Abraham is the founding father of the Jews. The Lord promised to make Abraham’s descendants into a great nation. All Abraham had to do in order to have his offspring amount to a great nation was to obey God. God gave him many tests of faith to see if he was deserving of the promise. The first test from God was for Abraham and his wife Sarah to move to Canaan the moment God said so. They had little time to pack but they still moved, and Abraham became a rancher/shepard. God still had not given him a child however and his faith wavered. So when a famine came, he did not wait for God to provide food and instead moved his family to Egypt. When Abraham was 99, God finally fulfilled his promise and blessed him with a son, Isaac. Abraham has proved many times throughout the years that he is faithful to God and he was an example of remaining faithful, to the Jews. Abraham was the start of the religion because Jews all believe they're descendants of Abraham. Therefore, they don't try to convince people to turn Jewish and Judaism is usually passed down from generation to generation.
1.2 Their sacred text is recorded in the Torah
The Torah is where the Jews keep all their sacred writing and it's where they go to find God's teachings. You can read more about it in the next note.
1.2.1 Following God's teachings
There are teachings in the Torah and the Talmud about how to live a moral life. This is important to daily Jewish lives because this affects what they do and what they say every day. In the Torah, there are rules to help the Jews stay on track like the Ten Commandments. The Ten Commandments are 10 laws that the Jews are expected to follow like "love the God with all your heart." The 10 Commandments is so that the Jews can lead a more honorable life and learn to have a good relationship with God. The Torah sometimes also restricts what they eat during certain holidays like the Passover. Jews are also expected to set aside one day, usually Sunday, every week for the Sabbath. The Sabbath is to celebrate the creation of the world and Jews are not expected to work that day, but to rest and enjoy what God has provided.
The Jews also believe that Jesus was a prophet and that he is not the Messiah. Although their God said that he was going to send a Messiah, the Jews believe that the Messiah has not come yet and that he will only come in a time of heavy conflict.
1.3 Moses was their
Moses was extremely obedient to God and brought on several changes that would change Judaism drastically. 1, he lead to Jews out of Egypt. This was really important because if the Jews had been stuck in Egypt as slaves, the religion surely would've died out very quickly as the pharaoh tried to force egyptian gods onto the Jews. Also, he helped reassure and rebuild trust to the Jews that their God was protecting them. 2, Moses gave the basic teachings of Judaism. When Moses went to Mount Sinai and came back with the 10 Commandments, he was actually starting to lay down the most basic laws of Judaism. Jews still follow the 10 Commandments today because it's such an important part of Judaism (and Christianity). 3, Moses became a shining example of a follower of Christ. His obedience to do God's will made him an example that people tried to and still try to imitate in their own lives.
1.4 Israel is founded
David was not even a man when he first contributed in the change of Judaism. When he stepped forward to defeat a giant with only a slingshot in order to protect God's honor, not only did he gain the admiration of his fellow citizens, but he, like Moses, became an example of faith. David was not afraid of Goliath because he knew that God would protect him and he wanted to defend God's name. Not only that but when David was King, he united all the Israelites and made Jerusalem into a holy city. This changed Judaism because now this was really one of the first if not, the first time all the Israelites were united. Also, now that they had a holy city established, they could spread their religion easier.
1.5 Solomon built the Great Temple of
Solomon's greatest accomplishment, building the First Temple of Jerusalem was a big contribution to helping the spread of Judaism during that time. The First Temple was a place of worship and a symbolism of the Jew's faith. People would go there to worship God which helped spread Judaism as well. The Temple was the senator of the Jewish life, the government was housed there, the judicial house was there, the temple was the Jew's pride and joy. It was also where all their money went. Jerusalem along with the First temple would forever be the holy city to the Jews and it symbolises their faith in God. Jews like to visit the Wall of Jerusalem at least once in their lifetime because it's such an integral part of their history.
1.6 Jews were scattered around in the Jewish Diaspora and never to be in the same homeland again
The first major event in the Jewish Diaspora was the fall of Israel. The Assyrians took over the land in 722 BCE and took the leaders of Israel to Mesopotamia. Judah was next, falling to Babylon in 597 BCE. The Hebrews fought for Jerusalem for as long as they could but with their people starving, King Nebuchadnezzar quickly took broke through the walls and captured Jerusalem. The Temple of Jerusalem was also destroyed as well as a lot of houses and the people of Judah were taken captive to Babylon. (The real start of the Jewish Diaspora was after the captivity of the people of Judah, but I felt like the capture of Israel also contributed so I added that in). Anyways, after the fall of Judah, Judaism was close to failing. The Jews were all scattered in different lands and forced into the different religions of different empires. Since there weren't as many people able to spread the religion, Judaism didn't really grow and instead more and more people strayed away from it. They didn't have their temple, their city or their homeland, and also they didn't try to convert people to the religion so it just slowly decreased in the amount of followers as the next generations grew up with different gods like the Greek or Roman gods. A religion that used to be popular in that area now saw their followers spread out through a lot of different lands. While in Babylon, the followers of Judaism lost hope in the religion, but it was also during this time that some of the great prophets of Judaism came to encourage people to remain patient with Judaism so I guess it's a bit of a win-win situation? Jews were exiled out of their homeland, but during that time in Babylon, they also produced some of their greatest prophets. When the Persians took over the Babylonians, the Persians were surprisingly nice to the Jews. They still allowed them to practice Judaism and helped the rebuild the First Temple. When the Greeks took over, it was a blessing in disguise for the Jews. The Greeks did not let the Jews practice Judaism and tried to force them into different religions. They were totally disrespectful towards Judaism and even used the Second Temple to worship other gods. The Jews soon got fed up with the Greek's behavior and revolted, in which they surprisingly won the battle. They got their city and temple back which was a peaceful change of events for the Jews. However, their peace was short-lived when the Romans took over in 63 BCE. In a way, the Romans were not worse than the Greeks because they did not execute them and let them practice their religion but the Romans changed a lot of things for the Jews. For one, they rebuilt the Great Temple (Which ended up with it being rebuilt and rebuilt a couple years later, still by the Romans). The Jews wanted out of the Roman control and tried to rebel. so in 66 B.C.E, they revolted against the Romans. For 3 years, they succeeded, managing to keep the Romans out of their land, but the Romans quickly took control of the land and along with it, the Second Temple. The Jews tried to rebel again in 135 C.E, but this time when they lost, the Romans banished them from Jerusalem and they were exiled to different parts of the world. The Jews would never really come together in Jerusalem again although some stayed in Israel.
Christianity is one of the major religions of the world and it branched off of Judaism, a smaller but important religion in the history of Christianity. Judaism is the belief that we’re all descendants of Abraham and that there’s one God. There are 2 major differences between Judaism and Christianity that makes it a different religion and it’s that Christians believe that Jesus is the Messiah while Jews believe that Jesus was a prophet. The other difference is that Jews believe they’re descendants of Abraham so they don’t try and convert people to Judaism while Christians although they believe they’re descendents of Abraham, they try and convert people to Christianity, those people are called missionaries. So Christianity is a religion based on the life, death, and teachings of Jesus.
The teachings and life of Jesus Christ is the main focus of Christianity and he is believed by Christians to be the Messiah. People who believed he was the Messiah branched out into this new religion called Christianity while people who believed he was a prophet stayed in Judaism.
2.1.1 Crucifixion and Resurrection
Jesus was crucified by the Romans after being betrayed by Judas. During the crucifixion, he willingly died when he could've probably escaped if he wanted to. Christians believe that even though he could escape the crucifixion because he was the Son of God and he could do anything, he willingly died on the cross so that we could be saved for we have sinned against God and Jesus was pure. He sacrificed himself so that we could pray for forgiveness and have another way to heaven. After 3 days of being buried in his tomb after the crucifixion, Jesus rose from the dead and went into heaven to rejoin his father. The Resurrection of Jesus Christ after he was crucified on the cross is a very important moment to Christians because it proved to them that he was truly the Son of God and that everything he said was true. Also, it was after the resurrection that his disciples believed he was the Messiah/Son of God and started to spread word of his teachings which will later turn into the religion of Christianity.
Several years after Jesus's death came Paul, a man who was later declared a saint by Christian churches. Paul of Taurus started off opposing Christianity. He even helped persecute Christians. However, while he was going to Damascus one day, he heard the voice of God speak to him and ask him why he was persecuting his people. From then on he became Christian and helped spread the teachings of Christianity. He visited many cities and converted people to Christianity before he was jailed in Rome where even then, he continued to spread the word by writing letters. As you can see, during Paul’s time, the Romans felt threatened by how popular the Christians’ God was. Paul is undoubtably one of the most influential people in the founding of Christianity because 1, he drastically impacted the writing of the New Testament, 2, he influenced the distinct teachings of Christianity, and 3, without Paul, the spread of Christianity throughout the Roman empire would not have happened as it did. Going back to the New Testament, it's estimated that Paul wrote about 13 of the books in the New Testament (highly debated topic) and books like 1 Peter are influenced by Paul's ideas of Christianity. Paul also transformed our thinking in Christianity of the teachings of Jesus to the teachings about Jesus, teaching us that what mattered most for our relationship with God is not our repentance from sin (what Jesus taught) but our acceptance in the death and resurrection of Jesus. Paul established early churches around the key areas of the Asia Minor which then spread into Christianity and many provinces in the Roman empire became Christian before the whole empire took up the new religion.
Jesus started preaching later on in his life, around his 30s, after John the Baptist claimed him to be the Messiah that was promised to the Jews (and everyone else). When he started teaching, a lot of people would come to see him so he preached in synagogues, streets, hillsides, the Sea of Galilee, anywhere big enough to hold the vast amounts of people. He often taught in parables which were stories with a moral lesson and the parables usually ended in lessons like love your neighbour as yourself or be patient. During Jesus's life, he wanted to spread the word of love and mercy and would often help the sick or poor. He also taught them that God's kingdom was coming and God’s kingdom was not one to hold all the worldly pleasures and desires but it was one for people to live accordingly to God’s will. His teachings throughout his lifetime would later make it into the Bible and people would read the Bible and be in awe of what he could do and in some cases, they would convert to Christianity after reading about the works of Jesus Christ.
2.2 Roman Catholic Church
During Paul's time, the Romans started to realise how many people actually followed Christianity and in fear that this would ruin their Roman beliefs of the emperor as a god, they brutally killed many Christians by burning, or vicious animals. Luckily the Christians were not deterred or scared by the acts of violence and instead inspired. They were inspired by the bravery of these Christians that were willing to put their life on the line for their God. It helped spread the religion even more. Slowly, after a couple centuries, in 313 CE, Constantine, the first Christian emperor, announced the Edict of Milan, stating that Christians had the right to practice their religion freely. This started a chain reaction and after Constantine, other emperors started to help grow Christianity. Finally in 380 CE, Christianity was the official religion of the Roman empire which is a pretty drastic change from when they were murdering Christians for their beliefs. Making Christianity it's official religion was an important move for the spread of Christianity, not just in the Roman empire, but around the world. If the empire had not made the religion popularised, it probably would've still remained with Judaism, and the majority of people would've been polytheists.
2.3 The Bible
The Bible is a collection of writings that contain beliefs and teachings of Jesus and God. It is read and kept by Christians and is considered to by their sacred text. It is one of the most influential books worldwide (even years after it was made) and has been the inspirational for many of the greatest works in the world. For example, the Scriptures have inspired great artists like Michealanglo to sculpt people from the Bible (the statue of David). The Bible, unlike the Torah has 66 books, 39 in the Old Testament and 27 in the New, although people mainly focus on the Gospel (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John)because these were the stories written about the life of Jesus a few decades after his death, according to his disciples. The Bible also influenced (influences) Christians a lot because it is usually a part of their day to read the Bible or to pray to God to ask for forgiveness from their sins or to praise him. Christians also follow the Ten Commandments, a set of rules given by God that his people should follow (also in Judaism).