Not spelling out G-d's name. ?


I didn’t want to sidetrack another thread too much. A Catholic poster there doesn’t spell out G-O-D out of respect. I always thought this was an Orthodox Jewish custom and it seemed like an odd one. This poster said that he considers it more respectful. Maybe he’ll come here and explain more.


I know an Anglican woman (she converted away from Catholic) who does this as well. I’ve never quite understood the practice myself, so I would be interested to hear from them also.



We already know their good intention about not having something with the word God being thrown to trash, etc…however, if one writes G-d to refer to “God”, to tell everybody that when he says “G-d” he really means “God”… then what is the difference? :slight_smile:


It does seem a little silly to me. No big deal, but why not just spell the whole thing out? It also draws attention to yourself on an internet forum, and it’s totally not a Catholic practice, so why would a Catholic do it.


God, nevermind G-d, isn’t God’s name.

One of the reasons, despite being Jewish, I don’t see the point.


Right, that’s another point. I heard that God’s name is secret and no one would say it. So they used the substitute name of Yaweh. Is that true?


I know Friends who also do this…it always is a reminder to them to hold the Name Sacred…and to always remember the One of Whom they speak…it is a “devotion”…for them a constant reminder to remember the Name above all names.


God’s ‘nature’ is really unknowable (beyond the little we are capable of deducing) and so God’s name is unknowable so there’s a whole host of attribute titles needed to deal with God’s presence in our lives - YHVH, Ha-Shem, Elohim, Adonai, El, Shaddai . . . . and on and on.

Well, that’s my explanation here’s another:


I think PXl was used to write the Name of God, because Gods name was considered too Holy to say, but now that has been changed, probably because the word became flesh, I can’t be sure.

Lets just say " I AM " :thumbsup:

Our I AM who art in Heaven… umm it just doesn’t feel right.


Thanks, very interesting. From the page you gave:

*Judaism does not prohibit writing the Name of God per se; it prohibits only erasing or defacing a Name of God. However, observant Jews avoid writing any Name of God casually because of the risk that the written Name might later be defaced, obliterated or destroyed accidentally or by one who does not know better.

The commandment not to erase or deface the name of God comes from Deut. 12:3. In that passage, the people are commanded that when they take over the promised land, they should destroy all things related to the idolatrous religions of that region, and should utterly destroy the names of the local deities. Immediately afterwards, we are commanded not to do the same to our God. From this, the rabbis inferred that we are commanded not to destroy any holy thing, and not to erase or deface a Name of God.

It is worth noting that this prohibition against erasing or defacing Names of God applies only to Names that are written in some kind of permanent form, and recent rabbinical decisions have held that writing on a computer is not a permanent form, thus it is not a violation to type God’s Name into a computer and then backspace over it or cut and paste it, or copy and delete files with God’s Name in them. However, once you print the document out, it becomes a permanent form. That is why observant Jews avoid writing a Name of God on web sites like this one or in newsgroup messages: because there is a risk that someone else will print it out and deface it. *


I am busy today or else I would have chimed in sooner.

I’m not sure what else I could say beyond what I have said. Mostly it is out of the respect to the Creator for the reasons mentioned here already.

Another reason I do so is, as I posted before is to differentiate between the many ideas of God, particularly in the written form. It makes a difference to me, which is why I said it was a personal thing.

Are the Hindu gods the same as the God of Abraham? No.

Is the Christian G-d the same as the Jewish God? Not according to the Jews since they do not recognize Jesus.

Similarly the Islamic god Allah; Muslims differentiate Him by denying Christ and distorting what most of the earlier Prophets say about the God of Abraham.

I do not recognize Allah as just another name for God, but in reality was only one of many idol gods in pre-Ilsamic Arabia. To say Allah is God would be to give creedence to that faith, that faith does not desrve. I admit (finallly), whom they pray to is the God of Abraham, but they do so with an understanding of only a god described to them by a false or non-prophet person Muhammed.

I think the God of Abraham manifested Himself in a unique way in Jesus Christ. Again, on a purely personal level with the element of respect of old, I write G-d, and not just God because of the difference in understanding between Jews and Christians about Him.

Did Joseph Smith reveal wisdom about god, God, or G-d?
Do Baptists worship God or G-d?
Is the Great Spirit (American Indians) God or god?
Jehovah’s Witnesses worship who?

What god do you worship?


No. The divine name revealed to Moses was YHWH, which we render as Yahweh, and which the Jews never pronounced, out of respect for the name. In speech, they substituted Elohim, which means, “Lord.”


Goodness, the poster in question already explained it in the other thread, very well, I would add.

You “calling him out” as it were is drawing more attention to the person than what he ever did in any of his posts.

I, for one, find it a lovely and harmless practice that seems to be more of a personal expression of respect for God than anything else. If questioned about it, the poster responds clearly and without irritation- which is more than I can say for myself in regards to this thread.

And, as to trying to not draw attention to oneself on an internet forum, why not go after every person with a signature quote/picture/flashy smilie? Some people here (myself included) have signature files so attention-grabbing they take up half a screen.

Your reason for this thread seems disingenuous at best.


I thought that Elohim referred to God in his aspect as “creator” and Yahweh in his aspect as “covenant father”.



So purposely misspelling somebody’s name is OK?



I’m not sure about the derivation of Elohim. Perhaps someone else has a definitive answer to that. It is true though, that Yahweh, or as recorded in the OT scriptures: YHWH, is the name God gave to Moses when Moses asked for his name. ‘Yahweh’ as far as I know, does not mean covenant father; it does have the meaning of “I AM Who AM.”


I don’t really see this as harmless for Catholics. I wouldn’t say is’t grave sin or anything, either; but I do think there are 2 potentials for harm.

1st in misleading oneself.
2nd in mislesding others.

For Jews to use G-d or YHWH, that likely is respectful…but God came down to earth and gave us His name. But new testament events reveal a greater relationship with God.

Christians who acknowledge Jesus should accept the kinship God requests. He told us what to call Him, so it seems that G-d and YHWH in place of God, Jesus, Abba, I AM, or any of the names He’s given us really creates a measure of distance that God ment to eliminate.

It’s like me as a southern boy going north. I called my girlfriends dad Mr. Pat. He smiled and said, “No, just call me Pat.” Well…I’ll tell you it’s hard, it sounds insulting to me. Like I’m pulling him down to my level, but failing to be obedient to his request would seem the greater insult.

How much more should we be obedient to God when He says call me Father, Abba, Jesus, etc…?


“Elohim” is the plural form of “El”, meaning “God”. The plural (“Gods” literally) is meant to enhance the meaning. The tetragrammaton YHWH is not pronounced because it is short for “I am who I am”, and vowels were not added to old Hebrew texts, so the “acronym” could be pronounced “Yahweh” or “Yehova”, there is no consensus. Actually, when reading the OT out loud in Hebrew, it is customary to pronounce YHWH as “Adonai”. “Adonai” means “lord” and shares its origin with the Greek Adonis.


In truth, God doesn’t have a name. Names are a human concept.


Isn’t I AM an Old Testament reference? When Christ used the phrase, it was in reference to Hebrew scriptures. It was not a new, revolutionary title, like calling God “Abba” was.

And I wouldn’t speculate on the “distance” that writing G-d creates in the heart of the person the OP was refering to. If you find that it creates distance in your heart, don’t use it. However, I find this whole thread silly, telling someone that a perfectly harmless- yes harmless- show of personal respect isn’t “correct”.

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