Is It Okay to Call God “She”?

Is it okay to call God “she”? What if we refer to Him as “Her”?

These are questions I would direct to those who fail to comprehend the obvious point that pronouns carry implicit meaning based on their number, person, and gender.

Who, the normal reader may ask, would ever deny that they carry meaning? Isn’t it obvious that “he” signifies a singular masculine personal subject, while “she” signifies a singular female personal subject?

It is indeed obvious. But if we will admit that pronouns carry an implicit meaning regarding person, number, and gender etc., this poses a significant problem for those who maintain that we may call the Trinity “he” while yet denying that this constitutes treating the Trinity as a person.

Those who try to maintain such a position are faced with a dilemma: either they must say that pronouns do not carry these implicit meanings, and thus open the door to calling God “she” and “her” on the supposed basis that they do not carry any meaning, or else, if they will admit that pronouns carry these implicit meaning, then they must admit the obvious: calling the Trinity “he” and “him” constitute treating the Trinity as a person, since they are specifically personal and singular pronouns.

These are really the only two options. If they deny this on the basis that the pronoun’s grammatical significance isn’t real, saying things like “just because we are using personal pronouns doesn’t mean we’re treating him as a person”, then anyone using “she” for any person of the Trinity might use the same argument to dismiss their own language. But if they will admit that pronouns have the meaning mentioned above (gender, person, number etc) they will be forced to admit the unavoidable conclusion that using a singular personal pronoun for the Trinity constitutes treating it as a single person.

But, someone might say, God doesn’t have a body. He is incorporeal, uncreated, infinite and immaterial. God does not have a gender, as such. Therefore, why would it matter what gender of pronoun we use for God?

The simple answer to this is that scripture always uses male pronouns for God, not because it is intending to communicate a bodily gender (which God does not have), but because there is biblically an association of headship with the male gender, and submission with the female gender (see 1 Cor 11). Not because God somehow has a bodily male gender then, perish the thought, but because of the the supreme headship God and His Son share over all creation, They are always referred to with masculine personal pronouns.

So what’s the point? The point is that scripture acknowledges a significance to the pronouns used. Because pronouns carry implicit meaning, scripture uses only masculine pronouns for the persons of God and His Son, to indicate their headship (and in the case of Christ, because He actually took on a male body in the incarnation). We may also note the significance of personal pronouns in Genesis 1 noted by the early church (see: https://nicenefaith.wordpress.com/2018/01/05/do-pronouns-matter/ ).

The fact that pronouns carry significant meaning in their person, number, and gender is something attested to by the scriptures, church fathers, grammarians, English dictionaries, and nearly anyone with a basic understanding of the language. In light of this wealth of proof, I encourage those who have taken a contrary stance to re-examine their position, and submit themselves to the teaching of scripture, and the general rules of the English language.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s