Monotheism and Universal God of Abraham


I am not convinced early Jews were convinced about their monotheism.  As long as they accepted that others, including Canaanites, Hittites, Babylonians and others, had their gods, than, their own God was just one amongst many.  They may have claimed this God was better than the gods of others, but, at the end of the day, he was still one amongst many.  Ok, so they only had one God, but, the fact that they accepted other Gods existed or were worshiped, than their monotheism was flawed.   

By this reasoning, it follows that the early Jews were also not convinced that their God was the universal God.  They kept referring to their God as the God of Abraham or God of Moses or God of Israel – not the God of the universe or God of all people.  The stories they told also spoke of how “their God” punished non-Jews simply because they were not “his people”. 

How can a universal God distinguish between “my people” and “not-my-people” ?  If that is so, who created these people that do not belong to Him ?  If someone else created them, than surely, there is another creator in the universe !  This would negate the idea of “one-universal-God” !!  So, I would argue that the early Bible does not believe their God is the God of all man-kind or God of the universe.  He is still a tribal God, with singular affiliation with descendents of Abraham.

Even during the Roman times, the Jewish people are not trying to convince the world that theirs is the only God.  Indeed, at that time, they would have known that the entire known world had their own Gods and God of Israel was just one of many.

It is only when the Christians try to ram the monotheistic ideas down the throat of one and all that they invent a “universal God”.  Christians, supported by the power of the Roman Empire, worked hard to eradicate all other cultures and religions within their reach.  There was to be no co-existence or understanding between different races.  Diversity was to be destroyed and uniformity was to be the norm.  Christians persecuted all religions within their reach with greater vehemence than had been shown to them. 

Christians make a great deal of being “victims” of religious pogroms by Romans.  I am not sure if there is any real evidence for this outside Christian sources.  History shows Romans respected foreign gods.  Many cults and religions were allowed to flourish in the Roman Empire.  Why would they bother to persecute a tiny new cult ?  Christians justify their persecution of other cults because of perceived persecution of themselves.  What sort of religion preaches “love, peace and neighbourly love” and than acts to destroy all neighbours through war and propaganda of hate ?

Christians wiped out religions of Romans, Greeks, Egyptians, Celt and all other “pagan” people they came to contact with.  Judaism managed to survive despite repeated attempts by Christian and Muslims to obliterate them.  This frustrated the Christians and made the Jewish people even more determined to hold on to their God.  They had nothing else to hold on to !  No land, no power, no army, no prominence in any other field of life.  Even trade was only allowed to them because what they traded in was considered “risky” (eg lending money) or “unpopular” (eg tax collection). 

But, because the God of Christians was the God of the Jews, they too became convinced that their God must be universal, be the “only-one”. 

Sadly, the wars and grief passed on by the monotheistic faiths means that instead of feeling “blessed” by the seed of Abraham, most communities in the world are blighted by them.


© Bhagwat Shah
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