Abstract

An examination of the phenomenon of cross-gender imagery in the Bible reveals that gendered imagery does not affect gender designation. Thus a masculine person is grammatically always identified (or "designated") as masculine, even when feminine imagery is used to describe him. This rule is true of both OT and NT and of both human and divine persons. Feminine imagery for God may reflect the rhetoric of kingship in the ancient Near East, in which kings are compared to mothers.

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