Is Christianity a dualistic religion?

Hi everyone.I was reading the other day about some heresies in the medieval ages and generally in the Church.Ive come to conclusion that many of them are dualistic(meaning they believe in two Deities Gods).The majority of them claimed the God od the Old Testament was the evil one while Christ was his adversary .Matter vs soul kind of.

But if we take this into considaration ,doesnt that apply to us generally?We have Satan in a potision of God somewhat .The prince of air,the lord of this world you name it.So are we actually dualistic in that sense ?Is Satan a “God” as the gnostics for example believed or other sects?

You’d need to unpack that first paragraph and clarify specifics, but several issues seem to be jumbled together. The second paragraph likewise is unclear, and assumes there is a “us generally” (i.e., who is us and what does generally mean?).

Regardless, orthodox Christianity is monotheistic in the sense that there is no other being that is equal (in power, glory, etc.) to the one (yet triune) eternal God.


A question for scholars: is Ahriman equal in power, glory, etc. to Ormazd?

When the thread mentioned dualism, I thought this thread would be about physical vs soul, or mind-body dualism.

Christianity does teach that there is a soul, separate from the body who you are. For example, putting on a new body.

Regarding God/Devil dualism, originally Satan was part of God’s court, as God’s accuser - see the book of Job as an example.

Other examples in the bible demonstrating that God originally was in charge of both good and evil - Isaiah describes God as one who brings darkness and brings disaster

I form light and create darkness; I make well-being and create calamity; I am the LORD, who does all these things.

Isaiah 47:5, ESV

The bible also has an example where in one place YHWH incites David to take a census, and where Satan incites David to take a census.

1 Chronicles 21:1–17 and 2 Samuel 24:1–25.

TL; DR - Originally Judaism had God responsible for both Good and Evil, and Satan as God’s subordinate.

Regarding gnosticism, it is interesting to note that Iraeneus appears to describe the wicked Simon Magus’s heresies in a way that appears to match Paul’s Christianity -

Just what was Simon Magus’s “wicked and deceitful doctrine”, that apparently inspired heretical Gnostic sects and prompted numerous patristic writers to expend so much energy and ink refuting it? I was struck by an observation Robert M. Price made in The Amazing Colossal Apostle (p. 213) and had to look at the original texts for myself.

According to Irenaeus, our earliest witness to Simon’s doctrine ( Against Heresies I.23.3), Simon based his sect on the following teaching:

Now this Simon of Samaria, from whom all sorts of heresies derive their origin, formed his sect out of the following materials: … men are saved through grace, and not on account of their own righteous works. For such deeds are not righteous in the nature of things, but by mere accident, just as those angels who made the world, have thought fit to constitute them, seeking, by means of such precepts, to bring men into bondage. On this account, he pledged himself that the world should be dissolved, and that those who are his should be freed from the rule of them who made the world.

What’s curious is that this is almost exactly the same gospel that Paul teaches in Galatians, particularly in chapters 2–4.

I do not nullify the grace of God; for if justification comes through the law, then Christ died for nothing. (2.21)

Why then the law? … it was ordained through angels by a mediator. (3.19)

But the scripture has imprisoned all things under the power of sin… before faith came, we were imprisoned and guarded under the law until faith would be revealed. (3.22-23)

…while we were minors, we were enslaved to the elemental spirits of the world. (4.3)

Formerly, when you did not know God, you were enslaved to beings that by nature are not gods. Now, however, that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and beggarly elemental spirits? How can you want to be enslaved to them again? (4.8-9)

So both Simon Magus and Paul seem to be basing their gospel on the following:

  1. Men are saved by grace, and not through righteousness (works under the law).
  2. The law was given by angels to bring men into bondage.
  3. The true God has finally made himself known unto men.
  4. Now people can be freed from the bondage of the law and the “elemental spirits that were not gods” (Paul) or “them who made the world” (Simon), which works out to the same thing in Gnostic theology.

(This is very likely not the way Paul’s gospel was explained to you in church, but there it is, in black and white, in Galatians.)



Christianity is monotheistic, because Christians believe it to be so. A belief cannot be something other than what those who hold it believe it to be, can it?


Zoroastrianism, at least in its ancient form, came quite close to the strict dualism as defined in the OP (I’m not sure where the current belief system is, but I think there’re about 200K modern adherents).


I believe that even in the ancient form Ormazd was assured of ultimate victory, so must be at least a little bit stronger than Ahriman. In the modern form, even more so.

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By us i meant Christians in general sorry

Monotheistic is the claim but maybe if we take a look at the bible we find these attributes that sound like the Devil is some kind of “Devil God”

Yes, he’s a god in some sense, but nowhere is he on par with the God. So we do have a form of dualism (possibly/likely influenced through Judaism’s contact with Zoroastrianism in the Persian era), but not as stated in the OP.

I think orthodox Christianity as defined by the historic creeds is resolutely monotheistic, while affirming the Trinity, or tripartite nature of God.

By the Creeds, yes, but as defined by visual inspection of a Latin American Catholic church, not so much.

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Yes, and this problem goes all the back to ancient Israel. Archaeologists have found altars to, e.g., “YHWH and his Asherah” (a female Canaanite goddess). Syncretism is standard fare in every generation, including our own (Christian nationalism is a trendy form in our own American context).

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Well these attributes really make him to be in the same Level as God.In the Revalation the devil creates even a whole war against God

what attributes? BTW, he loses that war.

Prince of air,the Lord of this earth,etc .I know he loses the War but what beign could be so pwoerfull to go against hes creator if hes not soem sort of"god"?

I guess I don’t follow. I’ve already acknowledged Satan is a god of sorts, but nothing he has or does is comparable to YHWH. This, at least, is the orthodox Christian tradition. If Satan possessed omniscience and omnipotence, then we’d be having a different conversation.