Was the bible really inspired by God with no outside influence whatsoever or is it just a book influenced by other religion (including pagan) predating christianity… Dont try answering the question until you’ve read this 5 Ways The Bible Was Influenced By Other Religions.
1. The Creation Story
In the Persian scriptures of the
Zoroastrians, one of the world’s oldest extant religions, the Avesta (the religious texts of Zoroastrianism) tells the story of how Ahura Mazda the God of Zoroastrians created the world.
In the beginning, there was nothing in the world except Ahura Mazda, the Wise Lord, who lived in the Endless Light. And the Evil Spirit, Ahriman, who lived in the Absolute Darkness. Between them lay only emptiness.
One day, Ahura Mazda decided to make different creations. First He shaped the sky made of metal, shinning and bright. Second, He made the pure water. Third, the Wise Lord created the Earth, flat and round with no mountains and valleys. Fourth, He made the plants, moist and sweet with no bark or thorn.
Fifth, he created the animals, big and small. Then he created the First Man, Gayomard, bright, tall, and handsome. And lastly, he created Fire and distributed it within the whole creation. The Wise Lord ordered Fire to serve the mankind in preparing food and overcoming cold.
“Zoroaster taught nothing about God which a Christian would not endorse and much that a Christian should add”- James Moulton
James Hope Moulton, a Wesleyan minister and missionary, wrote the words above after spending numerous years studying Zoroastrianism in India. For Moulton, Zoroastrianism interested him by its unique connection with the Judeo-Christian worldview, especially its heritage as an ancient monotheism. Moulton would eventually come to conclude that Zoroastrianism had the very foundation as its western counterparts, and much of its doctrinal infrastructure.
2. The Story of the Great Flood
There is also a lot of evidence that the Epic of Gilgamesh, one of the oldest recorded texts in human history, had an influence on the biblical creation story.
In the story of Utnapishtim, found in the Epic of Gilgamesh. Utnapishtim was warned of an imminent flood that would wipe out all the earth, and was tasked by Enki to abandon his worldly possessions and create a giant ship to be called The Preserver of Life. He was also tasked with bringing his wife, family, and relatives, baby animals and grains.
The oncoming flood would wipe out all animals and humans that were not on the ship, enki told him.
After the flood, utnapishtim opened the latch of his boat and saw the slopes of Mount Nisir. He eventually lets all the people and animals free after confirming the land was dry and then offered sacrifices to the god that saved him.
You’d find the same information above in the book of genesis..
3. The Book of Proverbs
There are plethora’s of striking similarities between the book of Proverbs in the bible and the Egyptian Instruction of Amenemope. Though all surviving texts of the Instruction of Amenemope are of a later date, the works are thought to have been composed during the 12th dynasty.
There has been much debate on this topic, but modern scholars agree that there is enough compelling evidence to support the originality of the Instruction of Amenemope. Here are a few examples of the parallel verses:
Proverbs 22:17-18: “Incline thy ear, and hear the words of the wise: and apply thy heart to my doctrine. Which shall be beautiful for thee, if thou keep it in thy bowels, and it shall flow in thy lips.”
Amenemope ch1: “Give thine ear, and hear what I say, And apply thine heart to apprehend; It is good for thee to place them in thine heart, let them rest in the casket of thy belly; That they may act as a peg upon thy tongue.”
Proverbs 22:22: “Do no violence to the poor, because he is poor: and do not oppress the needy in the gate.”
Amenemope ch1: “Beware of robbing the poor, and oppressing the afflicted.”
Proverbs 23:1: “When thou shalt sit to eat with a prince, consider diligently what is set before thy face.”
Amenemope ch23: “Eat not bread in the presence of a ruler, And lunge not forward with thy mouth before a governor. When thou art replenished with that to which thou has no right, It is only a delight to thy spittle. Look upon the dish that is before thee, And let that (alone) supply thy need.”
4. The Trinity
While the New Testament definitely mentions the concepts of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19), it makes no actual mention of the word “trinity,” and there is still some contention as to whether the concept of trinity is a biblical theme.
But what is clear is that the trinity concept christians believe in was influenced by pagan religions existing at the time that Christianity came about. Examples of pagan Trinity’s are: Amun, Re, and Ptah of Egyptian Mythology; Anu, Enlil, and Ea of Sumerian Mythology; and Ishtar, Baal, and Tammuz of Babylonian Mythology.
5. Angels and Demons
Another primary example of how christianity was influenced by another religion is the existence, structure, and hierarchy of the angels and demons. According to scholars, the Zoroastrians were the first to believe in angels, the idea of Satan, and the ongoing battle between the forces of good and evil.