Developments of Judaism


Surendra Sahara

1/1/20233 min oku

Judaism is known as the world's oldest monotheistic religion and the mother religion of Christianity and Islam. Their core belief is that the Yahweh God is a God of the entire cosmos and has unique characteristics like he is omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent and sovereign over everything. Only Israelite is one whom Yahweh revealed his teaching: the first five books of the Bible called (Torah) and made them channel to reach out to others. It is controversial to trace the originator of Judaism since there are discussions still going on among many scholars. Many scholars believe that Abraham is the originator of Judaism because; the God of Yahweh was personal to Abraham. Whereas many scholars do believe Moses is the originator of Judaism because; the very core centre of Judaism Torah is given to Moses.

When Alexander the Great conquers Israel; a lot of development happened in Israel in terms of education, social, and economic life. However, after his death, his kingdom had divided into many pieces and captured by other nations. Then again Israel was conquered by the Roman Empire. By this time Jews went persecuted and their temple was destroyed by them. Moreover, they went through a lot of trials and difficult situations. However, During Constantine 313, they got free from all kinds of violence of other nations and seem to be stable in their position.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union; many Jews return to Israel and resettle there. "Due to the earlier Soviet restriction of religious freedom, however, many of these immigrants have come to Israel severely limited in their understanding and practice of Judaism. Unemployment, housing needs, and political unrest among Israelis and Palestinians have created hardships associated with return to the land" (Wilson, 297). Messianic Jewish Movement made efforts to bring things back to unite once again all Jews communities to their original purity and practices of Judaism.

Hellenistic Judaism: especially diasporas Judean influenced by Greek culture and "adopted Greek as their mother tongue, a change in outlook inevitably followed" (Cowling, 299). The Greek language became a Chanel to their way of thinking, exchange of thought and culture and became more reasonable. Its effect deepen down in their heart and many were diverted from their identity. However, there were Greek-speaking Jews who did not give up their customs and regularly visit Jerusalem to celebrate festivals in the temple. The home for Hellenistic Judaism was the Roman Empire which was branches in Palestine. "The most important effect of Greek thought was the conscious use of logical rules of thinking" (Cowling, 299) instead of blindly relying on teaching as a result of Greek thought prevalent among Jews. Moreover, "Philo of Alexandria sought to explain the Bible from Greek philosophy" (Cowling, 299). He introduced the idea of Stoic reason (Logos).

Their (ordinary Jew Greek-speaking) community was centred around the Synagogue and every matter of their life whether it is related to worship or social; they used to discuss there. There they used to welcome strangers and their lodging, help the poor, maintain discipline in public and children used to learn in a synagogue. Because, "the authority was in the hand of the ruler of the synagogue" (Cowling, 299). Synagogue was the first place of worship and reading scripture and studying Bible and was a place of scholar's library. Synagogue consists of singing songs and reading scripture without sacrifices.

There was vast development in Judaism literature. The Talmuds consist of the rabbi's teaching. The larger part of the Talmuds was Mishnah. It consists of rabbinic teaching which is passed on in Galilee schools. "we have to be very careful about taking any opinion in the Talmuds as the teaching of the Judaism" (Cowling, 301) since there are two Talmuds one is Palestinians and another is Babylonians. Another amazing fact about Jewish writing is that Jewish philosophy laid a foundation for everything. Such as science, mathematics, medicine and philosophy. "The Jewish philosophers had an impact beyond Judaism" (Cowling, 301). Mainly it influences Christian philosophy as well. Even Judaism had struggled to face atheism which was a great hindrance to their faith in monotheism.

In conclusion, despite going through a lot of violence, struggles, and persecution; they stood firm in their conviction and did not give up their monotheistic faith in Yahweh and still they are waiting for the Messiah who will come and restore the kingdom of Israel.

Work Cited

Cowling, Geoffrey and Davies, Douglas, "Religions of Gurus: The Sikh Faith and Developments in Judaism." Eerdmans' Handbook to The World's Religions. New Revised Edition. Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1982. 299-303; 197-206. Print.