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It has been argued that Judaism can be seen not only as a singlereligion but as a group of similar religions It has also beenpointed-out that through all the trials and tribulations that Judaismhas suffered through that there have been common themes that haveproven Judaisms roots lie far back in the beginnings of recorded history The religion did not spring into existence exactly as it is known today rather it was pushed and prodded by various environmental factors along the way One of the first major influences on the religion was the Canaanite nation Various theories exist as to how and when the people that would later be called Jews entered into this civilization But regardless of how they ultimately got there these pioneers of the new faith were subjected to many of the ideas and prejudices of the time Any new society that finds itself in an existing social situation can do no more than to try and integrate into that framework And this is exactly what the Jews did Early Judaism worshipped multiple gods One of these gods was known as Baal and was generally thought-of as a statue god with certain limitations on his power The other primary deity was called YHWH or Yahweh and enjoyed a much more mysterious and illusive reputation He was very numinous and one was to have great respect but great fear for him at the same time Baal was not ever really feared as his cycles metaphorically seen as the seasons were fairly well known and not at all fear-inducing This early time period was generally quite temporary andnon-centralized stemming from the fact that technology was at a verylow level and peoples lifespan was fairly short These conditions led to a rapid rate of turnover in religious thought and left many factions of people to their own devices Widespread geographic distribution coupled with poor communication certainly
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