Could the Son Have Assume a Female Human Nature?

Could the Son have assumed a female human nature at the incarnation? Such a question bears great importance for the proper understanding of theological anthropology and its relevance to soteriology. What kind of human nature did the Son need to assume in order to accomplish his soteriological task, and was it the case that this human nature needed to be male? If Christ is the starting point of theological anthropology, we must attend well to the necessities involved so that his human nature is indeed representative of what it means to be fully human. If the paradigm of humanity had to be male, so the argument goes, then there is a significant domain of humanity that is not represented, namely, women. It is the intent of this paper to argue that the Son could have assumed a female human nature. The argument will depend on the meaning of “could,” for if the Son must assume a male human nature, he could not have assumed a female one; the necessity rules out the possibility of the alternative. I will argue that no such necessity exists, while it was nevertheless more fitting that he assumes a male human nature in light of the virgin birth. I will conclude with some observations about how shifting the contingency of the claim enables Christian theologians to witness to the solidarity enabled by the gospel with greater clarity.

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