Having dispensed with the gorillas in the room, we’ll turn next to a review of some elements of Scripture that support our view of the femininity of the Holy Spirit.
Spiritual birth: In John 3, Jesus describes the Holy Spirit as giving spiritual birth. Birth is an eminently feminine function.
Original Scriptural references to femininity: As several qualified scholars have noted, the feminine gender is applied to the Holy Spirit in the original Hebrew Old Testament Scripture and in the original Aramaic and Syriac New Testament Scriptures. These references include Genesis 1:2, numerous instances in Job and Judges, Isaiah 51:9 and 10, John 14:26 (Sinaitic Palimpsest) and Romans 9:25. In the instances cited, the application of feminine descriptors went beyond mere grammatical convention.
The Shekinah Glory: The Shekinah Glory, seen as fire and smoke from God, indwelt the Tabernacle in the Wilderness (Exodus 40) and Solomon’s Temple (1 Kings 8) at their dedications. This indwelling was a type of the Holy Spirit’s indwelling of the human temples of believers, beginning at the first Pentecost following Jesus’ resurrection (1 Corinthians 3:16, 2 Corinthians 6:16 and Ephesians 2:19-22). The Shekinah Glory is grammatically feminine and was seen as feminine in Jewish tradition as well.
The marriage of Christ with His Church: In Ephesians 5:31 and 32, Paul plainly writes that in the spiritual realm, Jesus will marry His Church. His manner of description identifies that marriage as more than a trivial play on words. There and elsewhere, the Church is identified as feminine. In Romans 7:4, Paul reveals that this marital union will bear fruit. If Jesus, a Member of the Trinitarian Godhead, marries the gendered Church, it is likely that the other Members are married as well. This would require that the Holy Spirit be feminine.
The femininity of Wisdom in Proverbs: The gender of Wisdom in Proverbs is consistently feminine throughout. The linkage of Wisdom with creation, particularly in Proverbs 3 and 8, suggests that Wisdom represents the Holy Spirit.
The linkage of Wisdom with the Holy Spirit in the Book of Wisdom: The Book of Wisdom, which remains canonical in the Catholic Scriptures, depicts Wisdom as the Holy Spirit and feminine.
The executive function of the Holy Spirit: The Holy Spirit is described in Scripture in the role of executive to the Father. The executive function of the Holy Spirit is acknowledged by multiple mainstream theologians. This responsive role to the Father’s will is feminine in nature.
The creation of Adam and the formation of Eve are suggestive of the femininity of the Holy Spirit: The creation of mankind as gender-differentiated in the image of God (Genesis 1:26 and 27) is suggestive of the gendered nature of the Godhead and consequent femininity of the Holy Spirit; the follow on description of the formation of Eve out of Adam (Genesis 2:18-25) probably is a repetition for the sake of emphasis instead of its usual awkward and confusing interpretation as a redundant secondary creation account. The account may well be a type of events within the Godhead Itself.
The romantic nature of the Song of Solomon: The Song of Solomon, considered by many Bible commentators to be representative of the romantic and passionate nature of the marriage between Christ and His Church, depicts the Church as feminine. The romance in Songs must typify either the relationship between Christ and His Church, or between the Father and the Holy Spirit, or both; otherwise it wouldn’t belong in the Bible. The same comment made with regard to the marriage between Christ and His Church in Ephesians 5 applies here: if one Member of the Godhead marries, it is suggestive that marriage applies to all within the Godhead.
Monotheism vs. the Trinitarian Godhead: Christianity is a firmly monotheistic religion. In the face of this, it also acknowledges a Trinitarian Godhead. Only in the context of marriage and family can the declared oneness of God (Deuteronomy 6:4) be intuitively reconciled with a Trinitarian Godhead. I personally have been exposed to admissions of confusion by multiple theologians who, while not accepting the family nature of the Godhead, remain oblivious to the importance of the unnecessary paradox that results from their view.
Biblical proscriptions against the gay lifestyle and other violations of a single male/single female marital bond: In the context of a genderless or all-male Godhead, the proscriptions against the gay lifestyle in Leviticus 18 and 20 and Romans 1 appear to be arbitrary, as does the Seventh Commandment regarding adultery; in the context of a gendered masculine and feminine Godhead, on the other hand, the gay lifestyle would represent a violation of the type of the Godhead Itself.
Published by Art Perkins