A hamster and a rabbit are sitting next to each other and the hamster says to the rabbit, ” So, what do you want to do today?”
The rabbit runs, screaming, out of the room and says, shouting and pointing, “Aaaahhhh, a talking hamster!”
Today I am talking about Anthropomorphism. In the really bad joke above I started out by mentioning a hamster saying something. Nobody thought that was strange because we see and hear things like that all of the time. We all know that hamsters don’t talk, outside of the occasional movie or joke. The reason we don’t think it is strange is because of anthropomorphism.
Anthropomorphism breaks down into anthropos, meaning person; morph, meaning form; and ism, meaning an idea. So, an anthropomorphism is an idea about the form of a person.
What that really means is that with anthropomorphism we take something that is not a person and we give it the characteristics of a person for some purpose, like:
- giving a hamster the ability to talk, for a joke
- saying a painting speaks to us
- note of a song dancing around
The reason that Anthropomophism is on my mind is that a few weeks ago I was speaking to someone who challenged two comments in the bible, one where it says that God is unchanging, and another where it says that He changed His mind.
We frequently, when reading scripture, give features to God that He doesn’t posses. That isn’t being inaccurate, its just used to make a point. When the bible says that He has measured out the skies with the span of His hand Isaiah 40:12, that doesn’t mean He is actually using a giant hand to measure the skies, it just means that He is really big.
There are lots of articles on the internet about anthropomorphisms in scripture. But there is one aspect that I haven’t seen and I would like to highlight. Whenever we read about God moving, or even waiting or being patient, that is always an anthropomorphism.
God doesn’t experience time as we do, he is timeless. He doesn’t experience the passage of time but see the whole of eternity simultaneously. But, “simultaneously”, itself is a time word, so even me using that word is an anthropomorphism.
It is always helpful to keep in mind Gods attributes, that he is eternal, all-knowing, all powerful, just, merciful, etc. If, in that knowledge, we read of an action that God takes doesn’t seem to make sense, then it may be an anthropomorphism.
This episode is being released on September 30, 2015, International Podcast Day. As I was preparing to start this podcast I decided that it would be great to release the first episode on International Podcast Day.
I would like to give a word or two about what you can expect from this Podcast. This is my first podcast, I hope you like it so far. I will be releasing an episode about twice each month. My goal is for each episode to be 10-15 minutes long.
The topics will be about whatever is on my mind. Still, I want to provide something valuable to you in each episode: some bit of knowledge, or tip, or something I have run across and want to share with you.
Never stop thinking
Question all assumptions, and
Believe what proves to be true