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"God", Etymology of the Word - Catholic Encyclopedia

(Anglo-Saxon God; German Gott; akin to Persian khoda; Hindu khooda).

God can variously be defined as:the proper name of the one Supreme and Infinite Personal Being, the Creator and Ruler of the universe, to whom man owes obedience and worship; the common or generic name of the several supposed beings to whom, in polytheistic religions, Divine attributes are ascribed and Divine worship rendered; the name sometimes applied to an idol as the image or dwelling-place of a god.

The root-meaning of the name (from Gothic root gheu; Sanskrit hub or emu, "to invoke or to sacrifice to") is either "the one invoked" or "the one sacrificed to." From different Indo-Germanic roots (div, "to shine" or "give light"; thes in thessasthai "to implore") come the Indo-Iranian deva, Sanskrit dyaus (gen. divas), Latin deus, Greek theos, Irish and Gaelic dia, all of which are generic names; also Greek Zeus (gen. Dios, Latin Jupiter (jovpater), Old Teutonic Tiu or Tiw (surviving in Tuesday), Latin Janus, Diana, and other proper names of pagan deities. The common name most widely used in Semitic occurs as 'el in Hebrew, 'ilu in Babylonian, 'ilah in Arabic, etc.; and though scholars are not agreed on the point, the root-meaning most probably is "the strong or mighty one."

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P.J. TONER Transcribed by Tomas Hancil

The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume VICopyright © 1909 by Robert Appleton CompanyOnline Edition Copyright © 2003 by K. KnightNihil Obstat, September 1, 1909. Remy Lafort, CensorImprimatur. +John M. Farley, Archbishop of New York

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