"Strict Monotheism" and the Council of God

Volume 3
In a detailed summary of his book, "Of God and Gods," LDS scholar, Blake Ostler tells us, "Although it has been held that Christianity grew up in an environment of intense monotheistic commitment, that assumption recently has been called in to question. The earliest Christians did not adopt a "strict monotheism" in the period of Second Temple Judaism. Instead, the evidence strongly suggests that it was a common belief in Second Temple Judaism that there is a Most High God who had a chief agent or primary vizier who represented God and who ruled over other divine beings, heavenly armies, and heavenly messengers."
Ostler outlines the premise of each chapter in his book and explains how, “A generation ago, when I was a graduate student, biblical scholars were nearly unanimous in thinking that monotheism had been predominant in ancient Israelite religion from the beginning ”not just as an “ideal,” but as the reality. Today all that has changed. Virtually all mainstream scholars (and even a few conservatives) acknowledge that true monotheism emerged only in the period of the exile in Babylon in the 6th century B.C.E., as the canon of the Hebrew Bible was taking shape. . . .”

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