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The Word "God"


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There was another thread in this subforum which had a thread called "Defining God." I read part of it and the first post seemed to be interesting - of course I'm finding it difficult to concentrate today.

 

A while back I created a web page entitled The Word"God" and placed it here

http://home.comcast.net/~peter.m.brown/religion/the_word_god.htm

 

I'd love to hear some feedback on the content. Thanks.

 

Best wishes,

 

Pete

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  • 4 months later...

I have chosen to post what I will present, here, on this thread. The reason for doing so is multi-layered. One is due to my not wanting to open a new thread on a subject matter, or topic of presentation/discussion which is fairly covered in an already existing thread. (Unless it has been sleeping for a long enough time to call it a 'dead thread.'(1) Another is due to the no-response status of this thread--which in my eyes, at least, gives me more 'right of way' to present here. One more, and perhaps the greater-weight carrying reason, is that the title exactly fits the theme and topic I wish to deal with. I wish to ask that I please be given the 'green-light' to go ahead with this, from you, pmb.

 

Most of what I present will have been also done elsewhere. I would hope that rather than some 'copy and paste'-like thing, all would consider it the 'previous studies have shown that ...' portion of the paper which deals with the studies done previously and which support the grounding conclusions for a present presentation. I will not comment on the page linked to in the OP. It has some shortcomings which will be covered otherwise, and it also takes an unnecessary approach--one which has also already been substantially enough demonstrated to be a dead-end approach. I will do this in a good number of posts, and more likely over a good number of pages. It is a matter which requires some detail, but I will not be able to give all; at times I will summarize. (But always on sound and valid knowledge and beliefs.) With that, I will begin.

 

At the top of the sub-sub forum on religion, there is one pinned post, namely this one, talking about a "definition of God." It is closed (fair enough) and cannot be responded to directly, yet it does stand to take some adjustment and correction as well. A big first here is that we are communicating in English--a fact that will have a direct bearing indeed. The English usage of the old words 'good' and 'gode' from which our 'god' came to be left only, fit exactly that of the term which ran alongside the others for a while, and eventually won out. While in some older texts, we can see that capitalization in English was rampant (without hard fixed rules of thumb), it eventually became more settled and standardized.

 

Another point to keep in mind, is that Middle English, and its forerunner, were not really so solidly in place until after a degree of Christianization of the 'English' isles. Eventually, the word form 'God' became standardized as the proper identifier of the Christian god for a number of reasons, in a number of applications. For one, Jewish superstition suppressing oral pronunciation of the Tetragrammaton was protected by using the capitalized form. One would not upset Jewish sensitivity by uttering Yahweh, Jehovah, or Yahowah. Also, 'God' would fit the nature of capitalizing proper nouns and YHWH is in fact a proper noun. Therefore, the capitalized form came into being as accurately operating as an English plug-in proper noun (a name) for the god of the Jewish canon, and the Christian canon, and, simultaneously, such form clearly distinguished and identified which god, from among the several, would be being pointed to, talked about, or intended in written communication.

 

English, however, is a very new tongue; it does borrow from older tongues, but it is still new. Now, it is a fact that there is no word without a meaning, definition, or referent towards which it points, in any language, and English is no different. The definition then, of the English word 'god,' will be one which can be borne out through translating into English form earlier language texts and usage. While this will be supported later, I wish to firstly place out a few examples of definition and senses of the English noun 'god:'

 

 

GOD I. In the original pre-Christian sense, and uses thence derived. 1. A superhuman person (regarded as masculine: see Goddess) who is worshipped as having power over nature and the fortunes of mankind; a deity. (Chiefly heathen divinities; when applied to the One Supreme Being, this sense becomes more or less modified: see 6b.

 

As the use of God as a proper noun has throughout the literary period of English been the predominant one, it is natural that the original heathen sense should be sometimes apprehended as a transferred use of this; 'a god', in this view, is a supposed being put in the place of God, or an imperfect conception of God in some of His attributes or relations.

 

2. An image or other artificial or natural object which is worshipped, either as the symbol or an unseen divinity, as supposed to be animated by his indwelling presence, or as itself possessing some kind of divine consciousness and supernatural powers; an idol.

 

II. In the specific Christian and monotheistic sense. The One object of supreme adoration; the Creator and Ruler of the Universe. (Now always with initial capital.) 5. As a proper name. (Oxford English Dictionary, Vol IV, p. 267)
God n [singular, not with the] 1 the BEING who Christians, Jews, and Muslims pray to ... [then it gives many collocations; my explanatory edit here]

 

god n [C] 1 a male BEING who is believed to control the world or part of it, or represents a particular quality: Mars the god of war. (Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English, New Edition; 1995; pp. 695, 696)
god n. 1. any of various beings conceived of as supernatural, immortal, and having special powers over the lives and affairs of people and the course of nature; --[G-] in monotheistic religions, the creator and ruler of the universe, regarded as eternal, infinite, all-powerful, and all-knowling; Supreme Being, Almighty. (Webster's New World Dictionary, Second College Edition (the 4th Edition matches this); 1976, p 599)
god n. 1. a supernatural being, who is worshipped as the controller of some part of the universe or some aspect of life in the world, or is the personification of some force. 2. an image, idol

 

God n. 1.the sole Supreme Being, eternal, spiritual, and transcendent, who is the Creator and ruler of all and is infinite in all attributes; the object of worship in monotheistic religions. (Collins Concise Dictionary; 1999, p 608)
1
god
n. -s.
a being of more than human attributes and powers; esp. a superhuman person conceived as the ruler or sovereign embodiment of some aspect, attribute, or department of reality and to worship is due and acceptable.

 

2
God a(1): the holy, infinite, and eternal spiritual reality presented in the Bible as the Creator, sustainer, judge, righteous sovereign, and redeemer of the universe who acts with power in history in carrying out his purpose <the Hebraic thought of ~ as the living sovereign Jehovah--O.C. Quick> (Webster's Third New International Dictionary, p. 973)
God-
n.
1a (in many religions) a superhuman being or spirit worshiped as having power over nature, human fortunes,
etc.
; a deity b. an image; idol ... worshiped as divine or symbolizing a god. 2. (God) (in Christian and other monotheistic religions) the creator and ruler of the universe; supreme being. (The Oxford American Dictionary and Language Guide; 1999, p. 417)

 

In translating from other languages using the proper and acceptable methodologies, whenever and wherever the English word 'god' can be assigned to a word in the original tongue, we can be sure that the definition in English substantially enough and fairly enough matches that which the original language demonstrates through its usage and context. I will provide some examples forthcoming; and will post this much now. I ask that all readers carefully and analytically study the dictionary entries above. There are others, but the above include some of the main dictionaries of the English language.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. The matter of time down under (other threads), and whether that will make a thread fall into the 'dead' category will also depend on the activity level of a sub-forum, of course.

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I will hold a paragraph or two on the known history, and historical artifacts, by which it can be more soundly and logically deduced as to how the concept of a god developed in early human social groups, aside for later. Here I wish to extend firstly on the English; the word forms and the bare noun. This will entail a bit of grammatical concerns too, but please do bear with me on that, for it is perhaps a necessary evil in understanding more properly.

 

As touched on above (and this may come up a number of times to ascertain having the readership more fully grasp the importance of the matter) naming words (nouns) are created, composed, or thought up to refer to a concept, or an idea (abstract-like), or, to refer to some thing, place, or person (concrete-like). They never come barren of such. The words we have in English which have come down to use from a long history of usage, will have quite set standards of more proper usage-- such as that of the English word 'god.' A cross-reference among a number of good dictionaries will most usually provided that information. It is useful to remember, all the while, that dictionaries not only describe, but also prescribe the more proper usage, and will work to maintain that balance across the general population--as highlighted in the quote below. We will do good to keep the syntax and grammar (almost the same thing) in mind correctly, as well as idiomatic structuring and collocation. As in any language, contextual setting will demonstrate senses applied, and dictionary definitions always take that in mind, as much as possible, and present the senses. Taking a given word being looked at out of its original contextual setting, then pinning a sense on it which does not logically in any manner match the contextual setting communication, is illicit sense assignment. Such is a fatal error without any soundness nor grounding whatsoever. (And in both translating from original tongues, or interpreting within original tongues as well as in the target language translated into, this must be kept in mind.)

 

Attitudes toward language are not unimportant - far from it! But dictionaries are not the best vehicle for dealing with them, for that is not one of their main purposes. There are plenty of
usage guides
, but when one is dealing with attitudes or approval or disapproval, the social context counts for everything. ... Given the complexities of such information, dictionaries can only give a brief indication of attitude most commonly associated with a particular usage. (bold mine; Webster's New World College Dictionary, 4th ed. (1999); pp xxvi-xxvii)

 
One would expect dictionaries to be an obvious source of relevant information. However, dictionaries tend to focus on the decoding process. That is, they provide excellent decriptions of the meaning(s) of words through synonymy and other word relations such as paraphrase and contextualization. A major drawback is that most dictionaries give relatively little explicit attention to collocation and other co-textual features of words. A good English-English dictionary usually provides one or two expressions or sentences demonstrating the use of a word, and these will probably contain one or two useful collocates of that word. (Lewis, Michael (ed)
Teaching Collocation--Further Developments in the Lexical Approach
. LTP; LONDON (2000); p 36)

 

One of the best dictionaries in regards giving a much information on usage, and its development, is the Oxford English Dictionary (OED). I have used it in the above post. There are other good English dictionaries, and for a good review, one should cross-reference at least two to three (as I have done above). Here, however, I wish to point to what the 'usage guides' tell us about English nouns.

 

Nouns have certain characteristics that set them apart from other word-classes. For example, they can form plurals (
book-books
) and take articles (
the book-a book
). However this is not true of all nouns: there are no forms *
educations
, or *
homeworks
, or *
a harm
, or *
a chess
. ... Nouns like
John
,
Paris
,
Mississippi
are PROPER NOUNS. They do not have the full range of determiners and lack article contrast. ... The remaining words in the table are all COMMON NOUNS.
Bottle
, which takes definite article and indefinite articles and admits a plural form,
is an example of a COUNT NOUN
. (Quirk, Randolph,
et al.
(1972)
A Grammar of Contemporary English
; Longman Group Ltd.; LONDON; pp 127-128--{
Also note p 130 We have noted that mass nouns [non-count
my explanatory edit here
] do not have a plural
}. (bold and edit in brackets mine)

 

What has been determined with the above (and all the detail not presented which underlies it) is that our English common noun 'god' is a countable noun, and should (and ought) always work in, and be exercised in, such manner as grammatical rules have set for the standard of countable noun operation. The next thing to do then, would be to examine examples of actual usage. Before that, however, and as a kind of conclusive resting place for those who might be weary of doing the 'long-hand work,' I wish to cite and quote one more dictionary. This is a good learner's dictionary, designed and edited for advanced learners of English--which provides some information that the usual English to English dictionary for native speakers, will usually not provide.

 

God
n
[singular, not with
the
]
1
the BEING who Christians, Jews, and Muslims pray to ... [then it gives many collocations;
my explanatory edit here
]

 

god
n
[C]
1
a male BEING who is believed to control the world or part of it, or represents a particular quality:
Mars the god of war
(Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English, New Edition; 1995)

 

The capital 'C' in the entry 'god' identifies the noun as a countable noun. We can verify that by looking at the entry 'chicken.'

 

chicken
n
1 BIRD
[C] a common farm bird...
2 MEAT
the meat from this bird eaten as food (
ibid
, but I forgot to take the page number)
]

 

The capital 'C' identifies the concept of the living animal basically (it could be dead, but not thought of, or looked at, as food), as is totally without contest. The capital 'U' identifies the second definition/sense, as that concept of that animal as food, something to eat, the meat thereof. It is for this very reason that that cute little bumper sticker I had seen here in Japan, which was written in English in imitation of the 'I (heart) NY' boom expression, was so hilarious. It read, in the manner of that boom expression, but explicitly 'I love dog. Poor little pet got eaten, I guess...

 

For those who wish not to do the 'long-hand work,' and go over this quite carefully in the posts to follow, can rest here with a firm, and uncontested conclusion, namely, the English noun 'god' (lower case letter) is a countable noun, and must take an article or proper modifier in usage. I will go on to demonstrate this more exhaustively in the next several posts to come, anyway, however.

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While we do find misuse, and lack of care (as has come to be overly practiced, especially by those who have little invested time in research on the matter), it is clear among all the examples of proper usage in English, that we do have a major distinction between the word form 'god' and 'God'--and 'goddess' as well. There is a quite clear rule of thumb for capitalization in English--which I have touched on at another point in this sub-forum. Over the course of my dealing with this, I have found, for example of one instance of error, that a few have tried to apply the capitalization rule of thumb in the German language, in the English language. That is a fatal error. English is not German.

 

Below, I will randomly list a number of examples, probably over a couple of posts (maybe?). While there is of course much more, this will be explicit enough, and numerous enough, to ascertain and clinch the point correctly. Unless otherwise noted with "sic.," all bold is mine. I occasionally add some notes, which I identify.

 

Hesiod, an early Greek poet, preserves myth of pre-Arian '
Silver Age
' heros : divinely created eaters of bread, utterly subject to their mothers however long they lived, who never sacrificed
to the gods
, ...

 

Thus a Central American stone-sculpture,
a Toad-god
sitting beneath a mushroom, ... or heard of a Mexican Mushroom-god, patron of an oracular cult; ... (Graves, Robert
New Larousse Encyclopedia of Mythology
; pp 6, 7)

 
Now this king (Ahaz;
my note here
) was so sottish and thoughtless of what was for his own good, that he would not leave off worshipping(sic;
my note here
)
the Syrian gods
when he was beaten by them,..seemed more desirous to honor
any other gods
than his own
paternal and true God
, whose anger was the cause of his defeat.

 

A certain Parthian, who came as general of an army into these parts, had a wife following him, ... and admired above all other women for her beauty. ... As soon, therefore, as her husband had been declared an enemy to them, and was fallen in the battle, the widow of the deceased was married to this her lover (one Anileus;
note for clarification here
) Since she was led away captive, on the death of her husband, she concealed the images of
those gods
which were their country
gods
, common to herself and her husband. ... They added, that the marriage of this woman was made without their consent, and without regard to their old laws; and that
the worship which this woman paid [to her gods]
was a reproach
to the God
whom they worshiped
[/b]
. (Whiston, William (trans)
The Complete Works of Josephus: Flavius Josephus. Kergel Publications
; (1981); pp 210, 394)

 

Ashima
, plural, Asherim,
a pagan goddess
, who was found in teh Ras Shamra epic religious texts discovered at Ugarit in North Syria... Her cult object, whatever it was, was utterly detestable to faithful worshippers of Yahweh... In Canaan there was a tendency to employ the plural forms of deities Ashtoreth (Ashtoroth), Asherah (Asherim), Anath (Anathoth) to summarize all the various manifestations of
this deity
. In like fashion the Canaanite plural
Elohim
("gods")
)sic;
my note here
) was adopted by the Hebrews to express all the excellencies and attributes of
the one true God
. (Douglas, J.D. (ed),
Unger's Bible Dictionary
; p 412)

 
65. GOD--is used of any one (professedly) MIGHTY, whether truly so or not, and is applied not only to
the true God
, but to
false gods
, magistrates, judges, angels, prophets, &c., e.g. Exod. 7.1; ... (Young, Robert,
Young's Analytical Concordance to the Bible
; Funk & Wagnalls; HINTS AND HELPS TO BIBLE INTERPRETATION.)

 
... p 298
Local gods and demons.
[sic] While the contemplative elite may deny the real existence of
gods and demons
together with the rest of phenomenal existence, the majority of Buddhists from the earliest of times in India, ... have never neglected indigenous religious beliefs. ... Such favoured deities include Mahakala, the great black divinity;
the mother goddess
Hariti, ... Hayagriva,
a fierce horse-faced god
who is powerful in driving off unconverted demonic forces. (As is the case, I had forgotten to take note of my source, but I have 10 pages (from a scope of at least pp 266-299) from a rather large sized book, in smaller print on Buddhism.;
my note here
)

 

The Temple Scroll
(IIQT=IIQ
19-21
, 4Q
365a
, 4Q
524
), p 216--You shall be perfect towards
YHWH
(sic;
my note here
), your
God
. For these nations that
LXI
([sic]; section marker;
my note here
) ... to utter a word in my name which I have not commanded him to utter, or who speaks in the name
of other gods
, that prophet shall be put to death. (Vermes, Geza (trans)
The Complete Dead Sea Scrolls in English
, Revised Edition; Penguin Books, 2004)

 

p 96
As a result, "Enkidu was grown weak, for wisdom was in him." He sits at the woman's feet and she tells him, "You are wise, Enkidu, and now you have become
like a god
."

p 149
Beginning in the fourth millennium B.C.E and gaining momentum into the first millennium B.C.E., the conception of
the dominant, creative gods
--or later,
the single God
--as male arose and triumphed.

155
This system (the Brahmins' system;
my note for clarification here
), with its
violent storm gods
, such as Indra, corresponded to... (McElvaine, Roberts,
Eve's Seed--Biology, the Sexes, and the Course of History
. McGraw-Hill; (2001))

 

p 421
Psalm 106:19-23 omits Aaron entirely from its summary of the story, though just four verses earlier in calls Aaron "holy to YHWH" while narrating the rebellion of Dathan and Abiram. Nehemiah 9:18 also omits Aaron in its allusion to the golden calf in a longer historical summary, though it quotes the crucial "
these are your gods
" line. (Watts, James, (2011) Aaron and the Golden Calf in the Rhetoric of the Pentateuch.
Jour Bib Lit
130(3), pp 417-430)

 
p 153, 154-- The festival did indeed commemorate the rededication of the altar and temple worship
of Israel's God
, but it is difficult to believe that Jewish people would not be thinking about the defiled conditions of the temple and cult from which the Maccabean forces had to cleanse and reconsecrate them. In this connection it should be recalled that Antiochus IV not only banned the practice of Judaism and the temple cult but that he also imposed new forms of worship which included veneration of himself
as a god
in Jerusalem's temple. ... The extant coins that were minted during Antiochus IV's reign prove that he, like a number of other hellenistic monarchs, advertised himself
as a god
.

 

 

p 410-- (on I Enoch and Jubilees) 2. Unusual or difficult circumstances of origin, and the hero is reputed
to be a god
: The story about Noah leaves no doubt that there were at least suspicions regarding the conception of the child. Raglan notes that the hero is often reputed
to be a god
. In modified form this theme is evident in the Noah story. Naturally, in a Jewish text,
there are not many gods
, but the nearest equivalents to
the multiple gods of other nations were angels
. In a sense he is presented as superhuman, even though his father was not an angel: he exudes the miraculous brightness of divinity, and in the Animal Apocalypse he is semi-deified. (
From Revelation to Canon: Studies in the Hebrew Bible and Second Temple Literature, by James Vanderkam. Brill Academic Publishers, Inc. 2002.)

 

p 723-- Just as Isa 10:5a understands the Assyrian king to be a weapon in the hands of Yhwh ("Woe, Assyria! Rod of my anger"), Ashurnasirpal II understood himself to be a destructive weapon
in the hands of the gods
: "Ashurnasirpal, strong king, king of the universe ... beloved
of the gods Anu and Dagan
, destructive weapon [
kasus
]
of the great gods
. (Chan, Michael (2009) Rhetorical Reversal and Usurpation: Isaiah 10:5-34 and the Use of Neo-Assyrian Royal Idiom in the Construction of an Anti-Assyrian Theology.
Jour Bib Lit
128(4), pp 717-733 )

 

p 776-- These readers and hearers would have been aware
that a god's avian departure
signifies to epic characters taht the "human" conversing with them
was actually a god
in disguise. p 777 We heed the cautions of earlier scholars that neither
theios aner
nor
"son of God"
was a fixed title used to denote a specific type of divine-human figure, and it is not my intention to suggest a Markean "divine man" christology.

 

p 778-- [iamblichus (3rd-4th CE)] writes that some regarded Pythagoras as
"one of the Olympian Gods"
, who, in order to benefit and correct the mortal life, appeared to men of those times in human form" (
Vit. Pyth.]/i] 30) Also in the third century, Philostratus writes that Pythagoras has certain knowledge of his divinity because Apollo had come to him acknowledging that
he was "the god [i.e. Apollo} in person"
(
Vit. Apoll.
1.1). (Dixon, Edward (2009) Descending Spirit and Descending Gods: A "Greek" Interpretation of the Spirit's "Descent as a Dove" in Mark 1:10.
Jour Bib Lit
128(4), pp 759-780)

 
p 19-- So if kings and heros could be gods, what might a god have been? A god was someone with....

 

p 27--
The city gods
reigned locally, but they also sometimes made visits to other cities.... An aspect of Mesopotamian religion that must remain elusive to us is
the existence of the personal god
.
This was a god
who was concerned with individual person...

 

p 152--[The jews] could believe the right things, however, and they came to see statements of Yahweh's power in the Hebrew Bible as statements of beliefs, indeed creeds, to use the Christian term. ... Jews were saying that most people had it wrong and therefore trusted
in the wrong gods
, who in fact did not even exist. The Jews trusted in
the true God
and could argue that He was worthy of trust. (
Religions of the Ancient Near East
, by Daniel Snell; Cambridge University Press. (2011))

 

I will continue from here with more references and citations in the form of quotes which demonstrate that the English noun 'god' is a countable noun. I argue that the insistence on detail is of the utmost importance towards a more accurate and correct understanding, and, additionally, that my going into such presentation level (listing and citation), while not really natural for internet discussion boards (I do admit) is yet, even so, a necessary thing to overturn the error that is out there.

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Thank you for the notice and heads up, iNow. I do appreciate that. I checked out the score, pitched the idea around of starting a new thread to present and discuss the finer points with any interested and capable, but eventually have decided to go ahead and stick with this one. I am now only looking towards readership at large, and not directed in any ways towards the OPP. (Although from the start I had not worried so much about whether the OPP had been reading up.) I will continue.

 

While there are actually a good number of instances which I do have lined up (and, to be honest, surely another three-fold which I could pull out from my several sources), I have decided to present only another four or five here. The point of all this presentation so far, has been to fully demonstrate the fact that the English noun form 'god' is a common noun, and is a countable noun. It does not receive a capital unless at the beginning of a sentence, in a title which uses the 'each major word capitalized' pattern, or has some kind of special usage--which is seen to not be used at large. It receives an article or possessive at all times, practically, depending on contextual usage. The capitalized form is a plug-in for YHWH, or the biblical god model, or is seen as some as being useable for the Islamic model; which is more of a 'politically correct' instance than anything else. (More on that later.)

p 213
(Aelian,
On Animals
11, 34-35) b) And
this same god
in the days of Nero cured Chrysermus who... c)
It was this god (Serapis)
who when Basilis the Cretan fell into a wasing disease, ...

 

p 215
(Pausanias,
Description of Greece
6,26,1. Loeb 3, 157-159.) The image is the work of Praxiteles.
Of the gods
the Eleans worship Dionysus with the greatest reverence, and they assert that
the god attends
their festical, the Thyia. (Martin, Francis (1988)
Narrative Parallels to the New Testament
; SBL Resources for Biblical Study 22)

 
p 214
Just as in the ancient Babylonian Atramhasis epic, ... Noah survives because of the solicitous care of
the God Yahweh
.

p 230
It is inconceivable that the patriarchs or the Israelites could turn their backs on Yahweh in order to turn to "
other gods
." (Levin, Christoph (2007) The Yahwist: The Earliest Editor in the Pentateuch.
Jour Bib Lit
126(2), pp 209-230

 

p 631
On the other hand, the Persians did not hesitate to destroy temples that were involved in revolts against their power,... The leaders of the temple in Elephantine claimed that by the power of Cambyses
kol migrah egooriyh eloah mitsriyakh
(in Chaldean script;
my transliteration; my note here
)
, "all the temples
of the gods of Egypt
were overthrown" (TAD A4.7.13-14). Records from the period show... At Ur, for example, we find that the vast temple lands and holdings belonging
to the god Sin
were overseen by the same government officials who...

p 639
A the Ianna shrine at Uruk, for example,... All temple holdings were considered property of the god, and so the temple property at Uruk was called
makkur Anu
,
(sic;
my note here, the author transliterated it
)
"
the property of (the god) Anu
." (Janzen, David (2000) The "Mission" of Ezra and the Persian-Period Temple Community.
Jour Bib Lit
119(4), pp 619-643)

 

p 226
(foot note)
amidhey
(in Hebrew characters;
my transliteration here
)
here may also be translated "beside me," indicating that YHWH disdains the company of
other gods
(compare Deut 32:12: "YHWH alone guided him;/
no foreign god was with him
") (McGarry, Eugene, P. (2005) The Ambidextrous Angel (Daniel 12:7 and Deuteronomy 32:4): Inner-Biblical Exegesis and Textual Criticism in Counterpoint.
Jour Bib Lit
124(2), pp 211-228)

 

Ex 32:4
... "
This is your god
, O Isreal...
23
...'
Make a god for us
who will go before us;...
31
..."Alas, this people has committed a great sin, and they have made
a god of gold
for themselves. (New American Standard; Holman Bible Publishers. (1977))

 

These final examples begin to highlight at least there major points of great importance. One, as I had mentioned earlier in this thread, is that any word in any language from which we are translating out of, and then into English, which due to contextual usage in the original tongue will be assigned the noun 'god,' will be assigned that because the referent and concept in the original equals that of the English. The second--and it should come as no surprise at all, due to the first one--is that the actual English noun came about due to the very notion and referent (definition) which human kind had developed in the hundreds of centuries before even Middle English had been around. The idea is not new at all. Thirdly, it is most obvious that of all the god models which we find, by far, the vast majority of them have personal names. Even though I have worded it as I have, it is even possible to consider that 99.99% have personal names. A personal name (a proper noun) is always capitalized.

 

On this matter--and before I go into original language points in the text (as well as resource material to back up the matter of distinguishing between an epithet, a title, and a personal name)--I wish to present one last quote. This one is from Michael Shermer's more recent work, The Believing Brain: From Ghosts and Gods to Politics and Conspiracies--How We Construct Beliefs and Reinforce Them as Truths:

 

p172
What is the probability that Yahweh is
the one true god
, and Amon, Ra, Aphrodite, Apollo, Brahma, Ganesha, Isis, Mithra, Osiris, Shiva, Thor, Vishnu, Wotan, Zeus, and
the other 986 gods are false gods
? (Shermer, Michael (2011)
The Believing Brain: From Ghosts and Gods to Politics and Conspiracies--How We Construct Beliefs and Reinforce Them as Truths
. Times Books Henry Holt and Company, LLC.)

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