Friday, April 22, 2011

Can You Describe God? (A New Thought Exploration...)

I have searched through many dictionaries, encyclopedias, online stuff, and various religious books, scripts, and treatises to get a good, sound definition of the word "God." Now, understand, each person has his or her own idea of what God means to them, what He/She/It represents in their lives. But I wanted just a plain old definition and etymology of the word itself. No opinions, no theology, not even New Thought theology, if you will. Just dictionary definition. 

After reading this Oxford rendering, stop for a moment and consider why you give this word so much power and meaning in your life. After all, it's just three English/Arabic letters strung together that, backwards, spells dog. 

One last thing: This is not the only dictionary rendering. Webster's, American Heritage, and others throw even more gobbledygook into the mix, but this will suffice for now, I think you will agree. Enjoy. Or not...

Oxford English Dictionary:

"god (
gρd). Also 3-4 godd. [Com. Teut.: OE. god (masc. in sing.; pl. godugodo neut., godas masc.) corresponds to OFris., OS., Du. god masc., OHG. gotcot (MHG. got, mod.Ger. gott) masc., ON. goð,guð neut. and masc., pl. goðguð neut. (later Icel. pl. guðir masc.; Sw., Da. gud), Goth. guÞ (masc. in sing.; pl. guÞaguda neut.). The Goth. and ON. words always follow the neuter declension, though when used in the Christian sense they are syntactically masc. The OTeut. type is therefore *guđom neut., the adoption of the masculine concord being presumably due to the Christian use of the word. The neuter sb., in its original heathen use, would answer rather to L. numen than to L. deus. Another approximate equivalent of deus in OTeut. was *ansu-z (Goth. in latinized pl. form anses, ON. ρss, OE. Ós- in personal names, ésa genit. pl.); but this seems to have been applied only to the higher deities of the native pantheon, never to foreign gods; and it never came into Christian use. 
The ulterior etymology is disputed. Apart from the unlikely hypothesis of adoption from some foreign tongue, the OTeut. *gubom implies as its pre-Teut. type either *ghudho-m or *ghutó-m. The former does not appear to admit of explanation; but the latter would represent the neut. of the passive pple. of a root *gheu-.  There are two Aryan roots of the required form (both *glheu, with palatal aspirate): one meaning ‘to invoke’ (Skr. hū), the other ‘to pour, to offer sacrifice’ (Skr. hu, Gr. χέειν, OE. yéotan YETE v.). Hence *glhutó-m has been variously interpreted as ‘what is invoked’ (cf. Skr. puru-hūta ‘much-invoked’, an epithet of Indra) and as ‘what is worshipped by sacrifice’ (cf. Skr. hutá, which occurs in the sense ‘sacrificed to’ as well as in that of ‘offered in sacrifice’). Either of these conjectures is fairly plausible, as they both yield a sense practically coincident with the most obvious definition deducible from the actual use of the word, ‘an object of worship’.
Some scholars, accepting the derivation from the root *glheu- to pour, have supposed the etymological sense to be ‘molten image’ (= Gr. χυγόν), but the assumed development of meaning seems very unlikely.             transcribed from The Oxford English Dictionary
So, next time you're at a party or visiting family or even in church, and someone asks you what God means to you, you can either tell them what your Oxford Dictionary says or you can point them to this blog to find out for themselves.

Or better still, you can look into your own heart, sense the Presence, and do away with definitions altogether. It's your call. And I think I know what that call will be.

Many blessings to you!

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