God
mllefantine
I have an assignment due in Philosophy, and my word to look up and write about it God. But believe it or not, I've found almost NOTHING about God. I can't find where the word originated from, what language it cam from, or anything really. Do any of you know anything, or have any url that moght be useful? Thanks!

Bethann

AdSumADS
Middle English, from Old English; akin to Old High German got god
Lewis Joplin II
My son the religion scholar (I'm so proud) tells me that religion predates humans. "Pre-humans" originated the idea of a god or gods. Or, let me correct myself, from the time that these early people had conscious thought, they knew God. So words meaning God were probably among the first spoken words.

Here's some information I found on the subject of the name of the Supreme Being.

From "Sacred Origins of Profound Things: Stories Behind the Rites and Rituals of the World's Religions" by Charles Panati (Penguin Books, New York, 1996): "god. God. The lower-case word summons images of paganism and humankind's primitive past...The upper-case word invokes the single unifying being or oneness who triumphed over polytheism,.. One God. A personal God... 'I am the Lord thy God,' he made clear early on, perhaps as early as 1400 B.C.E, 'thou shall have no other Gods before Me' (Exod. 20:2-3). Let's start with God's earliest name. YAHWEH: NEAR EAST, c. 1400 to c. 1200 B.C.E. He's Allah to Muslims, a word that in Arabic translates as 'God.' He's 'God the Father' to Christians...To the ancient Israelites, however, he was 'Yahweh.' A personal name. On Mount Sinai, c. 1400 B.C.E., from out of a burning bush, God called to Moses...ordering the prophet to free the Israelites from bondage in Egypt. Startled, Moses asked: 'If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you,' and they ask me, 'What is his name?' what shall I say to them?' (Exod. 3:13)' God answered cryptically, cloaking his name in four Hebrew consonants: YHWH - called the tetragrammaton, meaning 'four things written.' It is pronounced Yahweh, which has various translations: 'I am who I am,' or 'I shall be what I shall be,' or as some linguists argue, 'He who brings into existence whatever exists.' All three meanings demonstrate how the word 'Yahweh' is related to the Hebrew verb 'to be,' which reaches beyond 'to exist' to encompass 'to be actively present in.' This connotation of 'active presence' implies that God is with us and active in daily events...(Scribes) combined the unpronounceable YHWH with vowels from two popular old Hebrew terms for God: 'Adonai' and 'Elohim' - arriving at YeHoWah, which Renaissance Christians rendered as Jehovah. This form made its way into the King James Bible. Had the word 'Yahweh' been spoken before Moses heard it on Mount Sinai? Linguists tell us that Yahweh was one of many names for a primary pagan 'god' known to all ancient Semitic peoples before the birth of monotheism..."

From the "Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable (Sixteenth Edition, Revised by Adrian Room) "God. A word common, in slightly varying forms, to all Germanic languages, and coming from a root word related to Old Irish 'guth,' 'voice.' It is in no way connected with the English word 'good.'"

From the "Barnhart Concise Dictionary of Etymology" by Robert K. Barnhart (HarperCollins Publishers, New York, 1995). "God or god. n. Old English (about 725) 'god' Supreme Being, deity; cognate with Old Frisian, Old Saxon, and Dutch, 'god,' Supreme Being, deity, Old High German 'got' (modern German 'Gott'), Old Icelandic 'godh,' 'gudh,' and Gothic 'guth,'...The Germanic words for 'god' were originally neuter, but after Germanic tribes adopted Christianity, God became a masculine syntactic form..."


AdSumADS
To be clear, the early formation of the word, "god," did not refer to the diety from the Abrahamic tradition, but was applied applied as equally thus as to the gods of any given religion. The conquests of the Constantine empire establsihed the Catholic church as a dominant cultural force in English/German speaking areas the provided for the eliding of the article, as in "a god" or "the god of Abraham." However, even the modern semantics allow for reference to other gods, such as Vishnu or Mercury. However, Christianity does employ the affect of capitalizing not only "god" and as in use to name the deity rather than simply referring to it, but also "he," "him," and "his," applied both to Jahovah and Jesus reference in the mythology.
mllefantine
Thanks so much guys! This really does help out a lot! I appretiate the time you all took to help me out. Again, thank you.

Bethann

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