Hinduism

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Although it is commonly claimed that Hinduism is a more ancient religion than Christianity and even Judaism, there is very little manuscript evidence to support such a claim.

Manuscript Evidence

Despite common assertions that Hinduism is an ancient religion, the actual scriptures themselves have little manuscript evidence. The oldest Hindu manuscripts date to 1040 A.D. and were discovered in Nepal. [1] One of the oldest Hindu manuscripts was recently digitized for posterity. The Sanskrit-inscribed palm leaf manuscript dates to the 13th century A.D.[2]

When pressed about the actual evidence for Hinduism's antiquity, it is claimed that Hinduism was preserved for thousands of years through oral tradition. The Rigveda Samhitas for example are claimed to have been created in 1,200 B.C., which would require over 2,200 years of purely oral transmission.[3]

The Bible, by contrast, contains 100,000 Dead Sea Scrolls fragments, thousands of New Testament first millennia papyri, and preservation as far back as 1,000 B.C. per Khirbet Qeiyafa pottery. It is certainly ironic that the same scholars who unquestioningly accept that Hindu Scriptures were preserved solely through oral tradition are the same ones who nitpick over every little detail of the Bible's preservation to falsely claim it was preserved like a game of telephone rather than constantly via writing as it claims. Were academia consistent it would likewise accept the Bible's origins could be 2,200 years older than its oldest manuscript, placing the Bible's earliest writings at 3,200 B.C.

Sources

  1. Witzel, M. (1997). "The Development of the Vedic Canon and its Schools: The Social and Political Milieu." p. 259. Harvard University.
  2. Kabra, H. (2006, November 17). "Ancient Sanskrit Manuscript Goes Digital." BBC News.
  3. "Religions: Hindu Scriptures." BBC News.