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Q: Is it true that the written laws of Moses were stolen from Akenaton''s monotheism? I was reading an article where it was written that Judaism was not the first monotheistic religion; rather the conception was STOLEN from the monotheism of Akenaton. Is it true that the monotheism Judaism represents was already in existence before prior to Judaism? Is it ture that most of the hymns recorded in Psalms sound & mean exactly the same as the hymns dedicated to Aten, the sun god.
A: It is true that Akhenaton, whose wife Nefertiti is even more famous than him, believed in a single God. However, the deity he worshipped was the Aten, or the sun disc. He was Amenhotep IV and changed his name to Akhenaton as it means, “One who is effective for ‘Aten’”. Is the sun, or the sun disk, or Aten the same as the God of the Bible? No. To liken the God of the Bible to the worship of the sun is actually quite a leap. There are hundreds of sun God ideas in the world, and the likely source of the sun God is probably… the sun, or perhaps one of the religious ideas of the sun being God. To reach into the Bible for this idea is quite strange, let alone not being present there.
Moses ruled Egypt? It is an interesting idea…, but one without any substance. There simply is no record of this, so it remains pure conjecture, as well as somewhat fantastical as the Jewish connection of Akhenaton remains to be seen in the record of Egypt or the Bible.
“Most of the hymns recorded in the Psalms sound and mean exactly the same as the hymns dedicated to Aten.” The proof is yet to be seen. The idea of a sun God in the Psalms?! Just one clear reference from the Psalms that show God as a sun God would do to start some sort of rational discussion.
The “Great Hymn” of Aten reads (in part) “When you rise from the horizon, the earth grows bright… When your rays gleam forth, the whole of Egypt is festive…” There is no parallel to this where God is the sun. Job says that God speaks to the sun and it shines (Job 9:7), God establishes the sun and the moon (Ps 74:16), and the Psalmist even uses the language of poetry to speak of God as his “sun and shield.” By this he obviously does not mean that the sun is God (nor is he an actual shield), but that God bestows favor and honor (and protection). “The Lord bestows favor and honor,” ...is the next phrase.
The idea of a single God is not unique or limited to Akhenaton, the Bible and then later, the Koran. It was certainly a break from the Egyptian traditions. That it was inventive—this it was not. You might want to go to the site and read “God: Personal or Impersonal?” from the articles posted there, as it covers the idea of where monotheism comes from.
The other obvious problem with the idea of monotheism in the Bible coming from Egypt of the 13th century BC is that the Bible predates it. The entire accounts of Moses and the contest of Moses with the Pharaoh of Egypt—was a Pharaoh of an earlier time (1500 BC).
This is an idea that must be put in the category of “far-fetched.”

- Wyatt Robertson

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