Judaism was the religion of the Jewish people. It was a monotheistic belief system based on the ethics and principles that are found in the Jewish bible. According to history, the religion began when God had a covenant with Abraham. The Hebrews considered their belief to be a divine revelation and the acceptance of both written and oral works. This religion believes that there is no central authority over their religious principles and practices.
A key element in the Hebrew religion was its law. The law of the Jews was in accordance with the covenant between God and Abraham. This law acted as a symbol of unity which all the Jews lived to obey and therefore their success and development of their religion to date. The Hebrew law was a very significant element that uniquely identified the religion. The growth and development of the Jewish religion were not on a smooth road but rather the way to success for this religion had many stumbling rocks.
Historians have grouped the development of the Hebrew religion into four main stages. This was after a thorough analysis of their scriptures. In the first stage which was known as pre-mosaic, the Hebrews had many gods whom they worshipped and this was in the form of animations. It was until their migration from Egypt that their faith changed into monotheism with the introduction of Yahweh as their only God. Yahweh as the only symbol of worship was used to unite all the Jews. This unity was achieved by none other than Moses.
It is revealed in Exodus 6; 2. God spoke to Moses and said to him “I am Yahweh. But I appeared to Abraham, Jacob, and Isaac El Shaddai, and by my name Yahweh I did not make myself known to them.” The next stage was called national monotheism whereby the Hebrews adopted a single local god as their only God. This led to the transformation of the religion into monotheism. Monotheism was a very important factor responsible for uniting the people and spreading the religion to other parts of the world.
The third stage was known as the prophetic revolution whereby the effect of a few intellectuals inspired the religion through prophecy. They radically changed the religion into a new faith with the leadership of prophets. The prophets acted as messengers sent by God to spread the gospel to the people and convert more people into the religion thus leading to its expansion to other parts of the world. The last phase in the development of Jewish religion so the Hebrews rethink about the Yahweh religion and therefore elevated Torah as their new law.
Therefore, the success and development of the Hebrew religion were due to a combination of factors supreme to which was the worship of Yahweh as their only God the idea of covenant and the prophets who were like messengers who came to deliver the message to the Jews. The factors that led to the development of the Hebrew religion are still relevant today and have led to the spread of Christianity.