Church of Sweden Changes Grammatical Gender of Holy Spirit to “She”

holy spirit mother, woman image of the holy spirit

You may of heard a bit of “fake news” last year in regards to the Church of Sweden deciding  to stop calling God ‘He’ or ‘Lord’. Headlines read like this: “Priests to be banned from calling God “He” or the “Lord.” But that wasn’t exactly what had happened. The Swedish church had merely decided to make some updates:

“The Church Assembly, a 251-member decision-making body, voted on Thursday with a large majority to update the handbook, which includes the Church’s aim to use language that is ‘more inclusive’….

Some of the updated language includes three alternatives for the words to use at the start of worship services, including one which is gender-neutral: “In the name of the Father and Son, and the Holy Spirit,” “In the name of God, the Father and Son, and the Holy Spirit”, and “In the name of the triune God”.

The Church Assembly also agreed to use the female grammatical gender for the Holy Spirit, as it the case in Hebrew as well as in the 2000 Swedish Bible translation (‘den heliga anden’ as opposed to ‘den helige ande’).”

Link to the rest here…

Changing the grammatical gender of the Spirit in order to match the Hebrew is a good idea. It’s one step toward acknowledging the feminine aspect of our amazing God.

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1 Comment

  • OK, I don’t have too much a problem calling the Holy Spirit “She,” but this is a bit of a mind-bender… If God is genderless, some insist, where do we go with “man and woman created He…”? Here we have the image of God that is revealed as being BOTH genders: masculine and feminine. And we have a Trinity revealed as being Father (masculine), Son (masculine) and Holy Spirit (feminine).

    “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the Holy One to be born will be called the Son of God.” – Luke 1:35

    So the Holy Spirit is here said to be the Most High, and have “overshadowed” Mary, therefore “impregnating” her with God’s Son. I don’t have time right now to do a whole research for original text equivalent but I’m curious: how would you ascribe gender to a Trinitarian God (in itself a mind-bending attribute!).

    Blessings from Taber! 🙂

    André

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