Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Spaying the Mother God

Biblical Archaeology Review 38:05, Sep/Oct 2012 just published a short piece of mine about the feminine and God.

"Is God gendered as a male in the Bible? What about Jesus’ words in John 4:23–24 where he says that “God is spirit”? In the same passage, however, Jesus calls God “Father.” Does he do so in reference to an actual masculinity of God? Is this a manifestation of male domination and patriarchy? Ben Witherington doesn’t think so. According to him, Jesus calls God “Father” and not “Mother” only because he did not have a human father, while he did have a human mother. Witherington thinks that, at least in the New Testament, God is not perceived to be male, but a genderless divine essence. He says that we are too quick to read into the Bible our own over-sexed and gender-language-sensitive culture. But are we? Or are we trying to apologize for the misogyny in the Bible because of our religious belief in the sacred nature of the Bible?"

To subscribe to BAR, follow this LINK.  I love this magazine and fondly remember buying it on the newstand when I was a teenager. So I am proud to be able to write a column for it occasionally.


rameumptom said...

April, great article. I've also read BAR since my teen years. I'm glad BAR is not afraid to discuss things that are difficult for many modern Christians to realize: the Bible they read does not always say what they think it does. The creeds do not always agree with earlier Jewish/Christian beliefs. As for Witherington, I really think he is stretching, proposing hypotheses that have no basis in fact.

April DeConick said...