Trivium Pursuit

Grammatical gender does not necessarily correspond with actual gender

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Bluedorn,

Thank you so much for your ministry. I have owned and read your book for six years now. It’s my most recommended homeschool book to new homeschoolers. It’s been such a blessing to me.

My question is a simple curiosity question regarding the Hebrew language. I am a homeschool mom of five, ages 3 to 14. I barely have time to teach my children Latin (although we’re working on it) let alone learn Hebrew at this point. So I have a question about Hebrew words and you were the first ones I thought to ask.

I have noticed when I use the Strong’s bible (I have an app for my iPad) and I look up the Hebrew meaning of words, it will often say that the word is the feminine form of another word. Usually this is in the context of studying God’s character (at least in my own study). It made me wonder if the use of the feminine form of the word is reference to the feminine side of God. Now I am assuming there is a feminine side of God only from the idea that we are created in His image, male and female. Please correct me in this if I am wrong. As a woman having been raised in a feminist world and was also a female athlete for some years, I do not often carry a sensitive gentle feminine side toward my children. At least it’s not consistent. So I decided to begin looking into the characteristics of God that might also characterize a mom and pray for His grace to make me like Him. The fact that I keep finding the feminine form of words made me wonder if the Hebrew writers used the feminine form to display God’s feminine, maybe even softer side.

Thank you, if you have the time, for answering my question.
In His Grace,
Jane

Dear Jane,

The Feminine is grammatical gender, not actual personal gender.

For comparison, we commonly refer to boats with “she,” but a boat has no actual personal gender.

In German, a young girl is das m├Ądchen — neuter grammatical gender, but feminine in actual personal gender.

Grammatical gender does not necessarily correspond with actual gender.

Harvey

2 Responses to “Grammatical gender does not necessarily correspond with actual gender”

  1. Leslie Says:

    The Holy Spirit is the representation of a mother as our counselor, teacher, helper- gently and not forcibly overbearing, etc..

  2. Robin Wheatley Says:

    Leslie, it’s funny that you brought that up. When I asked my Sunday School kids (very new to church) who the three persons of God were, they came up with the Son, the Father, and the Mother! I said that the third was not the mother, but the Holy Spirit, but I’d never thought of the Spirit in that aspect, so of course, they were sort of right!

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