What Is Judaism AP World History?

Judaism is a religion that has been around for thousands of years. It is one of the oldest monotheistic religions in the world and has had a significant impact on history, culture, and society. In this article, we will explore what Judaism is, how it developed, and its impact on AP World History.

What Is Judaism?

Judaism is a monotheistic religion that originated in the Middle East over 3,000 years ago. It is based on the belief in one God who created the universe and continues to govern it. The core beliefs of Judaism are expressed in the Hebrew Bible (also known as the Tanakh) and the Talmud.

The Hebrew Bible contains three main sections: the Torah (the first five books), the Prophets, and the Writings. The Torah is considered to be the most important section as it contains the foundational laws and stories of Judaism.

How Did Judaism Develop?

Judaism developed over time through a process of revelation, interpretation, and adaptation. The early Israelites were nomadic people who worshiped multiple gods. However, around 2000 BCE, Abraham received a revelation from God that there was only one true God.

Over time, this idea became more refined and developed into monotheism. Moses received another revelation from God in which he was given commandments to follow. These commandments formed the basis of Jewish law.

After Moses’ death, Jewish leaders continued to interpret and adapt these laws to fit changing circumstances. This process continued with rabbis in ancient Israel and continues today with modern Jewish leaders.

Judaism’s Impact on AP World History

Judaism has had a significant impact on world history in many ways. Here are just a few examples:

  • Religious Influence: Judaism has had a profound influence on Christianity and Islam, two of the world’s largest religions. Both religions trace their roots back to Abraham and share many beliefs and practices with Judaism.
  • Cultural Influence: Jewish culture has had a significant impact on Western culture. Many of the world’s greatest thinkers, scientists, and artists have been Jewish or influenced by Jewish ideas.
  • Historical Events: Judaism has played a role in many significant historical events, such as the Babylonian exile, the Maccabean revolt, and the Holocaust.


In conclusion, Judaism is a monotheistic religion that originated in the Middle East over 3,000 years ago. It has had a significant impact on history, culture, and society through its religious influence on other faiths like Christianity and Islam, its cultural contributions to Western civilization, and its involvement in important historical events. Understanding Judaism is crucial to understanding AP World History.