God in Judaism
In Judaism, God has been conceived in a variety of ways. Traditionally, Judaism holds that YHWH, the God of Abraham and Jacob and the national god of the Israelites, delivered the Israelites from slavery in Egypt, gave them the Law of Moses at biblical Mount Sinai as described in the Torah. According to the rationalist stream of Judaism articulated by Maimonides, which came to dominate much of official traditional Jewish thought, God is understood as the absolute one and incomparable being, the ultimate cause of all existence. Traditional interpretations of Judaism emphasize that God is personal yet transcendent, while some modern interpretations of Judaism emphasize that God is a force or ideal; the names of God used most in the Hebrew Bible are the Tetragrammaton and Elohim. Other names of God in traditional Judaism include El Shekhinah; the name of God used most in the Hebrew Bible is the Tetragrammaton. Jews traditionally do not pronounce it, instead refer to God as HaShem "the Name". In prayer the Tetragrammaton is substituted with the pronunciation Adonai, meaning "My Master".
The national god of the Iron Age kingdoms of Israel and Judah was Yahweh. The precise origins of this god are disputed, although they reach back to the early Iron Age and the Late Bronze; the name may have begun as an epithet of El, head of the Bronze Age Canaanite pantheon, but earlier mentions are in Egyptian texts that place God among the nomads of the southern Transjordan. After evolving from its monolatristic roots, Judaism became monotheistic. No consensus has been reached by academics on the origins of monotheism in ancient Israel, but Yahweh "clearly came out of the world of the gods of the Ancient Near East."The worship of multiple gods and the concept of God having multiple persons are unimaginable in Judaism. The idea of God as a duality or trinity is heretical in Judaism – it is considered akin to polytheism. God, the Cause of all, is one; this does not mean one as in one of series, nor one like a species, nor one as in an object, made up of many elements, nor as a single simple object, infinitely divisible.
Rather, God is a unity unlike any other possible unity. Since, according to the mystical conception, all of existence emanates from God, whose ultimate existence is not dependent on anything else, some Jewish sages perceived God as interpenetrating the universe, which itself has been thought to be a manifestation of God's existence. According to this line of theological speculation, Judaism can be regarded as being compatible with panentheism, while always affirming genuine monotheism. Kabbalistic tradition holds; this has been described as a strand of Judaism which may seem at odds with Jewish commitments to strict monotheism, but Kabbalists have emphasized that their traditions are monotheistic. Any belief that an intermediary between humanity and God could be used, whether necessary or optional, has traditionally been considered heretical. Maimonides writes that God is the only one we may serve and praise.... We may not act in this way toward anything beneath God, whether it be an angel, a star, or one of the elements.....
There are no intermediaries between God. All our prayers should be directed towards God; some rabbinic authorities disagreed with this view. Notably, Nachmanides was of the opinion that it is permitted to ask the angels to beseech God on our behalf; this argument manifests notably in the Selichot prayer called "Machnisay Rachamim", a request to the angels to intercede with God. Godhead refers to the substratum of God that lies behind God's actions or properties. In the philosophy of Maimonides and other Jewish-rationalistic philosophers, there is little which can be known about the Godhead, other than its existence, this can only be asserted equivocally. How can a relation be represented between God and what is other than God when there is no notion comprising in any respect both of the two, inasmuch as existence is, in our opinion, affirmed of God, may God be exalted, of what is other than God by way of absolute equivocation. There is, in truth, no relation in any of God's creatures. In Kabbalistic thought, the term "Godhead" refers to the concept of Ein Sof, the aspect of God that lies beyond the emanations.
The "knowability" of the Godhead in Kabbalistic thought is no better that what is conceived by rationalist thinkers. As Jacobs puts it, "Of God as God is in Godself—Ein Sof—nothing can be said at all, no thought can reach there". Ein Sof is a place to and oblivion pertain. Why? Because concerning all the sefirot, one can search out their reality from the depth of supernal wisdom. From there it is possible to understand one thing from another. However, concerning Ein Sof, there is no aspect anywhere to probe. In modern articulations of traditional Judaism, God has been speculated to be the eternal and omniscient creator of the universe, the source of morality. God has the power to intervene in the world. Maimonides describes God in this fashion: "The foundation of all foundations and the pillar of wisdom is to know that there is a Primary Being who brought into being all existence. All the beings of the heavens, the earth, what is betwe
Ahura Mazda is the creator and sole God of Zoroastrianism. Ahura Mazda is the highest spirit of worship in Zoroastrianism, along with being the first and most invoked spirit in the Yasna; the literal meaning of the word Ahura is "lord", that of Mazda is "wisdom". Ahura Mazda first appeared in the Achaemenid period under Darius I's Behistun Inscription; until Artaxerxes II of Persia, Ahura Mazda was invoked alone. With Artaxerxes II, Ahura Mazda was invoked with Mithra and Anahita. In the Achaemenid period, there are no representations of Ahura Mazda other than the custom for every emperor to have an empty chariot drawn by white horses, to invite Ahura Mazda to accompany the Persian army on battles. Images of Ahura Mazda began in the Parthian period, but were stopped and replaced with stone carved figures in the Sassanid period. "Mazda", or rather the Avestan stem-form Mazdā-, nominative Mazdå, reflects Proto-Iranian *mazdáH. It is taken to be the proper name of the spirit, like its Vedic cognate medhā́, means "intelligence" or "wisdom".
Both the Avestan and Sanskrit words reflect Proto-Indo-Iranian *mazdʰáH, from Proto-Indo-European *mn̥sdʰh₁éh₂ meaning "placing one's mind", hence "wise". The name was rendered as Ahuramazda during the Achaemenid era, Hormazd during the Parthian era, Ohrmazd was used during the Sassanian era; the name may be attested on cuneiform tablets of Assyrian Assurbanipal, in the form Assara Mazaš, though this interpretation is controversial. Though Ahura Mazda was a spirit in the Old Iranian religion, he had not yet been given the title of "uncreated spirit"; this title was given by Zoroaster, who proclaimed Ahura Mazda as the uncreated spirit, wholly wise and good, as well as the creator and upholder of Asha. At the age of 30, Zoroaster received a revelation: while fetching water at dawn for a sacred ritual, he saw the shining figure of the yazata, Vohu Manah, who led Zoroaster to the presence of Ahura Mazda, where he was taught the cardinal principles of the "Good Religion" known as Zoroastrianism.
As a result of this vision, Zoroaster preach the religion. He stated, he further stated that Ahura Mazda created spirits known as yazatas to aid him, who merited devotion. Zoroaster deserved no worship; these "bad" spirits were created by the hostile and evil spirit. The existence of Angra Mainyu was the source of all misery in the universe. Zoroaster claimed that Ahura Mazda was not an omnipotent God, but used the aid of humans in the cosmic struggle against Angra Mainyu. Nonetheless, Ahura Mazda is Angra Mainyu's superior, not his equal. Angra Mainyu and his daevas, which attempt to attract humans away from the path of truth and righteousness, would be destroyed. Whether the Achaemenids were Zoroastrians is a matter of much debate. However, it is known; the representation and invocation of Ahura Mazda can be seen on royal inscriptions written by Achaemenid kings. The most notable of all the inscriptions is the Behistun Inscription written by Darius I which contains many references to Ahura Mazda.
An inscription written in Greek was found in a late Achaemenid temple at Persepolis which invoked Ahura Mazda and two other spirits, most Mithra and Anahita. On the Elamite Persepolis Fortification Tablet 377, Ahura Mazda is invoked along with Mithra and Voruna. Artaxerxes III makes this invocation to the three spirits again in his reign; the early Achaemenid period contained no representation of Ahura Mazda. The winged symbol with a male figure, regarded by European scholars as Ahura Mazda has been shown to represent the royal xvarənah, the personification of royal power and glory. However, it was customary for every emperor from Cyrus until Darius III to have an empty chariot drawn by white horses as a place for Ahura Mazda to accompany the Persian army on battles; the use of images of Ahura Mazda began in the western satraps of the Achaemenid Empire in the late 5th century BCE. Under Artaxerxes II, the first literary reference as well as a statue of Ahura Mazda was built by a Persian governor of Lydia in 365 BCE.
It is known that the reverence for Ahura Mazda, as well as Anahita and Mithra continued with the same traditions during this period. The worship of Ahura Mazda with symbolic images is noticed, but it stopped with the beginning of the Sassanid period. Zoroastrian iconoclasm, which can be traced to the end of the Parthian period and the beginning of the Sassanid put an end to the use of all images of Ahura Mazda in worship. However, Ahura Mazda remained symbolized by a dignified male figure, standing or on horseback, found in Sassanian investiture. During the Sassanid Empire, a heretical form of Zoroastrianism, termed Zurvanism, emerged, it gained adherents throughout the Sassanid Empire, most notably the royal lineage of Sassanian emperors. Under the reign of Shapur I, Zurvanism became a widespread cult. Zurvanism revokes Zoroaster's original message of Ahura Mazda as the uncreated spirit, the "uncreated creator" of all, reduces him to a created spirit, one of two twin sons of Zurvan, their father and the primary spirit.
Zurvanism makes Ahura Mazda and Angra Mainyu of equal strength and only contrasting spirits. Other than Zurvanism, the Sassanian kings demonstrated their devotion to Ahura Mazda i
Names of God
A number of traditions have lists of many names of God, many of which enumerate the various qualities of a Supreme Being. The English word "God" is used by multiple religions as a noun or name to refer to different deities, or to the Supreme Being, as denoted in English by the capitalized and uncapitalized terms "god" and "God". Ancient cognate equivalents for the biblical Hebrew Elohim, one of the most common names of God in the Bible, include proto-Semitic El, biblical Aramaic Elah, Arabic'ilah; the personal or proper name for God in many of these languages may either be distinguished from such attributes, or homonymic. For example, in Judaism the tetragrammaton is sometimes related to the ancient Hebrew ehyeh. In the Hebrew Bible, the personal name of God is revealed directly to Moses, namely: "Yahweh". Correlation between various theories and interpretation of the name of "the one God", used to signify a monotheistic or ultimate Supreme Being from which all other divine attributes derive, has been a subject of ecumenical discourse between Eastern and Western scholars for over two centuries.
In Christian theology the word must be a proper name of God. On the other hand, the names of God in a different tradition are sometimes referred to by symbols; the question whether divine names used by different religions are equivalent has been raised and analyzed. Exchange of names held sacred between different religious traditions is limited. Other elements of religious practice may be shared when communities of different faiths are living in close proximity but usage of the names themselves remains within the domain of a particular religion, or may help define one's religious belief according to practice, as in the case of the recitation of names of God. Guru Gobind Singh's Jaap Sahib; the Divine Names, the classic treatise by Pseudo-Dionysius, defines the scope of traditional understandings in Western traditions such as Hellenic, Christian and Islamic theology on the nature and significance of the names of God. Further historical lists such as The 72 Names of the Lord show parallels in the history and interpretation of the name of God amongst Kabbalah and Hebrew scholarship in various parts of the Mediterranean world.
The attitude as to the transmission of the name in many cultures was surrounded by secrecy. In Judaism, the pronunciation of the name of God has always been guarded with great care, it is believed that, in ancient times, the sages communicated the pronunciation only once every seven years. The nature of a holy name can be described as either attributive. In many cultures it is difficult to distinguish between the personal and the attributive names of God, the two divisions shading into each other. El comes from a root word meaning might, power. Sometimes referring to God and sometimes the mighty when used to refer to the God of Israel, El is always qualified by additional words that further define the meaning that distinguishes him from false gods. A common title of God in the Hebrew Bible is Elohim; the root Eloah is used in poetry and late prose and ending with the masculine plural suffix "-im" ים creating a word like ba`alim ("owner" and adonim that may indicate a singular identity. In the Book of Exodus, God commands Moses to tell the people that'I AM' sent him, this is revered as one of the most important names of God according to Mosaic tradition.
Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?” God said to Moses, "I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I am has sent me to you.'" God said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you.’ This is my name forever, the name you shall call me from generation to generation". In Exodus 6:3, when Moses first spoke with God, God said, "I used to appear to Abraham and Jacob as El Shaddai, but I did not make myself known to them by my name YHWH." YHWH is the proper name of God in Judaism. Neither vowels nor vowel points were used in ancient Hebrew writings and the original vocalisation of YHWH has been lost. Commentaries additionally suggested that the true pronunciation of this name is composed of vowels, such as the Greek Ιαουε. However, this is put into question by the fact that vowels were only distinguished in the time-period by their absence due to the lack of explicit vowels in the Hebrew script.
The resulting substitute made from semivowels and glottals, known as the tetragrammaton, is not ordinarily permitted to be pronounced aloud in prayer. The prohibition on misuse of this name is the primary subject of the command not to take the name of the Lord in vain. Instead of pronouncing YHWH during prayer, Jews say "Adonai". Halakha requires that secondary rules be placed around the primary law, to reduce the chance that the main law will be broken; as such, it is common religious practice to restrict the use of the word "Adonai" to prayer only. In conversation, many Jewish people when not speaking Hebrew, will call God HaShem, Hebrew for "the Name". All Orthodox Jews avoid using either Yahweh or Jehovah altogether on the basis that the actual pronun
Lord is an appellation for a person or deity who has authority, control, or power over others acting like a master, a chief, or a ruler. The appellation can denote certain persons who hold a title of the peerage in the United Kingdom, or are entitled to courtesy titles; the collective "Lords" can refer to a body of peers. According to the Oxford Dictionary of English, the etymology of the word can be traced back to the Old English word hlāford which originated from hlāfweard meaning "loaf-ward" or "bread keeper", reflecting the Germanic tribal custom of a chieftain providing food for his followers; the appellation "lord" is applied to men, while for women the appellation "lady" is used. However, this is no longer universal: the Lord of Mann, a title held by the Queen of the United Kingdom, female Lord Mayors are examples of women who are styled Lord. Under the feudal system, "lord" had a wide and varied meaning. An overlord was a person from whom a landholding or a manor was held by a mesne lord or vassal under various forms of feudal land tenure.
The modern term "landlord" is a vestigial survival of this function. A liege lord was a person. Neither of these terms were titular dignities, but rather factual appellations, which described the relationship between two or more persons within the stratified feudal social system. For example, a man might be Lord of the Manor to his own tenants but a vassal of his own overlord, who in turn was a vassal of the King. Where a knight was a lord of the manor, he was referred to in contemporary documents as "John, lord of". A feudal baron was a true titular dignity, with the right to attend Parliament, but a feudal baron, Lord of the Manor of many manors, was a vassal of the King; the substantive title of "Lord of the Manor" came into use in the English medieval system of feudalism after the Norman Conquest of 1066. The title "Lord of the Manor" was a titular feudal dignity which derived its force from the existence and operation of a manorial court or court baron at which he or his steward presided, thus he was the lord of the manorial court which determined the rules and laws which were to govern all the inhabitants and property covered by the jurisdiction of the court.
To the tenants of a certain class of manor known in Saxon times as Infangenthef their lord was a man who had the power of exercising capital punishment over them. The term invariably used in contemporary mediaeval documents is "lord of X", X being the name of the manor; the term "Lord of the Manor" is a recent usage of historians to distinguish such lords from feudal barons and other powerful persons referred to in ancient documents variously as "Sire", "Dominus", "Lord" etc. The title of "Lord of the Manor" is recognised by the British Government for any such title registered at Her Majesty's Land Registry before 13 October 2003 but after that date titles can no longer be registered, any such titles voluntarily de-registered by the holder cannot be re-registered; however any transfer of ownership of registered manors will continue to be recorded in the register, on the appropriate notification. Thus in effect the register is closed for new registrations; such titles are classified as "incorporeal hereditaments" as they have no physical existence, have no intrinsic value.
However a lucrative market arose in the 20th century for such titles for purposes of vanity, assisted by the existence of an official register, giving the purchaser the impression of a physical existence. Whether a title of "Lord of the Manor" is registered or unregistered has no effect on its legal validity or existence, a matter of law to be determined by the courts. Modern legal cases have been won by persons claiming rights as lords of the manor over village greens; the heads of many ancient English land-owning families have continued to be lords of the manor of lands they have inherited. The UK Identity and Passport Service will include such titles on a British passport as an "observation", provided the holder can provide documentary evidence of ownership, as will Passport Canada; the United States however, forbids the use of all titles on passports. Australia forbids the use of titles on passports if those titles have not been awarded by the Crown or the Commonwealth; the Scottish title Laird is a shortened form of'laverd', an old Scottish word deriving from an Anglo-Saxon term meaning'Lord' and is derived from the middle English word'Lard' meaning'Lord'.
The word is used to refer to any owner of a landed estate and has no meaning in heraldic terms and its use is not controlled by the Lord Lyon. Lord is used as a generic term to denote members of the peerage. Five ranks of peer exist in the United Kingdom: in descending order these are duke, earl and baron; the appellation "Lord" is used most by barons, who are addressed by their formal and legal title of "Baron". The most formal style is'The Lord': for example, Alfred Tennyson, 1st Baron Tennyson, can be called as "The Lord Tennyson", although the most common appellation is "Lord Tennyson". Marquesses and viscounts are also addressed as Lord. Dukes use the style "The Duke of", are not referred to as'Lord'. Dukes are formally addressed as'Your Grace', rather than'My Lord'. In the Peerage of Scotland, the members of the lowest level of the peerage have the substantive title'Lord of Parliament' rather than Baron. "Lord" is used as a cour
Great Architect of the Universe
The Great Architect of the Universe is a conception of God discussed by many Christian theologians and apologists. As a designation it is used within Freemasonry to represent the deity neutrally, it is a Rosicrucian conception of God, as expressed by Max Heindel. The concept of the demiurge as a grand architect or a great architect occurs in gnosticism as well as Hinduism; the concept of God as the Great Architect of the Universe has been used many times within Christianity. An illustration of God as the architect of the universe can be found in a Bible from the Middle Ages and the comparison of God to an architect has been used by Christian apologists and teachers. Thomas Aquinas said in the Summa: "God, Who is the first principle of all things, may be compared to things created as the architect is to things designed." Commentators have pointed out that the assertion that the Grand Architect of the Universe is the Christian God "is not evident on the basis of'natural theology' alone but requires an additional'leap of faith' based on the revelation of the Bible".
John Calvin, in his Institutes of the Christian Religion calls the Christian God "the Architect of the Universe" referring to his works as "Architecture of the Universe", in his commentary on Psalm 19 refers to the Christian God as the "Great Architect" or "Architect of the Universe". The concept of a Great Architect of the Universe occurs in Martinism. Martinist doctrine is. Martinists hold. In the Hindu mythology, Lord Vishvakarman is regarded as the “God of Architecture”, he is the supremo of perfection engineering. Viśhwákarma is the deity of the creative power that holds the universe together according to the Rigveda and is considered to be the original creator, divine engineer of the universe from before the advent of time the root concept of the Upanishadic figures of Brahman and Purusha in the historical Vedic religion. Hindu scriptures describe many of Vishwakarma's architectural accomplishments. Through the four yugas, he had built several palaces for the gods. Among them were, in chronological order, Svarga in the Satya Yuga, Lanka in the Treta Yuga, Dwarka in the Dwapara Yuga.
Masonic historians such as William Bissey Gary Leazer, S. Brent Morris, assert that "the Masonic abbreviation G. A. O. T. U. Meaning the Great Architect of the Universe, continues a long tradition of using an allegorical name for the Deity." They trace how the name and the abbreviation entered Masonic tradition from the Book of Constitutions written in 1723 by the Reverend James Anderson. They note that Anderson, a Calvinist minister took the term from Calvin's usage. Christopher Haffner's own explanation of how the Masonic concept of a Great Architect of the Universe, as a placeholder for the Supreme Being of one's choice, is given in Workman Unashamed: Now imagine me standing in lodge with my head bowed in prayer between Brother Mohammed Bokhary and Brother Arjun Melwani. To neither of them is the Great Architect of the Universe perceived as the Holy Trinity. To Brother Bokhary He has been revealed as Allah. Since I believe that there is only one God, I am confronted with three possibilities: They are praying to the devil whilst I am praying to God.
The Swedish Rite, which has the prerequisite of professing to Christian Faith, uses the form "The Threefold Great Architect of the Universe". The Great Architect may be a metaphor alluding to the godhead potentiality of every individual. "... That invisible power which all know does exist, but understood by many different names, such as God, Supreme Being, Mind, Nature and so forth." In Hermeticism and every person has the potential to become God, this idea or concept of God is perceived as internal rather than external. The Great Architect is an allusion to the observer created universe. We create our own reality. Another way would be to say. In Max Heindel's exposition, the Great Architect of the Universe is the Supreme Being, who proceeds from The Absolute, at the dawn of manifestation; the concept of the Great Architect of the Universe occurs in Gnosticism. The demiurge is the Great Architect of the Universe, the God of Old Testament, in opposition to Christ and Sophia, messengers of Gnosis of the True God.
For example: Gnostics such as the Nasoræans believe the Pira Rabba is the source and container of all things, filled by the Mânâ Rabbâ, the Great Spirit, from which emanates the First Life. The First Life prays for companionship and progeny, whereupon the Second Life, the Ultra Mkayyema or World-constituting Æon, the Architect of the Universe, comes into being. From this architect come a number of æons, who erect the universe under the foremanship of the Mandâ d'Hayye or gnôsis zoês, the Personified Knowledge of Life. James Hopwood Jeans, in his book The Mysterious Universe employs the concept of a Great Architect of the Universe, saying at one point "Lapsing back again into the crudely anthropomorphic language we hav