God, Goddess, or Godde?

J.K. Gayle has several posts up concerning some book about what we didn’t we in Sunday school.

What is interesting is that Gayle uses Jewish and non-Christian sources, and their reception of the Christian canon for a discussion of gender.

On one comment, I did catch Gayle defending Christian orthodoxy, so I think we can throw out that postmodern, emergent label [imposed upon JK by that guy who is now #2 who is not to be named] :

And since you bring up non-Christian Bible translator Robert Alter, let me now bring up non-Christian and Jewish New Testament translator Willis Barnstone. Barnstone has this for Matthew’s Greek (for further comparison):

“The child engendered in her came from the holy spirit.”

“Washing them in the name of the father and the son And the holy spirit.”

Just to be clear, and absolutely accurate, I don’t think Matthew intended for his readers to think that Mary was pregnant from or through or by anyone or anything other than “the Divine Spirit” or “the Holy Spirit” or “the holy spirit.” Atteberry and Smith and their translation teams with Barnstone all have their English agree here with Matthew’s Greek.

Seehere.

So what of using Godde instead of God or Goddess?

For this, enter Suzanne:

I understand two things. Shawn is using Godde to show that God transcends gender. She is also using the feminine pronoun in the same way that masculine pronouns has been used for millenia by others who claim that God transcends gender.

It is possible that Shawn is not aware that the “e” ending on Godde suggests that it is a feminine word rather than one which transcends gender. But that is an artefact of Indo-European lingistics and does not invalidate her assertion that Godde transcends gender.

Here

The problem with gender for Christians is not only one of  biblical interpretation or translation, (or are they the same?), but I think it has to do with struggling to reconcile God’s transcendence of gender with a God who forever enfolded Godself in the flesh of a Jewish rabbinical day-laboring male. One can take the Christian platonist approach of the Alexandrians (Athanasius and Clement, I will admit) who have what Joerg Rieger called in his Christ and Empire, space-suit Christologies, as if the Word of God was some alien invading the planet. Perhaps one can see a connection between the teaching of theosis and alienness, or being the Other?

I think this is why I find value in the doctrine of the Trinity, and the traditional co-equality of the persons within the Goddehead. YHWH has parental qualities of both mothers and fathers, Christ is the embodied Word and Sophia of God according to Scripture and the early church writers, and the Holy Spirit can be used both in gender neutral, masculine, and feminine terms, as the Spirit dwells in both men and women making Godde all the more immanently transcendent.

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0 thoughts on “God, Goddess, or Godde?

  1. j k gayle

    Thanks Rod for the linke. But please do be more careful with how you constructe electrified fences around what I have said. Please throw oute all of your labeles for me. And do note who’s saying what to whom in the conversation and how I, in a comment of reply at my firste poste, identified much with ” others who find in the Bible the feminine in God and even in the names of God — i.e., just to start a list: Nancy Mairs, Anne Lamott, Tim Bulkeley, and Julie Clawson, who helps by saying –

    “Few people hear, God is my rock, and assume that God is physically a rock. No, we understand that there are certain aspects of God that are similar to certain aspects of rocks and leave it at that. But when we hear God called Father, we often create an idol of God in the image of a male. Combine that with a proclivity to only use a few metaphors for God (Father, Almighty, Lord) and we are left with a very limited conception of God that assumes God is male. Re-enforce that message enough over the years and it cements itself in our minds as true biblical doctrine, which is partially why this is such a controversial issue.”

    is Julie emergente and poste moderne enoughe for thee, my friende?

    Reply
    1. Rod of Alexandria Post author

      Hey JK,

      Take no offense to the labels I used. It was actually used in jest, in referring to our conversation about David Ker and co. labelling you those things. I cant remember which post, but it was on your blog. Wasn’t trying to build a fence.

      Reply
  2. j k gayle

    Rod
    thanks for the linke but do take care to reade carefully to see who’s replying to whome. And then be even more careful constructing those electrified fences to labele me by. You must have missed my replye commente at the firste poste of mine yesterday in whiche I muche agree and identifye with

    “others who find in the Bible the feminine in God and even in the names of God — i.e., just to start a list: Nancy Mairs, Anne Lamott, Tim Bulkeley, and Julie Clawson, who helps by saying –

    “Few people hear, God is my rock, and assume that God is physically a rock. No, we understand that there are certain aspects of God that are similar to certain aspects of rocks and leave it at that. But when we hear God called Father, we often create an idol of God in the image of a male. Combine that with a proclivity to only use a few metaphors for God (Father, Almighty, Lord) and we are left with a very limited conception of God that assumes God is male. Re-enforce that message enough over the years and it cements itself in our minds as true biblical doctrine, which is partially why this is such a controversial issue.”

    at leaste lette Julie be poste moderne and emergente since these are importante to many of us. 🙂

    Reply
  3. JKG

    (well label me impatient. Reading and trying to write onaphone on wh my 1st comment didn’t show. No offense taken whatsoever my friend!).

    Thanks for getting more people paying attention to what Shawna’s written!!

    Reply
  4. Pingback: Rodney, God’s Gender, Willimon, the Jew Jesus and a Salvation we don’t want | Unsettled Christianity

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