When did monotheism start?
While monotheism (the belief in one god) is often linked with Judaism and Christianity, there are other ideas that come up when we ask "When did monotheism start?"
Many historians have documented worship of a sun god named Aten (sometimes Aton) in the 13th century BC. The religion at that time worshiped God as a reflection of the pharaoh, who was the absolute ruler of the Egyptian empire.
Amenhotep, who ruled Egypt from 1379-1362 BC, tried to impose this version of monotheism during his tenure, but when he died, everything connected with him was banned and the people reverted to their old religious traditions.
Another example of monotheism has been documented with Zoroastrianism about 3,500 years ago in Persia.
The prophet Zarathushtra preached that there was one God, whom he called Ahura Mazda. Ahura means "Lord," and Mazda means "Wise," so Zoroastrians call God the "Wise Lord." No one knows exactly when Zarathushtra lived, but scholars say it could be anywhere from 1500 BC to 600 BC.
Monotheism reached its highest expression in the Judeo/Christian religions. The Bible clearly states there is but one God, the Creator of the universe:
"For this is what the LORD says - he who created the heavens, he is God; he who fashioned and made the earth, he founded it; he did not create it to be empty, but formed it to be inhabited - he says: 'I am the LORD, and there is no other'" (Isaiah 45:18).
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