In the region surrounding the principality of Orhay (Edessa), which claimed for itself the title of the first Christian state in the world, there was also a latent monotheism. There the god Marilaha was worshiped as the universal Lord-God. This proto-monotheism first paved the way for the success of Judaism in Edessa. Since there were in Edessa, as in all of Syria and western Mesopotamia, numerous examples of divine triads, the environment was again peculiarly receptive to Christianity, as it enriched these two concepts with the figure of a divine-human mediator and made them more accessible.Baumer, The Church of the East, pp. 11-12
What exactly was going on in the progression of ancient peoples away from a pantheon of gods and toward something more like monotheism? And this seemingly right around the coming of Christ? Was the Holy Spirit using the influence of Judaism to slowly disseminate ideas in the ancient world that would prepare the it for the gospel? Or resurrecting an ancient “memory” of the monotheistic origin of the broken polytheistic systems of late antiquity?
Whatever was going on, a remarkable number of peoples in the Roman and Persian empires – and in their borderlands – were peculiarly ready for the preaching of the Incarnation and the Trinity. Perhaps this is one part of what the Scripture means when it says, at the fullness of time (Gal 4:4).