Google says it is the Jewish Year 5774. The wiki and other sources say Judaism is 3000 years old and suggest Abraham was born 4000 years ago. Where is the discrepancy?

I am perhaps looking for an explain like I am 5 answer, but I know that it's the Jewish year 5774 (http://www.science.co.il/Jewish-Holidays.asp).

But on the Judaism page, the wiki says:

Judaism claims a historical continuity spanning more than 3,000 years

and links the 3,000 years to Abraham who it says was born about 4,000 years ago.

There seems to be a clear discrepancy between the wiki age of 3,000 years and the Jewish view of it being the year 5774. I would like to know how that discrepancy is reconciled.

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    The year 5774 is from the creation of the world, not from the beginning of "Judaism". But questions that concern the beginnings of Judaism tend to be vague and difficult to answer. The word is first attested in the second book of Maccabees, but that's not to say that "Judaism" began then. Besides, what is Judaism? Something that originated with Abraham? With Sinai? With the exile? With the Mishna? Take your pick.
    – Shimon bM
    Nov 16, 2013 at 4:14
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    Hi Jerry, welcome to Mi Yodeya! You might find this wiki page interesting.
    – Double AA
    Nov 16, 2013 at 23:03
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    @ShimonbM Purim occurred some 215 years before Channukah and Megillat Esther mentions "mityahadim" as "convert to Judaism" and refers to Mordechai as a Yehudi even though he was from the tribe of Benjamin, so wouldn't that predate Maccabbees?
    – rosends
    Nov 17, 2013 at 1:23
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    @Danno - My point was that the word "Judaism", which denotes a belief, is first attested in second Maccabees. See 2 Maccabees 2:21 where it mentions Ἰουδαϊσμός for the first time. (In that work, it's contrasted with "Hellenism").
    – Shimon bM
    Nov 17, 2013 at 5:58

3 Answers 3


The epoch for the Jewish calendar is the creation of the world, not the Revelation at Sinai which traditionally occured about 2500 years later and marks the beginning of distinctly Jewish national religious obligations.

  • 1
    Thank you, and yes, I feel dumb. At some point I knew this. Nov 17, 2013 at 5:18
  • 8
    @Jerry, don't feel dumb; feel more knowledgeable! If you had this confusion, probably lots of other people do too, so it's great that you put it here as a well-written question. Now, other people who have this question might google it with language similar to yours and find their answers here.
    – Isaac Moses
    Nov 20, 2013 at 16:13
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    @Jerry xkcd.com/1053
    – andrewmh20
    Jul 6, 2014 at 3:21

See here: http://ohr.edu/special/misc/timeline.htm

3000 years is a nice round number and refers back to the revelation at Mount Sinai which occurred 2448 years after creation. 5774-2448=3326 years ago. 3000 is just a round number that approximates 3326.

You do have a very valid point, however. There's a tradition in the Talmud that states that the year 2000 (from creation- or 3774 years ago) initiated "two thousand years of Torah". Note that this refers to Abraham who was born in 1948. Obviously, we don't count from his birth- we count from the years in which he rejected paganism and taught monotheism to his descendants and others. Indeed we can consider that Abraham began the era of Torah because there's a tradition that he observed the Torah before it was formally commanded at Sinai- as implied by [Genesis 26:5][1]:

because that Abraham hearkened to My voice, and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws.'

So both 3000 years and 4000 years are correct approximations.


It is the year 8222 , in hebrew time since Adam . 2448 years passed before Exodus . Today is July 4 2014 7 Tammuz 5774 or 8222 from Adam On March 28 2017 Isreal will be 1 1 5777

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    I don't understand your numbers or your answer. Care to clarify? Jul 4, 2014 at 6:59
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    @CharlesKoppelman I think that she thinks that 5774 is from the exodus. So now would be 5774+2448=8222. It's just incorrect Jul 4, 2014 at 7:03

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