Does Oldest=Truth


#1

So I’ve heard that Hinduism is the oldest religion known to man. If that’s true, then does that mean all other beliefs are false?

This was a question that was asked almost inadvertently by someone. I had no answer. Can you guys give me an answer


#2

Having just come back from India and having a close co-worker who is from there, this topic caught my eye. I studied Eastern philosophy in college and had my dalliance with Eastern religious beliefs as a young man, before coming back to The Church.

A few things:

  • Hinduism is not the world’s oldest religion, by a long shot. Hinduism only goes back to about 1500 BC. Before that, there was organized ancestor worship, spirit worship, pagan gods, etc.
  • Hinduism is not really an organized religion, like the Church is. They have no equivalent to a Pope or a Holy See.
  • Hinduism is an inclusive faith. Being Hindu is as much ethnic as religious. You can be Hindu and some other faith at the same time as far as the Hindus are concerned. I saw this going to Mass in India. Catholics there still very much have the trappings of being Hindu. BTW, I attended Mass at St., Thomas Basilica in Chennai (formerly Madras), where the apostle “Doubting Thomas” is supposedly buried. He was sent by the Apostles to India to evangelize. He probably got the bad assignment as punishment for that “doubting” episode! LOL

What is more, I think the whole point of Jesus’ life was that what had gone before was not repudiated, but built upon. The old did not have primacy over the new. The Muslims take the opposite view to the implication of your question. Allah sent Moses to carry his message, but the people did not follow. Then he sent Jesus, but the people still did not follow. Finally, he sent Mohammed and gave him the charge to get them to follow no matter what. I will stick with Jesus.


#3

Ancient Hinduism is a form of animism, the belief that there are individual gods assigned to various natural objects or processes. The more modern versions of Hinduism from today, which have more of a notion of a cosmic god, derive from around the same time the Torah was written. Since I think animism hardly counts as religion, I don’t see a problem here.


#4

No. This is a fallacy that older things are somehow better. Similarly it is fallacious to think that the newest is the best.
We also don’t have primary evidence showing us the oldest religion. It appears the Neanderthals had religious beliefs.
The Bible makes it seem (not outright states) that everyone believed in the One God but then started believing in false gods/demons and idols and all that via corruption.


#5

Hinduism isn’t even remotely close to being the oldest religion sigh. I’m starting to believe that’s almost a meme on the level of ‘white people are the only racists’. Quite tiresome. Back to the history books for you.


#6

What religion is confirmed to be older?


#7

Hinduism is the oldest EXTANT religion.

Various pagan religions, animism, totemism, polytheism, etc are older.

Sumerian religion is older, Akkadian is older, etc.

Zoroastrianism has roots going back almost to Hinduism, and Judaism has roots going that far back as well.

If you consider Judaism to have started with Abraham in about 2000 B.C., then Judaism and Hinduism are equally as old.

But the current consensus amongst scholars of religion is that Hinduism is the oldest extant religion, I.E. the oldest religion with people still born into it and practicing, followed by Judaism and Zoroastrianism for the top three oldest religions still extant.


#8

Do you have any sources you could refer me too?


#9

Regarding Religion and lineage, can you think of one in scripture who started a religion, and who traces their lineage back through Adam? https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=lk3%3A23-38&version=RSVCE


#10

Oldest doesn’t necessarily mean best.

The geocentric theory was first before the heliocentric theory. Obviously, the latter is correct.


#11

Joe1:

Search engines are wonderful things.

God Bless


#12

what does the age of a religion have to do with whether it teaches truth or is the truth? that’s what you should ask


#13

I just thought that the religion that is closer to the start of time will have the truth. I guess that is flawed logic?


#14

I get why you’d think that the older religion would probably be more correct, but that doesn’t logically follow. You have to ask, was this older religion a result of God showing Himself completely? Or did God just show Himself partially, only to reveal Himself fully at a later date (which would explain a later religion being the correct one)? And so on.

God bless


#15

In my opinion a better question for THIS forum might be:

From the time of Christ and the formation of Christianity; does age of the Christian religion have significance?

God Bless you,
Patrick


#16

Biblically the oldest or earliest religion would be the one practiced by Adam through Noah. Henoch the prophet wrote books prior to the flood, though they appear to be mostly lost. Place the length of time, perhaps thousands of years. And Hindu’s claim to be the oldest, or thus the true religion doesn’t win.


#17

It might be the oldest in written record (although I’m not sure that’s true), but I’ve studied it enough to know that one would need to ask which Hinduism you were referring to, as it’s evolved hugely over the years. It’s been more polytheistic at times, more pantheistic at others, maybe a little monotheistic at others still…


#18

Nom but to truely be the Church that Jesus founded,m it must have started when Jesus was here in the flesh, i.e. 2000 years ago. What Church can tract it’s chief pastors back to the time of Christ and the Apostles.


#19

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