I am a huge fan of the Discovery channel. They have a way of combining entertainment and learning. This makes it one of the most watched channels at my house. However, I hate when Discovery decides to do a special on the Bible or a related subject.
It never fails that when this happens the authority of Scripture is undermined, and the Christian faith that has been delivered to us by the apostles (Jude 3) is distorted. A new special follows this same mold.
The special that was made for BBC, will also be aired by Discovery in the United States. It claims to have discovered that the God of the Bible had a wife. The chief researcher in this discovery is Francesca Stavrakopoulou, who teaches at the University of Exeter.
She claims that “after years of research I have come to a colorful and what could seem, to some, uncomfortable conclusion that God had a wife.”
Her evidence? It seems to be as followed. First, Asherah was a prominent God in the region. Second, there were high places (places of worship) within Israel dedicated to Asherah. Third, there is a pottery inscription that says “Yahweh and His Asherah.” Finally, the claim is that this connection has been edited out of the Bible by men. From this the claim is made that God had a wife.
Now, I should be used to the fact that sensational claims are made and defended by scholars in order to make a name for themselves. I should also be used to the fact that these scholars are then given mini-series to promote their teachings. However, it still upsets me to see this type of distortion.
In this case their seems to be two fronts that are attacking the Bible’s teaching. First, you have radical feminism that feels a goddess needs to be added to the Biblical story. Second, you have those who want to undermine the authority of Scripture.
When you examine the evidence given, the conclusion to be reached is not that God has a wife (other than His people figuratively), but that the children of God were unfaithful to God. These discoveries of high places to worship Asherah give further credence to what the Old Testament teaches concerning the children of Israel’s idolatrous ways. It shows the sin they committed in not driving all the Canaanites out of the Promise Land and thus being influenced by them for evil. The pottery shows religious syncretism. The same stuff that the prophets condemned.
As to this major editing of the Bible, manuscript proof would be nice and not mere conjecture.
The Scriptures, clearly, teach God did not have a wife. In fact, through the prophets, God warned the people of worshiping other gods including Asherah. More so, God exiled Israel because of their continued worship of other gods and unfaithfulness to Him.
I’m sure many will watch the show. It is already playing in Europe. Some, who are not well taught, might even believe the message. But those who trust the Scripture as God’s message to man will see past these weak arguments and realize it is just another scholar, and another mini-series, trying to become famous and make money through mocking God.