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Scripture uses “motherly” characteristics in describing God’s actions towards us, but always speaks of him as Father.

One can only rejoice in these ‘motherly’ characteristics of the Living God towards us, His often erring children! Without failing to appreciate these qualities, we must note that the Bible clearly and directly speaks of God as our Father, but never as our mother; it teaches the divine paternity, but never the divine maternity.

On the anthropomorphisms being designed by God to convey the truth about reality (citing Paul Wells):

Father and Son are not andromorphic symbols projected by man into eternity, but anthropomorphisms selected in the divine wisdom as appropriate God’s historical self-revelation because they correspond in a certain way to realities, to certain functions and orders, existing in the immanent Trinity.

Why not God as mother? Citing Paul Wells that the reason is God’s transcendence over what he has created.

Therefore it was not out of anti-feminism or patriarchy that in Israel the idolatry of goddess worship was proscribed. God’s people were to understand that God is not comparable to the goddesses of the fertility cults which give birth to a natural cycle of productivity God alone is creator and his election establishes his people through his will…

Even though all societies have been patriarchal to some extent, many societies have indeed worshipped feminine and androgynous deities.

While there may have been few (or no?) cultures that were matriarchal or strictly egalitarian, there have indeed been many that worshipped female and androgynous deities. It is not at all clear that these pagan societies gave any better treatment to women than did those who worshipped God as Father (nor, in fact, as good a treatment).


  1. Kelly, Systematic Theology - Volume 1, p.380, 382, 384
  2. Wells, God and Gender