What are the Attributes of God?

The attributes of God differs in every religious tradition (even tough there are some similarities) including expansive powers and abilities, psychological characteristics, gender characteristics, and preferred nomenclature. The assignment of these attributes often differs according to the conceptions of God in the culture from which they arise. For example, attributes of God in Christianity, attributes of God in Islam, and the Thirteen Attributes of Mercy in Judaism share certain similarities arising from their common roots.

 

God is absolutely other than His creation. The Creator cannot by any means be the same kind of being as that which He created. Although this is self evident to sense and reason, some people still ask why we cannot directly see God.

God of The Gaps

God’s Attributes

Main articles: The Attributes of God

The philosophy of religion recognizes the following as essential attributes of God:

Attributes of God in Christianity

God’s incommunicable attributes

  • Aseity (God is so independent that he does not need us)
  • Eternal nature (God is infinite, but we are finite)
  • Holiness (He is separate from sin and incorruptible)
  • Immanence (divine encompasses or is manifested in the material world)
  • Impassibility  (God does not experience pain or pleasure from the actions of another being)
  • Immutability (he never changes, but we do)
  • Infinity (God includes both his Eternity and his immensity)
  • Impeccability (God cannot sin)
  • Incomprehensibility (Acatalepsy; God is not able to be fully known)
  • Incorporeality (Not composed of matter; having no material existence)
  • Mystery (God only reveals certain knowledge to the human race. “God is ultimate mystery.”)
  • Omnibenevolence (“unlimited or infinite benevolence”
  • Omnipotence (All powerful, Almighty)
  • Omnipresence (God is everywhere at once, but we can only be in one place at a time)
  • Omniscience (God has the capacity to know everything including the future)
  • Oneness (The oneness, or unity of God refers to his being one and only)
  • Simplicity (God is not partly this and partly that, but that whatever he is, he is so entirely.)
  • Transcendence (Wholly independent of the material universe, beyond all known physical laws)

God’s communicable attributes

  • Goodness (“God is the final standard of good, and all that God is and does is worthy of approval.”)
  • Graciousness (“the love and mercy given to us by God because God desires us to have it, not necessarily because of anything we have done to earn it”)
  • Jealousy (God “zeal to protect a love relationship or to avenge it when broken”)
  • Justice (God is just, and we’re capable of justice)
  • Love (God is love, and we’re capable of love)
  • Knowledge (God has knowledge, and we can have it, too)
  • Mercy (God is merciful, and we’re also capable of mercy)
  • Mission (Christian Mission is not primarily an activity of the church, but an attribute of God)
  • Righteousness  (God’s holiness, to his justice, or to his saving activity)
  • Providence (God‘s intervention in the Universe. God’s care for the universe)
  • Sovereignty  (God being in complete control as he directs all things)
  • Trinity (The relationship of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit described in the Bible)
  • Veracity (“God, who does not lie.”)
  • Wrat (“God’s wrath is his love in action against sin.”)

Attributes of God Judaism

Attributes of God Islam

The Attributes of Exemption

God Almighty is absolutely free or exempt from any:

  • need
  • defect
  • fault
  • shortcoming
  • impotence
  • poverty
  • neediness
  • the need to eat or drink
  • to beget or be begotten

The Essential Attributes

  • (The All-Holy, Self-) Existence (Wujud)
  • Oneness (Wahdaniyya)
  • Having No Beginning (Qidam)
  • Eternal Permanence (Baqa’)
  • Being Unlike the Created (Muhalafatun lil-hawadith)
  • Self-Subsistence (Qiyam bi-nafsihi)

 

 

Affirmative Attributes

  • Life (Hayah)
  • Knowledge (‘Ilm)
  • Hearing (Sam‘a)
  • Sight (Basar)
  • Will (Irada)
  • Power (Qudra)
  • Speech (Kalam)
  • Making Exist (Takwin)

The  Attributes of Action

  • Creation (Khalq)
  • Originating Uniquely (Ibda’)
  • Producing (Insha’)
  • Giving Life and Reviving, and Causing to Die (Ihya’ and Imata)
  • Providing (Tarziq)

 

God’s Figurative Attributes

  • Coming” in And Your Lord comes (89:22);
  • Self-Establishment” in The All-Merciful, Who has established Himself on the Supreme Throne (20:5), which means God’s subjugating the creation to His command, manifesting His Sovereignty, Grandeur, and Power;
  • Avoidance” in God avoids but completing His light (9:32);
  • Self” in He has bound Himself to mercy (6:12), And I have attached you to Myself (20:41), and in the Prophetic saying, “You are as You have praised Yourself;” and the Prophetic quotation from God, “Surely I have made wrongdoing unlawful for Myself.”
  • Wrath” in God has become wrathful with them (4:93), which means punishment and condemnation;
  • Hand” in verses such as God’s hand is over their hands (48:10), and All grace is in God’s hand (57:29), which means power, ownership, control and disposal, and help;
  • Face” in verses such as Everything is perishable except His Face (28:88), But there remains forever the Face of Your Lord (55:27), and We feed you only for the sake of God’s Face” (76:9), which means the Divine Being Himself or God’s approval and good pleasure.
  • Saying” in verses like: When your Lord said to the angels (2:30);
  • Speaking” in His Lord spoke to him (7:143);
  • All-Hearing, All-Seeing” in the Divine declaration, Surely God is All-Hearing, All-Seeing (22:75);
  • Companionship” which is understood from God is with You (47:35); and
  • Footing” in They have a sure footing with their Lord (10:2),
  • “Asking” in “He asks the angels;”
  • Ordering” and “Prohibiting” in the Prophetic sayings where we see the phrases “He orders” and “He prohibits;”
  • Witnessing” in the sayings where the phrase “He witnesses” is mentioned;
  • Moving Speedily” in the sayings such as “He moves speedily to respond with favor;”
  • Approaching” in such sayings as “He immediately approaches with favor;”
  • Descending” in the sayings such as “He descends to the heaven of the world,” and several other concepts such as:
  • Loving, Becoming Wrathful, the Best Form, Exhilaration, Smiling, Grasping, Contracting, Expanding, Struggling, Feeling Wonder, Showing Care, Heed and Sensitivity, Being with or Companionship” in the Prophetic say­ings where we see the phrases, “He loves; He becomes wrathful; He is seen in the Best Form; He exhilarates; He smiles; He grasps; He expands; He struggles; He feels wonder; There is none more careful and sensitive than God,” and “I am with him when he mentions Me,” respectively.
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