You are here:

Catholics/Is God is anthropomorphic in Hebrew Bible?


Deuteronomy 23
12 “You shall have a place outside the camp, and you shall go out to it. 13 And you shall have a trowel with your tools, and when you sit down outside, you shall dig a hole with it and turn back and cover up your excrement. 14 Because the Lord your God WALKS in the midst of your camp, to deliver you and to give up your enemies before you, therefore your camp must be holy, so that he may not see anything indecent among you and turn away from you.

Exodus 33:20 But,” he (God) said, (to Moses) “you cannot see my FACE, for no one may see me and live.”

Numbers 12:6 “When there is a prophet among you,
   I, the Lord, reveal myself to them in visions,
   I speak to them in dreams.
   7 But this is not true of my servant Moses;
   he is faithful in all my house.
   8 With him I speak FACE to FACE,
   clearly and not in riddles;
   he sees the FORM of the Lord.

Anthropomorphism is the usual and needed way to describe the nature and the attributes of God -- our human minds in all forms of religious expression use to express ideas of the purely spiritual.  We gain knowledge from sensual things and cannot attain direct knowledge of God in this life.  

Anthropomorphisms are only erroneous when they are seriously taken in their literal meanings.

However, they do show how vividly conscious these writers [especially in OT] were God's actions and moral attitude -- e.g., Ex 32:14, Dt. 6:15, 1Kgs 11:9.

Hope these thoughts help, Charles.  


All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Edward Bode


Catholic dogma, especially as related to Scripture. I have a doctorate in biblical theology [University of St. Thomas, Rome]. I do not answer questions concerning personal moral situations -- ones dealing with right and wrong [sin].


I have taught Catholic thought in grade and high schools, and in college and universities.

Catholic Biblical Association

Catholic Biblical Quarterly, The Bible Today.

Graduate degrees in theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University, in scripture from the Pontifical Biblical Institute, and a doctorate in theology from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas; all in Rome

©2016 All rights reserved.