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?"

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