The Divine Council in the Septuagint and the Dead Sea Scrolls

It is common for scholars to assert that the religion of the writers of the Hebrew Bible was not originally monotheistic. The notion of a divine council that included multiple elohim (“gods”), found in several OT passages, is put forth as proof for this idea. As orthodox Israelite religion achieved the breakthrough of monotheism, we are told, references in the OT to plural elohim were downgraded to “angels” in the Septuagint and faded from Jewish religious writings. This presentation challenges these ideas. As in the case with the writers of the Hebrew Bible, divine plurality was not viewed as incompatible with the uniqueness of Yahweh by Jewish writers in the Second Temple (“Intertestamental”) Period.