How does Zoroastrianism relate to Judaism...where is the connection? Or better yet, is there a connection?
In a nutshell Zoroastrianism is the first monotheistic religion, with many of it's "legends" being very similar to the Jewish/Christian teachings. You have offered a lot of points for the answer to this question so I have edited a paper that has a lot of discussion about the similarities of Zoroastrianism, Judaism, and Christianity. I feel that the "trick" question is that Judaism "stole" virtually all their beliefs from Zoroastrianism. Please let me know if you don't think your question has been answered since you ahve offered quite a few credits.
Beyond all doubt, in Iran, hundreds of years before Christ died, a prophet arose whose life and teaching left an indelible but nowadays ignored impression. The Greeks saw him as a philosopher, mathematician, astrologer or magician, while Jews and Christians saw him as an heretical prophet and a magician. He was known in Greece as Zoroaster, a Graecization of the Iranian Zarathustra. Zoroaster's conception of God has interested modern biblical scholars because of the similarities between his teaching, and Judaism and Christianity. Some authorities deny claims that Zoroastrian ideas influenced Greek, Roman, and Jewish thought, but they are quite wrong?these claims cannot be disregarded by anyone who is interested in true history as opposed to the arrogant exclusivism of modern Zoroastrianists, Jews and Christians.
The Persian religion Zoroaster founded, and whose priests were called the Magi, has had an influence on the world which today is unrecognized. Zoroastrianism is the first revealed religion to have appeared on earth and so, if any dependency of one revealed religion on another is to be found, Zoroastrianism is to be the donor not the receiver. The Reverend Matthew Black, writing as long ago as the middle of the twentieth century could declare unequivocally in Peake's Commentary:
"What we know as Judaism, as distinct from the ancient religion of Israel, is a post-exilic phenomenon."
Being "post-exilic" meant that it was indebted to the Persian Zoroastrian kings and administrators who provided for the Jews to "return" from exile. The Reverend Black was not the first to state this view. Lawrence H Mills was an American professor at Cambridge who translated much of the Avesta and published Zarathustra, Philo, The Achaemenids and Israel, in 1903 and Our Own Religion in Ancient Persia in 1913, both of which revealed the indebtedness of Judaism to Zoroaster and the Persians. Even further back, C W King writing in 1887 said that the Jews had their angels, the immortality of the soul, belief in a future life, the Last Judgement and the idea of rewards and punishments after death, "the latter carried on in a fiery lake," from the "Zoroastrian scheme." G F Moore in 1927 concluded:
"Many scholars are convinced that this whole system of ideas was appropriated by the Jews from the Zoroastrians."
The Jewish religion?and therefore the Christian and Islamic religions?has its roots in the Persian conquerors who set it up to justify their position as kings of the world.
The Iranian Vendidad or the "Law to Fight against Evil" is one of the ancient scriptures of the Zoroastrians. The Vendidad actually describes the pre-Zoroastrian legends of the Golden Age of the Aryans in their ancient homeland when they were ruled by "Yima Khshaeta" (Jamshad). King Yima ruled wisely in a world in which there was no old age and death.
In the pre-Zoroastrian legends, king Yima was judged to have sinned in some unknown way concerning a bull sacrifice, implying that the ancient Iranians had a bull sacrifice?not surprisingly. It continued into later times to judge by Mithraic iconography. Yima either had an unworthy thought or became arrogant and dedicated the sacrifice of the bull to himself as a god. So, he "sinned," lost his immortality and died. Nevertheless, he remained a noble figure. The image is that of many of the heroes and kings of Israel and Judah. No matter what their merits, they always sinned at some stage.
In a later development of the tale, the king was told by the gods that the earth had become wicked and would be punished. He was instructed to build a "var" beneath the earth and, like Noah, populate it with pairs of animals. It is a Persian myth that draws upon the same Babylonian sources as Noah, and also links the Persian Yima with the Indian one. Despite their ...
How do Judaism and Zorastrianism relate, what are some of the similarities? A good synopsis on Zorastrianism.