The earliest Christians – all of whom were Jews – spoke of the Holy Spirit as a feminine figure.
The present article discusses the main proof texts, ranging from the ‘Gospel according to the
Hebrews’ to a number of testimonies from the second century. The ancient tradition was,
in particular, kept alive in East and West Syria, up to and including the fourth century Makarios
and/or Symeon, who even influenced ‘modern’ Protestants such as John Wesley and the
Moravian leader Count von Zinzendorf. It is concluded that, in the image of the Holy Spirit as
woman and mother, one may attain a better appreciation of the fullness of the Divine.