Akhenaten seems to be a pretty interesting guy, even though his reign was only about 17 years. More importantly, I think everyone needs to remember that this guy was more influential to later generations than to his own. Overall, the Egyptians didn't really buy into his "one true God" routine, but the Israelites seemed to take some aspects of it and really run with them.
This underscores the importance of one of the themes of this unit-the manner in which religious beliefs are a product of history. Many beliefs in religion that exist even today are not necessarily the beliefs that people 500-1000 years ago. Sometimes, the religous beliefs that exist among the majority of followers in a religion today aren't even the same as the beliefs that existed 50-60 years ago. Religion is different for each person, and even the founding books of those religions in some way were impacted by the world in which the author lived in. Kirsch cites the similarities between Akhenaten's "O Thou only God, there is not other God than Thou," and Exodus 20:2-3 (which, coincidentally, is the first commandment)--"I am The Lord your God. You shall have no other gods before Me." It seems only natural that the people who lived in Akhenaten's time, even if the majority of his "reforms" were rejected, would nonetheless be impacted by the fact that, for seventeen years, they were exposed on a regular basis to his beliefs. Its impossible for people not to be affected by the world that exists around them.
Someone said today that the article "makes it look like the Jews, Muslims, and Christians stole their beliefs from him." That isn't what I'm saying. I'm saying that the early Jews were exposed to some of the beliefs of Akhenaten. Those beliefs inevitably informed their opinion, which they used when they wrote their own books. Those books then influenced Christians as they wrote their books. The Muslims then were influenced by those books. They didn't consciously sit down and say "let's plagarize that Egyptian guy." They simply grew up in a time when those beliefs were all around them, so they couldn't avoid being influenced by them.
That's the thing about history-you can't escape it. No matter what you do, the events of the past and present will inform the future.