Published February 16th, 2018 by Dirk Waren
The full question we want to address in this article is this:
I wanted to ask you about the period of history that predates any form of Judaism and Christianity. Other religious beliefs existed during this time, such as Hinduism. Why do you think God allowed thousands of years to pass and for false religions to inhabit the Earth before revealing himself in the ways that Christianity claims?
Genesis was written between 1445-1405 BC (almost 3500 years ago) by Moses and it shows that the LORD was revealed to Adam & Eve — the first humans — as soon as they had consciousness and spiritual understanding. This documented event predates Hinduism and any other human religion.
All races stem from Adam & Eve. Genesis 2-10 show Yahweh working with humanity from Adam to Noah and the post-flood era. In Genesis 11 we observe people scattered all over the Earth after the Tower of Babel incident. This would include India where Hinduism was birthed.
Since the fall of humanity in Genesis 3 God could only work with peoples through covenants (contracts/agreements), which were necessary for the temporal covering of sin (Old Testament) and cleansing through Christ (New Testament) and thus protection from God’s wrath.
Before God’s establishment of Israel there were two covenants: The Adamic covenant and the Noahic covenant. The Adamic covenant had two parts: the Edenic covenant, which detailed humanity’s responsibilities and the prohibition to eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil (Genesis 1:26-30 & 2:16-17), and the Post-Fall covenant, which detailed God’s curse on physical creation for Adam & Eve’s transgression and his plan of redemption (Genesis 3:16-19).
Since the fall, the Almighty has always revealed truth to people all over the Earth through general revelation. This consists of 1. physical creation, which includes the starry panorama of the Universe (Romans 1:20 & Psalm 19:1-4) and 2. conscience (Romans 1:19 & 2:14-15).
God also reveals himself through special revelation, like a visit from the Angel of the LORD, dreams/visions, the Urim & Thummim (pronounced yur-EEM and thuh-MEEM) and prophets. Of course, the Holy Scriptures are the most specific source of special revelation (2 Timothy 3:16 & 2 Peter 1:20-21).
Religion is the human attempt to connect with God (as the culture comprehends the Divine or the spiritual realm), which always involves various rules/works/rituals. This is how all human religions begin. Notice what Christ said about human religion:
The disciples were even more amazed, and said to each other, “Who then can be saved?”
Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible [speaking of human religion], but not with God; all things are possible with God.”
True salvation comes via the Creator, not flawed human invention (religion).
People scattered across the planet have dreamed up all manner of religious belief systems, some sticking pretty close to the basic pattern of God’s revelation to Adam et al. while others deviating absurdly and even becoming horrific (e.g. Mesoamerican human sacrifice).
Even after the Mosaic covenant was established with the Israelites, they were surrounded by nations that worshipped myriad different false gods, like Asherah, Baal, Ashtoreth, Dagon and Molech, not to mention the false religions throughout the rest of the Earth.
The LORD revealed truth to humanity via his special revelation to Israel and, subsequently, Christ, the New Testament and genuine Christians.
As far as why did Yahweh wait until the time of Moses to reveal special revelation via Scripture, He likely had to wait for a culture with 1. an advanced written language and a suitable alphabet thereof and 2. the capabilities to preserve those Scriptures from generation to generation. (Google how the Hebraic Scriptures were carefully copied/preserved by scribes from generation to generation; it’s fascinating stuff). God also had to wait for Israel to escape slavery to Egypt.
In regards to why God chose Israel to be his chosen people go here.
Follow-Up Questions & Answers
In the comments section below, a reader asked some follow-up questions:
You state: “Genesis was written between 1445-1405 BC (almost 3500 years ago).” Could you please provide some reputable sources as to where you got this information?
The general time of when Genesis was written is common knowledge amongst the majority of biblical scholars (although I’m sure some people take issue with it as is typical with dates of any event from thousands of years ago). The date I provided comes from John MacArthur’s Study Bible. Here’s another good source.
You conclude: “This predates Hinduism and any other human religion.” I appreciate that Hinduism is a complicated religion and probably very difficult to “pin down,” but it would be really interesting to attempt to compile an approximate timeline of events. For example, if you are able to show that Genesis was written between 1445-1405 BC, are you able to provide some approximate dates (with sources) which help support your statement?
The Vedic period of Hinduism started around 1500 BC, which is about 55-95 years before Moses wrote Genesis. What I said was that the LORD’s revelation to Moses concerning the creation of the first humans – Adam & Eve – and the historical chronicling from that point on predates Hinduism. Hebraic oral tradition also precedes Hinduism. Abraham, for instance, was born somewhere in the range of 2170-1852 BC (depending on where one places the Hebrew exodus from Egypt), which of course predates Hinduism.
Please keep in mind that this article acknowledges there were myriad false religions throughout the Earth from the time of the Tower of Babel to when God gave Genesis through Moses, not just Hinduism.
People who claim that Hinduism pre-dates CHRISTianity are probably referring to the events concerning the resurrection of Jesus, rather than the date in which Genesis was written, so you could argue they are technically correct?
Since the New Testament was written in the 1st century it obviously could be said that Hinduism is older than Christianity since it originated well before Jesus Christ. But Christianity’s roots are decidedly in Judaism, which can be traced back to the first humans, as revealed in the book of Genesis. Everything comes down to whether or not you believe the Genesis account is a reliable source. I think it is (obviously).
The implication of some of these points seems to be that “because Hinduism is older than Judeo-Christianity, it is therefore more valid.” But this is a fallacious form of argumentation called argumentum ab annis – “argument because of age” – which is also known as “chronicle snobbery” (lol). Just because something can be proven to be older doesn’t make it truer. A lie 3500 years ago is still a lie today. For instance, religions in the land of Canaan before the Israelites conquered it practiced child sacrifice and shrine prostitution (wherein a female or a male prostitute would have sex with worshipers of a god/goddess in the corresponding temple). Just because these practices are ancient doesn’t make them proper.
Hinduism is an idolatrous religion with 330 million goddesses/gods. One of their absurd beliefs is that people can be reincarnated as animals, like rats and cockroaches, which naturally hinders many of them from exterminating vermin because one of them might be Uncle Raj or Aunt Priya. The negative repercussions of their belief system can be observed all over India. I’m not being mean or insensitive to Hindus or Hinduism; rather I’m just sharing the adverse effects of some of the dubious elements of this religion. For a notable example, see this article.
Lastly, please keep in mind that no article here at Fountain of Life is the all-and-end-all on a topic. If that were the case, the articles would be book-length long, at the very least. Readers are encouraged to study and reflect on the relevant biblical passages and gather info from other pertinent sources and draw their own conclusions with the help of the Holy Spirit (1 John 2:20). Amen.
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