Religious male circumcision
Religious male circumcision occurs shortly after birth, during childhood or around puberty as part of a rite of passage. Circumcision is most prevalent in the religions of Judaism, Coptic Orthodox Church, Ethiopian Orthodox Church and Eritrean Orthodox Church. Many countries with majorities of Christian adherents have low circumcision rates, while both religious and non-religious circumcision is common in some predominantly Christian countries such as the United States, the Philippines, in North and West Africa and it is common in countries such as Cameroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eritrea, Liberia and Kenya, Male circumcision is widely practiced among Christians from South Korea, Syria, Jordan, Palestine and North Africa. Circumcision rates in Oceania were high but are now low. While the Catholic Church has condemned religious circumcision for its members, maintains a neutral position on the practice of non-religious circumcision, Coptic Christianity and Ethiopian Orthodoxy and Eritrean Orthodoxy still observe male circumcision and practice circumcision as a rite of passage.
Hodges affirms that in Classical civilization the foreskin was positively valued both from Ancient Greeks and Romans, that Greek and Roman attempts to abolish ritual circumcision were prompted by humanitarian concerns. Male circumcision practiced as a religious rite is found in texts of the Hebrew Bible, as part of the Abrahamic covenant, such as in Genesis 17, is therefore practiced by Jews and some Christians, who constitute the Abrahamic religions; some rabbinical sources indicate that before the covenant of Abraham, the aposthia of Shem may have been an inspiration for circumcision. According to Halakha, ritual circumcision of male children is a commandment from God that Jews are obligated to follow, is only postponed or abrogated in the case of threat to the life or health of the child. Jews do not believe. There are numerous references to circumcision in the Hebrew Bible. Circumcision was enjoined upon the biblical patriarch Abraham, his descendants and their slaves as "a token of the covenant" concluded with him by God for all generations, an "everlasting covenant", thus it is observed by two of the Abrahamic religions.
The penalty of non-observance was kareth from the people. Non-Israelites had to undergo circumcision before they could be allowed to take part in the feast of Passover. See Mosaic Law directed at non-Jews and Conversion to Judaism, it was "a reproach" for an Israelite to be uncircumcised The name arelim became an opprobrious term a pejorative name for the Philistines, who might have been of Greek origin, in the context of the fierce wars recounted in the Book of Samuel. When the general David wanted to marry King Saul's daughter, the King required a grisly "dowry" of a hundred Philistine foreskins. David went further: "and David arose and went, he and his men, slew of the Philistines two hundred men, and Saul gave him Michal his daughter to wife". "Uncircumcised" is used in conjunction with tame for heathen. The word'arel' is employed for "impermeable". "The Philistines, more than any other nation, are called uncircumised" in the Hebrew Bible. However, the Israelites born in the wilderness after the exodus from Egypt did not carry out the practice of circumcision.
According to Josh 5:2-9, "all the people that came out" of Egypt were circumcised, but those "born in the wilderness" were not. In any case, we are told that Joshua, before the celebration of the Passover, had them circumcised at Gilgal; the Bible contains several narratives. There is the circumcision and massacre of the Shechemites, the hundred foreskin dowry and the story of the Lord threatening to kill Moses, being placated by Zipporah's circumcision of their son, the circumcision at Gilgal of Joshua 5. There is another sense. Deut 10:16 says: "Circumcise the foreskin of your heart," along with Jer 6:10: To whom shall I speak, give warning, that they may hear? Behold their ear is uncircumcised, they cannot hearken:.... Jer 9:25-26 says that uncircumcised will be punished alike by the Lord; the New JPS translation adds the note: "uncircumcised of heart: I.e. Their minds are blocked to God's commandments." Non-Jewish tribes that practiced circumcision were described as being "circumcised in uncircumcision."
During the Babylonian exile and circumcision became the characteristic symbols of the Jewish people. However, the Talmud orders that a boy must not be circumcised if he had two brothers, from the same mother as him, who have died as a result of their
A biblical covenant is a religious covenant, described in the Bible. All Abrahamic religions consider biblical covenants important; the Hebrew Bible contains the Noahic Covenant, between God and all people, as well as a number of more specific covenants with individuals or groups. Biblical covenants include those with Abraham, the whole Israelite people, the Israelite priesthood, the Davidic lineage of kings. In form and terminology, these covenants echo the kinds of treaty agreements in the surrounding ancient world. In the Book of Jeremiah, verses 31:30–33 predict "a new covenant" that God will establish with "the house of Israel". Most Christians believe this New Covenant is the "replacement" or "final fulfilment" of the Old Covenant described in the Old Testament and as applying to the People of God, while some believe both covenants are still applicable in a dual covenant theology. There are two major types of covenants in the Hebrew Bible, including the obligatory type and the promissory type.
The obligatory covenant is more common with the Hittite peoples, deals with the relationship between two parties of equal standing. In contrast, the promissory type of covenant is seen in the Davidic covenants. Promissory covenants focus on the relationship between the suzerain and the vassal and are similar to the "royal grant" type of legal document, which include historical introduction, border delineations, witnesses and curses. In royal grants, the master could reward a servant for being loyal. God rewarded Abraham and David in his covenants with them; as part of his covenant with Abraham, God has the obligation to keep Abraham's descendants as God's chosen people and be their God. God acts as the suzerain power and is the party of the covenant accompanied by the required action that comes with the oath whether it be fire or animals in the sacrificial oaths. In doing this, God is the party taking upon the curse. Through history there were many instances where the vassal was the one who performed the different acts and took the curse upon them.
Weinfeld believes that similar terminology and wording can connect the Abrahamic and Davidic covenants with ancient Near Eastern grants, as opposed to being similar to the Mosaic covenant, according to Weinfeld, is an example of a suzerainty treaty. He goes on to argue that phrases about having a "whole heart" or having "walked after me with all his heart" parallels with Neo-Assyrian grant language, such as "walked with royalty", he further argues that in Jeremiah, God uses prophetic metaphor to say that David will be adopted as a son. Expressing legal and political relationships through familial phraseology was common among Near Eastern cultures. Babylonian contracts expressed fathership and sonship in their grants to mean a king to vassal relationship. Further underlying the idea that these covenants were grant-like in nature is the similar language used in both. In the grant of Ashurbanipal, an Assyrian, to his servant Bulta, he describes Bulta's loyalty with the phrase "kept the charge of my kinship".
Abraham kept God's charge in Genesis 26: 4–5: "I will give to your descendants all these lands...in as much as Abraham obeyed me and kept my charge, my commandments, my rules and my teachings."Furthermore, in Jeremiah, God says, through prophetic metaphor, that David will be adopted as a son. Expressing legal and political relationships through familial phraseology was common among Near Eastern cultures. Babylonian contracts expressed fathership and sonship, in their grants to mean a king to vassal relationship. According to Mendhenhall, pressures from outside invaders led the loosely bound Israelite tribes to converge into monarchical unity for stability and solidarity, he argues that during this consolidation, the new state had to unify the religious traditions that belonged to the different groups to prevent dissent from those who might believe that the formation of a state would replace direct governance from God. Therefore, Mendenhall continues, these loosely bound tribes merged under the Mosaic covenant to legitimize their unity.
They believed. They believed that the king was put into power as a result of God's benefaction, that this accession was the fulfillment of God's promise of dynasty to David. Mendenhall notes that a conflict arose between those who believed in the Davidic covenant, those who believed that God would not support all actions of the state; as a result, both sides became aloof, the Davidic covenant and the Mosaic covenant were entirely forgotten. Students of the Bible hold wildly differing opinions as to how many major covenants exist between God and humanity, with numbers ranging from one to at least twelve; the Noahic covenant applies to all of all other living creatures. In this covenant, God promises never again to destroy all life on Earth by flood and creates the rainbow as the sign of this "everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh, on the earth"; the covenant found in Genesis 12–17 is known as the Brit bein HaBetarim, the "Covenant Between the Parts" in Hebrew, is the basis for brit milah in Judaism.
The covenant was for offspring, both of natural birth and adoption. In Genesis chapters 12–17 three covenants can be distinguished based on the differing Jahwist and Priestly sources. In Genesis 12 and 15, God grants Abraham land and a multitude of descendants but does not place any st
Abraham Abram, is the common patriarch of the three Abrahamic religions. In Judaism, he is the founding father of the covenant of the pieces, the special relationship between the Jewish people and God; the narrative in Genesis revolves around the themes of land. Abraham is called by God to leave the house of his father Terah and settle in the land given to Canaan but which God now promises to Abraham and his progeny. Various candidates are put forward. Abraham purchases a tomb at Hebron to be Sarah's grave. Abraham marries Keturah and has six more sons; the Abraham story cannot be definitively related to any specific time, it is agreed that the patriarchal age, along with the exodus and the period of the judges, is a late literary construct that does not relate to any period in actual history. A common hypothesis among scholars is that it was composed in the early Persian period as a result of tensions between Jewish landowners who had stayed in Judah during the Babylonian captivity and traced their right to the land through their "father Abraham", the returning exiles who based their counter-claim on Moses and the Exodus tradition.
Terah, the ninth in descent from Noah, was the father of three sons: Abram and Haran. The entire family, including grandchildren, lived in Ur of the Chaldees. In his youth, Abram worked in Terah's idol shop. Haran was the father of Lot, thus Lot was Abram's nephew. Haran died in Ur of the Chaldees. Abram married Sarah, barren. Terah, with Abram and Lot departed for Canaan, but settled in a place named Haran, where Terah died at the age of 205. God had told Abram to leave his country and kindred and go to a land that he would show him, promised to make of him a great nation, bless him, make his name great, bless them that bless him, curse them who may curse him. Abram was 75 years old when he left Haran with his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, the substance and souls that they had acquired, traveled to Shechem in Canaan. There was a severe famine in the land of Canaan, so that Abram and Lot and their households, traveled to Egypt. On the way Abram told Sarai to say that she was his sister, so that the Egyptians would not kill him.
When they entered Egypt, the Pharaoh's officials praised Sarai's beauty to Pharaoh, they took her into the palace and gave Abram goods in exchange. God afflicted Pharaoh and his household with plagues, which led Pharaoh to try to find out what was wrong. Upon discovering that Sarai was a married woman, Pharaoh demanded that Sarai leave; when they came back to the Bethel and Hai area, Abram's and Lot's sizable herds occupied the same pastures. This became a problem for the herdsmen; the conflicts between herdsmen had become so troublesome that Abram suggested that Lot choose a separate area, either on the left hand or on the right hand, that there be no conflict amongst brethren. Lot chose to go eastward to the plain of Jordan where the land was well watered everywhere as far as Zoar, he dwelled in the cities of the plain toward Sodom. Abram went south to Hebron and settled in the plain of Mamre, where he built another altar to worship God. During the rebellion of the Jordan River cities against Elam, Abram's nephew, was taken prisoner along with his entire household by the invading Elamite forces.
The Elamite army came to collect the spoils of war, after having just defeated the king of Sodom's armies. Lot and his family, at the time, were settled on the outskirts of the Kingdom of Sodom which made them a visible target. One person who escaped capture told Abram what happened. Once Abram received this news, he assembled 318 trained servants. Abram's force headed north in pursuit of the Elamite army, who were worn down from the Battle of Siddim; when they caught up with them at Dan, Abram devised a battle plan by splitting his group into more than one unit, launched a night raid. Not only were they able to free the captives, Abram's unit chased and slaughtered the Elamite King Chedorlaomer at Hobah, just north of Damascus, they freed Lot, as well as his household and possessions, recovered all of the goods from Sodom, taken. Upon Abram's return, Sodom's king came out to meet with him in the Valley of Shaveh, the "king's dale". Melchizedek king of Salem, a priest of God Most High, brought out bread and wine and blessed Abram and God.
Abram gave Melchizedek a tenth of everything. The king of Sodom offered to let Abram keep all the possessions if he would return his people. Abram refused any deal from the king of Sodom, other than the share to which his allies were entitled; the voice of the Lord came to Abram in a vision and repeated the promise of the land and descendants as numerous as the stars. Abram and God made a covenant ce
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is the leading national public health institute of the United States. The CDC is a United States federal agency under the Department of Health and Human Services and is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, its main goal is to protect public health and safety through the control and prevention of disease and disability in the US and internationally. The CDC focuses national attention on applying disease control and prevention, it focuses its attention on infectious disease, food borne pathogens, environmental health, occupational safety and health, health promotion, injury prevention and educational activities designed to improve the health of United States citizens. In addition, the CDC researches and provides information on non-infectious diseases such as obesity and diabetes and is a founding member of the International Association of National Public Health Institutes; the Communicable Disease Center was founded July 1, 1946, as the successor to the World War II Malaria Control in War Areas program of the Office of National Defense Malaria Control Activities.
Preceding its founding, organizations with global influence in malaria control were the Malaria Commission of the League of Nations and the Rockefeller Foundation. The Rockefeller Foundation supported malaria control, sought to have the governments take over some of its efforts, collaborated with the agency; the new agency was a branch of the U. S. Public Health Service and Atlanta was chosen as the location because malaria was endemic in the Southern United States; the agency changed names before adopting the name Communicable Disease Center in 1946. Offices were located on the sixth floor of the Volunteer Building on Peachtree Street. With a budget at the time of about $1 million, 59 percent of its personnel were engaged in mosquito abatement and habitat control with the objective of control and eradication of malaria in the United States. Among its 369 employees, the main jobs at CDC were entomology and engineering. In CDC's initial years, more than six and a half million homes were sprayed with DDT.
In 1946, there were only seven medical officers on duty and an early organization chart was drawn, somewhat fancifully, in the shape of a mosquito. Under Joseph Walter Mountin, the CDC continued to advocate for public health issues and pushed to extend its responsibilities to many other communicable diseases. In 1947, the CDC made a token payment of $10 to Emory University for 15 acres of land on Clifton Road in DeKalb County, still the home of CDC headquarters today. CDC employees collected the money to make the purchase; the benefactor behind the “gift” was Robert W. Woodruff, chairman of the board of The Coca-Cola Company. Woodruff had a long-time interest in malaria control, a problem in areas where he went hunting; the same year, the PHS transferred its San Francisco based plague laboratory into the CDC as the Epidemiology Division, a new Veterinary Diseases Division was established. An Epidemic Intelligence Service was established in 1951 due to biological warfare concerns arising from the Korean War.
The mission of CDC expanded beyond its original focus on malaria to include sexually transmitted diseases when the Venereal Disease Division of the U. S. Public Health Service was transferred to the CDC in 1957. Shortly thereafter, Tuberculosis Control was transferred to the CDC from PHS, in 1963 the Immunization program was established, it became the National Communicable Disease Center effective July 1, 1967. The organization was renamed the Center for Disease Control on June 24, 1970, Centers for Disease Control effective October 14, 1980. An act of the United States Congress appended the words "and Prevention" to the name effective October 27, 1992. However, Congress directed; the CDC focus has broadened to include chronic diseases, injury control, workplace hazards, environmental health threats, terrorism preparedness. CDC combats emerging diseases and other health risks, including birth defects, West Nile virus, avian and pandemic flu, E. coli, bioterrorism, to name a few. The organization would prove to be an important factor in preventing the abuse of penicillin.
In May 1994 the CDC admitted having sent several biological warfare agents to the Iraqi government from 1984 through 1989, including Botulinum toxin, West Nile virus, Yersinia pestis and Dengue fever virus. On April 21, 2005, then–CDC Director Julie Gerberding formally announced the reorganization of CDC to "confront the challenges of 21st-century health threats"; the four Coordinating Centers—established under the G. W. Bush Administration and Gerberding—"diminished the influence of national centers under umbrella", were ordered cut under the Obama Administration in 2009. Today, the CDC's Biosafety Level 4 laboratories are among the few that exist in the world, serve as one of only two official repositories of smallpox in the world; the second smallpox store resides at the State Research Center of Virology and Biotechnology VECTOR in the Russian Federation. The CDC revealed in 2014 that it had discovered several misplaced smallpox samples and that lab workers had been infected with anthrax.
The CDC is organized into "Centers and Offices", with each organizational unit implementing the agency's activi
In Judaism, a rabbi is a teacher of Torah. The basic form of the rabbi developed in the Pharisaic and Talmudic era, when learned teachers assembled to codify Judaism's written and oral laws; the first sage for whom the Mishnah uses the title of rabbi was Yohanan ben Zakkai, active in the early-to-mid first century AD. In more recent centuries, the duties of a rabbi became influenced by the duties of the Protestant Christian minister, hence the title "pulpit rabbis", in 19th-century Germany and the United States rabbinic activities including sermons, pastoral counseling, representing the community to the outside, all increased in importance. Within the various Jewish denominations there are different requirements for rabbinic ordination, differences in opinion regarding, to be recognized as a rabbi. For example, Orthodox Judaism does not ordain women as rabbis. Non-Orthodox movements have chosen to do so for what they view as halakhic reasons as well as ethical reasons; the Hebrew word "master" רב rav, which means "great one", is the original Hebrew form of the title.
The form of the title in English and many other languages derives from the possessive form in Hebrew of rav: רַבִּי rabbi, meaning "My Master", the way a student would address a master of Torah. The word Rav in turn derives from the Semitic root ר-ב-ב, which in biblical Aramaic means "great" in many senses, including "revered", but appears as a prefix in construct forms. Although the usage rabbim "many" "the majority, the multitude" occurs for the assembly of the community in the Dead Sea scrolls there is no evidence to support an association with the title "Rabbi." The root is cognate to Arabic ربّ rabb, meaning "lord". As a sign of great respect, some great rabbis are called "The Rav". Rabbi is not an occupation found in the Hebrew Bible, ancient generations did not employ related titles such as Rabban, Ribbi, or Rab to describe either the Babylonian sages or the sages in Israel; the titles "Rabban" and "Rabbi" are first mentioned in the Mishnah. The term was first used for Rabban Gamaliel the elder, Rabban Simeon his son, Rabban Johanan ben Zakkai, all of whom were patriarchs or presidents of the Sanhedrin in the first century.
The title "Rabbi" occurs in the books of Matthew and John in the New Testament, where it is used in reference to "Scribes and Pharisees" as well as to Jesus. Sephardic and Yemenite Jews pronounce this word רִבִּי ribbī. Other variants are rəvī and, in Yiddish, rebbə; the word could be compared to the Syriac word ܪܒܝ rabi. In ancient Hebrew, rabbi was a proper term of address while speaking to a superior, in the second person, similar to a vocative case. While speaking about a superior, in the third person one could say rabbo; the term evolved into a formal title for members of the Patriarchate. Thus, the title gained an irregular plural form: רַבָּנִים rabbanim, not רַבָּי rabbay; the governments of the kingdoms of Israel and Judah were based on a system that included the Jewish kings, the Jewish prophets, the legal authority of the high court of Jerusalem, the Great Sanhedrin, the ritual authority of the priesthood. Members of the Sanhedrin had to receive their ordination in an uninterrupted line of transmission from Moses, yet rather than being referred to as rabbis they were called priests or scribes, like Ezra, called in the Bible "Ezra, the priest, the scribe, a scribe of the words of God's commandments and of His statutes unto Israel."
"Rabbi" as a religious title does not appear in the Hebrew Bible. All of the above personalities would have been expected to be steeped in the wisdom of the Torah and the commandments, which would have made them "rabbis" in the modern sense of the word; this is illustrated by a two-thousand-year-old teaching in the Mishnah, Ethics of the Fathers, which observed about King David, "One who learns from their companion a single chapter, a single halakha, a single verse, a single Torah statement, or a single letter, must treat them with honor. For so we find with David King of Israel, who learned nothing from Ahitophel except two things, yet called him his teacher, his guide, his intimate, as it is said:'You are a man of my measure, my guide, my intimate'. One can derive from this the following: If David King of Israel who learned nothing from Ahitophel except for two things, called him his teacher, his guide, his intimate, one who learns from their companion a single chapter, a single halakha, a single verse, a single statement, or a single letter, how much more must they treat them with honor.
And honor is due only for Torah, as it is said:'The wise shall inherit honor','and the perfect shall inherit good'. And only Torah is good, as it is said:'I have given you a good teaching, do not forsake My Torah'." With the destruction of the two Temples in Jerusalem, the end of the Jewish monarchy, the decline of the dual institutions of prophets and the priesthood, the focus of scholarly and spiritual leadership within the Jewish people shifted to the sages of the Men of the Great Assembly. This assembly was composed of the earliest group of "rabbis" in the mor
Torah has a range of meanings. It can most mean the first five books of the 24 books of the Tanakh, it is printed with the rabbinic commentaries, it can mean the continued narrative from the Book of Genesis to the end of the Tanakh, it can mean the totality of Jewish teaching and practice, whether derived from biblical texts or rabbinic writings. Common to all these meanings, Torah consists of the origin of Jewish peoplehood: their call into being by God, their trials and tribulations, their covenant with their God, which involves following a way of life embodied in a set of moral and religious obligations and civil laws. In rabbinic literature the word Torah denotes both the Oral Torah; the Oral Torah consists of interpretations and amplifications which according to rabbinic tradition have been handed down from generation to generation and are now embodied in the Talmud and Midrash. According to rabbinic tradition, all of the teachings found in the Torah, both written and oral, were given by God through the prophet Moses, some at Mount Sinai and others at the Tabernacle, all the teachings were written down by Moses, which resulted in the Torah that exists today.
According to the Midrash, the Torah was created prior to the creation of the world, was used as the blueprint for Creation. The majority of Biblical scholars believe that the written books were a product of the Babylonian captivity, based on earlier written sources and oral traditions, that it was completed during the period of Achaemenid rule. Traditionally, the words of the Torah are written on a scroll by a scribe in Hebrew. A Torah portion is read publicly at least once every three days in the presence of a congregation. Reading the Torah publicly is one of the bases of Jewish communal life; the word "Torah" in Hebrew is derived from the root ירה, which in the hif'il conjugation means'to guide' or'to teach'. The meaning of the word is therefore "teaching", "doctrine", or "instruction"; the Alexandrian Jews who translated the Septuagint used the Greek word nomos, meaning norm, doctrine, "law". Greek and Latin Bibles began the custom of calling the Pentateuch The Law. Other translational contexts in the English language include custom, guidance, or system.
The term "Torah" is used in the general sense to include both Rabbinic Judaism's written law and Oral Law, serving to encompass the entire spectrum of authoritative Jewish religious teachings throughout history, including the Mishnah, the Talmud, the Midrash and more, the inaccurate rendering of "Torah" as "Law" may be an obstacle to understanding the ideal, summed up in the term talmud torah. The earliest name for the first part of the Bible seems to have been "The Torah of Moses"; this title, however, is found neither in the Torah itself, nor in the works of the pre-Exilic literary prophets. It appears in Joshua and Kings. In contrast, there is every likelihood that its use in the post-Exilic works was intended to be comprehensive. Other early titles were "The Book of Moses" and "The Book of the Torah", which seems to be a contraction of a fuller name, "The Book of the Torah of God". Christian scholars refer to the first five books of the Hebrew Bible as the'Pentateuch', a term first used in the Hellenistic Judaism of Alexandria.
The Torah starts from the beginning of God's creating the world, through the beginnings of the people of Israel, their descent into Egypt, the giving of the Torah at biblical Mount Sinai. It ends with the death of Moses, just before the people of Israel cross to the promised land of Canaan. Interspersed in the narrative are the specific teachings given explicitly or implicitly embedded in the narrative. In Hebrew, the five books of the Torah are identified by the incipits in each book, it is divisible into the Primeval history and the Ancestral history. The primeval history sets out the author's concepts of the nature of the deity and of humankind's relationship with its maker: God creates a world, good and fit for mankind, but when man corrupts it with sin God decides to destroy his creation, saving only the righteous Noah to reestablish the relationship between man and God; the Ancestral history tells of the prehistory of Israel, God's chosen people
In monotheistic thought, God is conceived of as the supreme being, creator deity, principal object of faith. The conceptions of God, as described by theologians include the attributes of omniscience, omnipresence, as having an eternal and necessary existence. Depending on one's kind of theism, these attributes are used either in way of analogy, or in a literal sense as distinct properties. God is most held to be incorporeal. Incorporeality and corporeality of God are related to conceptions of transcendence and immanence of God, with positions of synthesis such as the "immanent transcendence". Psychoanalyst Carl Jung equated religious ideas of God with transcendental aspects of consciousness in his interpretation; some religions describe God without reference to gender, while others or their translations use sex-specific terminology. Judaism attributes only a grammatical gender to God, using terms such as "Him" or "Father" for convenience. God has been conceived as either impersonal. In theism, God is the creator and sustainer of the universe, while in deism, God is the creator, but not the sustainer, of the universe.
In pantheism, God is the universe itself. In atheism, there is an absence of belief in God. In agnosticism, the existence of God is deemed unknowable. God has been conceived as the source of all moral obligation, the "greatest conceivable existent". Many notable philosophers have developed arguments against the existence of God. Monotheists refer to their gods using names prescribed by their respective religions, with some of these names referring to certain cultural ideas about their god's identity and attributes. In the ancient Egyptian era of Atenism the earliest recorded monotheistic religion, this deity was called Aten, premised on being the one "true" Supreme Being and creator of the universe. In the Hebrew Bible and Judaism, Adonai, YHWH and other names are used as the names of God. Yahweh and Jehovah, possible vocalizations of YHWH, are used in Christianity. In the Christian doctrine of the Trinity, coexisting in three "persons", is called the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit. In Islam, the name Allah is used, while Muslims have a multitude of titular names for God.
In Hinduism, Brahman is considered a monistic concept of God. In Chinese religion, Shangdi is conceived as the progenitor of the universe, intrinsic to it and bringing order to it. Other religions have names for the concept, for instance, Baha in the Bahá'í Faith, Waheguru in Sikhism, Sang Hyang Widhi Wasa in Balinese Hinduism, Ahura Mazda in Zoroastrianism; the many different conceptions of God, competing claims as to God's characteristics and actions, have led to the development of ideas of omnitheism, pandeism, or a perennial philosophy, which postulates that there is one underlying theological truth, of which all religions express a partial understanding, as to which "the devout in the various great world religions are in fact worshipping that one God, but through different, overlapping concepts". The earliest written form of the Germanic word God comes from the 6th-century Christian Codex Argenteus; the English word itself is derived from the Proto-Germanic * ǥuđan. The reconstructed Proto-Indo-European form * ǵhu-tó-m was based on the root * ǵhau-, which meant either "to call" or "to invoke".
The Germanic words for God were neuter—applying to both genders—but during the process of the Christianization of the Germanic peoples from their indigenous Germanic paganism, the words became a masculine syntactic form. In the English language, capitalization is used for names by which a god is known, including'God'; the capitalized form of god is not used for multiple gods or when used to refer to the generic idea of a deity. The English word God and its counterparts in other languages are used for any and all conceptions and, in spite of significant differences between religions, the term remains an English translation common to all; the same holds for Hebrew El, but in Judaism, God is given a proper name, the tetragrammaton YHWH, in origin the name of an Edomite or Midianite deity, Yahweh. In many translations of the Bible, when the word LORD is in all capitals, it signifies that the word represents the tetragrammaton. Allāh is the Arabic term with no plural used by Muslims and Arabic speaking Christians and Jews meaning "The God", while "ʾilāh" is the term used for a deity or a god in general.
God may be given a proper name in monotheistic currents of Hinduism which emphasize the personal nature of God, with early references to his name as Krishna-Vasudeva in Bhagavata or Vishnu and Hari. Ahura Mazda is the name for God used in Zoroastrianism. "Mazda", or rather the Avestan stem-form Mazdā-, nominative Mazdå, reflects Proto-Iranian *Mazdāh. It is taken to be the proper name of the spirit, like its Sanskrit cognate medhā, means "intelligence" or "wisdom". Both the Avestan and Sanskrit words reflect Proto-Indo-Iranian *mazdhā-, from Proto-Indo-European mn̩sdʰeh1 meaning "placing one's mind", hence "wise". Waheguru is a term most used in Sikhism to refer to God, it means "Wonderful Teacher" in the Punjabi language. Vāhi means "wonderful" and guru is a term denoting "teacher". Waheguru is described by some as an experience of ecstasy, beyond all descriptions; the most common usage of the word "Waheguru" is in the greeting Sikhs use with each other: Baha, the "greates