What is the Oldest Religion in the World?

Question
What is the Oldest Religion in the World?
Answer

The oldest religion is Christianity. It began at Creation as the worship of the one true and living God (Gen 3:21; 4:26; Jer 10:10; cf. John 17:3; 1 Cor 8:6: 1 Tim 2:5-6) and will continue as such for Eternity (Rom 11:36; Rev 1:6; 5:13; 7:12). We can trace its development through God's covenants with Adam (Hos 6:7; Rom 5:12-22), Noah (Gen 6:18; 9:11; the use of qum in Hebrew reveals there was already an existing covenant), Abraham (Gen. 15:8; 17:7), Moses (Exod. 19-24), David (2 Sam. 7:5-16; Psa. 89; 132), and finally in Christ (Jer. 31:31-34; Ezek. 34:25; 37:26; Matt 26:27-28; Heb. 8:10-12; 9:15). Even the Adam in the Garden is connected to the second and last man Adam - Christ Jesus (1 Cor 15:45, 47; cf. Rom 5:12-21). In the New Testament, this religion from the Creation of the world became known as Christianity (Acts 11:26).

The Old Testament is all about Jesus and the promise of the Savior. Messiah would be born of a woman (Gen 3:15; cf. Matt 1:20; Gal 4:4). He would be born of a virgin (Isa 7:14; cf. Matt 1:22-23) in Bethlehem (Mic 5:2; cf. Matt 2:1; Luke 2:4-6). The Messiah would come from the line of Abraham (Gen 12:3; 22:18; cf. Matt 1:1; Rom 9:5), be a descendent of Isaac (Gen 17:19; 21:12; cf. Matt 1:2) and Jacob (Num 24:17; cf. Matt 1:2) and be from the tribe of Judah (Gen 49:10; cf. Luke 3:33; Heb 7:14). Messiah would be a heir of David's throne (2 Sam 7:12-13; Isa 9:7; cf. Luke 1:32-33; Rom 1:3) and his throne would be anointed and eternal (Psa 45:6-7; Dan 2:44; cf. Luke 1:33; Heb 1:8-12).

Messiah would be called Immanuel (Isa 7:14; cf. Matt 1:23), spend a season in Egypt (Hos 11:1; cf. Matt 2:14-15), and there would be a massacre of children at his birthplace (Jer 31:15; cf. Matt 2:16-18). A messenger would prepare his way (Isa 40:3-5; cf. Luke 3:3-6), but Messiah would be rejected by his own people (Psa 69:8; Isa 53:3; cf. John 1:11; 7:5). Messiah would be preceded by Elijah (Mal 4:5-6; cf. Matt 11:13-14), be a prophet (Deut 18:5; cf. Acts 3:20-22), and be declared to be the Son of God (Psa 2:7; cf. Matt 3:16-17). He would be called a Nazarene (Isa 11:1; cf. Matt 2:23), bring light to Galilee (Isa 9:1-2; cf. Matt 4:13-16), and speak in parables (Psa 78:2-4; Isa 6:9-10; cf. Matt 13:10-15, 34-35). He would come to heal the broken hearted (Isa 61:1-2; cf. Luke 4:18-19) and be praised by little children (Psa 8:2; cf. Matt 21:16).

Messiah would be a priest after the order of Melchizedek (Psa 110:4; Heb 5:5-6) and be called a king (Psa 2:6; Zech 9:9; cf. Matt 27:37; Mark 11:7-11). He would be betrayed (Psa 41:9; Zech 11:12-13; cf. Matt 26:14-16; Luke 22:47-48) and the Messiah's price would be used to purchase a potter's field (Zech 11:12-13; cf. Matt 27:9-10). He would be falsely accused (Psa 35:11; cf. Mark 14:57-58) and yet remain silent before his accusers (Isa 53:7; cf. Mark 15:4-5). Messiah would be spat upon and struck (Isa 50:6; cf. Matt 26:67), be hated without a cause (Psa 35:19; 69:4; cf. John 15:24-25), and crucified with criminals (Isa 53:12; cf. Matt 27:38; Mark 15:27-28). He would be given vinegar to drink (Psa 69:21; cf. Matt 27:34; John 19:28-30), his hands and feet would be pierced (Psa 22:16; Zech 12:10; cf. John 20:25-27), and he would be mocked and ridiculed (Psa 22:7-8; cf. Like 23:35). Soldiers would gamble for his garments (Psa 22:18; cf. Luke 23:34; Matt 37:35-36), but his bones would not be broken (Exod 12:46; Psa 34:20; cf. John 19:36). He would be forsaken by God (Psa 22:1; cf. Matt 27:46) and yet pray for his enemies (Psa 109:4; cf. Luke 23:34). Soldiers would pierce the Messiah's side (Zech 12:10; cf. John 19:34), but he would be buried with the rich (Isa 53:9; cf. Matt 27:57-60).

Messiah would be resurrected from the dead (Psa 16:10; 49:15; cf. Matt 28:5-7; Acts 2:22-32), would ascend to heaven (Psa 24:7-10; cf. Mark 16:19; Luke 24:51), and be seated at the right hand of God (Psa 110:1; cf. Mark 16:19; Matt 22:44). And Messiah would be the sacrifice for the sins of his people (Isa 53:5-12; cf. Rom 5:6-8). The religion we now know as Christianity is a continuation of the covenant God had with Israel (Rom 1:16). See "The Renewed or New Covenant?" below.

Christianity is the oldest religion in the world. See "Is Jesus the ONLY WAY to Heaven?" below.

Related Topics

Is Jesus the ONLY WAY to Heaven?
Christ in the Old Testament
The Old/New Testament Church
The Renewed or New Covenant?

Answer by Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr.

Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr., D.D., M.Div. is the Theological Editor at Third Millennium Ministries (IIIM).