the femininity of God

(pic is John Bell, not God)

John Bell of the Iona Community was in excellent form this morning as he explored the roles of Women in the Christian scriptures, on Radio four – click here to listen again.

The program was very well crafted, with a great mixture of poetry, music and teaching. It opened up the question of the feminity of God, which is a fascinating topic. Consider these points:

The Hebrew scripture words for the Holy Spirit are: ‘Ruach HaKodesh’ – which is a feminine noun.

In Christian Scripture words for the Holy Spirt are: ‘Pneuma Hagios’ – which is a gender neutral noun.

In John 14:26 the Holy Spirit called he – but the word that was translated to he is the word Ekeinos which is also gender neutral and can mean he, she or it.

Genesis 1:27: “So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.”

In Genesis there is actually no pronoun he. The text reads “elohiym (plural)created man (he uses adam the generic of man) in the image of elohiym (plural) created male and female.”

This makes GOD both male and female – is the problem simply with our dualistic and simplistic ways of thinking? I am indebted to this article for the greek and hebrew translations.


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