What Gender is God?

What gender is God?  Although I’m not sure how important the answer is in the overall scheme of things, it is nonetheless often debated and speculated.  Here is a smattering of responses to this query:

  • God is male since the Bible refers to God the Father (male) and God the Son (male), who came to earth as Jesus (male).
  • God is portrayed as male in the Bible because that is how the culture of that day could best comprehend a supreme being.
  • God is neither male nor female.  Although the predominance of references and inferences in the Bible are masculine, there are also feminine allusions given to the Godhead.
  • God transcends gender.  As a spiritual entity, there are no male or female distinctions; as the creator there is no need for procreation.
  • God is both male and female.

Although I refer to God in the masculine, it is more out of convention and for ease of communication.  In reality, I see viability in each of the preceding viewpoints.  While it is not my intent to end the debate with this reflection, I do want to point out an intriguing passage in the Bible, the implications of which are usually overlooked.

In Genesis 1:27 it says that God created man (people) “in his own image,” “male and female he created them.”  That suggests that God is both male and female or alternately that God transcends gender, with both maleness and femaleness reflecting his character and reality.  Either way, this is a profound and beautiful image to expand our understanding of who God is.