their adherents thus enhancing the development of the respective religious faiths. The canons differ in each of the three religions thus outlining the significance differences in the three religions as the discussion below portrays.

In Christianity, the Holy bible describes the laws, their sources and importance. The same is the case in Islam in which the Holy Quran outlines the laws and in Judaism where the Torah outlines the same. The holy Quran indicates that the Sharia existed even before the birth of the holy prophet. As such, the holy Quran provides a set of laws as provide by God to his people. Behaving in the manner required by the laws ad upholding the laws did not only safeguard the sanctity of the adherents of the faiths but also resulted in the creation of peaceful and cohesive societies.

The religious canons provide an effective platform for the adherents of a faith to maintain morality thus upholding the dictates of the faiths. The creation of the respective canons in the faiths is equally mystical since they embody the teachings and doctrines of the particular faiths. In Islam, the sharia represents the canons, which are a set of rules and guidelines taught and upheld by the holy prophet Muhammad in the sunnah. The canons describe the nature of the relationship that God required man to establish both among themselves and with Him.

By upholding the specific religious laws, the canons succeed in safeguarding the longevity of the faiths since successive lineages pass the canons orally or through articulate literature. In doing this, the canons further succeed in creating the peaceful and cohesive societies envisioned by God. The same concept and role of the canons manifest itself in Christianity as well.

The first set of laws in the bible originates from God as he strives to regulate the behavior of the Israelites. With the introduction of Jesus in the New Testament, Jesus reaffirms the need for upholding the laws besides introducing a feature of liberty in the religion. In retrospect, the above discussion presents the position and the role of canons in the respective religions. Al the faith presents the canons as holy and created by God. In Judaism, the laws are known as Halakha. The laws are both written and oral often passed down through a series of linages through the teachings of the religious leaders1.

The nature of the canons just as is the case with the other religions strives to unify the adherents of the faith by providing a standard for behavior. This results in the creation of holistic and equally cohesive societies. The Torah, which is the holy book in Judaism, provides a chronological set of required behaviors thus providing the adherents of the faith with a series of legislations often interpreted by the leaders of the religion thus ensuring the longevity of the faith as has been the case.

The origin of the canons is among the primary factors that contribute to their authority in all the three religions. In Christianity for example, God hands Moses a set of ten laws to guide the behavior and the relationship of the Israelites. The same is the case in Islam in which the primary laws are the Mosaic laws. However, the leaders of the religions developed further laws based on the basic laws given by God.

Jesus Christ in Christianity for example explains that his coming to earth was not to change the Mosaic laws but to fulfil them. This validates the approval of the canons by God thus imploring the adherence with the laws. In Judaism, the Halakha have a divine origin as well since just as is the case with the other two religions, God plays a fundamental role in the origin of the laws. The introduction of Jesus Christ in the New Testament introduces the concepts of repentance and forgiveness as an effective way of seeking God’s forgiveness.

Without repentance sinners, face punishments from God. The same is the case in Islam in which the holy Quran explains that the holy prophet Muhammad revises the laws without necessarily changing. In doing this, the prophet places the canons in the dynamic contemporary society thereby fostering the growth of the religion. The canons were relative to the respective societies; this validates the subsequent revision of the laws in order to fit the dynamic social contexts. Additionally, the laws had strategic ways of ensuring adherence. In the old testament of the bible for example, God outlined ways of ensuring that the Israelites adhered to the laws.

God further explains the numerous ways for the Israelites to seek restoration in case they sin. In retrospect, the canons play similar roles in the three religions. The divine origin of the canons coupled with the systematic ways of their implementation and adherence contributes to the growth of the religions thus enhancing their incorporation in the contemporary society. The fact that modern day secular governments have laws that uphold the morality and virtues espoused by the canons validates the essence of the canons in the development of both the religions and the societies.

Bibliography Wheeler, B. M. (1996). Applying the Canon in Islam: The Authorization and Maintenance of Interpretive Reasoning in Hanafi Scholarship (S U N Y Series, Toward a Comparative Philosophy of Religions). New York: State Univ of New York.

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