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:
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).