Certainly fulfilled prophecy in the Old Testament is very impressive:
The return of the nation of Israel to their homeland (Isaiah 11:11ff), and their miraculous survival there and through the ages (Jeremiah 31:36). Also the disappearance of the Philistines (Isaiah 14:31), the Edomites (Idumeans) (the entire book of Obadiah), the Ammonites (Ezekial 25:10), etc. and the survival of the Egyptians and Assyrians (Isaiah 19:25) and Ethiopia (Psalm 68:31, Zephaniah 3:10). And Babylon has not been rebuilt, even though people like Alexander the Great and Saddam Hussein have tried to do this (Isaiah 13:19-20). The message of Judaism is consistent with Christianity, and the question then becomes “Is Jesus the predicted Messiah?” If so, then the claim of the early Christians is true:
Acts 2:36-39 “Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.” When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off– for all whom the Lord our God will call.”
And thus to follow Jesus as the Messiah is also to subscribe to Judaism.
But if by Judaism, the practice of the Mosaic covenant is meant, Judaism without a temple is not really possible to practice. Also, the loss of the temple, the loss of genealogical records (making proof of being a descendant of King David difficult), and Daniel’s prediction of the time of the Messiah’s arrival (490 years after the rebuilding of Jerusalem circa 490 B.C. – Daniel 9:25) makes it very probable that Jesus is the Messiah, and that Christianity is the fulfilment of the expectations of Judaism. And no provision has been made in the covenant instituted by Moses for people to worship or atone for sin apart from the temple.
And Hassidic (meaning “loyal”) Judaism also has some teaching that is in contradiction to the Torah, that God is not entirely holy, that he is present in both good and evil, but Ps 92:15 proclaims that “The Lord is upright; he is my Rock, and there is no wickedness in him.” There is also reincarnation: the Besht said “I am departing through one door only to re-enter by another”, yet in Ps 78:39 we read: “He remembered that they were but flesh, a passing breeze that does not return.”.
All is illusion (even Hinduism?): how can I believe an illusory person who claims to be telling me the truth, part of which is that I myself am also an illusion?
“If I’m an illusion and I don’t really exist as an individual self, then how is it that I could have accurate, factual knowledge that I don’t exist? You see the contradiction here? You might put it this way: Does Charlie Brown know he’s a cartoon character? I doubt it, because Charlie Brown is fictitious. He only exists in our imagination and therefore can’t know anything. For me to claim that I know I don’t exist turns out to be self-contradictory.” (Greg Koukl)
Institutionalized racism: the word for “caste” means “color” in Sanskrit. Worse than suicide, homocide or genocide, is “pantocide”: all is a dream of Brahma, a weary illusion, life itself, all that is created is an endless, meaningless cycle, it should cease to exist, and then there would be peace. That would be “pantocide.” Only four kinds of people are recognized (those within the caste system). There is no place in Hinduism for people who are born outside the caste system–the Vedas seem unaware that such people even exist. The power in Hinduism is exemplified by sacrificing, yet in such a way that the Hindu gods are be pleased or appeased, there is an absence of love and forgiveness with the Hindu gods, Krishna comes into the world from time to time to destroy sinners, not to save them. Ahimsa (not taking any animal’s life) is impossible: small microscopic animals abound, even in drinking water. But surely gods who were involved in creation would know something of microbiology.
Mohammed didn’t know whether he was going to make it into Paradise: all Muslims pray for Mohammed in order to help him achieve Paradise whenever they mention his name.
Some people of the Book have genuine faith, according to the Qu’ran, and thus are pleasing to Allah (and presumably may be in Paradise):
Sura 3:110 If only the People of the Book had faith, it were best for them: Among them are some who have faith, but most of them are perverted transgressors.
Sura 3:113-115 Not all of them are alike: Of the People of the Book are a portion that stand (for the right); they rehearse the Signs of Allah all night long, and they prostrate themselves in adoration. They believe in Allah and the Last Day; they enjoin what is right, and forbid what is wrong; and they hasten (in emulation) in (all) good works: They are in the ranks of the righteous. Of the good that they do, nothing will be rejected of them; for Allah knoweth well those that do right.
Sura 3:199 And there are, certainly, among the People of the Book, those who believe in Allah, in the revelation to you, and in the revelation to them, bowing in humility to Allah: They will not sell the Signs of Allah for a miserable gain! For them is a reward with their Lord, and Allah is swift in account.
Sura 29:46 And dispute ye not with the people of the Book except with means better (than mere disputation), unless it be with those of them who inflict wrong (and injury): But say, “We believe in the Revelation which has come down to us and in that which came down to you; our Allah and your Allah is One; and it is to Him we bow (in Islam).”
So the Koran seems to teach that some Jews and Christians can be saved, but Christians say that only Christians can be saved, so it seems wiser to be a Christian!
Paradise also seems to be for men’s (physical) desires, certainly not a paradise for women! The righteous in Paradise can have “food as much as they want, rest as much as they want, sex as much as they want”, not fellowship, understanding, love, wisdom, and the women seem to be there for the desire of the men. Maybe Paradise would seem pretty awful for women after several thousand years of such a role, with no prospect for a change of situation.
Imperialism is woven into it: conquest by any means (the sword, saying things that are not true, whatever is expedient). Truth is not paramount, and Allah is unpredictable, he is “all-merciful,” and yet we can have no idea what this means, if he can do absolutely anything.
This seems to be more a code of conduct rather than a religion: it is like a painting which requires light, but any light will do. The gods are not essential, they are like the sun, but you can paint a picture with the sages (moonlight) or the teachers (candlelight). God does not seem to be essential to these religions. The same teaching comes from all of them, like a depiction of righteous conduct, but a picture cannot help produce right conduct.
“This is the Tao, I do not know if anyone has ever kept it.” (Confucius)
New religions (Zorastrianism/Sikhism/Jainism/Bahai/Mormonism…)
This also applies to Islam…
If God is loving and powerful, then would he not have spoken before the prophet or seer who started the new religion? If God is worth knowing, then He would probably have communicated beforehand, and not have let all the people beforehand live and die in ignorance. The new message would have to be very convincing to be believable, but all the new prophets seem similar: what is there to decide between the Koran and the Book of Mormon? Why should I believe Zarathustra rather than Guru Nanak or Mary Baker Eddy or Joseph Smith? It would take many lifetimes just to sort through all the new religions, and there are more and more of them, so it would be impossible to try them all. Again, if God is worth knowing, if He is loving and powerful and righteous, His message would most probably be clear and accessible. Any new religion has got a large degree of inherent improbability to it, if God is portrayed in the new religion as both powerful and good. The best wisdom seems to be to check the oldest religions first, and if this search fails, then investigate the newer ones.
Many new prophets say “I have recovered the truth”, but the evidence for the accuracy of the current copies of Scripture is quite good, the texts have almost certainly not been substantially corrupted. For example, when the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered, there was talk about “a whole new Bible”, but all the Biblical texts found correspond very well with the text that has been used for well over 2000 years. The textual and historical evidence for the new revelations, however, is not good: all variant copies of the Qu’ran were apparently destroyed, and an official copy was produced, which would then explain why there are no textual problems in the Qu’ran. And no evidence has been found for the tribes described by the book of Mormon.
This involves the tapping of power within ourselves, or the access of power outside. The outside powers teach to control, do you think that they will let themselves be controlled? There can only be one controller in the final analysis, eventually it will come to competition. And neither the inside nor the outside powers can conquer death, death is “part of the process,” to be accepted, and not overcome. But Christianity’s claim is that Jesus rose from the dead, that death has been overcome.