Author Topic: Is the Holy Spirit the female person of the Holy Trinity?  (Read 4336 times)

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Offline Matthew777

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Is the Holy Spirit the female person of the Holy Trinity?
« on: December 03, 2005, 04:41:27 AM »
If God created both male and female in His own image then God is both male and female in His qualities. The Father is a male, the Son is a male, therefore it logically follows that the Holy Spirit should be female:

"The Biblical Hebrew word for spirit is ruwach, meaning wind, breath, inspiration; the noun is grammatically feminine. In the "Odes of Solomon'; the oldest surviving Christian hymnal, the Holy Spirit is grammatically female. The Greek word for spirit, 'pneuma', has no grammatical gender. The Holy Spirit is translated in masculine terms only in languages such as Latin and English."
http://openproxy.ath.cx/ho/Holy_Spirit.html

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Offline aserb

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Re: Is the Holy Spirit the female person of the Holy Trinity?
« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2005, 08:58:50 AM »
Matt:

You are treading into deep and controversial theological waters!  :-\
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Offline ozgeorge

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Re: Is the Holy Spirit the female person of the Holy Trinity?
« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2005, 09:10:34 AM »
You are treading into deep and controversial theological waters!ÂÂ  :-\

Not really, it's just nonsense.
"Spirit" is feminine in Hebrew because it is...all nouns have to have a gender; just as "door" is feminine in Greek whereas "window" is neutral and "garden" ("ό μπαξές") is masculine- but that doesn't make your house a hermaphrodite. Even in English (which doesn't have genders for nouns), we refer to the Church and ships as "she"....
"Ressurection" and "Nativity" are feminine nouns in Greek whereas "Death" is masculine...does that prove anything?
« Last Edit: December 03, 2005, 09:37:10 AM by ozgeorge »
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Re: Is the Holy Spirit the female person of the Holy Trinity?
« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2005, 09:35:49 AM »
The Father is a male, the Son is a male, therefore it logically follows that the Holy Spirit should be female:

Are you trying to win “the worst logic ever employed in a theological argument” award?

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« Last Edit: December 03, 2005, 09:36:18 AM by EkhristosAnesti »
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Offline Fr. George

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Re: Is the Holy Spirit the female person of the Holy Trinity?
« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2005, 11:22:51 AM »
If God created both male and female in His own image then God is both male and female in His qualities. The Father is a male, the Son is a male, therefore it logically follows that the Holy Spirit should be female:

"The Biblical Hebrew word for spirit is ruwach, meaning wind, breath, inspiration; the noun is grammatically feminine. In the "Odes of Solomon'; the oldest surviving Christian hymnal, the Holy Spirit is grammatically female. The Greek word for spirit, 'pneuma', has no grammatical gender. The Holy Spirit is translated in masculine terms only in languages such as Latin and English."
http://openproxy.ath.cx/ho/Holy_Spirit.html

Peace.

We can't impune gender upon the Trinity - that would be limiting the Entire Godhead into a categorization of the created world... God is beyond Gender, a mere division of our existence as creatures.  The Son took on Male flesh in His self-limiting Incarnation, and thus we can call the Son a male in the person of Jesus Christ... but to impune real gender on the Spirit and the Father gets one close to heresy....

Anyway, in Greek the Father is a masculine noun, the Son is a masuline noun, the Spirit is a neuter noun, but God (the all-encompasing word) is masculine... does that really prove anything?
"O Cross of Christ, all-holy, thrice-blessed, and life-giving, instrument of the mystical rites of Zion, the holy Altar for the service of our Great Archpriest, the blessing - the weapon - the strength of priests, our pride, our consolation, the light in our hearts, our mind, and our steps"
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Offline Matthew777

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Re: Is the Holy Spirit the female person of the Holy Trinity?
« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2005, 09:39:26 PM »
God is beyond gender. When I speak of male or female attributes of God, I do not mean sexual but emotional, psychological and spiritual. The way I see it, the Trinity is like a continuum.
The Father is more masculine than feminine, the Holy Spirit is more feminine than masculine and the Son is more or less an androgynous being.

In the Aramaic peshitta, the Holy Spirit is in the feminine.
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Offline choirfiend

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Re: Is the Holy Spirit the female person of the Holy Trinity?
« Reply #6 on: December 03, 2005, 09:50:09 PM »
emotional, psychological, and spiritual aspects of a person are part of gender as well. Gender doesnt only apply to physical state. That said, one cannot apply gender to God. Are you seriously labing God as having "emotional" aspects that can be quantified? Psychological aspects to God? Spiritual aspects to the one who IS the Holy Spirit?

It's plain stupid.
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Offline The young fogey

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Re: Is the Holy Spirit the female person of the Holy Trinity?
« Reply #7 on: December 03, 2005, 09:58:38 PM »
Not really, it's just nonsense.

"Spirit" is feminine in Hebrew because it is...all nouns have to have a gender; just as "door" is feminine in Greek whereas "window" is neutral and "garden" ("ό μπαξές") is masculine- but that doesn't make your house a hermaphrodite. Even in English (which doesn't have genders for nouns), we refer to the Church and ships as "she"....
"Ressurection" and "Nativity" are feminine nouns in Greek whereas "Death" is masculine...does that prove anything?

God isn't 'sexual' in the sense of sexual attraction (why would he be?) - and AFAIK to say that he is would be heresy - but he has revealed himself as masculine.

ozgeorge is right about grammatical gender and not reading too much into that. In Greek, Latin and Slavonic the word for Trinity is feminine grammatically but Christians have never prayed to God as 'she' because of that!
« Last Edit: December 03, 2005, 10:03:04 PM by The young fogey »
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Offline Matthew777

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Re: Is the Holy Spirit the female person of the Holy Trinity?
« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2005, 12:15:13 AM »
emotional, psychological, and spiritual aspects of a person are part of gender as well. Gender doesnt only apply to physical state. That said, one cannot apply gender to God. Are you seriously labing God as having "emotional" aspects that can be quantified? Psychological aspects to God? Spiritual aspects to the one who IS the Holy Spirit?

It's plain stupid.

I am saying that there are qualities of both genders in humans that God shares, given that we've been created in His image.
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Offline Silouan

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Re: Is the Holy Spirit the female person of the Holy Trinity?
« Reply #9 on: December 04, 2005, 03:32:12 AM »
If the Holy Spirit were a different gender than the Father and Son, the Holy Spirit would be a different God - you are treading on polytheism.ÂÂ  

Of course the idea of God having a gender (other than the incarnate Son being male) is plain absurd.  Still you are flirting with polytheism. 
« Last Edit: December 04, 2005, 03:33:30 AM by Silouan »

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Re: Is the Holy Spirit the female person of the Holy Trinity?
« Reply #10 on: December 04, 2005, 03:33:28 AM »
Our qualities are images of His, for sure. Our version of love, our version of goodness, etc., all fall completely short when compared to His Love and His Goodness. Our qualities and differences as male and female are no different. We can talk about God's care and rebuke (what we experience as father qualities) and His power to create life and all-consuming love (a womanly set of qualities), but we cannot separate it out into "God the Father is male, God the Son is male, and God the Holy Spirit is female" because they are all one and united. God the Father as revealed with masculine descriptors and God the Son incarnate being male does not mean that their qualities are only masculine. All three members of the Trinity share both as all are FULLY God and God created us in His image, as a whole.
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Offline Fr. George

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Re: Is the Holy Spirit the female person of the Holy Trinity?
« Reply #11 on: December 04, 2005, 03:41:24 AM »
When we call Christ the perfect Human being, one that we should strive for, it is because He showed us perfect humanity; and to be human is to be untied with the other; check out the reference in Genesis 1:27

[bible]Genesis 1:27[/bible]

Man=Image of God, Image of God->Man, Man=Male + Female.

So God, when He became a Male in the person of the Son, displayed for us a perfect Humanity; He was not androgynous, but was able to give the example for both Male and Female (even if He did not possess both physical genders).
"O Cross of Christ, all-holy, thrice-blessed, and life-giving, instrument of the mystical rites of Zion, the holy Altar for the service of our Great Archpriest, the blessing - the weapon - the strength of priests, our pride, our consolation, the light in our hearts, our mind, and our steps"
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Offline Thomas

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Re: Is the Holy Spirit the female person of the Holy Trinity?
« Reply #12 on: December 04, 2005, 10:27:01 AM »
Matthew,

I am not sure but it would seem that you may be treading on "sinking sand". I believe that this has been brought up before by some Orthodox Theologians in the "Sophia" controversy which has been called heresy by several, but not all, juridictions. You may need to look into that controversial teaching that came out of the Paris School in the twentieth century.

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Re: Is the Holy Spirit the female person of the Holy Trinity?
« Reply #13 on: December 04, 2005, 05:02:24 PM »
The Son took on Male flesh in His self-limiting Incarnation, and thus we can call the Son a male in the person of Jesus Christ... but to impune real gender on the Spirit and the Father gets one close to heresy....

Yet the Father also spoke with words, which likely had a gender, and as for the Holy Spirit as a dove, I've yet to see a neuter one! Anyways, it would not be wrong to say they are male in these incarnations(??) either. But yes, speaking of the entire Trinity in gender terms is not such a good idea.
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Offline Matthew777

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Re: Is the Holy Spirit the female person of the Holy Trinity?
« Reply #14 on: December 04, 2005, 06:22:10 PM »
Our qualities are images of His, for sure. Our version of love, our version of goodness, etc., all fall completely short when compared to His Love and His Goodness. Our qualities and differences as male and female are no different. We can talk about God's care and rebuke (what we experience as father qualities) and His power to create life and all-consuming love (a womanly set of qualities), but we cannot separate it out into "God the Father is male, God the Son is male, and God the Holy Spirit is female" because they are all one and united. God the Father as revealed with masculine descriptors and God the Son incarnate being male does not mean that their qualities are only masculine. All three members of the Trinity share both as all are FULLY God and God created us in His image, as a whole.

Yes, in this I fully agree with you. What I take issue with are those who are bothered that God would have any feminine qualities at all.

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Offline Matthew777

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Re: Is the Holy Spirit the female person of the Holy Trinity?
« Reply #15 on: December 04, 2005, 06:25:37 PM »
[bible]Genesis 1:27[/bible]

Man=Image of God, Image of God->Man, Man=Male + Female.

When we remove the unnecessary masculine pronouns, it is  "So God created humankind in his own image, in the image of God created he them; male and female created he them."

In the first use of 'man', it is not referring to just men but all humankind.

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Offline Fr. George

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Re: Is the Holy Spirit the female person of the Holy Trinity?
« Reply #16 on: December 04, 2005, 06:35:17 PM »
When we remove the unnecessary masculine pronouns, it is  "So God created humankind in his own image, in the image of God created he them; male and female created he them."

In the first use of 'man', it is not referring to just men but all humankind.

Peace.

No.  Critically reading the passage should lead you to see that "man" in the sentance is not a masculine pronoun... so there is no need to replace it.  The way I used it, "man" was not a masculine pronoun, but άνθρωπος, human.  So there is no need to change the text, to make it PC or whatever...

And if you read my post in the context, you will see that I made the point that humanity = male+female...

Maybe I just need to be more clear in my postings... I'm a bit hasty (chalk it up to youth and inexperience).
"O Cross of Christ, all-holy, thrice-blessed, and life-giving, instrument of the mystical rites of Zion, the holy Altar for the service of our Great Archpriest, the blessing - the weapon - the strength of priests, our pride, our consolation, the light in our hearts, our mind, and our steps"
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Offline Matthew777

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Re: Is the Holy Spirit the female person of the Holy Trinity?
« Reply #17 on: December 04, 2005, 06:40:02 PM »
And if you read my post in the context, you will see that I made the point that humanity = male+female...

I cannot recall an exact theologian but I know that some have speculated that since male and female are complimentary in their attributes, as are the Father and the Holy Spirit.

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Offline Fr. George

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Re: Is the Holy Spirit the female person of the Holy Trinity?
« Reply #18 on: December 04, 2005, 07:50:25 PM »
I cannot recall an exact theologian but I know that some have speculated that since male and female are complimentary in their attributes, as are the Father and the Holy Spirit. 

Well, I'll need to see it... Here's the thing: we may observe in the writings, stories, and actions of the members of the Trinity things and attributes that may appear to us (as fallen humans) as "masculine" and "feminine" attributes; but we can't make any statement about the ontology of the Trinity using these constructs, for they just serve to box the members of the Trinity into artificial categories that we are imposing, not ones that have been revealed.
"O Cross of Christ, all-holy, thrice-blessed, and life-giving, instrument of the mystical rites of Zion, the holy Altar for the service of our Great Archpriest, the blessing - the weapon - the strength of priests, our pride, our consolation, the light in our hearts, our mind, and our steps"
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Offline Matthew777

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Re: Is the Holy Spirit the female person of the Holy Trinity?
« Reply #19 on: December 04, 2005, 08:23:46 PM »
but we can't make any statement about the ontology of the Trinity using these constructs

I would agree. However, the word 'Spirit' does appear in the feminine in the Aramaic New Testament. Without this, no one would wonder if the Holy Spirit is somehow female (even female in such a way that humans cannot comprehend).
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Offline Fr. George

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Re: Is the Holy Spirit the female person of the Holy Trinity?
« Reply #20 on: December 04, 2005, 09:11:50 PM »
I would agree. However, the word 'Spirit' does appear in the feminine in the Aramaic New Testament. Without this, no one would wonder if the Holy Spirit is somehow female (even female in such a way that humans cannot comprehend).   

If we're going to say that the Holy Spirit, who Is God, is "female" in such a way that we cannot comprehend, then It is probably also "male" in a way beyond comprehension...  The same Spirit that appears to have feminine qualities also performs actions that appear to be masculine (the killing of Ananias and his wife, opening the jails, appearing as a pilar of fire, etc.).
"O Cross of Christ, all-holy, thrice-blessed, and life-giving, instrument of the mystical rites of Zion, the holy Altar for the service of our Great Archpriest, the blessing - the weapon - the strength of priests, our pride, our consolation, the light in our hearts, our mind, and our steps"
Met. Meletios of Nikopolis & Preveza, from his ordination.

Offline Matthew777

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Re: Is the Holy Spirit the female person of the Holy Trinity?
« Reply #21 on: December 04, 2005, 10:21:36 PM »
I guess the real point is that people shouldn't be hostile to the idea of God having feminine attributes.
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Offline Fr. George

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Re: Is the Holy Spirit the female person of the Holy Trinity?
« Reply #22 on: December 04, 2005, 10:24:59 PM »
Ah, well... it makes sense that God should have things that we would call masculine and feminine attributes...

The thread got so long because of the dangers of making ontological statements about God using gender constructs.
"O Cross of Christ, all-holy, thrice-blessed, and life-giving, instrument of the mystical rites of Zion, the holy Altar for the service of our Great Archpriest, the blessing - the weapon - the strength of priests, our pride, our consolation, the light in our hearts, our mind, and our steps"
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Offline Matthew777

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Re: Is the Holy Spirit the female person of the Holy Trinity?
« Reply #23 on: December 04, 2005, 10:26:37 PM »
True, true. Even if the Holy Spirit is somehow female, that would be in such a way that the human kind cannot comprehend.
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Offline Fr. George

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Re: Is the Holy Spirit the female person of the Holy Trinity?
« Reply #24 on: December 04, 2005, 10:28:59 PM »
True, true. Even if the Holy Spirit is somehow female, that would be in such a way that the human kind cannot comprehend.

With emphasis on the IF.  Of course, we can't comprehend how the Holy Spirit is anyway, so it wouldn't surprise me if we found out at the second coming that the Spirit has some sort of incomprehensible femininity...

Of course, most females are incomprehensible to me anway, so it wouldn't be much of a change...
« Last Edit: December 04, 2005, 10:29:09 PM by cleveland »
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Offline Matthew777

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Re: Is the Holy Spirit the female person of the Holy Trinity?
« Reply #25 on: December 04, 2005, 10:31:53 PM »
Of course, most females are incomprehensible to me anway, so it wouldn't be much of a change...

This is exactly why I gave up dating. :)
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Offline Fr. George

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Re: Is the Holy Spirit the female person of the Holy Trinity?
« Reply #26 on: December 04, 2005, 10:41:47 PM »
This is exactly why I gave up dating. :)   

Ahh, see, I haven't given up dating... but dating has recently given up on me.
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Offline Matthew777

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Re: Is the Holy Spirit the female person of the Holy Trinity?
« Reply #27 on: December 04, 2005, 10:48:38 PM »
The problem is that it's hard to find a girl who's both Christian and non-Republican.
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