Sunday, October 08, 2017

"the sheep did not hear them" - To Understand God


To Understand God

The origin of the English word God is identical with the Anglo-Saxon word for “good.”  It is derived from Proto-Germanic *ǥuđán.
The Proto-Germanic meaning of *ǥuđán and its etymology is uncertain. It is generally agreed that it derives from a Proto-Indo-European neuter passive perfect participle *ǵʰu-tó-m. This form within (late) Proto-Indo-European itself was possibly ambiguous, and thought to derive from a root *ǵʰeu̯- "to pour, libate" (Sanskrit huta, see hotṛ), or from a root *ǵʰau̯- (*ǵʰeu̯h2-) "to call, to invoke" (Sanskrit hūta). Sanskrit hutá = "having been sacrificed", from the verb root hu = "sacrifice", but a slight shift in translation gives the meaning "one to whom sacrifices are made."
However, Hebrews who originally wrote the Bible are different from users of Indo-European languages.   Although the concept of God might be the same in both the users of Indo-European langugages and those of Hebrew, the original word of God in Hebrew is different from God, which is El.

This term was the most common general designation of deity in the ancient Near East.

The word ‘el’ was also combined with other words to constitute a compound term for deity, or to identify the nature and functions of the “god” in some manner.

Names with ‘el’ as one of their components were common in the Near East in the second millennium B. C.
This tradition of the Hebrew ‘el’ as a “God” who revealed Himself in power and entered into a covenant relationship with His people was prominent.

The name of ‘el’ was commonly used by the Israelites to denote supernatural provision or power.
In Japanese God is called Kami.  However, the origin of this word is unknown although there are various theories linking Kami to other Japanese words.  The word that is similar in pronunciation and meaning is Kamui of the Ainu, a minority tribe in Japan mostly living in Hokkaido.  However, the linkage between the two words has not been confirmed.

According to Japanese linguist Susumu Ono, the Japanese Kami means something terrible that has superhuman force.  But, Kami is not only one but there are many entities called Kami.  Ono wrote one book only for the word Kami.    The Japanese Kami has characters that are partially akin to El in Hebrew.  But ancient Japanese even call something related to an act itself the God of the act.  For example, they called even the god of sprinkling the ground with water.

The Zulu of Africa is said to call God Unkulunkulu.  Native Americans have also the concept of God.   So, the concept of God with supernatural power or as the creator of the world is common to (almost) all the mankind.  Their words meaning God show some history of development of the concept of God.

In this context, it is very revolutionary for Christians started to call Christ Jesus God.  But it should not mean that one man became God, but should mean the God appeared as one man.  And, more revolutionary is Christ Jesus' definition of God: God is love.  It may look reasonable that English uses the word of God that originally split from good. 

The God is love with which He created the universe but He appears with supernatural or terrible force sometimes as if He is indifferent to tragedies of human beings.

Anyway, to understand God is the task requested of the mankind, which must be more difficult than understanding this universe and internal of everyone.  The hint must be love shown by Christ Jesus.

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Joh 10:8 All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them.