Women and the Gender of God– The Dialogue Part Eight

Women and the Gender of God– The Dialogue Part Eight March 28, 2023

Q. It appears to me that historically speaking it is the ministry of Jesus (Lk. 8.1-3) which involved female disciples and the theology that arose out of Pentecost wherein calling and gifting, not gender was to determine roles in the Jesus movement, not the incarnation, and Mary’s involvement in it, that led to women’s various new roles in the Jesus movement. I say this especially in light of the Pauline literature. How would you differ at this point?


A. I think this can be a both/and. Certainly Jesus’ ministry and Pentecost are major reasons why the movement included the gifts of women, but I have a hunch that Paul is also working with Jesus’ birth in some of his most challenging passages on gender roles. As you might have guessed by now, that will be in the next book!


Q. The fact that Jesus teaches his disciples to pray to God as Abba, as does Paul later does not suggest that Jesus’ Abba language as an address to God merely has to do with his own unique begetting as the divine Son, though it surely is grounded in that. The fact that the intimate relationship with Abba can also be had by his disciples suggests that through Jesus the Son, we may become sons and daughters of God, and co-heirs even family with Jesus.  Both Jesus and Paul encourage us to address God as Abba (which is not Aramaic slang for Daddy, but is rather a term of endearment’’ father dearest’.  I don’t think we are encouraged in the Bible to name God or address God as Mother.  I imagine you’ll have reasons to think otherwise?


A. No. I totally agree with you. I would not prohibit anyone from doing so, but I agree that Scripture teaches us to address God as Father, and I aim to present an argument that in so doing, there is a radically affirmation of the role of Mary/women in God’s salvation.


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