I have been dealing with this question lately – after all, feminine is the origin of all human life on earth (with two exceptions according to the bible, which are Adam and Eve). Every man (except Adam) who ever came to this earth, as well as every woman (except Eve), was once borne by a woman. Women make up half of the world’s population and live longer on average. Since feminine energy is indispensable, why is God so masculine with e.g. with Jesus who came to this world as a man.
I found the following in my research: First, at the very beginning of the Bible (Genesis 1:27) we read: “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” Both men and women are therefore an image of God – God equal. Further back it says (Romans 2:11): “For God does not show favoritism.”
And there was the rib: According to the English translations of the Bible, God created a suitable “helper” to Adam, the woman, from Adam’s “ribs”. If you look at the original Bible in Hebrew, you will find some translation errors in the English first part. In Hebrew, “Adam” means human and is not a name for a man. The Hebrew word “ezer kenegdo” does not mean “helper” in the sense of a subordinate, but equivalent partner, a partner on an equal footing. And the Hebrew word tsêlao, which was translated as a rib, actually means “side” in Hebrew, which is an essential part of humans. What is actually said is that God has made man an equal partner out of the same flesh and blood by “dividing” them into men and women where everyone has their characteristics and complements each other. In order to be able to reproduce on earth, they should “become one meat”.
If someone thinks “Adam”, in terms of male, is worth more as he was there first: The earth was there before Adam and thus any humans. Further Adam was made of dust from the earth. So is dust and the earth ranked any higher?
At the end of this chapter, God describes the penalty for the fall of man – the man has to work hard and the woman has pain at birth and there is an inequality between man and woman. This means that in a perfect paradise world, that we should strive towards, there is no such inequality (more detailed descriptions of biblical passages, translations and references can be found here).
Further interesting fact: In the new Testament, the relationship and dependencies between Male and Female change considerable with Jesus coming into this world. God gives the grace to Mary and thus makes her the new Eve – however she is first this time! Joseph gets to know about her grace only later on and this time, he – the man, is the respectful “helper” to her, the woman in order to serve God. With this, God established the balance between sexes in the old and new testament.
If we look up the New Testament, Jesus describes God as trinity. Accordingly, God consists of three elements:
1) The Father: The New Testament describes that Jesus often speaks of the father in heaven. This makes us think that the “the father” is a male person – but is he? It is understandable that Jesus talks about the father in heaven. He for sure wanted to point out that he is not purely of worldly origin but was sent by God as the Messiah. If he had spoken of the mother in heaven, this would have been very strange and confusing, since his birth mother Mary was with him on earth. A factual address would probably not have been so well received by his fellow human beings at the time. We do not know if “the father” is a person nor the gender.
2) Jesus: Came to this world as a man. For him, as we read in the Bible, his time as a man on earth was challenging and he was crucified in the end for stating to be the Messiah. At that time, women traditionally had the role of a caring mother. The man was considered a strong and authority figure. If Jesus had been born a woman, stating to be the Messiah and proclaimed the word – who knows what would have happened. In any case, since God is omniscient, he decided that Jesus should take the male form on earth – therefore, at that time, it was certainly the right decision.
3) The Holy Spirit: this sounds masculine as well. According to my research, the original Hebrew word in which the Bible was originally written is “ruach” and this is a female word. It stands for “breath”, “wind” in Hebrew and is called the power of God in Jewish. This can inspire a person. Therefore a person can be part of God if the person wants to. For me, the Holy Spirit is also intuition, the good voice in the ear that often gives me good thoughts and wisdom.
The male as well as the female side are both very apt to describe God and also for the role that God wants to play:
Male: When I search for the role of father / man on the Internet, words like “breadwinner”, “sponsor”, “strong”, “discipliner” come up. God is strong, cares for us, but also encourages and punishes.
Female: When looking for the role of the mother / woman i get among other things “unconditional love from the first moment”, “compliant / forgiving”, “kind”, “sensitive”. Also very fitting because God loves us humans, wants to forgive sins and is infinitely merciful.
The way I understand all of this, God created man and woman in his image, equal partners and since everyone in it’s essence is equal before God, gender makes no difference and discussions about it belong to earthly trumpery. All humans are to be treated with respect and love to each other is paramount. Suppressions of anyone, regardless of due to gender, religion, race, skin color etc. are not in anyway desirable by God and should be avoided. Let’s celebrate the diversity that God created.
Since God is not a single person, but is plural in both the Old and New Testaments – is trinity, God cannot be decimated by gender. God is bigger – stands above the sexes – and we humans should do it too!
Note: For reasons of simplicity, in this blog I refer to God often as “him”, however I do not mean a male person with that but the great universal plural sprit that God is.