Upper / lower case....

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Salty, Feb 22, 2012.

  1. Salty

    Salty
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    I made the following statement in another post
    and this response was given:

    So is it important that we use proper upper case when referring to the Deity?

    Are we being disrespectful or even possibly taking the Lords name in vain if we do not use upper case?

    Thoughts
     
    #1 Salty, Feb 22, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 22, 2012
  2. Mexdeaf

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    I kind of like using upper case because it's easier for the people that I work with to identify whether the 'god' in question is "God" or just a generic "god".
     
  3. quantumfaith

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    :thumbs::thumbs::thumbs:
     
  4. Salty

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    please note, I just added another question to my OP in post # 1
     
  5. mont974x4

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    Agreed.


    As to the second question from the OP....
    I think it is disrespectful to not use the upper case because it treats God as just another god.

    This has nothing to do with taking the Lord's name in vain. That command is not about cussing but claiming the name of God (or Christ) without truly following Him. This is because the word vain means "to no effect". Taking the Lord's name in vain makes a liar out of you and God.
     
  6. John of Japan

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    Japanese and Chinese have no upper and lower case, so the entire issue is moot. If it were truly important spiritually, would not the principle be applicable to every language and culture? But it is not. Having said that, I like having the upper case used for our Lord in English. It just seems respectful.
     
  7. convicted1

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    Sounds like you better be practicing what you preach then Brother John....oops, I mean brother john....


    Your user name is John of Japan, when it reality, it's john of japan.


    Hey mods? Can you change Brother John's user name for him? I don't want him hyprocritting around here on this board you know? :D :) :love2: :wavey:
     
  8. convicted1

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    Where's Brother Rippon at when I need him?? :laugh: J/K Brother!
     
  9. Salty

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    As long he is on deputation - he is John of Japan, when he returns to the field it becomes john of japan. :smilewinkgrin:
     
  10. David Lamb

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    I agreee, John. We tend to be far too "nationalistic" on things like this. "We use initial capital/upper case letters in English to show respect, so everyone else must," we seem to say. Like so many such things, we must remember the importance of both the heart and the location. Otherwise, we would have ridiculous situations such as male Scottish Christians who may wear a kilt being told they must be breaking God's decree about men not wearing women's clothing, or disrespect being wrongly attributed to Japanese Christians (and Christians in other places where the language either does not have upper and lower case, such as Tamil, or where the rules for capitalisation differ from English - in German, for instance, the first letter of every noun is upper case, so "I have a tree" is "Ich hab ein Baum".)

    If I use a lower case initial letter for "god" with the thought: "He is not worthy of an upper case G", that is clearly wrong, but it's totally different to not using upper case because my language does not have it, or writing "god" as a typo for "God".
     
  11. Earth Wind and Fire

    Earth Wind and Fire
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    So how would you explain e.e. cummings? Artsy Craftsy perhaps or cap lock adverse? :smilewinkgrin:
     
  12. Aaron

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    The use of upper case when referring to God, not gods, is incontrovertible proof of the influence of Christianity in Western Civilization. So does the use of B.C. and A.D. and the reckoning of our years from the time of Christ.

    Changing them to B.C.E. and C.E. is evidence of our departure from these things, as would the cessation of the use of capitals when referring to the One true God in formal writing—formal writing.

    It isn't a sign of a good thing.
     
  13. John of Japan

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    Very funny, gentlemen. :rolleyes: Amazing how many aspiring comedians there are on the BB. :smilewinkgrin:

    But actually, when I return to Japan I will be 日本のジョン.
     
  14. John of Japan

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    Good points. I'd forgotten that about the German language.
     
  15. Jerome

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    So does one capitalize gods at the beginning of a sentence?

    Or contrast KJB Exodus 2:4
    [​IMG]

    with NAS Acts 7:43
    [​IMG]
     
  16. convicted1

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    When all else fails, poke fun, I say.... :D: :love2:
     
  17. MB

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    I believe it's a matter of respect to capitalize all that is Holy. Such as Holy Spirit or, Spirit, God, Jesus, Father, Son. Even the word Bible, Word, and Salvation.
    MB
     
  18. jonathan.borland

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    But the originals, as far as we know from ALL surviving manuscripts, did make a distinction in how they wrote the nomina sacra, or sacred names. They abbreviated them, much like the Old Testament's "Yahweh"/"Jehovah" without the vowels, YHWH. At some point, or at the beginning, other nouns and such were added to the list of nomina sacra, like "man," "father," "mother," etc. So there is precedence for indicating the name(s) of God in a special way. Now as we translate the names into other languages, sometimes this comes up. For example, many Chinese like to use a character for the personal pronoun of God that doesn't exist in any dictionary. They created a personal pronoun for God, which can be done easily in a pictographic language. Something else applies in regular rules of English. We always capitalize proper names. So it would look silly not to capitalize God's name in standard written English. But then there are forms of communication such as text messages, where sometimes NOTHING is capitalized or even spelled properly, but the meaning is written to be understood and it is understood. I don't think it necessarily disrespects God unless it is written with the intention of disrespecting God.
     
    #18 jonathan.borland, Feb 26, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 26, 2012
  19. David Lamb

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    If you are writing in a language like English, which capitalises the first letter of the first word in a sentence, then even if the word "gods" begins a sentence, it should for that reason have a capital G, just as in your post you wrote "So" and "Or", not "so" and "or". I am almost 100% certain you were not wishing to give honour to those two little words. :)

    Ragarding your contrast, I thought (perhaps wrongly!) that the theme of this thread was the initial upper case or lack of it ("God" versus "god"), and not the distinction between printing "LORD" (whole word in upper case) when the word translates "YHWH", and "Lord" or "lord" when it translates "adonai".

    I don't have a printed NAS bible, but an online version has the whole of Acts 7.43 in upper case:
    'YOU ALSO TOOK ALONG THE TABERNACLE OF MOLOCH AND THE STAR OF THE GOD ROMPHA, THE IMAGES WHICH YOU MADE TO WORSHIP THEM. I ALSO WILL REMOVE YOU BEYOND BABYLON.'
    It seems that the NAS uses upper case in the New Testament for all quotes from the Old. Matthew 1.23, for instance:
    "BEHOLD, THE VIRGIN SHALL BE WITH CHILD, AND SHALL BEAR A SON, AND THEY SHALL CALL HIS NAME IMMANUEL," which translated means, "GOD WITH US."
    Going back to Acts 7.43, if the NAS had printed it as:
    'You also took along the tabernacle of MOLOCH....'
    then I would see your point, but as the whole verse (including little words like "ALSO", "THE", and "OF") is in upper case, the point you are making is hidden to me at present. :)
     
  20. Jerome

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    Yes, not only particular languages, but particular works can have particular capitalization conventions. As you noticed, the NAS's reason for having that false god all caps is quite different from the KJB's for the Tetragrammaton.
     

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