It is an orthodox article of faith among scholars that we are indebted to the Semitic races for the great religions of the world, but there are good grounds for believing that they are the productions of Aryan migrants to Asia. Even the idea of God may have had a Northern origin, for Norsemen believed in God and, unlettered as they were, then philosophy was superior to that of the Greeks. These Northern ideas were carried with them wherever they went.
Now we have shown that the great outburst of Aryan intellectual and literary life in Greece, antedated the Indian by fully two centuries or more, and it is astounding that scholars still persist in asserting that Aryan philosophical ideas common to all Aryan branches, should have originated in India and traveled westward to Greece. It is more probable, indeed, it is true, that there were many minor waves in that tremendous flood of Aryans which poured south in Europe beginning prior to 1500 b.c, all of one blood, and all thinking similar thoughts. It is not at all surprising that the wave which traveled all the way to India, Ceylon, and perhaps Java or even Borneo, should have written down the same philosophy as the wave which stopped in Greece. In his work on "The Philosophy of Ancient India," Prof. Richard Garbe, University of Tuebingen, while believing that the three higher castes were Aryan and only the lowest or Cudras were non-Aryan subjugated aborigines, says, "this much is established, that the greatest intellectual performances, or rather almost all the performances of significance for mankind, in India, have been achieved by men of the warrior caste." None of it originated in the priestly caste. As the warriors are without the slightest doubt the invading Aryans, we can well see how much of the intellectual wealth of India, including Brahmanism, is due to this Aryan immigration.
It is remarkable what a large number of Buddhist ideas are identically the same as those found in the Christian canon* Some of the stories, proverbs and parables of the New Testament seem to be copied from Indian literature. Indeed, India was a proper atmosphere for the origin of that altruistic Buddhism so parallel to the altruism of Jesus Christ. Cornill thinks these are cases of parallel evolution wholly disconnected, and does not think that Buddhist envoys necessarily carried their ideas to Greece, the doctrines of Pythagoras, for instance, nor to Alexandria and Antioch, to be later incorporated into the Gospels. There is no reasonable doubt that Aryan ideas flooded into Palestine from the North, West and East. Aryan Persian influences were of course enormous, for it was the Persian who released the Hebrews from Babylonia captivity and sent Ezra back to evolve the new Jewish religion, and this was, by the way, at the exact time of Buddha and the outburst of intellectual life in India. Then, after the Persian Aryan influence, came the long reign of Aryan Greek influences brought into Palestine by Alexander and his successors. Indeed, the great sect of Sadducees was permeated with Aryan Greek ideas and openly tried to Hellenize Judea in opposition to the conservative Pharisees, who were trying to retain a pure Jewish theology. In addition there was a constant intercourse between Jews and the whole civilized world, for not only were Jewish merchant colonies and Jewish synagogues in existence all the way from Spain to India, but they were near the great commercial route used by oriental traders. There were Buddhist missionaries carrying Aryan ideas throughout all Southern Asia long before Christ was born. Gunkel (The Legends of Genesis) mentions the parallelism between the stories of Genesis and similar ones in Greek mythology as though they had a common origin.
* Carus' "Buddhism and Its Christian Critics".
Prof. John P. Mahaffy's new work on "The Silver Age of the Greek World" is devoted to this matter of the tremendous extent of the Aryan influence upon the whole Semitic belt from Gibraltar to India. Curiously enough, Prof. Arthur Lloyd, of Tokyo, has made the discovery that the classic which forms the basis of Japanese Buddhism "was written in Alexandria in the first century by a man of India saturated with Alexandrian philosophy, phraseology and ideas".
It is known that the Christianity of the first and second centuries, and that of St. Paul were entirely different from the teachings of Christ. The four Gospels were written long after the Pauline epistles and are the crystallization of the thoughts and traditions among the poor and ignorant Semitic and Turanian peoples of Asia and Southern Europe, which at that time had been under Aryan influences for centuries. One of these Gospels at least is positively known to have been written by a Greek scholar, who had no doubt collected and arrayed scraps of manuscripts, copies of those used by the other compilers, so that identical verses appear in all four Gospels. In his book entitled "The Influence of Greek Ideas and Usages Upon the Christian Church," the late Rev. Dr. Edwin Hatch says: "I venture to claim that a large part of what are sometimes called Christian doctrines are in reality Greek theories, changed in form and color by the influence of primitive Christianity, but in their essence Greek still." Paul was the apostle to the Gentiles because he was a "Hellenist from the beginning," and he was strongly antagonized by the Semitic disciples in Jerusalem.
It has recently been stated that Zoroaster's* teachings had "taken deep root in Iran when the Jews were carried into captivity in Babylon," and that he is responsible for an enormous influence on both Judaism and Christianity. He stands as the type of the oldest laws of the Medes and Persians, and from this time the history of Asian culture is merely that of the modification of Aryan religious ideas.