What was the first religion to worship a single deity?
- skeptikLv 78 years agoFavorite Answer
The oldest recorded example of monotheism was either the cult of Aten, pushed as the state religion of Egypt by Akhenaten, or the worship of Marduk in Babylon.
We know precisely when Akhenaten started his religion, but the evolution of Marduk worship from polytheistic, through henotheistic to monotheistic is less precise. Either way, both existed by the latter third of the 2nd millineum BCE.
It's certainly not Judaism, since the earliest-written parts of the Bible show their practices were henotheistic, acknowledging the existence of other deities, but worshiping Yahweh as their national patron. Judaism eventually went totally monotheistic, but that was centuries later.
Even Zoroastrian monotheism is probably older than that of Judaism.
- 8 years ago
There's a lot of silliness about Judaism here. It probably wasn't the first, but it also wasn't henotheistic. Claims like that tend to come from reading English translations instead of the Hebrew where things like singular verb tenses are obvious.
Worship of a single deity can be henotheism, monolatry or monotheism. Aten worship was imposed by a single ruler and died out when he did. I think it's probably safe to say that the broader culture was at best monolatrous - worshiping just the one. If belief in other deities had died out that quickly, Aten worship would have carried on. BUT it was an example of someone (even if it was just the king and those who went along with him) worshiping a single deity.
In contrast, Hinduism has worship of many gods but (for some Hindus) a concurrent understanding that there is one supreme deity from whom the rest emanate. Some people want to call this a type of monotheism. Some want to date it quite early in the Hindu tradition. I honestly don't know enough to have an opinion.
Dating Zoroastrianism is beyond problematic. From what I've been able to dig up, it seems like in the texts generally considered earliest (The Gathas) daevas are gods which should be shunned. I'm not finding anything else (besides unsupported statements) of monotheism within 'old' Zoroastrianism. It's also a deeply dualistic worldview. So perhaps qualifying for your 'worship a single deity', but not monotheistic.
Claiming monotheism for Marduk but denying it for YHVH is daft. Marduk won wars and overthrew other gods; his 'supremacy' was very much in a polytheistic context.
My money's on Atenism. I don't buy dating Zoroastrianism that early.
- fatsausageLv 78 years ago
The Sun worshipers.
- Eclipse-girlLv 78 years ago
dont hold me to it, but perhaps the egyptians who followed Ahkenaten , pharaoh of egypt, husband of nefertiti and father of Tutankhamun.
Ahkenaten defied the egyptian priesthood of the time, and started worshipping a single god, aten.
After he died, the priests probably put intense pressure on his heir, who we know as King Tut.
Ankenaten's kartouch was removed from monuments in an effort to erase him from history
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- SteveLv 48 years ago
The whole point of genesis is the description of mans descent into idolatry and the re-emergence of monotheism as brought about by abraham and his future generations resulting in the jewish religion
- antoniusLv 78 years ago
I agree with Eclipse, that the first recorded monotheistic system arose in Egypt during the rule of Akhenaten, but it did not long survive his death.Source(s): found this in one of my books
- Anonymous8 years ago
If bye single deity you mean single God
That would be Judaism
- Anonymous8 years ago
noOne can say for sure, but the 1rst belief seems to have been dream-time by the aboriginal peoples of Australia.
the 1rst orginized religion? I guess that'd be jainism? if you're talking about religion that ever was? that'd be the egyptian-religion (before they turned muslim). that dates back to 6500(C.E.)Source(s): it really depends on your defenition of 'religion'.
- FrogLv 68 years ago
- 8 years ago
In the Garden of Eden where Adam and Eve worshiped God.