View Full Version : Where does the word "God" come from?


Medicine*Woman
06-11-11, 09:00 PM
*************
M*W: This one's for the theists. Where does the word "God" come from? I've always thought it was a variation of the word "good." I'm just curious, where in the bible does it refer to "God?" I don't have a bible *cough**cough* handy right now. Let's discuss.

Fraggle Rocker
06-12-11, 07:00 AM
This one's for the theists.Or better yet, for the linguists. :)
Where does the word "God" come from? I've always thought it was a variation of the word "good."According to Dictionary.com, (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/god) whose etymologies I have found to be accurate and even to fairly cover controversial word origins, the English word "god" (which has obvious cognates in all the Germanic languages, from German Gott to old Norse guš) clearly goes all the way back to Proto-Germanic guthan. And BTW it is not related to "good"; the similarity is an accident of phonetic development and the chaotic evolution of English spelling.

This takes it back more than a thousand years before the Roman priests brought Christianity to the "barbarian" tribes of Europe, to a time when even the pre-Roman Latin people were a Neolithic tribe who had never heard of the God of Abraham.

P-G guthan is derived from Proto-Indo-European ghut, "that which is invoked," which also survives in Sanskrit huta, one of the names of the god Indra. It is an inflected form of the verb gheu, "to invoke." But some etymologists link it instead to ghu, "poured," which may have come to refer to the spirit soaked into a burial mound.

The various branches and sub-branches of the Indo-European family have different words for "god," indicating that the tribes developed the concept some time after the diaspora out of the Pontic-Caspian Steppe began in the 2nd millennium BCE. The original tribe may have had a typical Stone Age animist outlook, ascribing spirits to many living and inanimate objects, rather than focusing on supreme beings that look and behave like people.
I'm just curious, where in the bible does it refer to "God?"The word is in the very first sentence in the very first book of the Old Testament: "In the beginning God created..." This is a translation of the Hebrew word eloh which occurs in various inflections, although, oddly enough, most often in the plural, elohim. It is a cognate of Arabic Allah; Hebrew and Arabic are closely related languages in the Semitic branch of the Afro-Asiatic language family, which also includes the Berber, Chadic, Cushitic, Egyptian and Omotic branches.

The Hebrew word יהוה (YHWH, the four letters known as the tetragrammaton‎) is also used, and is customarily translated into English as "Lord." Its origin is murky. Since vowels are not phonemic in the Afro-Asiatic languages they are written in abjads, phonetic writing systems with no vowels, and therefore we have no clue as to the pronunciation of YHWH. The Jews believe that to actually speak that name is blasphemy, so they have avoided attempting to find the authentic vowels. In Hebrew it is always rendered as Yahweh, apparently because in the distant past some foolhardy scholar dared to say it aloud and was not turned into a pillar of salt, proving that it was safely incorrect. The Romans, with no Y or W, rendered it as Iehouah, whimsically inserting vowels of their own choosing, which also have proven not to be the correct ones. This has come down to us in the modern Roman alphabet as Jehovah, to which we apply the modern English pronunciation of the letters, and to this very day no one has been struck dead for speaking the name, so we've all been very lucky.

[Excuse my un-scholarly muddling of Latin U and V, to highlight the evolution of the spelling of YHWH.]

NMSquirrel
06-12-11, 06:51 PM
and to this very day no one has been struck dead for speaking the name, so we've all been very lucky.


lol..like i say..God has a sense of humor..the only ppl to get it right are the ones that want God to strike them dead..:rolleyes:

Rhaedas
06-12-11, 07:13 PM
In some schools of thought YHWH can mean "I am that I am"*, referring to Moses' questioning of who god was when he met him and got the 10 commandments. I guess gods aren't used to being asked for ID.

* Apparently this is the Roman Catholic interpretation of the Jewish meaning, so I'm sure it's right. *cough*

gmilam
06-12-11, 09:33 PM
"I am that I am"
I thought it was Popeye the Sailor who said that. :bugeye:

Rhaedas
06-12-11, 09:52 PM
I thought it was Popeye the Sailor who said that. :bugeye:

That's I yam what I yam. But I guess you could stretch the Popeye series into a good vs evil, resurrection through spinach thing.

yaracuy
06-12-11, 10:07 PM
*************
M*W: This one's for the theists. Where does the word "God" come from? I've always thought it was a variation of the word "good." I'm just curious, where in the bible does it refer to "God?" I don't have a bible *cough**cough* handy right now. Let's discuss.





An other way I consider Him a father and a father is good.

Beside In English or German you can associate the word God with good
In Spanish , Russian ,Hebrew you can not .
As a result You Anglo Saxons you find it out by yourself

Fraggle Rocker
06-13-11, 12:21 AM
Beside In English or German you can associate the word God with good.As I noted above, that's an accident of phonetic evolution, a coincidence rather than a true historical relationship between the words.

The similarity does get confusing. Our farewell salutation "goodbye" is a contraction of "God be with you," not "good be with you."

Medicine*Woman
06-13-11, 04:19 PM
I thought it was Popeye the Sailor who said that. :bugeye:
*************
M*W: I thought Popeye said, "I yam what I yam, and that's all that I yam..." I'm Popeye the sailor man. Toot Toot

NMSquirrel
06-13-11, 04:24 PM
*************
M*W: I thought Popeye said, "I yam what I yam, and that's all that I yam..." I'm Popeye the sailor man. Toot Toot

<facefalm>
realization that the joke i did not post, because i was afraid it was too easy, got posted twice by others..

Me-Ki-Gal
06-13-11, 05:25 PM
I thought it was Popeye the Sailor who said that. :bugeye:

See people just can't seem to make the connections of intertwining in thoughts and how they run deep like congruences in in math . Popeye the sailor ? Michael Row your boat ashore , Old daddy eye in the sky Popeye. There she blows matey , I am That I am

Me-Ki-Gal
06-13-11, 05:32 PM
*************
M*W: I thought Popeye said, "I yam what I yam, and that's all that I yam..." I'm Popeye the sailor man. Toot Toot

That Toot Toot is the reference to the train . Symbolism is like a song " Train keep a rolling all night long , Train kept a rolling all night long . So yeah Fraggle finally came out and confirmed my earlier statements on another thread and told you all God is a German . Woo who . The People at The Great house order say God is a German too . That is were I learned it for the first time . I like those Guys . They have some pretty good science on there sight . I tell you I thought it was funny as hell they named there org Great house Order . They were saying , We are not subject to God , God is a German and we are not subject to a German God

Fraggle Rocker
06-29-11, 10:48 AM
So yeah Fraggle finally came out and confirmed my earlier statements on another thread and told you all God is a German.Not a German. The word goes back to the days of a single Proto-Germanic tribe splitting off from the Indo-European homeland in the Pontic Steppe and heading up to Scandinavia. It would be just as fair to say he's a Swede, an Ostrogoth, a Briton, a Dane, a Vandal or a Fleming.

Cifo
06-29-11, 10:10 PM
The word is in the very first sentence in the very first book of the Old Testament: "In the beginning God created..." This is a translation of the Hebrew word eloh which occurs in various inflections, although, oddly enough, most often in the plural, elohim.

Ah yes, Fraggle, you're the one to ask. I know Hebrew has three categories of numbers for nouns: singular (ie, 1), dual (ie, 2), and plural (ie, 3 or more). My question is which is elohim?

Red Devil
07-06-11, 05:46 PM
Or better yet, for the linguists. :)According to Dictionary.com, (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/god) whose etymologies I have found to be accurate and even to fairly cover controversial word origins, the English word "god" (which has obvious cognates in all the Germanic languages, from German Gott to old Norse guš) clearly goes all the way back to Proto-Germanic guthan. And BTW it is not related to "good"; the similarity is an accident of phonetic development and the chaotic evolution of English spelling.

This takes it back more than a thousand years before the Roman priests brought Christianity to the "barbarian" tribes of Europe, to a time when even the pre-Roman Latin people were a Neolithic tribe who had never heard of the God of Abraham.

P-G guthan is derived from Proto-Indo-European ghut, "that which is invoked," which also survives in Sanskrit huta, one of the names of the god Indra. It is an inflected form of the verb gheu, "to invoke." But some etymologists link it instead to ghu, "poured," which may have come to refer to the spirit soaked into a burial mound.

The various branches and sub-branches of the Indo-European family have different words for "god," indicating that the tribes developed the concept some time after the diaspora out of the Pontic-Caspian Steppe began in the 2nd millennium BCE. The original tribe may have had a typical Stone Age animist outlook, ascribing spirits to many living and inanimate objects, rather than focusing on supreme beings that look and behave like people.The word is in the very first sentence in the very first book of the Old Testament: "In the beginning God created..." This is a translation of the Hebrew word eloh which occurs in various inflections, although, oddly enough, most often in the plural, elohim. It is a cognate of Arabic Allah; Hebrew and Arabic are closely related languages in the Semitic branch of the Afro-Asiatic language family, which also includes the Berber, Chadic, Cushitic, Egyptian and Omotic branches.

The Hebrew word יהוה (YHWH, the four letters known as the tetragrammaton‎) is also used, and is customarily translated into English as "Lord." Its origin is murky. Since vowels are not phonemic in the Afro-Asiatic languages they are written in abjads, phonetic writing systems with no vowels, and therefore we have no clue as to the pronunciation of YHWH. The Jews believe that to actually speak that name is blasphemy, so they have avoided attempting to find the authentic vowels. In Hebrew it is always rendered as Yahweh, apparently because in the distant past some foolhardy scholar dared to say it aloud and was not turned into a pillar of salt, proving that it was safely incorrect. The Romans, with no Y or W, rendered it as Iehouah, whimsically inserting vowels of their own choosing, which also have proven not to be the correct ones. This has come down to us in the modern Roman alphabet as Jehovah, to which we apply the modern English pronunciation of the letters, and to this very day no one has been struck dead for speaking the name, so we've all been very lucky.

[Excuse my un-scholarly muddling of Latin U and V, to highlight the evolution of the spelling of YHWH.]

Hey Fraggle hows it going, signed god.

sorry - dog!!

Fraggle Rocker
07-07-11, 04:23 PM
Ah yes, Fraggle, you're the one to ask. I know Hebrew has three categories of numbers for nouns: singular (ie, 1), dual (ie, 2), and plural (ie, 3 or more). My question is which is elohim?The dual form ends in -ayim, and it's very rare even in ancient writing. So elohim must be the plural.

Fuse26
07-12-11, 06:19 AM
I agree:I think it comes from 'Good.'

Fraggle Rocker
07-14-11, 09:44 AM
I agree:I think it comes from 'Good.'You're wrong. Please review posts #2 and #8.
--The Linguistics Moderator

Hesperado
07-27-11, 01:13 AM
"God" is of course an English word. As another poster supplied, it goes back to Germanic roots.

Other relevant words not mentioned yet are the Latin "deus" and the Greek "theos" (both meaning "god").

While the linguistic aspect may be interesting, there is obviously a cultural-philosophical level to this issue that is deeper than language. Apparently, different cultures over the millennia have felt the need to engender various language symbolism to denote what may be termed generally as "divinity". Plumbing the mere linguistic roots of any one of them only goes so far. One has to begin to exercise some imaginative comparative religions exegesis to get closer to the heart of the matter.

I'd recommend the writings of Mircea Eliade for starters.

As well as a little paperback titled "Before Philosophy: An Essay on Speculative Thought" by H. Frankfort, which studies ancient Egyptian and Mesopotamian religion as precursors to philosophy.

Red Devil
07-27-11, 06:29 AM
french = mon dieu?

Hesperado
07-27-11, 10:09 AM
french = mon dieu?

English God and German Gott derive from the non-Mediterranean Northern languages.

French Dieu, Spanish Dios, Italian Dio all derive from the Latin Deus/Greek Theos.

Red Devil
07-27-11, 02:44 PM
tks