Monotheism, the idea that there is only one true God, is a powerful religious concept that was shaped by competing ideas and the problems they raised. At times, an attempt to enforce exclusive monotheism has divided a people or brought down a ruler; at other times, it has united tribes or peoples who had previously been at war with one another. The concept has been at the focus of many debates among (and between) Christians, Jews, and Muslims._x000B__x000B_Focusing on the early days of Christianity and its relations to Jewish religion at that time, The Only True God explores the extent to which Christianity began to move in new directions in the earliest period of its history. Surveying New Testament writings and Jewish sources from before and after the rise of Christianity, James F. McGrath argues that even the most developed Christologies in the New Testament fit within the context of first century Jewish "monotheism." In doing so, he pinpoints more precisely when the parting of ways took place over the issue of God's oneness, and he explores philosophical ideas such as "creation out of nothing," which led Jews and Christians to develop differing concepts and definitions about God.