Gender variance in Christianity
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=== Creation === The following passage refers to some genders/sexes with which humans were created: <blockquote> "And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them." [https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis+1%3A26-27&version=KJV Genesis 1:26-27 (King James Version)] </blockquote> In context, the above passage is from the first Creation, in the first chapter of Genesis, in which God is called Elohim, and creates animals before humans ([https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis+1%3A20-26&version=CEB Genesis 1:20-26]). This is different from the second chapter, a different Creation story, in which God is called Jehovah, and creates humans before animals ([https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis+2%3A18-19&version=CEB Genesis 2:18-19]). Both chapters give a different sequence of events for the Creation, an intriguing conflict which all scholars of the Bible resolve differently. In this case, the Elohistic/Jehovistic conflict makes it challenging to understand exactly which humans are referred to in this passage. Here are several possible interpretations of who these particular humans are, and what that means for humans today: * Only one human is created in this passage, Adam, who is both male and female. His female part, Eve, has not yet been taken out of him. That happens later, in [https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis+2%3A21-22&version=CEB Genesis 2:21-22]. Because of this order of events, Jewish and Christian teachings often interpret Adam as having been created as both male and female.<ref>Norman Solomon, ''The Talmud: A selection,'' p. 271.</ref> Adam was an example of a "Primal Androgyne," a motif which is common for many cultures' creation stories, making it more likely that Adam was one. Adam is thought to have started as an androgyne because Elohim-- which is a plural term-- says "Let ''us'' make humanity in ''our'' image ... that ''they'' may take charge..." so Adam is made in the image of a plural being, as the Creator is also a Primal Androgyne.<ref name="KasselAndrogynous">Charles Kassel. "Androgynous man in myth and tradition." ''The Open Court'', vol. 18. Chicago: The Open Court Publishing Co., 1904. Page 525-530. Accessed May 2, 2019 via Google Books. https://books.google.com/books?id=VYtGAQAAMAAJ&pg=PA525#v=</ref> This interpretation of Adam as an androgyne can be seen as affirming that [[intersex]], gender variant, and nonbinary people are all part of a natural condition created by God. * Two humans are created in this passage: Adam and Eve. Adam and Eve each represent a different gender/sex, but they do not represent all possible kinds of people that can be natural to humans as created by God. Humans have changed a great deal since the Creation. For example, modern humans no longer have the long lifespans described of many humans in Genesis. Adam and Eve were a man and a woman, but later people are different from them, and are not necessarily just men and women. * Many humans are created in this passage. These humans may or may not include Adam, because Elohim created much of the world in the first chapter of Genesis, before Jehovah created Adam in [https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis+2%3A7&version=CEB Genesis 2:7]. (These other humans created before Adam are thought to be the origin of the women who later marry into Adam's family in [https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis+4%3A16-19&version=CEB Genesis 4:16-19].) In Genesis 1:27, "male and female" is shorthand for the diversity of the many kinds of humans created at this point, rather than a limitation placed upon what they were or could be. The above are several different interpretations of who the humans are in this passage about their Creation, and what it means for human genders/sexes today. Some Christians have taken Genesis 1:27 as affirming the [[gender binary]], but that is only one of many possible interpretations. Given that [[#the six genders in classical Judaism|classical Judaism recognized six genders/sexes]], it's very unlikely that the Hebrew text of Genesis 1:27 is meant to affirm that humans can only have two genders/sexes.
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