Thanks to Msgr James for sending this article link about God’s wife and his “divorce” from MotherGod. See my “theories” after the short article.
Religious scholar: God had a wife
by Terrence Aym, March 20, 2011
According to theologian and historian Francesca Stavrakopoulou, God had a wife and her name was Asherah.
Wikipedia states that Asherah is mentioned in the books of Exodus, Deuteronomy, Judges, the Books of Kings, the second Book of Chronicles, and the books of Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Micah. She crosses many of the ancient cultures and the ancient Hebrews saw her as God’s wife or “the Queen of Heaven.” She’s generally considered identical with the Ugaritic goddess Athirat by most religious historians.
The Book of Jeremiah written about 628 BC refers to the “Queen of Heaven” and many believe it’s a reference to Asherah that was not expunged by heavy editing several hundred years later.
An Oxford scholar has argued that the Book of Kings reveals the Hebrews worshiped Asherah and Yahweh in Yahweh’s Israelite temple.
Although during the past decades many religious scholars, historians and some theologians have discussed Asherah and her relationship to the Hebrew God Yahweh, it’s generally recognized that the first to discover that the ancient Hebrews worshiped both deities equally was historian Raphael Patai.
Patai voiced the argument of God and His wife, and presented evidence, to the skeptical world of 1967.
Now, more than four decades later, the world is catching up to Patai’s milestone work thanks in large part to Stavrakopoulou’s research while at Oxford University and her continuing work as a senior lecturer in the department of Theology and Religion at the University of Exeter.
In a written statement to the British press accompanying a three-part series airing in Western European countries about her research, Stavrakopoulou stated, “You might know him as Yahweh, Allah or God. But on this fact, Jews, Muslims and Christians, the people of the great Abrahamic religions, are agreed: There is only one of Him. He is a solitary figure, a single, universal creator, not one God among many…or so we like to believe.”
But then she shared her bombshell finding with the media stating that “After years of research specializing in the history and religion of Israel, however, I have come to a colorful and what could seem, to some, uncomfortable conclusion that God had a wife.”
Evidence in scripture and artifacts
Her startling theory which flies in the face of modern organized religion is based on artifacts from the past and ancient texts. She points to many unambiguous artifacts—primarily amulets and figurines—that have been found by archaelogists over the years. Many are from the Ugarit, an ancient Canaanite coastal city located in what later became Assyria and then, Syria.
All of the artifacts, she argues, show that the goddess Asherah was a very powerful figure, linked strongly to Yahweh, as his wife, and as the powerful fertility goddess of Creation.
Agriculture, the first and most important invention of humans, was strongly influenced by such things as a fertility goddess. Because crops were a life or death issue to everyone, Asherah was pictured as being equal to Yahweh and, in fact, his loving bride.
Her link to the Hebrew God, Stavrakopoulou says, is equally evident from an inscription discovered on a section of 8th Century BC pottery recovered from a site in the Sinai desert—as well as within the text of the Hebrew version of the Old Testament.
While describing the importance of the pottery’s message, Stavrakopoulou explained, “The inscription is a petition for a blessing. Crucially, the inscription asks for a blessing from ‘Yahweh and his Asherah.’ Here was evidence that presented Yahweh and Asherah as a divine pair. And now a handful of similar inscriptions have since been found, all of which help to strengthen the case that the God of the Bible once had a wife.”
Ancient Israelites were polytheists
The director of the Bade Museum and an associate professor of Bible and archaeology at the Pacific School of Religion, Aaron Brody, believes that all the hard evidence reveals the ancient Israelites were polytheists.
Asherah fell into disfavor soon after some high-ranking Israelites were banished to Babylon. About that time the famous Temple of Jerusalem was razed. Brody thinks those events during 586 BC were followed by a purge in Judea among the worshipers of Asherah.
Eventually only one male God—without a wife—was accepted and preached and believed by people of all the countries of the world.
Thus it might be said that by the 5th Century BC, as far as the Israelites were concerned, God got a “divorce.”
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Even today whenever we try to start up churches that worship Mother God alongside Father God, we end up with so many nut-cases that only think with their hormones. There is always one or two who show up at our meetings and ruin it for everyone by doing things like hitting on the under-age daughters of participants, stalking adult female members, and worse. I have seen it again and again in various cities and towns all over this country the past 20 years as I have tried to start God-and-Goddess Judeo-Christian churches. It is easy to see how the ancients got tired of this unfortunate side effect regarding God’s female counterpart and decided to go to all-male deities. In those days you had bandits and even groups of soldiers who would “just for the fun of it” go raid Asherah worshippers, raping priestesses and devotees, murdering anyone who got in the way of their fun. Just think of the brothels in India, the Far East and Eastern Europe where sex slaves are abused daily, repeatedly to this day. Whenever we have a place of worship that centers around a Divine Union of God and God-ess, a large segment of the population fixates on the sexual aspect of that. Even some of the all-Goddess churches I have visited, worshipped with, or worked with have large lesbian memberships (and some have all-lesbian leadership) that frown on heterosexuality.
The hormones really come out whenever the Feminine Divine takes her veils off and gets human attention. For the same reason Mary Magdalene was kept hidden “veiled”, edited out of mainstream Christianity (she remained in Gnostic scriptures and in underground Christianity as evidenced by the stained-glass church window over a century old in Scotland). It’s easier to have a celibate god and a virgin non-sexual mother as we discuss in our Restoring the Goddess lessons based on Margaret Starbird’s wonderful work. The only females that are “safe” are asexual unnatural virgins or hyper-sexual prostitutes. Males like Jesus must be stripped of their sexuality, made celibate with no hint of human sexuality.
It’s sad, and I don’t know when we will finally get there, but at least here in the Western world we can discuss, study and have a web-based honoring of Her. In the Middle Eastern world we’d all hang…or be beheaded, stoned to death, etc. for blasphemy, apostasy and perversion. Yes, we would be the perverted ones. Not the people who “circumcise” their female population at the age of 7 or 8 so that 90 percent of (for example) Egyptian women cannot achieve climax during relations with their husbands. Why do they want marriages like that, the Egyptian men? It is baffling that Westerners are called sexually perverted. Even Allah had a wife named Allat (she’s the same as Asherah, but the Arabic version). But don’t bring Her up, either.
I cover all this evidence of God and Allah having a Divine Spouse in my online slide presentation God Has a Wife! here:
I am glad the author of the article mentioned Raphael Patai’s work. In our online study program we have a whole course on his famous book, The Hebrew Goddess. Very inspiring book, in a scholarly way. Here’s our (old) page on the Hebrew goddess. Remind me to update that old page and add this latest research findings and my pet theories. (smile)