The Influence of Iranian Teachings on Judaism through Apocalypticism

The study of the influence of religions on each other has been always an interesting subject among scholars. In this context, some scholars and historians have seen Iranian teachings as the source of many religious doctrines. According to a well-known theory, Zoroastrianism is the most influential religion in the history of the East and its influence on Judaism and through it, on Christianity and Islam is easily traceable. Though this theory is strongly supported by many scholars, there are others who are not convinced with such a theory and try to find other sources for Jewish and Christian doctrines. Apocalyptic literature is an important religious genre which appeared in Jewish literature after the Second Temple period. It includes many interesting and new teachings, a number of which could be considered as the continuation of the Old Testament and Jewish-Christian traditions. There are also some new concepts and even transformed versions of the old concepts in these works. For example periodization of history, messianism, eschatology, the final triumph of the Good upon the Evil, the Judgment and resurrection, angelology, the vision of God and dualism are some of these new teachings. Since this variety of concepts appeared in Jewish literature just after the close contact of Jewish nation with Iranian culture, their origin could be traced back to the similar notions in Mazdaism and other Iranian religions. This article tries to deal with this theory through analyzing apocalyptic literature.
Journal of Religious Studies, Volume:4 Issue: 1, 2010
55 to 89  
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