shows a direct connection between the ancient
Mesopotamians and the Hebrews. The patriarch
Abraham was from Ur of the Chaldees, a Babylonian city.
It seems likely that Babylonian law was known to him
before he left Ur for the Land of Israel around 2285
In fact, after comparing Babylonian and Hebrew law, a
striking resemblance can be seen between the Hebrew "eye
for and eye" creed and Babylonian criminal punishments.
This can be seen in
Hammurabi's Code and the Hebrew Book
Ten Commandments are one of the foundations of
Hebraic law. According to the
Bible (Exodus 20 and
Deuteronomy 5), the Commandments were given by God to
Moses on the slope of Mt. Sinai. They were a
covenant (a contract) between God
and the Hebrew people. In keeping the Commandments, the
Hebrew people showed their devotion to God, and his
laws. Although clearly religious in origin, the Ten
Commandments are one of the major foundations of modern
(civil) law in the western world.
Roman Catholic Church
Christianity evolved from
Judaism, there are certain
concepts that these two religions share. For example,
both Jews and Christians follow the Ten Commandments.
In addition, prophecies of Jewish prophets contained in
several books of the
Old Testament stated that
God would send a savior, or messiah, to the people of
Israel. While Judaism clearly states that this event has
not yet occurred, Christians believe that
Nazareth was the Son of God, sent to redeem the world of
Church had a very bad relationship with Jews throughout
Middle Ages. Many Jews were killed by
Catholics, due to
anti-Semitism. Despite that, Catholicism still
embraced the teachings of the Ten Commandments. In
fact, the modern Catholic Encyclopedia†
says that the last six commandments
"are meant to protect man in his natural rights against
the injustice of his fellows.
- His life is the object of the Fifth;
- the honor of his body as well as the source of
life, of the Sixth;
- his lawful possessions, of the Seventh;
- his good name, of the Eighth;
- And in order to make him still more secure in the
enjoyment of his rights, it is declared an offense
to desire to wrong him, in his family rights by the
- and in his property
rights by the Tenth."
†See the Catholic Encyclopedia
Qur'an, Mohammed received the word of God,
or Allah, through the angel Gabriel while living in the
city of Mecca. Under Mohammed's leadership, the basic
Islam were established, which are known as
the Five Pillars of Islam. Every Muslim is
expected to follow these rules in order to lead an
- Confession of Faith: The belief that "there is
no God but Allah, and Mohammed is His prophet."
- Prayer: Muslims must pray five times per day,
facing towards Mecca.
- Charity: Muslims must give alms to the poor,
and support the local Mosque by donating a portion of
- Fasting: During the Ramadan, the ninth
month of the Muslim calendar, all Muslims must fast
during daylight hours, except the very young or sick.
- Pilgrimage: If possible financially, each
Muslim must make a hajj, or holy pilgrimage, to
the city of Mecca.
Comparison of Hebraic and Islamic Law
Exodus 20 &
Confirmation in the Qur'an
I am the LORD thy
God, which have brought thee out of the land of
Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
Thou shalt have no
other gods before me.
There is no God
except Allah, the one God (47:19)
Thou shalt not make
unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of
any thing that is in heaven above, or
that is in the earth beneath, or that is
in the water under the earth...
There is nothing
like unto Him (42:11)
Thou shalt not take
the name of the LORD thy God in vain...
Make not God's name
excuse to your oaths (2:224)
Honor thy father and
Be kind to your
parents if one or both of them attain old age in
thy life, say not a word of contempt nor repel
them but address them in terms of honor. (17:23)
Thou shalt not steal.
As for the thief,
male or female, cut off his or her hands, but
those who repent After a crime and reform shall be
forgiven by God for God is forgiving and kind.
(5:38 - 39)
Thou shalt not bear
false witness against thy neighbor.
They invoke a curse
of God if they lie. (24:7) Hide not the
Thou shalt not kill.
If anyone has killed
one person it is as if he had killed the whole
Thou shalt not commit
Do not come near
adultery. It is an indecent deed and a way for
other evils. (17:32)
Thou shalt not covet
thy neighbor’s house, thou shalt not covet thy
neighbor’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his
maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any
thing that is thy neighbor’s.
Do good to your
parents, relatives and neighbors. (4:36) Saying of
the Prophet Muhammad (P) "One of the greatest sins
is to have illicit sex with your neighbors wife".
Remember the Sabbath
day, to keep it holy.
When the call for the
Friday Prayer is made, hasten to the remembrance
of God and leave off your business. (62:9)
*Comparison concept courtesy of
additional information from
The concepts of Justice and Law are
extremely important to Jews, Christians and Muslims.
Each faith believes there are several kinds of justice or
law. The laws of mankind
deal with what happens here on earth. Violation of
these laws may be punished by prison, fine, execution,
probation in a court of law.
The Laws of
divine justice, on the other hand, are
more strict. Violation of God's Law, claim the adherents
(believers), could result in eternal condemnation and
suffering. Whatever the punishment, religious law
has had an obvious and long-lasting effect on civil law.
For example, the religious prohibition against murder,
theft and adultery by each faith is an integral, or
basic, part of Western civil law.