The meaning of asherah in the inscriptions from Kuntillet ‘Ajrud and Khirbet el-Qom has been a focus of persistent discussion and debate, and still today the divergence in scholarly views is wide-ranging. The present paper aims to critically assess previous scholarship by examining each of the major proposals that have been made for elucidating the term and in the process advance a new understanding that is not only less problematic than current alternatives but historically more plausible given our present knowledge of the cultural and historical context of ancient Israel-Judah. Because asherah likely refers to a female deity and yet the designation is declined with a pronominal suffix, I propose that the term is a hitherto unattested common noun denoting YHWH’s female partner and that the goddess is to be distinguished from the goddess Asherah.A few past posts pertaining to YHWH's asherah are here, here, and here (cf. here).
Sunday, February 14, 2016
Thomas on YHWH's asherah
RYAN THOMAS: A New Analysis of YHWH’s asherah (updated). The abstract of the now finished paper is as follows: