Judeo-Christian Concepts of God

courtleigh's version from 2015-05-05 21:47

Section 1

Question Answer
What is God believed to have done- what does that make him?Created absolutely everything- including the universe itself. Thus the attribute of God as a creator comes about.
Apostle's creed God the creator quote I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and Earth”- Apostles’ Creed
Evidence in the Bible for God being the creator- Genesis 1:1 and Isaiah 64:8“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth”- Genesis 1:1 “Yet you, Lord, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.”- Isaiah 64:8
What does it mean for God to be a creator? God causes the universe to exist; God is responsible for the universe coming into existence and existing at every moment God is responsible for everything which exists within the universe.
What do most people believe it is meant when we call God the creator? Most people believe that when we call God the creator, we are referring to God being responsible for there being any universe in the first place. This includes the natural laws of science
What problems does God being a creator of everything create?However it can be argued that God therefore created evil, rape, guns etc. Generally this is refuted with the free will defense i.e. God gave us free will, so we can do whatever we want e.g. rape, if God were to use his omnipotence to intervene then we would not have free will, therefore he does not intervene.
What parts of creation do some scientists refute and why?Some scientists refute the idea that a God created the natural laws of/in the universe (this is not arguing against God creating the universe itself) because science has provided us with theories that explain why the universe acts in that certain way without the need of a God e.g. evolution
Genesis 1:2 “Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters”
Regarding Genesis 1:2 what does Spirit of God mean- what does this then imply?Spirit of God is sometimes translated as breath of God, giving the impression of God breathing life into our world- it is done effortlessly (a sign of omnipotence)
Isaiah 40:22“It is He that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers"
What does Isaiah 40 show? Describes God as watching over creation; people are compared to grasshoppers in the sight of God. Can see here that God is completely in control of his creation and is the creator of every second of every day etc. God is completely in control of his creation- an important aspect in Judaism & Christianity.
Job 38:4“Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? Declare, if thou hast understanding.”
What does Job 38:4 show?Designed the earth, decided its dimensions, and supported the pillars by which it stands. (Also seen in Job 38).
Genesis 2:7 “Then the LORD God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.”
Genesis 1:27"So God created mankind in his own image"
What does Genesis 2:7 and 1:27 show about God This once again shows God as creating something, almost like a craftsman. Adam was also shown to be made in the image of God – “So God created man in His own image”- Genesis 1:27 portraying God with almost human characteristics- his nature is anthropomorphic.
What does the Bible assume about God? (Libby Ahluwalia quote) In the Bible, God being the creator of the world is assumed. There is “no attempt made to justify this belief” (L Ahluwalia) Biblical writers instead show the different ways they understood creation to have happened, where God actually interacts with the world.
How does the Xtian concept of God contrast w/ the Greek one/ contrasting with the Greek concepts of God. For example Plato’s demiurge that is seen to have created the world from preexisting materials and Aristotle’s Prime Mover who creates motion in the world by attracting everything towards itself and remaining unaware.

Section 2

Question Answer
What is a fundamental aspect of Judeo-Christian creation beliefA fundamental aspect of Judeo-Christian belief is that God created the world out of nothing (creatio ex nihilo)
What does Job 38:4 show about God creating the universe from nothingThis is where this idea has come from, the foundations are the most basic structure of any building, and without them, there will not be a house.
Genesis 1:2 and what can it be used to argue?“And the earth was without form and void. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.”- Genesis 1:2
it can be argued that God did not create the world, but from pre-existing matter
What do people conclude from Genesis 1:2 about jewish belief and creatio ex nihilooNot Jewish; Christian idea
What does creatio ex nihilo seem to be a reaction to? Gnosticism (the belief the all matter and material is evil)- if this were true then God’s creation is not good (will explore later), thus to counter this it is concluded that God created everything from nothing, and as everything God creates is good, the matter etc. must also be goo
Augustine of Hippo, Confessions- quote on creation“Your World alone created”
When did the formal teaching of creatio ex nihilo come about + quote4th Lateran Council 1215
“Creator of all things... by His omnipotent power made from nothing creatures both spiritual and corporeal”

Section 3

Question Answer
In Genesis, what does everything God makes end with? Signifying his goodness?“God saw that it was good” (Genesis 1)
What does Genesis and "it was good" teach us about God?Therefore everything God makes is good- only an all-good being would make everything good- he is also good as he ensured that he didn't make anything bad.
How is the goodness of god demonstrated asThe goodness demonstrated by God in the bible is a scale against which all other objects are measured.
What goodness does God provide?However the God presented to us in the Bible is much more as to providing “an interactive sort of goodness” (L Ahluwalia) God is not an ideal which remains unaffected but God is a personality, which reacts to people.
How is God seen as Justhe sends the sinners to Hell (in Christian belief, not Jewish) and those who have repented to heaven (also a prominently Christian belief regarding repentance)
What does Genesis 2:17 show (+ quote)“But you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die”- Genesis 2:17 (God judges sin)
What is the Euthyphro dilemma is something good because God commands it, or does God command it because it is good? If so then good is greater than God.
Where does the concept of God being good come from?The idea of God being good arises from the concept that he is an all-perfect being- thus good must be a characteristic of this:
Lateran council (1215) quote on God's greatness“We firmly believe and openly confess that there is only one true God, eternal and immense"
How is God seen as a moral law giver, whose standards we must abide by?The Biblical God sets a standard for the people to follow and is a moral law giver § A good example of God showing his perfect moral ethics is when he gives Moses the 10 Commandments as the burning bush atop Mt Sinai. This is clearly demonstrated in Exodus 20. “Honour your father and your mother” (Exodus 20)
According to Jewish tradition, what is the relationship between humans and god based on? (Wilcockson quote)“a two way binding relationship based on Love” (Wilcockson
How does God expect people to respect his goodness?God expects people to respect his omnipresence with the fact that they should respond to his goodness “with obedience to his commands” (L Ahluwalia) e.g. Abraham sacrificing his son (almost)
Example of God being a perfect moral being Habakkuk 1:13Your eyes are too pure to look on evil” (Habakkuk 1:13)

Section 4

Question Answer
What does omnipotence mean?Literally translates to all powerful- can theoretically do whatever he wants
Henry Thiessen quote on God's omnipotence “God is all-powerful and able to do whatever he wills. Since his will is limited by his nature, God can do everything that is in harmony with his perfections.” –Henry Thiessen
Job 38:12 example of omnipotence“Have you commanded the morning since your days began, and caused the dawn to know its place”- Job 38:12- God governs the day and night; he is able to control the earth and its cycles.
Job 40:9 the bible constantly reminding us of God's power“Have you an arm like God, and can you thunder with a voice like his?”- Job 40:9
Isaiah 44:24 God's omnipotence in creation"This is what the LORD says—your Redeemer, who formed you in the womb: I am the LORD, the Maker of all things, who stretches out the heavens, who spreads out the earth by myself.” – Isaiah 44:24
Psalm 147:5 Great is our Lord and mighty in power; his understanding has no limit.”- Psalm 147:5
Hebrews 6:18“God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie”- Hebrews 6:18
what does Hebrews 6:18 show?it is important to remember than just because God can theoretically do anything, he cannot do something that is contradictory to his nature e.g. it is impossible for him to lie (he still does have the power to do anything
How have philosophers recently defined omnipotence of God?• Religious philosophers have ‘recently’ redefined it than God can do anything logically possible e.g. he cannot make a square triangle.


Question Answer
What does omniscience literally mean?All knowing
What do we mean when we attribute omniscience to God?Aware of everything that happens e.g. when Eve eats from the tree of knowledge
2 Samuel 11:27 example of God seeing all“But the thing that David had done was evil in the sight of the LORD.” 2 Samuel 11:27
God telling Job the extent of his knowledge e.g. knows celestial laws etc. Job 38:31-33"Do you know the ordinances of the heavens? Can you establish their rule on the earth?”-Job 38:31-33
Acts 15-18“Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world.”
Psalm 139:16 could be used for anti abortion“Your eyes have seen my unformed substance”- Psalm 139:16


Question Answer
What does omnipresence literally mean?All present
What does the idea of omnipresence refer to i.e. what do we mean when we attribute it to God?Refers to God being present throughout the whole of creation- linked with the idea of omnipotence; he is present throughout all of creation through all time. Also links in with the idea of God being responsible for everything that exists and continues to exist
How does the bible emphasise God's omnipresence?In the Bible God is shown as being transcendent in the form of the Creator, yet omnipresent and aware of what happens- emphasizing his omnipresence.
Jeremiah 23:24“Can a man hide himself in secret places so that I cannot see him? Declares the Lord. Do I not fill heaven and earth? Declares the Lord.”- Jeremiah 23:24
Proverbs 15:3 eyes are everywhere“The eyes of the Lord are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good.”- Proverbs 15:3
Jonah 1:15 example of God's omnipresence in Jonah and the WhaleA well known example of God’s omnipresence is when Jonah tries to run from God in the story of Jonah and the Whale, but of course being omnipresent, God knows where he is the whole time: “So they took up Jonah and cast him forth into the sea, and the sea ceased from her raging.”- Jonah 1:15

Human being's place in creation

Question Answer
What is the general belief about where humans stand in creationThe (general) Judeo-Christian belief is that human beings are at the top of the hierarchy of life.
Why do people believe we are where we are in the hierarchy? (Psalm 8:5-6)Man was the last creation of God and was made in his image (Genesis) and thus we share divine likeliness “For Thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honor. Thou hast made him to have dominion over the works of Thy hands; Thou hast put all things under his feet.”- Psalm 8:5-6.
What was there intially during creation, and what did humans cause to happeninitially there was harmony in creation e.g. Garden of Eden, however humans’ disobedience towards God has caused disharmony (Genesis 2-3)

Yahweh and aritotle's prime mover

Question Answer
What did Aristotle believe in?A god but not Yahweh- he believed in the Prime Mover
How long did Aristotle believe the prime mover has existed for?believed that the Prime Mover has existed for eternity (backwards for an infinite amount of time and forwards for an infinite amount of time)
How is the Prime Mover unchangingAristotle believed that as the Prime Mover is unchanging, it can only contemplate itself as if it contemplated the universe then its knowledge would be changing (it is completely uninvolved in the universe).
What did Aristotle see god/ the prime mover as?• Aristotle saw God as the Final Cause- moving everything while being unmoved itself. Remember Bertrand Russell’s idea of a milk and a cat.s