Okay, I’m jumping the gun on this post because I wanted to talk about the Egyptian and Babylonian Gods. I haven’t done that research yet, so instead I’ll share some maps.
Until I update this post….look at all the powers that occupied Jerusalem.
Egypt 1500 BC
Neo-Babylon Empire shortly before it was conquered by…
Persia – (See my posts on Zoroastrianism and how the Achaemenid empire heavily influenced Christianity.)
This is before Alexander or Rome influenced their religions!
Anyone who doesn’t think Judaism was heavily influenced by their occupying states is in denial! We have evidence of Syncretism all over the world, in the New Testament (via Rome?), and in modern Catholicism. Your religion is not a special snowflake that was cut off from the rest of the world! You can pretend that your religion influenced all of the neighbors, but it’s more likely yours was also influenced by more powerful pagan states. Or just by trade.
But what about similarities with far-away religions?
You can tote the Catholic church’s line that distant religions support Christianity, because God merely manifested himself as other Gods to prepare them for the real deal, but that’s some Rune-Goldberg complexity. More likely is that religions in Native America developed independently, off of universal human desires, resulting in similarities. It’s easy to disprove Gods by looking at history.
First Update on Babylonian Gods:
Eridu in Iraq is believed to be the oldest city known in the world. It had at least 4000 people living around a large temple dedicated to their patron God Enki (a.k.a. Ea).
Enki was the patron god of fresh water, salt water, crafts, creation, and the lord of semen who created the tigris and euphrates rivers by filling the beds with his own semen. He also was your prototypical daughter-fucking stud of a God. (Pic is of a Mesopotamian Goddess I find more photogenic though.)
He also created humans from clay to serve the Gods, but a rival god tried to kill the new humans with a great flood.