Updated: Sep 1, 2022
Here is a second round of the questions that have been asked of me over the years and the answers given. See Q&A Part 1 HERE.
Q: Where and when did the concept of a one G-d originate?
A: That is a tough one to answer and it all depends on who you reference and how much research has been done on the subject.
The idea of one G-d versus many goes back millennia. It has been well established in both historical and archaeological academia that when humans first started pondering the question of G-d their view wasn’t focused on a one Supreme Being but was centered mostly on the mystery of the natural world around them. They attributed many of the acts of natural law to various gods, eg. The god of storms, lightening, thunder, rain. Of course the two greatest witnesses of nature were first and foremost the Sun; followed by the lesser god (the Moon) and the myriad of heavenly gods — the stars in space.
As human intellect continued to develop new technologies and became more aware of the great bodies of planets in our solar system they too were seen as gods - The planet Mars being a god of war and so forth.
Over time as humans began to band together more and more, with domesticating and herding of animals and the increase in agriculture becoming the main form of feeding the growing civilizations, the field of gods in some societies expanded while in other human cultures the field began to narrow.
By the time of the Jewish patriarch named Avraham (Abraham), circa 2500 to 3000 BCE the idea of a one Supreme Being was starting to come into view. While the concept was heralded by the likes of the Sumerian named Avraham and in Egypt by Pharaoh Akhenaten around 1400 BC the idea really never took hold until after the Jews were taken into Babylon around 598 BCE. By the time the Persian King Cyrus allowed the Jews to return to Israel to rebuild the Temple the Jews finally and firmly rejected the view that there were many gods and accepted unequivocally that there was only One G-d Who Is Creator of all that is and there are no other gods. Until that time within the various forms of Judaism that existed from Moses to King Jehoiachin of Judah the Jews, for the most part, believed that YHVH was the one True G-d while at the same time there were lesser gods still around who were accountable to the One True Deity.
From 598 BCE onward the idea of a One G-d has been firmly entrenched in the hearts and minds of the Jewish peoples (Deuteronomy 6:4).
"HEAR, O ISRAEL: THE LORD (is) OUR GOD, THE LORD IS ONE."