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William Mounce: Is the Holy Spirit a She?

December 6, 2010

Heard a fascinating piece of bad exegesis the other day. The Holy Spirit is a she. The basis of this claim was that the Hebrew word for “spirit” (ruach) is feminine. The short answer is that if this is true, then the Spirit is also an “it” since the Greek word for “spirit” (πνευμα) is neuter.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. December 7, 2010 10:24 pm

    God described himself in the plural when he created man. Who’s to say woman wasn’t created in the likeness of a feminine God?

  2. RAP permalink*
    December 8, 2010 3:09 am

    What do you mean, “Feminine God”? If you mean, God is effiminate… then you would say God is in violation of His own Word.

    For… “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither the immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate [malakoi], nor homosexual offenders [arsenokoites], nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor robbers will inherit the kingdom of God. ” (1 Corinthians 6.9-10)

    If you mean God is Female, then God is a liar…

    For no where in the Bible does God reveal Himself as a “She,” but as a “He.”

    If you mean God has feminine traits and emotions, then you are sexist…

    Because you would have to say certain qualities belong to men and certain qualities belong to women. But, males and females are all affectionate, all have anger, all express love, all have compassion and grace, etc. etc. etc.

    God is perfect in His expression of love and compassion, mercy and grace, justice and wrath… but all of these cannot be separated into feminine qualities and masculine qualities. He, like me and like you, possesses them all… only without defect.

    So, what do you mean?


  3. December 8, 2010 8:31 pm

    God is perfect, that means he doesn’t feel anger or hate or wrath. Why are you giving him the imperfect emotions of a mere man? He has the power to create miracles. The problem is Man was created in His image. The Bible says nothing about man’s emotions being just like God’s. Jesus was all about forgiveness and love. I suppose you dwell on the Old Testament, I suppose you LIVE by the old testament. Jesus changed all that hatred you STILL feel,\. You feel angry towards people you don’t even know. You judge others. that’s WRONG! That is a SIN!

  4. RAP permalink*
    December 9, 2010 6:37 am

    First: God does feel anger and wrath, both in the New Testament and in the Old Testament. God is perfect and des not change (He is immutable).

    Second: I live by the whole counsel of God… not just sections of Scripture I like.

    Third: The God of the New Testament seen in the Gospels and Epistles, such as Romans, has wrath and anger.

    Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him. (John 3.36)

    For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. (Romans 1.18)

    But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed. (Romans 2.5)

    …but for those who are self-seeking1 and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury. (Romans 2.8)

    Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it1 to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” (Romans 12.19)

    Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience. (Romans 13.5)

    God the Father has wrath…
    God the Son has wrath…

    calling to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb (Revelation 6.16)

    he also will drink the wine of God’s wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger, and he will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. (Revelation 14.10)

    And one of the four living creatures gave to the seven angels seven golden bowls full of the wrath of God who lives forever and ever… (Revelation 15.7)

    Look at what Jesus said to the Pharisees: said therefore to the crowds that came out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? (Matthew 3.7 and Luke 3.7)

    Jesus also made a whip and slung it around while turning over tables in anger at the thieves in the house of God.

    Friend, you have a misconception about God. Satan wants you to keep your misconceptions and have a false view of God… one made in your image, not the Biblical image.

    God is perfectly loving and perfect just… perfectly merciful and perfectly wrathful. God is balanced in these like we will never be. Keep reading the Bible and God will change your mind with His Word.

    Finally: You said this: “I suppose you dwell on the Old Testament, I suppose you LIVE by the old testament. Jesus changed all that hatred you STILL feel,\. You feel angry towards people you don’t even know. You judge others. that’s WRONG! That is a SIN!”

    The very things you accuse me of you did. I am not angry at all. :) Just want you to be honest.


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