God's Prounouns:


It is not a creative leap, or a liberal stretch to say that God uses pronouns like "Us/We/Ours." In the first moments of God's voice in the Hebrew Bible - the Christian Old Testament - God is speaking on Their own. There is no one else around to speak for, or to refer to God, and so it is a rare opportunity grammatically and narratively to observe how God refers to Godself. What is recorded in Genesis 1 is upheld throughout the Old Testament.

Genesis 1: 2

Genesis 1: 26; NRSV:

"Then God said, “Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the wild animals of the earth..."

Immediately in the next verse, the narrator imposes the pronouns he/him/his, "So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them." (Repeating "he/him" four times here feels a bit like overkill, hitting home the patriarchal agenda right from the start). God refers to Themselves as "Us" again in Genesis 3:22.

Genesis 1:26 offers a rare window into God's self-identified pronouns, and this must not be lost on the reader no matter how many times "He" is repeated. God referred to Themselves as "Us." This is neither male, nor female, nor singular. It is the first person plural, and it reflects the status of a Creator in relationship with Themselves from the very beginning.

Dueteronomy 6: 4

Deuteronomy 6: 4:

"Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is One."

This famous prayer, known as the שְׁמַע יִשְׂרָאֵל (Shema Yisrael), is sacred to the Jewish tradition. It is part of Jewish morning prayer.

While this text does not speak to God's pronouns or gender, it does refer to the unifying, comprehensive nature of God in Jewish tradition. Notice, the language does not necessarily say "there is one God." Rather, "God is one."

When coupled with the Hebrew word which is translated as "Spirit" in English, this understanding of God as "one" deepens profoundly. רוח (Ruah) means "breath" or "wind," and English translates it most frequently as "Spirit." This is the same "breath" that was breathed into the Valley of Dry Bones in Ezekiel 37, and the same "spirit" which hovered over Creation in the Genesis 1; its the same word. So, if God is present with Creation through breath/spirit/wind/רוח , then They are as ubiquitous as the air.

God's presence is so thoroughly present throughout all of Creation that it could be said that God is all of Creation, unified into One. God is One.

Suddenly, the pronouns "Us/We/Ours" are making more sense.