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January 14, 2020

Does God Have Body Parts?

by imikemedia

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IT IS A $100 word.

Anthropomorphism.

It is difficult to enunciate; it is even more challenging to understand.

The word is a combination of the Greek anothropos, meaning human and morphe, meaning form.

Anthropomorphic language represents God having human form or characteristics.

For instance, the Bible says:

Do these passages tell us that God possesses physical features? No.

Jesus said, “God is Spirit” (John 4:24), and as such, He is not a partaker of flesh and blood as we are.

Here are two helpful things to remember whenever you come across anthropomorphic language in your study of the Scriptures:

1. Anthropomorphic language typically informs readers of something God has done or is doing.

2. Anthropomorphic language speaks of God as though He were a man in order to help us, on some limited level, to comprehend deity (cf. Psalm 50:21Isaiah 55:9).

Bernard Ramm, in his book, Protestant Biblical Interpretation, observes:

“Holy Scripture is the truth of God accommodated to the human mind so that the human mind can assimilate it. Through such accommodation the truth of God can get through to man and be a meaningful revelation. Stated another way, revelation must have an anthropomorphic character.”

Contemporary writer R.B. Thieme says similarly:

“For the sake of clarity…when describing the character and function of infinite God, the Bible often resorts to language of accommodation. In other words, to make certain that His thoughts, policies, decisions, and actions are lucidly explained, God takes into account our inherent limitations and basic ignorance. He graciously describes Himself as having human feelings, human passions, human thoughts, human anatomy-even human sins-in order to communicate things to us for which otherwise we would have no frame of reference.”

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