Item Details

Monotheism in the Pentateuch

Issue: Vol 40 No. 1 (2021)

Journal: Religious Studies and Theology

Subject Areas: Religious Studies Buddhist Studies Islamic Studies Biblical Studies

DOI: 10.1558/rsth.40519


Abstract: The Israelites sojourning in Egypt formed a well-organized society. Their traditions and sacrificial ritual reflected their Mesopotamian origin and were not easily discarded. Moses’ authority was repeatedly challenged.  The Pentateuch was composed to consolidate the introduction of monotheism. The JE section formulates a monotheistic account of the history of humanity. The P section establishes a monotheistic sacrificial ritual. Deuteronomy envisages a monotheistic society. The three sections complement each other and form a coherent statement of monotheism.

Author: Josef Schubert

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References :

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Cassuto, Umberto.  The Documentary Hypothesis and the Composition of the Pentateuch: eight lectures. Jerusalem: Magnes Press, Hebrew University, 1961.

Heiser, Michael. “Monotheism, Polytheism, Monolatry or Henotheism? Toward an Assessment of Divine Plurality in the Hebrew Bible.”  BBR 18.1 (2008) 1–30.

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Kitchen, Kenneth A. On the Reliability of the Old Testament. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2003

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Zevit, Ziony. The Religions of Ancient Israel: A Synthesis of Parallactic Approaches. London: Continuum, (2001).

Bible Editions           


OT Hebrew Old Testament, London: British and Foreign Bible Society, reprint 1960.

Samaritan Pentateuch— Interlinear Pentateuch



Targum           Sperber,  Alexander, The Bible in Aramaic, vols. 1–3, Leiden: Brill, 2004.


The Complete Parallel Bible. Oxford University press, 1993

NRSV              New Revised Standard Version

REB                Revised English Bible

NAB                New American Bible

NJB                 New Jerusalem Bible


La Biblia: La Palabra de Dios Para Todos. Fort Worth, Tex.: Centro Mundial de Tradución de la Biblia