Number of Gods?

I was just wondering…

Does anyone know how many 1-God religions are out there?

According to what I can find on the Web, there are three: Chrisitianity, Judaism, and Islam.

I think there are more than three, because isn’t Zorastrianism a 1 God religion?

Also, their was an Egyption 1 God religion, IIRC-one of the pharoah’s made a decree saying no other God’s could be worshipped (I don’t know if this count’s, but if it doesn’t then maybe you have to discount Judiasm-becuase IIRC didn’t it have it’s beginings in a triad of Gods? Maybe that was Ancient Hebrew).

Add Baha’i to your list.

Zoroastrianism isn’t strictly monotheistic, but it depends how you look at it. Islam, Christiantiy and Judaism all have satan, Zoroastrianism just has a stronger version of this (though IIRC they also have a separate creator from the ‘good’ and 'bad god’s).

Yes, but in Judaism, Satan is not a separate power from God. In Judaism, Satan acts as the heavenly prosecuting attorney. He is not, however, a rebel nor is he in any way, free to act independently of God’s will.

Zev Steinhardt

Yes, but it’s still a form (albeit a weak one) of dualism.

I should add, that some people think that the Jewish concept of Satan derives from or is heavily influenced by Zoroastrianism.

Zev -Is what I said accurate? I’m really not sure, but I could have sworn that my professor said something about their being two other Gods (besides Yahweh-sp?), but it has been a while.

The two other Gods, one was a fertility God and the other was Baul (?, I think the other God is now considered a “Satan”).

Am I right, wrong, totally off the mark, crazy, or forgetful?

I’ll think you’ll find Meatros that Baal wasn’t a Jewish God, but the God of a neighbouring tribe (I forget which one), in the early fertile crescent belief systems were very mixed, while each tribe would have it’s own god/gods they would also believe in the power of other tribes gods.

Pretty much what MC said. Sadly, when the Jews lived in Israel in biblical times, they very often went “off the path” and worshipped the gods of the neighboring tribes. In Judaism, however, there is no other God.

And MC, that is, in no way a form of dualism. That’s like saying that a prosecuting attorney in court is somehow equal to the court itself. Satan is a servant of God, just like any other angel. There is no dualism.

Zev Steinhardt

Ok zev, I have to respect your religious sensibilities and superior knowledge of Judaism.

IIRC, you’re probably referring to Aton, the Sun God, created by Pharaoh Akhenaton, father of the famous Tutankhamen. After his death, things related to his religion were destroyed including inscriptions on temples and so on.

Zoroastrianism: Ahura Mazda is the good god, to be followed by all good Parsees. Ahriman is the evil god, coequal with AM but to be defeated by him at the end of time (Mithras, son of AM, will do this in the Mithraist variant). A heretical branch of Zoro’ism holds that Zurvan, the god of infinite time, created both AM and Ahriman, but whether there are any devout Zurvanists around is another question entirely.

Satan: As noted, he appears to have originally been the D.A. in the Court of Heaven, with a taste for entrapment – the Accuser and Tempter to evil, who fulfilled God’s will by testing man, the righteous following the Law despite temptation and the unrighteous succumbing to temptation and then being accused before God by Satan.

The idea of him as a rebel setting himself up as a demigod in opposition to God appears to have been the result of the Jewish Exile in Babylon and the ensuing period when the Jews lived under Achaemenid rule – the Achaemenid Persian emperors being largely sincere Zoroastrianists and the religion being the “official faith” of the empire. (Added: these two paragraphs basically restate what Zev said, with the note that most conservative Christians adhere to this second view.)

Most scholarly Jews and Christians see an evolution of man’s concept of God from YHWH as storm god with HQ at Mt. Sinai (believed to have been an active volcano in Moses’ time) to the henotheistic God of the Jews, on to the One True God, and perhaps further to the fulfillment of all that is good in every faith’s concept of who and what the divine is.

Okay, that sounds like maybe that’s what my professor said and I mixed things up a bit.

It was mentioned in a thread a while back that there are some forms of Hindu which are strictly monotheistic. I.e. they strictly believe in one god (say Sheba) instead of a handful like other Hindus.

Also there are several other monothesitic faiths (I believe that the Bahais were mentioned above) which came about as the result of mixings of several religious teachings or radical new teachings within a religion and can now be regarded as religions in their own rights, Rastafarianism and the Druze faith are examples of these.

It was my understanding that “highest” Hinduism conceives of one ultimate Godhead, the Brahman (not to be mistaken for the god Brahma) which manifests itself through the plethora of Hindu gods.

And I suspect that you meant “S(h)iva” instead of “Sheba,” which AFAIK is solely the land in South Arabia or adjacent Ethiopia/Somalia known to the ancient Jews and where the queen that visited Solomon came from (BTW, Ras Tafari, also known as Haile Selassie, claimed descent from her, with questionable evidence, so maybe to a Rasta she has some aspects of divinity! ;)).

I meant Shiva. The Queen of Sheba is someone else, I know, heh. And I know Solomon and her son was the traditional founder of Ethiopia.

[slight hijack]Is Hindu monotheism a relatively recent development? IIRC, many Hindu deities (e.g. Indra) “existed” long before the concept of Brahmin arose.

Almost worth starting another thread to discuss the inventions (plural) of monotheism, but I will google this first.[/hijack]

I believe that the ancient Roman Mithraism was essentially a transitional monotheistic religion, with a single God. Zoarastrian influence I think… much of Xtianity is a re-packaging of Mithraism.

And of course, there’s the Tolkien invented “religion” where many gods (Ainur/Valar) were subject to a single God (Eru/Iluvatar).