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Jarjar3000
Posts: 273
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3/2/2011 10:20:39 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
I just want to throw this question out there. Why in ancient times, when every single nation and people were pagan, the Jews were Monotheistic?
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Floid
Posts: 751
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3/2/2011 10:30:47 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
Well, two points.

There were other monotheistic religions. Examples include Zoroastrianism.

The second is that it seems to be that natural evolution of religions. In history, religion has progressed from animism to polytheisms to monotheism/very limited polytheisms.
Volkov
Posts: 9,765
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3/2/2011 10:32:18 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
Not every religion in the area was polytheistic, to start off. The Zoroastrians are monotheists, and archeologists believe that other Babylonian and Levant subcultures were either experimenting with the idea or well on their way to formulating full monotheistic myths.

You also have to realize that throughout the history of the area, there was always a steady drift towards monotheism. You can see it in the gradual decline of power of the various polytheistic gods to one "super-god," usually a creator god, or one who basically ruled over the pantheon. Think Zeus, or Aten of the Egyptian pantheon (who, by the way, actually had a monotheistic cult following). Its also speculated that Yahweh, the Jewish God, was actually originally part of the Canaanite pantheon under the name of El, who was originally a creator/Sun god, but gradually rose to importance over the years, and become the God we know today.

So, in reality, the Jews just sort of ended up coming into it at the right time, but it was a natural evolution of their religion. The popularity of the concept was also never very high, remember. Until it swamped the Roman Empire, the idea of Yahweh was limited mostly to Israelite homelands.
Cerebral_Narcissist
Posts: 10,806
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3/2/2011 10:33:46 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/2/2011 10:20:39 AM, Jarjar3000 wrote:
I just want to throw this question out there. Why in ancient times, when every single nation and people were pagan, the Jews were Monotheistic?

They probably were not, they were most likely Monolatarists that got carried away. Apart from that its a good question.
I am voting for Innomen because of his intelligence, common sense, humility and the fact that Juggle appears to listen to him. Any other Presidential style would have a large sub-section of the site up in arms. If I was President I would destroy the site though elitism, others would let it run riot. Innomen represents a middle way that works, neither draconian nor anarchic and that is the only way things can work. Plus he does it all without ego trips.
PARADIGM_L0ST
Posts: 6,958
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3/2/2011 10:42:42 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/2/2011 10:20:39 AM, Jarjar3000 wrote:
I just want to throw this question out there. Why in ancient times, when every single nation and people were pagan, the Jews were Monotheistic?:

They weren't. Zoroastrianism is monotheistic and it predates Judaism. There were also various Native American and Siberian tribes that were monotheistic, and this was done completely independent of influence from other cultures.
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CosmicAlfonzo
Posts: 5,955
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3/2/2011 10:45:21 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/2/2011 10:33:46 AM, Cerebral_Narcissist wrote:
At 3/2/2011 10:20:39 AM, Jarjar3000 wrote:
I just want to throw this question out there. Why in ancient times, when every single nation and people were pagan, the Jews were Monotheistic?

They probably were not, they were most likely Monolatarists that got carried away. Apart from that its a good question.

This. I don't know about getting carried away, but there is evidence to support that the ancient Jews believed in the existence of many gods. At least enough evidence to make it a reasonable belief.

It wasn't till a tad bit later that they moved to strict monotheism.
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InsertNameHere
Posts: 15,699
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3/2/2011 3:13:00 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/2/2011 10:42:42 AM, PARADIGM_L0ST wrote:

They weren't. Zoroastrianism is monotheistic and it predates Judaism.

Actually, that's debatable. There has been some sources suggesting Judaism came first so there's really mixed views on that.

Also, when I first saw this thread I was worried it was going to be just another debate about zionism. Haha. Thankfully it's not.
Cerebral_Narcissist
Posts: 10,806
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3/3/2011 1:46:56 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
And just to confuse things some people like to claim that Judaism is a rip off from Atenism. Now Atenism was supposed to be strictly monotheistic, but that might not be the case as it was somewhat persecuted following it's brief success. Only the story of King Solomon suggests to me that the Jews were not entirely monotheistic even by then.
I am voting for Innomen because of his intelligence, common sense, humility and the fact that Juggle appears to listen to him. Any other Presidential style would have a large sub-section of the site up in arms. If I was President I would destroy the site though elitism, others would let it run riot. Innomen represents a middle way that works, neither draconian nor anarchic and that is the only way things can work. Plus he does it all without ego trips.