"Nothing is New: Religions Evolve" by Vexen Crabtree
(2007) contains general notes on how all
religions inherit pre-existing beliefs from their neighbours.
Remember the Dead Sea Scrolls? "Dead Sea Scrolls
" by Stephen Hodge, contains an account of them. Reading it, I noted many similarities and many occasions where what Christians once thought was uniquely Christian, is in fact older than Christianity. So here are some Jewish similarities:
Hodge lists many of the similar practices of the Dead Sea Scroll community and notes which ones were the same as those teachings accepted by the New Testament writers.
* Common Ownership of Property
* Exorcism. "Allusions to this practice of exorcism are found in some of the writings from Qumran, such as the Genesis Apocryphon where it says, 'so I prayed for him ... and I laid my hands on his head; and the scourge departed from him and the evil spirit was expelled from him' (XX22.29)"
* Teachings on Divorce and Treatment of Enemies. "The scrolls have also been useful in providing valuable background information for ideas hitherto found only in the Gospels. For many years scholars had been baffled by the ban that Yeshua imposed upon divorce and remarriage, for this ruling had not been found in any other Jewish sources. but when works like the Temple Scroll and the Damascus Document came to light, it was soon noticed that members of the Community were similarly forbidden to divorce."
* The Ritual Meal. "Unfortunately, the account given by the Gospels of the so-called Last Supper has clearly been modified for the sake of later theological considerations, so it is difficult to unravel what was actually practised by Yeshua and his followers."
* The Beatitudes
(p214). "Even teachings of Yeshua previously thought to be unique, such as the Beatitudes which he enumerates in the course of the Sermon on the Mount, find a parallel among the writings of the Qumran Community." One such work is called The Beatitudes (4QBeat) where a number of virtues are mentioned in a very similar spirit way to how they are in the New Testament. A series of beatitudes are listed which start "Blessed be they who...""
* Eschatological Dualism
* Literary Style and Terminology. "Writers in the Community used the unique pesher method of interpreting older scriptural texts in terms of contemporary events. When doing so, however, they expressed their interpretations in a heavily coded manner. As any student of the New Testament will know, the Christian writers also made liberal use of passages from the Prophets and other biblical books to prove that Yeshua was the Messiah and that everything that befell him was a preordained part of God's plan for the salvation of the world. Overall, the specific texts and the manner in which they were used by both groups to prove their respective claims are very similar, each having strong predilection for the Book of Isaiah"