“The Jews were perhaps the first people to write history, and they did so four centuries earlier than the Greeks. Theirs was the only religion that had found a way of escape from the twin dangers of endless repetition and mere successiveness, through the concept of a purpose in history that had a beginning and looked forward to an end. History was bred into the blood and bones of every Jew, and Jesus of Nazareth was no exception. If we are believers, we have been caught up in a pageant of history that began with Abraham and has lasted up to the present day: our God is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are our ancestors.”
Stephen Neill, Jesus Through Many Eyes: Introduction to the Theology of the New Testament (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1976), p. 11.