Confessions of a Philosopher:
It is not the case that a belief is worthy of respect, or is even interesting merely because it is widely held, though that it is widely held may give one food for thought. Of the religions I studied, the one I found least worthy of intellectual respect was Judaism.
----British Scholar and Philosopher Bryan Magee in 1997
This guy must be an absolute idiot or an absolute
liar because the exact opposite is true.
To my mind, a religion requires (at least) 3 attributes for it to really be considered *legitimate* (and I saying this only in the context of a long study of comparative religions of the world, and wrt which religions seems to last the longest, bear the best "fruit", etc)..
Anyway, to be a "successful" long-term religion, it requires (imho) the following three attributes:
1. A strong, responsible moral code
2. Manifestation of God as a Trinity
3. Concept of being "Born Again" (i.e., Resurrection of the Soul, "Enlightenment", etc)
Christianity has all three, and is moving into its third millenium. The Egyptian Mystery Religion had all three and lasted for well over three millenia.. Hinduism has all three, and has lasted for what? five millenia at least..
So w/o commenting on the relative merits of each such faith, i.e., "who's right" and "who's going to heaven, who's going to hell", etc, there are certain "common characteristics" you can pick out among the successful religions.
The Greek Mysteries + Mythology, on the other, were strong in points (2) and (3), but they lacked (1) (the Greeks were rather libertine, I've heard! :-P ) Hence, they were in ascendency for only several hundred years.
Likewise, Judaism has (1) (The Ten Commandments) but it lacks (2) and (3). Judaism is not, as such, in my view, a "sustainable" religion. The only reason Judaism is even alive at all today (and hasn't gone the way of the Cult of Mithras or Zoroastrianism or some other obscure near eastern religion) is precisely b/c of Christianity (and later Islam), and b/c these larger religions piggyback off the Jewish scriptuire. And w/ only 14 million "believers" globally (compared to Christianity's 2.1 billion, or Islam's 1.3 billion), Judaism can hardly be said to be competitive w/ these two, more inclusive faiths (which do - in the their own way - include the three points I listed above... I know Muslims officially *deny* a Trinity, but it's actually there in their Scriptures, hidden cleverly, if you search for it.. it's *not* in the Jewish Scriptures).
btw, Judaism is much younger than you think it is ... it does not date from *any* earlier than 500BC, and it would have completed self-destructed by the time of Christ had it not been for Christ.. and like I said, since that time, Christianity is (imho) has been the sustaining force behind Judaism, more than anything..