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The construction of gods and spirits like persons is one of the best known traits of religion. He cites examples from Greek mythology , which is, in his opinion, more like a modern soap opera than other religious systems. Sigmund Freud also suggested that god concepts are projections of one's father. In line with this reasoning, psychologist Matt Rossano contends that when humans began living in larger groups, they may have created gods as a means of enforcing morality.

In small groups, morality can be enforced by social forces such as gossip or reputation. However, it is much harder to enforce morality using social forces in much larger groups. Rossano indicates that by including ever-watchful gods and spirits, humans discovered an effective strategy for restraining selfishness and building more cooperative groups.

Arguments about the existence of God typically include empirical, deductive, and inductive types. Different views include that: Countless arguments have been proposed to prove the existence of God. Lewis , and the Ontological Argument formulated both by St. Anselm's approach was to define God as, "that than which nothing greater can be conceived". Famed pantheist philosopher Baruch Spinoza would later carry this idea to its extreme: Scientist Isaac Newton saw the nontrinitarian God [69] as the masterful creator whose existence could not be denied in the face of the grandeur of all creation.

In Query 31 of the Opticks , Newton simultaneously made an argument from design and for the necessity of intervention:. For while comets move in very eccentric orbs in all manner of positions, blind fate could never make all the planets move one and the same way in orbs concentric, some inconsiderable irregularities excepted which may have arisen from the mutual actions of comets and planets on one another, and which will be apt to increase, till this system wants a reformation.

Thomas believed that the existence of God is self-evident in itself, but not to us. Now because we do not know the essence of God, the proposition is not self-evident to us; but needs to be demonstrated by things that are more known to us, though less known in their nature—namely, by effects.

Thomas believed that the existence of God can be demonstrated. Briefly in the Summa theologiae and more extensively in the Summa contra Gentiles , he considered in great detail five arguments for the existence of God, widely known as the quinque viae Five Ways. Some theologians, such as the scientist and theologian A. McGrath , argue that the existence of God is not a question that can be answered using the scientific method. Some findings in the fields of cosmology , evolutionary biology and neuroscience are interpreted by some atheists including Lawrence M.

Krauss and Sam Harris as evidence that God is an imaginary entity only, with no basis in reality. Different religious traditions assign differing though often similar attributes and characteristics to God, including expansive powers and abilities, psychological characteristics, gender characteristics, and preferred nomenclature. The assignment of these attributes often differs according to the conceptions of God in the culture from which they arise. For example, attributes of God in Christianity , attributes of God in Islam , and the Thirteen Attributes of Mercy in Judaism share certain similarities arising from their common roots.

The word God is "one of the most complex and difficult in the English language. That the Bible "includes many different images, concepts, and ways of thinking about" God has resulted in perpetual "disagreements about how God is to be conceived and understood". Throughout the Hebrew and Christian Bibles there are many names for God. One of them is Elohim. Another one is El Shaddai , translated "God Almighty".

Many traditions see God as incorporeal and eternal, and regard him as a point of living light like human souls, but without a physical body, as he does not enter the cycle of birth, death and rebirth. God is seen as the perfect and constant embodiment of all virtues, powers and values and that he is the unconditionally loving Father of all souls, irrespective of their religion, gender, or culture.

Vaishnavism , a tradition in Hinduism, has list of titles and names of Krishna. The gender of God may be viewed as either a literal or an allegorical aspect of a deity who, in classical western philosophy, transcends bodily form. In most monotheistic religions, God has no counterpart with which to relate sexually.

Thus, in classical western philosophy the gender of this one-and-only deity is most likely to be an analogical statement of how humans and God address, and relate to, each other. Namely, God is seen as begetter of the world and revelation which corresponds to the active as opposed to the receptive role in sexual intercourse. Biblical sources usually refer to God using male words, except Genesis 1: Prayer plays a significant role among many believers.

Muslims believe that the purpose of existence is to worship God. Prayer often also includes supplication and asking forgiveness. God is often believed to be forgiving. For example, a hadith states God would replace a sinless people with one who sinned but still asked repentance. This does not imply that God is human, or located at a specific point in the universe. Adherents of different religions generally disagree as to how to best worship God and what is God's plan for mankind, if there is one.

There are different approaches to reconciling the contradictory claims of monotheistic religions. One view is taken by exclusivists, who believe they are the chosen people or have exclusive access to absolute truth , generally through revelation or encounter with the Divine, which adherents of other religions do not. Another view is religious pluralism. A pluralist typically believes that his religion is the right one, but does not deny the partial truth of other religions. An example of a pluralist view in Christianity is supersessionism , i. A third approach is relativistic inclusivism , where everybody is seen as equally right; an example being universalism: A fourth approach is syncretism , mixing different elements from different religions.

An example of syncretism is the New Age movement. Jews and Christians believe that humans are created in the likeness of God, and are the center, crown and key to God's creation, stewards for God, supreme over everything else God had made Gen 1: During the early Parthian Empire, Ahura Mazda was visually represented for worship. This practice ended during the beginning of the Sassanid empire. Zoroastrian iconoclasm , which can be traced to the end of the Parthian period and the beginning of the Sassanid, eventually put an end to the use of all images of Ahura Mazda in worship. However, Ahura Mazda continued to be symbolized by a dignified male figure, standing or on horseback which is found in Sassanian investiture.

At least some Jews do not use any image for God, since God is the unimaginable Being who cannot be represented in material forms. The burning bush that was not consumed by the flames is described in Book of Exodus as a symbolic representation of God when he appeared to Moses. Early Christians believed that the words of the Gospel of John 1: However, later depictions of God are found. Some, like the Hand of God , are depiction borrowed from Jewish art. The beginning of the 8th century witnessed the suppression and destruction of religious icons as the period of Byzantine iconoclasm literally image-breaking started.

The Second Council of Nicaea in effectively ended the first period of Byzantine iconoclasm and restored the honouring of icons and holy images in general.

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Even supporters of the use of icons in the 8th century, such as Saint John of Damascus , drew a distinction between images of God the Father and those of Christ. Prior to the 10th century no attempt was made to use a human to symbolize God the Father in Western art. A rationale for the use of a human is the belief that God created the soul of Man in the image of his own thus allowing Human to transcend the other animals. It appears that when early artists designed to represent God the Father, fear and awe restrained them from a usage of the whole human figure.

Typically only a small part would be used as the image, usually the hand, or sometimes the face, but rarely a whole human. In many images, the figure of the Son supplants the Father, so a smaller portion of the person of the Father is depicted. By the 12th century depictions of God the Father had started to appear in French illuminated manuscripts , which as a less public form could often be more adventurous in their iconography, and in stained glass church windows in England.

Gradually the amount of the human symbol shown can increase to a half-length figure, then a full-length, usually enthroned, as in Giotto 's fresco of c. The "Gates of Paradise" of the Florence Baptistry by Lorenzo Ghiberti , begun in use a similar tall full-length symbol for the Father. The Rohan Book of Hours of about also included depictions of God the Father in half-length human form, which were now becoming standard, and the Hand of God becoming rarer.

At the same period other works, like the large Genesis altarpiece by the Hamburg painter Meister Bertram , continued to use the old depiction of Christ as Logos in Genesis scenes. In the 15th century there was a brief fashion for depicting all three persons of the Trinity as similar or identical figures with the usual appearance of Christ.

In the Annunciation by Benvenuto di Giovanni in , God the Father is portrayed in the red robe and a hat that resembles that of a Cardinal. However, even in the later part of the 15th century, the symbolic representation of the Father and the Holy Spirit as "hands and dove" continued, e. In Renaissance paintings of the adoration of the Trinity, God may be depicted in two ways, either with emphasis on The Father, or the three elements of the Trinity. The most usual depiction of the Trinity in Renaissance art depicts God the Father using an old man, usually with a long beard and patriarchal in appearance, sometimes with a triangular halo as a reference to the Trinity , or with a papal crown, specially in Northern Renaissance painting.

In these depictions The Father may hold a globe or book to symbolize God's knowledge and as a reference to how knowledge is deemed divine. He is behind and above Christ on the Cross in the Throne of Mercy iconography. A dove, the symbol of the Holy Spirit may hover above. Various people from different classes of society, e. They are depicted as floating in heaven with angels who carry the instruments of the Passion. Representations of God the Father and the Trinity were attacked both by Protestants and within Catholicism, by the Jansenist and Baianist movements as well as more orthodox theologians.

As with other attacks on Catholic imagery, this had the effect both of reducing Church support for the less central depictions, and strengthening it for the core ones. In the Western Church , the pressure to restrain religious imagery resulted in the highly influential decrees of the final session of the Council of Trent in The Council of Trent decrees confirmed the traditional Catholic doctrine that images only represented the person depicted, and that veneration to them was paid to the person, not the image.

Artistic depictions of God the Father were uncontroversial in Catholic art thereafter, but less common depictions of the Trinity were condemned. In Pope Benedict XIV explicitly supported the Throne of Mercy depiction, referring to the "Ancient of Days", but in it was still necessary for Pope Pius VI to issue a papal bull condemning the decision of an Italian church council to remove all images of the Trinity from churches.

God the Father is symbolized in several Genesis scenes in Michelangelo 's Sistine Chapel ceiling , most famously The Creation of Adam whose image of near touching hands of God and Adam is iconic of humanity, being a reminder that Man is created in the Image and Likeness of God Gen 1: God the Father is depicted as a powerful figure, floating in the clouds in Titian's Assumption of the Virgin in the Frari of Venice , long admired as a masterpiece of High Renaissance art.

In some of these paintings the Trinity is still alluded to in terms of three angels, but Giovanni Battista Fiammeri also depicted God the Father as a man riding on a cloud, above the scenes. In both the Last Judgment and the Coronation of the Virgin paintings by Rubens he depicted God the Father using the image that by then had become widely accepted, a bearded patriarchal figure above the fray.

While representations of God the Father were growing in Italy, Spain, Germany and the Low Countries, there was resistance elsewhere in Europe, even during the 17th century. In most members of the Star Chamber court in England except the Archbishop of York condemned the use of the images of the Trinity in church windows, and some considered them illegal.

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In the 43rd chapter of the Great Moscow Council specifically included a ban on a number of symbolic depictions of God the Father and the Holy Spirit, which then also resulted in a whole range of other icons being placed on the forbidden list, [] [] mostly affecting Western-style depictions which had been gaining ground in Orthodox icons.

However some icons continued to be produced in Russia, as well as Greece , Romania , and other Orthodox countries. Muslims believe that God Allah is beyond all comprehension or equal and does not resemble any of his creations in any way. Thus, Muslims are not iconodules , are not expected to visualize God. These Manifestations are the great prophets and teachers of many of the major religious traditions. Although the faith is strictly monotheistic, it also preaches the unity of all religions and focuses on these multiple epiphanies as necessary for meeting the needs of humanity at different points in history and for different cultures, and as part of a scheme of progressive revelation and education of humanity.

The attributes of the God of classical theism were all claimed to varying degrees by the early Jewish , Christian and Muslim scholars, including Maimonides , [48] St Augustine , [48] and Al-Ghazali. Many philosophers developed arguments for the existence of God, [7] while attempting to comprehend the precise implications of God's attributes. Reconciling some of those attributes-particularly the attributes of the God of theistic personalism- generated important philosophical problems and debates.

For example, God's omniscience may seem to imply that God knows how free agents will choose to act. If God does know this, their ostensible free will might be illusory, or foreknowledge does not imply predestination, and if God does not know it, God may not be omniscient. The last centuries of philosophy have seen vigorous questions regarding the arguments for God's existence raised by such philosophers as Immanuel Kant , David Hume and Antony Flew , although Kant held that the argument from morality was valid.

The theist response has been either to contend, as does Alvin Plantinga , that faith is " properly basic ", or to take, as does Richard Swinburne , the evidentialist position. There would be no risk, they say, if the arguments for God's existence were as solid as the laws of logic, a position summed up by Pascal as "the heart has reasons of which reason does not know. Many religious believers allow for the existence of other, less powerful spiritual beings such as angels , saints , jinn , demons , and devas.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about the concept of a supreme "God" in the context of monotheism.

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For the general concept of a being superior to humans that is worshiped as "a god", see Deity. For God in specific religions, see Conceptions of God. For other uses, see God disambiguation. Many religions use images to "represent" God in icons for art or for worship. Here are examples of representations of God in different monotheistic religions. Clockwise from upper left: Christianity , Kaumaram , Vaishnavism , Shaktism.

Theism , Deism , and Pantheism. Evolutionary origin of religions and Evolutionary psychology of religion. For the original text of the five proofs, see quinque viae.

Creator deity , Prayer , and Worship. God the Father in Western art. Classical theism and Theistic Personalism. Mythology portal Philosophy portal Religion portal Spirituality portal. Thomas Taylor Vol.

Children by Creation

Archived from the original on 3 March Retrieved 30 December Although in the Talmudic part of the Torah and especially in Kabalah G-d is referred to under the name ' Sh'chinah ' — which is feminine, this is only to accentuate the fact that all the creation and nature are actually in the receiving end in reference to the creator and as no part of the creation can perceive the creator outside of nature, it is adequate to refer to the divine presence in feminine form.

We refer to G-d using masculine terms simply for convenience's sake, because Hebrew has no neutral gender; G-d is no more male than a table is. Ten Studies , Stanford University Press , p. Lichtheim, Ancient Egyptian Literature , Vol. Orthodox Church in America. Retrieved 16 August Meditations on the Attributes of God: A Theory of Everything.

Son of God (Christianity)

This is the belief that God created the universe, is now one with it, and so, is no longer a separate conscious entity. This is a combination of pantheism God is identical to the universe and deism God created the universe and then withdrew Himself. Apart from the unlikely hypothesis of adoption from a foreign tongue, the OTeut. The former does not appear to admit of explanation; but the latter would represent the neut. The Barnhart Concise Dictionary of Etymology: A Sketch of Semitic Origins: Encyclopaedia of Islam Online. The rebel nations and the uses of an iron rod are Assyrian motifs.

The begetting of the king is an Egyptian one. They are reborn or adopted on the day of their enthroning as the "son of the L ORD ". Some scholars think that Psalm is an alternative enthronement text. The LORD asks the king to sit at his right hand. The exact translation of In the traditional Hebrew translations his youth is renewed like the morning dew. In some alternative translations the king is begotten by God like the morning dew or by the morning dew. One possible translation of Another possibility is to translate Melchizedek not as a name but rather as a title "Righteous King".

The invitation to sit at the right hand of the deity and the king's enemy's being used as footstools are both classic Egyptian motifs, as is the association of the king with the rising sun. Many scholars now think that Israelite beliefs evolved from Canaanite beliefs. Being the first Davidic king, he had certain priest-like responsibilities.

Psalm 45 is thought to be a royal wedding text. Some believe that these psalms were not meant to apply to a single king, but rather were used during the enthronement ceremony. The fact that the Royal Psalms were preserved suggests that the influence of Egyptian and other near eastern cultures on pre-exile religion needs to be taken seriously. Ancient Egyptians used similar language to describe pharaohs. Assyrian and Canaanite influences among others are also noted. In 2 Samuel 7: In Jeremiah Chapter 31 God refers to himself as the father of Israel and Ephraim as his first born son.

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Ephraim in Jeremiah refers collectively to the northern kingdom. The Book of Wisdom refers to a righteous man as the son of God. In the Book of Ecclesiasticus 4: The Greek reads slightly different here he will be "like a son of the Most High". Through the centuries, the theological development of the concept of Son of God has interacted with other Christological elements such as pre-existence of Christ , Son of man , the hypostatic union , etc.

For instance, in Johannine "Christology from above" which begins with the pre-existence of Christ , Jesus did not become Son of God through the virgin birth , he always was the Son of God. Early Christians developed various view of how Jesus related to God and what role he played in God's plan for salvation. By the 2nd century, differences had developed among various Christian groups and to defend the mainstream view in the early Church , St. Irenaeus introduced the confession: It also professes him as both Christ and the only-begotten Son of God. To establish a common ground, the Nicene Creed of began with the profession of the Father Almighty and then states belief:.

Saint Augustine wrote at length on the Son of God and its relationship with the Son of man , positioning the two issues in terms of the dual nature of Jesus as both divine and human in terms of the hypostatic union. God before all worlds, man in our world But since he is the only Son of God, by nature and not by grace, he became also the Son of Man that he might be full of grace as well. However, unlike Son of God , the proclamation of Jesus as the Son of man has never been an article of faith in Christianity.

Just as in Romans Of all the Christological titles used in the New Testament , Son of God has had one of the most lasting impacts in Christian history and has become part of the profession of faith by many Christians. The New Testament quotes Psalm extensively as applying to the son of god. A new theological understanding of Psalm In the Masoretic Text many Psalm including this one are explicitly attributed to David.

The superscription is "of David a psalm. The superscription as it stands is ambiguous. However, Jewish tradition ascribes Psalm and indeed all Psalms to king David. The second lord is the Messiah, who is greater than David, because David calls him "my lord". It is debated when exactly Christians came to understand Psalm as introducing a distinction of persons in the Godhead and indicating that Jesus was more than a human or angelic messiah, but also a divine entity who was David's lord.

The final reading of Psalm I will tell of the decree of the Lord: He said to me, "You are my son; today I have begotten you.

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Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron, and dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel. Psalm 2 can be seen as referring to a particular king of Judah, but has also been understood to reference the awaited Messiah. Those in the Gospels associate it with Jesus' baptism and transfiguration. The majority of scholars believe that the earliest Christian use of this Psalm was in relation to his resurrection, suggesting that this was initially thought of as the moment when he became Son, a status that the early Christians later extended back to his earthly life, to the beginning of that earthly life and, later still, to his pre-existence, a view that Aquila Hyung Il Lee questions.

The terms "sons of God" and "son of God" appear frequently in Jewish literature, and leaders of the people, kings and princes were called "sons of God". On several occasions the disciples call Jesus the Son of God and even the Jews scornfully remind Jesus during his crucifixion of his claim to be the Son of God.

song 151 The Revealing of God's Sons

However, the concept of God as the father of Jesus, and Jesus as the exclusive divine Son of God is distinct from the concept of God as the Creator and father of all people, as indicated in the Apostle's Creed. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven" Matthew In several passages in the Gospel of John assertions of Jesus being the Son of God are usually also assertions of his unity with the Father, as in John Towards the end of his Gospel in According to the Synoptic Gospels , Jesus referred to himself obliquely as "the Son" and even more significantly spoke of God as "my Father" Matt.

He not only spoke like "the Son" but also acted like "the Son" in knowing and revealing the truth about God, in changing the divine law , in forgiving sins, in being the one through whom others could become children of God, and in acting with total obedience as the agent for God's final kingdom.

Jesus came across as expressing a unique filial consciousness and as laying claim to a unique filial relationship with the God whom he addressed as "Abba". Even if historically he never called himself "the only" Son of God cf. He made himself out to be more than only someone chosen and anointed as divine representative to fulfil an eschatological role in and for the kingdom. Implicitly, Jesus claimed an essential, " ontological " relationship of sonship towards God which provided the grounds for his functions as revealer, lawgiver, forgiver of sins, and agent of the final kingdom.

Those functions his "doing" depended on his ontological relationship as Son of God his "being". Jesus invited his hearers to accept God as a loving, merciful Father. He worked towards mediating to them a new relationship with God, even to the point that they too could use "Abba" when addressing God in prayer. Yet, Jesus' consistent distinction between "my" Father and "your" Father showed that he was not inviting the disciples to share with him an identical relationship of sonship.

He was apparently conscious of a qualitative distinction between his sonship and their sonship which was derived from and depended on his. His way of being son was different from theirs. In the Gospel of John , Jesus is the eternally pre-existent Son who was sent from heaven into the world by the Father e. He remains conscious of the divine pre-existence he enjoyed with the Father John 8: He is one with the father John The Son has the divine power to give life and to judge John 5: Through his death, resurrection, and ascension the Son is glorified by the Father John His glory not only existed from the time of the incarnation to reveal the Father John 1: Where Paul and the author of Hebrews picture Jesus almost as the elder brother or the first-born of God's new eschatological family Rom 8: Being God's "only Son" John 1: At least four of these themes go back to the earthly Jesus himself.

First, although one has no real evidence for holding that he was humanly aware of his eternal pre-existence as Son, his "Abba-consciousness" revealed an intimate loving relationship with the Father. The full Johannine development of the Father-Son relationship rests on an authentic basis in the Jesus-tradition Mark Second, Jesus not only thought of himself as God's Son, but also spoke of himself as sent by God.

Once again, John develops the theme of the Son's mission, which is already present in sayings that at least partly go back to Jesus Mark 9: Third, the Johannine theme of the Son with power to judge in the context of eternal life finds its original historical source in the sayings of Jesus about his power to dispose of things in the kingdom assigned to him by "my Father" Luke Fourth, albeit less insistently, when inviting his audience to accept a new filial relationship with God, Jesus — as previously seen — distinguished his own relationship to God from theirs. All in all, Johannine theology fully deploys Jesus' divine sonship, but does so by building up what one already finds in the Synoptic Gospels and what, at least in part, derives from the earthly Jesus himself.

In their own way, John and Paul maintained this distinction. Paul expressed their new relationship with God as taking place through an "adoption" Gal. John distinguished between the only Son of God John 1: Paul and John likewise maintained and developed the correlative of all this, Jesus' stress on the fatherhood of God. Over times John's Gospel names God as "Father". Paul's typical greeting to his correspondents runs as follows: