There are many notable women in religion especially in the
Bible and other Judeo Christian books. Some are heroines,
others are portrayed as villains and a few are enigmatic.
The Virgin Mary
Was Mary a virgin her entire life, or did she have a normal marriage
and sex life after Jesus? Was her conception of Jesus immaculate
and what does that mean? Was her egg fertilized by the holy spirit
and what does that mean? Could her egg have been fertilized by
aliens? Could she have been raped or seduced by Panthera or
someone else as Origin said? A tombstone of a Roman centurion
named Panthera has been found in Germany, where the Romans once were.
It says he was a Sidonian archer who had been stationed in Palestine...
this proves nothing, but it is interesting to some.
Lilith by John Collier in 1892
is a demonic character who may have first appeared in the
ancient Babylonian Talmud. She later appears in other
extra-Biblical writings such as the "Alphabet of Ben Sira"
(circa 900 AD Jewish folklore), as Adam's first wife who God
made along with Adam from the earth. In various accounts,
Lilith refused to be Adam's subservient help mate, saying "Why
must I lie beneath you? I also was made from dust, and am
therefore your equal." In the story, Lilith leaves Adam,
mating with the archangel Samael and never returns to the Garden
There are a number of ancient stories relating to Lilith,
which can be interpreted as espousing feminine strength and
independence, or alternatively as the dark side of the female
sex. In modern western culture, she is seen as a feminist
icon lending her name to such events as the all female "Lilith
Fair" concert series.
Dante Rossetti's "Lady
Lilith" 1866-68 (altered 1872-73)
Asherah was an ancient West Semitic goddess, consort of the supreme god. Her principal epithet was probably “She Who Walks on the Sea.”
Inscriptions from two locations in southern Palestine seem to
indicate that she was also worshiped as the consort of Yahweh.
The Book of Jeremiah written circa 628 BC possibly refers to Asherah
when it uses the title "queen of heaven" (Hebrew: לִמְלֶכֶת הַשָּׁמַיִם)
in Jer 7:18 and Jer 44:17–19, 25. (For a discussion of "queen of
heaven" in the Hebrew Bible, see Queen of heaven.)The word asherah in
the Old Testament was used not only in reference to the goddess herself
but also to a wooden cult object associated with her worship.
Stavrakopoulou bases her theory on ancient texts, amulets and
figurines unearthed primarily in the ancient Canaanite coastal city
called Ugarit, now modern-day Syria. All of these artifacts reveal that
Asherah was a powerful fertility goddess.
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."
Also significant, Stavrakopoulou believes, "is the Bible's admission
that the goddess Asherah was worshiped in Yahweh's Temple in Jerusalem.
In the Book of Kings, we're told that a statue of Asherah was housed in
the temple and that female temple personnel wove ritual textiles for
J. Edward Wright, president of both The Arizona Center for Judaic
Studies and The Albright Institute for Archaeological Research, told
Discovery News that he agrees several Hebrew inscriptions mention
"Yahweh and his Asherah."
"Asherah was not entirely edited out of the Bible by its male
editors," he added. "Traces of her remain, and based on those traces,
archaeological evidence and references to her in texts from nations
bordering Israel and Judah, we can reconstruct her role in the religions
of the Southern Levant."
Helena (mother of Constantine)
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