The Uniqueness Of Christianity -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Bible and Spade (First Run)
Volume: BSP 02:4 (Autumn 1973)
Article: The Uniqueness Of Christianity
Author: Anonymous

The Uniqueness Of Christianity

The late William Foxwell Albright was probably the greatest scholar of ancient Near Eastern civilizations and religions that the world has ever known or ever will know. His writings have greatly influenced Near Eastern studies in general and Biblical studies in particular. We quote here from the Postscript to his book Archaeology and the Religion of Israel (1956) where he commented on the solid historical foundation upon which Biblical Christianity is based.

“Underlying any serious investigation of the religion of Israel is full recognition of its historical character. The Judaeo-Christian tradition is unique in this respect. No other great religion of the past can compete with Judaeo-Christianity as a phenomenon of historical order. The outstanding polytheistic systems of antiquity, together with their modern analogues, cultic Brahmanism and Shintoism, are almost totally lacking in historical orientation. Buddhism and Zoroastrianism do possess conscious historical traditions, but these traditions are almost entirely attached to the persons of their founders, and modern historians find the greatest difficulty in offering any systematic reconstruction of their subsequent early history. Islam and Mormonism are offshoots of the Judaeo-Christian stem and consequently imitate the historical tendency of the latter.

“Since the Old Testament is historical in essence as well as in canonical purposes, archaeology becomes an indispensable aid to our understanding of it. Only through archaeological research can biblical history become a scientific discipline, since history can in general become scientific only by the consistent application of archaeological or other equally rigorous methodology. There can be no doubt that archaeology has confirmed the substantial historicity of Old Testament tradition.”

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