Where Did All the Religions Come From?
The question of where is a three fold question:
- where did the religions come from historically
- where did they come from geographically
- where did they come from philosophically
We answer these questions on our religion comparison chart which gives you an “at-a-glance” look at the major religions in the world today and “where” they came from in the threefold sense.
Timeline of World Religions
Although secular humanists puts the founding of primitive religion at the Paleolithic period (9,000 B.C.) with a discovery of what humanists have called the most ancient location of “worship”. Göbekli Tepe. The truth is that most ancient records of religion or religious belief were not “recorded” at all but merely passed down via oral tradition from one generation to another. Such is the case with Animism, Judaism, Hinduism, and many of the ancient Chinese religions. When these religions began to record their beliefs, rituals, and practices, we find the oldest recorded religion to be forms of Animism and crude polytheism, but the oldest oral tradition to be Judaism, which, like many of the other major world religions, traces its roots back to monotheism or one single God or Creator-deity.
The following historical timeline provides a high level overview for the origin of “religion” according to the Judaeo-Christian worldview:
Christians put Monotheism as the foundation of all religions at the point of creation which when dated using the Bible, took place around 4,000 B.C. Further Biblical revelation would explain that as mankind grew more corrupt they began to worship the crawling, flying, created things instead of the Creator Himself according to Romans 1:20-23
20 For since the creation of the world His (God's) invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, 21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.4,000 B.C
Mankind's rebellion and sin against the moral code of God resulted in God's judgement of a worldwide flood in 2348 B.C. However, 100 years after the resettling and repopulation of the world, there was a unified rebellion against God Himself and monotheism. This resulted in the judgement of confused languages and dispersal. Which, in turn, gave rise to atheistic (globalist secular humanism), animistic, and polytheistic world views, from which all other world religions (apart from Judaism and Christianity) emerged as revealed in Romans 1:20-23 and Genesis 11:1-9Learn more about Native Animism2,250 B.C
The judgement of dispersion of peoples and nations across the earth gave rise to animism and polytheism. Shortly after this time, a group of people called the Aryans from the Caucus mountains settled the Indus valley with their own combination of Animism and Polytheism which was then combined with the polytheism of the inhabitants of the Indus valley and Indian subcontinent in general which resulted in a primitive form of Hinduism. This religion is an ancient rejection of the God of creation which is still in full effect today. Hinduism does not attempt to obliterate all gods it encounters, rather it absorbs them which is why there are over 33 million gods in Hinduism (and counting) to date.Learn More About Hinduism2100 B.C.
- By 1500 B.C, under Moses' leadership, the Hebrews of Abrahamic descent would become known as Israelites, those of the nation “Israel”, which was a name given to Jacob, the grandson of Abraham and the father of the twelve tribal heads that comprised the Mediterranean nation. This nation then was split by civil war, dividing a Northern kingdom, Israel, against the southern kingdom, Judah.
- The nation was eventually overrun by conquering empires and the ancient belief of Abraham, Moses, and King David was carried on by the Southern Kingdom which was primarily comprised of 3 of the original 12 tribes: Levites, Benjamites, and the Judeans.
- The religion has undergone many drastic changes in practice resulting in a Rabbinic form of observance which is in stark contrast to the post-exilic Judaism of the 5th and 6th centuries B.C. and the Hellenistic Judaism of 350 B.C. to 125 A.D. when the land of Judea was wiped from the map by the Romans and renamed "Palaestinao" after the Jews most despised enemy the Philistines.
Non-religious atheism (different from modern day secular humanism) birthed Taoism and Confucianism, which are both godless belief systems based on living life by a stringent moral code. Both philosophical methodologies were founded during the same philosophic period of China in which "teachers" contended for followers. The atheistic thought and secular humanism of today have really been around since the ancient days and can find many of the ideas of the humanist manifesto among the writings of the
ancient Chinese writings of Confucius and Lao Tzu, the founder of Taoism.
The ancient Chinese traditional beliefs of Confucianism and Taoism would have an impact on a young Hindu named Siddhartha Gautama who, in 438 B.C. claimed to have gained enlightenment under the Bodhi tree and became known as the "Buddha". He proceeded to combine these atheist moral philosophies with his native Hinduism to produce Buddhism.Learn More About Buddhism438 B.C.
A monotheistic faith based on the Jewish Scriptures whereby Jesus Christ of Nazareth is the Jewish Messiah and the Light to the Gentiles porphesied by Isaiah the Prophet. The church is founded on the person of Jesus Christ but built up by the Apostles, all of which died for their testimony to have been eye witnesses to Jesus' resurrection from the dead. This faith began as a Jewish sect but within 100 years it spread throughout the known world via "Pax Romama" and became a world religion (visibly) in its own right.Learn More About Christianity33 A.D.
Founded by a man Mohammad who, while undergoing massive seizures as a teenager, claimed to have received a revelation that Al Elah. his tribal god of among the 360 gods of Mecca was the "one and only god" whose name was "Allah". Mohammad also received revelation that he was Allah's prophet and he went about writing a book called the Quran. The writings of Mohammad are mostly comprised of Jewish and Christian stories told on caravans that passed through Mohammad's area. Islam is therefore a mix of Judaism, Christianity and Arabic polytheism although Islam is a monotheistic faith. Islam did not catch on by way of persuasive conversion so Mohammad turned to war and violence whereby adherents either became believers or lost their lives. This seemed to be effective in spreading the new faith througout the ancient near east and middle east and explains why the Quran and Islam on the whole are very violent in nature.Learn More About Islam610 A.D.
Family Tree of World Religions
From the flow chart below we can see that there are primarily four main groups or “families” of religious systematic belief:
- Monotheism – from which all religious and non-religious belief migrated
- Animism – The deification of created beings both animate and inanimate
- Polytheism – The belief that there are many gods and goddesses
- Atheism – The absence of belief in any deity of any kind.
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