The Other Side of the Flood: Was Abraham of Indian Descent?

Abraham's Journey from Ur to Canaan by József Molnár (1850)

The Other Side of the Flood: Was Abraham of Indian Descent?

A fascinating hypothesis, developed in recent years, proposes a vision of the patriarch Abraham totally different from what eminent biblical studies have until today reported. In 1552, the French linguist, astronomer and cabbalist Guillaume Postel (1510-1581) was among the first to correlate Abraham with Brahma, deducing his hypotheses from the study of the Jewish Zohar. In 1769, Immanuel Kant, similarly to what Voltaire wrote before him, compared Adam and Abraham with the Hindu Adimo and Brahma. In 1799, Joseph Priestley, in his text A Comparison of the Institutions of Moses with those of the Hindus and other Ancient Nations, took up the claims of Voltaire and Kant by re-proposing the possible derivation of Abraham from Brahma.

Brahma. Hand coloured engravings by Frederic Shoberl from his work 'The World in Miniature: Hindoostan'. London: R. Ackerman (1820) (Pubic Domain)

Ancient References

The correlation between the Jewish people and India is rooted deep in our historiography. Recovering ancient sources, one finds a first reference in Jewish Antiquities by Flavius Josephus (37 - 100 AD) in which a sentence by the Greek philosopher Aristotle was quoted as saying: "These Jews are derived from the Indian philosophers; they are called by the Indians, Calani". Clearco di Soli (who lived in the fourth to third century BC) in his treatise on Sleep, wrote: "...the Jews are descended from the philosophers of India. In India the philosophers are called Calaniani and in Syria they are called Jews. The name of their capital is very difficult to pronounce. It's called Jerusalem".

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Ancient Origins Quotations