Rawlings School of Divinity


Master of Arts in Biblical Studies (MA)


Mark Allen


Feminine Language, Trinity, Fatherhood of God, Hebrew Bible, Linguistics, Metaphor Theory, Women, Image of God, Egalitarian, Complementarian


Anthropology | Religion


Genesis 1:27 affirms that God created males and females in his image, suggesting that there are both masculine and feminine aspects to God's nature. Despite this, evangelical Christians often emphasize God's masculine attributes and minimize God's feminine qualities. This thesis seeks to promote awareness of the feminine language for God in the Hebrew Bible and to consider its implications for understanding the image of God in women. The research begins with a historical overview of feminist and evangelical scholarship on language for God, as well as an introduction to the Conceptual Metaphor Theory and its application in Biblical Studies. The thesis then explores four types of feminine metaphors for God in the Hebrew Bible: GOD AS A BIRTHING MOTHER, GOD AS A NURSING MOTHER, GOD AS A PROTECTIVE MOTHER BIRD, and GOD AS A MIDWIFE. These metaphors communicate important truths about God's character such as his commitment, faithfulness, protection, and deliverance of his people. Additionally, this thesis examines the trinitarian language of God the Father, arguing that while the awareness and use of feminine language are important for the Church, the title of God the Father should remain unchanged. The findings suggest that a greater awareness of feminine language for God can help Christians to equally celebrate masculinity and femininity. Ultimately, this research contributes to a broader understanding of the image of God in women and highlights the importance of embracing both masculine and feminine language in Christian speech about God.