Judaism, Christianity and Islam

Judaism, Christianity and Islam

There is no faith called “Judaism” in the Old Testament, nor is there a faith called “Christianity” in the New Testament

Judaism, Christianity and Islam are three names of three historically successive divine messages. We often notice that the moderate followers of those messages try to bridge the gap among those three messages by looking for commonalities between those three divine messages. Those moderate followers often manage to find many commonalities among those messages.

In fact, if commonalities are compared to differences among those messages, we will find out that commonalities are much more than differences and that any such differences are few in number so much so that they may be counted on one’s fingers.

For example, those three divine messages call for monotheism, enjoin good, and forbid evil. Therefore, a specialist does not find it difficult to have evidence from those messages for enjoining some good thing or forbidding another evil thing.

As a result, we observe that moderate followers of those messages repeat and expatiate upon the commonalities among those messages. However, one of them scarcely answers the following intuitive question: why are there differences among those messages in the first place? Actually, if those messages really call for the same God and the same teachings and come from the same source, why are there differences among them?

Since a person scarcely bothers himself with discussing or analyzing the differences among the three divine messages for everybody pays attention to the commonalities and similarities for the sake of moderation, approximation and rapprochement, I decided to take over and discuss the main differences among those three messages.

Let’s begin with Judaism! It calls for monotheism, enjoins good and forbids evil. However, why is it “Judaism”? In other words, why is it called Judaism? Who gave it this name?

It is very curious that the term “Judaism” as a name of a religion is not found in the Old Testament. Neither God nor Prophet Moses gave the message he conveyed the name “Judaism”. It was given this name for it was revealed to the Jews of the Children of Israel. Therefore, it was named after them though its creed, law and teachings are mostly shared with the other divine messages. The term “Judaism” was coined to stand for the message conveyed by Prophet Moses after many years, decades or even centuries had elapsed without hearing this term as a name of a religion.

Maybe, this term emerged only after the advent of Christianity and Islam to distinguish the message of Prophet Moses which preceded those two messages for Jews used to consider themselves the only true believers in this world and regard others as pagans, infidels and unbelievers. Accordingly, Jews did not give their message the name “Judaism”. Rather, this name was given by non-Jews so that the Jewish message could be distinguished from the other divine messages.

Now, we come to Christianity. Astonishingly, we also find out that the term “Christianity” as a name of a religion is not found in the gospels included in the New Testament. That is to say, in the New Testament, we do not notice that the message conveyed by Jesus is referred to as “Christianity”. Neither God nor Jesus used this term to refer to the message he delivered.

It is amazing that “Christianity” as a name of a religion is a recent term which is not found in any of the Holy Scriptures including the New Testament itself. The most common term standing for this divine message in Prophet Muhammad’s lifetime was “Nasraniyah”. However, nowadays, the followers of this message reject this term and prefer “Christianity” as a name of their message though this term is found nowhere in the Holy Scriptures and is not used historically.

What is more, there is no mention of the current Christian creed in the Bible. Where is the “Holy Trinity” that Christians worship in the Bible? Where is the doctrine of “Trinity” in the Bible? Is it logical that the Deity(s) is not explicitly mentioned in the holy book sent down by such Deity(s)? Is it rational that such a doctrine is not referred to explicitly in this book?

Furthermore, where did Jesus say “worship me” or where is any reference to the obligation to worship him or even his right to be worshiped? How can the New Testament be devoid of the current Christian doctrine of “Trinity”, “the Holy Trinity” to be worshiped, the obligation to worship Jesus and the description of such worship?

More astonishingly, the Bible does not make any mention of the following terms: “Bible”, “Old Testament” or “New Testament”! Where did those terms come from? How can we refer to the message of Moses as “Judaism” and that of Jesus as “Christianity” and as standalone religions though those terms are not found in the Bible itself?

It has become crystal clear now that many man-made things have been introduced into the divine messages preceding Islam. Now, the current Old Testament contains parts of the Torah and other interpolations. Likewise, the New Testament contains parts of the Gospel and other interpolations. False beliefs have been introduced into the Christian creed though they are not established in the New Testament which we have now.

Hence came differences, disparities, dissimilarities and discrepancies among the three divine messages. To tell the truth, those messages have the same creed and teachings and we can hardly find differences among them to the exclusion of some variations in laws due to the intended hardship or facilitation and the considerations of time and space.

As for Islam, the term “Islam” as the name of a religion is mentioned in the Qur’an more than once. We read:

Indeed, the religion in the sight of God is Islam (Aal `Imran 3:19),

And whoever desires other than Islam as religion – never will it be accepted from him, and he, in the Hereafter, will be among the losers (Aal `Imran 3:85),

This day I have perfected for you your religion and completed My favor upon you and have approved for you Islam as religion (Al-Ma’idah 5:3)

The term “Islam” as a name of the divine message conveyed by Prophet Muhammad is free from any attribution compared to “Judaism” or “Christianity”. Islam has neither “ism” nor “ity”. That is to say, the name of this religion is not attributed to a certain race or ethnicity like Judaism. Also, it is not attributed to the name of the prophet who brought it, nor does it make a god of him to be worshiped along with god in contradiction to reason and commonsense, like Christianity.

“Islam” as an Arabic term denotes submission to the will of God, which is a lofty value shared by all truly divine messages. Islam is open to all mankind. Every human being on the face of the earth can submit to the will of God and embraces Islam without any restriction or condition like belonging to a certain ethnicity or the obligation to worship an equal human being. In this religion, an Arab is not deemed to be better than a non-Arab except through the fear of God and good works.

The holy book revealed in Islam is the Qur’an. This name is frequently repeated in the Qur’an. We read:

The month of Ramadan [is that] in which was revealed the Qur’an, a guidance for the people and clear proofs of guidance and criterion (Al-Baqarah 2:185)

Then do they not reflect upon the Qur’an? If it had been from [any] other than Allah, they would have found within it much contradiction (An-Nisaa’ 4:82)

In Islam, God is called “Allah”. He is the Only God and has no partner. The Qur’an confirmed that more than once. In the first verses of the Qur’an (in the Opening Chapter “Al-Fatihah”), we read:

In the name of Allah, the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful. [All] praise is [due] to Allah, Lord of the worlds (Al-Fatihah 1:1-2)

We also read:

Indeed, those who believed and those who were Jews or Christians or Sabeans [before Prophet Muhammad] – those [among them] who believed in Allah and the Last Day and did righteousness – will have their reward with their Lord, and no fear will there be concerning them, nor will they grieve. (Al-Baqarah 2:62)

Allah commands people to worship Him alone in the Qur’an. He says:

And [recall] when We took the covenant from the Children of Israel, [enjoining upon them], “Do not worship except Allah; and to parents do good (Al-Baqarah 2:83)

The Qur’an quotes Jesus as saying:

[Jesus said], “And indeed, Allah is my Lord and your Lord, so worship Him. That is a straight path.” (Aal `Imran 3:51)

We also read:

Say, “O People of the Scripture, come to a word that is equitable between us and you – that we will not worship except Allah and not associate anything with Him and not take one another as lords instead of Allah.” But if they turn away, then say, “Bear witness that we are Muslims [submitting to Him].” (Aal `Imran 3:64)

Allah indicated how to worship Him in the Qur’an. He made clear that His worship includes prayer to Him and His remembrance. In the Qur’an, we read:

Indeed, I am Allah. There is no deity except Me, so worship Me and establish prayer for My remembrance. (Ta-Ha 20:14)

Allah also explains that prayer to Him involves bowing down and prostration and His worship includes doing good deeds. We read:

O you who have believed, bow and prostrate and worship your Lord and do good – that you may succeed. (Al-Hajj 22:77)

Examples for that are uncountable in the Qur’an.

Dear readers, though “Islam” is the name of the message conveyed by Prophet Muhammad about fourteen centuries ago, its message is the same as the previous divine messages in terms of beliefs, teachings and most laws. In the Qur’an, God says:

Say, [O believers], “We have believed in Allah and what has been revealed to us and what has been revealed to Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac and Jacob and the Descendants and what was given to Moses and Jesus and what was given to the prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and we are Muslims [in submission] to Him.” (Al-Baqarah 2:136)

We do not go far when we say that the term “Islam” as a name of a religion was used to refer to the previous true divine messages and that the term “Muslim” both in the singular and the plural was also used to refer to the followers of the previous true divine messages. This is proven by the testimonials of the fair scholars of the previous divine messages and established by the Qur’an as well.

In the Qur’an, we read:

And [mention] when Abraham was raising the foundations of the House and [with him] Ishmael, [saying], “Our Lord, accept [this] from us. Indeed You are the Hearing, the Knowing. Our Lord, and make us Muslims [in submission] to You and from our descendants a Muslim nation [in submission] to You. And show us our rites and accept our repentance. Indeed, You are the Accepting of repentance, the Merciful. Our Lord, and send among them a messenger from themselves who will recite to them Your verses and teach them the Book and wisdom and purify them. Indeed, You are the Exalted in Might, the Wise.” And who would be averse to the religion of Abraham except one who makes a fool of himself. And We had chosen him in this world, and indeed he, in the Hereafter, will be among the righteous. When his Lord said to him, “Submit”, he said “I have submitted [in Islam] to the Lord of the worlds.” And Abraham instructed his sons [to do the same] and [so did] Jacob, [saying], “O my sons, indeed Allah has chosen for you this religion, so do not die except while you are Muslims.” Or were you witnesses when death approached Jacob, when he said to his sons, “What will you worship after me?” They said, “We will worship your God and the God of your fathers, Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac – one God. And we are Muslims [in submission] to Him.” (Al-Baqarah 2:127-133)

No wonder, the current message of Islam is the modern extension of the true religion of God every time and everywhere. There is no difference between the message of Islam and those of the previous divine messages save that its law involved such facilitation and simplification which were lacked by the previous laws.

Finally, God tells the truth when He says:

Indeed, the religion in the sight of God is Islam (Aal `Imran 3:19)

Islam as a message, creed and teachings is the only true religion of God every time and everywhere. Islam is the name of the only true religion of God according to all Holy Scriptures given the fact that God did not give “Judaism” or “Christianity” as names for His religion even in the Holy Scriptures of Judaism and Christianity themselves.



1- The Glorious Qur’an (Sahih International Translation)

2- Various video clips of Sheikh Ahmad Deedat

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Karlos Leal Aizpuru

What is Judaism, and who or what is a Jew? Is Judaism simply a religion? Is it a cultural identity or just an ethnic group? Are Jews a clan of people or are they a nation? What do Jews believe, and do they all believe the same things?

Dictionary definitions of a “Jew” include “a member of the tribe of Judah,” “an Israelite,” “a member of a nation existing in the land of Israel from the 6th century B.C. to the 1st century A.D.,” “a person belonging to a continuation through descent or conversion of the ancient Jewish people,” and “one whose religion is Judaism.”

According to rabbinical Judaism, a Jew is one who has a Jewish mother or one who has formally converted to Judaism. Leviticus 24:10 is often cited to give this belief credibility, although the Torah makes no specific claim in support of this tradition. Some rabbis say that it has nothing to do with what the individual actually believes. These rabbis tell us that a Jew does not need to be a follower of Jewish laws and customs to be considered Jewish. In fact, a Jew can have no belief in God at all and still be Jewish based on the above rabbinical interpretation.

Other rabbis make it clear that unless the person follows the precepts of the Torah and accepts the “Thirteen Principles of Faith” of Maimonides (Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon, one of the greatest medieval Jewish scholars), he cannot be a Jew. Although this person may be a “biological” Jew, he has no real connection to Judaism.

In the Torah—the first five books of the Bible—Genesis 14:13 teaches that Abram, commonly recognized as the first Jew, was described as a “Hebrew.” The name “Jew” comes from the name of Judah, one of the twelve sons of Jacob and one of the twelve tribes of Israel. Apparently the name “Jew” originally referred only to those who were members of the tribe of Judah, but when the kingdom was divided after the reign of Solomon (1 Kings 12), the term referred to anyone in the kingdom of Judah, which included the tribes of Judah, Benjamin, and Levi. Today, many believe that a Jew is anyone who is a physical descendant of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, regardless of which of the original twelve tribes he descends from.

So, what is it that Jews believe, and what are the basic precepts of Judaism? There are five main forms or sects of Judaism in the world today. They are Orthodox, Conservative, Reformed, Reconstructionist, and Humanistic. The beliefs and requirements in each group differ dramatically; however, a short list of the traditional beliefs of Judaism would include the following:

God is the creator of all that exists; He is one, incorporeal (without a body), and He alone is to be worshipped as absolute ruler of the universe.

The first five books of the Hebrew Bible were revealed to Moses by God. They will not be changed or augmented in the future.

God has communicated to the Jewish people through prophets.

God monitors the activities of humans; He rewards individuals for good deeds and punishes evil.

Although Christians base much of their faith on the same Hebrew Scriptures as Jews do, there are major differences in belief: Jews generally consider actions and behavior to be of primary importance; beliefs come out of actions. This conflicts with conservative Christians for whom belief is of primary importance and actions are a result of that belief.

Jewish belief does not accept the Christian concept of original sin (the belief that all people have inherited Adam and Eve’s sin when they disobeyed God’s instructions in the Garden of Eden).

Judaism affirms the inherent goodness of the world and its people as creations of God.

Jewish believers are able to sanctify their lives and draw closer to God by fulfilling mitzvoth (divine commandments).

No savior is needed or is available as an intermediary.

The 613 commandments found in Leviticus and other books regulate all aspects of Jewish life. The Ten Commandments, as delineated in Exodus 20:1-17 and Deuteronomy 5:6-21, form a brief synopsis of the Law.

The Messiah (anointed one of God) will arrive in the future and gather Jews once more into the land of Israel. There will be a general resurrection of the dead at that time. The Jerusalem Temple, destroyed in A.D. 70 by the Romans, will be rebuilt.

Beliefs about Jesus vary considerably. Some view Him as a great moral teacher. Others see Him as a false prophet or as an idol of Christianity. Some sects of Judaism will not even say His name due to the prohibition against saying an idol’s name.

The Jews are often referred to as God’s chosen people. This does not mean that they are in any way to be considered superior to other groups. Bible verses such as Exodus 19:5 simply state that God has selected Israel to receive and study the Torah, to worship God only, to rest on the Sabbath, and to celebrate the festivals. Jews were not chosen to be better than others; they were simply selected to be a light to the Gentiles and to be a blessing to all the nations.

Karlos Leal Aizpuru


History of Christianity – The Beginning of the Church
The church began 50 days after Jesus’ resurrection (c. A.D. 35). Jesus had promised that He would build His church (Matthew 16:18), and with the coming of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4), the church”ekklesia (the “called-out assembly”)”officially began. Three thousand people responded to Peter’s sermon that day and chose to follow Christ.

The initial converts to Christianity were Jews or proselytes to Judaism, and the church was centered in Jerusalem. Because of this, Christianity was seen at first as a Jewish sect, akin to the Pharisees, the Sadducees, or the Essenes. However, what the apostles preached was radically different from what other Jewish groups were teaching. Jesus was the Jewish Messiah (the anointed King) who had come to fulfill the Law (Matthew 5:17) and institute a new covenant based on His death (Mark 14:24). This message, with its charge that they had killed their own Messiah, infuriated many Jewish leaders, and some, like Saul of Tarsus, took action to stamp out “the Way” (Acts 9:1-2).

It is quite proper to say that Christianity has its roots in Judaism. The Old Testament laid the groundwork for the New, and it is impossible to fully understand Christianity without a working knowledge of the Old Testament (see the books of Matthew and Hebrews). The Old Testament explains the necessity of a Messiah, contains the history of the Messiah’s people, and predicts the Messiah’s coming. The New Testament, then, is all about the coming of Messiah and His work to save us from sin. In His life, Jesus fulfilled over 300 specific prophecies, proving that He was the One the Old Testament had anticipated.

History of Christianity – The Growth of the Early Church
Not long after Pentecost, the doors to the church were opened to non-Jews. The evangelist Philip preached to the Samaritans (Acts 8:5), and many of them believed in Christ. The apostle Peter preached to the Gentile household of Cornelius (Acts 10), and they, too, received the Holy Spirit. The apostle Paul (the former persecutor of the church) spread the gospel all over the Greco-Roman world, reaching as far as Rome itself (Acts 28:16) and possibly all the way to Spain.

By A.D. 70, the year Jerusalem was destroyed, most of the books of the New Testament had been completed and were circulating among the churches. For the next 240 years, Christians were persecuted by Rome’sometimes at random, sometimes by government edict.

In the 2nd and 3rd centuries, the church leadership became more and more hierarchical as numbers increased. Several heresies were exposed and refuted during this time, and the New Testament canon was agreed upon. Persecution continued to intensify.

History of Christianity – The Rise of the Roman Church
In A.D. 312, the Roman Emperor Constantine claimed to have had a conversion experience. About 70 years later, during the reign of Theodosius, Christianity became the official religion of the Roman Empire. Bishops were given places of honor in the government, and by A.D. 400, the terms “Roman” and “Christian” were virtually synonymous.

After Constantine, then, Christians were no longer persecuted. In time, it was the pagans who came under persecution unless they “converted” to Christianity. Such forced conversions led to many people entering the church without a true change of heart. The pagans brought with them their idols and the practices they were accustomed to, and the church changed; icons, elaborate architecture, pilgrimages, and the veneration of saints were added to the simplicity of early church worship. About this same time, some Christians retreated from Rome, choosing to live in isolation as monks, and infant baptism was introduced as a means of washing away original sin.

Through the next centuries, various church councils were held in an attempt to determine the church’s official doctrine, to censure clerical abuses, and to make peace between warring factions. As the Roman Empire grew weaker, the church became more powerful, and many disagreements broke out between the churches in the West and those in the East. The Western (Latin) church, based in Rome, claimed apostolic authority over all other churches. The bishop of Rome had even begun calling himself the “Pope” (the Father). This did not sit well with the Eastern (Greek) church, based in Constantinople. Theological, political, procedural, and linguistic divides all contributed to the Great Schism in 1054, in which the Roman Catholic (“Universal”) Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church excommunicated each other and broke all ties.

History of Christianity – The Middle Ages
During the Middle Ages in Europe, the Roman Catholic Church continued to hold power, with the popes claiming authority over all levels of life and living as kings. Corruption and greed in the church leadership was commonplace. From 1095 to 1204 the popes endorsed a series of bloody and expensive crusades in an effort to repel Muslim advances and liberate Jerusalem.

History of Christianity – The Reformation
Through the years, several individuals had tried to call attention to the theological, political, and human rights abuses of the Roman Church. All had been silenced in one way or another. But in 1517, a German monk named Martin Luther took a stand against the church, and everyone heard. With Luther came the Protestant Reformation, and the Middle Ages were brought to a close.

The Reformers, including Luther, Calvin, and Zwingli, differed in many finer points of theology, but they were consistent in their emphasis on the Bible’s supreme authority over church tradition and the fact that sinners are saved by grace through faith alone apart from works (Ephesians 2:8-9).

Although Catholicism made a comeback in Europe, and a series of wars between Protestants and Catholics ensued, the Reformation had successfully dismantled the power of the Roman Catholic Church and helped open the door to the modern age.

History of Christianity – The Age of Missions
From 1790 to 1900, the church showed an unprecedented interest in missionary work. Colonization had opened eyes to the need for missions, and industrialization had provided people with the financial ability to fund the missionaries. Missionaries went around the world preaching the gospel, and churches were established throughout the world.

History of Christianity – The Modern Church
Today, the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church have taken steps to mend their broken relationship, as have Catholics and Lutherans. The evangelical church is strongly independent and rooted firmly in Reformed theology. The church has also seen the rise of Pentecostalism, the charismatic movement, ecumenicalism, and various cults.

History of Christianity – What We Learn from Our History
If we learn nothing else from church history, we should at least recognize the importance of letting “the word of Christ dwell in [us] richly” (Colossians 3:16). Each of us is responsible to know what the Scripture says and to live by it. When the church forgets what the Bible teaches and ignores what Jesus taught, chaos reigns.

There are many churches today, but only one gospel. It is “the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints” (Jude 3). May we be careful to preserve that faith and pass it on without alteration, and the Lord will continue to fulfill His promise to build His church.

Karlos Leal Aizpuru

Islam and muslim belief

Islam is a religious system begun in the seventh century by Muhammad. Muslims follow the teachings of the Qur’an and strive to keep the Five Pillars.The History of IslamIn the seventh century, Muhammad claimed the angel Gabriel visited him. During these angelic visitations, which continued for about 23 years until Muhammad’s death, the angel purportedly revealed to Muhammad the words of Allah (the Arabic word for “God” used by Muslims). These dictated revelations compose the Qur’an, Islam’s holy book. Islam means “submission,” deriving from a root word that means “peace.” The word Muslim means “one who submits to Allah.”The Doctrine of IslamMuslims summarize their doctrine in six articles of faith:1. Belief in one Allah: Muslims believe Allah is one, eternal, creator, and sovereign.2. Belief in the angels3. Belief in the prophets: The prophets include the biblical prophets but end with Muhammad as Allah’s final prophet.4. Belief in the revelations of Allah: Muslims accept certain portions of the Bible, such as the Torah and the Gospels. They believe the Qur’an is the preexistent, perfect word of Allah. 5. Belief in the last day of judgment and the hereafter: Everyone will be resurrected for judgment into either paradise or hell.6. Belief in predestination: Muslims believe Allah has decreed everything that will happen. Muslims testify to Allah’s sovereignty with their frequent phrase, inshallah, meaning, “if God wills.”The Five Pillars of IslamThese five tenets compose the framework of obedience for Muslims:1. The testimony of faith (shahada): “la ilaha illa allah. Muhammad rasul Allah.” This means, “There is no deity but Allah. Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.” A person can convert to Islam by stating this creed. The shahada shows that a Muslim believes in Allah alone as deity and believes that Muhammad reveals Allah.2. Prayer (salat): Five ritual prayers must be performed every day. 3. Giving (zakat): This almsgiving is a certain percentage given once a year.4. Fasting (sawm): Muslims fast during Ramadan in the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. They must not eat or drink from dawn until sunset.5. Pilgrimage (hajj): If physically and financially possible, a Muslim must make the pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia at least once. The hajj is performed in the twelfth month of the Islamic calendar.A Muslim’s entrance into paradise hinges on obedience to these Five Pillars. Still, Allah may reject them. Even Muhammad was not sure whether Allah would admit him to paradise (Surah 46:9; Hadith 5.266).An Evaluation of IslamCompared to Christianity, Islam has some similarities but significant differences. Like Christianity, Islam is monotheistic. However, Muslims reject the Trinity—that God has revealed Himself as one in three Persons: the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Muslims claim that Jesus was one of the most important prophets—not God’s Son. Islam asserts that Jesus, though born of a virgin, was created like Adam. Muslims do not believe Jesus died on the cross. They do not understand why Allah would allow His prophet Isa (the Islamic word for ‘Jesus’) to die a torturous death. Yet the Bible shows how the death of the perfect Son of God was essential to pay for the sins of believers (Isaiah 53:5-6; John 3:16; 14:6; 1 Peter 2:24). Islam teaches that the Qur’an is the final authority and the last revelation of Allah. The Bible, however, was completed in the first century with the Book of Revelation. The Bible warns against anyone adding to or subtracting from God’s Word (Deuteronomy 4:2; Proverbs 30:6; Galatians 1:6-12; Revelation 22:18). The Qur’an, as a claimed addition to God’s Word, directly disobeys God’s command.Muslims believe that paradise can be earned through keeping the Five Pillars. The Bible, in contrast, reveals that sinful man can never measure up to the holy God (Romans 3:23; 6:23). Only by God’s grace may sinners be saved through repentant faith in Jesus (Acts 20:21; Ephesians 2:8-9).Because of these essential differences and contradictions, Islam and Christianity cannot both be true. The Bible and Qur’an cannot both be God’s Word. The truth has eternal consequences.“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God; and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world” (1 John 4:1-4; see also John 3:35-36).

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