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The survival of the Jewish religion and its subsequent incalculable influence in the history of Western culture are difficult to explain without acknowledgment of the importance of the biblical writings.
When the Temple in ), the historical, priestly sacrificial worship centred in it came to an end and was never resumed.
For the cultural and historical contexts in which this literature developed, , respectively, the Hebrew people outlived defeat, captivity, and the loss of their national independence, largely because they possessed writings that preserved their history and traditions.
Many of them did not return to Palestine after their exile.
Weighing every existing kingdom, government, church, party, and organization, it finds them wanting in that justice, mercy, and love for which they were intended.
The religion found expression in the books of the Old Testament: books of the Law (Torah), history, prophecy, and poetry.The church, driven in part by the power of biblical themes, called men to ethical and social responsibility, to a life answerable to God, to love for all men, to sonship in the family of God, and to citizenship in a kingdom yet to be revealed.The Bible thus points to a way of life never yet perfectly embodied in any society in history.The Hebrew myths of creation have superseded the racial mythologies of Latin, Germanic, Slavonic, and all other Western peoples.This is not because they contain historically factual information or scientifically adequate accounts of the universe, the beginning of life, or any other subject of knowledge, but because they furnish a profoundly theological interpretation of the universe and human existence, an intellectual framework of reality large enough to make room for developing philosophies and sciences.