In an article in your website you talked about Zoroastrianism on some context. I’m a Christian with a broken faith.  I have learned of so many discoveries of made up stories in the Bible when you look from a historical/archeological point of view at the OT.  You said in the article you wrote that the idea of resurrection was no way a borrowed idea from Zoroastrianism. But I have seen evidence to oppose this.  For example,  the text of old Avesta, even if it was a copy, prove it was older than the Old Testament. Here are a couple of things I discovered in a forum to prove the idea of resurrection is borrowed.  The forum leader quotes Diogenes Laertius: “In the eight book of the Philippics, according to Magi, men shall come to life and be immortal ” Eudemus of Rhodes also gave a similar testimony. Theopompus is referenced by Aeneas of Gaza: “Zoroaster preaches that a time shall come there will be a resurrection of all the dead” Even if some people accept the historicity of Jesus, then get confronted with this, plus all the rest of story of the OT that got borrowed from older myth. For me, it gets a bit too much to keep the faith on. All the biblical idea of resurrection appeared post-Babylonian exile. Serious people in their faith keep digging but most like to stop before it get totally destroyed. (for example where they can’t date the old Avesta text)  I don’t know if you have some inside info that could debunk all this.


I am sure I never said that there is no possible way that the idea of resurrection in the Bible could possibly have been borrowed from Zoroastrianism.  I like to speak more carefully than that.  More likely, what I said is that there is no evidence that the idea of the resurrection in Judaism was borrowed from Zoroastrianism.  Probably (I do not know what article you are referring to), what I said is that the evidence supports the conclusion that Judaism predates Zoroastrianism, or at least they began around the same time, making it unlikely that Judaism borrowed much if anything at all from Zoroastrianism.  Judaism goes back well into the second millennium BC.  Moses gave the Law to the Jews, most likely in the 15th century BC.  There is no evidence of the Avesta or any other Scripture of Zoroastrianism being that ancient.  None.  I suggest you look at what scholars say about the earliest evidence for the Avesta Scriptures of Zoroastrianism.

You mention that it is proved that the Avesta is older than the Hebrew Bible.  I beg to differ with you, and I ask you to produce evidence of this.  As far as I know, the Avesta was first put in written from around the second century AD and the oldest manuscripts we have are from the 14th century AD.  Some claim that parts of the Avesta may go back to Parthian times (100 BC) or even Achemenid times (400 BC), and they may be right, but there is no solid evidence for this.   The Avesta is certainly not older than the Hebrew Bible, as far as the evidence I have seen goes.  There is some small evidence of a precursor to what we call Zoroastrianism going all the way back, perhaps as early as 1000 BC, but the evidence for this is very scant, and in any case, the Avesta certainly is not even nearly that old.

As for Zoroaster himself, he is a semi-mythical person.  This is not like Jesus of Nazareth, whose birthplace and approximate birthdate is known, as well as dozens of his named friends, his parents and at least three of his siblings, where he lived, where and how he died.  These are all a matter of established history.  Such is not the case for Zoroaster.  Those who believe he was an actual person do not agree on when he lived.  Estimates vary somewhere between 1500 and 600 BC!  Where was he born? When and how did he die?  Who were his close associates?  None of this is know with any certainty at all.  It is my personal opinion that there was probably a person who we know as Zoroaster who lived, but we know literally almost nothing about his life.  Either way, the religion he supposedly started was begun somewhere around the sixth century BC, long after Judaism was a well-established religion.

You are quoting Diogenes Laertius.  Fine.  Well he comes well after the idea of resurrection was found in Judaism.  Diogenes lived from about 180 to 240 AD.  This is certainly not evidence that the Jews borrowed the idea of resurrection!!!  Similarly, Aeneas of Gaza lived around 500 AD!  If you (or anyone else) want evidence that the Jews borrowed ideas about the resurrection from Zoroastrianism, you will need a lot better evidence than quoting Diogenes or Aeneas.  Also, it simply a false claim that the idea of resurrection appeared post Babylonia exile.  Wrong!  Ezekiel 37 comes to mind, but there are many, many other examples.  David said that his body would not be abandoned to the grave in Psalm 16:10.  This comes from well before the Babylonian exile. The idea that biblical teaching about the resurrection did not appear before the Book of Daniel is simply not true!

Let me suggest that you be more skeptical of those who try to undermine the Bible, and so a little research for yourself.

John Oakes

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