Does Judaism acknowledge that there are some other religions that come from G-d? If yes, how? Which religions are that? Please give me some examples. And what are the reference for this claim?


5 Answers 5


Judaism believes that non-Jews must follow the 7 Noahide Laws. This is irrelevant of which religion they follow. However, if they follow a religion that teaches ideas that are in conflict with the 7 Noahide Laws, then they are also in conflict with these laws.

If you mean "Does Judaism recognize that other religions exist?" then obviously the answer is "yes". If you mean "Does Judaism recognize that other religions are the true one?" then the answer is obviously "no".

However, if you mean "Does Judaism recognize other religions as valid ways to serve G-d?" then the answer is a little bit more complicated.

Judaism believes that Judaism is the only way for a Jew to properly fulfill G-d's expectations of him. But Judaism does not believe that non-Jews are required to join Judaism. Instead, Judaism teaches that G-d gave 7 universal laws to Noah, and that these are the Laws that non-Jews must follow.1

(Edited to reflect the question's edits)
"Does Judaism acknowledge that there are some other religions that come from G-d?"

Everything comes from G-d. Even Evil comes from G-d (in a way). Did G-d create the other religions? Yes. All religions come from G-d, but that does not mean they're all valid ways to serve him. G-d created good and evil, and has tasked humans to choose good. If a religion does not violate the 7 Noahide Laws, then it's not evil. A non-Jew who follows the 7 Laws and is part of this religion is doing good.

Ultimately though, it's not the religion that matters to the non-Jew, it's the 7 Noahide Laws. Keeping them, with or without other religions, is all that he or she must do.

See also:
Avodah Zarah in other religions
Is Christianity Avodah Zara?

1: One of those laws is to believe in G-d. Specifically, One G-d. For those religions that teach that there is one G-d, this poses no problem. A non-Jew who follows the 7 Noahide Laws and is a member of such a religion is fulfilling his obligations to G-d. Of course, he could also be fulfilling those obligations if he wasn't part of said religion.

Religions that don't teach that G-d is One, violate that Noahide Law, and so its followers are not fulfilling what G-d expects of them. This is called "avodah zara" or "foreign worship", for they are worshiping something that is not G-d.

  • Great answer. Whats does TL;DR mean?
    – Shraga
    Commented Dec 31, 2012 at 9:00
  • @Shraga It stands for "Too Long; Didn't Read". Internet slang for "Summary".
    – HodofHod
    Commented Dec 31, 2012 at 9:09
  • Just to add: The classical Jewish codifier and philosopher Maimonides wrote (just over 800 years ago) that the emergence of other Abrahamic faiths has gotten a larger portion of the world speaking a similar religious vocabulary to that of Judaism and/or the Noahide Laws.
    – Shalom
    Commented Dec 31, 2012 at 11:16
  • +1. But I disagree with "If you mean 'Does Judaism recognize that other religions exist?' then obviously the answer is 'yes'". I mean, the answer is "yes", but I don't think it's obvious to the layman. A reference to halachos of a"z or something would help.
    – msh210
    Commented Dec 31, 2012 at 14:05
  • 1
    @sabertabatabaeeyazdi Well, keep in mind that Jews believe that G-d wants a lot more from Jews than just monotheism. Jews were given extra responsibility, more than everyone else (though of course, anyone can become Jewish). Joint Protocol monotheists wouldn't be very useful for Jews, since they'd have to follow Judaism anyway. For non-Jews, there is Noahidism, mentioned in mine and other answers, which is a small "movement" of non-Jews who follow the 7 Laws of Noah as taught by Judaism.
    – HodofHod
    Commented Jan 2, 2017 at 13:49

Chief Rabbi Sacks writes in his book "Dignity of Difference"

"The great faiths must now become an active force for peace and for the justice and compassion on which peace ultimately depends. That will require great courage and perhaps something more than courage: a candid admission that, more than at any time in the past, we need to search – each faith in its own way –for a way of living with, and acknowledging the integrity of, those who are not of our faith. Can we make space for difference? Can we hear the voice of God in a language, a sensibility, a culture not our own?" (pp. 4-5.)

"God has spoken to mankind in many languages: through Judaism to Jews, Christianity to Christians, Islam to Muslims . . . God is God of all humanity, but no single faith is or should be the faith of all humanity." (p. 55).

"When two propositions conflict it is not necessarily because one is true [and] the other false. It may be, and often is, that each represents a different perspective on reality, an alternative way of structuring order. . . . In heaven there is truth; on earth there are truths." (p. 64.)

"God is greater than religion...He is only partially comprehended by any faith" (p. 65).

For a more extended collection of quotes and discussion, see Marc Shapiro's review, "Of Books and Bans" in


  • Curiouser, see new edits to the question.
    – msh210
    Commented Jan 1, 2013 at 15:30
  • @msh210 I don't understand.
    – Curiouser
    Commented Jan 1, 2013 at 15:40
  • The question was edited recently in a way that may make you want to edit your answer.
    – msh210
    Commented Jan 1, 2013 at 18:48
  • @msh210 I have no idea how I should change my answer and your elliptical comments are completely unhelpful.
    – Curiouser
    Commented Jan 1, 2013 at 19:33
  • I don't, either. I'm just saying that the question has changed substantially, so you may wish to revisit it and edit your answer accordingly. I haven't checked, to be honest: maybe your answer doesn't need revising at all. I was just notifying you of the change to the question so you'd be aware that your answer might not match it any longer.
    – msh210
    Commented Jan 1, 2013 at 23:56

The new version of the question asks:

Does Judaism acknowledge that there are some other religions that come from G-d?

While I'm not sure what this means, I suspect the asker actually means to ask:

Does Judaism acknowledge any other religion as correct, as a proper way of serving God?

In that case, the answer is "yes, Noahidism, q.v.".

  • Related: judaism.stackexchange.com/a/7214
    – msh210
    Commented Jan 1, 2013 at 18:51
  • Is Noahidism a religion into itself, and does practicing it exclude being a part of another religion?
    – HodofHod
    Commented Jan 1, 2013 at 19:26
  • 1
    See my response, that according to R. Sacks the answer is yes for many of the world's religions, including Christianity and Islam, not just Noahidism. And R. Sacks is simply taking the approach of R. Yaakov Emden, in his famous discussion of this topic in Luach Eresh.
    – Curiouser
    Commented Jan 1, 2013 at 19:35
  • @HodofHod I don't see why you couldn't call Noahidism a religion: see the answer I link to in my comment just above (on this answer).
    – msh210
    Commented Jan 1, 2013 at 23:57

Raphael Jospe, cites the Garden of the Intellects (Bustan al-`Uqul) of Netanel ibn al-Fayyumi (Yemen, c. 1165) as "probably the clearest statement of religious pluralism in medieval Jewish thought":

Nothing prevents God from sending unto His world whomsoever He wishes, whenever He wishes, since the world of holiness sends forth emanations unceasingly from the light world to the coarse world, to liberate the souls from the sea of matter – in the world of nature – and from destruction in the fires of Hell. Even before the revelation of the Law He sent prophets to the nations, as our sages of blessed memory explain, “Seven prophets prophesied to the nations of the world before the giving of the Torah: Laban, Jethro, Balaam, Job, Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar.” And even after its revelation nothing prevented Him from sending to them whom He wished, that the world might not remain without religion. The prophets declared that the other nations would serve Him from the rising of the sun to the setting thereof: “For from the rising of the sun to the setting thereof great is my name among the nations.” (Mal 1:11).

According to Jospe, "this leads Netanel to explicit religious pluralism," however I am not so sure:

Know that God commanded that all the people should serve according to the Law; and He permitted to every people something which he forbade to others, and He forbade to them something which He permitted to others, for He knoweth what is best for His creatures and what is adapted to them, as the skilled physician understands his patients.

According to R. Kapach's more compelling explanation, the author did not believe that Muhammad was a true prophet, but said so to protect the Jews of his time and place (12th century Yemen, where denying Muhammad's prophecy was punishable by death). See also Sirat, A History of Jewish Philosophy, 92-93.

For a discussion of R. Yaakov Emden's view on this topic, see here.

  • 1
    R' Netanel Beirav Fayyumi was correct that nothing prevented sending true non-Jewish prophets to the nations. In practice, however, Christianity or Islam clearly contradict the Torah, even if Muhammad had theoretically preached a message in line with the Torah. As far as R' Emden, he viewed early Christianity, which in his view excluded messianic and trinitarian ideas at that time, as a positive movement. This merely speaks to R' Emden's idea of the nature of early Christianity, as opposed to a positive judgment of the more mainstream understanding of early Christianity.
    – Fred
    Commented Apr 30, 2015 at 19:12
  • @Fred agreed. Did I say anything that implied otherwise?
    – wfb
    Commented Apr 30, 2015 at 21:14
  • No, you didn't. I just wanted to spell it out and also mention R' Emden's view (the Scribd link is protected).
    – Fred
    Commented Apr 30, 2015 at 21:52

No. The whole idea of religion which was created before the chorev (matan torah) was a corruption of the recognition of G-d. When G-d created Adam and Chava they didn't have to believe in G-d b/c they spoke to him. Over time people began to worship other parts of creation as well because those things are servants of G-d and they bring us good things as well. Such as thanking the sun for sunlight, v'chulu. Over time then physical objects were made both as an expression of art and as representations of those they also thanked. In time G-d was forgotten about and these idols became recognized as gods. The development of religion after matan torah were individuals who sought fame and control over others by inventing themselves as holy people they claimed that their god spoke to

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