anthropomorphic 

"Bronze falcon, representing Horus, in origin a sky god, and thus shown in bird-form, came to be associated with Osiris, and the cycle of life, death and rebirth."

picture and text by permission of the Hunterian Museum

A presentation of a non-human being (e.g. God) in human terms is anthropomorphic. The similar word anthropopathism refers to the attribution by analogy of human feelings to what is not human. In some sense biblical theology reverses anthropomorphism (to "theomorphism") saying that humanity is made "in the image of God" (Gen 1:27). In some parts of the OT anthropomorphic language leads to a picture of God that seems "all too human" by contrast to the transcendent deity presented in other passages.

Canaanite gods were anthropomorphic while Egyptian gods were thieromorphic (presented as animals) as the picture and text from the Hunterian Museum illustrate.


This page is part of the Hypertext Bible Commentary - Amos,

© Tim Bulkeley, 1996-2005, Tim Bulkeley. All rights reserved.