When all of the others gods from the Canaanites/Israelites got taken out, if they’re mentioned in the bible a lot where did they go? Did people just believe they had it wrong the whole time? Are there still some branches of Judaism that practice polytheism?

Great question. I will start by saying I don’t believe any branches of Judaism still practice polytheism, though some believe the Christians do (the Christian trinity confuses a lot of people, including me!). We start seeing mentions of the Canaanite gods mainly in references to eradicating them or criticizing people who are still worshipping them, […]

Why does the bible try to erase the goddesses Asherah, Anat, Tiamat, etc., and what would the people preserving these Hebrew texts gain from omitting them?

I think that the answer to your question is complex, but it boils down to two things. The first is the late development of monotheism. The discovery (or late authorship) of Deuteronomy by King Josiah is told in 2 Kings. Deuteronomy makes clear that if the Jews continue to worship other gods, they will be […]

Were women excluded (or at least underrepresented) in the Bible because Jewish and Christian men were threatened by their enormous contribution to religious history?

First of all, early Christian fathers and Christians all the way up to the 1970s were hugely misogynistic. While we can’t underestimate that, I’d add that Judaism was also largely patriarchal, and so was  most of Hellenism.  So while Christians shaped the New Testament and views of it, Judeans wrote the Hebrew bible and Jewish […]

How were these gods or goddesses were “removed” from history? If their existence is in conflict with the First Commandment, how are they in the bible at all?

This is something we’re going to talk about a lot. For now I’ll just respond with two points: The first commandment  seems not to say that only Yahweh -El ( translated “The Lord your God”)  should be worshipped. It says “you will have no other gods before the face” (meaning “ahead of me” or “above […]