God's Wife Edited Out of the Bible? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 124 Old 03-21-2011, 07:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This came up on Google news for me and I thought it was interesting.  In Islam, God is not male or female...so the concept of a wife doesn't really exist.  I know Mormons do have a belief in Heavenly Mother.  

 

What's your take?

 

http://news.discovery.com/history/god-wife-yahweh-asherah-110318.html

 

"Asherah's connection to Yahweh, according to Stavrakopoulou, is spelled out in both the Bible and an 8th century B.C. inscription on pottery found in the Sinai desert at a site called Kuntillet Ajrud.

"The inscription is a petition for a blessing," she shares. "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.""


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#2 of 124 Old 03-21-2011, 09:40 PM
 
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Interesting.

This does not, however, change my faith.

 

And there is already a Queen of Heaven- Mary, the Mother of God the Son, Our Lord, Jesus Christ

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#3 of 124 Old 03-22-2011, 05:20 PM
 
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I have seen nothing in the Bible about this.  Nor is it mentioned in any church history or church Tradition that I know of.  

 

I think perhaps (since they are basing this on so little information) that perhaps it was the melding of pagan practices/goddess worship with faith in God.  People blend stuff up all the time.  It doesn't mean it is right or OK.  What I do know is that it was not unusual for people to convert but then also worship/incorperate their gods.   It is heresy.  It looks like this was a temporary diversion by a small group and then a return to truth.  It happens.  Just because there is evidence of false beliefs or different beliefs doesn't mean that every one believed it or that it was accepted or OK.

 

 

 


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#4 of 124 Old 03-22-2011, 08:28 PM
 
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Reminds me, mostly, of the matter of the "daughters of allah."
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#5 of 124 Old 03-22-2011, 09:15 PM
 
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Wouldn't surprise me at all.

Read "When God Was A Woman" by Merlin Stone

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/When_God_Was_a_Woman

And Mary is just the early church's way of getting the goddess worshipers to come to church.
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#6 of 124 Old 03-23-2011, 12:01 AM
 
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Wouldn't surprise me at all.

Read "When God Was A Woman" by Merlin Stone

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/When_God_Was_a_Woman

And Mary is just the early church's way of getting the goddess worshipers to come to church.

This nonsense, again?  I didn't buy it even when I was a dianic witch!
 

 


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#7 of 124 Old 03-23-2011, 04:31 AM
 
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This nonsense, again?  I didn't buy it even when I was a dianic witch!
 

 



I bought into it when I read it in college...years of hatred for Christianity ensued.  Then I read about the many refutations of Margaret Murray's "research" (on which much of that book is based) and realized that a lot of it was simply not true.  Kinda felt like I had been duped.  And it still took a long time after that for me to even consider that Christianity might not be such a terrible thing.     

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#8 of 124 Old 03-23-2011, 05:15 AM
 
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In my new discovery self, I am open to the idea female deity. I do believe in God though. A christian friend the other day told me she believed God was male and female. Is that mentioned in the bible?
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#9 of 124 Old 03-23-2011, 06:13 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Reminds me, mostly, of the matter of the "daughters of allah."


I've never heard of that.

 

 

I never heard of this either.  Granted I didn't get far enough in seminary to where I could read the texts in their original languages--so I think that's a disadvantage.  I can't speak to how words in the OT may have been mistranslated or not.  I guess that makes me appreciate how in Islam one is always told that one is reading a "translation" and to truly understand the Quran, one needs to learn Arabic.  I think that's why so many Christians I know encourage their kids to learn Latin and Greek (Hebrew wouldn't be a bad idea either.)

 


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#10 of 124 Old 03-23-2011, 06:31 AM
 
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I am pretty sure Asherah is mentioned in the Bible, related to the "high places" God told the Israelites to destroy.

 

That it's written on a piece of pottery is no evidence that the Bible used to name her as God's wife.  Might be evidence of the type of idol worship that is mentioned in the Bible though.

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#11 of 124 Old 03-23-2011, 09:13 AM
 
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As a Christian who has had extensive study in theology and Scripture, it does not surprise me in the least that these have been found.  It actually supports the Biblical accounts which tell of the Israelites falling into idolatry, especially with the gods Baal and Asherah.  This blending of pagan religion with Israel's faith was, unfortunately, commonplace, which is the reason for their exile from the Promised Land and the many trials they endured as a people.  There is absolutely no indication in the Scriptural text that God ever had a wife, especially not Asherah.  And because there is evidence to support the fact that the Bible was rigorously copied by faithful Jewish scribes over the centuries, there is also no reason to believe any such references to a possible wife of God were somehow lost or removed.

 

As far as whether or not God is male or female, the Bible paints a beautiful portrait of a Triune God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  Even though there is no word for Trinity in the Bible, the theology of the Trinity is there from the very first verses of Genesis.  God is never referred to literally in the Bible from a feminine tense, and because as Christians we believe the Bible and the person of Jesus Christ is God's revelation to us of Himself, we must therefore conclude that God is in no way a woman or of female nature.  Scripture clearly teaches that MAN was made in the image of God and that WOMAN was made in the image of man.  I know that's not a popular sentiment in our times, but if you are attempting to be true to the Biblical text, that is the conclusion you must come to.

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#12 of 124 Old 03-23-2011, 02:56 PM
 
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Actually, goddess worship was widespread in ancient times.And the Mary is well known to be the last vestige of goddess worship by the new xtianity.

http://www.worldlingo.com/ma/enwiki/en/Goddess_worship
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#13 of 124 Old 03-23-2011, 04:43 PM
 
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I've never heard of that.

The basis for the "satanic verses" idea ... the idea that the Qur'an originally had verses allowing for the intercession of popular Meccan goddesses.
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#14 of 124 Old 03-24-2011, 04:35 AM
 
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Actually, goddess worship was widespread in ancient times.And the Mary is well known to be the last vestige of goddess worship by the new xtianity.

http://www.worldlingo.com/ma/enwiki/en/Goddess_worship


The first part is true, the second part not so much.

 

What was not true in When God Was a Woman was that women were not oppressed until those horrible patriarchal Judeo-Christian religions came around and destroyed the goodness of the divine feminine and the cultures which worshiped her.  She claims that Mary had no choice but to be impregnated by the Holy Spirit, and that is simply not true.  She based much of the book on cherry-picked pieces of research and information in order to paint an overall picture that does not depict reality and, frankly, slanders true Christianity.  Now, I can sympathize that there are sects of Christians who mistreat women and use the Bible to justify all sorts of things that are not actually part of the faith, and it sounds like you grew up in such an environment.  However, digging deeper than that and not relying on anti-Christian propaganda would uncover a much more accurate picture of Christianity and the history of women in general.

 

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#15 of 124 Old 03-24-2011, 07:48 AM
 
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There is also stuff in Genesis that suggests God is not inherently masculine or feminine, but is both. Yes the Father and the Son of the Trinity are male terms and Jesus was a man. But God made humans in his image, male and female they were created. Patriarchy and limits of human understanding narrowed our conception of things a bit, I think. Seems to me the male/female thing shouldn't get in the way of a relationship with the Judeo-Christian God.

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#16 of 124 Old 03-24-2011, 08:41 AM - Thread Starter
 
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There is also stuff in Genesis that suggests God is not inherently masculine or feminine, but is both. Yes the Father and the Son of the Trinity are male terms and Jesus was a man. But God made humans in his image, male and female they were created. Patriarchy and limits of human understanding narrowed our conception of things a bit, I think. Seems to me the male/female thing shouldn't get in the way of a relationship with the Judeo-Christian God.


Pet-peeve...the Jewish view of God is quite different from the Christian view of God. Jews are strict Monotheists--no Trinity. They also do not believe that the Messiah would be God. Messiah was just a man. (Also, one of the roles of the Messiah is to restore strict observation of Torah law. Didn't happen under Jesus). So either it would be the Judeo-Muslim view of God (quite similar views--strict Monotheism)... or the Christian view of God.
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#17 of 124 Old 03-24-2011, 10:42 AM
 
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My pet peeve--the Christian view of God is monotheist.  The trinity =/= 3 Gods.

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I agree.  Christianity is a monotheistic religion.

 

Yes, you are right in saying the Jewish God and the Christian God are different, at least from a modern perspective.  However, the ancient Jewish religion, for all intensive purposes, is the Christian religion of today.  This is what the Christian Church claims and believes.  The Torah and all of Old Testament Scripture not only point to Jesus Christ as the promised Messiah of the Jews, but they also clearly portray a Trinitarian understanding of God.  Of course, when the Old Testament was written the full revelation of God had not yet been fulfilled, so the intellectual understanding between say Moses and Paul might differ a bit if you put the two of them in a room together.  

 

But it is not that Abraham and Moses worshiped a different God or a different kind of God, it is simply that they were still awaiting the full revelation of God to His people.  You also said: "...one of the roles of the Messiah is to restore strict observation of Torah law." No, Jesus didn't do that, because it wasn't one of His "roles".  Present day Jews might believe so, but you will not find that theology anywhere in the Torah or the Old Testament.  It is (according to Christianity) a misinterpretation of the text.  Jesus came not to restore the Law, but to fulfill God's Law for us, as we sinful humans are incapable of doing so on our own.  This He did perfectly.

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My pet peeve--the Christian view of God is monotheist.  The trinity =/= 3 Gods.


When people refer to "strict monotheism" in this sense it is not meaning "strict monotheism as opposed to a dithering sort of polytheism" so much as "a monotheism that accepts no division of any kind as opposed to a monotheism that does." A religion that holds there is one, period, end of story, is conceptually very different from one that builds up a central body of work interpreting the meaning of there being one represented as a multiplicity.
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#20 of 124 Old 03-24-2011, 11:57 AM
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In Catholicism, God does have a wife: The Church!

 

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#21 of 124 Old 03-24-2011, 12:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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In Catholicism, God does have a wife: The Church!

 


Actually your post reminded me of something... when I was watching "The Nun's Story" (great filc with Audrey Hepburn) back during the TCM Oscarfest I think...there's a scene in the beginning when as part of her taking her vows, she receives a wedding band. I think it symbolizes her marrying the Church... or perhaps its marrying Jesus? Not sure. Do priests do something similar? Are they considered married to the Church as well?

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#22 of 124 Old 03-24-2011, 01:08 PM
 
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http://www.whattoserveagoddess.com/goddess/

This article says that in the earliest Judeo-Christian church/temples.. the holy spirit was "she".

And here is a cool site about Asherah being the goddess wife of the god "EL". Which is the early Hebrew name for Yahweh.

http://www.freewebs.com/fairypage/judaism.htm
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#23 of 124 Old 03-24-2011, 01:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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joy.gif for getting us back on topic philomom.

I love thinking of the Holy Spirit as a she. Reminds me of the book "The Shack" actually. (Granted, I know many Christians have major issues with "The Shack" and the theology therein.))

I had seen something about Ashereh being the wife of "El"...maybe on wiki?

That's a really neat article. http://www.freewebs.com/fairypage/judaism.htm. I love this,
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"And so this is how the earth was created and why God the Father watches over us from the heavens and God the Mother watches over the earth in which we dwell. El feeds our plants with water from the rains, he warms us with his sun, and he protects us from our enemies with his eyes that never sleep. Our Mother is our Tree of Life from which all things are born and grow. She watches over the earth to make sure that the rivers flow and that trees grow tall and strong. She gives us shelter in her caves and helps our plants grow to feed us. Our Mother helps our wives in childbirth and comforts us when we are sad. "
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#24 of 124 Old 03-24-2011, 02:47 PM
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Quote:
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In Catholicism, God does have a wife: The Church!

 




Actually your post reminded me of something... when I was watching "The Nun's Story" (great filc with Audrey Hepburn) back during the TCM Oscarfest I think...there's a scene in the beginning when as part of her taking her vows, she receives a wedding band. I think it symbolizes her marrying the Church... or perhaps its marrying Jesus? Not sure. Do priests do something similar? Are they considered married to the Church as well?


Actually, more accurately, the Church is the bride of Christ, that is, Jesus.  God the Father and God the Holy Spirit are generally referred to in the masculine but are not bound by human constraints of gender.  Gender is a human thing, and the only reason Jesus has gender is because he is both God and man.  God is referred to in the Bible with both masculine and feminine attributes.  Besides talking about Jesus, it is not appropriate to refer to God as a man or a woman.  We use masculine pronouns and masculine and feminine terms, but this does not reflect bodily gender.  God is Father, yet God comforts us like a Mother.  That doesn't mean we can refer to God as Mother, but the Bible is clear that God is not constrained in maleness.  To have a female wife, God would have to be male.

 

Nuns are fully the bride of Christ.  They consecrate their lives totally to God, giving up Earthly marriage in anticipation of the heavenly marriage.  The role of priests is a little more confusing.  They are members of the Church, the bride of Christ, but they also represent Christ to the Church, and as such are the spouse of the Church.

 

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#25 of 124 Old 03-24-2011, 04:08 PM
 
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joy.gif for getting us back on topic philomom.

I love thinking of the Holy Spirit as a she. Reminds me of the book "The Shack" actually. (Granted, I know many Christians have major issues with "The Shack" and the theology therein.))

I had seen something about Ashereh being the wife of "El"...maybe on wiki?

That's a really neat article. http://www.freewebs.com/fairypage/judaism.htm. I love this,
Quote:
Our Mother is our Tree of Life from which all things are born and grow. She watches over the earth to make sure that the rivers flow and that trees grow tall and strong. She gives us shelter in her caves and helps our plants grow to feed us. Our Mother helps our wives in childbirth and comforts us when we are sad. "


I love personal symbols as a way to remind you of your chosen path in life. Mine have long been a unicorn sitting under the tree of life. The unicorn is for my childlike wonder/innocence of the amazing world around us. The tree of life reminds me that we are a sheltering tree for our family and friends.
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#26 of 124 Old 03-25-2011, 07:03 AM
 
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Originally Posted by umsami View Post

joy.gif for getting us back on topic philomom.

I love thinking of the Holy Spirit as a she. Reminds me of the book "The Shack" actually. (Granted, I know many Christians have major issues with "The Shack" and the theology therein.))

I had seen something about Ashereh being the wife of "El"...maybe on wiki?

That's a really neat article. http://www.freewebs.com/fairypage/judaism.htm. I love this,
Quote:
Our Mother is our Tree of Life from which all things are born and grow. She watches over the earth to make sure that the rivers flow and that trees grow tall and strong. She gives us shelter in her caves and helps our plants grow to feed us. Our Mother helps our wives in childbirth and comforts us when we are sad. "


I love personal symbols as a way to remind you of your chosen path in life. Mine have long been a unicorn sitting under the tree of life. The unicorn is for my childlike wonder/innocence of the amazing world around us. The tree of life reminds me that we are a sheltering tree for our family and friends.

I love this. Thanks!
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#27 of 124 Old 03-29-2011, 08:15 AM
 
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In the Pentateuch, IIRC, there are at least two names for God being Elohim and Yahweh. In Hebrew, the -him ending is the plural marking. So that makes for a complicated viewpoint on the Hebrew God, for sure.

 

This link has a VERY interesting discussion on the original article:

http://michaelsheiser.com/PaleoBabble/2011/03/yahweh-and-asherah-more-archaeo-porn-for-the-masses/


Come ponder with me about food!
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#28 of 124 Old 03-29-2011, 08:33 AM
 
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JMJ - your thoughts have helped me tremendously.  I have struggled very much with the patriarchal language (IMO) of both the Bible and Christian theology. I have been told and I have read that God has both masculine and feminine attributes which very much connects with my own feelings on this subject.  But, still I find the language of the Lord's Prayer and Trinity (just two examples) exclusive and I feel quite alienated by Christian practices and church in general.   But, your words give me hope and some new thoughts on this subject. Thanks. 


 

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Gender is a human thing, and the only reason Jesus has gender is because he is both God and man.  God is referred to in the Bible with both masculine and feminine attributes.  Besides talking about Jesus, it is not appropriate to refer to God as a man or a woman.  We use masculine pronouns and masculine and feminine terms, but this does not reflect bodily gender. ...

 

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#29 of 124 Old 03-29-2011, 09:48 AM
 
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Found this interesting lady expounding on the Asherah topic.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=86d5mOCBX9I
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#30 of 124 Old 03-29-2011, 11:38 AM
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JMJ - your thoughts have helped me tremendously.  I have struggled very much with the patriarchal language (IMO) of both the Bible and Christian theology. I have been told and I have read that God has both masculine and feminine attributes which very much connects with my own feelings on this subject.  But, still I find the language of the Lord's Prayer and Trinity (just two examples) exclusive and I feel quite alienated by Christian practices and church in general.   But, your words give me hope and some new thoughts on this subject. Thanks. 


 


I think a lot of Christian women have similar struggles.  God became man through a human mother, making the relationship between the Father and the Son one of fatherhood as opposed to motherhood.  Jesus had a mother in the full sense of the word, but he was not left fatherless.  God the Father was his father.  Even so, God provided his Son with the humanly manhood that a human male father provides in the person of St. Joseph, but this does not take away from the fact that in the relationship that made God to become man, God is father and Mary is mother.

 

I have come to see the designation of "our father" as an imperfect but very beautiful analogy of relationship.  God is our father, not that he is our male parent, but "he" is the one who created us and loves us and provides for us and disciplines us and helps us grow, a model to all fathers... and mothers as well.  God's motherly attributes are important to remember, but the mother analogy breaks down even faster.  So many of the things that make mothers so important involve physical touch: giving birth, breastfeeding, etc.  God is certainly there for us, but not in the concrete way that is absolutely necessary for a mother, in my opinion.

 

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