Every Sunday, I will share a quote from something I’ve been reading. The hope is for you, dear reader, to share your thoughts on the quote and related issues and perhaps pick up some reading material along the way!
Is God Male?
I have continued working my way through the massive work, Flame of Yahweh: Sexuality in the Old Testament by Richard Davidson. One topic he addresses is whether God is, in fact, male. A common belief among Christians is that God is male, and various arguments are summoned to support this. After examining and refuting several of these arguments, Davidson presents evidence to show that God is not male. His conclusion is pretty clear:
[T]he biblical material makes clear that the masculine does not exhaust the divine reality. In fact, Yahweh is above the polarity of sexuality and is neither male nor female, and displays within his nature both masculine and feminine dimensions. (130, cited below)
His argument is worth reading in detail, and summing it all up would be difficult. He summons the analogous use of feminine imagery for God as one line of evidence. Another argument he puts forward is to show that the avoidance of feminine pronouns and the like was to avoid the error of other Ancient Near Eastern cultures which identified the creator with creation in some ways through a womb metaphor.
Flame of Yahweh is shaping up to be a very important work in my collection. I’ve enjoyed it immensely so far, and been challenged by it on a number of topics. I recommend it to you, dear readers.
What do you think? Is God male? Why or why not?
Sunday Quote– If you want to read more Sunday Quotes and join the discussion, check them out! (Scroll down for more)
Richard M. Davidson, Flame of Yahweh (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 2007).