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God

the name of the Divine Being

The word “God” does not appear in the original Hebrew or Greek manuscripts of the Bible. “God” is an old English word which developed from an Indo-European word, meaning “that which is invoked,” which is also the ancestor of the German word Gott and the Danish “Gud,” both meaning “God.”

“God” is the translation of…

  1. …the Hebrew: 'El, from a word meaning to be strong

  2. …the Hebrew: 'Eloah, plural 'Elohim. The singular form, Eloah, is used only in poetry. The plural form is more commonly used in all parts of the Bible.

The Hebrew word yehovah (Jehovah), another word often used to denote the Supreme Being, is usually translated in the King James Version as “LORD,” printed in small capitals.

The existence of God is taken for granted in the Bible. There is nowhere any argument to prove it. He who disbelieves this truth is spoken of as one devoid of understanding (Psalm 14:1).

The arguments generally adduced by theologians in proof of God’s existence are:

  1. The a priori argument, which is the testimony afforded by reason.

  2. The a posteriori argument, by which we proceed logically from the facts of experience to causes. These arguments are:

    1. The cosmological, by which it is proved that there must be a First Cause of all things, for every effect must have a cause.

    2. The teleological, or the argument from design. We see everywhere the operations of an intelligent Cause in nature.

    3. The moral argument, called also the anthropological argument, based on the moral consciousness and the history of mankind, which exhibits a moral order and purpose which can only be explained on the supposition of the existence of God. Conscience and human history testify that “verily there is a God that judgeth in the Earth.”

The attributes of God are set forth in order by Moses in Exodus 34:6,7. (see also Deut. 6:4; 10:17; Num. 16:22; Ex. 15:11; 33:19; Isa. 44:6; Hab. 3:6; Ps. 102:26; Job 34:12.) They are also systematically classified in Rev. 5:12 and 7:12.

God’s attributes are spoken of by some as absolute, i.e., such as belong to his essence as Jehovah, Jah, etc.; and relative, i.e., such as are ascribed to him with relation to his creatures. Others distinguish them into communicable attributes, i.e., those which can be imparted in degree to his creatures: goodness, holiness, wisdom, etc.; and incommunicable, which cannot be so imparted: independence, immutability, immensity, and eternity. They are by some also divided into natural attributes, eternity, immensity, etc.; and moral, holiness, goodness, etc.

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