Zoroastrianism and Jewish Eschatology

Published: 2019-09-24 06:30:00
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Zoroastrianism influence on Jewish culture can be traced back to the Jewish exile from the Persian Empire and was much contributed by Jewish contact with Iranians. Among the changes that occurred during this particular period was the Jewish mindset on the Bible, their beliefs on religions among other notable changes. One of the most significant changes that Zoroastrian had on the Jewish religion and faith was the ideology of hell, heaven and life after death. For a very long time, Jews believed that when the dead passed on their souls would go to a place called Sheol' which was dull and Hade-like. The mindset would later change when they came in contact with Iranians to heaven was placed where holy people would be rewarded with eternal life. Hell would be a place where evil people would end up and receive the eternal punishment which was idea long born in the ancient Iranian religion.

The Jewish idea on good, evil and how the world is going to end can be traced to the Zoroastrian ideology on those concepts. The fact that in every human being there is good and evil in them is an ideology that can be traced to the Gathas, which were the teaching Zoroastrian religion which was passed to the Jews (Wright, 2013). For most Jewish, they considered this particular idea as psychological one and self-existent, but the truth is that the principle of hostile and beneficent spirits was borrowed from Iranian culture which Jews use to define doing well as God's will. Throughout history religions have borrowed from each other, and the Jewish did borrow from Iranian religion during the exile period. The Jewish idea of light, darkness, good, evil, God, and the devil as well as the idea of the last days that is the apocalypse. The concept of Apocalypse can particularly be traced to the inter-testament period when the Jewish interacted with Iranians which means that the ideology has been influenced by Zoroastrian a lot.

The Jewish religion has been influenced by the Zoroastrian messianism and the main element being the idea of the coming of the Messiah or the Savior. The coming of the Messiah as known by the Jewish people. The Zoroastrian religion has influenced the Jewish in a huge way and the main bearing been on the coming of the messiah who will save the lives of the believers from death. The Messiah doctrine is one of the most dormant element in the lives of the Jewish and the main reason been that it enables the Jews to have faith that even after death they will be resurrected for internal life (Sherlock,2015). The Zoroastrian developed the doctrine of the Messiah and through this, the Jewish were able to adopt it and make it strong pillar. According to the Zoroastrian religion, the title of the Messiah is accorded to any individual who impacts the society in a positive way through delivering them from difficult moments. The other impact that Zoroastrian religion has brought on the Jewish is the introduction of the Jewish writings which is known as the inter-testimonial which is well documented in the Jewish religion. The aspect of the guardian angel was introduced by the Zoroastrian religion and through this, the Jewish and Christian religions have adopted the issue of the personal guardian angels to the large extent.

References

Sherlock, M. A. (2015). Judaism vs. Christianity: A Brief & Rational Comparison. Judaism.

Wright, A. T. (2013). The Origin of Evil Spirits: The Reception of Genesis 6: 1-4 in Early Jewish Literature (Vol. 198). Mohr Siebeck.

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