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Reply to "The Holy Spirit Was Originally The Feminine Side Of God"

Sometimes the two concepts confused in this discussion (not this one specifically but this issue) is linguistic gender and biological sex.

One cannot argue from the first to the second.

A very funny treatment of this and several other like issues in language can be found in Mark Twain's essay "The Awful German Language."

Seriously, however, in languages where every noun is assigned a gender (which is most of them. Interestingly, English has rid itself of almost all gender-references, and yet it is the language in which concern over them has been the greatest. Is it because there are so few that the ones that remain stand out?), sometimes the genders don't make a great deal of sense. In Hebrew, for example, "ab" (father) takes a feminine ending in the plural and "issah" (woman) takes a masculine ending in the plural. Nobody, however suggests that the ancient Hebrews believed that a group of men became women and a group of women became men, and a good thing, too.

But why some should be one and not the other is not known. Why should "har," a mountain, be masculine and "gibah" a hill, be feminine? Why shold a house and a field be masculine but a road be either masculine or feminine?

And what does all this mean?

Mostly, it means that gender is not sex ("But what is?" I can hear the remarks already), and we cannot deduce anything about the nature of God from the gender of the words used to describe...him. There's another linguistic limit.

I think that we need to focus the discussion on different areas, probably more theological ones than linguistic. If God is above the world he created, then he would be above biology, which means he is above male and female. If, however, he has created all things from himself (the spoken word seems to indicate that) then all thigns, including male and female, come from him and from what he is. God, therefore, is both and neither male and female.

So why do we call him "him"?

Well, we have to call him something, but from the Biblical record, if the words of God mean anything at all, his own preference seems to be for the masculine reference. This does not make him male, nor does it speak to the superiority of either sex (which Biblically is taught against both implicitly as in Genesis and in Pauline references to women who appear to be leafers in some of the churches, and explicitly in, say, Ephesians 5. It simply means that there is something in ...him...that makes...him...appear to us more masculine than feminine.

Which also means that feminist attempts to attach more feminine concepts to God are misled, making the masculinist mistake in the opposite direction. He who made man and woman and blessed them both equally made them equal, which seems to say that man and woman are in fact equals.