Godhead (Christianity)

Godhead (Christianity)

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Godhead is a Middle English
Middle English
Middle English is the stage in the history of the English language during the High and Late Middle Ages, or roughly during the four centuries between the late 11th and the late 15th century....

 variant of the word godhood, and denotes the Divine Nature
Ousia is the Ancient Greek noun formed on the feminine present participle of ; it is analogous to the English participle being, and the modern philosophy adjectival ontic...

 or Substance
Substance may refer to:*Chemical substance, a material with a definite chemical composition*Drug substance*Matter, the substance of which all physical objects are made*Substance theory, theory positing that a substance is distinct from its properties....

 of the Christian God
God in Christianity
In Christianity, God is the eternal being that created and preserves the universe. God is believed by most Christians to be immanent , while others believe the plan of redemption show he will be immanent later...

, or the Trinity
The Christian doctrine of the Trinity defines God as three divine persons : the Father, the Son , and the Holy Spirit. The three persons are distinct yet coexist in unity, and are co-equal, co-eternal and consubstantial . Put another way, the three persons of the Trinity are of one being...

. Within some traditions such as Mormonism
Mormonism is the religion practiced by Mormons, and is the predominant religious tradition of the Latter Day Saint movement. This movement was founded by Joseph Smith, Jr. beginning in the 1820s as a form of Christian primitivism. During the 1830s and 1840s, Mormonism gradually distinguished itself...

, the term is used as a nontrinitarian substitute for the term Trinity, denoting the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit not as a Trinity, but as a unified council of separate beings.

Appearance in English Bibles

The ending "-head", is not connected with the word "head". John Wycliffe
John Wycliffe
John Wycliffe was an English Scholastic philosopher, theologian, lay preacher, translator, reformer and university teacher who was known as an early dissident in the Roman Catholic Church during the 14th century. His followers were known as Lollards, a somewhat rebellious movement, which preached...

 introduced the term godhede into English Bible versions in two places, and, though somewhat archaic, the term survives in modern English because of its use in three places of the Tyndale New Testament (1525) and into the Authorized King James Version of the Bible
The Bible refers to any one of the collections of the primary religious texts of Judaism and Christianity. There is no common version of the Bible, as the individual books , their contents and their order vary among denominations...

 (1611). In that translation, the word was used to translate three different Greek
Koine Greek
Koine Greek is the universal dialect of the Greek language spoken throughout post-Classical antiquity , developing from the Attic dialect, with admixture of elements especially from Ionic....

Verse Greek Romanization Type Translation Reference Vulgate 405 Wycliffe 1395 Tyndale 1525 ESV 2001
θεῖον theion adjective "divinity, deity" divinum (adjective) that godli thing godhed the divine being
θειότης theiotēs noun "divinity, divine nature" divinitas godhed godhed divine nature
θεότης theotēs noun "deity" divinitas the Godhed the godheed deity


In the later Neoplatonic
Neoplatonism , is the modern term for a school of religious and mystical philosophy that took shape in the 3rd century AD, based on the teachings of Plato and earlier Platonists, with its earliest contributor believed to be Plotinus, and his teacher Ammonius Saccas...

Christian mysticism
Christian mysticism refers to the development of mystical practices and theory within Christianity. It has often been connected to mystical theology, especially in the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox traditions...

 tradition (in Pseudo-Dionysius, for example), the term θεαρχία thearchia is used.