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.
Read more about this topic: Gender Of God In Christianity
Famous quotes containing the words grammatical and/or gender:
“Evil is simply
a grammatical error:
a failure to leap
—Linda Pastan (b. 1932)
“Anthropologists have found that around the world whatever is considered mens work is almost universally given higher status than womens work. If in one culture it is men who build houses and women who make baskets, then that culture will see house-building as more important. In another culture, perhaps right next door, the reverse may be true, and basket- weaving will have higher social status than house-building.”
—Mary Stewart Van Leeuwen. Excerpted from, Gender Grace: Love, Work, and Parenting in a Changing World (1990)