The word God is capitalized

Is “God” capitalized because it is the first name of Christianity God? [closed]

It is capitalized in English for two main reasons: religious awe and tradition, but grammatically it really isn't necessary to capitalize it.

The earliest Greek manuscripts were written in any unusual or majuscular letter, with no spaces between the letters.

For example, the following is John 1: 1 as written in the Codex Sinaiticus:

The Hebrew language, both ancient and modern, also lacked tiny letters.

In reality, the word "god" (with a majuscular "G") is an abbreviation for "the god". The equivalent of "the god" (as well as "god") in Greek is ὁ θεός.

Dr. Dale B. Martin wrote, 1

People - even scholars - are too quick to forget that "God" was not a proper name in ancient Greek. This is easier to remember when we read the texts in Greek because they so often use the word θεός (“God”) with the definite article ὁ (“the”). When reading Greek it is easier to read ὁ θεός as "the God" than as "God". Unfortunately, using God without the article makes it easier to mistakenly use it as a name in English. This tendency is made all the more tempting by the fact that it is almost always capitalized when referring to the God of Christianity. Indeed, for an orthodox understanding of the nature of the Christian deity, it would be better to leave it uncapitalized and with the article. Perhaps we should say "the God" when we speak of the Christian deity, just as we speak of "the" Holy Spirit.

The translators who produced the King James Version translated ὁ θεός arbitraily into English, sometimes as "the god" 2 and sometimes as "God". 3 There are even occasions when they translated it as "the God". 4 But how did they know when to translate it as "the God" versus "God" versus "the God"? They couldn't decide this from the Greek because the original manuscripts lacked the distinction made possible by the combination of majusculars and minisculars.

It is understandably a matter of reverence for people who value the one true God to capitalize the first letter of a word that relates only to him. This is also the case with the word “Lord”, as in “The Lord Jesus Christ”. This is also the case with pronouns used in relation to God, such as the word "Him" above, and as you will find it frequently in the Bible.

You would not be mistaken if every time you read ὁ θεός in the Greek NT you translate it into English as "the god" as opposed to "god" or "the god". The Jewish authors of the New Testament understood that it was from Nature off there was only one true God. So when they read ὁ θεός they usually think of him, that is, of Yahweh. However, there are many who because of their Office ὁ θεός or "the god" are called, such as B. human judges. 5

The one true God has only one name, יהוה, which is called the Tetragrammaton. The word “God” is technically not a proper noun (a name), but a general noun. "God" (or "the God" or "the God") refers to what יהוה is.

Regarding the tradition of writing "G * d" or "Gd" instead of "God", Dr. Martin too, 6

The substitution of these various spellings and symbols for "God" is even more seriously misleading, as I indicated above, as it actually implies that "God" is God's proper name, just as YHWH functions as the name of the God of Israel in the Hebrew Bible.

Consider the analogy:

There is a slight inequality as Joe is one of many people while Yahweh is the only true God. But you now understand the function of the word "God" as a general noun (a thing) rather than a proper noun (a name). That being said, because there is only one who is ὁ θεός by nature, i.e. Yahweh, the word θεός could function as a quasi-name at times, although the arbitrary nature of English would make it difficult to see where this phenomenon occurs in translations.


References

Martin, Dale B. Biblical Truths: The Importance of Scripture in the 21st Century. New Haven: Yale UP, 2017.

Footnotes

1 p. 150
2 cp. Rome. 15: 5
3 cp. Rome. 14:20
4 cp. 2 Cor. 4: 4
5 Exo. 22: 9
6ibid.

cnaak

(1) Are you saying that the translation of ὁ θεὸς in 2Co.4: 4 as "the God" (not capitalized) by the KJV translators reflects decisions that were "simply arbitrary", which means that the Passage context was not taken into account in any way?

cnaak

(2) Think this context: "In whom (ὁ θεὸς) of this world has the spirit of those who do not believe blinded, so that the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, which is the image of God, does not shine on them" from 2Co.4 : 4 enables the translation of ὁ θεὸς as "God" or "the God" (capitalized)?

cnaak

(3) Since 1Co 8,5 explains that there are many who call themselves "gods" - on this occasion we see that the plural θεοὶ is used in scripture - this is not a strong, supported reason why "God." "is capitalized (when the context indicates that the text refers to the true God) in a translation isn't just an arbitrary choice?

cnaak

(4) A distinction between "God" and "God" in an English translation due to the Fact, that the older manuscripts lack this distinction, only appears legitimate if the ENTIRE Translation was also written in capital letters. In this case 2Co. 4: 4 would read: "In whom the God of this world has blinded the minorities of them who do not believe, so that the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, which is the image of God, may not shine on them."