Female figurines have been found during archaeological excavations. The most famous one is the Venus of Willendorf dating from around 23,000 BC. Some scholars believe these figurines depict mother goddesses. And indeed many ancient cultures had mother goddesses associated with fertility. Women give birth and humans in early cultures may not have known about fatherhood. And so they may have believed that women create life. The ability to create life out of nothing may have been the essence of mother goddess worship. One of the best known mother goddesses was Isis in ancient Egypt.
Women can be sure that their children are their own but for men this is different. When the fathers of children are unknown, families are matrilineal, which means that family lines depend on motherhood. It has been argued that the worship of mother goddesses disappeared because men desired to control women and their sexuality. The transition from hunting-gathering to agriculture may have played a role in this development.
Hunter gatherers were wanderers so territorial conflicts were less likely to occur as they could always move on.1 This changed with the advent of agriculture. Farmers had to defend their property and family. Men may be more willing to defend women and children they consider their own. Men can also walk out when they doubt their fatherhood. This may have given them a position of power so that patriarchy emerged.
One of the themes found in mother goddess worship is that the goddess gives birth to her mate. The tale of Eve and Adam is based on an ancient myth that Jewish priests have tailored to meet their own theological agenda. In the original story Eve appears to have been the mother of Adam as she is named Mother of All the Living. That makes more sense than Eve being made out of Adam’s rib. As Adam allegedly already gave her this title before they had any children, Eve being Mother of All the Living could refer to all living creatures. And so Eve may be the primal avatar of the God of the Bible.
The Fall could reflect the transition from hunting and gathering to agriculture. The life of hunter gatherers was more agreeable than the difficult plight of the farmers that came later on.1 The Garden of Eden provided for everything. Adam was banished from the garden to work the ground,2 which was a life of toil.3 Indeed, the Agricultural Revolution can be seen as a curse.
The Jews imagined the God of Abraham but this universe might be a virtual reality created by an advanced civilisation to entertain someone we can call God. So what can the deities humans imagined tell us about the possible owner of this universe? In a historical process that took thousands of years the God of Abraham came out on top. That might not be a mere accident. But what is the evidence for Eve being the first avatar of God? The story about Eve and Adam is probably a myth to begin with.
The Jewish deity Yahweh and the Arabian deity Allah were male gods. Both had a wife and children before monotheism took over. Jews and Muslims do not see God as a Father like Christians do, even though there are a few references to God as a Father4 and a Mother5 in the Torah. Christians are born of God.6 This is at odds with God being a Father. And there is no Father in the Torah. Only Eve is there as Mother of All the Living.
The first Christians may have believed that Eve was the mother of all the living, that Mary Magdalene was a reincarnation of Eve, and that Jesus was a reincarnation of Adam. They may have believed that Eve was not made out of the rib of Adam but that Adam was born as a son of Eve so that Adam and therefore Jesus were a Son of God. The Gospels may have been redacted, perhaps because the relationship between Eve and Adam appeared incestuous. The birth story of Jesus from Virgin Mary may have been introduced to replace the birth of Adam from Eve.
And so Eve could be the Mother Goddess of the Bible and God may have devised a scheme to disguise Her identity using Virgin Mary. The veneration of Virgin Mary or Mother Mary may have existed in early Christianity. The Church recognised Virgin Mary as ‘Mother of God’ in 431, effectively making her a Mother Goddess. From then on statues and icons of Mother Mary with the child Jesus have been made. Some of them were similar to those of the Egyptian mother goddess Isis with her child Horus.
This violates the command not to make images for worship.7 Nevertheless, the transgression could be part of the scheme. The Mother Goddess Mary, who may have been eliminated from the gospels, re-entered the Church via a back door. As many prayers were directed to Mother Mary, she became a proxy for God. The protestant reformation aimed at returning to the roots of Christianity and eliminated Virgin Mary veneration. But their reform was based entirely on the scriptures and ignorant of the possibility of church traditions being reflections of the original message of Christianity.
The star and crescent became the symbol for Islam. This symbol has a long history predating Islam. It was formally associated with a Moon goddess. In the Biblical context it has different meaning. In the Biblical story of Joseph the Moon symbolises the woman while the star symbolises the child.8 Hence, the Islamic symbol may represent the Mother Goddess with the child, just like the Madonna with the child Jesus. It could reflect the relationship between Khadijah bint Khuwaylid and her husband Muhammad because she was his boss. She was fifteen years older so she could have been his mother.
The St. Mary of Zion Church in Ethiopia is said to contain the Ark of the Covenant. It is claimed that the Ark came to Ethiopia with King Menelik after he visited his father King Solomon. Mary of Zion is symbolised by the Ark of the Covenant.9 That is a remarkable coincidence. The ark allegedly was the residence of Yahweh, the God of Israel. This coincidence may indicate that God is a woman, also for the Rastafarians.
The creation story in Genesis may have been redacted. The designation Mother Of All The Living suggests that Eve may have been a Mother Goddess.10 Genesis 1 already contains a creation story explaining how men and women were created.11 Hence, the creation of Adam and Eve in Genesis 2 is at odds with Genesis 1. It is also peculiar that the woman was made from a rib of the man12 as women usually give birth to men. Adam is simply referred to as ‘the man’13 while Eve is referred to as ‘Mother Of All The Living’.14 Adam calling Eve Mother Of All The Living before they had any children is peculiar. Probably Eve and Adam weren’t the only people around as their children married.
Eve being the Mother Goddess makes all these contradictions disappear. And that is remarkable as scholars believe that Genesis 1 and Genesis 2 were based on two different traditions. Perhaps the original creation myth was that the Mother Goddess Eve wanted a husband for Herself and created one by giving birth. It seems unlikely that Jesus figured this out by himself. Probably Mary Magdalene made him believe this.
The Quran, which allegedly is a message coming from God, doesn’t really contradict the Bible but there are some noteworthy deviations, also with respect to Creation and The Fall. The Quran mentions the creation of Adam extensively but says little about the creation of Eve, hence Eve may not have been created. The Quran primarily blames Adam for the Fall and leaves Eve mostly out of the picture. The Quran claims that Adam listened to the voice of Satan without implicating Eve.15
The origins of the myth of the Garden Of Eden support this perspective. Serpents have been associated with some of the oldest rituals known to humankind. The serpent was a symbol of death, healing, and rebirth. It could represent wisdom, good as well as evil. Mother Goddesses sometimes had serpents as their sidekicks helping them in doing their magic.16 Snake goddesses were worshipped in ancient Egypt and Crete.
In ancient mythology the tree with a serpent represents the Tree of Life of the Mother Goddess. In these mythologies the Mother Goddess could take the form of a serpent dying and renewing like the Moon. In these mythologies Her husband died too and was reborn her son.17 Only, the Garden Of Eden may be the myth upon which this world has been created, and Eve may have been the primal avatar of God. If this is true then we are in for a big surprise.
If you like this post, then you might also like:
Born of God
The phrase ‘born of God’ can be found in the Gospels and the letters of the Church Fathers. It is now believed to have a spiritual meaning but the origin may have been quite different.
God is love
There is an explanation why Christians believe that God is love. Only, there may be something very troubling this love.
The identity of God
The Gospels state that Jesus had a personal and intimate relationship with God. Scholars agree that the Gospels have been edited.
Overviews of related posts:
God is a woman and Jesus was Her husband
The universe as a virtual reality
Featured image: Eve in the Garden Of Eden. Henri Rousseau (1906-1910). Public Domain. Wikimedia Commons.
Other images: Venus of Willendorf. Don Hitchcock (2008). Wikimedia Commons; Isis with Horus. Metropolitan Museum of Art. Wikimedia Commons. Public Domain; Saint Mary Bolnichka Icon. Wikimedia Commons. Public Domain; The younger ‘snake goddess’ from the palace of Knossos. Heraklion Archaeological Museum. Wikimedia Commons. Public Domain.
1. A Brief History Of Humankind. Yuval Noah Harari (2014). Harvil Secker.
2. Genesis 3:23 [link]
3. Genesis 3:17-19 [link]
4. Isaiah 63:16 [link]
5. Isaiah 66:13 [link]
6. John 1:13 [link]
7. Exodus 20:4-5 [link]
8. Genesis 37:9 [link]
9. Church of Our Lady Mary of Zion – Wikipedia [link]
10. Asherah – Wikipedia [link]: Some scholars have found an early link between Asherah and Eve, based upon the coincidence of their common title as “the mother of all living” in Genesis 3:20 through the identification with the Hurrian mother goddess Hebat. Asherah was also given the title Chawat from which the name Hawwah in Aramaic and the biblical name Eve are derived.
11. Genesis 1:27 [link]
12. Genesis 2:22 [link]
13. Genesis 2:20 [link]
14. Genesis 3:20 [link]
15. Quran 20:115-121 [link]
16. Serpent (Symbolism) – Wikipedia [link]
17. Eve: the Mother of All Living. Anne Baring and Jules Cashford (1991). Penguin Books. [link]