This is such an excellent question that I had to write it up.
There are two extremes to answering this question. Essentially Yes, and No ;-).
The superficial answer is that Confucius and Buddha predated Christ, so therefore Yes.
But then Moses dates to around 1500BC according to the Bible. This is the foundation of Christianity, with the New Testament carrying the mantra of “and this fulfils what was written…” referring to some Jewish scripture. I think this predates the Chinese guys. So, No.
But then many academics claim that the Bible was made up by a bunch of catholic priests around 350AD. So, Yes.
This claim has lost popularity since the dead sea scrolls were discovered in 1948, verifying the old testament is preserved accurately since 100BC. This claim therefore casts doubt on a similar theory that the Jewish scriptures were invented by a handful of desperate Rabbis around 300BC. The claim depends on a lack of evidence and is rooted in a bias of refusing to consider popular evidence. This demonstrates a nefarious intent to discredit the Bible by whatever means possible.
My perspective on the Bible is that there is “nothing” new in the New Testament – just a more obvious perspective of what was there all along since Genesis. A personal bugbear of mine is academic dismissal of the old testament. This is rooted in the rejection of its historicity, particularly in favour of ancient pagan philosophies we’ve relabelled evolution. This philosophy masquerades as science, but refuses to answer its contradictions with scientific laws, historic documentation and billions of witnesses to the existence of God. This perspective arrogantly argues that we’re smarter than our ancestors and naively desires that the world is getting better with each generation. The fact is we’re just as corrupt as our most ancient ancestors.
- 390AD: The New Testament was formally canonized
- 90AD: The Book of Revelation was written
- 130BC: The
Old Testament was
translated into the Greek Septuagint
300BC: It was completed and canonized
- 500BC: Confucius lived
- 600BC: The earliest evidence of the five Books of Moses including Genesis
- 700BC: Quotes from prophets e.g. Isaiah are found in archaeological finds.
- 1000BC: There is archaeological artefacts evidence of King David, matching with biblical accounts.
- 1100BC: Buddha
lived according to tradition
but 500BC according to modern scholars.
- 1500BC: Moses lived according to biblical reckoning.
- Academia prefers Manetho’s dating for Egyptian chronology because it contradicts the Bible. The problem is that he placed the kings of the Northern and Southern kingdoms sequentially instead of simultaneously. Particularly when including Biblical sources, there is far more evidence for the Biblical timescale, which has never been proven incorrect and correlates well with other well-documented chronologies. I believe the exodus coincides with the mysterious fall of Egypt’s early kingdom.
- There is strong intent to prove the Bible wrong throughout history
https://www.livescience.com/8008-bible-possibly-written-centuries-earlier-text-suggests.html discusses archaeological evidence of Biblical texts dating around 1000BC during King David’s time.
When we start looking at extra-biblical sources, I understand that Moses didn’t originate Genesis, but collated ancient writings passed down since Adam. The Book of Jubilees claims that Enoch was the first writer, this was probably before Adam died. The Book of Jasher, referred to in Joshua 10:13, collaborates a chronology akin to Genesis through to Joshua’s time. I understand from such sources, that since Enoch, written records have been passed down the Patriarchs to be received by Moses. This is collaborated by King Ashurbanipal of Assyria around 650BC when he bragged about his academic prowess, including reading texts from before the great flood.
Occasionally some academic regurgitates the idea that the Bible is copied from ancient Sumerian stories. The fact is both tell similar stories. The conjecture is the Epic of Gilgamesh being the original. Interestingly the Genesis account’s boat is seaworthy, while Gilgamesh’s is a cube, suggesting the corruption of retelling. The fact is most cultures remember creation, the first woman, the fall, the flood and the tower of Babel in their legends. These are all witnesses of such events being true, although some accounts are rather cloudy.
I believe that “Christian” (Judeo-Christian) writings date back to Adam. I find Genesis infers the complete gospel. It’s like a prelude that introduces the Biblical themes, which remain unvaried until the Revelation. Opposition to the Bible and God’s word being truth is rife and documented throughout the Bible. Consider that 200 years after Noah’s flood, the “whole world” was building a tower in rebellion against our infinite creator God.
Getting back to ancient Chinese, many are fascinated with the coincidence with ancient Chinese writing and the Gospel. Missionaries to China use their writing to show how God was revealed himself to their ancestors. From https://answersingenesis.org/genesis/chinese-characters-and-genesis/:
- The character “boat” = vessel + eight + people
- Covet/desire = two trees + women
- Create = speak + dust + life + walk + mud
See also https://creation.com/linguistics-questions-and-answers#chinese for detailed discussion.
Additionally, it’s fascinating that ancient worship practices of the ancient Chinese temple of heaven dating back to around 2000BC are very similar to Jewish practices, preluded by Abraham around the same time – probably both derive from Noah, going right back to Adam.
I believe that the Christian writings derive from records kept in writing since Adam. The Patriarchs carefully preserved these records and passed them down the generations, through Noah, Shem, Abraham and Jacob. Jacob committed these records to his son Levi’s care. These were inherited by his great grandson Moses who charged his brother’s family with the priestly duty of preserving these records perpetually. Christians have joined with this tradition of religiously preserving ancient scriptures. Today the total deviation in source manuscripts amounts to about half a page, none of which is significant.
Buddha is thought to originate his teachings, but these probably built upon his predecessors. I expect some coincidence with Biblical ideas since we’re all descendants of Granddad Noah.
I pray this provokes your own research.