Note the absence of a father. The human father is a problem in NT theology. When Jesus says not to call any man ‘father’ in Matthew 23:9 — I think he really is saying that human fathers, who try to situate their children in clan and community, with social role, aren’t really needed here.
Interesting! This is a full-frontal attack on patriarchy that I never noticed until now. Of course, as the church teaches, the role of the father is significant because it’s a direct representation of God. Then, it seems like there’s psychological evidence for how the absence of a father figure can be detrimental to both a male and female child in different ways. Then, there’s my personal experience with a dead-beat, abusive father. All of this inclines me to believe that the father role is, in fact, critical and maybe patriarchy makes sense.
But then I delve into your studies, then look at the etymology of the Greek word patriarchy and its suffix “-arkhe.” The primary meaning of “-arkhe” is “beginning, origin, first cause, source of action.” It’s only by extension that it may mean power, authority, command, or dominion. With that in mind it all clicks and makes sense why the writers of scripture perceived or God himself presented himself as male. It has absolutely nothing to do with flexing his power, dominion, authority, or command because all of that removes choice — the antithesis of love. When I think about it, love can only exist when one initiates or invites and another responds. To me, that is the true definition of masculinity and feminity that each of us experiences outside of our biological sex.
That’s why God is the Father and we are not. That’s why he’s the Bridegroom and we are not.