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Akhenaten and the Origins of Monotheism$
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James K. Hoffmeier

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199792085

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199792085.001.0001

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The Influence of Atenism in Egypt and the Bible?

The Influence of Atenism in Egypt and the Bible?

Chapter:
(p.238) Chapter 9 The Influence of Atenism in Egypt and the Bible?
Source:
Akhenaten and the Origins of Monotheism
Author(s):

James K. Hoffmeier

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199792085.003.0009

This chapter concludes the book by examining whether there were any direct or indirect influences of Atenism on the Hebrews, who according to the biblical tradition were likely in Egypt during Akhenaten’s reign. A comparative analysis between Psalm 104 and the Great Aten Hymn suggests that there was no direct connection between them. The axial movement theory held that religions evolved toward monotheism, with breakthroughs occurring in 7th–5th centuries B.C. in different parts of the world. Atenism in the 14th century B.C. shows the inadequacy of this popular theory, which many scholars have applied to Israelite religion. By way of analogy with Atenism, it is suggested that there is no reason to reject the notion of Mosaic monotheism in the century after Akhenaten. Atenism died with Akhenaten, as the reign of Tutankhamun demonstrates.

Keywords:   Mosaic monotheism, Aten, Psalm 104, Aten hymns, Great Aten Hymn, axial movement theory, Akhenaten, Tutankhamun

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