We explain what a god is and how this divine entity is seen in each religion. Also, what are its characteristics and agnosticism.
What is a God?
When we refer to God, we speak of an omnipotent and omnipresent being , to whom we attribute the creation of the universe and the vigilance of the fulfillment of its laws.
In each culture , this entity has been able to provide human beings with a sense of destiny , of purpose, of consolation in the face of death and, often, serving to configure a model of laws and moral or philosophical precepts .
Those who believe in one god or several, depending on what their specific religion dictates (there are many in the world), often think that theirs is the only valid and true god.
This occurs mainly in the major monotheistic religions (Judaism, Christianity and Islam) , since their creeds prohibit the worship of other gods, considered by them as false.
Origin of the concept God
The idea of the divine, the sacred or the existence of a superior being has accompanied the human being since the first cultures , so there is no exact record of its origin.
It is likely that the first ideas of God emerge as a way to explain and make various natural phenomena understandable beyond their understanding, as the rising and setting of the sun , the rain cycles , the seasons, or the origin of the world.
What does God mean ?
The word God can mean “brilliance” or “radiance.”
There are many etymological explanations of the word “God” in Spanish.
The most common is that it comes from the Latin deus , which in turn comes from the Greek theos (“divine, luminous”) linked to the name of the greatest god of ancient Greek religion, Zeus, father of the Olympian gods .
This name would come according to some theories of the Proto-Indo-European root * deiwos ~ diewos , whose translation would be “brightness”, “radiance”, from which the Sanskrit word deva , “celestial being” is also born and whose semantic contents would survive in our “day”.
Everything seems to indicate that in common primitive religions, the Sun and the sky played the role of the creator or fertilizing father , and the earth or the night played the role of the fertilized mother.
Attributes of a god
The attributes of the gods can vary enormously depending on the religious tradition, but some are usually common (although not “universal”):
- Ubiquity. A god is everywhere, like an invisible presence. So you can see everything or be in several places at once.
- Simplicity. The gods are primal entities, which at most have divine progenitors as well, but which are simple in principle, since they respond to a set of assigned ideas , such as the god of the sun, the god of the sea , etc.
- Powers. The gods possess superhuman powers and generally shape reality at will, especially those segments of it with which they have an affinity. For example, the god of the sea is also responsible for waves, tidal waves, etc. In the case of the monotheistic god, he is simply omnipotent, capable of anything.
- Infinitude. Gods do not die, unless at the hands of other gods, and they can often be revived, or they can endure in other forms or in other bodies. The monotheistic god knows neither time nor destiny, he is eternal and unfathomable, since he is not subject to the laws of the universe that he created.
- Autonomy. The great gods, like the monotheist, do not come from nowhere, but made themselves, and therefore do not respond to anyone but their own will. They are “the alpha and the omega” (the beginning and the end of the Greek alphabet).
God in Christianity
Jesus is considered part of the trinity together with God and the Holy Spirit.
The god of Christianity is, in principle, the same as the Jewish Old Testament .
However, his image is reworked from a new pact he made with humanity after his son, the last prophet and messiah according to this religion, was crucified by the Romans .
This is what is related in the books that make up the New Testament of the Bible . There are notable differences between the god of each part of the book, probably because they are due to cultures separated by thousands of years.
However, for the Christian creed, the version that prevails is the one that Jesus of Nazareth preached: that of a loving, forgiving, omnipresent and omnipotent god .
This god at the same time can be ruthless towards the infidels and is ready to exercise eternal punishment on those who he will consider guilty when the day of the Final Judgment arrives. This day will occur when Jesus, who rose again on the third day, returns from heaven.
This god is also a sacred Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit in a single divine entity , who guards the kingdom of heaven where the just go to rest for eternity. This god has no name, but it is assimilable to Jesus Christ.
God according to Judaism
For the Jews, Jesus was just one more prophet of his time.
The god of Judaism is the one described in the Old Testament of the Bible and in the Semitic writings of the Tanach .
For this religion, Jesus of Nazareth was just one more prophet in a long line of recipients of the divine word, so that humanity still waits for the arrival of the saving messiah.
This monotheistic god is extremely severe.
Their code of life is strictly followed by the most orthodox Jews , who have renounced the pig as a forbidden animal , as well as food that is not kosher or prepared according to divine commands.
This god has an unpronounceable name, but is referred to as Yahveh .
God according to Islam
In Islam there is the third great monotheistic god, which means that these three religions are basically closely related. His name is Allah , and like the previous two versions he is omnipresent, omnipotent and eternal, creator of the universe.
Those who worship Allah call themselves Muslims . This god is, in essence, the same one that the Bible prophet Abraham worshiped, but this is not his holy book, but the Koran or Koran.
This holy book contains the revelations of God to the central prophet of this religion, Muhammad (Muhammad), compiled by his 632 followers.
Allah is also a stern, warmongering god , who warns his people to be prepared for Holy War on his behalf. It also prohibits the intake of pork, alcohol and subjects them to a very strict fasting regime called Ramadan (similar to Jewish Yom Kippur).
The Gods of Hinduism
Vishnu is the god who maintains the universe.
The Hinduism as a religion is spread, since it consists of a set of beliefs and practices more akin to a philosophy of life .
So it lacks a single god , and has a huge and varied set of deities that can be worshiped, each associated with different aspects of existence.
The main gods are: Brahma, the creator of the universe ; Shiva, the destroyer of the universe; and Vishnu, the maintainer of the universe.
The Greek Gods
The pantheon of Olympian gods was headed by Zeus.
The religion of Ancient Greece was based on the existence of a pantheon of Olympian gods .
It was headed by the father god Zeus , ruler of the heavens and lightning, who shared the world with Poseidon, lord of the seas and oceans , and with Hades, lord of the underworld, land of the dead.
Each of them also had numerous offspring .
These gods would have reached their domain after defeating their parents , the Titans, who were descendants of even more primitive gods (such as Chaos, Earth or Night).
This third generation of gods received the adoration of humans and in return conferred their favors on them . They were responsible for human ideas, feelings, passions or follies.
You may be interested: Greek mythology
The Aesir were followers of the god Odin.
The Norse gods belong to the Scandinavian tradition , that is, to the Germanic peoples of northern Europe , and like the Greek gods, they are part of a rich and vast mythology.
This Nordic religion lacked a holy book and was transmitted orally through songs and poems , especially during the Viking age.
The Norse gods were divided into two classes. On the one hand, the Aesir, followers of Odin , around whom they made an assembly in the earthly paradise, the celestial land of Asgard.
These gods had their own personalities and talents , associated with elements such as thunder (Thor), intelligence (Balder) or chaos (Loki).
And on the other side were the Vanir, more earthly gods who ruled the sea , the waves, the fire , the wind and who lived in Vanaheim, from where they exercised full control of their domains.
While the Aesir were warrior gods, the Vanir were peaceful ; But there had been a great war between the two groups, culminating in peace agreements and marriages between them.
Agnosticism and atheism
Just as there are the religious, there are those who do not believe in anything , or who do not believe in God, or who believe in their very personal way.
These are generally referred to as atheists (who do not believe in the existence of a God or any divinity) or agnostics (who do not deny the possibility of a God, but consider it something impossible to elucidate).
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