How Did Judaism Start
The question, “When did Judaism start?” is an important one, but to begin a reasonable answer requires a definition first.
Judaism refers to how some Jews celebrate their religious rituals. Those sets of ideas and beliefs about the world and the way Jews should live their lives are described by the term “Judaism.” Jews study it and train their children up in these principles. Yet, as we other religions whose principles, customs, and traditions are closely integrated in the culture of a particular people group, not every Jew practices Judaism, as is the case with Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, or atheism.
The defining straits of Judaism are:
1. Accept the teachings of Moses as their code of beliefs and conduct – the Jewish Law
2. Monotheistic in their convictions about God
3. See the land of Israel as their inheritance from God
4. Require circumcision of all males
5. Follow a lunar calendar
6. Believe in a coming messiah who will save the people from their enemies.
The term “Judaism” first appears as a Greek term in the second book of Maccabees written during the 2nd century B.C. Its purpose was to distinguish the practices, lifestyle, culture, and people of Judea from Hellenism, which describes the culture, language, and customs of the Greeks that the rest of the greater Middle Eastern countries were forced to adopt by the Greek Empire following Alexander the Great’s conquest of the then known world.
The codification of all that would ultimate constitute Judaism began long before the term that now describes it was used. That began with Abraham, the father of the nation of Israel and Moses their law giver more than 4000 years ago.