Questa volta abbiamo cercato: Religious people of MassimoL, why is it common practice to refer to God as a “him” (not to be sexist or whatever), but wouldn’t it make more sense that God is not of either gender?
Religious people of MassimoL, why is it common practice to refer to God as a “him” (not to be sexist or whatever), but wouldn’t it make more sense that God is not of either gender?
Ed ecco le risposte:
According to Catholic theology (of which I am most familiar), God isn’t male or female; he’s just God. In the New Testament, God is referred to as male primarily due to him being the father of Jesus, as well as the fact that when gender is unknown in Greek, the word for god takes the masculine. I can’t speak for the Old Testament as well, but I will note that regarding languages at large, there wasn’t really a popular gender-neutral term for humans until very recently, leaving a choice between he and she, and most languages, like Greek, lean masculine when gender is unknown.
Speaking from the perspective of a Protestant Christian, for reference:
In Scripture, God has revealed himself in masculine terms (referring to himself in a way that presents himself with an emphasis on typically masculine qualities like fatherhood, protection, strength, etc.). I’ll pause here to say that this, in no means, should ever be used as a reason for ANYONE to argue that men are superior to women, as that couldn’t be more false. All humans are equally made in the image of God.
God the Father, despite the fact that his character can be revealed to us through terms typically attached to gender, exists outside of our human knowledge of gender. That said, yes, God the Father is essentially genderless.
Scripture describes God the Father as “invisible” in the sense that there’s not just an oversized man in a robe and sandals in the way that people humanize him in pop culture.
God does exist in the Trinity, though (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit). Since Jesus (God the Son) was both 100% man and 100% God (I believe that’s referred to as hypostatic union), Jesus would be referred to as a “him” because he was a male human. Third, God the Spirit would also be genderless in same sense of God the Father.
I know that’s a lot of stuff in just a few words, so I’m happy to clarify my position or answer any other questions if anyone would like! I hope that could answer the question from a religious person’s perspective.
Edit: I realized I wanted to add the point that God the Father DOES contain the qualities of the female gender, too. The point is more so that he chooses to present himself with an emphasis on the masculine qualities.
Him is generally used in a lot of texts to represent both male and female (especially in legal texts and statutes). Islam, for example, has the same understanding- that God is neither male nor female.
Linguistics. In many languages, there is either no neuter gender or using the neuter gender is used to be condescending.
He does not have a gender. I have heard many reasons why, but here is how I think of it; some objects, such as boats, are sometimes called feminine pronouns. God, on the other hand, is called masculine pronouns even though he has no gender. I have also heard that since he is called Father, he is called masculine pronouns, which one of the other commenters also mentioned.