Francesca Stavrakopoulou on the BBC today as she was discussing the notion that God had a wife who has been scrubbed from the Bible.
In ancient Hebrew God was the original "He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named."
You could call him "Lord" or by his initials (YHWH). Of his various
pseudonyms one, curiously, is plural.
multiple "gods," is one of the earliest titles given the Hebrew God.
Psalm 82 shows Him as the chairman of the board on a committee of gods.
Later monotheistic preachers have had to twist the bible into knots
explaining how the word "gods" does not, in fact, refer to gods.
Hidden away in the dark recesses of the Old Testament is the name Asherah. A fertility goddess, she shows up occasionally as an object of worship in the Hebrew temple.
One school of thought is that in early Old Testament times there
was a struggle between Elohim priests who worshiped a god family and
Yahweh priests who insisted on a single, masculine patriarch god. The
Genesis creation story, for example, is told twice. Once from an all
powerful single god perspective and again from a collective
polytheistic, "in our image" perspective.
Eventually, the monotheists won. God got a divorce and has been an bachelor deity ever since.