Tuesday, June 28, 2016

What are the Origins of all these Religions??

The Origins of Religions

Definition of religion: 

Religion is:
  • The belief and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal god or gods
  • A particular system of faith and worship
  • A pursuit or interest to which someone ascribes supreme importance
So, when did religion or religions first start? First off, I will look at the origins of the top five religions that still are in existence today. In future writings, I will explore the very beginnings of religion or as the case may be the invention of it.

One caveat, I will NOT be assuming here that Christianity is the one true religion and that it is the first and only origin of true religions. The reason being, is that I must look at it objectively, not with the assumption that Christianity or the Bible has all the answers to its origins.

Therefore, I will look for any and all known indicators for the origins of these religions, that has been shown to be accurate, or at least mostly accurate.

Calendar Definitions

I will use the terms BCE and CE to describe the eras of time prescribed by the Gregorian calendar (Before the Common Era and Common Era) rather than BC and AD. These terms are outdated and give preference to the Christian religion in dating time. Other religions have their own calendars as well, but I will use the above terms as they are understood by most people, and the Gregorian calendar has the most widespread usage today.

Here's the top five religions in terms of prominence and longevity, in no particular order. These are only the known origins and beginnings of these religions. Obviously there is much more history to what makes them what they appear to be in today's world. That will be included in my future book!


 Its name is derived from Judah, one of the sons of Jacob, also known later as Israel from the Torah (the first 5 books of the Jewish Bible). Judaism has quite a few points in its history that contributed to its beginnings. First, would be Abram, also known later as Abraham. "God" chose Abram to be father of his covenant nation, theorized to be about 2200 BCE (I have found the year 2165 BCE many times to be the exact year, but who knows). Abram/Abraham's son Isaac, and grandson Jacob/Israel also received this covenant from their God.

For those not familiar with this Covenant, here it is in a nutshell: Abram's descendants would become a great nation (as many as the stars) and they were promised the land of Canaan. All they had to do was follow their God's rules and worship only him. And of course that would mean packing up all his family and stuff, and hiking their way out to this promised Land!

Moses was the next highlight in their history, as he received the Law (rules) of God and brought the people of Israel halfway to Canaan. Then came judges, prophets, and many kings. David and his son Solomon were the most influential kings on the religion. Solomon built the first temple for the people in Jerusalem.

Modern Judaism didn't really begin in a significant way, until the Jewish temple was destroyed by Romans in 70 CE. With their temple gone, the Jewish folks needed to find a way to survive without their rituals, sacrifices, and their temple.


 Began with people that migrated from Central Asia into India about 1500 BCE. Hinduism was the main religion in the area of present day's India until Buddhism split off into opposite beliefs from it in the 5th or 6th century BCE. (sources are varied)


   It is mainly an Asian religion that originated in India and is dominant in its original form in SE Asia (areas such as Thailand, Tibet, Korea, China, and Japan). Has its origins in Hinduism. The founder was born Siddhartha Gautama, a royal prince born in the 5th or 6th century BCE. 'Sidd' declared himself the "Buddha" or "the Enlightened One", after wandering the forest and meditating for six or seven years (depending on sources) in search of enlightenment. He finally found it under a tree, the Bodhi Tree.


 Its name comes from Jesus, also known as Christ. It built its foundations on the Jewish Bible, which is the Old Testament only, and the New Testament of today's Bible. Jesus death is thought to be anywhere from 30-36 CE according to most scholars, depending on the dating of his birth. The Christian church originated in the middle of the first century and its attributed beginnings are to Paul, who authored at least 8 and perhaps up to 14 of the books of the New Testament. Paul's letters were written anywhere from 50 to 69 CE.

I don't get hooked into theological arguments or interpretations of what things supposedly mean or the exact dates of events unless warranted. Personally, it is a waste of my time, since people have fought over the Bible's meanings for thousands of years. One blog won't change that! Suffice to say, many people who wrote books in this timeframe were known to have claimed that famous people had authored their book, just to give it some authority. For my purposes here, it doesn't matter if Paul wrote them all or not. They are in the New Testament of the Bible. That's all there is to know.


 Founded by Abū al-Qāsim Muḥammad  (known simply as Muhammad) was born about 570 CE in Mecca in present day Saudi Arabia. Islam has roots in Judaism as it is believed that Muhammad's ancestry is from Ishmael, Abram's (Abraham) son with Haggar. Islam originated in 622 CE when Muhammad and his followers left Mecca for Medina, and established the Muslim community there. Muhammad had gained many followers while in Mecca and emigrated with them to Medina in 622 CE. This date is considered the beginning of the Islamic Calendar.

So, there you have it. A short abridged guide to five of today's popular religions' origins.

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