The Silk Road from China to the west has received a lot of attention recently with the publication of Peter Francopan's book on the subject linking the dots of the routes in the rise of production of and export of silk in the second half of the first millennium BC.
For some time I've been saying that the Gospel of Thomas is Buddhist in its spirit with a sprinkling of Confucius, and others say that John shows origins in Zoroastrianism.
The reason why the Church isn't mainstream any more is that people are seeing that its singular approach to the Divine isn't the whole picture, not relevant to the real world and for many I believe the Cross and the figure of Jesus is an idol.
Only when the Church moves in a more holistic approach to the Divine will it find relevance, and the future of the Organ survive.
We don't give credit to the ancients, their facility for transcontinental trade, communication of goods and communication of thought in any way as different brands of a common currency. It was with this, perhaps that Jesus gave in a reform to Judaism.
"Sacred by thy Name"
In other words - it should not be pronounced. In the Name of Jesus, we replace a name that should not be pronounced by another Name, and it should not be pronounced, uttered.
It's worth contemplating perhaps the similarity with http://www.bopsecrets.org/gateway/passages/tao-te-ching.htm
The Tao that can be trodden is not the enduring and unchanging Tao.
The name that can be named is not the enduring and unchanging name.
"I am the Light. I am the Way" says Jesus. Was he usurping competing religions? Or was he bringing them together? Not to replace but be part?
Those "pagan" religions oh so to be derided . . . In the wisdom of Apollo, again representative of light, the Name was never to be uttered. Light not of the world but of the mind. Holman Hunt's painting is misleading in so far as depicting a light of material form.
Ideas of the ancient world were much more universal perhaps than we give credit for, and now to be shown up as such in the universalism inherent in a World Wide Web. We think that modern technology is so much more effective than that of the ancients but perhaps in the days of old our ideas were bound by the communication spawned by a web of silk.