The Zoroastrian Problem: Quick Thoughts

Perhaps the greatest attempt in modern times to downplay the origins of Hebraic thought come in the form of the Zoroastrian problem, namely the theory that the Israelites developed their theology (as seen throughout the Tanach) while in captivity in Persia borrowing from Zoroastrianism, leading to the writing of the Tanach. This idea is prevalent throughout the lay world and to some extent throughout academia as well. For the Maximalist, this becomes a problem that must be resolved. What teachings did the Jews adapt from Zoroastrianism? Some have pointed to the Zoroastrian teachings of salvation, angels, heaven and hell, the resurrection of the dead, and life everlasting (Amen?). Of course,

Persia and Judea: Geography and International Relations

When the children of Israel met the Persians face-to-face, Israel was already a defeated people. For decades, the Judahites lived far from home, and although they owned businesses, bought/sold/traded, and even helped in the administration of the Babylonian empire, they saw hardship in the form of religious intolerance (e.g., Daniel’s prayer and Daniel’s three friends) and the inability to return. Perhaps the greatest blow to the Jews of that time was the destruction of the famed Temple of Yahweh, their God. The Israelites had been spiraling down toward divine punishment since the beginning of their nationhood, and with the collection and writing of the historical accounts of the kings of Isr

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