More on God’s wife edited out of Old Testament

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A leading academic has claimed that God has a wife who was edited out of the Bible. Atheist Dr Francesca Stavrakopoulou says that the Almighty, known as Yahweh, had a partner called Asherah who was worshipped. 

Dr Stavrakopoulou with a reconstruction of a biblical inscription [Credit: Daily Mail]

The scholar’s controversial claims are being explored in BBC2 series The Bible’s Buried Secrets. 

His wife was presented as a deity in Israel and someone who sat alongside him, according to journal articles and books by the scholar. 

Dr Francesca Stavrakopoulou, who has been given a primetime BBC slot, also claims that Eve has been ‘unfairly maligned’ by ‘middle-aged bearded men’ and should not have been blamed for the Fall of Man. 

But some may raise eyebrows among viewers – including her suggestion that Eve was not the first woman in the Bible because the Garden of Eden did not belong in the original Old Testament. 

The University of Exeter lecturer told Radio Times: ‘Eve, particularly in the Christian tradition, has been very unfairly maligned as the troublesome wife.’ 

But former MP Ann Widdecombe, who is a Roman Catholic, said: ‘I would guess that most other theologians will demolish her theory in three seconds flat.’ 

Dr Stavrakopoulou, who has a doctorate in theology from the University of Oxford, has confirmed she does not believe in God. 

She said: ‘I’m an atheist with a huge respect for religion. I see what I do as a branch of history like any other.’ 

Dr Stavrakopoulou’s claims that God had a wife appeared to be backed up by her own research into the subject. 

Dr Francesca Stavrakopoulou 

[Credit: Daily Mail]

In a recent article she wrote: ‘Archaeological evidence including inscriptions, figurines and ancient texts as well as details in the Bible, indicate not just that he was one of several worshipped in ancient Israel, but that he was also coupled with a goddess. She was worshipped alongside him in his temple in Jerusalem. 

‘I spent several years specialising in the cultural and social contexts of the Bible and I discovered that Yahweh, the God we have come to know, had to see off a number of competitors to achieve his position as the one and only god of the ancient Israelites.’ 

‘The biblical texts name many of them: El, Baal, Molek, Asherah. Despite Yahweh’s assertion in the Ten Commandments that “You shall have no other gods before me”, it appears these gods were worshipped alongside Him, and the Bible acknowledges this.’ 

‘Far more significant is the Bible’s admission that the goddess Asherah was worshipped in Yahweh’s temple in Jerusalem. In the Book Of Kings, we’re told that a statue of Asherah was housed in the temple and that female temple personnel wove ritual textiles for her. 

‘In fact, although the Bible condemns all of these practices, the biblical texts suggest that goddess worship was a thriving feature of high-status religion in Jerusalem. What, then, was her relationship to Yahweh? 

‘Ancient texts, amulets and figurines unearthed here reveal that she was a powerful fertility goddess. 

”But perhaps most significant of all, Asherah was also the wife of El, the high god at Ugarit  – a god who shares much in common with Yahweh. Given the evidence within the Bible that she was worshipped in the temple in Jerusalem, might she have played the role of a divine wife in ancient Israel too?’ 

Source: Daily Mail [March 19, 2011]

1 COMMENT

  1. This is old news, often reported. Many of the Israelites resisted complete monotheism. The worship off idols by the Jews is recorded, as well as the actions of the kind who restored monotheism. Good God I learned this in Catholic high school.

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