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The Personification of God

Updated on December 27, 2013

If God is not a human being, why is he said to possess so many human qualities, emotions and humanlike traits? While it states in the Bible that God created man in his image, many people of the Abrahamic faiths commonly believe that God is, in fact, not human. So, why in the Bible and the Koran, are there so many references to God accrediting him with imperfect human traits?

The Bible and the Koran, though they are said to inspired by God and written by man, continuously seem to ruin God’s image of absolute perfection by attributing him with so many of humanity’s greatest behavioral faults, including jealousy, hatred and impatience, just to name a few.

One would be led to think that because God is perfect, as stated throughout the Bible and the Koran, he would not have allowed the human authors of his inspired word to portray him in such an imperfect way. And yet, several billion copies of these texts exist worldwide, and no doubt there is probably some theologically apologetic explanation for each one of these references.

My question however, is that if, as stated in these holy texts, God does possess these negative human qualities, how can God still be said to be perfect? A perfect being would have no need for jealousy, hatred and impatience. A truly perfect God that is omniscient and omnipotent would most likely be more accepting of basic human behavior because he would have been present with humanity from its conception, and would be well aware of all of our imperfections. Why would God set us up to fail to meet his expectations?

If our main goal in life is to be as Godlike as possible and our perceptions of God are shaded with these imperfections, how could we possibly meet God’s supposed expectations for our behavior? Is it possible that God is not perfect? Or is humanity so flawed that even our perceptions of God are skewed?

We may never know the answers to these questions, but if we didn't ask these questions and continue to live our lives based upon texts, whether inspired by God or not, that are filled with flaws because they were written by the hands of human beings, we would be living in sheer ignorance. People tend to perceive God as what they want them to be; as extensions of themselves. These perceptions of the nature of God, though most likely written with every good intention, attribute God with many humanlike, misconceived attributes that may or may not be accurate. It is important, that as we read through these religious texts, we consider that humanity is flawed, and that what we are reading is most likely is written based on the original author’s preconceived notions of the nature of God.


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    • Chad A Ramsdell profile image

      Chad A Ramsdell 6 years ago

      Quite a few great points made here. The two that were wrapped in one sentence was by far the most powerful for me "...they were written by the hands of human beings, we would be living in sheer ignorance. "

      1) History is written by the victorious usually those with the most power, money, influence, and greed; which as we all know to be the least of holy qualities.

      2) Taking someone's life or destroying a race in the name of God (IMHO) has been the most ignorant and disgusting misuse of power I have ever studied. Makes you question when faith was "commercialized for evil".

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 6 years ago

      You may have hit on something when you suggest that the authors wrote as they perceived God. Written in today's world perhaps the wording would be written differently. I believe as an individual becomes more aware of God and develops an intimate relationship (search the scriptures, meditate upon them, pray) with Him, he or she will discover the truths of His character.

    • AlexK2009 profile image

      AlexK2009 6 years ago from Edinburgh, Scotland

      Great points well made.

      It has been said man made God in his own image.

      Humans seem to want a God that is a better version of the parents they have

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 6 years ago from United Kingdom

      I've often wondered about this. In religion class God was always said to be perfect. A god of love, ready to forgive our sins. If so why, in the next breath, is God portrayed as a vengeful God? It's inexplicable contradictions like this that drove me away from organized religion.

      Good hub. Really make you thinks.

      Voted up and interesting.

    • CHyNCHyN profile image

      CHyNCHyN 6 years ago from Malaysia

      Please read Summa Theology by Thomas Aquinas

    • profile image

      Breen Bergstrome 6 years ago

      I have questions too. Considering all images of our Gods and Saints are artist-conceived, it seems imprudent to place so much emphasis on the physical attributes which perhaps, at least in Western perception, goes hand in hand with the spiritual ideal.

      If the soul is a living part of God the omnipresent, and God was to have ceated man in his own image perhaps that is more a referral to a divine holiness rather than mortal effects.