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Yahweh's wife, Asherah.
Skeeve
I remember reading something about this years ago, but it was quickly buried.

Now it seems that it's being brought to the front again.

God had a wife, Asherah, whom the Book of Kings suggests was worshiped alongside Yahweh in his temple in Israel, according to an Oxford scholar.

In 1967, Raphael Patai was the first historian to mention that the ancient Israelites worshiped both Yahweh and Asherah. The theory has gained new prominence due to the research of Francesca Stavrakopoulou, who began her work at Oxford and is now a senior lecturer in the department of Theology and Religion at the University of Exeter.

Information presented in Stavrakopoulou's books, lectures and journal papers has become the basis of a three-part documentary series, now airing in Europe, where she discusses the Yahweh-Asherah connection.

From Discovery News

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I've posted about the history of Yahweh, here or at atheists.com, before, and this is completely in line with the deity worship of the time. Yahweh was a simple idol that Abraham worshiped. Everyone had their own personal idol, somehow Abraham convinced others to worship his particular idol and it became the popular god to follow. When I first came across this, there was a hint of a spouse, but it was downplayed in almost all the papers I read on it.

I find it ironic that "You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth", started with the very thing that's condemned in the fourth commandment. This has been explained as a way of removing all those other idols that Abraham's neighbors were still worshiping.

This, more than anything else is what keeps me atheist. When you can trace the "birth" of a god to its beginning, it just doesn't have the same impact as the stories you hear in church.
 
seeker
There probably wasn't an Abraham. The creation of Judaism as its known now most likely happened in the Hasmonean era. The Platonic ideal was a monotheism so Asherah was left behind.
"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." - George Santayana
 
catman
If that doesn't prove that 'God' was created in man's image, nothing will. Maybe Asherah fell off the back of 'His' motorcycle.
"If I owned both Hell and Texas, I'd live in Hell and rent out Texas." - General Sheridan
 
Bob of QF
I've seen this idea previously.

It makes sense, if you look at parallel religious ideas, a feminine deity was more common than not.

People were crafting their gods after themselves, after all.

Only idiots would ignore the unique power that women have of birthing the next generation.
Quantum Junction: Use both lanes

Reality is that which is left, after you stop believing.
 
Doubting Thomas
Maybe that explains all the "us" and "we" when God refers to himself in the bible.
You're just jealous because the voices are talking to me and not you.
 
catman
Nah, that just means that the writer considered himself to be a god is his own right.
"If I owned both Hell and Texas, I'd live in Hell and rent out Texas." - General Sheridan
 
Bob of QF
A legend/god in his own mind?

<snerk>
Quantum Junction: Use both lanes

Reality is that which is left, after you stop believing.
 
seeker
Doubting Thomas wrote:
Maybe that explains all the "us" and "we" when God refers to himself in the bible.


Actually one of the words used for God in the bible is the word elohim. In Hebrew the 'im' ending is always considered a plural except, apparently, in this one case where modern translators claim it means the word lord. The root of the word 'elohim' is the name of the Caananite God El and an alternative translation of the word 'elohim' would be 'The Gods of El'.

All of this fits closely with the notion that an author took traditions from a polytheistic tradition and rewrote them to fit a monotheistic ideology.
"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." - George Santayana
 
Theory_Execution
Bloody 'El!

Through observations of the Roman Catholic church you would not be wrong to assume that along with this wife, Yahweh also ploughed the odd underage boy-deity.
 
cheshiredragon
and Catholicism is born...
 
catman
C-D! Great to see a post from you again.
"If I owned both Hell and Texas, I'd live in Hell and rent out Texas." - General Sheridan
 
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