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Featured Does God have a proper name? What for?

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by firedragon, Apr 14, 2021.

  1. firedragon

    firedragon Veteran Member

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    Referring to the God of Judaism and Islam, which conceivably defines monotheism, why would God have a name?

    If there is only One God, does "THE GOD" need a name? A proper name? Is it a sociological aspect of humans wanting to anthropomorphise God? Or does God really have a proper name? If so, what for?
     
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  2. RestlessSoul

    RestlessSoul Active Member

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    HaShem means “The Name”, does it not?

    possibly implying that God is unnameable
     
  3. Israel Khan

    Israel Khan Well-Known Member

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    Well, the basic possibility would be that he just wants one because he wants one which isn't a satisfactory answer.

    One reason could be to differentiate himself from other gods of the people whether false or not. Ancient Israelite religion seems henotheistic, so when it started the concept of monotheism wasn't adhered to yet.

    Also, in the OT and therefore Judaism, names are important. They aren't just used to distinguish people and other beings but the meaning of the name informs you about that being. YHWH means "I am" or "I will be what I will be" or some other form of that. The gist of it means that YHWH exists and he will always exist and that you can trust in his promise. In ancient Israelite belief names were not used in merely a superficial way but served a purpose. That is why the various Joshuas in the Bible were named Joshua, meaning "Yahweh is salvation" because the salvation that person provided to the people was on behalf of Yahweh himself.

    That is how I understand it.
     
    #3 Israel Khan, Apr 14, 2021
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2021
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  4. Teritos

    Teritos Active Member

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    In Judaism as well as in Christianity, since both believe in the same scriptures, the Tanach, the name of God is YHWH, this name is also an acronym. It consists of 4 prefixes that are connected to four words. These are: "Y'Eshua H'Nazarei W'Melech H'Yehudim" Which translated means "Jesus the Nazarene and King of the Jews". This writing was also hung above Jesus' head on the cross, which is known today as "INRI".

    A name in Hebrew expresses the characteristics of a being. Therefore, the name of God is important to understand what God is. And God, Yahweh, is Jesus.
     
    #4 Teritos, Apr 14, 2021
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2021
  5. Jedster

    Jedster Well-Known Member

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    @firedragon

    I used to believe that focussing on the sound of one's breath going in and out is the way of calling God directly.
    The idea made a lot of sense to me since breath is something that is a always with us & sustaining us.
     
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  6. SalixIncendium

    SalixIncendium Advaita Vedantin
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    So people like me know what god you’re speaking of in conversation.

    If you want to talk about your “One God” amongst yourselves, there is likely no need to assign a proper name. But if you want non-Muslims/Christians/Jews to know what god you’re talking about, it’s probably best to assign a proper name.

    For Muslims, Allah works for me. Even though I know that’s Arabic for “God,” I have yet to run into a Hindu or neo-Pagan that refers to their god in Arabic. For Jews or Christians, while we don’t need to call Him Bob, we can probably call Him the God of Abraham so we all know what god is being referenced.
     
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  7. firedragon

    firedragon Veteran Member

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    Thanks a lot.

    According to Judaism, Adam is the ancestor so he was way before the Pentateuch and Moses. Thus, Genesis calling him YHWH means that he was always YHWH, not only with Moses or after him. Thus there cannot be a question of religions of Israel etc. God was always YHWH. In my understanding YHWH means he exists.
     
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  8. firedragon

    firedragon Veteran Member

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    Hmm. Interesting.
     
  9. firedragon

    firedragon Veteran Member

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    So its a human need you are speaking of. Exactly what I mentioned in the OP.

    Well. If there is an Arabic Hindu in theology, he would interchange his word deivam with Allah. There is no other choice because it is language. Just like a Christian would use Allah as in the Arabic translation of the Bible.
     
  10. SalixIncendium

    SalixIncendium Advaita Vedantin
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    It’s a necessity for understanding rather than a human need. If I was the One Human amongst several gods, I doubt the name Salix would be necessary. They’d probably just call me “Human.” But if there were humans other than me, it would be useful for the gods to assign proper names so the gods knew which human was being referred to.

    Or they could just point, but I find that impolite.
     
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  11. firedragon

    firedragon Veteran Member

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    Again, it is a human need to differentiate between Gods. Not a necessity for God himself to name himself.
     
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  12. Israel Khan

    Israel Khan Well-Known Member

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    What has to be looked at in the books is who was the first person to use the name Yahweh.

    In Genesis 4:26 it says that the name was used only then when people started calling on the name of God. It doesn't say how they came to know the name. This was 235 years after Adams birth. The question then is "why only then?"

    Exodus 3:14-15 says that the name wasn't mentioned until Moses so if that is the case then God might have only given himself a name after humanity started believing in other gods so that he could distinguish himself from them.

    Maybe this is a discrepency or maybe it is not. This might be because of different source documents.
     
  13. SalixIncendium

    SalixIncendium Advaita Vedantin
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    Of course not. If you were the only person on this forum, would the name “firedragon” be necessary? If not, then it’s not a “human need.”
     
  14. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Subway Stalinist
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    What does the one thing have to do with the other?

    All gods are anthropomorphisms.

    Regardless, human beings are social creatures that give names to the things they think about and interact with (or just believe they interact with).
     
  15. Fool

    Fool ALL in all
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    why do you capitalize the word god? are you not assigning some special significance to that word?
     
  16. firedragon

    firedragon Veteran Member

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    If that is the case brother we have to get into form criticism and that is a whole different topic and I would agree with you and take you on a whole other ride. I am avoiding all that.
     
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  17. SalixIncendium

    SalixIncendium Advaita Vedantin
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    Uh...nope.

    Unless you’re defining “god” as an anthropomorphitized being, of course. ;)
     
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  18. firedragon

    firedragon Veteran Member

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    If I am the only human being on earth, all I need to call myself is "human".
     
  19. Israel Khan

    Israel Khan Well-Known Member

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    Oh yeah. Best not. We don't want to travel down another rabbit hole. :sweatsmile:
     
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  20. firedragon

    firedragon Veteran Member

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    Very good. So whats your point?
     
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