The major monotheistic religions of the world--Judaism, Christianity and Islam--have certain elements in common, particularly in their scriptures concerning the beginnings of life and the early history of human beings. This shared beginning is compellingly worth further study. Common ground and common threads can only help a dialogue between people of different faiths. This reference work could be a tool toward greater understanding of other faiths and focuses on the story of the creation of the universe and of humans. Part One traces the development of the earth and its inhabitants from a scientific viewpoint so that the humanistic perspective may be contrasted with the scriptural accounts to follow. Part Two features an introduction to the Tanakh, information on the Torah, and what is known about its authors, and other influences on the Jewish religion, followed by actual scriptures from the Torah from the creation through the destruction of the Tower of Babel. Then a section each is devoted to an explanation of the Catholic, Protestant and Fundamentalist Christian interpretations of these stories, citing scripture as appropriate. Part Three affords a Muslim perspective with excerpts from the Sirah that refer to events and characters from the early chapters of Genesis. The appendices are rich--various chronologies of similar events based on the different scriptures, tables of contents for the various holy books, tables presenting summaries of a particular perspective on a subject or comparisons between two perspectives and much more.
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