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From Polytheism to Monotheism . A look at two Monotheistic Religions: Judaism and Zoroastrianism . The Children of Israel. Their religion- known today as Judaism- flourished as a world religion and later influenced the religions of Christianity and Islam.

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from polytheism to monotheism

From Polytheism to Monotheism

A look at two Monotheistic Religions: Judaism and Zoroastrianism

the children of israel
The Children of Israel
  • Their religion- known today as Judaism- flourished as a world religion and later influenced the religions of Christianity and Islam.
  • Much of the history and religious beliefs of the Israelites were eventually recorded in written form in the Hebrew Bible, parts of which are known to Christians as the Old Testament
the israelites
The Israelites
  • Migrated from Mesopotamia to Palestine, which they called Canaan.
  • Lifestyle based on grazing flocks and herds rather than farming.
  • Migrated to Egypt because of drought, where they were enslaved until Moses led them out of Egypt.
  • Between 1200 and 1000 BC, the Israelites emerged as a distinct group of people who established a united kingdom.
spiritual dimensions of israel
Spiritual Dimensions of Israel
  • According to Jewish beliefs, there is one God, called Yahweh, the Creator of the world and everything in it.
  • God ruled the world.
  • He created nature but was not in nature.
  • The stars, moons, rivers, wind and other natural phenomena were not gods, as other ancient peoples believed, but God’s handiwork.
the israelites and judaism
The Israelites and Judaism
  • God was just and good and he expected goodness from his people.
  • If they did not obey his will, they would be punished.
  • Jews were monotheistic; they believed in one God.
  • The Covenant, law, and prophets were 3 aspects of the Jewish religious tradition.
the israelites and judaism6
The Israelites and Judaism
  • 10 commandments were given to Moses on Mt. Sinai
  • Religious teachers, called prophets, were sent by God to serve as his voice to his people.
  • The Age of Prophets was from the eleventh through the fifth centuries BC, during the time when the people faced threats or endured conquests by powerful neighbors.
the prophets
The Prophets
  • From the prophets came new concepts which enriched Jewish tradition.
  • They cried out against social injustice.
  • Condemned the rich for causing the poor to suffer
  • The prophets said God’s command was to live justly, share with one’s neighbors, care for the poor and the unfortunate, and act with compassion.
a unique religion
A Unique Religion
  • The most dramatic difference was their belief in one God- monotheism.
  • In all other religions, only priests and some rulers had access to the gods.
  • In Judaism, God’s will was open to anyone who could read the Torah.
  • The demands of Judaism encouraged a separation between Jews and their non Jewish neighbors.
  • Unlike most other peoples Jews would not accept the gods of their conquerors or neighbors.
the persian religion zoroastrianism
The Persian Religion- Zoroastrianism
  • Of all the cultural contributions of the Persians, the most original was their religion.
  • Zoroaster was born in 660 BCE according to Persian tradition.
  • After a period of wandering and solitude, he had visions that caused him to be revered as a prophet of the true religion.
zoroastrianism
Zoroastrianism
  • The sacred book is the ZendAvesta
  • Followers of Zoroaster were monotheistic.
  • Ahuramazda “Wise Lord” was the supreme god who brought all things into being.
  • He was supreme, but he was not unopposed.
  • Evil spirit known as Ahriman.
  • All humans have the freedom to choose between right and wrong.
  • An end to the struggle between good and evil.
  • Ahuramazda would eventually triumph. (Good)