BR 19:01, Feb 2003
Gods and the One God
In antiquity, all monotheists were polytheists.
Consider these three texts from the ancient Mediterranean world:
1. A third-century B.C.E. inscription declares the manumission of a slave on the orders of two deities, who revealed that this was their will in a dream to one Moschos, son of Moschion.1
2. A treatise from the mid-second century C.E. explains that the universe was created not by the High God but by another god (heteros theos), and that this lower god was the chief divine personality described in the Jewish Bible.
3. Another late antique inscription, in hexameter verses, hymns the Highest God and speaks of subordinate divine personalities as his angels.2