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Did Zoroastrianism influence Christianity?

Discussion in 'Zoroastrianism DIR' started by Deidre, Sep 1, 2016.

  1. Deidre

    Deidre Follow thy heart

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    I've finally looked into this a bit deeper, so would you say here that Zoroastrianism influenced Christianity? I've read mixed things about this, so just thought I'd ask. Obviously not in its entirety, but could it be said that there are some shades of it within Christianity? I also found this interesting that it is a monotheistic religion. (I don't know all that much about this, so...)
     
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  2. Omega Green

    Omega Green Member

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    I read somewhere that the origins of the idea of hell were derivatives from Zoroastrianism; but without checking the books again; that's the most I can think of right now... I will try to refresh my memory..
     
  3. Deidre

    Deidre Follow thy heart

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    Oh really? Hmmm, that is curious. I'd like to know more. I've been reading up on religions I know nothing about, and this one is on the list, and the Baha'i faith.
     
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  4. Omega Green

    Omega Green Member

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    There's a book called The Christ: A Critical Review and Analysis of the Evidence for His Existence by John Remsberg, which was the first book on this subject that I ever read; I used to know of a site that stored an online copy for anyone to read but it seems the site has since closed down. From what I remember it talks about Zoroastrianism and a whole lot of paganism in early christian influence..
     
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  5. Kuzcotopia

    Kuzcotopia If you can read this, you are as lucky as I am.

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    I think I had read somewhere that the original traditions of the Abrahamic God suggested a very mixed character. He had qualities of being both good and evil, merciful and capricious.

    However, the Zoastrianism concept suggested two gods, one good and one evil. Christianity may have borrowed this idea, and made their God absolutely good, and propped up Satan as being an evil counterpoint.

    I am too unfamiliar with Zoastrianism however to be certain, and I cannot remember the source on that take on its influence on The God of Abraham.
     
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  6. MD

    MD qualiaphile

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    Yes a lot of concepts like the Resurrection, Salvation, Savior, Heaven and hell come from Zoroastrianism, or what Zoroastrianism became after the Gathas were introduced. There was also a lot of Mithraism in early Christianity as well, which is another Indo Iranian faith that influenced both Christianity and Zoroastrianism.

    The Gathas are the original texts whose interpretations were included in the Avesta, as well as Indo Iranian myth. The Gathas were meant to be abstract, but the later additions of the Avesta seemed to have become more literal, and these concepts influenced Christianity and Islam a lot.

    One of the biggest reasons Christianity seems to have been influenced by Zoroastrianism is Christianity's battle between good and evil. Since such a concept is paradoxical within an Abrahamic framework, it seems that it probably was borrowed from Zoroastrianism.
     
    #6 MD, Sep 1, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2016
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  7. Deidre

    Deidre Follow thy heart

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    I appreciate the insight you all provided, I'll be back tomorrow to ask you more specific questions. I feel rather naive that I didn't know much about this religion, and that it seemed to pave the way for others. That there are so many ''others'' it's very curious to me right now. Hmmm....
     
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  8. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    Baha'is do accept Zoroaster as a Manifestation of God and also recognize Naw-Ruz the ancient Zoroastrian New Year.
     
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  9. Knight of Albion

    Knight of Albion Well-Known Member

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    Remember, that teachers of the Light are very wise men. They are not bound by narrow-minded Orthodox thinking. That is imposed by other less enlightened beings in following years.

    Wisdom is to be found in many quarters, and wherever it is found it is a blessing.
    True teachers recognise the value of such wisdom and incorporate it into their own teachings if they sense it to be in a pithy form that people will be able to readily embrace.

    We know that the great Master Jesus travelled to the East and encountered Eastern doctrines and teachings. The Golden Rule for example was first uttered by Confucius.
    So I think great souls gather wise teaching from many quarters and take it forwards as is, or in their own personalized variant.
     
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  10. Deidre

    Deidre Follow thy heart

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    Satan as an evil counterpoint? In Christianity, Satan is separate and away from God, but I don't get caught up in that part of Christianity. Interesting though about the idea of a duality type of God, although in Christianity, well most sects, God is thought of as triune. Thanks for your input.
     
  11. Deidre

    Deidre Follow thy heart

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    But, no one in Christian churches or circles is talking about this AT ALL. Hmmm....maybe because Christians don't like to think that anything was borrowed from anything else. lol Although, Christianity was influenced by Judaism, and Gnosticism. (Most Christians don't have a problem accepting this.)

    I see. What do you mean by 'battle between good and evil,' do you mean the battle that wages within us all ...between doing good and ''bad'' deeds?
     
  12. MD

    MD qualiaphile

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    No one in Zoroastrian circles talks about this either, these are academic topics that are coming to light now. Also Christianity was in Persia since its early days, so I am sure it had a small influence on Zoroastrianism. Zoroastrianism itself was influenced by prior Indo Iranian pagan faiths as well as Gnosticism, which is why it has some similarities with Hinduism. Zoroastrian philosophy influenced Greek thinking as well.

    Christianity was influenced by many faiths imo, Judaism, Mithraism, Zoroastrianism and Gnosticism. But I think it was mostly Judaism and Zoroastrianism.

    Zoroastrians believe heavily that the purpose of existence is between good and evil. Good can be a metaphor for order, justice harmony and evil can be a metaphor for chaos, destruction, etc. There is an eternal battle between us and within the universe itself between these two forces of creation and destruction. Christianity also heavily focuses on that with the battle between God and Satan.
     
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  13. Deidre

    Deidre Follow thy heart

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    Thank you for expanding on this, I'm fascinated by this religion that I never knew about.

    Does it bring you peace? Do you pray in this religion?
     
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  14. MD

    MD qualiaphile

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    Lol
     
  15. MD

    MD qualiaphile

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    Peace? Sometimes, especially in my fire temple.
    Purpose? Tremendous amount

    Yes we have our own prayers in an ancient language called Avestan. As a Zoroastrian prayer is not as important as the act itself of bettering the universe.
     
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  16. Jayhawker Soule

    Jayhawker Soule <yawn> ignore </yawn>
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    Regarding Mithraism, note this post from April 2005.
     
  17. Deidre

    Deidre Follow thy heart

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    How does it define a purpose for you, would you say? I'm not interviewing lol I'm genuinely curious as to why people choose to follow this, and I think if we're honest, we tend to follow things that do give us a purpose. Give us comfort and peace during difficult times in a volatile secular world.

    lol Hmmm...

    I might have to go back and reread the OT to see if I glean the same things, as you have. :blush:
     
  18. MD

    MD qualiaphile

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    Because it can be applied in a physical world. I can apply the idea of good vs evil into bettering the world or bettering humanity. This principle can be applied till the end of time, the idea that we must work with the creative force of the Universe to ensure our survival. It makes more sense to me to believe that good and evil are separate, and are two metaphysical forces, rather than emanating from one God.

    I am more of a deist than a theist, but the principles of Zoroastrianism can be applied for atheists as well. The philosophy of the faith is what I tend to follow, rather than the religious aspects. This philosophy had a big influence on Greco Roman thinking as well.
     
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  19. Deidre

    Deidre Follow thy heart

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    It seems more philosophical then, than ''religious,'' which is cool in my eyes. I really like the premise behind it. What do you believe about mortality and do you pay much mind to the idea of an after life? I don't personally get too into the idea of an after life in Christianity, although I believe that there is some type of heaven.
     
  20. Chakra

    Chakra Well-Known Member
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    MD, I think it would be highly enlightening if you also elaborated on some of the philosophical similarities between Zoroastrianism and Hinduism. Does it tend to be a bit Dharmic at times too?
     
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