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Etymology of the English word God

What is an etymology? Etymology is the history of a linguistic form (such as a word) shown by tracing its development since its earliest recorded occurrence in the language where it is found, by tracing its transmission from one language to another, by analyzing it into its component parts, by identifying its cognates in other languages, or by tracing it and its cognates to a common ancestral form in an ancestral language. In simple terms, etymology is an explanation of where a word came from: the history of a word. So when we ask what is the etymology of the English word God, we are asking for an explanation of where the word God came from, or what is the history of the English word God.

Many different Christian sources choose to state the following as their etymology for the English God:

The English word God is identical with the Anglo-Saxon word for "good," and therefore it is believed that the name God refers to the divine goodness. (See Oehler's Theol. of Old Test.; Strong's and Young's concordances.) (From New Unger's Bible Dictionary) (Originally published by Moody Press of Chicago, Illinois. Copyright (C) 1988.)

All Christians profess belief in the Bible, it is as they claim "The Word of God". Curious however, the word "God" never appears in any of the original languages of the Bible. In the Hebrew (Ibriy) language which makes up the entirety of what many Christians refer to as the "Old Testament", the words El el, Elohiym elohiym, and Eloah eloah are used, and in the Greek and Aramaic text, what many Christians call the "New Testament", the words Ho Theos, or Ho Kurios are used.

In the King James Version (KJV) also known as the authorized version, the word God appears in the very first sentence of the bible.

Genesis 1:1 In the beginning GodH430 created the heaven and the earth. KJV

The number which follows the word God in the verse above is from the Strong's Hebrew and Greek Dictionary. When we look up the corresponding word in Strong's dictionary we find that H430 is the Hebrew word אֱלֹהִים 'ĕlôhı̂ym pronounced (el-o-heem'). It is the Plural of H433; gods in the ordinary sense; but specifically used (in the plural thus, especially with the article) of the supreme God; occasionally applied by way of deference to magistrates; and sometimes as a superlative: - angels, X exceeding, God (gods) (-dess, -ly), X (very) great, judges, X mighty. The Hebrew word אֱלֹהִים 'ĕlôhı̂ym has been translated as God in the KJV 2,601 times.

As H430 is the Plural of H433, we should investigate it as well:

H433 in Strong's is אֱלֹהַּ אֱלוֹהַּ 'ĕlôahh 'ĕlôahh (el-o'-ah, el-o'-ah)

(The second form is rare); probably prolonged (emphatically) from H410; a deity or the deity: - God, god. See H430. Total KJV occurrences: 57

Strong's informs us that the word H433 comes from H410 אֵל 'êl (ale), Shortened from H352; strength; as adjective mighty; especially the Almighty (but used also of any deity): - God (god), X goodly, X great, idol, might (-y one), power, strong. Compare names in "-el." Total KJV occurrences: 242

From Strong's Hebrew and Greek Dictionary, we have not only learned the three Ibriy (Hebrew) words that have been translated into English as either God or god, but it has also been revealed that these three words can refer not only to the Almighty Creator, but to others as well. The Ibriy word 'ĕlôhı̂ym can be in regard to gods in the ordinary sense (pagan gods), occasionally applied by way of deference to magistrates; and sometimes as a superlative: - angels. The Ibriy word 'ĕlôahh refers to a deity or the deity: - god (pagan gods) or God. The Ibriy word 'êl is perhaps the most telling as it is defined as strength; as adjective mighty; especially the Almighty (but used also of any deity), and goes on to include great, idol, might (-y one), power, strong.

In the KJV Bible, all of these three Ibriy words have been translated into English as either God (when the Creator is meant) or god (when a pagan or false god is implied). Yet from Strong's dictionary we have learned that these three words in the original Ibriy language could have been used to describe many other things such as; magistrates and judges, angels (messengers), and idols.

In the portion of the KJV Bible which Christians call the "New Testament" the word God first appears in the book of Matthew:

Mat 1:23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God G2316 with us. KJV

Once again turning to Strong's we learn that the word which corresponds with G2316 is θεός theos (theh'-os) Of uncertain affinity; a deity, especially (with G3588) the supreme Divinity; figuratively a magistrate; by Hebraism very: - X exceeding, God, god [-ly, -ward].

Total KJV occurrences: 1343

Strong's indicates that the Greek word theos is defined as meaning a deity, but when used in combination with the word G3588 refers to the supreme Divinity. Looking up the word G3588, we find it is ὁ, ἡ, τό ho hē to (ho, hay, to) The masculine, feminine (second) and neuter (third) forms, in all their inflections; the definite article; the (sometimes to be supplied, at others omitted, in English idiom): - the, this, that, one, he, she, it, etc..

When theos is used in combination with the word ho, the result is ho-theos, literally "The Deity". Strong's reveals that the word G2316 theos can and does apply to any deity, but when used in conjunction with G3588, ho-theos, is specific to the supreme Divinity. Yet sometimes "ho" is to be supplied, at others omitted, in the English idiom? But why would the Greek word ho be omitted in some verses, where it is translated as God, if the specific meaning was of the Almighty?

The last word of interest found in the KJV is translated from the Greek word G2962 κύριος kurios (koo'-ree-os) From κῦρος kuros (supremacy); supreme in authority, that is, (as noun) controller; by implication Mr. (as a respectful title): - God, Lord, master, Sir.

Total KJV occurrences: 748

The Greek word kurios like theos is also used in combination with the word ho, resulting in the English translation as "The Lord" or "The LORD". The first instance this word is found in the KJV is in the book of Matthew:

Mat 22:44 The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool? KJV

Why does the English translation use both forms "The Lord" and "The LORD" in this verse?

The reason for this is contained in the preface of many English Bible translations, it is however unhappily not found in the KJV preface, so we must look elsewhere to see if we can find the reason.

The closet place we can find the reason for it in the KJV is in a New King James Version (NKJV) Word study on the Scripture verse of Exodus 3:15. The word study states:

Exodus 3 records one of the greatest revelations in the Old Testament: the personal name of God. The words translated God in our Bible [El, Elohim, Eloah] are not names, but the standard vocabulary for the Deity and even for false gods.

God told Moses His plan to use him in delivering the Israelites from Egyptian bondage, and Moses had asked whom He should tell the people had sent him. God answered Moses: "I AM WHO I AM." He told Moses to tell them the "I AM" had sent him, "the LORD God." "I AM" and "LORD" are both probably derived from the Hebrew verb to be (hayah) because God is the ever-present One, "the Eternal" (Moffatt translation).

So here we have what the NKJV word study author is describing as " one of the greatest revelations in the Old Testament: the personal name of God". Further, he goes on to say " The words translated God in our Bible [El, Elohim, Eloah] are not names, but the standard vocabulary for the Deity and even for false gods." This confirms what I wrote above about what Ibriy words were translated as God or god in our Bible.

A great many people are puzzled that in Exodus 3:15 and many other passages (almost seven thousand), most English Bibles have changed the personal name of our Creator to read "the LORD" in all capitals (e.g., KJV, NKJV, NIV). Some other translations attempt to use the personal name, and have chosen to use "Jehovah" (ASV, DARBY), "Yahweh" (Jerusalem Bible), and "Yahuwah" (Restored Names Version). Why such a radical difference? Do the original manuscripts from which these Bibles where translated from vary that much? No they do not! The name of our Creator, YHWH (known as the Tetragrammaton - Greek for four letters) is a study all unto itself, and as such we have articles which go into great detail on the subject. Please see our article From Lord to Yahuwah.

But why was the personal name of our Creator changed to read LORD in all capitals, especially when it was used in the original manuscripts so many times? The reason for this has its beginnings in what is commonly called the "Ten Commandments" where the giver forbid taking His name "in vain", that is, to not bear false witness in oaths using His name. Out of fear of violating this command, devout followers went beyond the given law. Therefore when they would read the Ibriy Scriptures aloud they would choose to replace His sacred name and use the word "ha Shem" (meaning the Name) instead. So out of fear a man made tradition was born, and that tradition has been carried over into the majority of our English versions of the Sacred Scriptures.

We can find the reasoning behind replacing the four letters YHWH our Creators name, better explained in the prefaces of other versions of scripture:

New International Version - NIV Preface
"In regard to the divine name YHWH, commonly referred to as the Tetragrammaton, the translators adopted the device used in most English versions.....of rendering that name as "LORD" in capital letters to distinguish it from adonai, another Hebrew word rendered "Lord" for which small letters are used.

Today's English Version - TEV Preface
Following an ancient tradition, begun by the first translation of the Hebrew Scriptures (the Septuagint) and followed by the vast majority of English translations, the distinctive Hebrew name for God (usually transliterated Jehovah, Yahweh), is in this translation represented by "LORD." When Adonai, normally translated "Lord," occurs preposed to Yahweh, the combination is rendered by the phrase "Sovereign LORD."

Revised English Version - REV Introduction to the Old Testament
The divine name (YHWH in Hebrew characters) was probably pronounced 'Yahweh', but the name was regarded as ineffable, too sacred to be pronounced.

American Standard Version - ASV Preface
"I. The change first proposed in the Appendix --- that which substitutes "Jehovah" for "LORD" and "GOD" (printed in small capitals) --- is one which will be unwelcome by many, because of the frequency and familiarity of the terms displaced. But the American Revisers, after a careful consideration, were brought to the unanimous conviction that a Jewish superstition, which regarded the Divine Name as too sacred to be uttered, ought no longer to dominate....

Revised Standard Version - RSV Preface
"A major departure from the practice of the American Standard Version is the rendering of the Divine Name, the "Tetragrammaton." The American Standard Version used the term "Jehovah"; the King James Version had employed this in four places, but everywhere else, except in three cases where it was employed as part of a proper name, used the English word LORD (or in certain cases GOD) printed in capitals. The present revision returns to the procedure of the King James Version, which follows the precedent of the ancient Greek and Latin translators and the long established practice in the reading of the Hebrew scriptures in the synagogue.

To the four consonants YHWH of the Name, which had come to be regarded as too sacred to be pronounced, they attached vowel signs indicating that in its place should be read the Hebrew word Adonai meaning "Lord" (or Elohim meaning "God"). The ancient Greek translators substituted the word Kyrios (Lord) for the Name. The Vulgate likewise used the Latin word Dominus. The form "Jehovah" is of late medieval origin; it is a combination of the consonants of the Divine Name and the vowels attached to it by the Masoretes but belonging to an entirely different word. The sound of Y is represented by J and the sound of W by V, as in Latin.

For two reasons the Committee has returned to the more familiar usage of the King James Version: (1) the word "Jehovah" does not accurately present any form of the Name ever used in Hebrew; and (2) the use of any proper name for the one and only God, as though there were other gods from whom He had to be distinguished, was discontinued in Judaism before the Christian era and is entirely inappropriate for the universal faith of the Christian Church."

From these preface's we can see that in the majority of modern English translations, the primary reasoning for replacing the name of YHWH with some other word is because of 'tradition'. For more on this, please read our article Names and Their Importance.

Okay, let us get back to the purpose of this article, and that is to identify where the English word God actually came from. We have already learned that it was not used in any of the original languages of Scripture, so where then did it come? Let us turn to some online sources to look for the answer.

Wikipedia
The English word God is a continuation of the Old English God (guþ, gudis in Gothic, gud in modern Scandinavian, God in Dutch, and Gott in modern German), which is derived from Proto-Germanic ǥuđán. The earliest written form of the Germanic word god comes from the 6th century Christian Codex Argenteus. But can Wikipedia really be trusted? Lets look at some other sources.

READER’S DIGEST
Word origin: God - Our word god goes back via Germanic to Indo-European, in which a corresponding ancestor form meant "invoked one." The word’s only surviving non-Germanic relative is Sanskrit hu, invoke the gods, a form which appears in the Rig Veda, most ancient of Hindu scriptures: puru-hutas, "much invoked," epithet of the rain-and-thunder god Indra. (From READER’S DIGEST, Family Word Finder, page 351) (Originally published by The Reader’s Digest Association, Inc., Pleasantville New York, Montreal; Copyright (C) 1975)

Webster's 1913 Dictionary
\God\ (g[o^]d), n. [AS. god; akin to OS. & D. god, OHG. got, G. gott, Icel. gu[eth], go[eth], Sw. & Dan. gud, Goth. gup, prob. orig. a p. p. from a root appearing in Skr. h[=u], p. p. h[=u]ta, to call upon, invoke, implore. [root]30. Cf. {Goodbye}, {Gospel}, {Gossip}.]

The Online Etymology Dictionary
Old English god "supreme being, deity; the Christian God; image of a god; godlike person," from Proto-Germanic *guthan (source also of Old Saxon, Old Frisian, Dutch god, Old High German got, German Gott, Old Norse guð, Gothic guþ), from PIE *ghut- "that which is invoked" (source also of Old Church Slavonic zovo "to call," Sanskrit huta- "invoked," an epithet of Indra), from root *gheu(e)- "to call, invoke."

But some trace it to PIE *ghu-to- "poured," from root *gheu- "to pour, pour a libation" (source of Greek khein "to pour," also in the phrase khute gaia "poured earth," referring to a burial mound; see found (v.2)). "Given the Greek facts, the Germanic form may have referred in the first instance to the spirit immanent in a burial mound" [Watkins]. See also Zeus. In either case, not related to good.

Popular etymology has long derived God from good; but a comparison of the forms shows this to be an error. Moreover, the notion of goodness is not conspicuous in the heathen conception of deity, and in good itself the ethical sense is comparatively late. [Century Dictionary, 1902]

Catholic Encyclopedia:
(Anglo-Saxon God; German Gott; akin to Persian khoda ...).

God can variously be defined as: the proper name of the one Supreme and Infinite Personal Being, the Creator and Ruler of the universe, to whom man owes obedience and worship; the common or generic name of the several supposed beings to whom, in polytheistic religions, Divine attributes are ascribed and Divine worship rendered; the name sometimes applied to an idol as the image or dwelling-place of a god.

The root-meaning of the name (from Gothic root gheu; Sanskrit hub or emu, "to invoke or to sacrifice to") is either "the one invoked" or "the one sacrificed to." From different Indo-Germanic roots (div, "to shine" or "give light"; thes in thessasthai "to implore") come the Indo-Iranian deva, Sanskrit dyaus (gen. divas), Latin deus, Greek theos, Irish and Gaelic dia, all of which are generic names; also Greek Zeus (gen. Dios, Latin Jupiter (jovpater), Old Teutonic Tiu or Tiw (surviving in Tuesday), Latin Janus, Diana, and other proper names of pagan deities. The common name most widely used in Semitic occurs as 'el in Hebrew, 'ilu in Babylonian, 'ilah in Arabic, etc.; and though scholars are not agreed on the point, the root-meaning most probably is "the strong or mighty one."

I must point out here that while the Catholic Encyclopedia makes the claim that "God can variously be defined as: the proper name of the one Supreme and Infinite Personal Being, the Creator and Ruler of the universe, to whom man owes obedience and worship" THE WORD GOD IS NOT THE PROPER NAME OF OUR CREATOR! Even the Catholic's do not believe that the word God is the name of the Creator, as they also have chosen to replace His name YHWH (YaHuWaH pronounced Yah-Hoo-WAH! with emphasis on the last syllable) with the English "the LORD" in all capitals in their Catholic Bible.

Unhappily the exact etymology of the English word God, where the definition of etymology is defined as: tracing its development since its earliest recorded occurrence in the language where it is found, by tracing its transmission from one language to another, by analyzing it into its component parts, by identifying its cognates in other languages, can not be completely identified. However, what we do know for certain is that the English word God can be traced to a common ancestral form in an ancestral language, additionally that many believe the English word God to be a relatively new European invention. Further, it is a fact that the English word God was never used in any of the original ancient Judaeo-Christian Scripture manuscripts.

It is also of interest and important to note, that everyone of the sources I have listed above do have a common thread, that is regardless of whether the English word God came from the Proto-Germanic ǥuđán, gad, or guthan, or from the Old High German got, or the more modern German Gott, the English word of God most certainly has at its base a Germanic origin.

Etymology of Proto-Germanic ǥuđán and guthan
We must remember that the Old High German got, or the more modern German Gott, have as their basis the Proto-Germanic *ǥuđán and its etymology is uncertain. However, it is generally agreed that it derives from a Proto-Indo-European neuter passive perfect participle *ǵʰu-tó-m. This form within (late) Proto-Indo-European itself was possibly ambiguous, and thought to derive from a root *ǵʰeu̯- "to pour, libate" (Sanskrit huta, see hotṛ), or from a root *ǵʰau̯- (*ǵʰeu̯h2-) "to call, to invoke" (Sanskrit hūta). Sanskrit hutį = "having been sacrificed", from the verb root hu = "sacrifice", but a slight shift in translation gives the meaning "one to whom sacrifices are made."

Depending on which possibility is preferred, the pre-Christian meaning of the Germanic term may either have been (in the "pouring" case) "libation" or "that which is libated upon, an idol" — or, as Watkins opines in the light of Greek χυτη γαια "poured earth" meaning "tumulus" (an ancient burial mound), "the Germanic form may have referred in the first instance to the spirit immanent in a burial mound" — or (in the "invoke" case) "invocation, prayer" (compare the meanings of Sanskrit brahman) or "that which is invoked".

The earliest uses of the word God in Germanic writing is often cited to be in the Gothic Bible or Wulfila Bible, which is the Christian Bible as translated by Wulfila (a.k.a. Bishop Ulfilas) into the Gothic language spoken by the Eastern Germanic, or Gothic, tribes. The oldest parts of the Gothic Bible, contained in the Codex Argenteus, is estimated to be from the fourth century. During the fourth century, the Goths were converted to Christianity, largely through the efforts of Bishop Ulfilas, who translated the Bible into the Gothic language in what is today's northern Bulgaria. The Gothic words guda and guþ in the Gothic Bible were the predecessors of the English word God.

During the third century, the Goths lived on the northeast border of the Roman Empire, in what is now Ukraine, Bulgaria and Romania. During the fourth century, the Goths were converted to Christianity, largely through the efforts of Bishop Wulfila (Ulfilas) translation, portions of which still survive. However, Gothic Christianity differed from Catholic and Orthodox doctrine as the Goths rejected the Holy Trinity. During the fifth century, the Goths overran parts of the Western Roman Empire, including Italy, southern France, and Spain. Gothic Christianity reigned in these areas for two centuries, before the re-establishment of the Catholic Church, and, in Spain, till the mass Gothic conversion to Catholicism in 589 AD.

There is yet one other possibility of where the English word God could have came from, which source is much older than the Proto-Germanic words, and in fact might even be the predecessor to them. The word or name of Gad (pronounced gawd or god) is found in the Ibriy portion of Scripture and many believe it to be the origin of our English word God.

Etymology of gad in Scripture
There are several sources we can turn to when researching the origin of the word gad.

Jewish Encyclopedia
Gad is the name of the god of fortune, found in Isa. lxv. 11, along with Meni, the name of the god of destiny. The passage refers to meals or feasts held by Hebrews in Babylonia in honor of these deities. Nothing is known of any Babylonian divinity of the name of Gad, but Aramean and Arabic equivalents show that the same god was honored among the other leading Semitic peoples. The root-verb means "to cut" or "to divide." Thence comes the idea of portioning out, which is also present in the word "Meni," the name of the kindred deity.

"Gad" is perhaps found also in Gen. xxx. 11, where the ketib reading means "by the help of Gad!" the exclamation of Leah at the birth of Zilpah's son. Indeed, it is quite possible that this narrative arises from a tradition connecting the tribal eponym with the Deity Himself. How wide-spread the cult of Gad, or Fortune, was in the old Canaanitish times may be inferred from the names "Baalgad," a city at the foot of Mount Hermon, and "Migdal-gad," in the territory of Judah. Compare also the proper names "Gaddi" and "Gaddiel" in the tribes of Manasseh and Zebulun (Num. xiii. 10, 11). At the same time it must not be supposed that Gad was always regarded as an independent deity. The name was doubtless originally an appellative, meaning "the power that allots." Hence any of the greater gods supposed to favor men might be thought of as the giver of good fortune and be worshiped under that appellative. It is possible that Jupiter may have been the "Gad" thus honored.Among the Arabs the planet Jupiter was called "the greater Fortune," while Venus was styled "the lesser Fortune." If the same usage prevailed in earlier Semitic days Meni should perhaps also be identified with Venus.

Gad, the god of fortune, is frequently invoked in Talmudic (magic) formulas of good will and wishes; for instance, in Shab. 67b ("Gad eno ella leshon 'abodat kokabim"; comp. Targ. Pseudo-Jonathan to Gen. xx. 10, 11). The name is often synonymous with "luck" (Yer. Ned. iv. 38d; Yer. Shab. xvi. 15d). Gad is the patron saint of a locality, a mountain (Ḥul. 40a), of an idol (Gen. R. lxiv.), a house, or the world (Gen. R. lxxi.). Hence "luck" may also be bad (Eccl. R. vii. 26). A couch or bed for this god of fortune is referred to in Ned. 56a.

Bibliography:
The commentaries of Delitzsch and Dillmann on Isa. lxv. 11;
Baethgen, Beiträge zur Semitischen Religionsgesch. pp. 76 et seq.;
Lagarde, Gesammelte Abhandlungen, p. 16;
idem, Symmicta, i. 87;
Pinches, in Hastings, Dict. Bible;
Cheyne, in Encyc. Bibl. s.v. Gad.

ENCYCLOPEDIA OF THE BIBLE
GAD (DEITY, A GOD) găd (גָּד, H1514; LXX Gen 30:11 τύχη, fortune, troop KJV; Isa 65:11 δαίμων, G1230, fortune RSV, that troop KJV). A god of fortune, or good luck, worshiped by certain Sem. peoples. He is usually mentioned with Meni, “Destiny.” Isaiah proclaimed that the worshipers of Gad and Meni would suffer judgment (Isa 65:11). Some scholars find a reference to this deity in Leah’s naming of her son Gad (Gen 30:11). The popularity of the worship of this god among the Canaanites is manifested by the place names, Baal-gad (Josh 11:17; cf. 12:7; 13:5) and Migdal-gad (Josh 15:37), and the personal names, Gaddi and Gaddiel (Num 13:10, 11). Gad has frequently been equated with the Babylonian god Marduk and with Jupiter.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
GAD (gadh, "fortune"):
A god of Good Luck, possibly the Hyades. The writer in Isaiah 65:11 (margin) pronounces a curse against such as are lured away to idolatry. The warning here, according to Cheyne, is specifically against the Samaritans, whom with their religion the Jews held in especial abhorrence. The charge would, however, apply just as well to superstitious and semi-pagan Jews. "But ye that forsake Yahweh, that forget my holy mountain, that prepare a table for Fortune, and that fill up mingled wine unto Destiny; I will destine you to the sword, and ye shall all bow down to the slaughter." There is a play upon words here: "Fill up mingled wine unto Destiny" (meni) and "I will destine manithi, i.e. portion out) you for the sword" (Isaiah 65:11,12). Gad and Meni mentioned here are two Syrian-deities (Cheyne, Book of the Prophet Isaiah, 198). Schurer (Gesch. d. jud. Volkes, II, 34 note, and bibliography) disputes the reference of the Greek (Tuche) cult to the Semitic Gad, tracing it rather to the Syrian "Astarte" worship. The custom was quite common among heathen peoples of spreading before the gods tables laden with food (compare Herod. i. 181, 183; Smith, Rel. of Semites, Lect X).

The question has also an astronomical interest. Arabic tradition styled the planet Jupiter the greater fortune, and Venus the lesser fortune. Jewish tradition identified Gad with the planet Jupiter, and it has been conjectured that Meni is to be identified with the planet Venus.

Strong's Concordance
gad: fortune, good fortune
Original Word: גָּד
Part of Speech: Noun Masculine
Transliteration: gad
Phonetic Spelling: (gawd)
Short Definition: fortunate

Strong's Exhaustive Concordance
troop
From guwd (in the sense of distributing); fortune -- troop.

NAS Exhaustive Concordance
Word Origin - perhaps of foreign origin
Definition - fortune, good fortune
NASB Translation - fortunate (1), fortune (1).

Brown-Driver-Briggs
II. [גַּד] 1. noun [masculine] fortune, good fortune (Arabic id., Aramaic גַּדָּא, ) — Genesis 30:11 בּגד Kt, i.e. בְּגָד (בָּא גָד֑ Qr), ᵐ5 ἐν τύχῃ, by or with good fortune.

2. proper name, masculine god of fortune (Arabic WeSkizzen iii. 171; גד named often in Phoenician & Aramaic inscriptions, & found in Phoenician & Aramaic proper name, BaeRel 76 f. NöZMG 1888, 479; see especially SiegfJPTh 1875, 356 ff.) — with לְ + article לַגַּד Isaiah 65:11 compare Che.

From GAD to GOD
From the sources above, it can be clearly deduced that Gad was indeed the name of the god of fortune, a pagan deity.

An end-time prophecy is given in Isa. 65:11 warning of an apostasy:
"And you are those who forsake Yahuwah, who forget My sacred mountain, who arrange a table for God and who fill mixed wine for Meniy." Restored Names Version

But you are those who forsake Yahweh ... who prepare a table for Gad, and who furnish a drink offering for Meni." - Revised Authorised Version.
But ye are they that forsake the LORD, that forget my holy mountain, that prepare a table for that troop, and that furnish the drink offering unto that number. King James Version

But you are those who forsake Jehovah, who forget My holy mountain; who array a table for Fortune, and who fill mixed wine for Fate. King James 3 - The Literal Version

All of the commentators agree that Gad is a pagan deity, and Gad is written in the Ibriy as GD, but the Massoretes afterwards applied their vowel pointing to it, adding an "a", to give us "Gad". However, we find other references in Scripture to a similar deity, if not the same one, also spelt GD in the Ibriy text but this time vowel - pointed to read "Gawd" or "God", in Jos. 11:17, 12:7, 13:5, where we find: "Baal-Gawd" or "Baal-God", (some translated as Baal-Gad). Astrologers identified Gad with Jupiter, the Sky-deity and/or the Sun-deity, as do others testify of "Gad" being the Sun-deity:

Rev. Alexander Hislop wrote, "There is reason to believe that Gad refers to the Sun-god ... The name Gad ... is applicable to Nimrod, whose general character was that of a Sun-god ... Thus then, if Gad was the 'Sun divinity', Meni was very naturally regarded as 'The Lord Moon.' "

Keil and Delitzsch, Commentaries on the "Old Testament", comments on Isa. 65:11, "There can be no doubt, therefore, that Gad, the god of good fortune, ... is Baal (Bel) as the god of good fortune. ... this is the deified planet Jupiter ... Gad is Jupiter ... Mene is Dea Luna ...

Rosenmuller traces back the Scriptural rendering to this Egyptian-Babylonian view, according to which Gad is the sun-god, and Meni the lunar goddess as the power of fate." Isa. 65:11 tells us then that Yahweh 's people have forsaken Him and in the end-time are found to be serving Gad, the Sun-deity of "Good Luck", and Meni, the Moon-deity of "Destiny".

As pointed out above, this Gad (GD with an "a" vowel pointing) is probably the same deity as we read of in the book of Yahushua (Joshua), GD with the Masorete vowel pointing of "aw" or "o". It could well be that the GD of Isa. 65:11 is the same as the "Gawd" or "God" of the book of Yahushua.

So just how and when did this title or name become adopted into our modern English language?

Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th edition, says, "GOD - the common Teutonic word for a personal object of religious worship ... applied to all those superhuman beings of the heathen mythologies. The word 'god' on the conversion of the Teutonic races to Christianity was adopted as the name of the one Supreme Being ...."

Webster's Twentieth Century Dictionary, Unabridged, 1st edition, says, "The word is common to Teutonic tongues ... It was applied to heathen deities and later, when the Teutonic peoples were converted to Christianity, the word was elevated to the Christian sense."

James Hastings, Encyclopaedia of Religion and Ethics, vol. 6, p. 302, reads, "After the conversion of the Teutons to Christianity the word came to be applied also to the Christian Deity .."

So it seems that God is a Teutonic word, but who were the Teutons? The Teutons (Latin: Teutones, Teutoni) were a Germanic or Celtic tribe originally living in Scandinavia. However, the broad term, Teutonic or Teuton in particular, is now used to identify members of any people who spoke any language of the Germanic branch of the Indo-European language family.

Conclusion
What we have learned about the English word God:

Yahuwah commanded us that we should not use idols or names of pagan deities:

Deu 12:3 And you will pull down their altars, break their pillars, and burn their groves with fire. You will cut down the images of their eloah and their names will perish from that place.

Deu 12:4 You will not worship Yahuwah your Eloah with such things

Yahuwah warned us of false prophets who lie trying to make His followers forget His name and use " the Lord" in its place:

Jer 23:26 How long will this be in the heart of the prophets who prophesy lies and are prophets of the deceit of their own heart

Jer 23:27 who try to make My people forget My name by their dreams that everyone tells his neighbor as their fathers forgot My name for the Lord?

The evidence is overwhelming as to the origin of the English word God and to what its meaning is. Therefore we should not use this English word God if we truly love our Creator and desire to worship Him in spirit and truth.

Act 4:12 And there is not salvation in any other, for there is no other name under the sky given among men by which we must be saved."

This article is intended to give you a good starting point, we have many very good articles which will help you, and we are always willing and happy to discuss this or other topics with you.

Craig Timmreck
http://www.considerthis.net
craig@considerthis.net