“For we know Him who said, ‘And I will execute great vengeance upon them with furious rebukes; and they shall know that I am the Lord, when I shall lay my vengeance upon them.'” Ezekiel 25:17.
The God depicted in the Old Testament may sometimes seem wrathful. And in that, he’s not alone; supernatural forces that punish evil play a central role in many modern religions.
But which came first: complex societies or the belief in a punishing god?
A new study suggests that the formation of complex societies came first and that the beliefs in such gods helped unite people under a common higher power.