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What was the first religion? Monotheism. Yep.
Many of you were probably told in school that it was something like animism, ancestor worship, or shamanism, which then evolved over time into the religions we have today. It’s a gut punch to the Christians in the room, if they take the Bible seriously. After all, anthropologists declaring definitively that monotheism is only the last in a long line of religious development can be downright disturbing.
However, you may be shocked to learn that this “religious evolution” idea is over 130 years old and was vigorously and successfully challenged over 100 years ago! With no substantive response!
In fact, the best evidence actually points to the following conclusion:
Monotheism, or the acknowledgement and worship of one supreme creator god, is humanity’s oldest religion!
Of course, today, not all monotheistic religions are alike, so it would be naive to think that the oldest monotheism of ancient hunter-gatherer societies was somehow the same across all continents and all times. Islam and Judaism, after all, are both monotheistic, but both worship very different gods with distinct characteristics.
Christians should know that proving Original Monotheism does not necessarily mean all hunter-gatherers worshipped Yahweh, the God of the Bible, per se. However, the case for an Original Monotheism is a powerful aid in developing Christian apologetics in the fields of anthropology, ethnology, and historical analysis....
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