In our days, the creedal phrase ‘I believe in God the Father almighty’ is interpreted primarily
along Trinitarian lines: It is applied to God as the Father of Jesus Christ. Here I argue that it
has a dual background: in Jesus’ prayer practice, in which He consistently addressed God as
‘Father’, and in the Hellenistic habit of referring to the Creator as ‘Father’. I discuss Jesus’ use
of the term ‘Father’ against its Old Testament background, and argue that it primarily points
to the intimacy of Jesus’ relationship with His father. Against the Hellenistic background,
however, the metaphor ‘Father’ means ‘he who brings forth effortlessly’. Finally, I discuss
some gender issues connected with the use of the term ‘Father’ for God.