Session 1: Introduction

In this initial session we define the scope of the study. We do not propose to study each of the three religions/movements in isolation but to examine their overlapping and, frequently, conflicting worldviews…

Session 2: Israel Chosen People

Being a chosen people does not make for an easy life. For Abraham it meant saying goodbye to a great civilization in favour of life in tents in an unknown land and with no guarantees apart from the revelation that God gave him.

Session 3: Theocracy, Covenant Community, National Failure

Theocracy was a unique system, defining relationship between God and Israel. God was their King by virtue of the redemption of the nation from slavery and their acceptance of the Covenant at Mount Sinai.

Session 4: Messiah in the Feasts of Israel

The LORD said that He would choose the place where He would place His Name and where He would dwell in the midst of His people. When He revealed it in the days of David it was the very place where Abraham had been willing to offer his son Isaac in obedience and faith.

Session 5: Messiah through Jewish eyes

“All the prophets prophesied not but for the days of Messiah … the world was not created but only for the Messiah”. These words from the Talmud represent a common way of interpreting the Scriptures in the period prior to the birth of Jesus.

Session 6: Jesus rejected by Israel

Jesus came at a time of high expectation of the Messiah. His life and ministry fulfilled many aspects of the prophetic Scriptures and corresponded to interpretations by many Jewish scholars. Nevertheless He was rejected, handed over to the hated Roman authorities, and crucified…

Session 7: Disaster, New Judaism, Anti–Semitism

The destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple in AD70 marked the end of Jewish religion as practised for 1500 years. The priesthood had been eliminated and sacrifices were no longer possible – the foundations were gone…

Session 8: Replacement Theology

Replacement Theology is the belief system that all of the Old Testament promises and Covenants with the Jewish people have been transferred to the church. Jews rejected Jesus as Messiah and their special position as a chosen people has been abrogated…

Session 9a: Jewish/Christian History, Zionism

The first part of this study documents the sad history of persecution, libels, pogroms, expulsions and attempted genocide of the Jewish people in “Christian” lands, a consequence of bad theology response to their uniqueness and disproportionate achievements.

Session 10: Origins of Islam

Islam is shaped by its origins and early history and sacred texts. Understanding this is the key to understanding what is happening in our contemporary world. The revelations in the Qur’an are closely interwoven with the life journey and teaching of Mohammed and together they form the pattern for Muslim belief and practice to the end of time…

Session 11: Development & Spread of Islam

Soon after arriving in Medina Mohammed established the first Mosque. He was making a big statement for a mosque is not simply a place of prayer and worship; it is also the seat of government and military headquarters for jihad. It is a symbol of power and supremacy. This pattern is still valid…

Session 12: What does Islam teach?

In this session we consider the basic beliefs and teachings of Islam. The Qur’an is an essential source but the Sunnah – the life, sayings and teaching of Mohammed – is almost equally important and the Shariah, derived from these texts in the early centuries, comprises the law of Islam…

Session 13: Islamic Strategy & Mission

Like Christians Islam is involved in mission, but with a very different objective. In Christianity the call is to personal salvation and personal relationship with God through Jesus and the Holy Spirit. The objective of Islam is to bring territories and populations under submission to Allah…

Session 14: Jihad & The Middle East Conflicts

Jihad – fighting in the cause of Allah – can be considered as the logical climax of Islamic mission. Politicians often respond to some violent episode with a statement such as “Islam is a religion of peace” or “This has nothing to do with Islam/religion”, despite the explicit claim of the perpetrator…

Session 15: How then shall we live?

We face daily news reports of global Islamic violence, scenes of desperate refugees seeking to escape from conflicts, ruthless persecution of Christians in their ancient homelands, and the growing threats within our own societies…

Session 16: The End of the Age and the World to come

This last session examines the “end times” world view of Islam and as taught in the Jewish/Christian Scriptures. There are certain features in common but the detail and application are very different…

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