Skip to main content

God

God


Taken in its subjective sense, the word God refers to whatever is the object of one's ultimate concern. Thus one might judge about a person, "Money or power is his god." But one can also ask whether his "god" really is God, whether what he treats as god possesses the properties one would expect in an object of ultimate concern. In this second or more objective sense, then, God refers to whatever is truly ultimate: the greatest being, the highest object of belief, the ground of all being. Most often, to believe in God means to believe that the ultimate reality is personal. That is, the divine possesses all the positive features that one associates with "mind" (intellect, will, self-consciousness, and perhaps emotions), but possesses them in an infinitely higher and more perfect form than humans do. For virtually all theists, God is understood as the creator of all things. For most theists, God is also understood as providentially involved in guiding the world subsequent to its creation.

Two major sources have added more specific content to the notion of God. The various religious traditions have developed extensive beliefs about the nature of God, the actions and self-revelation of God in the world, and the sorts of ethical and moral principles that most correspond to the divine nature. In a similar fashion, but not always in lockstep, the philosophical traditions have reached conclusions on what most appropriately count as attributes of God, how (if at all) the divine could be known, and why an infinite God could never be fully comprehended by finite knowers. Theologians have combined features from both of these approaches. They draw on beliefs from one or more of the religions, while analyzing and reformulating these beliefs using conclusions and conceptual tools developed by philosophers over the centuries. The result is a spectrum of positions on whether there are many gods or only one, on what it means to say that God is personal, and on how God is related to the world.


A brief history of God

Before there was belief in one God (monotheism), there was belief in many gods (polytheism). The earliest cultural remnants show humans relating to parts of the natural world (mountains, bodies of water, thunder and lightening, changes in climate) as if they were the product of personal forces. Finding reasons for natural events was perhaps the first step toward science, which gives explanations based on impersonal forces rather than on super-natural agents.

As cultures became more sophisticated, the gods took on personalities distinct from natural objects. Some of this evolution is visible in the Hebrew Bible, an authoritative text for Jewish, Christian, and Muslim views of God. Yahweh, the God of Abraham and his clan, was "a jealous God" (Exod. 20:5) who would allow "no other gods" before him (Deut. 5:7). Gradually the Israelites realized that Yahweh was "a great King above all gods" (Ps. 95:3), indeed so all-encompassing that there could be no other gods: "For I am God, and there is no other" (Isa. 45:22). Hence, the three Western monotheisms came to hold that God's power must be unlimited (omnipotence), as must be God's perception (omnipresence), God's knowledge (omniscience), and God's goodness (omnibenevolence). Yahweh must be the sole creator of all that is. All must stem from God, and God must have created all out of nothing (creatio ex nihilo ). God became the ultimate ground and explanation of all things, the One who alone is worthy of worship.

In addition to this shared basis, the Western monotheisms also evidence important differences, regarding, for example, whether the divine nature is trinitarian (three-in-one) or not. Even if the full variety of specific beliefs about God cannot be treated in this entry, the differences remain vital for many believers. Indeed, many would resist the notion of "generic theism." That is, many would say that they are not believers in God in general but believers in "the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob," or disciples of Allah as he revealed himself to the prophet Mohammed, or believers in the Holy Trinity of "God the Father, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit."

God and contemporary science

Some leading philosophers and scientists (for example, in the twentieth century, Bertrand Russell, Antony Flew, Edward O. Wilson, and Richard Dawkins) hold that belief in God as an explanatory principle is incompatible with science. Clearly, if science entails some form of metaphysical naturalism (physicalism, materialism, or nontheistic emergence), then all forms of theism are excluded; belief in a single act of divine creation would be no better off than the belief that one must sacrifice to the rain god. By contrast, other leading scientists are theists and find no conflict between their religious belief and the practice of science.

Among the latter group one finds stronger and weaker claims. For example, many hold that science and personalist theism are at least compatible and can coexist without contradiction or tension. Perhaps science explains the "how" of the universe, theism its ultimate "why." Perhaps divine actions concern only the "before" and "after," the moment of creation that led to the existence of physical laws and the final act that establishes "a new heaven and a new Earth" (Rev. 21:1). Or perhaps God-language refers to the ground of all existence and all value but can never be used to explain any particular thing or event.

Others make stronger claims: The order in the universe is best understood as an expression of the nature of God. Without God one cannot finally make sense of the lawfulness and mathematical simplicity of the physical world ( John Polkinghorne), or of the evolution of intelligent life (theistic evolutionists and Intelligent Design theorists such as William Demski), or of human rationality and morality (Alvin Plantinga). It is argued that the fundamental physical constants are "fine-tuned" so as conjointly to make it possible, or even likely, that intelligent life would emerge, and that a supernatural agent offers the best explanation of this fact. To use Robert John Russell's distinction, they argue either that the universe is consistent with what the believer in God would expect (the theology of nature) or that the fine-tuning of physical constants actually provides evidence that God exists (natural theology).

Those who find science and theism in conflict suggest two different answers. One group responds that belief in God has to be eliminated, or at least radically modified so that it fits into the gaps left by science and makes no claims incompatible with it (the "god of the gaps"). For example, theistic language could be viewed as an expression of a cultural, emotional, or psychological particularity, similar to one's manner of dressing or speaking. If God-talk makes no truth claims, it cannot conflict with scientific results. Another group responds that the results and methods of science should instead be set aside whenever they conflict with theological truths. Religious fundamentalism may employ scientific-sounding language, as in "young Earth creationism"; it may refute science by appeal to scriptural texts; or it may associate God with "truths beyond the reach of reason" seen only through "the eyes of faith."

In summary, the differences in the logic of scientific theories and God-language are generally acknowledged. Proponents differ on whether the differences are tensions and, if so, how serious they are. Should the tensions be minimized, bringing science and religion into the greatest consonance possible, or should they be maximized, making the contrasts as stark as possible?


Issues on God and science

The God-science relationship has continually fascinated reflective persons for its alternating resonances and dissonances.

The problem of divine action. For Jews, Christians, and Muslims, God creates the world, sustains it in existence, and acts providentially to bring about divine purposes. Far from being deists, these traditions espoused miracles (supernatural interventions into history that set aside natural law). Indeed, the miracle of the resurrection lies at the center of Christian faith. But such miracles are by definition inaccessible to scientific study; indeed, they seem to imply the negation of scientific results and methods. Contemporary efforts to minimize the conflict include developing noninterventionist accounts of divine action in the world, reducing God's role to a single all-encompassing act, and offering fully naturalized reworkings of the traditional religions that eschew all miracle claims.

Evidences for and against God. Do human beings inhabit a cosmos that displays the signs of creation by a benevolent, omnipotent deity? Some say no. Vast regions are cold and uninhabitable; does all this exist just for the sake of intelligent animals on one planet? Entropy means the universe will wind down; what sign is there of "a new heaven and a new Earth"? Finally, why would a benevolent God allow such incredible evil, suffering, and wastefulness of lifeboth in the natural world and at the hands of man?

Others argue that the cosmos does display signs of creation by God. Could a random origin and evolution have produced beings capable of rational thought and moral action? The improbability suggests design. Moreover, they argue, the result is different in kind from physical evolution; consciousness, rationality, and morality are better explained by a "first cause" that itself possesses these features. The universe possesses a mathematical simplicity that evokes a religious (or quasireligious) response from many scientists, and a beauty that for some is both awe-inspiring and sublime. The argument for God as the best explanation becomes more compelling when supplemented with personal religious experience of the divine or, in Immanuel Kant's phrase, of "the moral law within."


God and specific scientific results. In cosmology, the "singularity" of the Big Bang seemed to offer support for a doctrine of creation. In Jim Hartle and Stephen Hawking's quantum cosmology, however, there would be no t = 0 (time equals zero), hence no time at which God could create. Perhaps creation could be understood as the contingency of the world on God, even if there were never a "moment of creation," as Robert John Russell posits.

Neo-Darwinian evolution involves random genetic variation and selective retention by the environment. Denying evolution seems impossible, but theists have argued that the process may be "guided" by God in ways not yet fully visible or understood. Sociobiology and evolutionary psychology also challenge the ontological uniqueness of the human animal and hence challenge claims that humans are created "in the image of God."

The neurosciences can increasingly reconstruct the neural correlates of cognitive functions. Will they someday be able to detect the neurological footprints of God's interactions with individuals? Might they discriminate between genuine and counterfeit experiences of God? Or will God's interactions with the world always escape human detection and rational analysis?


"God beyond God," experience, and mystery

The history of the interrelations between God and science mirror something of the history of God and philosophy. Like philosophy, science uses its analytic tools to falsify an ever larger number of specific claims about God. Yet neither can verify the divine, and neither can rule out God's existence. The experiences of something transcendent, someone divine, remain; hence room remains for conceiving God in a way that conflicts with neither science nor philosophy (the Transcendent Other, the "God beyond God"). New philosophical theologies, such as panentheism, can reformulate traditional claims about God's relationship with the world in new and more adequate ways. In the end, the question of God remains part of the ultimate mystery that faces humans in their walk between birth and death.


See also Creatio Ex Nihilo; Divine Action; Emergence; God of the Gaps; Monotheism; Natural Theology; Omnipotence; Omnipresence; Omniscience; Panentheism; Theism; Theology


Bibliography

armstrong, karen. a history of god: the 4000-year quest of judaism, christianity, and islam. london: heine-mann, 1993.

clayton, philip. god and contemporary science. grand rapids. mich.: eerdmans, 1998.

clayton, philip. the problem of god in modern thought. grand rapids, mich.: eerdmans, 2000.

davies, paul. god and the new physics. new york: simon and schuster, 1983

moltmann, jürgen. god in creation: a new theology of creation and the spirit of god. minneapolis, minn.: fortress press, 1993.

peacocke, arthur. theology for a scientific age: being and becomingnatural, divine, and human. minneapolis, minn.: fortress, 1993.

polkinghorne, john. belief in god in an age of science. new haven, conn.: yale university press, 1998.

philip clayton

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"God." Encyclopedia of Science and Religion. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Feb. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"God." Encyclopedia of Science and Religion. . Encyclopedia.com. (February 23, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/god

"God." Encyclopedia of Science and Religion. . Retrieved February 23, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/god

God (in Occult Perspective)

God (in Occult Perspective)

According to the ancient magical conception of God in the scheme of the universe, evil is the inevitable contrast and complement of good. God permits the existence of the shadow in order that it may intensify the purity of the light. He has created both and they are thus inseparable, the one being necessary to and incomprehensible without the other.

The very idea of goodness loses its meaning if considered apart from that of evilGabriel is a foil to Satan and Satan to Gabriel. The dual nature of the spiritual world penetrates into every department of life, material and spiritual. It is typified in light and darkness, cold and heat, truth and error, in brief, the names of any two opposing forces will serve to illustrate the primary law of naturenamely, the continual conflict between the positive or good and the negative or evil.

For a scriptural illustration of this point, the story of Cain and Abel can be used. The moral superiority of his brother is at first irksome to Cain, finally intolerable. He murders Abel, thus bringing on his own head the wrath of God and the self-punishment of the murderer. For in killing Abel, Cain has done himself harm. Cain has not done away with Abel's superiority, but has added to himself a burden of guilt that can end only by much suffering.

Suffering is shown in the Judaeo-Christian scriptures to be one means evil is overcome by good. Cain reappears in the story of the prodigal son, who after deprivation and suffering is restored to his father who forgives him fully and freely.

It is believed that the possibility of sin and error is consistent with and inseparable from life. The great sinner is a more vital being than the colorless character, because having greater capacity for evil he has also greater capacity for good, and in proportion to his faults so will his virtues be when he turns to God. "There is more joy in heaven over one sinner that repenteth than over ninety and nine just persons," because more force of character, more power for good or evil is displayed by the sinner than by the feebly correct. And that power is the most precious thing in life. The apostle Paul specifically rejected this approach to understanding sin and redemption in Romans 6: 1-2.

This dual law of right and wrong, two antagonistic forces, is designated by the term "duad." It is the secret of life and the revelation of that secret means death. This secret is embodied in the myth of the Tree of Knowledge in Genesis. At death the discord will be resolved, but not until then.

From the duad is derived the triad based on the doctrine of the Trinity. Two forces producing equilibrium, the secret of nature, are designated by the duad, and these threelife, good, and evilconstitute one law. By adding the conception of unity to the triad the tetrad is produced, the perfect number of four, the source of all numerical combinations.

According to orthodox theology there are three persons in God, Father, Son and Holy Ghost, and these three form one Deity. In occult speculations, three and one make four, the fourth reality being the unity required to explain the Three. Hence, it is suggested, in many languages (most notably Hebrew), the name of God is symbolized by four letters. Again, two affirmations make two negations either possible or necessary. According to the Kabalists the name of the Evil one consisted of the same four letters spelled backward, signifying that evil is merely the reflection or shadow of good"The last reflection or imperfect mirage of light in shadow." Everything exists in light or darkness, good or evil, and exists through the tetrad. The triad or trinity, then, is explained by the duad and resolved by the tetrad.

Such occult interpretations of God echo the ancient mysticism such as the Eastern religion of Hinduism, where the pairs of opposites like good and evil are regarded as twin poles of a larger reality, where anthropomorphic concepts of God the creator are considered legal fictions for a divine infinity, beyond time, space, and causality.

Sources:

Achad, Frater. The Anatomy of the Body of God. Chicago: Collegium ad Spiritum Sanctum, 1925.

Akiba ben Joseph Rabbi. The Book of Formation. (Sepher Yetzirah). London: William Rider, 1923.

Angeles, Peter A. The Problem of God; A Short Introduction. Buffalo, N.Y.: Prometheus Books, 1981.

Arya, Ushbarbudh. God. Honesdale, Pa.: Himalayan International Institute, 1979.

Brightman, Edgar S. The Problem of God. New York: Abingdon Press, 1930.

Goblet D'Alviella, E. F. Lectures on the Origin and Growth of the Conception of God. London, 1892. Reprint, New York: AMS Press, 1982.

Pereira, Jose, ed. Hindu Theology: A Reader. Garden City, N.Y.: Image Books, 1976.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"God (in Occult Perspective)." Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Feb. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"God (in Occult Perspective)." Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology. . Encyclopedia.com. (February 23, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/god-occult-perspective

"God (in Occult Perspective)." Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology. . Retrieved February 23, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/god-occult-perspective

God

God. The absolute and real who is, than which nothing greater can be conceived, the unproduced Producer of all that is, without whom nothing that is could be or could remain in being; or, alternatively, the projection into supposed reality of human fears, neuroses, and abject needs (Freud), or of human ideals which can never be realized (Feuerbach), or of the requirements to perpetuate the conditions of alienation in the interests of some party (Marx); in this second case, language about ‘God’ is a surrogate language about humanity or human persons (‘Theology is anthropology’). The possibility of so wide a contrast between theistic realism and psychological unrealism arises because God (supposing God is) is not an object among objects in a universe, able to be discovered and/or explored, as are atoms, quasars, and the dark side of the moon. Nor is God the conclusion of an argument, although argument points to the probability of God, at least in the sense that the universe makes more sense if it exists as a consequence of one who produces and sustains it, than otherwise. For examples of such arguments, see QUINQUE VIAE. Since God cannot be produced as an object among objects, and since God is, whether this or any other universe happens to exist, it follows that God cannot be described in language, since God is far apart from humanly apprehended categories in time and space (i.e. is transcendent). In all theistic religions, this has led inevitably to apophatic theology, to the recognition that we can only say with confidence what God is not, (e.g. via negativa, neti neti, ein-sof).

Theistic religions have always been aware of the inadequacy of human language about God (hence the importance of analogy). Even in the human affection of worship, it is known that no words or images can contain or describe God, and yet the experienced consequence of God creates its own and continuing demand for, or invitation into, relationship. Religious and theological traditions then offer the inadequacies of language, sign, symbol, icon, etc. (or images in the case of Hindus), as a means of initiating an apprehension of God which is qualitatively sui generis—one which is capable of lifting life from the mundane to a point of balance and rescue where the entire universe is seen as a start and not as a conclusion.

In the terms, therefore, of a critically realistic theology, religions accept that anything which is said about God is approximate, provisional, corrigible, and mainly wrong; but the question still remains, Is it wrong about some One? Even those religions which are most secure in their confidence that God has overcome the epistemic gap of transcendence, by revealing his word and his will, accept that all revelation is conveyed contingently through words which are not identical with that concerning which they purport to be about—in terms which are approximate. In the end, all religions are bound to issue the invitation, ‘Taste and see’. The experience and procedures of relatedness to what has been described in those approximate ways as El, Zeus, Allāh, Viṣṇu, Amida, Brahman, etc., have built up through the millennia an impressive reliability of reference and relationship—and a reliability which has encouraged constant correction as successive generations have learnt, with increasing security, something more of the nature of the One with whom they have to deal. At the same time, that which is God has seemed, unequivocally, to be, so to speak, ‘dealing with them’: it is in this way that the major transformations in the human understanding of God have been made. In ways (which humans have tested and winnowed through time, and in virtually all cultures) of prayer, worship, sacrifice, contemplation, meditation, art, music, artefact, the reliability of the communities of faith has been tested. In each tradition, there emerge characterizations of God which impress themselves on the style in which its adherents live. In Judaism, the major emphasis is on holiness, in Christianity on the commitments of love which reflect a relatedness in the Godhead itself; in Islam on mercy and demand; among Hindus on the real presence of God in every circumstance.

The logic of God, therefore, remains, that if God does indeed turn out to be God, it is God that God will turn out to be. The ways and the words of human attentiveness to God leave such a mark on the possibilities of life now, that the nature of the future remains open: it is necessarily the case that All remains yet to be known.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"God." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Feb. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"God." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Encyclopedia.com. (February 23, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/god

"God." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Retrieved February 23, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/god

God

God, divinity of the three great monotheistic religions, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, as well as many other world religions. See also religion and articles on individual religions.

Names for God

In the Old Testament various names for God are used. YHWH is the most celebrated of these; the Hebrews considered the name ineffable and, in reading, substituted the name Adonai [my Lord]. The ineffable name, or tetragrammaton [Gr.,=four-letter form], is of unknown origin; the reconstruction Jehovah was based on a mistake, and the form Yahweh is not now regarded as reliable. The name Jah occurring in names such as Elijah is a form of YHWH. The most common name for God in the Old Testament is Elohim, a plural form, but used as a singular when speaking of God. The name El, not connected with Elohim, is also used, especially in proper names, e.g., Elijah. The name Shaddai, used with other words and in names (e.g., Zurishaddai), appears rarely. Of these names only Adonai has a satisfactory etymology. It is generally not possible to tell from English translations of the Bible what was the exact form of the name of God in the original. In Islam, the name of God is Allah.

Conceptions of God

The general conception of God may be said to be that of an infinite being (often a personality but not necessarily anthropomorphic) who is supremely good, who created the world, who knows all and can do all, who is transcendent over and immanent in the world, and who loves humanity. By the majority of Christians God is believed to have lived on earth in the flesh as Jesus (see Trinity). In the Hebrew Bible the concept of God is not a unified one. The attitude of believers to this apparent inconsistency has generally been that God, unchanging, revealed Himself more and more to Israel.

Scholars belonging to the rational schools of the 19th cent. developed a view of the Bible as primarily a history of Judaism that evolved naturally without the benefit of divine intervention in the world. They see a series of stages in which God was first held by the Jews as simply the head of a tribal pantheon, then gradually assumed all the attributes of God's fellow divinities, but was still worshiped more or less idolatrously. Gradually, according to these scholars, the Jews considered their God as more and more powerful until they believed God creator and ruler of all humans though preferring Israel as God's chosen people.

God's attributes of goodness, love, and mercy these critics consider as very late in this development. More recent scholars have refuted this latter position, seeing these very qualities in the God of the Exodus. Although the idea of God, through its long acceptance by Jews, Christians, and Muslims, has come to be associated with the concept of a good, infinite personality, in recent times the name has been extended to many principles of an utterly different sort; thus, a philosopher may consider the unifying concept in his philosophy (e.g., cosmic energy, mind, world soul, number) as God.

Arguments for God's Existence

There are several famous arguments for the existence of God. The argument from the First Cause maintains that since in the world every effect has its cause behind it (and every actuality its potentiality), the first effect (and first actuality) in the world must have had its cause (and potentiality), which was in itself both cause and effect (and potentiality and actuality), i.e., God. The cosmological argument maintains that since the world, and all that is in it, seems to have no necessary or absolute (nonrelative) existence, an independent existence (God) must be implied for the world as the explanation of its relations.

The teleological argument maintains that, since from a comprehensive view of nature and the world everything seems to exist according to a certain great plan, a planner (God) must be postulated. The ontological argument maintains that since the human conception of God is the highest conception humanly possible and since the highest conception humanly possible must have existence as one attribute, God must exist. Immanuel Kant believed that he refuted these arguments by showing that existence is no part of the content of an idea. This principle has become very important in contemporary philosophy, particularly in existentialism. The consensus among theologians is that the existence of God must in some way be accepted on faith.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"God." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Feb. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"God." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (February 23, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/god

"God." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved February 23, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/god

God

God in Christianity and other monotheistic religions, the creator and ruler of the universe and source of all moral authority, the supreme being. In certain other religions (with lower-case initial), a superhuman being or spirit worshipped as having power over nature or human fortunes; a deity.
act of God an instance of uncontrollable natural forces in operation (often used in insurance claims, as being exempted from cover given).
God helps them that help themselves often used in urging someone to action. The saying is recorded in English from the mid 16th century, but is found in the early 15th century in French. In classical Greek, the tragedian Aeschylus (c.525–456 bc) has, ‘God likes to assist the man who toils.’
God made the country and man made the town proverbial saying, mid 17th century, contrasting rural and urban life; a similar idea is found in De Re Rustica by the Roman scholar and satirist Varro (116–27 bc), ‘divine nature gave us the fields, human art built the cities.’
God makes the back to the burden an assertion that nothing is truly insupportable used in resignation or consolation; saying recorded from the early 19th century.
God never sends mouths but He sends meat used in resignation or consolation (meat here is used for ‘food’). Saying recorded from the late 14th century.
God of the gaps God as an explanation for phenomena not yet explained by science; God thought of as acting only in those spheres not otherwise accounted for. The phrase itself is recorded from the mid 20th century, deriving from earlier (critical) accounts of this mode of thought.
God save the Queen (or King) the British national anthem. Evidence suggests a 17th-century origin for the complete words and tune of the anthem. The ultimate origin is obscure: the phrase ‘God save the King’ occurs in various passages in the Old Testament, while as early as 1545 it was a watchword in the navy, with ‘long to reign over us’ as a countersign.
God sends meat, but the Devil sends cooks anything which is in itself good or useful may be spoiled or perverted by the use to which it is put; saying recorded from the mid 16th century.
God's in his heaven; all's right with the world proverbial saying, from early 16th century in the form ‘God is where he was’; now largely replaced by this quotation from Robert Browning's Pippa Passes (1841).
God tempers the wind to the shorn lamb God so arranges it that bad luck does not unduly plague the weak or unfortunate. The saying is recorded in English from the mid 17th century, but a French source of the late 16th century, Estienne's Premices (1594), has the comment, ‘these terms, God measures the cold to the shorn sheep, are the correct terms of the proverb.’
where God builds a church, the Devil will build a chapel the establishment of something which is in itself good may also create the opening for something evil; saying recorded from the mid 16th century.
you cannot serve God and Mammon now generally used of wealth regarded as an evil influence. Originally with biblical allusion to Matthew 6:24, ‘No man can serve two masters…Ye cannot serve God and mammon.’ Mammon is the Aramaic word for ‘riches’, taken by medieval writers as the proper name of the devil of covetousness. The saying is recorded from the mid 16th century.

See also all things are possible with God, the land God gave to Cain, gods, man's extremity is God's opportunity, the mills of God grind slowly at mill, the voice of the people is the voice of God.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"God." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Feb. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"God." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Encyclopedia.com. (February 23, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/god

"God." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Retrieved February 23, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/god

God

God / gäd/ • n. 1. [without article] (in Christianity and other monotheistic religions) the creator and ruler of the universe and source of all moral authority; the supreme being. 2. (god) (in certain other religions) a superhuman being or spirit worshiped as having power over nature or human fortunes; a deity: a moon god an incarnation of the god Vishnu. ∎  an image, idol, animal, or other object worshiped as divine or symbolizing a god. ∎  used as a conventional personification of fate: he dialed the number and, the gods relenting, got through at once. 3. (god) an adored, admired, or influential person: he has little time for the fashion victims for whom he is a god. ∎  a thing accorded the supreme importance appropriate to a god: don't make money your god. 4. (the gods) inf. the gallery in a theater. ∎  the people sitting in this area. • interj. used to express a range of emotions such as surprise, anger, and distress: God, what did I do to deserve this? | my God! Why didn't you tell us sooner? ∎  to give emphasis to a statement or declaration: God, how I hate that woman! PHRASES: for God's sake!see sake1 (sense 3). God bless an expression of good wishes on parting. God damn (you, him, etc) may (you, he, etc.) be damned. God the Father (in Christian doctrine) the first person of the Trinity, God as creator and supreme authority. God forbidsee forbid. God grant used to express a wish that something should happen: God grant he will soon regain his freedom. God help (you, him, etc.) used to express the belief that someone is in a difficult, dangerous, or hopeless situation: God help anyone who tried to cheer me out of my bad mood. God the Son (in Christian doctrine) Christ regarded as the second person of the Trinity; God as incarnate and resurrected savior. God willing used to express the wish that one will be able to do as one intends or that something will happen as planned: one day, God willing, she and John might have a daughter. in God's name used in questions to emphasize anger or surprise: what in God's name are you doing up there? play God behave as if all-powerful or supremely important. please God used to emphasize a strong wish or hope: please God the money will help us find a cure. thank Godsee thank. to God used after a verb to emphasize a strong wish or hope: I hope to God you've got something else to put on. with God dead and in heaven.DERIVATIVES: god·hood / -ˌhoŏd/ n. god·ship / ship/ n. god·ward / -wərd/ adj. & adv. god·wards / -wərdz/ adv.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"God." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Feb. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"God." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. (February 23, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/god-1

"God." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Retrieved February 23, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/god-1

God

303. God

  1. Abba title of reverence for God the Father. [N.T.: Mark 14:36; Romans 8:15]
  2. Adonai spoken in place of the ineffable Yahweh. [Judaism: NCE, 22]
  3. Aesir the Teutonic pantheon. [Norse Myth.: Leach, 17]
  4. Ahura Mazda (Ormuzd, Ormazd ) the spirit of good and creator of all things. [Zoroastrianism: Payton, 11]
  5. Allah Arabic name of the Supreme Being. [Islam: Benét, 24]
  6. Amen-Ra national and chief god of Egyptians. [Egypt. Myth.: Leach, 42]
  7. Ancient of Days scriptural epithet for God. [O.T.: Daniel 7:9]
  8. Assur principal god. [Assyrian Myth.: Benét, 59]
  9. Brahman supreme soul of the universe. [Hindu Phil.: Parrinder, 50]
  10. Buddha the Enlightened One; mystical supremacy. [Hinduism: Payton, 108]
  11. Creator, the common sobriquet for God. [Pop. Usage: Misc.]
  12. El rare Biblical appellation of the Lord. [Judaism: Wigoder, 169]
  13. Elohim spoken in place of the ineffable Yahweh. [Judaism: NCE, 22]
  14. Huitzilopochtli supreme war god of the Aztecs. [Aztec Religion: NCE, 1286]
  15. Jehovah the ancient Hebrew name for God. [Heb. Lang.: NCE, 1407]
  16. Manitou supreme deity of Algonquin and neighboring tribes. [Am. Indian Religion: Colliers, X, 91]
  17. Marduk warrior god, chief of the Babylonian pantheon; creator of heaven, earth, and man. [Babylonian Myth.: Benét, 634]
  18. Ormuzd supreme deity and embodiment of good. [Persian Myth.: Wheeler, 272]
  19. Osiris supreme deity and ruler of eternity. [Ancient Egyptian Myth.: Benét, 745]
  20. Quetzalcoatl god of the Toltecs. [Toltec Religion: NCE, 2258]
  21. rays, garland of emblem of God the Father. [Christian Iconog.: Jobes, 374]
  22. Sat Nam true name of the one God inclusive of all others. [Indian Religion: Colliers, XVII, 304]
  23. Shekinah equivalent for Lord in Aramaic interpretation of Old Testament. [Targumic Lit.: Brewer Dictionary, 991]
  24. Tetragrammaton Hebrew word for Lord: YHWH; pronunciation forbidden. [Judaism: Wigoder, 593]
  25. Yahweh reconstruction of YHWH, ancient Hebrew name for God. [Heb. Lang.: NCE, 3019]

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"God." Allusions--Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Feb. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"God." Allusions--Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. . Encyclopedia.com. (February 23, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/god

"God." Allusions--Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. . Retrieved February 23, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/god

god

god, God OE. god (pl. godu n., godas m.) = OS. (Du.) god m., OHG. got (G. gott) m., ON. god n., heathen god, guð m. and n., God, Goth. guþ (pl. guda n.); Gmc. *ʒuð-, of uncert. orig.
Hence goddess XIV; godfather, godmother, goddaughter, godson late OE. godfæder, -mōdor, -dohtor, -sunu; cf. GOSSIP; godchild XIII. godhead XIII. God's acre churchyard XVII. — G. Gottesacker ‘God's seed-field’, in which the bodies of the dead are ‘sown’ in hope of the Resurrection. godsend XIX. for †God's send (XVII) alteration of ME. goddes sand God's message, dispensation, or ordinance. Godspeed XV. f. phr. God speed ‘May God prosper (one)’. See also GOOD-BYE.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"god." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Feb. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"god." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. (February 23, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/god-2

"god." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Retrieved February 23, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/god-2

God

God One of the supernatural, divine and usually immortal beings worshipped by followers of polytheistics religion such as those of ancient Greece and Rome. Also, the single supreme being, creator, and mover of the universe, as worshipped by the followers of monotheistic religions such as Judaism or Islam. Allah is God of Islam and Yahweh is God of Judaism. Christianity, a monotheistic religion, conceives of one God with three elements – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. In Hinduism, Brahma is considered the soul of the world, but there are lesser gods. See also agnosticism; atheism; Buddhism; Deism; monotheism; polytheism; Zeus

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"God." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Feb. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"God." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (February 23, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/god

"God." World Encyclopedia. . Retrieved February 23, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/god

god

godbod, clod, cod, god, hod, mod, nod, od, odd, plod, pod, prod, quad, quod, rod, scrod, shod, sod, squad, tod, Todd, trod, wad •demigod • amphipod • unipod •tripod • isopod • myriapod • decapod •cephalopod • monopod • macropod •gastropod • arthropod • sauropod •ramrod • Nimrod • hotrod • pushrod •goldenrod • Novgorod • slipshod •roughshod • eisteddfod • tightwad

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"god." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Feb. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"god." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. (February 23, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/god-0

"god." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Retrieved February 23, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/god-0