Jump to content




Welcome to Unexplained Mysteries! Please sign in or create an account to start posting and to access a host of extra features.


- - - - -

What was first monotheistic religion?


  • Please log in to reply
111 replies to this topic

#16    Drayno

Drayno

    Draynor's Finest

  • Member
  • 3,704 posts
  • Joined:18 Jan 2008
  • Gender:Male

Posted 02 April 2012 - 10:05 PM

View Postquestionmark, on 02 April 2012 - 08:44 PM, said:

I would doubt that. It most probably all started with one "spirit" or god with a scope on a small tribe. With the evolution of society many tribes banded together or had a cultural interchange each bringing "their god" and that is how polytheism started. Egypt, Sumeria and similar are pretty late in the game. Try the time of Gobeliki Tepe, or 6000 years prior to Egypt and Sumeria.

Or it was various social groups interpreting the world around them. I don't think the idea of polytheism emerged simply because of cultural exchange. It would be more fitting that polytheism emerged when people attempted to characterize the elements of their environment; for example, in Greek polytheism, Apollo is the sun personified, or in Norse mythology, Thor is thunder personified. This has some correlation with that I said about Egypt and its fascination with death. The chaos of the environment led to the adoption of death as a major theme in the Egyptian culture. So environments do have much more to do with the evolution of faith than you would think; and this is demonstrated by all those who added characteristics inherent with human nature to objects in nature; the sun, rivers, the oceans, the moon, etc.

The mere idea that they could personify the environment only contributed to ideas of faith. Each region of the world has an abundance of origin myths; like Indo-Iran's pagan religious system before it was introduced to the ideas of the "prophet" Zoroaster. Except these rudimentary interpretations we've both cited grow with the size of the civilization.

The larger the social group, the larger the collected psychology of the people is. The larger the amount of people, the harder it is to control them. The more organized the religion; taking ideas that people had lived with for centuries, and adapting them to fit the mold of the social customs that are prevalent at the time, the easier it is to unite the people under one faith. Guiding the transition of a regional pagan religious system to something more categorical or organized is simply measured by the growth of an idea of one generation, coupled with the idea that the aforementioned idea will eventually become overthrown by an idea that is more widely accepted; as was the case with monotheistic faiths versus polytheism, when monotheism overthrew it. And as is the case in our contemporary times with science dissuading religion to a degree; the more acceptable idea grows and adapts.

Edited by Drayno, 02 April 2012 - 10:19 PM.

"Let us sit upon the ground and tell sad stories of the death of kings."
- William Shakespeare, Richard II, Act III, Scene II

#17    questionmark

questionmark

    Cinicus Magnus

  • Member
  • 35,613 posts
  • Joined:26 Jun 2007
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Greece and Des Moines, IA

  • In a flat world there is an explanation to everything.

Posted 02 April 2012 - 10:20 PM

View PostDrayno, on 02 April 2012 - 10:05 PM, said:

Or it was various social groups interpreting the world around them. I don't think the idea of polytheism emerged simply because of cultural exchange. It would be more fitting that polytheism emerged when people attempted to characterize the elements of their environment; for example, in Greek polytheism, Apollo is the sun personified, or in Norse mythology, Thor is thunder personified. This has some correlation with that I said about Egypt and its fascination with death. The chaos of the environment led to the adoption of death as a major theme in the Egyptian culture. So environments do have much more to do with the evolution of faith than you would think; and this is demonstrated by all those who added characteristics inherent with human nature to objects in nature; the sun, rivers, the oceans, the moon, etc.

To understand Greek polytheism you first have to understand ancient Greece. It is the best example of a pantheon that expanded at the same rate the people started to identify as "Greek".  The attributes did not come before the inclusion in a pantheon but rather after when it came to the time of distinguishing between the gods. The god at the beginning was life, and because of that mostly feminine. But then we are 20-30,000 years before the Greek and the Egyptians or Sumerians.

Funnily the god that most influenced our Western/Middle Eastern religions is a regression of that. The Thunder God made God Father.

A skeptic is a well informed believer and a pessimist a well informed optimist
The most dangerous views of the world are from those who have never seen it. ~ Alexander v. Humboldt
If you want to bulls**t me please do it so that it takes me more than a minute to find out

about me

#18    Drayno

Drayno

    Draynor's Finest

  • Member
  • 3,704 posts
  • Joined:18 Jan 2008
  • Gender:Male

Posted 02 April 2012 - 10:24 PM

View Postquestionmark, on 02 April 2012 - 10:20 PM, said:

To understand Greek polytheism you first have to understand ancient Greece. It is the best example of a pantheon that expanded at the same rate the people started to identify as "Greek".  The attributes did not come before the inclusion in a pantheon but rather after when it came to the time of distinguishing between the gods. The god at the beginning was life, and because of that mostly feminine. But then we are 20-30,000 years before the Greek and the Egyptians or Sumerians.

Funnily the god that most influenced our Western/Middle Eastern religions is a regression of that. The Thunder God made God Father.

You Greeks had a greatly justified interpretation of god, saying that it was life. :)

Out of all monotheistic diatribes, examples, or sources - I agree with the ancients who say that god is life.

It's simplistic, but as Emerson would say, there is beauty in simplicity.

In the time before the Greeks the Egyptians, and the Sumerians, who knows?

There is a marvelous window of opportunity when it comes to imagining what they thought.

"Let us sit upon the ground and tell sad stories of the death of kings."
- William Shakespeare, Richard II, Act III, Scene II

#19    lightly

lightly

    metaphysical therapist

  • Member
  • 6,066 posts
  • Joined:01 Apr 2009
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Michigan U.S.A.

  • "The future ain't what it used to be"
    Yogi Berra

Posted 02 April 2012 - 11:36 PM

I'll betcha  the first Monotheistic religion was probably SUN worship.  You crawl , shivering, out of the cave and stand before the sun.. you stretch.. you feel it's life giving warmth and say  ooodagamomba!*
... ( Thank GOD it's Morning!*)   :P    Then.. since your chief,  you make everybody do it.. but , they don't seem to mind because he's such a wonderful GOD .   ^_^

I think it still influences religions to this very day?   sun/son   LIGHT is very popular in religious writings?

Important:  The above may contain errors, inaccuracies, omissions, and other limitations.

#20    JesseCuster

JesseCuster

    Secret Jesus

  • Member
  • 3,088 posts
  • Joined:11 Jun 2011
  • Gender:Not Selected

Posted 02 April 2012 - 11:43 PM

View PostDieChecker, on 02 April 2012 - 08:40 PM, said:

People freak out when I point out that Christianity is a tri-part godhood. If you get right down to it, the angels fill the places of the various lesser gods of such pantheons as the Romans and Greeks and Egpytians.
And if you look at Catholicism in particular, it's very polytheistic in a certain way.  Just like lots of polytheistic religions and animistic religions have gods and spirits for everything and anything - Catholicism has "patron saints" of all sorts of things that you pray to for whatever it is you wish for.  It's like a religion with thousands of mini-Gods for anything the Catholic Church thinks needs a mini-God for praying to for.

"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool." - Richard P. Feynman

#21    The_Spartan

The_Spartan

    Spartan Forever!!!!

  • Member
  • 3,733 posts
  • Joined:31 Mar 2006
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Abu Dhabi, UAE

  • Gravity is Arbitrary!!

Posted 03 April 2012 - 12:12 AM

View Postquestionmark, on 02 April 2012 - 08:11 PM, said:

Well, see here: All Hindu gods are reincarnations of Brahma, so the same person, therefore monotheistic.


No, QM.
All Hindu Gods do not originate from Brahma.

The Trinity Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva are seen as the Creator, Sustainer and Destroyer.

It is said that Vishnu is the paramatman or the Supreme being/God.  Everything else. including Brahma and Shiva  originated from him.

But, Hinduism is an amalgamation of various regional faiths that existed in the Indian subcontinent.

There are arguments within Hinduism itself regarding the origins of the gods since different religious texts tell different things.









"Wise men, when in doubt whether to speak or to keep quiet, give themselves the benefit of the doubt, and remain silent.-Napoleon Hill

Follow my stupid posts on Tumblr at Azrael's Ramblings

#22    kmt_sesh

kmt_sesh

    Telekinetic

  • 7,714 posts
  • Joined:08 Jul 2007
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Chicago, Illinois

Posted 03 April 2012 - 01:09 AM

I'd wager the first true form of monotheism was what we call "Atenism," from the reign of the heretic king Akhenaten in Dynasty 18 Egypt. It certainly didn't start out that way because on Akhenaten's own early monuments certain deities like Horus, Re-Horakhty, and Maat are prominently displayed. Technically speaking one would define the early stages of Atenism as henotheism. However, by all appearances it did indeed develop into monotheism. Akhenaten eventually denied all other deities and recognized and venerated only the Aten. In the prayer known as the Great Hymn to the Aten, Akhenaten literally refers to the Aten as "the sole god."

This hardly means every single person in Egypt during Akhenaten's time towed the line and worshiped only the Aten themselves. By all accounts Atenism was more fantasy than reality, and this version of pharaonic religion died pretty much the same moment Akhenaten himself did. Still, it developed into a true form of monotheism, if only in the mind of Akhenaten (and his elite toadies, of course).

Others have mentioned Zoroastrianism. This would not be correct. The founder of this religion, Zorothustra (Zoroaster in Greek) was not a monotheist himself. Almost nothing is known of this man. He is speculated to have been born somewhere in the northeast of ancient Iran, in perhaps what is now Turkmenistan, and some scholars believe his birth might date back to around 1000 BCE. This is not at all certain, however. It's only speculation, at best. Akhenaten died over 300 years before that, so on timeline alone Atenism is older. However, the worship of Ahuramazda was far from monotheistic at first. In fact, Ahuramazda was one of numerous deities in the ancient Persian religion, albeit a very important deity. Zoroastrianism was practiced especially by Persian royals and nobles, particularly beginning with Darius I, but even the royals and nobles did not regard Ahuramazda as the only god--just the most important of them. For much of its history this religion was a form of monolatry. It did not become monotheistic until much later in time.

Some have also posited Judaism, which would also be incorrect. To the earliest Hebrews dating back to the very dawn of the Iron Age, Yahweh was actually not the only deity. This, too, was centuries after the time of Akhenaten. I know the Old Testament paints a different picture, but one must strip away the outer layers of paint to reveal the truth beneath. Damn, is that a kickin' analogy or what? Judaism didn't develop into a true form of monotheism until the post-exilic period, when Cyrus the Great freed the Hebrew elite from Babylon and sent them back home. Even at that point Judaism was still in a developmental stage. I'd state that Judaism slowly developed from monolatry to henotheism to monotheism, "slowly" being the operative word.

Therefore, my vote is still Akhenaten's Atenism, as miserable and short-lived a failure as his venture into monotheism was.

Posted Image
Words of wisdom from Richard Clopton:
For every credibility gap there is a gullibility fill.

Visit My Blog!

#23    questionmark

questionmark

    Cinicus Magnus

  • Member
  • 35,613 posts
  • Joined:26 Jun 2007
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Greece and Des Moines, IA

  • In a flat world there is an explanation to everything.

Posted 03 April 2012 - 11:46 AM

View PostThe_Spartan, on 03 April 2012 - 12:12 AM, said:

No, QM.
All Hindu Gods do not originate from Brahma.

The Trinity Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva are seen as the Creator, Sustainer and Destroyer.

It is said that Vishnu is the paramatman or the Supreme being/God.  Everything else. including Brahma and Shiva  originated from him.

But, Hinduism is an amalgamation of various regional faiths that existed in the Indian subcontinent.

There are arguments within Hinduism itself regarding the origins of the gods since different religious texts tell different things.



Which would even befit my pet theory that all polytheistic religions are an amalgam of religions apported by different groups forming a society. That makes it more likely that all religion started as monotheistic (or mono-spiritual, if you prefer).

Sorry, not the expert on Hinduism, just can repeat what I read. And yes, somehow I mixed up Brahma with Vishnu.

A skeptic is a well informed believer and a pessimist a well informed optimist
The most dangerous views of the world are from those who have never seen it. ~ Alexander v. Humboldt
If you want to bulls**t me please do it so that it takes me more than a minute to find out

about me

#24    Big Bad Voodoo

Big Bad Voodoo

    High priest of Darwinism

  • Member
  • 9,582 posts
  • Joined:15 Nov 2010
  • Gender:Male

Posted 06 April 2012 - 07:47 PM

Thank you all. Some realy good posts. Very informative.

JFK: "And we are as a people, inherently and historically, opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths, and to secret proceedings.
For we are opposed around the world by a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy..."

#25    Arbitran

Arbitran

    Post-Singularitan Hyperturing Synthetic Intelligence

  • Member
  • 2,767 posts
  • Joined:13 Jan 2012
  • Gender:Not Selected

Posted 07 April 2012 - 09:36 PM

View PostMelo, on 01 April 2012 - 01:39 PM, said:

Marduk? Ever been true monotheistic God?
Ahura Mazda? Same question as above.
Akhenatnens Aten? Seems to me that there is debate is Akhenathen or Zarathushtra first monotheist.
It seems to me that is hard to tell since no one realy agree when Zarathushtra lived.
Yahwe? (Judaism. Btw is chatolic Yahwe monotheistic because of holy trinity in the first place?)

From wiki:
Two examples of monolatrism developing from polytheism are the Aten cult in the reign of the Egyptian pharaoh Akhenaten, as well as the rise of Marduk from the tutelary of Babylon to the claim of universal supremacy.
In Iran, Zoroastrianism, Ahura Mazda appears as a supreme and transcendental deity. Depending on the date of Zoroaster (usually placed in the early Iron Age), this may be one of the earliest documented instances of the emergence of monism in an Indo-European religion.
In the ancient Near East, each city had a local patron deity, such as Shamash at Larsa or Sin at Ur. The first claims of global supremacy of a specific god date to the Late Bronze Age, with Akhenaten's Great Hymn to the Aten (speculatively connected to Judaism by Sigmund Freud in his Moses and Monotheism). However the date of the Exodus is disputed, and its not definitive whether the setting of the biblical Exodus event is prior to or following Akhenaten's reign. Furthermore it is not clear to what extent Akhenaten's Atenism was monotheistic rather than henotheistic with Akhenaten himself identified with the god Aten.
Currents of monism or monotheism emerge in Vedic India earlier, with e.g. the Nasadiya Sukta. In the Indo-Iranian tradition, the Rigveda exhibits notions of monism, in particular in the comparatively late tenth book, also dated to the early Iron Age, e.g. in the Nasadiya sukta.
Ethical monotheism and the associated concept of absolute good and evil emerge in Zoroastrianism and Judaism, later culminating in the doctrines of Christology in early Christianity and later (by the 7th century) in the tawhid in Islam. In Islamic theology, a person who spontaneously "discovers" monotheism is called a ḥanīf, the original ḥanīf being Abraham.


So Shamash at Larsa or Sin at Ur?

In the end what was most influental monotheism that influenced other religion?
Akhenatens aten was all but not influental.

Thanks in advance.

The first true monotheistic religion was Christianity. No other major religious tradition prior to that practiced monotheism.

Try to realize it's all within yourself / No-one else can make you change / And to see you're really only very small / And life flows on within you and without you. / We were talking about the love that's gone so cold and the people / Who gain the world and lose their soul / They don't know they can't see are you one of them? / When you've seen beyond yourself then you may find peace of mind / Is waiting there / And the time will come / when you see we're all one and life flows on within you and without you. ~ George Harrison

#26    questionmark

questionmark

    Cinicus Magnus

  • Member
  • 35,613 posts
  • Joined:26 Jun 2007
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Greece and Des Moines, IA

  • In a flat world there is an explanation to everything.

Posted 07 April 2012 - 10:27 PM

View PostArbitran, on 07 April 2012 - 09:36 PM, said:

The first true monotheistic religion was Christianity. No other major religious tradition prior to that practiced monotheism.

Why am I not surprised that you would spout that uninformed crap?

A skeptic is a well informed believer and a pessimist a well informed optimist
The most dangerous views of the world are from those who have never seen it. ~ Alexander v. Humboldt
If you want to bulls**t me please do it so that it takes me more than a minute to find out

about me

#27    Arbitran

Arbitran

    Post-Singularitan Hyperturing Synthetic Intelligence

  • Member
  • 2,767 posts
  • Joined:13 Jan 2012
  • Gender:Not Selected

Posted 07 April 2012 - 10:32 PM

View Postquestionmark, on 07 April 2012 - 10:27 PM, said:

Why am I not surprised that you would spout that uninformed crap?

I am aware that there are many religions (Judaism, Zoroastrianism, the religion of Akhenaten, etc.) which have been labeled "monotheistic". The first truly monotheistic religion was Christianity. If you studied history you would know. Don't call me "misinformed" when you can't even state your own position.

Try to realize it's all within yourself / No-one else can make you change / And to see you're really only very small / And life flows on within you and without you. / We were talking about the love that's gone so cold and the people / Who gain the world and lose their soul / They don't know they can't see are you one of them? / When you've seen beyond yourself then you may find peace of mind / Is waiting there / And the time will come / when you see we're all one and life flows on within you and without you. ~ George Harrison

#28    Sir Wearer of Hats

Sir Wearer of Hats

    SCIENCE!

  • Member
  • 10,775 posts
  • Joined:08 Nov 2008
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Queensland, Australia.

Posted 07 April 2012 - 11:09 PM

Well there were other gods that existed in the Judaic pantheon (thus the whole "you will have no other Gods then I" commandment) none of them were worshipped as part of a "true" Judaic ritual practice (look at all the mentions of people "falling" into Baal worship).
Atanism didn't deny the existence of other gods, just that the Atan/Aten was the best one.
Even Zoroanstrianism had two powerful entities but only one was worshipped.

All that said, if you're denying Judaism as a monotheistic religion, on the same grounds you'll have to deny Christianity - Satan exists and can be worshipped like Baal was. Thus there isn't a single deity in the theology.

Edited by Wearer of Hats, 07 April 2012 - 11:09 PM.

I must not fear. Fear is the Mind-Killer. It is the little death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and to move through me. And when it is gone I will turn the inner eye to see it's path.
When the fear is gone, there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.

#29    Arbitran

Arbitran

    Post-Singularitan Hyperturing Synthetic Intelligence

  • Member
  • 2,767 posts
  • Joined:13 Jan 2012
  • Gender:Not Selected

Posted 07 April 2012 - 11:14 PM

View PostWearer of Hats, on 07 April 2012 - 11:09 PM, said:

Well there were other gods that existed in the Judaic pantheon (thus the whole "you will have no other Gods then I" commandment) none of them were worshipped as part of a "true" Judaic ritual practice (look at all the mentions of people "falling" into Baal worship).
Atanism didn't deny the existence of other gods, just that the Atan/Aten was the best one.
Even Zoroanstrianism had two powerful entities but only one was worshipped.

All that said, if you're denying Judaism as a monotheistic religion, on the same grounds you'll have to deny Christianity - Satan exists and can be worshipped like Baal was. Thus there isn't a single deity in the theology.

I suppose you are correct. For example, the Trinitarian doctrine must have at least three deity figures. Perhaps there hasn't been a true monotheistic religion yet.
Well-spotted, Wearer of Hats.

Try to realize it's all within yourself / No-one else can make you change / And to see you're really only very small / And life flows on within you and without you. / We were talking about the love that's gone so cold and the people / Who gain the world and lose their soul / They don't know they can't see are you one of them? / When you've seen beyond yourself then you may find peace of mind / Is waiting there / And the time will come / when you see we're all one and life flows on within you and without you. ~ George Harrison

#30    questionmark

questionmark

    Cinicus Magnus

  • Member
  • 35,613 posts
  • Joined:26 Jun 2007
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Greece and Des Moines, IA

  • In a flat world there is an explanation to everything.

Posted 07 April 2012 - 11:59 PM

View PostArbitran, on 07 April 2012 - 11:14 PM, said:

I suppose you are correct. For example, the Trinitarian doctrine must have at least three deity figures. Perhaps there hasn't been a true monotheistic religion yet.
Well-spotted, Wearer of Hats.

I would tend to doubt that, but somebody who evidently has no idea about religions, to the point to claim that Christianism is the only monarchistic religion would not know that, but there is at least one religion whose article of faith is: There is no God but God.

That would fit it quite well.

A skeptic is a well informed believer and a pessimist a well informed optimist
The most dangerous views of the world are from those who have never seen it. ~ Alexander v. Humboldt
If you want to bulls**t me please do it so that it takes me more than a minute to find out

about me




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users