A Gender Neutral God/ess by J. J. McKenzie
Be Inclusive but MAKE NO IMAGES was the Religious Change

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A Gender Neutral Goddess is worth the intelligent layperson's time to look into, and it will almost certainly give you new ideas concerning religion, Deity, and language.
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2012 QED Seal Recipient (Quality, Excellence, Design)2013 Publishing Innovation Awards: Finalist, Non-Fiction2013 IndieReader Discovery Awards: Winner of the Religion category     One of the main purposes of this eBook is to show that the Bible is a document written by many different ancient peoples. It explains how, when, and possibly why the various theological ideas arose -  and how those ideas have been altered by later translation decisions.    The focus of the eBook is on the centuries long mainstream belief of Hebrew and Christian worshippers that their "God" is masculine. That was not the intent of many early biblical writers. Instead, an imageless, inclusive She/He Deity was postulated.     This eBook explores that thesis. It documents what literary devices early religious writers used to portray a gender inclusive Deity. Topics discussed are the use of plurals, mother/father language, gendered words, poetic parallelism, Spirit and Wisdom as feminine dimensions, and names or labels for the Deity - and how these devices have been obscured in English translations.
     The origin of the Deity name YHWH is traced and linked to early mythology of the ancient Goddess IO and the ancient nation of Ahhiyhwh in Anatolia (modern day Turkey). Finally, the idea of a neuter, gender inclusive Deity is traced through the story of Jesus Christ.     The concepts presented in this eBook, based on a study of early Hebrew and Greek texts, are very different from the teachings of many contemporary religions.
      To visually demonstrate this material 83 illustrations of ancient sculptures/artifacts, maps, and diagrams are included. Also included are endnotes, bibliography, and index.
 

About J. J. McKenzie

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The genesis of "A Gender Neutral God/ess," was 32 years ago. I was ill. A minister suggested I turn to the Bible for comfort. Quickly I read the Bible. In those days feminist issues were being discussed. I objected to some biblical statements about women. My liberal minister pointed me to current feminist writings about biblical issues. I read a number of books, compared different Bibles, and began noticing that the same biblical text varied between Bibles. That was an "Aha!" moment. I realized that I needed a working knowledge of Hebrew and Greek. I also decided, that to be balanced, I needed to study standard theological writings, information on the development of the biblical text, and methods of interpreting the Bible. Additionally, I wanted to learn about the historical setting of the Bible and about contemporaneous cultures. My studying began and continued over ten years. Then I wrote "I Will Love Unloved: A Linguistic Analysis of Woman's Biblical Importance." I underwent a critical review of that manuscript before it was published. While interacting with the reviewer, I added more material to bolster my thesis that certain ancient biblical writers envisioned a bi-gender deity. Consequently, the manuscript became too long. So I removed much of that added material. The removed material became the nucleus of my current book, "A Gender Neutral God/ess." During and publishing my first book, I earned a living as a professional watercolor artist. My husband and I also designed and build our house ourselves and planted extensive gardens. I tried to forget my second manuscript and my interest in it. Yet, it's topic just kept brewing in my mind. When the house was done and retirement a reality, I began to studying again. It has been exciting to finish this second manuscript, and due to the growth of the Internet, to locate more images and material to demonstrate my points.
 
Published August 6, 2012 by J. J. McKenzie. 336 pages
Genres: Religion & Spirituality, Education & Reference.
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Reviewed by Amy Edelman on May 16 2013

A Gender Neutral Goddess is worth the intelligent layperson's time to look into, and it will almost certainly give you new ideas concerning religion, Deity, and language.

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