The Birth Of Radical Monotheism

Decent Essays
Q: Why do scholars see in Second Isaiah [1] the birth of radical monotheism and [2] the belief that YHWH is the God of universal history.

In order to properly answer the first question regarding the birth of radical monotheism, I felt the need to define the term “radical”. The definition that I found in the Oxford Living Dictionary(Oxford Living dictionary, is as follows:
1. “(especially of change or action) relating to or affecting the fundamental nature of something; far-reaching or thorough”
2.“Characterized by departure from tradition; innovative or progressive”
It took me a moment to figure out why I found this definition odd, despite its accuracy. I realized that I could
…show more content…
During The Sea and The Mountain, our first reading assignment, I found myself surprised that the founders of Judaism were polytheists; yet during this very same reading assignment I found myself shocked by the boldness of a single deity in a polytheistic world to announce that they were the one true God. I thought to myself, how could I possibly have been shocked by two complete opposite thoughts in one homework assignment? I recall thinking “this is the beginning of the One God school of thought.” (Kirchheim, Sakai Discussion Forum). Given the definition of radical coupled with my sincere awe of the boldness of the statement made in Exodus 20, I believe that the birth of radical monotheism lies in Exodus, thereby effectively disqualifying Isaiah from holding this title.
During the stories in Exodus, the small community of Egyptian’s fundamental culture is depicted through the departure being a polytheistic culture into the transformation of a monotheistic one. The stories in Exodus gently guides the community via the soft and gentle innuendo of a single God. This transformation begins as: “So that you may know that there is no one like me in all the earth.” (Exodus 9:14) This is quite a non-confrontational way to begin proposing the idea of a single God. The words here are chosen very carefully with no outrageous claims that would have been unfathomable to someone living at the time such as being the only God in all of the heavens or universe, simply
Get Access