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The logic behind this reasoning is the following: the Pater Noster is a paraphrase of Proverbs 3:19 which can be translated as following "God through (female) Sophia has stated the Earth and prepared the heaven in the mind"

ὁ θεὸς τῇ σοφίᾳ ἐθεμελίωσεν τὴν γῆν, ἡτοίμασεν δὲ οὐρανοὺς φρονήσει· LXX Septuagint Proverbs 3:19

And so Jesus is asking us to call for the Queen (Sofia) or Princess of God (ἡ βασιλεία) to come (ἐλθάτω) and finish what was prepared (ἡτοίμασεν), so that the wishes (θέλημά) of the God Father are born into existence (γενηθήτω). The language is clearly parallel to the Queen giving birth to the children of the Father.

ἐλθάτω ἡ βασιλεία σου, γενηθήτω τὸ θέλημά σου, ὡς ἐν οὐρανῷ καὶ ἐπὶ γῆς. Tischendorf 8th Edition 1872 Mt 6:10

Compare also to the Psalm 45(44) which is a song to the Beloved (son of God - Jesus) (ᾠδὴ ὑπὲρ τοῦ ἀγαπητοῦ) that talks about a Kings Daughter that will give birth to the sons that will become leaders around the earth.

1 Εἰς τὸ τέλος, ὑπὲρ τῶν ἀλλοιωθησομένων· τοῖς υἱοῖς Κόρε εἰς σύνεσιν· ᾠδὴ ὑπὲρ τοῦ ἀγαπητοῦ. ... 16 ἀντὶ τῶν πατέρων σου ἐγεννήθησάν σοι υἱοί· καταστήσεις αὐτοὺς ἄρχοντας ἐπὶ πᾶσαν τὴν γῆν. 17 μνησθήσονται τοῦ ὀνόματός σου ἐν πάσῃ γενεᾷ καὶ γενεᾷ· διὰ τοῦτο λαοὶ ἐξομολογήσονταὶ σοι εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα καὶ εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα τοῦ αἰῶνος· LXX Septuagint Psalm 45(44):16-17

The use of word ἡ βασιλεία is further seen in the declaration of what is happens from the times of John the Baptist who is from the earthly women counterpointing the heavenly (woman) Princess or Queen ἡ βασιλεία. And further the language of getting a wife through violence βιάζεται (rape) and following appropriation ἁρπάζουσιν is used. This may be also interpreted as a metaphor or as taking the kindom in a hurry or with effort but the other (sexual) meaning is certainly present as a linguistic reality.

ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν, οὐκ ἐγήγερται ἐν γεννητοῖς γυναικῶν μείζων Ἰωάννου τοῦ βαπτιστοῦ· ὁ δὲ μικρότερος ἐν τῇ βασιλείᾳ τῶν οὐρανῶν μείζων αὐτοῦ ἐστιν. ἀπὸ δὲ τῶν ἡμερῶν Ἰωάννου τοῦ βαπτιστοῦ ἕως ἄρτι ἡ βασιλεία τῶν οὐρανῶν βιάζεται, καὶ βιασταὶ ἁρπάζουσιν αὐτήν. Tischendorf 8th Edition 1872 Mt 11:11-12

And at last even though all three forms of the word exist in Greek: ο βασίλειος masculine, η βασιλεία feminine, το βασίλειο neutrum, the feminine η βασιλεία is used in Pater Noster Mt6:10 (and Lk11:2) and Mt11:11-12.

English (LSJ)

[ῐ], ἡ, βασίλεια Pi.N.1.39: fem. of βασιλεύς:—A queen, princess, Od.4.770, A.Ag.84 (lyr.), Hdt.1.11, etc.; of goddesses, Κύπρις β. Emp.128.3, cf. Hymn.Is.I, etc.; β. θεά Ar.Pax974; β. γύναι A.Pers.623 (lyr.), E.El.988 (lyr.).

So apart from the translation tradition and maybe the absence of the genders in the target languages (like English) what speaks to the use of word Kingdom but not Princess (or Queen)? Should not we use the word Princess that actually reflects the meaning of the message?

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  • 2
    So... your proposal is that the masculine means Kingdom and the feminine means Princess? I believe that βασιλεία isn't so much the feminine form of the word as it is the Noun form of βασιλεύω. Note how the inflection over the iota is in a different place from where it is for 'Queen' - βασίλεια. Take care not to confuse grammatical gender with biological gender, these concepts are very different things with a small degree of overlap.
    – Steve can help
    May 1, 2023 at 7:33
  • From your own link the origin and the noun version of βασιλεύω is masculine ο βασιλεύς. It’s said to come from the root verb βα- to lead/go and a noun λαός (armed) people. blueletterbible.org/lexicon/g935/kjv/tr/0-1 but I’m not basing my question wholely on the grammar alone.
    – grammaplow
    May 1, 2023 at 11:27
  • 1
    You are confusing the basics of language and its grammatical gender en.wikipedia.org/wiki/…
    – Michael16
    May 1, 2023 at 14:18
  • @Michael16 no I’m not ;-)
    – grammaplow
    May 1, 2023 at 15:41
  • 1
    Then what makes you come to the conclusion that the feminine Sofia and basileia is some Queen or goddess wisdom? What can possibly the reason to change Kingdom into Princess? Unless you know some advance Greek but dont wanna reveal the codes. This question seems very low quality.
    – Michael16
    May 1, 2023 at 16:05

2 Answers 2

1

The OP's question is making the common student mistake of confusing grammatical gender with biological gender. So let me list these words for completeness:

  • βασιλεία = noun, feminine, "kingdom, sovereignty, royal power"
  • βασίλειος = adjective, "royal, regal"
  • βασιλεύς = noun, masculine, "king"
  • βασιλεύω = verb, "to be a king, reign"
  • βασιλικός = adjective, "royal, regal"
  • βασίλισσα = noun, feminine, "queen"

In (say) Matt 6:10, the Greek text is:

Ἐλθέτω ἡ βασιλεία σου. Γενηθήτω τὸ θέλημά σου, ὡς ἐν οὐρανῷ, καὶ ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς. = Come the kingdom of You. Be done the will of You as in heaven also upon earth

The fact that βασιλεία is feminine (as are many large and collective nouns in Greek) does not prevent it from being God's kingdom. The word occurs 163 times in the NT and it is always feminine. If the Bible writers had wanted to say "queen" rather than kingdom, they had a perfectly available word in βασίλισσα.

Grammatical gender does not necessarily determine biological gender. For example, in Matt 2:20, the angel instructs Joseph to, "take the child" (ie, Jesus). In this case, παιδίον is neuter and not masculine for the male child Jesus.

Now, one may consult any Greek lexicon for the last 2500 years to discover that βασιλεία is a feminine noun that means "kingdom, sovereignty, royal power". It has never meant "queen" or "princess".

Here is another example: In the verse quoted above, Matt 2:20, ψυχή ("life of the child") is feminine for the masculine child, Jesus. This says nothing about the biological gender of Jesus, because ψυχή is always feminine for both men and women.

Many more examples could be quoted.

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  • Thanks for taking time for a an extended answer. I get the argument that the grammatical gender alone may not even signal the biological gender. Yet I would appreciate if you would take time to confront the functional argument about the Princess being analogous to Sophia giving birth to sons or creating the world of the earth or haven based on the wishes (as much as genes/seeds) of the Father.
    – grammaplow
    May 1, 2023 at 10:57
  • 2
    @grammaplow - I would be happy to confront the argument if you had made one. The reasoning you present is flawed at the first assertion is which is factually wrong and so not connection is possible between Sophia and the kingdom of God.
    – Dottard
    May 1, 2023 at 11:22
  • What about “the Pater Noster is a paraphrase of Proverbs 3:19”?
    – grammaplow
    May 1, 2023 at 11:29
  • You seem to have ignored the first entry on Queen in LSJ: lsj.gr/wiki/… (LSJ) [ῐ], ἡ, βασίλεια Pi.N.1.39: fem. of βασιλεύς:—A queen, princess, Od.4.770, A.Ag.84 (lyr.), Hdt.1.11, etc.; of goddesses, Κύπρις β. Emp.128.3, cf. Hymn.Is.I, etc.; β. θεά Ar.Pax974; β. γύναι A.Pers.623 (lyr.), E.El.988 (lyr.). Is there a reason?
    – grammaplow
    May 1, 2023 at 16:41
  • I guess I have fixed one source of a misunderstanding. Although I was focused on the Pater Noster and Mt11:11-12 I have formulated the question to refer to the whole NT. This was too broad a statement so I have limited it to those two/three paragraphs I discuss.
    – grammaplow
    May 1, 2023 at 16:51
-1

I want to list here the quotations that confirm the premise that "ἡ βασιλεία σου" should be interpreted as female - a Queen or Princess. This information did not motivate the question as it was either not known or not consciously present at the point of the formulation of this question so I have decided to separate them.

I will be adding more bits here as I am finding them.

Emphasis mine.

Taken inspiration in the Scholie 4. Anhang 31, as in Der Babylonische Talmud 1924 by Jakob Fromer p. 113 reprint 2020 www.nikol-verlag.de ISBN 978-3-86820-578-7

He who finds a wife finds a good thing, And obtains favor from the LORD. Pro 18:22 NKJV

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