I'm doing a study about the Magi for my sermon this Sunday. In my research I have found a lot of interesting links to the Magi and Zoroastrianism. But what I've found really shows a great Antisemitism by a lot of so called scholars. Without any real evidence, many scholars want to claim that Zoroastrian influence lead to the development of Judaism and Christianity, but the facts that we have show exactly the opposite. I do not understand why in the face of absolute undisputed fact, scholars still want to make such crazy claims. Anyone with the bare minimum of a junior high education can see that it makes more sense that Zoroastrianism was influenced by Judaism and Christianity and not the other way around. Consider some of the following details:
Why I don’t think Zoroaster influenced Daniel:
- The Zoroastrian sacred texts (the Avesta) were supposedly written down in 346-360 AD, though the earliest copies we have are from the 1200’s. There are references to Zoroastrian belief as late as Plutarch in AD46 – AD120, who believed Zoroaster lived at 6,000 BC, which is ridiculous. Pliny is the very first person to ever refer to Zoroaster, and he lived after Jesus.
- What we know about Zoroaster was written down at least 929 years after he was supposed to have lived. We don’t know anything specifically about him that comes from the time in which he lived.
- Zoroaster was supposed to have died in 583 BC, which would put him contemporaneously with the prophet Daniel, though they claim that he wrote the Avesta sometime before the 10 Century BC. It is ridiculous to believe the Zoroaster lived from 1000 BC to 583 BC that would make Zoroaster over 400 years old.
- Many claim that the stories of Jesus were based on Zoroaster, (examples include: he was supposedly born of a virgin, baptized in a river, was known for his wisdom as a youth, tempted by the devil, started ministry at age 30, cast out demons, restored vision to blind, preached on heaven and hell, had a holy grail, was martyred, was called the "Word made flesh," supposed to have a second coming) however, the stories of Zoroaster were written down in 346-360 AD, 300 years after Jesus lived, and some of these similarities many scholars believe were not official until at least 1000 AD. Isn’t it more conceivable that Zoroastrian similarities to Jesus were based on Jesus, since they were written down 300 years later?
- Many of the stories about Zoroaster are similar also to Daniel, and we know that the earliest references to Daniel are at the latest within a couple hundred years of when Daniel lived. Doesn’t it make sense that maybe Zoroaster was based on Daniel, and not the other way around?
- Babylonian and Persian society was polytheistic before Daniel. Many of the Persian kings were descended from Esther, known by her Persian name Ishtar-udasha, or Hadassah by her Hebrew name. We know for instance, that Artaxerxes was most likely Esther's son. Monotheism developed in Israel first before Persia, and history shows that for a fact that Babylon conquered Israel, bringing monotheism in contact with Babylonian religion. The Babylonians were overthrown by the polytheistic Persians, who were then brought into contact with the monotheistic Jews. After Persian contact with Jews Persians became monotheistic. We can’t prove that Zoroastrianism as we know it today even existed at the time of the Jewish captivity in Babylon, therefore, wouldn’t it make sense that the Monotheistic elements of Zoroastrianism came from Daniel, and not the other way around?