A Concise History of Christianity

1. Heritage page 1
The Patriarchs: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob
and the Origins of Judaism

Messianic Idea in Judaism

2. The Early Years page 2

3. The Turbulent Years page 2
1054 The Great East-West Schism
1096 The First Great Crusade
1134 Medieval Inquisition
1271 Last Ninth Great Crusade
1413 The Lollard Rebellion
1481 The Spanish Inquisition

The Reform Years  page 3
1517 Luther's Ninety-Five Thesis
1618 The Thirty Years War
1776 Founding Fathers Religious Beliefs Differ
1840 Abolition Splitting Some US Churches
1870 Papal Infallibility

Sundry Page 3
Islam also Sprang from Abraham
Philosophical Changes Introduced by Abraham's Religions

A Concise History of Hinduism
 Sources  textbooksfree.org/    

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Heritage The Patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and the Origins of Judaism

" Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, known as the Patriarchs, are both the physical and spiritual ancestors of Judaism. They founded the religion now known as Judaism ..."

Abram, according to Jewish traditions was born in Babylonia in 1948 from Creation (circa 1800 BCE). He questioned the faith of his father, believed that the entire universe was the work of a single Creator and he began to teach this belief to others.  Abram received an offer from G-d that indicated that his leaving home would make him a great nation and bless him. The b'rit (covenant) between G-d and the Jewish people was thus established. (Gen. 12). "The terms of this b'rit became more explicit over time, until the time of the Giving of the Torah (see below). Abram was subjected to ten tests of faith to prove his worthiness for this covenant. Leaving his home is one of these trials."

Living a nomadic lifestyle, Abram traveled through what is now the land of Israel for many years. G-d promised this land to Abram's descends but Abram and his wife were growing older and  had no children so  wife Sara followed a common practice and offered her maidservant Hagar as a wife to Abram. According to tradition, Hagar was a daughter of Pharaoh given to Abram during his travels in Egypt. She bore Abram a son Ishmael who according to both Muslim and Jewish tradition, is the ancestor of the Arabs. (Gen 16)

G-d changed Abram's name to Abraham (father of many), and Sarai's to Sarah (from "my princess" to "princess").  Sarah fulfilled a promise from G-d and bore Abraham a son Isaac (in Hebrew, Yitzchak) (Gen 17-18).

Isaac was the ancestor of the Jewish people. Thus, the conflict between Arabs and Jews can be seen as a form of sibling rivalry! Isaac was the subject of the tenth and most difficult test of Abraham's faith as G-d commanded Abraham to follow a common practice in the region and sacrifice Isaac as a burnt offering. (Gen 22). "At the last moment, G-d sent an angel to stop the sacrifice." Judaism uses this story as evidence that G-d abhors human sacrifice.  Isaac married Rivka who bore him fraternal twin sons:  Jacob and Esau. (Gen 25).



Jacob the more spiritually-minded was Rebecca's favorite and Esau  a good hunter was Isaac's favorite. Esau sold his birthright of spiritual leadership to Jacob for a bowl of lentil stew.

When Isaac was growing old, Rebecca tricked him into giving Jacob a blessing meant for Esau. Esau was angry about this and about the birthright so Jacob fled and met his beloved Rachel. Jacob was deceived into marrying Rachel's older sister, Leah, but later married Rachel as well, and Rachel and Leah's maidservants, Bilhah and Zilphah. Between these four women, Jacob fathered 12 sons and one daughter.

Jacob returned to his homeland and sought reconciliation with his brother Esau. Alone with G-d on the night before he was to meet his brother he wrestled with a man until the break of day at which time Jacob demanded a blessing  and the "man" revealed himself as an angel. He blessed Jacob and gave him the name "Israel" (Yisrael), meaning "the one who wrestled with G-d" or "the Champion of G-d." The Jewish people are generally referred to as the Children of Israel, descents of Jacob. The next day, Jacob met and was welcomed by Esau.

Jacob's 12 sons are the ancestors of the tribes of Israel and the Children of Israel and the ones for whom the tribes are named. Son Joseph is the father of two tribes: Manasseh and Ephraim. Joseph's older brothers were jealous of their father's favorite and because he had visions that he would lead them all so they sold Joseph into slavery convincing their father that Joseph was dead. But this was all part of G-d's plan as  Joseph was brought into Egypt where his ability to interpret visions earned him a place in the Pharaoh's court paving the way for his family's later settlement in Egypt.

As centuries passed descendants of Israel became slaves in Egypt and suffered under the hand of  Pharaohs.

But G-d brought the Children of Israel out of Egypt under the leadership of Moses who led through the wilderness to Mount Sinai where  G-d revealed Himself to the Children of Israel and offered them a great covenant: and if the people would hearken to G-d and observe His covenant including the ten-commandments  then they would be the most beloved of nations, a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. (Ex 19). G-d revealed the Torah to his people, both a written and Oral Torah which later was codified and written as the Talmud. The entire nation responded, ' "Everything that the L-rd has spoken, we will do!" '  "According to Jewish tradition, every Jewish soul that would ever be born was present at that moment, and agreed to be bound to this covenant."

The Messianic Idea in Judaism  Belief in a mashiach is a fundamental part of traditional Judaism and it is part of Rambam's   13 Principles of Faith, the minimum requirements of Jewish belief.  Modern scholars suggest the messianic concept was introduced later in the history of Judaism during the age of the prophets. Traditional Judaism maintains that the messianic idea has always been a part of Judaism..However, the Torah contains several references to "the End of Days" (acharit ha-yamim), which is the time of the mashiach; thus, the concept of mashiach was known in the most ancient times. source          Page 2     Page 3