Do you think God is male? Think again.

treesDo you think God is male? Think again.

If we go back to the original words spoken by Jesus Christ, God was not male; God was “Abba” or parent – non-gender specific.

God is not male. The world needs to accept that. And soon. Because the belief that God is male has caused more tragedy on our planet than perhaps any other notion.

Women are still struggling their way up from the subjugation caused by this male-oriented concept.

After spousal/child/animal abuse and bullying, nothing gets me more upset than hearing God referred to as “He.”

“The Lord’s Prayer” is a particular pet peeve of mine because it is not even close to what Jesus Christ would have said.

Before you get upset with me and stop reading, hear me out. My evidence goes back to the Aramaic language spoken by Jesus Christ.

The impact on women

In the U.S., we’ve come a long way from the days when women were considered the property of their husbands. After long struggles, we gained the right to vote, drive, own property of our own, and have moved into previously male-only careers.

Our progress was hampered by the notion that God is a male and, therefore, women are inferior.

It’s particularly ingrained in the United States where we have never had a female president. In England, where rule is hereditary, women were monarchs but it was believed that they could only rule if they married and had a husband’s counsel to guide them!

All the English queens except Elizabeth I bought into that, and she ruled quite well without a husband.

It’s so ingrained in modern culture and consciousness that most women don’t even think twice about changing their name to their husband’s when they marry, even though this custom harks back to the time women were considered their husband’s property.

For those married women who have retained their birth names, I salute you.

Native languages and God as a Male

Native Americans originally viewed the Creator above and Earth Mother below as an equal partnership responsible for the existence of life on earth. The Earth Mother was equally revered.

It wasn’t until the missionaries came along and taught that God was male that God as “He” entered their consciousness and language.

The problems with translations

Translation from one language to another is always a tricky business. Each language grew out of the culture, history and geography of the people who speak it.

In fact language is such a reflection of the culture that one of the first things conquering nations will do to subjugate their victims is to forbid them to speak their own language.

In that way, their identity and history will die off. Hence, the phrase “kill the language, kill the culture.”

This was, in particular, the fate of most indigenous peoples conquered by Europeans throughout history. Many, many languages were lost. And those native people are now working hard to bring their original languages back.

Here is an example of language as a reflection of a culture and the difficulties of translation:

When the missionaries were attempting to convert the plains Indians of North America to Christianity, they taught the prayer familiar to most Christians: “Oh, lamb of God, have mercy on us sinners.”

But the Plains Indians had no sheep, and no words for “sin” or “mercy.” So in their language, the prayer came out like this:

“Oh, little baby billy goat, come on over here and look at this fool; and have pity on him.”

Loses something, doesn’t it?

So you can see the problem; it’s not always possible to have an accurate translation from one language to another.

Which leads me to Aramaic, Greek and English.

The Aramaic words of Jesus Christ

There is no dispute that Jesus Christ and his followers spoke the Aramaic language 2000 years ago.

Most New Testament translations went from Aramaic to Greek then underwent further translations from there.

Aramaic is a rich and textured language, and each word presents several possible translations, including metaphysical meanings. Biblical translations into Greek couldn’t do it justice; the poetic language of Aramaic, with many layers of meaning, became overly literal and misinterpreted.

And words were added that did not exist in Aramaic.

Many terms attributed to Christ in the Bible would have been unknown to him: sinner, sin, devil, heaven, hell and even referring to God as Father.

Here are examples of words from the New Testament and their original meaning in Aramaic:

Kingdom:  The Great Mother

Heaven:  The universe, or the kingdom within us, the sky, the furthest extent of anything. Sacred vibration that vibrates without limit through the entire cosmos.

Daily bread:  Nourishment of all kinds

Father:  Abba, meaning parent or ancestor

Sinner:  one who is off the mark, unripe

Sin:  Error, failure, mistake

Satan:  Adversary, that which causes one to go astray

Hell:  There is no comparable word in Aramaic

Good: Ripe

Evil:  Unripe; not the right time or place

Spirit: Breath, air, wind. Therefore, “Holy Spirit” can mean “Holy Breath.”

 So you can see the problem with translation from Aramaic.

Aramaic Lord’s Prayer 

Because of the richness of the Aramaic language, there are many possible interpretations of The Lord’s Prayer. Here is the translation I find most meaningful:

O Birther

Father Mother of the Cosmos

Thou of the shimmering soul

Unite our minds

Let all wills move

In love through the vortex of light and sound

Help us fulfill

What lies within

And circle our lives

With love for one another

You are the vital force

Sustaining all life

From you is born

All love

And beauty

Forever

Amen

 

It’s beautiful, and soft, and even feminine. Quite different than what’s been handed down to us. I think it’s time we adopted this version. And realize God is not a male; God is everything.

Note: Much of the source for this post came from Prayers of the Cosmos: Meditations on the Aramaic Words of Jesus
by Neil Douglas-Klotz

Molly Larkin is the co-author of the international best-seller “The Wind Is My Mother; The Life and Teachings of a Native American Shaman.” She is passionate about helping people live life to their fullest potential through her classes and blog at www.MollyLarkin.com
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6 Comments

  1. Bill

    God is Life

    • Molly Larkin

      Yes, indeed. Thank you.

  2. Corey

    Very interesting Molly. Always learning something new when I read your posts and I couldn’t agree more with this one! Thank you again!

    • Molly Larkin

      You’re very welcome. Glad to hear it.

  3. FireSign

    Well, this was interesting, but not exactly correct. However, you are on the right track. In Aramaic – which was the “common” language of the Jews – as opposed to Hebrew which is the sacred language, “Abba” does mean “father” and “Eema” means “mother.” Like many other languages, there is no neutral gender. It is the same today for Hebrew-speakers.

    The book you refer to was written by a Sufi, not by someone who grew up studying Aramaic. My teacher is Rabbi Gershon Winkler, who is very conversant in both ancient and modern Hebrew, and Aramaic. This is necessary as many of the current Hebrew prayers are in Aramaic, as is many of our ancient writings. You have to know Aramaic as well as Hebrew to study, for example, Torah and Talmud.

    G-d is neither male nor female. The Hebrew word used for the Being that created the universe is “Shekhina” which is a female-gendered word. This makes sense as a man has never given birth or “created” anything in that way. This aspect of G-d is female. Other aspects are male. This is why it is said that humankind was created in G-d’s image, “male and female” in the beginning, somewhat of a hermaphrodite. Only later were they separated into a male and a female, with the female given the ability to create humans. Not alone, of course, or there wouldn’t be much need for males, which isn’t necessarily desirable either. We are forced to require both sexes in order to continue the species.

    There are many other names of G-d that are not normally heard, and I refer you to the writings of Rabbi Gershon Winkler, as well as Rabbi Miriam Maron, who study and write about the indigenous, shamanic aspects of Judaism.

    G-d has all sorts of cool names if you translate directly from the Aramaic and Hebrew. Christian sources regarding this are not reliable. The most reliable sources are Jewish texts. At least, that is my opinion.

    • Molly Larkin

      Excellent information; thank you very much.

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