SCRIPTURAL SUGGESTIONS OF THE FEMININITY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT (CONTINUATION #3)

SCRIPTURAL SUGGESTIONS OF THE FEMININITY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT (CONTINUATION #3)

The Holy Spirit Identified as Feminine in Revelation 12 (an update of the previous item: The Holy Spirit Identified as Feminine in Original Scripture)

Revelation 12 reads as follows:

“And there appeared a great wonder in heaven – a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars. And she, being with child, cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.

“And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and, behold, a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven and did cast them to the earth; and the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to be delivered, to devour her child as soon as it was born.

“And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron; and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne. And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared by God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days. And there was war in heaven; Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon fought and his angels, and prevailed not, neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil and Satan, who deceiveth the whole world; he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

“And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ; for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, who accused them before our God day and night. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and of the sea! For the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.

“And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman who brought forth the man child. And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent. And the serpent cast out of his mouth water like a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away by the flood. And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth. And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, who keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.”

Who is this marvelous woman? Catholics claim that she is Mary, while Protestants lean toward Israel. But this passage becomes far more awesome and beautiful with an identification of this Woman as the Holy Spirit. Moving beyond aesthetic considerations to the logical, both Mary and Israel lack credibility, as neither would be appropriate candidates for the heavenly clothing with which She is adorned, which imply Her role as Co-Creator with the Father. Her spiritual station among the Highest, including the account herein of Her birth of Jesus Christ, is also implied.

According to her thoroughly researched book God is Not Alone – Our Mother the Holy Spirit, Marianne Widmalm references passages in Isaiah 66 to support the identification of this Woman as the Holy Spirit.

The timing of the events in Revelation 12 have led me to speculate, without definitive justification at this point in time, whether the birth of Jesus referred to in this passage might relate to the possibility that Jesus did indeed die on the cross thoroughly and completely, demanding that His resurrection involved the Holy Spirit’s laboring over a complete reconstruction of Him, including the imprint in His mind of every memory and every event that took place during His sojourn on Earth. At this point, this is just an idea, but a very moving one.

The Holy Spirit Identified as Feminine in Early Post-Resurrection Christian Writings (an update of the previous item: The Holy Spirit Identified as Feminine in Original Scripture)

In her book God is Not Alone, noted above, Marianne Widmalm goes to great lengths to show that The Gospel of the Hebrews, written in the Hebrew language, preceded and influenced the writing of Matthew’s Gospel. The importance of this precursor Gospel is that it described the Holy Spirit as feminine. Widmalm cites early Church Father Origin (185-254 A.D.) as declaring from the Gospel of the Hebrews that Jesus Himself called the Holy Spirit His Mother (see pp. 172,173 of The Gospel of the Hebrews). Widmalm cites several other notable Christian writers of the first through fourth centuries, including Jerome, who also alluded to a feminine Holy Spirit. She speculates that in the movement of the Church toward a Trinitarian formula defining a genderless or masculine Holy Spirit, The Gospel of the Hebrews was destroyed by well-meaning but terribly misguided individuals as being inconsistent with the emerging theological direction of the Church. This situation may be similar to the wholesale destruction of ancient Mayan documents as presided over by the Spaniard Diego de Landa. Because of his acts, almost all our knowledge of early Americans was lost forever.

The Feminine Nature of the Holy Spirit in the Book of Wisdom

The Book of Wisdom, which is canonical in the Catholic Bible, presents the Holy Spirit as feminine and directly links Her to Wisdom as presented in the Book of Proverbs.

On the other hand, the Catholic Church, by elevating Mary as she did, did not completely deny the family of God the balancing femininity it so badly needs, so maybe Irenaeus should be respected a bit more in the Protestant community. Another thing the Catholic Church did for the feminine which the Protestant Church did not was to include the Book of Wisdom within the body of canonical, and therefore considered to be inspired, Old Testament books. This beautifully-written book furnishes several interesting passages suggestive of the identity of Wisdom as the feminine Holy Spirit. Selected passages are presented below:

“And in your wisdom have established humankind . . .Give me Wisdom, the consort at your throne . . . Now with you is Wisdom, who knows your works and was present when you made the world; Who understands what is pleasing in your eyes and what is conformable with your commands. Send her forth from your holy heavens and from your glorious throne dispatch her that she may be with me and work with me, that I may know what is pleasing to you. For she knows and understands all things, and will guide me prudently in my affairs and safeguard me to her glory . . . Or who can know your counsel, unless you give Wisdom and send your holy spirit from on high?

– Wisdom 9:2, 4, 9-11, 17

The Identification of the Holy Spirit with Birth in John 3

Chapter 3 of the Gospel of John describes the Holy Spirit as possessing the function of spiritual birth. Birth, of course, is an eminently feminine attribute.

“There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews; the same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God; for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. Jesus answered, and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?

“Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound of it, but canst not tell from where it cometh, and where it goeth; so is every one that is born of the Spirit.”

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