Gender of God in Christianity - Grammatical Gender in The Bible

Grammatical Gender in The Bible

The first words of the Old Testament are B'reshit bara Elohim — "In the beginning God created." The verb bara (he created) agrees with a subject with masculine grammatical gender. Elohim also has masculine grammatical gender. The masculine gender in Hebrew can be used for objects with no inherent gender, as well as objects with masculine natural gender.

Two of most common phrases in the Tanakh are vayomer Elohim and vayomer YHWH — "and God said". Again, the verb vayomer (he said) is masculine; it is never vatomer, the feminine of the same verb form. The personal name of God, YHWH, is presented in Exodus 3 as if the Y (Hebrew yod) is the masculine subjective prefix to the verb to be.

In Psalms 89:26 God is referred to as Father. "He shall cry unto me, Thou art my Father, My God, and the rock of my salvation."

Some literary approaches to the Old Testament have argued that parallels between Biblical stories and earlier Sumerian, Akkadian and Canaanite creation myths show a matriarchal substratum that has been overlayed by a patriarchal approach. "In the Bible, the earth is the feminine complement of God: the two combined to form man, who articulates their relationship, for example, in sacrifice."

The New Testament also refers to the Holy Spirit in masculine terminology, most clearly in the Gospel of John 14-16.

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