Did Zoroastrianism really influence Judaism/Christianity/Islam/Monotheistic Religions in most of their beliefs today?
Why would you think that?
Because of the new developments that took place in ancient Judaism after the Exile.
well that is what they are teaching in secular schools. I’m taking a World’s Religions class and that is what the teacher is saying. I think he needs to go back and read the Book of Job which was probably written around 1950-2000 BC.
What historical evidence can you provide for this view (i.e., evidence that would convince someone who does not accept your theological presuppositions)? I think that this dating is completely implausible, and I’m a Christian.
The story of Job, so I’ve read, probably originated in a non-Hebraic culture.
I’ve read about this as well. I personally don’t see any problem with it, as God reveals facets of His truth to various beliefs. For instance, much of Catholic theology is influenced by Greek philosophy. Perhaps in His wisdom, God has chosen that Zoroastrianism influence Judaism, and Judaism in turn would influence much of Christianity. Now, as for this claim itself, I will only list some of the influences that Zoroastrianism had on Christianity and Judaism, and it might be true–or it might not be. Some of them include the belief in angels (which according to some historians was not present in Judaism before the Exile) and the Holy Spirit (Ahura Mazda in Zoroastrianism).
Zarathustra is the link connecting the West (Judaism, Christianity, Islam) with the East (Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism).
I think this issue will only be problematic for those who cannot accept the fact that Christianity is “tainted” by pagan influences; Catholics should have no worry about this, for we must remember that some of our major feasts, like Christmas and Easter, had pagan origins and were Christianized, since we avow that Christ is King and Lord of all, so whatever paganism had we only gave it back to Him who rightfully owns it.
To me it seems more likely that Zoroastrianism (and other pre-Christian religions) was “influenced” by Christianity. The spiritual powers of this world had a certain knowledge of the real situation and of what was to come, and distorted the truth to create all sorts of cults and religions in mockery of true doctrines, including ones not yet revealed at the time. In this way they laid (lay) a more subtle trap for people: the most effective lies start from a grain of truth It’s easier to deceive someone into becoming a Buddhist than a Satanist.
Zoroastrianism existed before Christianity; I’m not sure if some small remnant of it existed well into the first few centuries, though if it did at that point it wouldn’t have much influence the way it did at its height. I am not sure how Christianity could have influenced any religion before its time.
Read my post again. Demons had some inkling of what was to come, and incorporated distorted truth into their false religions, to better deceive people. Mithraism is a clear example of this sort of thing. Zoroastrianism takes the truth of the cosmic battle between Good and evil and distorts it by making the evil force equal to the Good.
Hhmm…I don’t see other religions as intrinsically evil, or else we could argue that Judaism must also be evil itself, since it is not Christian. However, I see pre-Christian religions more as precursors to the truth; meaning that God used them as vehicles to plant certain truths into them, and later on these truths would be synthesized into Christianity. Again, remember that Christianity took certain aspects of these religions and Christianized them, bringing back the glory to God, as it should rightfully be. Also, we must remember that at that point, God has not revealed His truth fully, yet to come then in Jesus. So these religions were necessary, as it were, to exist, until the time that the Gospel can reach all nations.
Judaism is different, since it was instituted directly by God Himself. Christianity is the fulfillment of Judaism. Certainly the true elements of the other preChristian religions can and in many cases have been redeemed back into modern Christian practice. But let’s face it, other religions simply disagree with each other and with Christianity/Judaism on a lot of (very basic and important) points. They’re not viable alternatives to the divinely revealed truth. I don’t know if other religions are intrinsically evil, but they are at least misleading.
Not only demons, but man himself distorted the truth.
The story of Genesis includes the original relationship of man to God, so that to assume religion/knowledge of God “came” into existence rather than being an intrinsic and correct part of man – is a problem of perspective.
The book of Wisdom talks about how honor owed to God alone became transferred to idols by a darkening of the mind of man.
God himself works faith into the world, and through his continuous action provides intellectually understandable access to truths which withstand perversion.
Zoroastrianism, as one variant of the error which is inspired by a desire to detect the activity of God in the stars. eg: they are between us and him and somehow might be disturbed by his actions – which can therefore be observed – is a theory which quickly degenerated into superstition about the control the starts held, and their “deity” rather than their reflection of reality.
The fuel is the desire of man to control the future by at least knowing it, and perhaps by influencing the stars.
Magicians ( Mage / Magi ) were forbidden in the Jewish religion, and were an enemy of the Jews – but almost hypocritically – the OT includes a prophecy of a messiah who is heralded by a star.
But the purpose of the prophecy was to make the stars testify against Zoroastrianism. When the three wise men (Magi) came to Jesus, the conversion of their hearts had begun.
This sounds too convenient an explanation. What about Islam which started 600 yrs after Christianity?
This sounds similar to something Warren H. Carroll would write. Again, why would God send a half message out there? Are you saying that this religion was used by Him so that people would live uprightly? Why wouldnt He reveal Himself in Truth as He did with Moses?
This is intersting explanation though, but I think this religion, like all aspects of life can not be seen only in black and white.
According to Quran/Islam/Muhammad, there is no nation in the world which did not receive Warners/Prophets of GodAllahYHWH, so in that sense all Revealed Relgions are truthful in their origin, Zoroaster qualifies that Criteria.
[35:24] Thou (Muhammad) art only a warner.
[35:25] Verily, We have sent thee with the Truth, as a bearer of glad tidings and as a Warner; **and there is no people to whom a Warner has not been sent. **[35:26] And if they treat thee as a liar, those who were before them also treated their Messengers as liars. Their Messengers came to them with clear Signs, and with the Scriptures, and with the illuminating Book.
[35:27] Then I seized those who disbelieved, and how terrible were the consequences of denying ME!
Zoroastrianism is very much still around, though small.
First and foremost, because the time was not yet to reveal all truth, which would be the time when Christ would come. Even in ancient Israel, the truth was behind a veil. As well, God knows that at that time, man did not have the capacity yet to communicate at a fast pace as he does now, and so He used such means to reveal parts of His truth to those people.