On the 2nd of June this year, an article was uploaded to the BBC which looks at the gender of God. In this post we will be analysing the article and giving you extra information on the topic, to allow you to make your own mine up about the issue.
To start off this post, we will take a lot at God’s book himself, the Bible, to see what he has to say about this.
So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. – Genesis 1:27
From this verse w can see that God made male and female humans. At the start of the verse it states that God made us in his own image. Now, if you are going to read this verse and take it all literally as it says it, then this verse would tell us that God is both male and female. However, you need to understand that much of the Bible is metaphorical and many people think this verse means God made us perfect and sinless like him.
When we look at how God is communicated in the Bible, we discover the he is nearly every time the pronouns are male. If we look deeper into the Bible, we discover that God is referred as “Father” around 170 times.
Many people ask the question we are answering in this post every week, that is why the BBC created the article on it. It is actually quite clear in the Bible that God is neither man or woman, but spirit. Jesus said himself in John, that God was a spirit on man or woman.
“God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” – John 4:24
The article on the BBC goes on to say that many translations still refer to God as a male being. However, there is one translation that doesn’t. A 2003 translation of the New Testament, by John Henson and the ONE Community for Christian Exploration, calls God “your parent” rather than “your father”. The Holy Spirit is a she, and though Jesus is a he, the translation avoids ever using a pronoun for God.
Of course, we must remember that God is so far beyond us, that he is certainly not a man or a woman.
We also find passages in the Bible that reveal to us, God’s sensitivities from a female perspective, not just a male. For example, in Matthew 23:37, Jesus shouts, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!”. The simile in this verse evokes the actions of a Image of a Hen (female bird), clearly a motherly illustration, yet it was expressed by Jesus, the male Son of God.
It is up to you what you decide to call God, but all I would say is that the Bible states he is spirit not male, but if you understand this, it is fine to refer to him using male pronouns.