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Is the "Holy Spirit" male or female?

 
 
Reply Wed 30 Apr, 2003 02:12 pm
There is God the father, Jesus the Son and......?

The Holy Spirit is oft described in terms such as "the comforter" etc.

When I was a Christian I believed the Holy Spirit was female.

What do you think?
 
dagmaraka
 
  1  
Reply Wed 30 Apr, 2003 02:33 pm
Hardly. As it spoke to Virgin Mary through that window or whatwasit, it was the originator of Jesus . I believe it is 'it', or perhaps both he and she. God knows (ha, he better does).
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Wed 30 Apr, 2003 02:46 pm
This ought to be good!

I don't have an opinion on the question, but I'm looking forward to listening to other's reply to it.
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husker
 
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Reply Wed 30 Apr, 2003 02:55 pm
We'll I'm thinking - each part of the Trinity can exist independently of each other and still be the one God. God being the father and the Son and then the Holy Spirit is male gender based on Scripture, I'll stick with that.
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cavfancier
 
  3  
Reply Wed 30 Apr, 2003 03:06 pm
In Kabbalistic thinking, God is dual, both male and female, each one inable to exist without the other. Sadly, macho rabbis obliterated such ideas from the Old Testament over the years....if you haven't read "The Book of J", I would suggest it. David Rosenberg is the translator of this very early text, and Harold Bloom was the editor. Among Harold's other claims to fame were writing a lot, and sleeping with my university Gothic Lit teacher while she was a grad student under him at Yale (I believe). Now that story was FAR more interesting than his writing....Very Happy

Christian mystics, such as the alchemists and the Rosicrucians also had a similar concept of God, and like the Kabbalists, believed sex to be the joining of the the two halves of God, and therefore sacred. They were banned too. Go figure.
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dagmaraka
 
  1  
Reply Wed 30 Apr, 2003 03:36 pm
That makes sense to me, but what do I know, I am of no religious affiliation.
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Equus
 
  1  
Reply Wed 30 Apr, 2003 03:42 pm
I can tell you what I was taught in Christian Science Sunday School before I fell into the pit of agnosticism. This goes against mainstream theology. Jesus, Christ, and God are all DIFFERENT entities. CS'ers are offended by references to Jesus as God; and seldom refer to Jesus Christ, using 'Christ Jesus' instead, as if it were a title and not a name. "God" corresponds to 'the father', but is also mother. CS refers to God as father/mother God.
"Jesus", as well as everybody else on the planet including you and me, correspond to 'the son', God's pure perfect creation in his image & likeness; "Christ" corresponds to the 'Holy Ghost', and is the power emanating from God, reflected by Jesus (and us too, but not as brightly), and the only true substance behind matter.
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dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Wed 30 Apr, 2003 04:05 pm
My head gets scrambled in terms of where to view the matter on these questions - as me, the non-christian - I see the trinity aspects of christian doctrine as an attempt to win over a populace accustomed to a triple aspect goddess as an important part of their pantheon - or as a dominant figure of worship.

Attempting to put on a christian lens, I would see it as gender neutral or, at the back of people's thinking over the last couple of millenia, as female aspects to godhead were banished, male.

What do church doctrines have to say on the matter?
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dlowan
 
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Reply Wed 30 Apr, 2003 04:06 pm
If I were to believe - I would see all aspects of a god figure as beyond gender.
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snood
 
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Reply Wed 30 Apr, 2003 04:46 pm
As amusing as this thread's subject must be to those who will be looking at it from the cold objectivity of agnosticism, I must say from another part of the spectrum of opinion about God and religion, it's kind of a yok to me, too.

If I left it at just that, I think I would sound a little more haughty than I would've intended so I'll leave it at this:

Anyone who stayed in a Christian Church for any substantial period of time (I'd say more than a couple weeks) would've had to come to the conclusion that the Holy Spirit (a.k.a. Holy Ghost in some Baptist Holiness Churches) was way beyond anything like gender, race or age. IMHO, if the church you did pass through in your dalliances with God didn't teach you any better than to be wondering if the Holy spirit was man or woman, then you were done a disservice.
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fbaezer
 
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Reply Wed 30 Apr, 2003 05:27 pm
Everybody knows the Holy Spirit is a dove!
Who cares about a dove's gender?
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fbaezer
 
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Reply Wed 30 Apr, 2003 05:33 pm
Now seriously:

The son is clearly male. He had flesh. He had a gender.
The father is a male force, and has a male image (upon which he created Adam). No flesh, though.
The holy spirit is a spirit is a spirit. Godly presence. No gender.
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maxsdadeo
 
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Reply Wed 30 Apr, 2003 05:39 pm
Quote:
The Third Article: Sanctification
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Christian church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.
What does this mean?
I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ, my Lord, or come to Him; but the Holy Spirit has called me by the Gospel, enlightened me with His gifts, sanctified and kept me in the true faith. In the same way He calls, gathers, enlightens, and sanctifies the whole Christian church on earth, and keeps it with Jesus Christ in the one true faith. In this Christian church He daily and richly forgives all my sins and the sins of all believers. On the Last Day He will raise me and all the dead, and give eternal life to me and all believers in Christ. This is most certainly true.


The above is excerpted from Luther's Small Catechism, the third article of the Apostle's Creed with explanation.

"His gifts...", "He calls....", etc.

I will go along with Marty on this one.

and after re-reading the posts, I would agree with snood too....

{I just HATE it when that happens!!}
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Craven de Kere
 
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Reply Wed 30 Apr, 2003 05:55 pm
dagmaraka wrote:
Hardly. As it spoke to Virgin Mary through that window or whatwasit, it was the originator of Jesus . I believe it is 'it', or perhaps both he and she. God knows (ha, he better does).


I'm pretty sure that it was Gabriel or some angel who talked to Mary and not the holy spirit but I may have forgotten a detail.
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snood
 
  1  
Reply Wed 30 Apr, 2003 05:55 pm
Hey, I won't tell if you won't.
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Craven de Kere
 
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Reply Wed 30 Apr, 2003 05:56 pm
husker wrote:
We'll I'm thinking - each part of the Trinity can exist independently of each other and still be the one God. God being the father and the Son and then the Holy Spirit is male gender based on Scripture, I'll stick with that.


As to the "based on scripture" part even if it says "he" in the Bible, is it not possible that translation of a pronoun that serves for both might have been trabslated equivocally?
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Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Wed 30 Apr, 2003 05:56 pm
Fact is, we don't even know if the Holy Spirit exists -- so we obviously cannot know whether it has a gender.

Correct?
Craven de Kere
 
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Reply Wed 30 Apr, 2003 05:58 pm
snood wrote:
Anyone who stayed in a Christian Church for any substantial period of time (I'd say more than a couple weeks) would've had to come to the conclusion that the Holy Spirit (a.k.a. Holy Ghost in some Baptist Holiness Churches) was way beyond anything like gender, race or age. IMHO, if the church you did pass through in your dalliances with God didn't teach you any better than to be wondering if the Holy spirit was man or woman, then you were done a disservice.


I disagree. As a Christian I believed that the Holy Ghost was female. This is not something any Church has a right to opine on as a final word. I know the Bible as well as any preacher does and it's entirely possible that we can simply come to different conclusions.
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Wed 30 Apr, 2003 06:00 pm
fbaezer wrote:
Everybody knows the Holy Spirit is a dove!
Who cares about a dove's gender?


Other doves do - that's who.
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Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Reply Wed 30 Apr, 2003 06:01 pm
Frank Apisa wrote:
Fact is, we don't even know if the Holy Spirit exists -- so we obviously cannot know whether it has a gender.

Correct?


We are operating under the assumption that the Holy Ghost exists for this discussion. But yes you are correct.
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