Saturday, September 6, 2014

God and Lord: The Battle with nouns

Often times people confuse the use of the word God. Often times people use the word as a proper noun and not as a common noun.

This is evident in Tagalog. People will often say si God instead of God. The same applies to the word Lord. Often times this mistake is made by born again Christians and Catholic charismatics. I often wonder why.

I think the confusion comes from the way most Bibles are translated or printed often times you will that when it refers to the central deity in the book the printer or the publisher makes sure that the word God is capitalized, the same applies to the word Lord.

But clearly earlier Bibles didn't prioritize on capitalization because most of the were written in all caps. With the later and modern translations they had to differentiate their God from the other gods by that simple device. Without even reading the fine print.

I bet that most of the people don't even know why LORD is spelled that way in the Bible. Or pastors and priests explaining it well. Ignorance is bliss I say.

So is God a common or proper noun? Let us see the definition and difference.

Wikipedia explains:

A proper noun is a noun that in its primary application refers to a unique entity, such as London, Jupiter, Sarah, or Microsoft, as distinguished from a common noun, which usually refers to a class of entities (city, planet, person, corporation), or non-unique instances of a certain class (a city, another planet, these persons, our corporation). Some proper nouns occur in plural form (optionally or exclusively), and then they refer to groups of entities considered as unique (the Hendersons, the Everglades, the Azores, the Pleiades).

But there are parts of the article that says it can be used as a proper noun. That is when referring to the Judeo-Christian god. I find that idea disturbing as if its saying that other gods are illegitimate. Such is the power of English in the way it makes it's rules work for its own ideals.

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