There's a lot of tendency among Gnostics to compare Jesus of Nazareth to the other great teachers and religious founders of history. I was listening to a lecture this morning on Early Christianity, and the lecturer brought up a good point.
Lets take the 4 major religions that have identifiable founders: Islam, Buddhism, Judaism, and Christianity.
Islam was founded by Mohammed. He had visions for 40 years, and left a fairly comprehensive social, legal, and spiritual system which was continued by his successors. It has some drift and variation in practice and interpretation, but usually most folks can say that Islam has some consistent characteristics. Islam was the beginning of a nation.
Buddhism was founded by Siddhārtha Gautama, the Supreme Buddha. Estimates on the length of his ministry vary, but one number I've seen is 45 years, starting at Age 29. Again, Buddhism has a fairly internally consistent moral, spiritual, and social system, and it was continued by his successors. Again, Buddhist practice varies widely, but it has some internal consistencies. The Buddha had many followers in his lifetime.
Judaism is said to have been founded by Moses, and we are told that he and the Israelites wandered in the desert for 40 years. Judaism also has the internally consistent moral, spiritual, and social system, which is laid out in the Torah and elaborated on and interpreted by the Talmud. It was continued by the successors of Moses, the priesthood of the Levites. Judaism was the beginning of a nation.
And then there's Christianity. It's founder Jesus apparently had between one and three years of ministry, and his followers abandoned him when he was accused of being a criminal and crucified. He never had a huge number of followers, only 12 loyal guys and a number of the curious and interested. His collections of teachings are not a coherent system, but a series of parables, sayings, and narrative, and all are written by his followers. Followers who came to him after he had died, and risen from the dead. Jesus had a number of successors who started arguing from the first: James, Paul, Peter, Mary Magdalene. The people who accepted Christianity were Jews, Greeks, Romans, Egyptians: All very different culturally, all very different.
This band of 12 guys, frightened after the death of their leader, after the Resurrection made it known that it was their mission to convert the nations to the message that Christ is Lord. They didn't call you to a specific lifestyle. They didn't give you a law. They didn't have major requirements. They sprinkled you with water and asked if you accepted Christ as your Lord. They ate bread, drank wine "in remembrance of him".
There is a definite difference in the way these religions came about. Something unique happened in the case of Christianity.