Anything that is not something else is unique. Being unique isn’t very unique.
For some reason though, there are those that claim that their religion is the most unique and therefore is the one true religion. Please see here for some details about a particular respected-by-bloggers Rabbi’s opinion on the matter of why he thinks that Judaism is divine.
For those that can’t shake the belief that Judaism is really, really unique, I’ve compiled this very short list of not-so-unique tidbits about Judaism and it’s Torah.
- Akhenaton instituted a one-god religion debated by scholars to be either a monolatry, henotheism, or perhaps even monotheism. Moses instituted a one-god religion debated by scholars to be a monolatry, henotheism, or perhaps even monotheism.
- The Ancient Canaanites served a god that was called “El” that was in constant battle with the god Ba’al. The Ancient Israelites served a god called "El" that was in constant battle with the god Ba’al.
- The Creation myth of the Ancient Mesopotamians known as the Enuma Elish is uncannily similar to the Creation myth of Bereshit. In both:
- They describe the earth as between two waters and surrounded by a solid sky dome
- The earth is created through divine speech
- The order of creation was light, firmament, dry land, luminaries, and man
- The world was tohum or tiamat (formless chaos) before creation as well as other similarities.
- The ancient Mesopotamians had a global flood myth known as the Epic of Gilgamesh. The Ancient Israelites had a global flood myth known as Noah’s
- The Aztecs had a divine mass revelation. The Ancient Israelites had a divine mass revelation.
- The covenant between God and the Israelites is similar in many ways to a suzerain pact.
- There are many similarities between the code of Hamurabi and the laws of the Bible.
- The Ancient Hindus were invaded by an Aryan race that took over their land and instated their sacrificial, priest run religion. The Ancient Canaanites were supposedly (according to the book of Joshua) invaded by the Ancient Israelites that took over their land and instated their sacrificial, priest run religion.
- The Ancient Hindu’s religious texts (vedic tradition) were originally oral and were later written down and canonized between 1400 BCE and 400 BCE. The Ancient Israelite’s religious texts were originally oral and were later written down and canonized between c.1200 BCE and 200 BCE.
- Confucianism has a lengthy and complex work of laws and ethics known as the six classics (ching). Judaism has a lengthy and complex work of laws and ethics known as the Six Orders of Mishna that developed into the Talmud.
- Confucius sought the demythologization of ancient Chinese religion choosing to focus on ethics and civil law. The Pharisees sought the demythologization of ancient Israelite religion choosing to focus on ethics and civil law.
- Confucianism gives the utmost honor to scholars and wisdom. Judaism gives the utmost honor to scholars and wisdom.
- Christianity has apologetics. Judaism has apologetics.
There are many, many more similarities between other religions and Judaism, from the beginning to the present. If you are interested, you can google most of the stuff I brought here to confirm quickly. I’d like to end this post with a quote from the Buddha,
“Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with reason and common sense.”
Now those are words to live by.