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Who is created all gods?

Humans have worshipped gods and deities for thousands of years across many cultures and religions. But where did the first gods come from and who created them? In this article, we’ll explore the origins of gods and religion from an anthropological perspective.

When Did Humans First Start Worshipping Gods?

Evidence suggests that humans started worshipping gods as early as the Paleolithic era, between 30,000 and 12,000 years ago. Archaeologists have found Paleolithic cave paintings and carvings depicting human-like figures and symbols that may represent early deities. Many of the earliest known religious artifacts come from Europe, Asia, and Africa and date back to the Upper Paleolithic period over 10,000 years ago.

Some of the earliest known potential representations of gods and spirits come from Göbekli Tepe in Turkey, which was built around 9000 BCE. The elaborate stone pillars and structures feature carvings of animal figures and abstract human-like shapes that may depict early deities or mythical beings.

In ancient Egypt, evidence of religious beliefs date back to the Neolithic period around 4000 BCE. Predynastic Egyptians appear to have already developed complex religious ideas involving death, the afterlife, and animal cults. By 3100 BCE when written records began, Egyptians worshipped over 2000 named gods and goddesses like Ra, Osiris, Isis and Anubis.

The Indus Valley civilization flourished from 3300-1300 BCE with sophisticated cities, architecture and trade networks. Archaeologists have uncovered statues, seals, and artifacts depicting human and animal figures that likely had religious significance for worship and rituals.

Early Chinese civilizations were developing sophisticated ancestor worship rituals by around 4000 BCE. Oracle bone inscriptions from the Shang Dynasty in 1600 BCE contain the earliest written records of offerings made to Shang Di, the supreme god of law, order and nature.

Therefore, archeological evidence suggests that the worship of gods and deities began at least tens of thousands of years ago, coinciding with the beginning of behavioral and cognitive modernity in early human cultures.

How Did Early Gods and Religions Develop?

There are several theories for how and why humans originally began believing in and worshipping gods:

  • As a way to explain natural phenomena and events that were otherwise mysterious, unpredictable or uncontrollable like storms, earthquakes, sickness and death.
  • As a means for unifying communities around common beliefs, rituals and moral codes.
  • To help alleviate anxiety and cope with the human awareness of mortality.
  • As a result of encounters with numinous or spiritual experiences that could not be otherwise explained.
  • Due to the emergence of theory of mind and the tendency for anthropomorphism or projecting human traits onto non-human things.
  • For authority and sanctioning of social hierarchy, laws and power structures by divine command.

Early hunter-gatherer groups were likely animists, believing that spirits inhabited places, objects and natural features. Shamanic figures emerged as intermediaries with knowledge of interacting with these spirits through altered states of consciousness, meditation, psychedelics and rituals.

As human societies became more populous and complex, religions began to organize around central deities, origin stories, moral codes, and collective rituals. Shared myths, symbols and beliefs helped strengthen group identity and obedience to authority. Gods took on human-like forms and personalities aligned with cultural values. Afterlife beliefs provided comfort amidst human mortality.

The development of agriculture beginning around 12,000 years ago enabled larger, sedentary civilizations to emerge. Organized religions evolved alongside the increasing complexity of social and political systems. Rulers often legitimized their status by claiming divine authority or heritage. Temples, shrines and religious hierarchies became central features of early city-states and kingdoms.

Creation Myths About the Origins of Gods

How did different cultures explain where their gods originally came from? Many traditional origin stories fall into similar archetypal creation myth categories:

Emergence Myths

Gods are born, emerge or come into existence from some primordial realm or cosmic egg at the beginning of creation. The ancient Vedic scriptures of Hinduism describe gods like Indra emerging from Purusha, the original universal consciousness. The Shinto gods Izanagi and Iznami were born from the primordial chaos.

Descent Myths

Gods descend from an external higher realm to the Earth below. In Greek myths, Zeus and the Olympians descend from the heavens and seize power from the Titans and giants. The sky gods of Mesopotamian religions like Anu came down from the celestial realm.

Earth-Diver Myths

The world is formed from primordial waters by a divine being who dives beneath to bring up solid earth. Gods like Viracocha in Inca myths or the Australian Baiame then shape the habitable world.

World Parent Myths

The universe is born through the union of a male and female primordial god, often representing sky and earth or the elements. In Egyptian mythology, Isis and Osiris’ marriage produces Horus. The first man Purusha and woman Virja give birth to the Vedic Hindu deities.

Sacrifice Myths

Gods spring from some elemental sacrifice or dismemberment, like Marduk from Tiamat’s corpse in Babylon or the Norse Ymir’s body forming the world.

Creation from Chaos Myths

Gods impose form, order and civilization onto primordial chaos. Ancient Chinese cosmologies describe Pangu splitting yin from yang or the battle between the Ouroboros and the Serpent of Evil.

While creation myths vary widely in their details, they share common symbolic themes of order from chaos, culture from nature, and life emerging from death or destruction. These archetypal stories offered a cosmic explanation for where gods came from just as humans emerged into the world.

Who Were Some of the Earliest Known Gods?

Here are some of the earliest named and worshipped gods from different world religions and mythologies:

Ancient Mesopotamia

  • Anu – Sky Father and King of Gods
  • Enlil – God of Wind, Storms, Agriculture
  • Enki – God of Water, Wisdom, Creation
  • Inanna – Goddess of Love, Fertility, War

Ancient Egypt

  • Ra – Sun God, Creator God
  • Osiris – God of Rebirth and Underworld
  • Isis – Goddess of Magic, Motherhood
  • Horus – God of Kingship, Sky, War

Greek/Roman Mythology

  • Zeus/Jupiter – King of Gods, God of Sky, Thunder
  • Poseidon/Neptune – God of Seas, Earthquakes
  • Hades/Pluto – God of Underworld, Wealth
  • Hera/Juno – Goddess of Marriage, Childbirth
  • Aphrodite/Venus – Goddess of Love, Beauty


  • Brahma – Creator God
  • Vishnu – God of Preservation
  • Shiva – God of Destruction, Transformation
  • Indra – King of Gods, God of Weather
  • Saraswati – Goddess of Knowledge, Arts

These early pantheons of gods were strongly anthropomorphized, with distinctive personalities, specialized domains of power, signature myths and flaws that mirrored human concerns and values. Their interactions and dramas helped explain natural phenomena while dramatizing cultural ideals and morality.

Monotheism and the Conception of a Single Supreme God

While early religions were largely polytheistic with pantheons of gods, monotheistic traditions gradually emerged that worshipped only one supreme deity. These include:


The Egyptian pharaoh Akhenaten imposed the sole worship of the sun disk Aten in the 14th century BCE, the earliest known monotheistic religion. After Akhenaten, Egypt reverted to its polytheistic traditions.


Founded around 1200 BCE in ancient Iran, it centered around worship of the highest god Ahura Mazda and rejection of other gods as evil spirits.

Classical Monotheistic Religions

The Abrahamic faiths descending from the ancient Israelites embrace belief in only one true God, like Yahweh in Judaism, God in Christianity and Allah in Islam. These religions trace their ultimate origins back to the first books of the Bible but have radically different conceptions of God.

In shifting to monotheism, these traditions rejected earlier polytheistic gods as false idols or demons. However, their one supreme God absorbed many of the earlier functions and attributes of Near Eastern pagan gods.

Philosophical Monotheism

Greek philosophers like Xenophanes, Plato and Plotinus developed monotheistic conceptions of a supreme God accessible through reason rather than myth and ritual.

While emperors and rulers often patronized both polytheistic and monotheistic cults for political reasons, over time the Abrahamic monotheistic view of God has come to dominate many parts of the world.

Who Created God?

For thousands of years, theologians, philosophers and believers have grappled with the question of who created the creator – where did the first divine being come from? Some key perspectives on this include:

God Has Always Existed

Many traditions claim that their supreme god has eternally existed without beginning or end, and therefore does not require creation. Infinity or eternity is a fundamental divine attribute.

No Creation Ex Necessitate

God exists of logical necessity and could not have failed to exist. There is no potency for God not to exist – the divine essence itself precludes nonexistence.

No Need for Creation

God is a metaphysically necessary being, not a contingent being. Therefore asking “who created God?” wrongly assumes God is contingent.

Infinite Regress

If gods require creators ad infinitum, then no god could ever exist. A single uncaused first cause, such as God, must exist to halt the infinite regress.

Outside Space and Time

God exists completely independently of our physical spacetime continuum. Speaking of God being “created” wrongly imposes temporal concepts on a timeless transcendent being.

Unknown and Unknowable

God’s origins remain mysterious, unknown and unimportant compared to the religious lessons and meaning God provides for humanity.

These perspectives indicate that asking “who created God?” may impose faulty assumptions or categories on a divine being that transcends physical spacetime reality. Any supreme creator god, by definition, must be eternal and uncreated.


In summary, humans have worshipped gods and divinities for over 30,000 years across cultures, though the origins of those beliefs remain shrouded in prehistory. Ancient gods took on human-like forms and were born from creation myths and cosmic dramas to explain existence. Polytheistic pantheons dominated early civilizations until monotheism gradually became more widespread. The origins of any ultimate deity seem logically self-existent, though many traditions embrace the mysteries of God’s genesis as unknowable yet perpetual.