Which Came First: Polytheism or Monotheism?

I saw a post on Facebook, and it reminded me that there is a pervasive sentiment in academia that monotheism evolved from polytheism (and/or animism, spiritism, etc.)

Since I’m a creationist, I firmly believe that the Human race was monotheistic from the very moment Adam was created. They didn’t know any other religious ideas, and so wouldn’t have thought of it as monotheistic. But, they were. After all, they personally walked with the One True God Himself, and for a long time.

The book of Job (about which I’ve written a book) was probably written around 1800-2000 years BC 1. That’s the oldest document outside of Genesis, and it is firmly monotheistic. There isn’t even hint that polytheism exists in their time. Surely if monotheism was a follow-on to polytheism, they would have mentioned other gods or practices.

Now, that’s an argument from silence2, but it’s a very loud silence. The three friends pulled out every bad argument you can think of. Surely, if other religions existed, they would have said something.

I think the (biblical) facts should speak for themselves, but even if that’s not good enough, I add my weight3 to that side the discussion.

  1. Some scholars date it as late as 500 BC. However, I’ve looked into the subject a lot, and I think the 1800-2000 BC date is correct.
  2. A clear logical fallacy.
  3. While it’s going down, my “weight” is still pretty sizable.

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