Israelite Monotheism in Biblical Documents

December 18, 2016 — Leave a comment

Update (Jan 7, 2017): I found the original English version of this article after posting this last month. I have added new links and revised the bibliographical information below. Note, however, that I have kept my own translation of the Japanese version.


In the last post, I introduced an article in the Journal of the Interdisciplinary Study of Monotheistic Religions, published by Doshisha University’s Center for Interdisciplinary Study of Monotheistic Religions (CISMOR).

I decided to go back and look at past issues, and I was happy to discover this article by Professor Peter Machinist, one of my professors at Harvard:

Once More: Monotheism in Biblical Israel

Japanese translation: 「聖書資料におけるイスラエルの一神教」(Israelite Monotheism in Biblical Documents) [PDF]

The article is based on a talk Prof. Machinist gave at Doshisha University on March 31, 2005, titled “Once More: Monotheism in Biblical Israel.”

You might also be interested in this bilingual handout from the talk. Here is a list of the biblical texts on the handout (though in a different order):

  • Genesis 6:1–8; 31:51–54
  • Exodus 15:11–14; 20:1–5
  • Numbers 21:8–9
  • Deuteronomy 4:15–20; 6:4–5; 32:1–3, 8–9, 15, 21, 39, 43
  • Joshua 24:14–15
  • 1 Kings 18:20–40
  • 2 Kings 18:1, 4
  • Isaiah 8:5–8; 40:12–14; 41:21–24; 43:10–13; 44:9–20
  • Hosea 2:16–17; 13:4–5
  • Psalm 29:1–2; 74:12–14; 82:1–8

And here are two Japanese overviews of the event itself:

Along with many others, I hope that Prof. Machinist will visit Japan again in the near future!


Author Information

Peter Machinist recently retired as the Hancock Professor of Hebrew and Other Oriental Languages at Harvard University. He taught in both the Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations Department and at Harvard Divinity School.

Read “Peter Machinist on Retirement, Biblical Studies, and Jewish Identity” (an interview at Harvard Divinity School).

See works written and edited by Peter Machinist at (USA) and (Japan).

English and Japanese Citations

Peter Machinist, “Once More: Monotheism in Biblical Israel,” Journal of the Interdisciplinary Study of Monotheistic Religions, Supplementary Volume (2006): 25–39.

Peter Machinist, “Seisho shiryō ni okeru isuraeru no isshinkyō” (Israelite Monotheism in Biblical Documents), trans. Izaya Tejima, Isshinkyō Gakusai Kenkyū bessatsu (Journal of the Interdisciplinary Study of Monotheistic Religions, Supplementary Volume) (2006): 29–48.


Finally, here are links to bibliographic information, etc.:

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