Godhead in Christianity

Godhead is a Middle English variant of the word godhood, and denotes the divinity or substance (ousia) of the Christian God, the substantial impersonal being of God, as opposed to the individual persons or hypostases of the Trinity; in other words, the Godhead refers to the "what" of God, and God refers to the "who" of God. The concept is especially important in Christian negative theology, e.g., the theology of the Godhead according to Pseudo-Dionysius. Within some traditions, such as Mormonism, the term is used as a nontrinitarian substitute for the term Trinity, denoting the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit not as a Trinity, but as a unified council of separate beings in full harmony.

Appearance in English Bibles

John Wycliffe introduced the term godhede into English Bible versions in two places, and, though somewhat archaic, the term survives in modern English because of its use in three places of the Tyndale New Testament (1525), the Geneva Bible (1560/1599), and King James Version (1611). In that translation, the word was used to translate three different Koine Greek words:

Verse Greek Romanization Type Translation Reference Vulgate 405 Wycliffe 1395 Tyndale 1525 ESV 2001
Acts 17:29 θεῖον theion adjective "divine, godly" [1] divinum (adjective) that godli thing godhed the divine being
Romans 1:20 θειότης theiotēs noun "divinity, divine nature" [2] divinitas godhed godhed divine nature
Colossians 2:9 θεότης theotēs noun "deity" [3] divinitas the Godhed the godheed deity

See also


  1. "Strong's G2304 - theios". Blue Letter bible.
  2. "Strong's G2305 - theiotēs". Blue Letter Bible.
  3. "Strong's G2320 - theotēs". Blue Letter Bible.
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