Introduction: Did God have a Wife? (01:42)
Dr. Francesca Stavrakopoulou is a biblical scholar who studies the Bible as ancient literature with an agenda. In this episode, she will research the possibility that God had a wife.
A rabbi lectures students about Moses. The view of God as an all-powerful creator unites Islam, Judaism, and Christianity.
Roots of Monotheism (01:52)
Dr. Stavrakopoulou is interested in the early Jewish and Christian God. Evidence shows that the people of the Bible believed in many gods.
Fight Among Gods and Prophets (02:23)
The people of the Bible struggled with monotheism. The Bible presents Ba'al as a Canaanite god in competition with the God of Israel.
Ugarit, Syria (03:21)
Dr. Stavrakopoulou visits the archaeological site of a Canaanite city. Scholars piece together an objective view of Ba'al. Biblical texts reveal weakness in the foundations of monotheism.
El is God (01:50)
The Bible claims that the deity at the heart of monotheism is separate from Canaanite religion. An archaeological find in Syria challenges this claim.
God's Names (02:55)
The divine name Yahweh is unique to ancient Israelite religion. God was also referred to as El.
Confusion About Monotheism (03:55)
Dr. Stavrakopoulou wonders if El of the Israelites is the same as the El of the Canaanites. She suggests that the Bible is about more than one god.
Polytheism in the Bible (04:55)
El ruled over a divine counsel responsible for human affairs. The ancient Israelites worshipped many gods just like Canaanites.
Goddess Worship (01:49)
The Bible contains evidence of God's female counterpart. Archaeology shows that Asherah was not always an object. Ancient tablets recovered from Ugarit refer to a life giving goddess.
Asherah's Role (02:20)
The Louvre holds treasures found at the Canaanite city of Ugarit. Ancient tablets reveal that the god El had a wife. She was the mother of all the gods and the "Tree of Life" symbolized her powers.
Evidence of a Goddess (03:09)
Dr. Stavrakopoulou explores the role of Asherah in Israelite religion. Archaeologists are unearthing female figurines.
Monotheism and Polytheism (03:16)
In 1968, a relic was discovered that linked the goddess Asherah to Israelite religion. Clues in Biblical texts say she was once worshiped in the Jerusalem temple.
God and His Wife (03:43)
In Canaanite religion Asherah was the wife of the chief god El. The Bible holds clues to goddess worship. Traditional Judaism does not view Asherah as God's wife.
Pottery Inscription (04:01)
Evidence was found in the Sinai Desert that shows God and Asherah together; the artifact has gone missing.
Pottery Inscription Replica (02:49)
Before this artifact disappeared, it was extensively studied and photographed. It proves that Israelites coupled Yahweh and Asherah as husband and wife.
Monotheism Dis-empowered Women (03:37)
The Biblical distinction between Israelite and Canaanite religion is false from a historical point of view. The Babylonian invasion of Jerusalem led to a systematic purge of polytheism.
Credits: Did God have a Wife? Bible's Buried Secrets (00:44)
Credits: Did God have a Wife? Bible's Buried Secrets
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