Wednesday, September 05, 2012

More from John W. Miller on God-as-Father

"The proposal that God is sometimes thought of as feminine or genderless in biblical tradition is not supported by the evidence.  On the other hand, Yahweh is not simply regarded as male either, but as a father whose caring is often experienced as mother-like in its tenderness and compassion." (p. 55)

Miller shows (pp. 55-65) that feminine imagery for God in both testaments is rare and invariably indirect.  God is not a mother, though He has mothering qualities.

"Through the rituals of redemption of the first-born, circumcision, and passover, faith in God as redemptive, caring father was linked to human fathering and Israelite fathers came to be involved in the care and teaching of their own children to a degree that was unique in the world of their time." (p. 69)

Miller analyzes the religious rites of the Mosaic Covenant from the perspective of their influence on the practice of fathering in Israelite society, especially (but not limited to) the bonding of fathers with their sons.


A. T. Wallace said...

Is there discussion of circumcision in light of this?

John Bergsma said...

Yes. If I get a chance, I'll post a quote from what he says about it.