Saturday, June 11, 2011

Sacred Texts Timeline and World Religions

ReligionFacts: religions & belief systems

Microbial Evolution and Systematics

"The Mind of the Bible-Believer", a critique of the book by Edmund D. Cohen

Never trust a Christian

Evidence for the Big Bang by Björn Feuerbacher and Ryan Scranton


The Big Religion Chart

"The ReligionFacts "Big Religion Chart" is an attempt to summarize all the complexities of religions and belief systems into tiny little boxes on a single, quick-reference comparison chart. Yes, of course this is impossible. As we always warn with our comparison charts, this is no substitute for reading about religions in greater detail, talking with religious adherents, etc. But this religion comparison chart can (hopefully) be a useful and accessible way to "get the gist" of some unfamiliar groups and compare basic beliefs and practices of the world's religions and belief systems. Currently, 43 belief systems are listed...."


World Religions


Origin of Major Religions

" This table indicates the approximate date each of the twelve major world religions began, along with the traditional dates for the birth and death of its founder (if applicable). You can click on each religions' link to start reading about it.

This list of twelve world religions is, of course, an oversimplification. Also, keep in mind that there are religions (such as the belief systems of Native American and Australian Aborigine peoples) that go back much further than Hinduism, and there have been several large religions that have started since Baha'i....."

The 'Common Era' refers to 1 A.D. CE=Common Era, BCE=Before Common Era

1000+ BCE:
  Judaism: Moses 1500-1350 BCE
  Hinduism: 2000 BCE

600 BCE:

  Zoroastrianism: Zoroaster 628-527 BCE
  Jainism: Mahavira 599-527 BCE
  Buddhism: Buddha 563-483 BCE
  Taoism: Lao Tse 580-500 BCE
  Confucianism: Confucius 551-479 BCE

100 CE:

  Christianity: Jesus 1-33 CE
  Shinto: 100 CE

600 CE:

  Islam: Muhammad 570-632 CE

1500 CE:

  Sikhism: Guru Nanak 1469-1538 CE

1900 CE:

  Baha'i: Baha'u'llah 1817-1892 CE


Sacred Texts Timeline

"This is a timeline which gives the history of sacred texts, as well as a few other relevant events. Of course, not all of the dates in this timeline are accurate; some are entirely conjectural. I have included a few dates, events and documents which are or may be entirely fictional. Links on this page are to resources at this site, not to external sites. I welcome feedback about any errors of fact in this timeline.

For space reasons, I have used the abbreviations listed at the end of this file....."

5000 BCE +

Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Zoroastrianism, Baha'i.

4004 (Sunday 23 October) Bishop Usshers' (1581-1656) date for Biblical creation of the world based on O.T. Chronology. According to Ussher, Adam and Eve were driven from Paradise on Monday 10 November 4004 BC. Ussher was Archbishop of Armagh, Primate of All Ireland, and Vice-Chancellor of Trinity College in Dublin [chr].

According to John Lightfoot (1602-1675), Vice-Chancellor of Cambridge University and a contemporary of Ussher, man was created on "October 23, 4004 B.C., at nine o'clock in the morning" [chr].

Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism.

4,320,000,000 Creation of Universe by Brahma (Modern Hindu). The Rig-Veda has three hymns on the subject of Creation. See Rig-Veda 10:cxxix, Rig-Veda 10:cxxx, and Rig-Veda 10:cxc. [hin].


14,000,000,000 Big Bang.

14,000,000,000 -300,000 yrs. after the Big Bang, protons and electrons separate.

14,000,000,000 -? yrs. The universe cools unevenly

5,000,000,000: Sun forms.

3,000,000,000 Earth cools and life on Earth begins.

70,000,000 Dinosaurs die out.

2,000,000 Australopithecines emerge in Southern Africa.

70,000 Ice age begins.

55,000 First inhabitants of Australia.

15,000 Paleolithic cave paintings.

10,000 Paleo-Indians enter America.

9,500 Ice age ends, catastrophic worldwide sea level rise (100 meters?). Black Sea floods, thought to be origin of Ancient Near East Flood story.

9500 Plato's date for the sinking of Atlantis.

8500-6300 Domestication of sheep, cattle, pigs and goats.

6000+ Mother Goddess worshipped in Europe, Near East. [wic].

5000 Beginning of agriculture in Near East.

4000 (trad.) Overthrow of Matriarchy [wic].


Christianization (note: wiki site)

"The historical phenomenon of Christianization, (or Christianisation), is the conversion of individuals to Christianity or the conversion of entire peoples at once. It also includes the practice of converting native pagan practices and culture, pagan religious imagery, pagan sites and the pagan calendar to Christian uses, due to the Christian efforts at proselytism (evangelism) based on the tradition of the Great Commission.

The process of Christianization has at times been relatively peaceful and at times has been a very violent process, ranging from political conversions to adopt Christianity to military campaigns to force conversion onto native populaces often resulting in massacres and murder.

Various strategies and techniques employed in Christianization campaigns from Late Antiquity through the Middle Ages: Ancient holy sites were destroyed or converted to Christian churches, indigenous pagan gods were demonized, and traditional religious practices were condemned as witchcraft and even criminalized — sometimes upon penalty of death....."

List of Pagans:


BBC - Religion

" Religion can be explained as a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs....."

Atheists are people who believe that god or gods are man-made constructs.

One of the youngest of the world's major religions.

A way of living based on the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama.

A religion based on African beliefs, originating in Brazil.

The world's biggest faith, based on the teaching of Jesus Christ.

A group of faiths rooted in the religious ideas of India.

Revealed in its final form by the Prophet Muhammad.

An ancient philosophy and ethical teaching that originated in India.

Jehovah's Witnesses
A Christian-based evangelistic religious movement.

Based around the Jewish people's covenant relationship with God.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Contemporary religions usually based on reverence for nature.

A young religion founded in Jamaica in the 1930s.

Afro-Caribbean syncretic religion originating in Cuba.

Japanese folk tradition and ritual with no founder or single sacred scripture.

The religion founded by Guru Nanak in India in the 15th Century CE.

Spiritualists believe in communication with the spirits of people who have died.

An ancient tradition of philosophy and belief rooted in Chinese worldview.

An open-minded and individualistic approach to religion.

One of the oldest monotheistic faiths, founded by the Prophet Zoroaster.


Life and death of Jesus

Jehovah's Witnesses:



History of Unitarianism


"Unitarianism as an organised church grew out of the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century CE. It started in Poland and Transylvania in the 1560s, and was recognised as a religion in Transylvania within 10 years.

In England, Unitarian ideas were being discussed by the mid 1600s in the writings of John Biddle (1615-62), and the first Unitarian congregation came into being in 1774 at Essex Chapel in London, founded by a former Church of England minister, Theophilus Lindsey.

The distinguished scientist and minister Joseph Priestley also played a key role in the formation of the movement.....

....A turning point came in 1819 when William Ellery Channing gave the sermon 'Unitarian Christianity', which became the key text for liberal religion in North America. In this sermon he set out the foundation stones:

the unity of God and the rejection of the Trinity

the importance of reason in understanding the Bible

the importance of human nature in discovering religious truth

God as having a loving and parental nature

rejection of the doctrine of original sin.

....These distinguished American writers emphasised intuition as the source of knowledge and believed that that God is present in every individual and throughout the natural word.

" The intuition of the moral sentiment is an insight of the perfection of the laws of the soul. These laws execute themselves. They are out of time, out of space, and not subject to circumstance.

Thus; in the soul of man there is a justice whose retributions are instant and entire. He who does a good deed, is instantly ennobled. He who does a mean deed, is by the action itself contracted. He who puts off impurity, thereby puts on purity.

If a man is at heart just, then in so far is he God; the safety of God, the immortality of God, the majesty of God do enter into that man with justice. " -- Ralph Waldo Emerson July 15, 1838


Religions of the world: Information about 40 organized religions and faith groups

Comparing different religions & faith groups

Resources dealing with science and religion

North American Christian denominations

Religions of the world Timeline


Major Religions of the World Ranked by Number of Adherents

(Sizes shown are approximate estimates, and are here mainly for the purpose of ordering the groups, not providing a definitive number. This list is sociological/statistical in perspective.)

Christianity: 2.1 billion
Islam: 1.5 billion
Secular/Nonreligious/Agnostic/Atheist: 1.1 billion
Hinduism: 900 million
Chinese traditional religion: 394 million
Buddhism: 376 million
primal-indigenous: 300 million
African Traditional & Diasporic: 100 million
Sikhism: 23 million
Juche: 19 million
Spiritism: 15 million
Judaism: 14 million
Baha'i: 7 million
Jainism: 4.2 million
Shinto: 4 million
Cao Dai: 4 million
Zoroastrianism: 2.6 million
Tenrikyo: 2 million
Neo-Paganism: 1 million
Unitarian-Universalism: 800 thousand
Rastafarianism: 600 thousand
Scientology: 500 thousand