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Can a Zoroastrian believe in Jesus?

Discussion in 'Zoroastrianism DIR' started by Araceli Cianna, Feb 26, 2017.

  1. Araceli Cianna

    Araceli Cianna Active Member

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    I think of myself as a liberal Christian, more because Jesus came to me in a vision and to be honest I am more Jesuist than Christian, but the more I explore about Zoroastrianism the more I feel it aligns perfectly with my values. I feel that it is purer than Christianity (which really to me seems to be a mix of Zoroastrianism and Judaism)... and Jesus was prophesied by the three Zoroastrian magi to come into the world, not by the Jews.

    As for the true nature of Jesus, regarding his humanity vs divinity ect, I am still debating that. In my vision he wasn't God, but was like an ordinary human with a very powerful anointing and perhaps high 'position' in relation to the heavenly hierarchy. So my question is also how do Zoroastrians see Jesus, as the sole son of God, or a high ranking office, or as an enlightened master type?

    And how would committing myself to Jesus work with if I decided to convert to Zoroastrianism? Are the two beliefs compatible?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Brickjectivity

    Brickjectivity Veteran Member
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    ***Mod: Note to those who wish to reply this is the Zoroastrian Dir.***
     
  3. The Emperor of Mankind

    The Emperor of Mankind Currently the galaxy's spookiest paraplegic

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    The notion that three wise men were Zoroastrians is a modern exegesis with as much basis in fact as the Jesus birth story itself. Zoroastrianism does preach belief in a messiah figure called the Sayoshant who will renovate the world & perfect it but this figure is prophesied to come from the blood of Zoroaster and Jesus was Jewish, not Indo/Aryan.

    To me, Jesus (or at least how he is portrayed in the New Testament) was a good exemplar of Zoroastrian ethics - Good Thoughts, Good Words, Good Deeds - even if unintentionally because these things, while a focus of the Good Religion, are not unique to it.

    I think committing yourself to Jesus could work in Zoroastrianism if you accept the notion that he is a human (who exemplified Zoroastrian traits) and is not God - which you've said you do - but to do so you have to take the word of non-Zoroastrian texts which have been heavily revised and edited over the centuries. Zoroastrian texts don't mention or even refer to Jesus because he came later. He isn't a Zoroastrian prophet or sacred figure in any way. You can shoe-horn him in but it's not a position accepted in Zoroastrian orthodoxy. Since Zoroastrianism heavily emphasises honesty, you'd have to remind yourself that Jesus veneration is your own personal practise and to claim it is part of the Good Religion is false.
     
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  4. MD

    MD qualiaphile

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    Yes and no. The messiah concept originated in Zoroastrianism, as well as many other Abrahamic concepts. There are two types of Zoroastrians, one who believe fully in the Avesta and the other who believes in the Gathas, which is more philosophical. I am a Gathic Zoroastrian.

    Both types of Zoroastrians can believe that Jesus was an enlightened soul who was guiding people to the path of Asha.

    But a Zoroastrian cannot believe in an omnipotent God or an omniscient God because we believe God is all good and free will is real. An omnipotent and omniscient God nullifies those two. A Zoroastrian also cannot believe Jesus died for our sins, since our sins feed Ahriman (the evil force) and Ahura Mazda is not omnipotent. To a Zoroastrian our thoughts, words and actions are part of a long battle between good and evil. They cannot be erased by a single act of sacrifice.

    Thus to answer your question, yes a Zoroastrian can believe in Jesus as a man who guided folks towards goodness, but a Zoroastrian cannot be a Christian. The latter requires a belief in an omnipotent and omniscient God as well as the divinity and eternal sacrifice of Christ for humanity.
     
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  5. Araceli Cianna

    Araceli Cianna Active Member

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    Thanks for both of your responses! I am interested about this idea that God in Zoroastrianism isn't omnipotent or omniscient. As the Ultimate Being how could that be possible, and how would he even be able to exist in the first place?

    But yes you are right, the idea of sacrifice is a stark contrast between Zoroastrianism and Christianity. To be honest I am not really sure what I believe, being more theologically liberal/progressive the question is open to me. I may have to do some musing to see what makes most sense to me.
     
  6. Phantasman

    Phantasman Well-Known Member

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    From my understanding, Zoroastrianism is a form of Gnostic teachings, and started when the Gnostics fled the persecution of Rome and Jews in the 2nd century into the Middle and Far East as well as N Africa. The (Christian) Gnostics were dualists, teaching that spiritual knowledge was key to salvation, and man was born ignorance due to imperfection of the "creator". Similar with Manichaeism based on gnosis as well.

    "The historical roots of the gnostics reach back into the time of the Greeks, Romans, and Second Temple Jews. Some gnostics were Jewish, others Greco-Roman, and many were Christian. There were Mandaean gnostics from Iraq and Iran; Manichaeans from Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, and all the way to China; Islamic gnostics in the Muslim world; and Cathars in western Europe. The heyday of their influence extends from the second century CE through the next several centuries. Their influence and their presence, some say, continue to the present day.

    Gnostics sought knowledge and wisdom from many different sources, and they accepted insight wherever it could be found. Like those who came before them, they embraced a personified wisdom, Sophia, understood variously and taken as the manifestation of divine insight. To gain knowledge of the deep things of god, gnostics read and studied diverse religious and philosophical texts. In addition to Jewish sacred literature, Christian documents, and Greco-Roman religious and philosophical texts, gnostics studied religious works from the Egyptians, Mesopotamians, Zoroastrians, Muslims, and Buddhists. All such sacred texts disclosed truths, and all were to be celebrated for their wisdom."
    - Marvin Meyer The Gnostic Bible

    I am not completely familiar, and just wish enlightening, for my own understanding.
     
  7. The Emperor of Mankind

    The Emperor of Mankind Currently the galaxy's spookiest paraplegic

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    That is incorrect. Zoroastrianism had existed for centuries; maybe even millennia prior to the advent of Gnosticism.
     
  8. Phantasman

    Phantasman Well-Known Member

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    My appologies. I reread and mistook 2nd century for 2nd millennia bce.

    "The roots of Zoroastrianism are thought to have emerged from a common prehistoric Indo-Iranian religious system dating back to the early 2nd millennium BCE."

    It appears that the gnostics sought spiritual truth within the Ahura Mazda as they did in Allah centuries later. I believe the gnostics pursued the Spirit in many places, and they believe the Spirit has always been here since the beginning, making itself available to those who understood.

    To me gnosis is continual growth that a lifetime could not fulfill with the spiritual knowledge available.

    Thank you for the clarification, as I seek better understanding.
     
    #8 Phantasman, Feb 6, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2018
  9. The Emperor of Mankind

    The Emperor of Mankind Currently the galaxy's spookiest paraplegic

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    That's an easy mistake to make.
     
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  10. Samantha Rinne

    Samantha Rinne Resident Genderfluid Writer/Artist

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  11. The Emperor of Mankind

    The Emperor of Mankind Currently the galaxy's spookiest paraplegic

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    It seems unlikely; mostly because there is no reason to suppose that Jesus fits the role of the Saoshyant who is the Zoroastrian messianic figure. This seems more like an attempt to lend greater credence to the Nativity story by having Jesus receive the recognition of the most well-established & powerful monotheist religion of the time.
     
  12. Samantha Rinne

    Samantha Rinne Resident Genderfluid Writer/Artist

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    Read the article(s). The point made there is Zoroastrians may have recognized him as A Savior, not necessarily The Savior, the one they were looking for. That much of Zoroastrian culture was about finding these Savior candidates, I guess you'd put it.

    Anyway, Zoroastrianism isnt really my forte, just wanted to throw it out there, that yeah it's possible something like this happened.
     
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