Is it true that Christians simply copied the teachings and images of other religions like Buddhism, Hinduism, Egyptian and others?
Someone sent me a message through FB and shared the link that contained information questioning teachings of Christians.
It showed pictures to show that Christians just copied religions of Non-Christians. What can we say about this?
Is it true? Or, do they just want us to lead astray innocent people?
There is an idea the Old Testament was based on Zoroastrianism while its teachings were founded on two assumptions. The entire Old Testament was written during the Babylonian captivity or after that. And, teachings of the Essenes represented mainstream Judaism. Both claims are obviously wrong.
The Essenes wrote something regarding sons of darkness against sons of light and the continuous battle between the two forces. It has similarities to the Zoroastrian tradition wherein life is a temporary state. The mortal is expected to participate actively in this battle between truth and falsehood. Otherwise, there is no resemblance to Judaism. Many historians consider Essenes as extreme consequence or an extremism sect. it does not represent true Judaism. If you compare the Essenes community with Old Testament Judaism there is no point of comparison. If the Essenes insisted on copying Scripture faithfully , their other writings were never accepted by other Jews. Likewise, their theology cannot be found in the Old Testament.
There is sufficient evidence that except for books said to have been written in Babylon they were written as described. They contain information which was not available except to eyewitnesses. Therefore, the whole theory is flat. Moses who lived 500-900 years before Zoroaster, (scholars estimated he lived around 1,000 BC or around 600 B.C.) may have influenced him. Yet, Moses could not have been influenced by Zoroaster.
According to Wikipedia:
“The religion states that active participation in life through good thoughts, good words, and good deeds is necessary to ensure happiness and to keep chaos at bay. This active participation is a central element in Zoroaster’s concept of free will, and Zoroastrianism rejects all forms of monasticism”.
Zoroastrianism and Christianity:
True Christianity is different from other religions of the world. It is a rational and historical faith. For Christians, salvation depends on something completely outside of man. Salvation is found in the faithfulness and perfect sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Eastern and Mid-Eastern mystics claim they discovered god in their profoundness. The true Christian looks at the righteousness of Christ Jesus.
Christ’s reparation for sin is a reality that is all-sufficient. It does not need to be complemented by any other reality. God’s judgment is not based on any state of being within the believing sinner. It is established on Christ alone. The principle that man can save himself through his experience and on his own is the foundation of every pagan religion. The spiritual union of Rome with paganism contaminates our whole society.
Deadly deceptions of mysticism haughtily advertise a way of direct access to the All Holy God and disclaim the Lord Jesus Christ who is the One Mediator between God and men. The believer’s worship and approach to God is in the Lord’s own words: All thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
Other religions have a god or gods.
According to http://www.hinduwebsite.com/zoroastrianism/beliefs.asp:
“While Zoroastrians worship Ahura Mazda as the highest and supreme God, they also believe in the existence of a number of divinities who represent His good qualities and who assist Him in containing the evil in the material world. Highest among these are the six Immortal Beings or Amesha Spentas who personify His good qualities individually, followed by angels, lords or ahuras and other divinities. Sacrificial rituals called Yasnas, rituals and prayers are used to invoke these divinities on different occasions to sanctify the world and help the faithful in their lives.”
Genesis was a book written thousands of years ago and were passed down from father to son until they reached Moses. These were compiled, edited and re-written. This became the Book of Genesis found in the Hebrew Bible.
How do we know this?
The first is a list of toledoths in the Hebrew (translated into English as “these are the genealogies/generations of”). It indicates a signature of the person who just finished writing that particular section of the book. None of the original biblical manuscripts, including the book of Genesis, are in existence. Yet, if this theory is correct (it has been adopted by several young-earth creationist theologians) it means the finger of God wrote down the first two chapters of Genesis.
Then, He directly told Adam about some of the events of later verses in Genesis 2, who recorded them. Many theologians believe this was Adam’s account from Genesis 2:4 until Gen. 5:1. Adam passed the book to his son, Seth after this and down to his other sons. When Gen. 2:10 says a river went out from Eden in the present tense, it is because Adam wrote it as he saw it. When Moses compiled the records, he did not change verb tenses. Just like the NT, the apostles have different writing styles. Yet, all of them were guided by the Holy Spirit. Adam recorded things differently from Noah. Noah also recorded things differently from Shem. Shem recorded things differently from Jacob. Each has its own personality. They were all guided by the Holy Spirit. Based on this Toledoth theory, then, it was Terah who wrote the genealogies of Shem until the beginning of his own (Gen. 11:10b-27a).
How does the Toledoth theory help answer this question?
Abraham and his father Terah came from Pagan culture which means paganism predates the “father of the Hebrew nation”.
Does it really predate monotheism?
In Genesis 11:11-27, Terah recorded his family’s history. He was given these documents from his great-grandfather (plus many generations) Shem. Terah, Abram and Nahor were original idol worshippers or possibly were syncretic in their worship which means they worshipped Yahweh and other gods. Shem could have given the written records to Terah. This was the time Terah and his family was taught the true worship of God. Shem lived until Abram was 150. Terah moved his family apparently from Ur to Haran (Genesis 11:31). It is quite possible Terah and his family left an idolatrous town.
With regards to Laban’s syncretic statement (recognizing Yahweh and Pagan gods as God) in Genesis 31:29-30 & 53, it is possible Terah, Nahor and Abram used to be polytheistic idol worshippers. They were only convinced to serve the true and living God after Shem visited them. He tasked to write down their family history in the book started by Adam. Even if the Toledoth theory was weak, something caused Terah to evacuate his family from Ur and move to Haran. If it was not Shem, perhaps God visited Terah just as He later did with Abram. This is not recorded in Scripture. Another point is Laban vowed to know and serve Yahweh (Genesis 24:50, 30:27, 31:24, 31:29, 31:49).