Could the Messiah have been a woman?

Could the Messiah have been a woman?

Coud the Messiah have been a woman?

Since God is neither male nor female, some have suggested that the Messiah could have been born a female. I would respectfully like to differ with that view. In this post I want to show from scripture why the Messiah had to be a male.

The scriptures definitively say that sin came through one man.

Romans 5:12 NASB: “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned”

Paul carries the thought further by saying:

Romans 5:19 “For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous.”

Although Adam and Eve both sinned, the willful disobedience of the man was what brought sin into the world.

1Timothy 2:14: “And it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression.”

The woman sinned and ate the fruit because she was deceived. She sincerely believed the lie of the serpent and ate the fruit fully believing that she would become like God. Adam on the other hand was not deceived. He did not believe that he could become like God. He did not believe that he would not die. Yet even though he was not deceived, even though he knew he couldn’t become like God, and he knew he would die for his disobedience, he willingly took of the fruit and in full disobedience with his eyes wide open to the consequences of what God had said – he ate.

Who was charged with outright rebellion?

Although Adam and Eve both sinned and both died because of their sin, only the man is charged with outright rebellion. Rejecting the word of God with deliberate disobedience is a very serious matter. Saul was another man who rebelled against God’s word. Samuel spoke a judgment against Saul when he said:

1 Samuel 15:23 “For rebellion is as the sin of divination, And insubordination is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, He has also rejected you from being king.”

I would like to diagram the effects of what happened when Adam sinned. It would be helpful to get the full idea of what I am talking about by reading my previous post “Adam as Head of the family”.

Adam brought sin into the human family and his bloodline was tainted.

Adam's sin on Women in Ministry by Cheryl Schatz

Yet when God confronted Adam and Eve, he did not leave them without hope because of their sin. God promised a kinsman redeemer, one who would come through the seed of the woman.

Genesis 3:15 And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, And you shall bruise him on the heel.”

Now you will notice in this verse that the one who will bruise the serpent on the head is a “He”. The Hebrew shows that the one who is to come is a male. Why is it prophesied that the Messiah would be a male? It is because it was the man who brought sin into the world. Adam is a type of the one to come.

Romans 5:14 “Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of the offense of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come.”

Second Adam on Women in Ministry blog by Cheryl Schatz

The second Adam

The Messiah was not just said to be human, he was also called the second Adam.

1 Corinthians 15:45 So also it is written, “The first MAN, Adam, BECAME A LIVING SOUL.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.

The last Adam, Jesus Christ, was the life giver. It is through him that we receive back what Adam lost. Eve did not lose it for us, Adam did. Mankind did not need a second Eve because sin does not come through her bloodline.

Adam's blood line on Women in Ministry blog by Cheryl Schatz

It was through the first male that sin entered the world and the result of that inherited sin is death.

It is through the second male – the second Adam, that mankind is offered eternal life.

Second Adam eternal life on Women in Ministry blog by Cheryl Schatz

Importance of the Messiah being male

Now some might think that the fact that the Messiah was male is somehow important regarding his Godhood. It isn’t. God is neither male nor female. Scripture only speaks of the importance of the Messiah’s being male in regards to his taking the place of the first Adam who plunged mankind into sin. God turned Satan’s deception on its heels. Through the very one whom Satan deceived into sinning, God bypassed the sin of the first Adam and brought the second Adam into our world. It is by putting faith in this last Adam that we will find forgiveness and a restored relationship with God.

7 thoughts on “Could the Messiah have been a woman?

  1. Hey Cheryl,

    I am continuing to read through all your archives. Lots of food for thought – thank you for such stimulating discussions!
    Some questions/comments I have regarding this particular post…

    1) Comments:
    The verses you use to make your point regarding Adam being a ‘man’ use the word anthropos, (Romans 5:12,19 and also likewise in 1 Cor 15:22, 45 when Paul teaches it is through Adam that sin / death came into the world). Although most translations would have this read ‘man’ it must be recognized that Paul is in fact avoiding gender specific language here. If he wanted to highlight Adam’s maleness in any way, he would have to have used a gender specific word such as aner. (Just for interest, similarly in the gospels, Jesus Son of ‘man’ is in reality Jesus Son of ‘Human’ with anthropos always being used, rather than the gender specific aner).
    By comparison, 1 Cor 11: 8, 9 do use gender specific terms for Adam, but that is very logical since it is in the context of a discussion regarding ‘dress codes’ for men and women, nothing to do with Adam (“the male”) bringing sin into the world.
    The quote you use from 1Timothy 2:14: “And it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression”, simply states the case that Adam was not deceived. Gender is indeed in view in the context of 1 Tim 2:11-15, but I don’t see Paul using the verse to highlight Adam as a ‘male’ bringing sin into the world – just an illustration by Paul as to why ‘a (specific?) woman’, who is arguably in deception herself like Eve, should not teach in Ephesus.

    Question:
    Can you pls clearly show me how Scripture highlights the ‘maleness’ of Adam in relation to his “rebellious” sin which led humanity to our fallen state?

    2) Comments:
    Cheryl I am not sure how watertight the use of “he” in Gen 3:15 is for your argument… (My Greek is better than my Hebrew!) I do believe that the Scriptures are inspired by God. Yes Father knew that the Christ would be male, cos he knows everything from beginning to end. But does the ‘grammar’ itself really emphasise that the Messiah would be male through this one pronoun? If there was going to be a choice between a female or male personal pronoun (“it” for the Messiah surely would not have been appropriate?!) then surely in the patriarchal society in which the scriptures were written, “He” would have been the obvious choice. I am not saying that God allows culture to ‘dictate’ his Word… just that the Hebrew (and Greek) language had to specify gender in the pronoun and by ‘default’ it would always be ‘he’ unless God very specifically wanted it otherwise. This is the case time and time again where various male pronouns are used to represent all people…eg 2 Peter 3:9 the indefinite masculine plural pronoun τινας is used in reference to God not wanting “anyone” to perish.

    There certainly are other ‘male’ terms used in the Scriptures that refer to the Messiah in a male sense – eg “Prince” (not Princess!) of Peace and Everlasting “Father” (Is 9:6). I am sure there would be others? Mind you do if these are metaphorical I am not sure again how much they ‘prove’ the promised gender of the Messiah.

    Question:
    I am not saying your argument that the Messiah had to be a ‘male’ is wrong. Just that I am not clearly (yet) convinced by the Scriptural references you have used to support it. Can you help me further?

    Warm regards
    Kerryn

  2. Good day Kerryn (that’s Canadian for gidday!)

    Great questions. You said:

    The verses you use to make your point regarding Adam being a ‘man’ use the word anthropos, (Romans 5:12,19 and also likewise in 1 Cor 15:22, 45 when Paul teaches it is through Adam that sin / death came into the world). Although most translations would have this read ‘man’ it must be recognized that Paul is in fact avoiding gender specific language here. If he wanted to highlight Adam’s maleness in any way, he would have to have used a gender specific word such as aner.

    I agree. The fact that Adam is male had nothing to do with the reason that he brought sin into the world. In fact these verses in Romans prove that Adam brought sin into the world not because of his maleness or his standing as some kind of special representative of humanity, but because of the sin that he committed. Adam’s sin was different from Eve’s in that their motivation and intention of their sin was completely different. The point that I was trying to emphasize in my original blog article is that the Adam brought sin into the world because of the way he sinned and as a male he passes along his sin nature and males continue to pass along the seed of Adam just as females pass along the seed of Eve.

    In Romans 5:12 and 19 Paul is emphasizing that death came through one person just as life came through one person. In this passage Paul is contrasting the person of Adam with the person of Christ. It is not the fact that Adam was male that he brought sin into the world any more than the fact that Christ was male that brought life into the world. It was Christ’s sinless humanity that brought the ultimate sacrifice for our sin. I will be continuing this thought in a blog article that I will be writing shortly called “Is Adam the representative head of the human race”. I think this article will help you follow along with my reasoning. You also said:

    The quote you use from 1Timothy 2:14: “And it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression”, simply states the case that Adam was not deceived. Gender is indeed in view in the context of 1 Tim 2:11-15, but I don’t see Paul using the verse to highlight Adam as a ‘male’ bringing sin into the world – just an illustration by Paul as to why ‘a (specific?) woman’, who is arguably in deception herself like Eve, should not teach in Ephesus.

    Again, I agree. In the 1 Timothy 2 passage Paul is not lifting up males as ones who are not able to be deceived or that females are ones that are by nature the ones who are deceived. Paul is emphasizing that a person who is deceived (as the woman teacher is who is being stopped from teaching) should not be allowed to influence her husband with her deception. Paul is not emphasizing here the maleness of the one who wasn’t deceived, but rather he is drawing a parallel between two similar marital relationships where the husband is allowing the wife to continue on in her deception without doing one thing to help her and he is also allowing her to influence him with that deception.

    Then your question:

    Question:
    Can you pls clearly show me how Scripture highlights the ‘maleness’ of Adam in relation to his “rebellious” sin which led humanity to our fallen state?

    There are no scriptures that show that the “maleness” of Adam caused his rebellion. Instead scripture shows that the type of sin that Adam committed in his deliberate rebellion caused his rebellious sin to be passed on to us.

    Hosea 6:7 But like Adam they have transgressed the covenant; There they have dealt treacherously against Me.

    The Hebrew word used here means to act covertly, to be unfaithful, to deal deceitfully, to deal treacherously. Adam was not deceived. Adam sinned in an unfaithful, deceitful way towards God. Because of this treacherous act, Adam brought sin into the world.

    Think of it this way. It was not who Adam was, but what Adam did that brought sin into the world. It was not his maleness that brought sin into the world, but his treacherous sin against God. Adam sinned willfully with knowledge. Adam rejected God’s word when he knew full well that the serpent was not telling the truth. Adam knew the truth but Adam sinned anyway.

    Lastly you asked:

    I am not saying your argument that the Messiah had to be a ‘male’ is wrong. Just that I am not clearly (yet) convinced by the Scriptural references you have used to support it. Can you help me further?

    Let me try explaining it this way. Adam’s sin did not come because of his maleness, however because Adam was male and because his sin nature is passed on to all of us through his male offspring, Jesus became male to take on Adam’s original sin and all of our personal sins and to reverse the death sentence passed on to all of us from the first Adam.

    The complementarian argument that Adam’s sin was passed on to us because of his maleness is completely wrong. The argument they give is that Eve sinned first but Adam was charged with sin because he was the man. That is not scriptural. It was not the maleness of Adam that brought sin into the world, but the way he sinned. Yet while all of us have become tainted by Adam’s sin, only the males physically pass on the seed of Adam and that seed has been tainted through and through with the sin nature. Again more information will follow in my article called “Is Adam the representative of the human race?”

    Once again, great questions and keep up the good work of being a Bible Berean!

    Warmly,

    Cheryl

  3. thanks Cheryl,

    i appreciate you clarifying things above. And i look forwards to your further postings on the topic with interest.

    You state:
    “Yet while all of us have become tainted by Adam’s sin, only the males physically pass on the seed of Adam and that seed has been tainted through and through with the sin nature.”

    In your upcoming comments, could you pls elaborate on why all “males” are especially linked with Adam and the scriptures to support your argument. Is it to do with the fact that sperm carry ‘life’? Or???

    God bless you Cheryl. keep fighting the good fight!

    in Christ
    Kerryn

  4. Kerryn,

    I forgot to answer this question:

    Cheryl I am not sure how watertight the use of “he” in Gen 3:15 is for your argument… (My Greek is better than my Hebrew!) I do believe that the Scriptures are inspired by God. Yes Father knew that the Christ would be male, cos he knows everything from beginning to end. But does the ‘grammar’ itself really emphasise that the Messiah would be male through this one pronoun?

    The prophesy came concerning Eve in Genesis 3:15 that her seed would crush the head of the serpent. Now if God wanted this to stay generic, he could have inspired this verse to read: Her seed shall bruise you on the head and you shall bruise her seed on the head. However the original is not generic but masculine. It is interesting that Catholics try to make this a prophecy about Mary. The 1899 Douay-Rheims Bible says:

    I will put enmities between thee and the woman, and thy seed and her seed: she shall crush thy head, and thou shalt lie in wait for her heel.

    However Genesis 4:1 proves that Eve understood this to be a prophesy concerning her having a male child. Genesis 4:1 says:

    Genesis 4:1 Now the man had relations with his wife Eve, and she conceived and gave birth to Cain, and she said, “I have gotten a manchild with the help of the LORD.”

    The words “the help of” are not in the original Hebrew. This verse literally says:

    And Man knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bore Cain, and said, I have acquired a man with Jehovah. (Darby Bible)

    The seminary prof who taught the bible study that I attended a year ago taught us that this verse in the original shows that Eve believed that the prophesy that was given to her had been fulfilled with the birth of Cain. This birth was not just a child but a manchild.

    So yes, I do believe that a male child was promised to come through the seed of the woman and Eve believed God.  When her first male child was born she thought that this was the son that she got through Jehovah.
    I hope that helps!

    Cheryl

  5. Hi Kerryn,

    You asked:

    In your upcoming comments, could you pls elaborate on why all “male” are especially linked with Adam and the scriptures to support your argument. Is it to do with the fact that sperm carry “life” Or???

    All males are linked with Adam because God has shown a difference between the seed of the woman and the seed of the man. We see the first reference regarding the difference in Genesis 3:15.

    Genesis 3:15 And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, And you shall bruise him on the heel.

    It was not the man’s seed that would bruise the serpent, but the woman’s seed. Yet we can also see that it wasn’t Eve who had the Messiah, it was Mary. Women are linked to Eve through the woman’s seed. Mary’s seed was set apart by God to be the untainted seed (the seed of the woman) that would produce the Messiah. In contrast, Genesis 5:3 shows that the man’s seed carried his image.

    Genesis 5:3 When Adam had lived one hundred and thirty years, he became the father of a son in his own likeness, according to his image, and name him Seth.

    The Hebrew word here for “image” is tseh’-lem Hebrew #6754. Although the verse also says that Seth was in the likeness of Adam (his physical image), it also uses the term for image that means a representative figure (tseh’-lem). The word means image or likeness and is the theological word used to depict human beings as made in God’s own image. The word is also used in a concrete sense to depict images cut out of or molded from various materials. Since the fall, Adam is passing on the image of sin – a representative figure that gets passed along the entire male line. Adam’s “image” is passed on to his son. Just as Adam was created in the image of God, when he fell, his lineage was tainted by his rebellious image. All of us are sinners, but God has made a distinction regarding the seed of the man (which all males pass on) and the seed of the woman (which all females pass on).

    I hope that helps.
    Cheryl

  6. Adam knew full well that if he ate that fruit he would die. That fact that he took the fruit from Eve and did eat, kind of implys that he secretly wanted to be like God even though he had the knowledge otherwise!

    Did adam think like this: We can’t be God but if she eats first and doesn’t die I’ll eat an be like God too and if anything goes wrong I’ll just blame Her! An that’s what he did…Blames God first and then the Woman for giving him the fruit! Notice God makes it clear it wasn’t him who did wrong but adam and thaT “WOMAN” Is not just any woman she is your “Wife”! God doesn’t say because you listen to the womans voice…NO…He said Because you listen to your Wife’s voice…
    Sin was already at work in Adam as well as Eve! Adam didn’t even want to achknowledge the woman as his wife! They both hide in shame. While Eve tells the truth the serpent tricked me and I did eat, she didn’t want to say it was my fault, the same for adam! No one wanted to take personal blame for there own sin! Sin had it’s effects in the Garden. Thank God for His Mercy!

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