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Friday, July 29, 2011

Monotheism: It’s Middle East Messengers and Their Interpretations

Nadene Goldfoot

In about 1991 BCE (2nd milleniumBCE) Abram, later called Abraham was born in Ur of the Chaldees (Iraq) to his father, Terah. Abraham was the first to believe in one unseen G-d. Up to now people in Ur believed in many gods who were seen as clay statues that his father was producing. He took his whole family and left the city of Ur, realizing that future descendants would not have a chance to continue believing in one G-d. There he lived with Canaanites and Philistines. He is called the Father of Judaism. Abraham was known for his humility and kindness, famed for his hospitality. Circumcision was begun with him proving the covenant to follow but one G-d. It’s still a part of Judaism and Islam.

Moses took over as a leader of monotheism. Rabbis figure he lived from 1391 to 1271 but Christians have thought he lived earlier. He is credited with being dictated to by G-d and was able to write down what he perceived. This is the first record of monotheism and is called the Five Books of Moses.

Jethro, Moses’s father in law, was also impressed by the Jewish teachings that Moses was born into and his tribulations in bringing out his Hebrew people. He took his monotheism and developed his own story. His religion added reincarnation by the 16th century AD. Jewish mysticism did likewise during the same period. Jethro is credited with creating the Druze religion.

Monotheism started for a short period in Egypt in 1364-1347 BCE with Pharoah Amenhotep IV (Akhenaten) and his wife, Queen Nefertiti believing in the Sun as the one and only G-d. He had tried to change his people from belief in multi-gods to this one and only visual god and became very unpopular. They could not believe him. Their son and successor, young King Tut, went back to multi-gods.

By the 1st Century CE Judaism was found in many forms as they were being persecuted for their beliefs by the Roman army.. The offshoots were divided and forming their own interpretations. Jesus, from a Jewish family, came from Bethlehem, which was on the outskirts of mainstream Judaism centered in Jerusalem. He had become far more liberal than the mainstream Judaism of his day. This led to more branches of Judaism till after Jesus died, they broke off from Judaism altogether. This religion led to a calamitous situation for Jews, for their New Testament only criticized Judaism, causing hatred and it also accused Jews of causing Jesus’s death. For this, Jews were persecuted all over the world for almost forever. It led Christianity to hunt down Jews during the Crusades in the 1200's and also during the Spanish Inquisition of the 1600's. Even to this day, most Jews are held liable, and Israel is cursed by them as well. It had caused much anti-semitism in the world, leading to the Holocaust killing 6 million Jews.

In the 6th Century CE Mohammed appeared in the Jewish markets of Arabia who wanted his people to be from a book as well as the Jews and Christians that he had met. He wrote his own monotheistic version of their story, giving it his special twist, and thus the Koran was created. He wasn’t satisfied with converting people slowly, but gained power and converted with swords of his men. Many Jewish villages had to become Muslim or die. Now they are the 2nd largest religion in the world following Christianity, while Judaism includes less than 1% of the world’s population. Muslims have exerted much power over others with their oil holdings. Our modern societies have not existed without oil. Their people have moved out into Europe and the USA and are not shy as Jews had been. Not having experienced anti-Muslim attitudes, they are quick to establish their Sharia Law wherever they go. Jews have been run out of regions because of this. In the meantime, Jews and Christians living in their own isolated worlds do not see the danger encroaching on their own establishments. The Islamic message includes killing Jews, even those hiding under rocks. Mohammed’s anger at Jews for not converting continues in many Of course politics have picked up this part of the Koran for their special goals. Jews suffered in Muslim countries by being treated as 3rd rate citizens (dminnis) but were not attacked and killed. The situation today has become unbearable as Israel has entered into their realm once again in the Middle East. Many hold onto this updated belief in their religion of “NO ACCEPTANCE of Jews. “ Fortunately, Israel has been able to have peace pacts with Egypt and Jordan before the Palestinian violence and hatred was felt.

The teachings of all three of these main religions was that there was only one G-d. Christianity involved other aspects of G-d so much that Jews saw it as being too multii-faceted and could not accept it as being monotheistic, but a tri-form of the original G-d belief  (father, son, holy ghost). . The values of life and living also differed somewhat from Judaism, making it unacceptable to them. What Abraham and Moses had taught was lost in their interpretation. Judaism had taught that all men (and women) were sons of God. We had that special spark. Christianity was accepting Jesus as G-d. Deeds were speaking louder than words. Both Christianity and Islam were practicing violence and hatred to Jews. Many centuries have had to go by before Jews and Christians have found a common ground in their religions. Now there are Christians who see the value of studying the Jewish Torah, which was something that Jesus must have also studied. Others are most supportive of Israel and have been outstanding in trying to assist this fledgling country fight anti-semitism as well as give it much support. However, there are still many Christians who stubbornly hold onto their Jewish prejustices and show it by condemning Israel in ways of boycotts, etc.

The latest “fad” is that of what I have seen on history TV channels. It is thought by a few that angels were really humanoids from outer space and have been working with humans ever since Neanderthal Man. They helped to build pyramids in Egypt and Central America as well. Nothing difficult seems to have been conquered by man’s mental development alone; only with these outer space aliens have humans managed to survive. So many might slip back into a belief of “many gods”. It’s so similar to the ancient Greek and Roman religions. Actually, with today’s ability to be in outer space and having traveled and walked on the moon, this is not as outlandish a thought as it was in the ancient days. So many peoples had stories of being visited from above. Being this is communicated by TV in the form of amazing visuals, it is intriguing enough to find sponsors.

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