Judaism

Moses (c. 14th - 13th Century BC)  

 

"…be careful to do what the Lord your God has commanded you; do not turn aside to the right or to the left."

 

Moses was a very important prophet in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. He was born a Hebrew slave but was rescued from death when an Egyptian royal family adopted him after he was found in a basket. When he was older, he learned of his family history and later killed an Egyptian slave master who was beating a Hebrew slave. He fled his royal lifestyle and became a shepherd and married in the land of Midian. Years later, while tending sheep, he claimed to have experienced direct communication with the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob through a burning bush. He was called to return to Egypt and deliver the Hebrew people from slavery. He felt he could not speak well so God allowed his brother Aaron to go with him. After ten plagues, Moses fled with the slaves out of Egypt, escaping through the parting of the Red Sea. The Hebrews escaped safely while the Egyptians drowned. Later, Moses received the Ten Commandments, a system of law, and many ritual regulations from God at Mount Sinai. After wandering in the desert for forty years, he died within sight of the land God had promised him.

 

Moses wrote about Abraham, the Patriarch of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

 

Abraham

(c. Second Millennium BC)  


    

"Abram fell on his face, and God talked with him, saying, 'As for Me, behold, My covenant is with you, and you will be the father of a multitude of nations. No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you the father of a multitude of nations.' " - Genesis 17:3-6

 

Abraham claimed to be called by God to leave his country to become the founder of a new nation. His story is an important part of history in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. He obeyed God without question, and listened to the promise that he would father a large nation even though his wife, Sarai (later called Sarah), was barren. Sarai, knowing she could not bear children, told him to father a child through her maidservant Hagar; this child was Ishmael. Later, he fathered Isaac, through Sarah as God had promised. Even though Abraham had many of the normal human weaknesses he was known for being a man of peace and compassion, a strong warrior, and most widely recognized as a righteous man committed to God no matter what the cost.

 


  

JUDAISM: The monotheistic religion of the Jews, having its ethical, ceremonial, and legal foundation in the precepts of the Old Testament and in the teachings and commentaries of the rabbis as found chiefly in the Talmud.

 

Followers of Judaism: Less than 1% of the world's population.

 

Authoritative Text: The Tanakh:

A collection of 39 books including the Torah, the Prophets, and the books of Writings.


• Accounts of personal interactions with God written in journal-like form of triumphs and defeat
• Accounts of conversions of those who did not believe
• Prayers and answered prayers
• Poems and songs of worship
• Prophecies fulfilled and yet to be fulfilled
• Miracles
• Responses to other belief systems
• Laws and guidelines for living
• Instructions for building
• Parables (stories to teach moral lessons)

 

*Note: Tanakh is the Old Testament of Christianity and the Torah (first five books) are Islam's Tawrat.

 

Authors: Many different authors from all types of backgrounds (see listing below).

 

Books: Bereishith, Shemoth, Vayiqra, Bamidbar, Devarim - Judaism

(Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy - Christianity; Tawrat - Islam)

Author: Moses: prince, shepherd, leader of the Israelites

 

 

Book: *Yehoshua - Judaism

(Joshua - Christianity)

Author: Joshua: special assistant to Moses, warrior, leader
 

 

Book: Shoftim, Shmuel, Ruth - Judaism

(Judges, I Samuel, Ruth - Christianity)

Author: Samuel: judge, priest, prophet, counselor, first king of Israel
 

 

Books: Ezra, *Shmuel, Divrei Ha-Yamim - Judaism

(II Samuel, *I & II Chronicles - Christianity)

Author: Ezra: scribe among the exiles in Babylon, king's envoy, teacher
 

 

Book: Nechemyah - Judaism

(Nehemiah - Christianity)

Author: Nehemiah: king's cupbearer, city builder, governor of Judah

 

Book: *Esther - Judaism

(*Esther - Christianity)

Author: Mordecai: Jewish official who became second in rank to Xerxes
 

 

Book: *Iyov - Judaism 

(*Job - Christianity)

Author: Job: wealthy landowner and livestock owner
 

 

Book: Tehillim - Judaism

(Psalms - Christianity; Zabur- Islam)

Authors: 

David: shepherd, musician, poet, soldier, king
Asaph: one of David's chief musicians and leader of the temple choirs
Sons of Korah: Korah was a Levite and tabernacle assistant
Ethan: a Levite leader and possibly on of the head musicians in the temple
Heman: son of Korah
Some unknown authors

 

 

Book: Mishlei - Judaism

(Proverbs - Christianity)

Authors: 

• Solomon: king of Israel

• Lemuel: king

• Agur: a wise teacher who may have come from Lemuel's kingdom
 

 

Books: Shir Ha-Shirim, Qoheleth - Judaism

(Song of Solomon, Ecclesiastes - Christianity)

Author: Solomon: king of Israel
 

 

Book: Yeshayah - Judaism

(Isaiah - Christianity)

Author: Isaiah: scribe, prophet
 

 

Books: *Melakhim, Yirmyah, Eikhah - Judaism

(*I & II Kings, Jeremiah, Lamentations - Christianity)

Author: Jeremiah: prophet
 

 

Book: Yechezqel - Judaism

(Ezekiel - Christianity)

Author: Ezekiel: a priest, a jewish street preacher, and a prophet to the captives in Babylon
 

 

Book: Daniel - Judaism

(Daniel - Christianity)

Author: Daniel: a captive from Israel who became an advisor of kings

 

 

Book: Hoshea - Judaism

(Hosea - Christianity)

Author: Hosea: prophet to the northern kingdom of Israel
 

 

Book: Yoel - Judaism

(Joel - Christianity)

Author: Joel: prophet
 

 

Book: Amos - Judaism

(Amos - Christianity)

Author: Amos: shepherd

 

 

Book: Ovadyah - Judaism

(Obadiah - Christianity)

Author: Obadiah: little is known about this man, his name means "servant (or worshiper) of the Lord"
 

 

Book: Yonah - Judaism

(Jonah - Christianity)

Author: Jonah: prophet
 

 

Book: Mikhah - Judaism

(Micah - Christianity)

Author: Micah: prophet
 

 

Book: Nachum - Judaism

(Nahum - Christianity)

Author: Nahum: prophet

 

 

Book: Chavaqquq - Judaism

(Habakkuk - Christianity)

Author: Habakkuk: prophet

 

 

Book: Tzefanyah - Judaism
(Zephaniah - Christianity)

Author: Zephaniah: prophet
 


Book: Chaggai - Judaism

(Haggai - Christianity)

Author: Haggai: prophet
 

 

Book: Zekharyah - Judaism

(Zechariah - Christianity)

Author: Zechariah: prophet

 

 

Book: Malakhi - Judaism
(Malachi - Christianity)

Author: Malachi: prophet

 

Note: Starred (*) authors are suggested because of setting, writing style, eyewitness accounts or internal evidence.  Also, 51 psalms are anonymous.