[quote=AugustineH354]**Is monotheism still an accurate term in discussions of the Judeo-Christian tradition?
Strictly speaking, monotheism is the belief in one God. I must concede that a strict understanding of monotheism can no longer be used in meaningful discussions of the Judeo-Christian tradition. However, this does not mean that the term should be discarded. I would argue that a modified meaning of the term must be used in opposition to any modified form of polytheism in order to maintain an accurate description of the Judeo-Christian tradition. The following are some of the more salient terms that scholars have presented to describe the religion of Israel.
1.) Full blown polytheism – the belief that Israel acknowledged and worshipped more than one God.
2.) Henotheism/monolatry – the belief that Israel acknowledged more than one God, but worshipped only one God.
3.) Incipient/implicit monotheism – the belief that the intelligentsia of Israel were on the verge of pure monotheistic thought for some years before the exile, while the common peasants were either polytheistic and/or henotheistic.
4.) Practical monotheism – the belief that monotheism is the fundamental practice of Israel, without explicit denials of the existence of other “gods”.
5.) Creational monotheism – the belief that one God is the sole creator of the universe and all that is within.
6.) Strict/pure monotheism – the belief in only one God in an absolute sense.
As we move on to NT and the Christian religion the bare term “monotheism” is even more necessary to clarify. Though the NT speaks one God, the phrase is used only of God the Father. But, the NT also speaks of at least one other person as possessing divinity. As soon as one concedes that more than one person is God, the term monotheism must be reinterpreted.
Yeah, scholars believe a lot of wacky things, so what. Go ask an orthodox Jew if he/she believes the views of Yeshua above are compatible with Jewish belief.
Scholars, no matter how great their credentials, are not protected from teaching error in regards to Christian doctrine (this is painfully obvious). Scholars can help explain the faith, but they can also help destroy the faith. Orthodox Christianity is monotheisic. Orthodox Judaism is monotheistic. No matter the claims of skeptics or heterodox scholars, this will never change.