Bible Open

Zoroastrianism Forgotten and Lost Sources

by Lewis Loflin

In Western Thought influenced by Zoroastrianism by Stephen Van Eck has several problems. He is an anti-Christian whose only purpose is to discredit Christianity. There is no doubt there's elements of Zoroastrianism in Judaism and Christianity, but the issue is far more complex. I'm not here to debate him or the reader because we all have several problems which I'll address.

First, the question; Is Christianity and in particular Jesus just a rehash of the Persian Prophet Zoroaster? Did Zoroastrianism get into Christianity and how? The answer to the first is no and the second is yes. Let's address problems with source material.

The following is the history of the Bible from www.catholic.com,

The books of the New Testament were composed decades after Christ ascended into heaven, and it took centuries for there to be general agreement among Christians as to which books comprised the New Testament.

You've never even seen the autographs (originals) of the 27 books in the New Testament. Nobody today has. The earliest copies of those books we possess are centuries older that the originals.

Like it or not, you have to take the say-so of the Catholic Church that in fact those copies are accurate as well as her decision that those 27 books are the inspired canonical New Testament Scriptures. You do accept her testimony as trustworthy, or else your Protestant Bible would not have those 27 books.

See what I mean?" (SNIP) The fact is, the Holy Spirit guided the Catholic Church to recognize and determine the canon of the New and Old Testaments in the year 382 at the Council of Rome, under Pope Damascus I.

This decision was ratified again at the councils of Hippo (393) and Carthage (397 and 419). You, my friend, (Protestants) accept exactly the same books of the New Testament that Pope Damasus decreed were canonical and no others.

Claims of some invisible spirit guide proves absolutely nothing. Anyone can make such absurd claims and it's impossible to verify except by reading the source material and the Old Testament as written clearly debunks Christianity. Oh, but you can't read it that way, you must be guided by the Holy Spirit...

And the sword. There never really was an agreement forcing the church to resort to force and terror to get one. These "earliest copies of those books we possess are centuries older that the originals" only date to the 4th century. And this is after church heresy hunters and book burners destroyed everything they saw as a threat.

The only other sources outside of fragments are the Dead Sea Scrolls that do nothing for New Testament Christianity, and the Nag Hammadi Gospels (Gnostic?) which date about the same time and contradict the official version of Christianity. We have no originals to go by and have to take their "say-so" for it.

See my Gnosticism section

Zoroastrianism is in even worse shape. After being nearly wiped-out by Islam in the 7-9th centuries, the survivors fled to India and still number under 300,000 today. In Religions of Antiquity (by Robert M. Seltzer) describes "considerable difficulties" in relation to Zoroastrian texts.

The Avesta was written down between 4th and 6th centuries based on earlier oral traditions. Material from earlier periods, just like the New Testament, is lacking and open to debate. The Avesta has survived only in part. Most other Zoroastrian works only date to the 9th century.

What I offer below are differing opinions on this subject from Christian fundamentalist to secular. My view is that Zoroastrianism (or something close to it) didn't directly get into Christianity except through Judaism and perhaps Gnosticism and is limited to end-times and apocalyptic ideas and the concept of the Devil. Prior to the Captivity, Satan was a loyal and trusted servant of God and the Serpent in the Garden wasn't Satan at all.

But if we take most of Christianity, there is nothing new or original accept one thing: Paul's theology of Original Sin, which doesn't exist in Judaism or Zoroastrianism. (The term doesn't appear in the Bible.) The idea Jesus was some sort of human/blood/deity sacrifice for sin (even Christians can't agree on details) is unique to Christianity.

Without Paul, all we would have is an apocalyptic Jewish cult. Paul's idea (in particular Augustine's version in the West) is an utter contradiction of the Old Testament while Augustine's views are rejected by the Eastern Orthodox Churches.


See Western Thought influenced by Zoroastrianism by Stephen Van Eck

Zoroastor