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Interesting article from TIME.

http://newsfeed.time.com/2011/03/22/fertility-goddess-asherah-was-gods-wife-edited-out-of-the-bible/

Heard of this theory before. I know there is at least one book on the subject. Anyone have thoughts on it?

Comments

( 17 comments — Leave a comment )
evilnel
Mar. 23rd, 2011 04:03 am (UTC)
We talked about this in Systematics last semester. Asherah was mentioned in the Bible--she was considered a pagan idol, not the wife of El/Yahweh. The confusion lies with a pre-Jewish religion in which there were several gods as the main deities. El became what we think of as Yahweh and the others were named as Pagan gods. The claim that they were 'edited' is stupid because there is no editing if they weren't in there in the first place. The OT represents the tradition of the children of Israel, who did not worship Asherah, so naturally they wouldn't include her as a main player. It's another case of an atheist writing about God and not really knowing what she's talking about. Just my two cents.
evilnel
Mar. 23rd, 2011 04:31 am (UTC)
I should clarify, it's not her atheism that I have a problem with, it's her dumb assumption that this is some revolutionary new information and there was some conspiracy to cover it up. We know that the Bible is a perspective on God--a book of experiences, particularly the Jewish experience and on into the early Christian church.

I think a lot of people try to bring out "new" information like it's going to somehow take down Christianity, when it's not new at all, and it wasn't suppressed by bearded men with evil plots in mind--it was not included because it wasn't representative of the majority's orthodoxy (take the gnostic gospels or gospel of St. Thomas, for example). As it turns out, what's in the Bible is in there because it's what was believed and commonly used. Some people have tried to hack huge chunks out (look at Marcion taking out the OT and everything but Luke and the epistles, or even Luther who would have nixed a few given the opportunity), but the majority spoke and what we have today is generally accepted as canon because that's what was accepted as canon when we were first putting it all together.

That's my beef with this woman's claims and stunning "new" discovery. I hope I'm making myself clear. The sem kids had a facebook discussion on this and it was pretty interesting.
uberreiniger
Mar. 23rd, 2011 06:05 am (UTC)
There's nothing really "new" in terms of Biblical discoveries most of the time. That's why I was pleasantly amused when all these people were shocked about The Da Vinci Code implying that Jesus was married with children. That whole theory's been around forever.

For what it's worth here's what my Orthodox Jewish friend had to say about it, copy and pasted from my post on Facebook.

Jews weren't monotheistic, we likely weren't till the Babylonian exile. Stuff bible teachers never mention

Then again, you know what they say: two Jews, three opinions.
evilnel
Mar. 23rd, 2011 02:26 pm (UTC)
Yeah, there's a LOT that the Bible doesn't mention. Still not a cover up! It's actually pretty funny, my friend Dave commented on facebook and said this:

"She's not the first to claim this. Dr. Bill Dever wrote a book on this subject six years ago (Did God have a Wife? For sale at the Luther Sem bookstore!) and this theory has been around Biblical Archaeology for a while. In fact looking at the article, she basically ripped off Dever's book point by point."

The thing that annoys me is that people who don't follow the new archaelogical/biblical discoveries hear about this and sometimes their faith is really shaken by it! I'm okay with challenging people's faith but I would like people to be as informed as possible, and articles like this are pretty misleading.
uberreiniger
Mar. 23rd, 2011 05:23 pm (UTC)
I've actually been wanting to read the Dever book for a while. I only shared the article because it was getting the story out to the public in a way the Dever book didn't. I was actually really surprised that book didn't cause any kind of a stir!

When I saw stories of people having their faith "shaken" by The Da Vinci Code I was dismayed. If a cheap cloak-and-dagger spy movie/novel is all it takes to shake your faith then you were due for some serious self-examination anyway.
evilnel
Mar. 23rd, 2011 05:30 pm (UTC)
Lol, I couldn't even read that book. The writing style bored me to tears. My dad bought it for me for Christmas and it's still sitting on my shelf with a bookmark about 20 pages in. It's true that they should be examining, but sadly those people don't necessarily have the resources (physical or mental) for the type of examination some of us engage in, so I think it's important to always be fair in 'how this fits in with orthodoxy.' Unless, of course, the intent is to shake people's orthodoxy, which is pretty clear was this woman's intent. She just seems smug to me like, hahaha i recked ur religin!' I would like to check out Dever's book too, but in the midst of all my other class reading I just don't have time. You'll have to read it and give me a summary sometime!
uberreiniger
Mar. 23rd, 2011 05:46 pm (UTC)
Are you saying Francesca Stavrakopoulou is being smug because I don't see where she's directly quoted in the article. They quote two other scholars who comment on her findings. Is another publication somewhere that quotes her directly?
evilnel
Mar. 23rd, 2011 05:48 pm (UTC)
Oh, it wasn't in this article, it was in another article posted on the topic by my friend on fb. Maybe it was just the way she was portrayed (I think it was daily mail, maybe?) but the whole article kind of irked me.
adele87
Apr. 23rd, 2011 11:30 pm (UTC)
Originally, Judaism was more of a Henotheism (sp) from what I know. We discussed that in Hebrew Bible.
uberreiniger
Apr. 24th, 2011 04:39 am (UTC)
It was what led me to accept henotheism for myself, personally. God says "Thou shalt have no other gods before me." He does not say, "There are no other gods."
adele87
Apr. 25th, 2011 02:58 am (UTC)
That is exactally what we talked about in Hebrew Bible. You're right that is what that passage is tlaking about.
adele87
Apr. 23rd, 2011 11:34 pm (UTC)
Eh, for me personally I don't buy that Jesus had a wife with kids thing. To me it implies something about the nature of God that he would die and leave his wife here when the right thing in my mind would have been to take care of her instead of die on a cross, so that doesn't work for me in my personal theology, but to each his/her own.
neo_phoneix
Mar. 23rd, 2011 09:21 am (UTC)
I agree with everything you just said.

And yes OP - I did read something an age ago about how El had a wife. But that was when El was El (I think I was researching why all the angels were XYZ-iel or ABC-el).
adele87
Apr. 23rd, 2011 11:29 pm (UTC)
I think I need to transfer to your seminary, because we never learned that.
evilnel
Apr. 23rd, 2011 11:45 pm (UTC)
It was courtesy of Guillermo Hansen, who is kind of like the absent-minded professor of systematics. I loved Guillermo's class, though it was not very structured and some people didn't like that it wasn't very practical. I thought it was extremely practical, but that's just me.

And you would love Luther. There are so many people who push you to grow in so many ways.
adele87
Apr. 24th, 2011 12:05 am (UTC)
Yeah unfortunately most Episcopal bishops would push me to go to an Episcopal place -- I think a bigger seminary (bigger then SPST) would have more regularity and more "push" you to grow type stuff.
pastorlenny
Mar. 23rd, 2011 06:17 am (UTC)
The early versions of the screenplay do indeed show that Asherah was originally supposed to be Yahweh's love interest. But Streep was busy on another project -- and Moses felt the dramatic tension would be lost if a Daddy God and a Mommy God started arguing with each other during his big scene on top of the mountain.
( 17 comments — Leave a comment )

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