If either were correct, we would expect to see this plural construction throughout the Bible. It is important to observe that the biblical writers do not hesitate to affirm that God is “one” (cf. . In other parts of the world, however, this is an extremely believable scenario. And that’s especially so if there were only one god in existence and he was in the process of educating his chosen people about the revolutionary concept of monotheism. Favoritism toward one group appears to be completely arbitrary, and hence immoral. The gods of the ancient pagan world were heterogeneous. Note that “I” and “my father” reflect two personalities. What was the decisive turning point in the evolution from polytheism to monotheism? The traditional Jewish and Christian rationalization for these reports is that the people were monotheists, followers of Yahweh, who were being led astray to false, foreign gods. Genesis 1:26; 3:22; 11:7; Isaiah 6:8). The most likely explanation for the dual traditions is that the Israelites were at one point no different than their neighbors, worshipping the Canaanite pantheon. And if they worshipped El, then presumably they believed in his pantheon and were . In this sentence, therefore, there is an affirmation of dual personalities sharing an identical nature. . Conclusion. And the Lord (Yahweh) said, ‘Who will entice Ahab . Once again, the most likely explanation for the absence of polemics against El is that he and Yahweh became one and the same. Polytheism characterizes virtually all religions other than Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, which share a common tradition of monotheism, the belief in one god. Over time, Yahweh gained strength. Recall that, in the Mosaic covenant, the people forswear other gods in exchange for Yahweh’s favor. But the fact that some of these names were also the name of another god is suspicious:  El is the name of the god at the head of the Canaanite pantheon, the pantheon of deities worshipped by the Israelite’s predecessors and neighbors. 2 Corinthians 13:14). 553 polytheism in christianity essay examples from best writing company EliteEssayWriters™. World religions are often divided between monotheistic or polytheistic faiths. But for that to be true, then Yahweh must control the Assyrians and the Babylonians. Canaan is the ancient term for the region we would today call Israel, the Palestinian territories, Lebanon, and so on. . Canaan is the ancient term for the region we would today call Israel, the Palestinian territories, Lebanon, and so on. ©2020. When the Persian king, Cyrus the Great, conquered Babylon, he emancipated many of the groups that the Babylonians had enslaved, including the Jews. Mormonism is one of these. “bene elohim” (sons of elohim) – Qumran text. (3). Which are three different entities. We can see this breakthrough thinking reflected in Second Isaiah (8), written circa 540 BCE. ChristianCourier.com. As centuries passed, written references to El would have, in many cases, been modified so that the term El came to serve as a generic reference to a god or as a title, rather than indicating the name of a particular god. Consider this example: “The heavens praise your wonders, Lord (Yahweh), your faithfulness too, in the assembly of the holy ones. As will be shown, the ancestors of those tribes we call Jewish were originally no different from their Canaanite neighbors. (5)  If we accept the Qumran text and read Elohim as another variant for El, then the passage can be re-written as: “When El gave the nations their inheritance . And there are other examples: “I saw the Lord (Yahweh) sitting on his throne with all the multitudes of heaven standing around him . The Southern Kingdom of Judea endured for another century and a half but succumbed to the Babylonians in 587 BCE. he set up boundaries for the peoples according to the number of his sons. Polytheism vs Christianity 1. It is difficult to make sense of these verses. In each case, that god is referred to as El Shadai, which means El of the Mountain or El the Mighty. Non-Christian monotheists such as Jews and Muslims commonly charge Christians with believing in three gods (a form of polytheism) based on this Trinitarian doctrine. 5-6.). . But it makes more sense in a polytheistic than in a monotheistic context. In Buddhism, there are higher beings commonly designed (or designated) as gods, Devas; however, Buddhism, at its core (the original Pali canon), does not teach the notion of praying nor worship to the Devas or any god(s). By itself this is not surprising. . So the number of El’s sons matches perfectly the number of countries in the world. Second, who are these other heavenly beings? . If there were only one god, people would have no alternative:  that god could simply dictate terms. . A competitive context explains why Yahweh has to resort to offering incentives. . took his firstborn son . This passage raises numerous questions. Thus, on the most common way of understanding polytheism, orthodox Christian belief is not monotheistic, but quite clearly polytheistic. For Yahweh’s portion is his people, Jacob his allotted inheritance.”. But for some unexplained reason, he was then going by another name. So, as a result of this sacrifice to the Moabite god Chemosh, Yahweh and the Israelites were defeated. Access date: November 29, 2020. https://www.christiancourier.com/articles/236-is-christianity-polytheistic. And the Old Testament attests to the limited powers of its god in several instances. “The fury against Israel was great; they withdrew . Here we have a front-row seat to a discussion within the divine council. . Christianity doesn’t – not directly anyway – allude to polytheism. In the ancient Vedas (“sacred” literary compositions) of India, there are hymns directed to these entities. Finally, it seems implausible that a monotheistic god would choose to favor one people over others.

polytheism in christianity

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