Official Blog of the Bishop of Durham

April DeConick answers my question: Early Jewish and Christian polytheism?

Posted by NT Wrong on October 15, 2008

The prolific and discerning April DeConick has kindly provided an answer to my question concerning the nature of Jewish and Christian belief in the divine in the early centuries of the Common Era.

“My point is this. Early Judaism and Christianity were not monotheistic religions, but were at best monolatrous (=worshiped one god but allowed for the existence of other gods). It was because of this that Christianity was able to be born out of Judaism as a Jewish expression of a new form of Yahwehism, and Gnosticism could become the fancy of Jewish intellectuals living in first-century Alexandria.”
– April DeConick, ‘Early Jewish and Christian polytheism?’

Have a read of her whole response here. I’m largely in agreement with her. But I like the distinctive way she has expressed it.

Is this how you have been led to understand early Jewish and Christian religions?

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