Wrong answer on religions


Published: Tuesday, January 14, 2003 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, January 14, 2003 at 1:22 a.m.

Your test (Jan. 4) on Page 8D had what I consider some wrong answers to the first question: "List the major world religions in the order in which they arose."

Two of these religions were a long time in forming, so a definitive date for them cannot be given.

Hinduism is probably the earliest, with evidence of a triad of deities (like the trimurti of Q. 3) appearing on Indus Valley stamp seals (2500-1500 B.C.) and its first major texts, the Vedas, being written sometime between 1500 and 1200 B.C.

However, Hinduism did not become aware of itself as a coherent religion instead of many separate cults until other religions, such as Buddhism and Islam, forced that realization on it.

Judaism is most likely the second major religion, although like Hinduism it was a long time in forming..

Its seed begins with Abraham, who left Ur in modern Iraq in the early 2nd millennium B.C., but its self-awareness crystallized with the Exodus from Egyptt in the 13th century and the rise of the state of Israel in the 11th and 10th centuries B.C.

Buddhism arose out of Buddha's teaching based on Hinduism. The historic person that Prince Siddharta Gautama called the Sage of the Shakya clan, the Buddha, or "the enlightened one," lived from 563-483 B.C.

Christianity arose from Jesus of Nazareth's reform of Judaism during his ministry from A.D. 29-33. And Islam was the creation of the Prophet Muhammad, traditionally dated to his flight to Medina in A.D. 622.

The printed answer gave the sequence as 1. Buddhism, 2. Judaism, 3. Hinduism (impossible since Buddhism arose from Hinduism), 4. Christianity, 5. Islam.

It should be 1. Hinduism, 2. Judaism, 3. Buddhism, 4. Christianity, 5. Islam.

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