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James Darmesteter comments: "If we pass now from dogma to practice, we find that the most important practice of the Avesta law was either disregarded by the Achmenian kings, or unknown to them.

According to the Avesta burying corpses in the earth is one of the most heinous sins that can be committed; we know that under the Sassanians a prime minister, Seoses, paid with his life for an infraction of that law .

The Zoroastrian tradition has preserved a date which would put Zoroaster in the neighborhood of 600 B. Opinion is divided according to whether this traditional date is accepted as true or rejected. Those who reject the date seem to do so not so much because of reasoned arguments but out: of a vague feeling, the feeling that the Gathas of Zoroaster are old, old, ever so old as if 600 B. Of course, this feeling is not, as a rule, represented as such, but appears in the guise of specious reasoning.

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Neither does he make any detailed theological statements (like concerning the essential Zoroastrian idea of "Amesha Spentas") besides the simplistic idea of fighting for truth and opposing lie. 684): "Evidence is lacking for religion under the predecessors of Darius I.

The scholars who date Zoroaster in the 6th century BC (like E. Altheim) actually speculate that Darius' father Vishtaspa/Hystaspes might have been the first influential convert to Zoroastrianism. It is well known that Cyrus II "The Great" (559-529 B.

"The linguistic argument is this in comparison with the language of the Old Persian inscriptions the language of the Gathas is far less developed far closer to hypothetical Old Iranian therefore, the Gathas should be older than the oldest Old Persian inscriptions by more than a few decades.

This argument would hold good only if the language of the Gathas were the same dialect, at an earlier stage, as Old Persian; but that is not the case and has never been claimed.

It is notorious that the various dialects of one and the same language group develop at different speeds and in different directions, so that the comparison of two dialects can never lead to a relative date.

Moreover, in Iranian the Eastern and Western dialects developed not merely in different but in opposite directions thus while the word endings disappeared in the West, they were well maintained in the East.

From the point of view of comparative linguistics the Gathas could have been composed at a date far later than 600 B. " – Politician or Witch Doctor (lecture 3 of 3)The archaic language of Gathas was probably due to the fact that Zoroastrianism was born in the rustic Eastern Iran, far from the cultural centers of Indus Valley and Mesopotamia - and also far from the Jewish exiles in Babylon.

Then, what then could be the clearest evidence that Persians could not have given any Zoroastrian ideas to Jews during their Babylonian exile?

ON THE DATE OF AVESTA, AND THE ZOROASTRIAN-BORROWING HYPOTHESIS; Or, Letting Skeptics Have A Taste Of Their Own Medicine By "Antero" One of the reasons I have become convinced of the superiority of Christian faith is that more I have studied the holy writings of other religions, the more I have seen how completely they would collapse if they were subjected to even a FRACTION of the kind of scholarly criticism that Bible has been showered with.

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