Feminine Gender of the Holy Spirit
Aramaic Made EZ "Where then do we go for direct textual evidence that the Holy Spirit was, in the origins of Christianity, considered feminine? We go to the existing Greek minuscules copied in the early part of the last millennium to find only circumstantial evidence. Likewise, as we go to the earlier copied Greek uncials, the Byzantine copies, the eastern Syriac Peshitta, and the Old Latin we find some peripheral corroboration. Then when we go to the earlier copied Old Syriac that predates the Peshitta we find a pearl of great price. In the most ancient of the rare Old Syriac copies, the Siniatic Palimpsest, from the 4th or 5th century, found in the Covenant of St. Catherine in the Sinia by Mrs. Anes Lewis and transcribed by Syriac Professor R.L. Bensly of Cambridge University in 1892, the words of Jesus in John 14:26 read: But She—the Spirit-the Paraclete whom He will send to you-my Father-in my name—She will teach you everything; She will remind you of that which I have told you."
"The masculine association with the Holy Spirit in English is derived
from the corresponding Latin phrase, Spiritus Sanctus. This in its
turn is the translation of the Greek word pneuma, which is neuter.
Although the Gospels are written in Greek, in the circles of Jesus and his
disciples the language of ordinary usage was Aramaic, whereas Hebrew was
used for sacred purposes. The two words from Hebrew that are both translated
into Greek as pneuma are rhuh and shekinah. However, both
of these words in Hebrew are feminine."
The Feminine Gender of the Holy Spirit
On the Orthodox Revision of the Gender of the Holy Spirit
Jaroslav Siefert, one of the Nobel Prize winning poets, has said that if you want to know truth look to the heretics. Jesus Christ said that his words are truth. Jesus, himself, by most at the time was considered the worst of heretics and even today in secrets of some hearts he is considered the same and worthy of his humiliating death. Paul, in his time, was, and to this day, is considered by many as a chief heretic. He, too, was personally silenced by execution. Marcion, a labeled second century heretic whose actions insured that the Pauline letters would be preserved, was also silenced in a differing and more enduring way.
When we look for truth along the bloody trail of the heretics what they said needs to be harmonized with the words about and from the chief heretic, Jesus Christ. In of itself, being labeled a heretic does not guarantee the truth of the entire message or even any part of it. If the message of the heretic does harmonize with scripture then we have truth. Martin Luther was considered a heretic by the then established church because he proclaimed that justification came by faith rather than works. It became evident from scripture that his words on the subject, in the end, were true. It was fortunate that he was given the time to develop his message and the means to make it known to a large number of hearers; otherwise, he and his message, as others were, could have been swept under the rug of personal destruction so that we all could still be paying the church to justify our dead family members.
When we look to the heretics we have two problems. First, we have the tactics used to destroy what is considered heretical. The initial response to a heretic is silence so that a response does not draw the attention of others. If the apparent heresy persists the heretic is punished by character assassination or public humiliation so that others tremble at the thought of adopting the heresy. Finally, if possible the means of the state are used to silence the heresy as it was with the Arian controversy of the fourth century. The heretic's words are adulterated to obscure the so-called heresy and to convict him. Tertullian, who was an educated Roman attorney, used his skill to convict someone by selectively using Marcion's words to counter his so-called heresy. Like Tertullian's writings against Marcion, many times what we have existent today of the heretics words were written by those who detested them. It has been said that whether a leader is determined to be good or bad is based on who writes the history books. In the case of Marcion, since all of his own writings and writings in support of him were destroyed, we have only had one side of the story. The second problem we have is that in places the words of the original scripture have been altered purposefully to eliminate what the Orthodox Church considered as heresy and its possible resurgence. This chapter concerns what I believe is one of the most detrimental alterations of this kind from the texts.
To expose this alteration we ask from our understandings of the nature of man what could have been the scenario that precipitated this probable internment of truth. We search among the accumulated historical debris of some considered church fathers for their silence or fragmented relics of truth amongst their criticisms. We also search the words of some who were people of conscience who left us a record of the possible alternatives to what they were to record for acceptance within the Orthodox Church. Next we look to the minute detail of the text itself and then to the scope of all scripture to synthesize our understandings of truth. Finally, we consider, that if this is true, what are the implications for faith today.
For this study we have begun by focusing on the heretic, Marcion, who was noted disparagingly as a facilitator of the so-called Gnostic heresy. What gem or gems of truth can we sift from the historical remnants of the Gnostics' beliefs through the detail of the texts and the scope of scripture to find this pertinent heresy? According to Elaine Pagels' enlightening book, The Gnostic Gospels, one of the established church's primary fears of and primary accusations of the Gnostics was that they were attracting large numbers of women and having women minister in contrast to the Orthodox Church. Was there a basis in ancient scripture for the fundamental belief in the value of women in their churches or was this a "throw back" to the more proximate pagan prophetesses and goddesses in Greek religion? From a variety of sources in their writings it is apparent that they believed that the Holy Spirit was the feminine spouse of God the Father. As one moves on, I believe that one will see that they had justification from a basis in scripture for this belief.
G. Zuntz, the noted higher critic, from his lifetime of examining the oldest Greek texts and textual fragments from the third century forward, writes that there was no attempt in the West to maintain the integrity of the original texts until Jerome produced the Latin Vulgate at the request of the papacy in the fourth century. Zuntz, by using the standard practice of textual comparison, in his detailed analysis of the oldest Pauline manuscript, notes, in his book, The Text of the Epistles, numerous places where the text has been altered. Jerome, himself, in letters to his colleagues, bewails the fact that he has so many variant texts to select from for the compilation of a standardized version. At one point before him he has the old Hieronymian text and its revision. He says, "The differences throughout are clear and striking." In his writings he does leave us a clue to the subject at hand. At one point he has before him the Gospel to the Hebrews written in Aramaic used by the Syrian Christians which, as some now say, was the forerunner to the gospel of Matthew and predated the four canonical gospels. In it, Jerome says that the Holy Spirit is expressed in the feminine gender and is considered the mother in law of the soul. (Library 11, commentary in Isaiah, chapter 11: Library 2, commentary. In Micah 7.6) So here is some additional external evidence from an unrelated source that the Holy Spirit was originally considered feminine.
Where then do we go for direct textual evidence that the Holy Spirit was, in the origins of Christianity, considered feminine? We go to the existing Greek minuscules copied in the early part of the last millennium to find only circumstantial evidence. Likewise, as we go to the earlier copied Greek uncials, the Byzantine copies, the eastern Syriac Peshitta, and the Old Latin we find some peripheral corroboration. Then when we go to the earlier copied Old Syriac that predates the Peshitta we find a pearl of great price. In the most ancient of the rare Old Syriac copies, the Siniatic Palimpsest, from the 4th or 5th century, found in the Covenant of St. Catherine in the Sinia by Mrs. Anes Lewis and transcribed by Syriac Professor R.L. Bensly of Cambridge University in 1892, the words of Jesus in John 14:26 read:
But She—the Spirit-the Paraclete whom He will send to you-my Father-in my name—She will teach you everything; She will remind you of that which I have told you.
(Translation courtesy of Danny Mahar, author of Aramaic Made EZ)
In both the Hebrew and Aramaic language the word spirit is in the feminine gender but in the Greek language it is neuter. It is the Greek neuter word, pnuema, that was employed by the ancient Septuagint translators of the Hebrew Old Testament when they translated the feminine ruach into Greek. The authors who wrote in Greek were limited in expressing the Holy Spirit in the feminine by the constraints of the language. In addition, signposts directing one to the feminine nature of the Holy Spirit may have been removed or altered. Bart Ehrman, writes in his book, The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture, that from his comparative analysis, the Orthodox Church altered the texts to counter various beliefs considered heresies, especially during the time of Marcion, when they were compiling their own canon of the four gospels. It was the early gospel of John that was a favorite of the Gnostics and considered heretical by the Orthodox Church according to textual critic Walter Bauer. What if to sustain their developing male hierarchy and to contain the growth of the Marcionite and Gnostic churches and their attractiveness to women, the orthodox revisionists altered additional signposts to this feminine aspect of the Holy Spirit and emphasized their modified canon to counter Marcion's canon of Luke and the Pauline letters and the Gnostics beliefs? When we add the evidence in the scope of scripture and the historical evidence of conflict between the Orthodox Church and the Gnostics, I believe one can consider this likely.
(It is also interesting to note in the context of early church history that the Gnostics' writings rarely refer to the orthodox canon of the four gospels and over time refer less and less to it. Could it have been that they were aware of the revisions concerning the feminine gender of the Holy Spirit and had no desire to give credence to the altered canon used by the Orthodox Church to stifle them? This, I believe, eventually worked to their detriment, because it seems that groups of Gnostics diverged widely from the scripture as a whole. Could it be that they, in their portion of separation, were eventually reversed and, in a different manner, twisted in disarray?)
When we move forward and consider the witness of the stars where no man's hand can make alterations, the feminine gender of the Holy Spirit becomes more likely. Moses, in writing the book of Genesis, proclaims that the luminous celestial bodies in the darkness of night's heaven and the sun's brilliant light are for signs. Signs are symbols that point to something beyond themselves. Half of the major constellations are named with Semitic words that are feminine. In fact, within and in proximity to many of these major constellations are signs that point to a male-female interrelation. Joseph Seiss' book The Gospel of the Stars, states that the two figures in Gemini, according to the most ancient Zodiac of Dendra, are not identical twins but those of a man and woman walking hand in hand. He goes on to say, that the word Gemini in the original Hebrew, Arabic and Syriac does not carry so much the idea of two brought forth at the same birth as it does the idea of a long betrothal brought to its consummation in perfect marriage. The old Coptic name of this sign signifies "the completely joined." The constellation of Virgo, which represents the woman about to bring forth, has above it in the sky the constellation Bootes that is named with a masculine noun. Peter, in his second epistle, calls light in darkness and the dawning sun a "more sure word of prophecy" than even the voice from heaven heard on the Mount of Transfiguration. (II Peter 1:19)
Why could it be then that the second century theologians and translators were blinded to the importance of the femininity of the Holy Spirit? The power of Rome, in which Western culture is deeply rooted, was built on the three disciplines of virtus, pietas, and fides. Virtus conveys the idea of an individual's harmonious integration. According to Pierre Grimal, a professor of Latin literature at the Sorbonne, this harmonious integration may not be what we first think. He writes, "When a Roman spoke of virtus he was less likely to mean conformity to abstract values than spontaneous assertion by action of the essential virile qualities of self mastery – granting to the feminine weakness, with a certain contempt, the characteristic of impotentia sui, an inability to control its nature." In the second century, in the West, the educated Roman male who was trained in this discipline of male self-mastery became the bishop or the theologian. Because of the prestige and power of Rome these exerted pressure on the Eastern churches to conform to their doctrines. In the third century the Roman bishop actually excommunicated all the Eastern churches that would not change the date of Easter from the Hebrew calendar's date that corresponded to a day determined by each year's particular lunar cycles to a consistently prescribed Sunday based on the Julian calendar. In time even the power and influence of the Roman Emperor began to be used by the West to settle doctrinal disputes with the Eastern churches.
The Feminine Gender of the Holy Spirit
On the Orthodox Revision of the Gender of the Holy Spirit
(Excerpted from the manuscript, A Journey Unto Revelation's End, by Steve Santini)
The Gospel of John inthe Light of Indian Mysticism, Ravi Ravindra, page 18
"Usage in Hebrew Bible and Hebrew grammar rules allow modifiers of feminine noun 'ruach', meaning 'spirit' to be either masculine or feminine."
January 21, 2013
Dear Jagbir and all,
Hebrew is the original language of the Bible, especially of the Old Testament, with a few parts being in Aramaic. i have done a transcription of the appended video (which shows the Hebrew characters that depict the Holy Spirit) - and these Hebrew characters depict the Holy Spirit in most cases to be a "She", that is, "the Divine Feminine".
Most passages depicting the Holy Spirit in modern Bibles depict Her in the neuter or masculine gender. So, something has been lost over time in the translations/knowledge. The translators did not have the Gnosis/Knowledge of Sahaja Yoga that we have received from the Holy Spirit-Paraclete at this time, and moreover, they were very focussed on the Patriarchy and patriarchal matters, that is, "the Divine Masculine".
This has resulted in knowledge of the Divine Feminine being obscured from the reality/everyday life of human beings, especially that of those coming from the western religious worldview. In other words, they didn't know She existed!! They didn't know that the Holy Spirit spoken of in their Bibles, is the Divine Mother. To them, the Holy Spirit is an obscure personality of the Godhead that is depicted as either neuter or masculine in gender.
It is therefore no wonder that western Christians are often quite confused about the role and identity of the Holy Spirit, because when you have a Father-God and a Son-God, it is most confusing to leave out the Mother-God!! It just goes against all known human and divine principles to have a Father, a Son, but no Mother....This is why a lot of western Christians have had a hard time understanding the role of the Holy Spirit, because they don't understand Her as the Divine Mother, or the Feminine Principle/Power of the Universe.
While the Father-God is given a gender (masculine) and the Son-God is given a gender (masculine) - the Holy Spirit is also given a masculine/or neuter gender. This makes the gender-identity very one-sided and nature is not that way. Rather, nature is balanced in all aspects, as designed by the Creator Father-Mother-God: "As above, so below" - and so it is.
As already stated, western Christians had no idea that the Mother-God was even missing, due to the above-described patriarchal worldview. They had no idea that their unsure masculine/neuter gender identity for the Holy Spirit could be due to having missed out on an understanding of the existence of the Mother-God aspect of the Trinity, which includes God the Father, God the Mother, and God the Son.... And as children of God the Father and God the Mother, we can come into conscious spiritual unity with our true, spiritual parents through our Second Birth or Self-realization, which is an internal experience of becoming "one with the Divine" whereby not just intellectually, but in a very deep internal way, we KNOW that we are a spark of that Divine Unity within our very own being itself!
The 'missing Divine Mother' has actually been there all along, even within our very own selves. Most of the western world would have read or heard about a Divine Mother by now, though they may still not believe in Her or recognize Her within - "She" being the Holy Spirit of whom the Spirit-Paraclete, Shri Mataji, spoke and taught about - just like Jesus explained that another Paraclete, like Himself, would do!
The missing piece of the puzzle - the "Mother-God" that goes along with the rest of the trinity that includes the Father-God and Son-God is a puzzle no longer. As suggested above, some will still deny that She exists as the Mother-God, because they cannot clearly read about Her, as such, in their English Christian Bibles, and also because they have this Christian conditioning that has accompanied them for so long, that there's only the Father-God and the Son-God, but no Mother-God.
However, at this time of immense spiritual worldview transformation, at this time of the Last Judgment and Resurrection that has been potentially made into a beautiful time instead of a doomful time through the teachings of the Paraclete that Jesus sent, increasing numbers of Christians are realizing/recognizing that not only do they have a Divine Father and Divine Son, but that they have a Divine Mother too! They are starting to understand that the original source material of their Bibles, undoubtedly of the "Old Testament", comes from the Hebrew language, with a few parts in Aramaic - and this source material recognizes the Holy Spirit as a "SHE".
To show this (and i hope you will find the Hebrew translation as breathtaking and touching as i have), the transcription of the youtube video (titled, "PROOF Female HOLY SPIRIT, a SHE in Bible - Hebrew feminine more than grammatical gender") is appended.
Title of youtube video: PROOF Female HOLY SPIRIT, a SHE in Bible - Hebrew feminine more than grammatical gender (see URL below)
(Transcription from video to words - 22/01/2013):
Remember, Hebrew is the original language of the Bible - undoubtedly of the "Old Testament", with a few parts in Aramaic.
Job 3:4 [in the original Hebrew source/language] literally reads,
The SPIRIT of El,
and, the BREATH of Shaddai,
Numbers 11:26 [in the original Hebrew source/language] literally reads,
and the SPIRIT,
SHE-rested upon them...
and they prophesied in the camp.
Psalm 143:10 [in the original Hebrew source/language] literally reads,
THY SPIRIT is good;
into the land of uprightness
Isaiah 11:1-2 [in the original Hebrew source/language] literally reads,
There shall come forth a Rod out of the Stem of Jesse,
and a Branch shall grow out of HIS Roots
and the SPIRIT of YAHUVEH SHE-shall-rest-upon-him
-the SPIRIT of Wisdom and Understanding
the SPIRIT of Counsel and Might,
the SPIRIT of Knowledge and of the Fear of YAHUVEH
[In the original Hebrew source/language there is a] Female HOLY SPIRIT in:
Genesis 1:2, Exodus 31:3; 35:31, Numbers 11:26; 24:2, Judges 3:10; 6:34; 11:29; 13:25; 14:6,19; 15:14, 1 Samuel 10:6,10; 11:6; 16:13,14; 19:20,23, Job 26:13; 33:4; Psalms 51:12; 143:10, Nehemiah 9:20, 1 Chronicles 12:18, 2 Chronicles 15:1; 20:14; 24:20, 2 Kings 2:15, Isaiah 11:2; 40:7; 59:19, Ezekiel 1:12,20,21; 2:2; 3:12,14,24; 8:3; 11:1,5,24; 36:26; 37:1; 43:5, Haggai 2:5
For the interlinear Bible pictured in this video, visit scripture4all.org
(Not all interlinear Bibles show modifying verbs' gender).
The usage in the Hebrew Bible and Hebrew grammar rules allow modifiers of this feminine noun (ruach - meaning spirit) to be either masculine OR feminine. This means a Hebrew author shows by the modifiers if a spirit is actually a male person.
However, the author of Scripture, 'WHO is the HOLY SPIRIT' (2 Peter 1:20-21) identified HERSELF as being a female NOT a male person (by the modifiers). This is absolute proof of the HOLY SPIRIT'S gender. Not all interlinear Bibles contain this information. For the interlinear Bible pictured in this video, visit scripture4all.org
In Old Testament Scriptures, the phrase "RUACH Ha KADOSH (Hebrew for HOLY SPIRIT) is rarely found (Psalm 51:10-12; Isaiah 63:10-11), but "RUACH YAHUVEH" and "RUACH ELOHIM" (Hebrew for Spirit of [the Lord] YAHUVEH and Spirit of God) among others are often used for the HOLY SPIRIT. These are given feminine instead of masculine modifiers, clearly identifying the HOLY SPIRIT as FEMALE. This is true and can be confirmed, for example, in an interlinear Bible. But keep in mind, a FEW times RUACH YAHUVEH and RUACH ELOHIM have masculine modifiers.
However, in these cases, they refer to YAHUVEH the Father, which explains the masculine modifiers as in 2 Samuel 23:2-3 for example, which literally reads,
RUACH YAHUVEH HE-spoke to me and HIS-declaration was on my-tongue. The God of Israel HE-said, the Rock of Israel HE-spoke...
The context in these cases shows it is not the Person of the HOLY SPIRIT, but YAHUVEH being described here in HIS very Fatherly masculine role ABBA (Father) YAHUVEH - the Supreme Power and Authority over all.
On the other hand, Jews have always known the HOLY SPIRIT to be the female aspect/part of God - submissive to the Father YAHUVEH, and yet part of HIM, an emanation of HIM sent to do HIS will (John 14:26; 15:26).
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