As many readers have no doubt figured out long before now, I have little use for Christianists who rant that the Bible is God's inerrant word. Logic, science and ever so inconvenient history and archaeological evidence dictate more and more each day that the truth is that Biblical inerrancy is a crutch for those who choose to be ignorant by choice and those who are so psychologically warped and/or fragile that they cannot countenance any uncertainty in their lives.
That said, I'm not an atheist or an opponent of the Gospel message (although I'm no fan of large chunks of the Old Testament and many of St. Paul's epistles). I simply cannot stand those who peddle lies or voluntarily opt for ignorance.
But to get to the point of this post, a British theologian has come forward with a premise that the earliest Israelites worshiped not just one male deity - Yahweh - but also a female deity that has been hypothesized to have been Yahweh's wife.
Brace yourself from the shrieks of denial from the "inerrant Bible" beaters who already ignore the fact that polygamy, not " one man and one woman" marriage - was the Old Testament norm. Here are highlights from the International Business Times:
The Judeo-Christian God may have been married, according to a British theologian, who says the Almighty, also known as 'Yahweh', had a wife - a goddess named Asherah. Francesca Stavrakopoulou of the University of Exeter is throwing new light on the theory, suggesting that God had a wife who was edited out of the Bible.
In 1967, historian Raphael Patai mentioned that the ancient Israelites worshiped both Yahweh and Asherah, according to Discovery News. . . . Archaeological evidence 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, who was worshipped in his temple in Jerusalem, Stavrakopoulou says.
Stavrakopoulou says the Almighty's wife was presented as a deity in Israel, who sat alongside him. "After years of research specialising in the history and religion of Israel, however, I have come to a colourful and what could seem - to some - uncomfortable conclusion: that God had a wife," Stavrakopoulou says.
The goddess Asherah was worshipped in Yahweh's temple in Jerusalem. In the Book Of Kings, it says that a statue of Asherah was housed in the temple and that female temple personnel wove ritual textiles for her, she says.
Despite numerous references to Asherah worship in the Bible, there wasn't enough evidence to link her explicitly with the high god of ancient Israel, Yahweh. Until, that is, the discovery of a remarkable ceramic inscription in the Sinai desert. The inscription is a petition for a blessing, Stavrakopoulou says. "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."
J. Edward Wright, president of The Arizona Center for Judaic Studies and The Albright Institute for Archaeological Research, supported Stavrakopoulou's findings, saying several Hebrew inscriptions mention "Yahweh and his Asherah.
Mentions of the goddess Asherahin the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) are rare and have been heavily edited by the ancient authors who gathered the texts together." "The ancient Israelites were polytheists," Brody [Aaron Brody, director of the Bade Museum] told Discovery News.
Can't you hear Tony Perkins, Albert Mohler, James Dobson, and others like them going into apoplexy at this news? I suspect as time goes by, more and more proof that the Bible is anything but inerrant will surface. The ensuing batshittery will be most entertaining to watch.