Was God married? Part two: the death of the goddess

Mar 17, 11 • Gender3 CommentsRead More »

The massive gate honouring the goddess Ishtar was an impressive featuree of ancient Babylon, it has been rebuilt in Berlin's Pewrgamon Museum (Photo Tim Bulkeley)

Francesca Stavrakopoulou closed her article โ€œWhy the BBCโ€™s new face of religion believes God had a WIFEโ€ saying:

I can’t help but wonder what the world would be like had the goddess remained.

Let’s explore the evidence and try to answer her speculation. This evidence comes mainly from surrounding peoples, though the Bible has some contribution to make, so this podcast can squeak into a series called 5 Minute Bible ๐Ÿ˜‰

Most of ancient Israel’s neighbours had pantheons which included prominent goddesses alongside gods. In Egypt Isis was particularly important, while in Mesopotamia the gate named after Ishtar was a hugely impressive archaeological feature. In Ugarit, Anat the sister and wife of Ba’al had an important role to play in restoring the king of the gods to life.

Could Israel have benefitted from a female companion for Yahweh?

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3 Responses to Was God married? Part two: the death of the goddess

  1. Gary says:

    This apology is very weak to suppose that if God had a wife that he would not have let women be treated in such a way. I think you miss the point which is that God never really existed in reality, and only in the imagination of the people. Therefore, if people create God then they decide how he treats people through interpreted scripture or prophecy.

    • tim says:

      Hi, Gary, I did not think that was what I was arguing.

      Also, I think it is you who misunderstands. Humans always construct God and gods, but we always also construct chairs and spoons in our imaginations. Therefore the trick is to keep your construction as close to the facts as possible, if you think a chair is solid when it behaves as if it is rickety and ready to break you will sit on the floor with a bump ๐Ÿ˜‰ The fact that many Ancient Israelites constructed a Yahweh who was merely a god does not make this a view that works if God “behaves” differently.

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