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← Fertility Goddess Asherah: Was 'God's Wife' Edited Out of the Bible?

Fertility Goddess Asherah: Was 'God's Wife' Edited Out of the Bible? - Comments

crrodriguez's Avatar Comment 1 by crrodriguez

Probably she filled for divorce or maybe he sacrificed her, in order to enjoy the smell of burning flesh. Also confirms the theory that some girls love really bad boys =)

Sat, 26 Mar 2011 14:33:59 UTC | #607402

Alan4discussion's Avatar Comment 2 by Alan4discussion

J. Edward Wright, president of The Arizona Center for Judaic Studies and The Albright Institute for Archaeological Research, backs Stavrakopoulou's findings, saying several Hebrew inscriptions mention “Yahweh and his Asherah." He adds Asherah was not entirely edited out of the Bible by its male editors.

A bit like the Gospel of Mary Magdalene being eliminated from the New Testament:

Primary sources about Mary Magdalene can be divided into canonical texts that are collected into the Christian New Testament and to apocryphal texts that were left out from the Bible, being judged as heretical during the development of the New Testament canon

Sat, 26 Mar 2011 14:36:37 UTC | #607404

Alan4discussion's Avatar Comment 3 by Alan4discussion

early versions of the Bible featured Asherah, a powerful fertility goddess who may have been God's wife.

Can't have FERTILITY GODDESSES ...... too sexy!!!!

Sat, 26 Mar 2011 14:38:58 UTC | #607405

Vaal's Avatar Comment 4 by Vaal

Wondered who Jesus's real mum was!

Bit naughty of Yahweh impegregnating a young naive Jewess virgin, when he had a missus, especially at his age, the old Perv! Hope Asherah had the rolling-pin waiting when he returned home.

Sat, 26 Mar 2011 15:06:15 UTC | #607416

Tryphon Tournesol's Avatar Comment 5 by Tryphon Tournesol

....in The Beginning humankind created god(s), or at least some versions from which the current monster evolved.

Sat, 26 Mar 2011 15:08:13 UTC | #607417

wisnoskij's Avatar Comment 6 by wisnoskij

From what I have heard, yes she was in the bible (this has been known for awhile). But she is not Yahweh's wife, she is the wife of the god of gods, Yahweh is simply the god of war.

Sat, 26 Mar 2011 15:16:15 UTC | #607422

Stevehill's Avatar Comment 7 by Stevehill

So both God and Mary had a bit on the side?

Jesus!

Sat, 26 Mar 2011 15:16:45 UTC | #607423

AtheistEgbert's Avatar Comment 8 by AtheistEgbert

This is not new. Dr. Raphael Patai wrote a book The Hebrew Goddess first published in 1967, and mentions Asherah worship among Canaanites as well as the other Canaanite goddess Astarte and the Ugaritic goddess Anath (myths are notoriously interchangeable among cultures). He goes through the various symbolic jewish interpretations of the goddess, from the Cherubin to the Shekhina and the Kabbala.

Sat, 26 Mar 2011 15:19:01 UTC | #607424

clarethead1's Avatar Comment 9 by clarethead1

Francesca Stavrakopoulou talked about this in Tuesdays episode of "Bibles Buried Secrets" called "Did God Have a Wife". It was on BBC2 and is available to watch on IPlayer.

Sat, 26 Mar 2011 15:22:16 UTC | #607427

TheRationalizer's Avatar Comment 10 by TheRationalizer

The BBC programme "Bibles Buried Secrets" on this subject was really very good.

Hopefully TreVelocita or AtheistMediaBlog will upload it.

Sat, 26 Mar 2011 15:32:24 UTC | #607433

JHJEFFERY's Avatar Comment 11 by JHJEFFERY

This might explain the curious use of the plural personal pronoun used in Genesis to describe gods.

Sat, 26 Mar 2011 15:41:23 UTC | #607439

Atheas's Avatar Comment 12 by Atheas

God consumes or destroys other gods in his rise to the top so maybe he gained control of El's consort since, as Brooks says, "It's good to be the king"

Sat, 26 Mar 2011 16:01:35 UTC | #607448

Eldorado's Avatar Comment 13 by Eldorado

Did they figured out that after reading "The da Vinci Code"? haha

There is no evidence that Jesus existed so how do they know he had wife? and if his wife was goddess well that offical christianity is politheistic!

Sat, 26 Mar 2011 16:06:18 UTC | #607451

jsheaforrest's Avatar Comment 14 by jsheaforrest

It's illogical to assume that, just because other ancient texts combine the worship of Yahweh and Asherah, means that the Old Testament, as a record of Jewish history, removed Asherah from her "position" as the wife of Yawheh/Elohim. Especially if you actually read the Old Testament and it's references to the Canaanite gods in context.

Asherah and Baal- or Ba'el, King God, loosely translated - were the original two heads of the Canaanite pantheon. IIRC, Asherah was the fertility god, and Baal the storm/rain god. In a desertish climate, those two things they stood for were very highly prized. That, and their worship festivals, which were largely excuses to get drunk and have sex with anyone and everyone present, would have been mighty tempting to the lawbound Hebrew people. But, according to the laws YHWH gave at Mount Sinai, those things at those fertility god festivals were forbidden. So how do the Israelites justify going to them anyway? Simple - they combine Baal and Elohim. Say they're the same god, (even though the crux of Jewish theology, the shemach, is "Hear oh Israel: The Lord your God, is one Lord." (a fuller translation would emphasize the singleness of the "one", as in, The Adonai your Elohim, is the only Adonai. In even clearer English, the Hebrew text emphasizes that there is no other God at all.) So: The Hebrew people, wanting to take part in the worship of the gods of their neighbors, say, "Asherah's husband is the same as our God. So it's okay!" Even though their gods were extremely different, both in role, origin, worship, etc.

So, to clarify: Elohim never had a wife in traditional Jewish theology. The incorporation of Asherah as his wife was an attempt to justify the melding of the Jewish religion and the Canaanite religion, to allow Jews to "worship" in pagan drunken orgies that their true God forbid.

Sat, 26 Mar 2011 16:23:43 UTC | #607456

prettygoodformonkeys's Avatar Comment 15 by prettygoodformonkeys

I wonder who married them? Seems likely to me they were living in sin.

Sat, 26 Mar 2011 16:28:01 UTC | #607458

Vaal's Avatar Comment 16 by Vaal

Begs the question. Who is God's mother-in-law?

Sat, 26 Mar 2011 16:43:08 UTC | #607461

Linda Ward's Avatar Comment 17 by Linda Ward

Bibles, Torahs, Korans and all other mythologies should be accepted as ad hoc collections of peasant, primitive, science fiction folk tales and fables. Given that ongoing tribal animosities continue around this over populated planet it may take a few more years until there is general acceptance that religious belief is the banner for war, antagonism and hatred of the other when better planning for human settlement and sustenance is sorely needed.

Sat, 26 Mar 2011 16:45:12 UTC | #607462

Alan4discussion's Avatar Comment 18 by Alan4discussion

Comment 13 by Eldorado

There is no evidence that Jesus existed so how do they know he had wife?

According to some texts, Mary Magdalene (see comment @2) was Jesus wife, - just to add interest to the story!

Sat, 26 Mar 2011 17:07:08 UTC | #607470

NathanH's Avatar Comment 19 by NathanH

Maybe she's who the Song of Songs is about?

Sat, 26 Mar 2011 18:15:24 UTC | #607505

some asshole's Avatar Comment 20 by some asshole

Was one fictional magical character edited out of a book full of fictional magical characters?

Sat, 26 Mar 2011 19:23:40 UTC | #607533

Hendrix is my gOD's Avatar Comment 21 by Hendrix is my gOD

As if it wasn't bad enough that dOG knocked up Joseph's fiancee, but now we learn that he was actually married when he did it. I guess that makes Jeebus a double bastard.

Sat, 26 Mar 2011 19:25:53 UTC | #607535

littletrotsky13's Avatar Comment 22 by littletrotsky13

I love some of stavrakapoulou's lines in bible's buried sectrets: "but the bible makes yet another false claim" and "well that's the story the bib;e tells us" comes as some of my favourites so far, as well as a closing line by someone else in terms of modern monotheism having huge polytheistic tendencies (the whole army of saints in catholicism etc.): " 'so, the heavens are as busy as ever?' 'ja, why not? (in a dismissive tone of voice)'".

Sat, 26 Mar 2011 19:55:33 UTC | #607554

Ignorant Amos's Avatar Comment 23 by Ignorant Amos

Poor Lillith doesn't get a mention either......all because she wouldn't do what she was told by Adam, look where Eve eventually got him.

In Jewish folklore, from the 8th–10th Century Alphabet of Ben Sira onwards Lilith becomes Adam's first wife, who was created at the same time and from the same earth as Adam. This contrasts with Eve, who was created from one of Adam's ribs. The legend was greatly developed during the Middle Ages, in the tradition of Aggadic midrashim, the Zohar and Jewish mysticism. In the 13th Century writings of Rabbi Isaac ben Jacob Alfasi ha-Cohen, for example, Lilith left Adam after she refused to become subservient to him and then would not return to the Garden of Eden after she mated with archangel Samael. The resulting Lilith legend is still commonly used as source material in modern Western culture, literature, occultism, fantasy, and horror.

Sat, 26 Mar 2011 20:25:46 UTC | #607574

colluvial's Avatar Comment 24 by colluvial

I don't suppose we'll soon be hearing from the rabbis, imams, or the pope about how they've been wrong and that their respective delusions will now be referred to as bitheisms.

Sat, 26 Mar 2011 20:34:47 UTC | #607580

Eldorado's Avatar Comment 25 by Eldorado

Boy we need Christian equivalant of "olimpus" where all "gods" could live. Just need to be more creative I like greeks myths better... Wonder what church answer will be...

Sat, 26 Mar 2011 20:56:37 UTC | #607596

digofthedump's Avatar Comment 26 by digofthedump

This might explain the curious use of the plural personal pronoun used in Genesis to describe gods.

Yes my personal belief is that it does...Genesis says "let us make man in our image....so God [mysterious plural and singular term] created man [perhaps meaning human kind?] in his own image....in the image of God created he him. Male and female created he them".

Sat, 26 Mar 2011 20:56:40 UTC | #607597

AnfractuousBias's Avatar Comment 27 by AnfractuousBias

Rofl... Oh my goodness. This is a bit laughable honestly. And there are 3, but its not 3 , it's one. Yaweh - Yashua - the comforter (holy ghost) . but all three are one in the same.

Interesting that God having a wife would be quickly accepted as fact that is less than held together by a thin - thin string. Considering that there is evidence that Jesus did exist, which is also held together by a few inscriptions, yet, that one idea isn't even plausible to you all. Interesting use of logic.

Sat, 26 Mar 2011 21:37:06 UTC | #607626

Alan4discussion's Avatar Comment 28 by Alan4discussion

Comment 27 by Eldorado

Boy we need Christian equivalant of "olimpus" where all "gods" could live. Just need to be more creative I like greeks myths better... Wonder what church answer will be...

How about the Vatican! They have a good sized collection of saints. What difference will a few more gods make? They could make statues of them as well!

Sat, 26 Mar 2011 22:15:18 UTC | #607649

jbyrd's Avatar Comment 29 by jbyrd

That is way too straight for the catholic church to accept

Sat, 26 Mar 2011 22:59:06 UTC | #607666

showmeproof's Avatar Comment 30 by showmeproof

For those who are really interested in this see Mark S. Smith, John Day, and Karel Van der Toorn. Let's just say YHWH took over the Canaanite god El's characteristics...the funny thing is the bible itself says so.

Exodus 6:2-3 NRSV "God also spoke to Moses and said to him: "I am the Lord (YHWH). I appeared to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as God Almighty (El Shaddai), but by my name 'the Lord' (YHWH) I did not make myself known to them."

The patriarchs of this religion didn't know a YHWH.

Furthermore Deuteronomy 32: 7-9 NRSV preserves the tradition that YWHW was once a minor deity in a pantheon of which El was head.

"Remember the days of old, consider the years long past, ask your father, and he will inform you; your elders, and they will tell you. When the Most High (El Eloyn) apportioned the nations, when he divided humankind, he fixed the boundaries of the people according to the number of the gods (literally sons of El); The Lord's (YHWH) own portion was his people, Jacob his allotted share."

the NRSV adds a footnote that 'own' in the last sentence is added so as to equate YHWH with the Most High and to avoid a polytheistic undertone. In this verse YWHW inherits from EL the head god of the Pantheon and Asherah or rather Athrait was his consort.

Look up Ugarit or Ugaritic texts because it gives the Bronze Age socio-historical setting of the Canaanite religion. Unlike the bible these texts are preserved from 1,400 B.C.E. in the ruins at Ras Shamra.

As for Asherah being in the Temple of YHWH consider a moment the description of the menorah to be made for the tabernacle in Exodus 25:31-38 and later Solomon's temple in 1 Kings 7:48-50. In both places the lampstands are stylized trees cast in gold. The Arch of Titus ca. 80 C.E. shows the menorah being carried off by roman soldiers. Compare that to artifacts back in time expressly associated with Asherah such as the tree on the Tanaach Cult Stand and for most dramatic effect the Lachish Ewer.

Sun, 27 Mar 2011 00:03:23 UTC | #607700