The consensus now is that he lived about 1200 BCE, but scholars previously argued for dates ranging from 6000 BCE until 600 BCE.Dating is important for Zoroastrianism because it incorporates many elements that may have influenced more flourishing religions, such as Judaism and Christianity, and even Greek and Roman religions.Usual sins include sodomy and adultery; theft, lying, perjury, deceit, slander, extortion, making false covenants, breaking promises, and murder.The standard punishment found in the majority of texts is for the wicked to be fed fetid and putrid things while waiting thousands of years in the company of demons until the final resurrection.
These transformations over time further complicate research into the transmission of ideas from Zoroastrianism.
However, even determining the dates for Zoroaster himself and for the era of his religion does not resolve the most intractable questions of influence, since there are few early archaeological or textual records.
Most of the surviving materials are quite late, and it is impossible to determine with certainty the nature of their originals.
Scholars of Zoroastrianism find that in earlier texts, the souls would be subjected to everlasting punishment in hell, later the belief was that they would be destroyed in the molten metal of the Apocalypse, and even later belief holds that the molten metal will actually purify everything, allowing even the wicked to proceed to heaven.
However, the ultimate fate of the wicked is not conclusively explained in any of the hell texts themselves.