Origins of the 3 "Great" Monotheistic Faiths

The 3 Abrahamic faiths: Judaism, Christianity and Islam have at least one thing in common - They trace themselves back to their patriarch, Abraham. So technically, those three religions are worshiping the same god, that is Yahweh, but they have different doctrines about everything else. Although Christianity have the (illogical) concept of the Trinity, all three religions identify themselves as monotheistic - There is only one true god.

So did Yahweh, the alleged creator god, find Abraham one day to begin a succession of events that led to the establishment of religions that regard him as the one and only god? Not that simple.

Ugarit, El and Yahweh
It seems that Yahweh didn't just appear from nowhere. He had to be created somewhere first. And that is the Ugarit religion which predates Judaism.

The Ugarit Yahweh is not some coincidence. There is various aspects that point to the Ugarit religion as being the origins of the Old Testament myths. For example, Ugarit and Israel shared a common literary and linguisitc lineage. Difficult Hebrew words become easier to translate in light of Ugarit texts.

In the bible, it is thought that the words "El" and "Elohim" both refer to Yahweh. However, the discovery of the Ugarit text enhanced our understanding of the old testament text.

Guess what?

Yahweh isn't the creator god in Ugarit. He is just one of sons of the creator god, El. El is a proper name and he is the chief of the Ugarit pantheon. El is refered to as the Creator. The Elohim refers to El's pantheon. Yahweh also has a consort, a goddess, named Asherah.

Ugarit eventually declined but Yahweh was not lost. He was adopted by early Judaism. The religion transformed from polytheistic, to henotheistic and then to monotheistic, Yahweh assimilated El and his characteristics. Much like Horus and Ra in Egyptian religion.

What does this mean?
Sure, this alone does not prove or disprove god. That isn't the point here.

The point is this: The fact Yahweh had such a history cast serious doubts on the monotheistic concept. It questions how much fact there is to the religion - Is Yahweh another arbitrary thing like every other religion on Earth? It seems extremely suspicious that it is human beings who arbitrarily decide how may gods there is and who they are. If god was real, shouldn't it be the other way round?

This probably isn't an argument against gods in general. But it brings up a serious question about the Abrahamic faiths: Why does the alleged one true god have such an unusual history, one that doesn't recognize him to be even at least the top god?

Ugarit and the bible
Summary of the topic on the Atheist Experience blog
Theology article about the topic

Atheist Experience episodes about this
Episode #464
Episode #466
Episode #483