Does Genesis 1:27 Teach Gender Fluidity?

January 6, 2023

Does Genesis 1:27 Teach Gender Fluidity?

There has been a historic first in the Church of England.1 Bingo Allison has become the first gender-queer priest who considers himself non-binary and uses they/them pronouns. He claims to have discovered Scriptural support for gender fluidity2 in Genesis 1:27, believing that God guided him one night into a new understanding of the verse. Genesis 1:27 (NIV) reads, “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” Allison claims “male and female” is understood as “maleness to femaleness.” This translation thus describes a gender fluid range rather than a binary system of male and female. Is this translation correct?

Genesis 1:27

In order to assess Allison’s “spiritual experience” of Genesis 1:27, we turn to the Hebrew. First, do the words male and female indicate something different than man and woman? The simple answer is no. “Zākār [Hebrew male] is a gender-specific designation; it always specifies the male individual or a group of males.3 The Abridged BDB affirms this in saying that zākār refers to “men, male persons (of all ages)…”4 These dictionaries affirm the same reality in the Hebrew word for female.5

Second, are we suppose to understand the word “and” as “to”? Again, the simple answer is no. The Hebrew gives us a conjunction here, not a preposition. A conjunction expresses male and female as two distinct categories that are related in one system. Genesis 1:27 teaches that God made human kind either male or female. If the author of Genesis wanted to express the word “to” instead of “and,” he would have used a preposition instead of a conjunction, which he clearly did not.

This interpretation is further affirmed when we examine the usage of Genesis 1:27 in the New Testament. Jesus cites Genesis 1:27 in Mark 10:6 and also uses a conjunction rather than a preposition.

The Scriptures are clear that God has made humans male and female. Allison is mistaken in his interpretation and is dangerously leading many astray, especially children. One would be hard pressed to find a true biblical scholar that would agree with his spiritual experience and assessment of Genesis 1:27.

Lesson Learned

Allison’s “spiritual experience” instructs us. Let us be careful not to read our situations or desires into a text of Scripture; we must seek the author’s meaning. The Scriptures are not a fortune cookie that we turn to and make it immediately apply to our lives. There is an original context and audience to whom it was first written. In order to interpret it into our context, we must first begin with understanding it in theirs. This takes work, but it is important into understanding God’s Word and interpreting it faithfully.

1See Jon Brown, “First ‘gender-queer’ priest in Church of England expresses desire for ‘normalizing’ identity among children,” MSN, accessed January 4, 2023,

2The belief that your gender is not fixed but can change.

3Tamra Hernandez, “Men,” in Lexham Theological Wordbook, ed. Douglas Mangum et al (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2014), Logos.

4Richard Whitaker et al., The Abridged Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew-English Lexicon of the Old Testament: From A Hebrew and English Lexicon of the Old Testament by Francis Brown, S.R. Driver and Charles Briggs, Based on the Lexicon of Wilhelm Gesenius (Boston; New York: Houghton, Mifflin and Company, 1906), Logos.

5“(něqēbâ). n. fem. woman, female. Describes someone as female or feminine.” See Isaac Blois, “Women,” in Lexham Theological Wordbook, ed. Douglas Mangum et al (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2014).