When Did the Jewish Religion Begin?

The Jewish religion began in the Levant several thousand years ago. Historians believe that a man known as Abraham belonged to a tribe which we would call the Hebrews. Like most tribes of the time, the Hebrews had a tribal god which they called Yahweh. Over many hundreds of years, the Hebrews came to believe that not only was Yahweh the only god they were permitted to worship, but that he was the only true god in existence. The Hebrews began to see their god as playing an active role in their society, punishing them for wickedness and rewarding them for goodness. They compiled their early history into the Torah (also known as the first five books of the Old Testament), and continued adding books to this history, which became known as the Jewish Bible (or Old Testament). Because of the uniqueness of the Jewish religion in the ancient world, along with its perceived opposition to Christianity (which is itself a branch of Judaism), the Jews have historically been somewhat isolated from their neighbors. This, combined with religious laws which shun intermarriage with those of other faiths (unless the newcomer formally converts to Judaism), has led to the survival of ancient Judaism into modern times. You can find more information here: