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Wikipedia:Manual of Style (lead section)[edit]

The lead section (also known as the introduction, lead, or lede[1]) of a Wikipedia article is the section before the table of contents and the first heading. The lead serves both as an introduction to the article and as a summary of its most important aspects.

The lead should be able to stand alone as a concise overview of the article. It should define the topic, establish context, explain why the subject is interesting or notable, and summarize the most important points— including any prominent controversies. The emphasis given to material in the lead should roughly reflect its importance to the topic, according to reliable, published sources, and the notability of the article's subject should usually be established in the first few sentences.

While consideration should be given to creating interest in reading more of the article, the lead nonetheless should not "tease" the reader by hinting at—but not explaining—important facts that will appear later in the article. The lead should contain no more than four paragraphs, must be carefully sourced as appropriate, and should be written in a clear, accessible style with a neutral point of view to invite a reading of the full article.

Yahweh in contrast to polytheism[edit]

This article completely unacademically equates Yahweh as "a god" as if it were in a universe of various polytheistic religions. Should one approach religious beliefs even as a "myth" one must at least respect that, in the perspective of this particular "myth" and the religions that believe in this "god", there really aren't "gods", there is just "to be" (or "I Am"), and meanwhile believers of Yahweh have struggled to reconcile an understanding of this all-encompassing intelligence among people who believed in their "gods". This is why there is reference to "gods" in various ancient texts--they are "gods" recognized by Yahweh-believers as myths and idols. In the religions that recognize Yahweh (Judaism and Christianity), there are powerful spiritual beings--demigods at best--but these religions have never recognized them as "gods". Essentially, in the universe--mythical universe or not--of Yahweh, it is incompatible academics to identify Yahweh as "a god", as this one God is not "a being" (as in something that is measurably powerful, big, etc) but is actually calls Himself "to be". That is actually the meaning behind the name "Yahweh"--"to be", or "I Am". The name infers a unique role of this deity, that the deity inherently not only created everything but indeed contains everything (and everyone) that exists, and as such is not something to point at as an external object of interest (as with any polytheistic "god") but as the single one reason and substance behind everyone and everything. The critical difference here is that it is an acute deviation of not only theology but of philosophy and perception of the universe. The name of Yahweh ("to be" / "I Am") uniquely expresses this concept of containment of the universe within itself. As such, "Yahweh, which means 'to be', or 'I Am'", belongs in the very first sentence of this article.

Furthermore, the name and signficance of Yahweh is not only an ancient and forgotten supposed "myth" but remains at the core of modern-day Judeo-Christian societies. The role of Wikipedia is to provide insight to the meaning of a word in relation to the present-day understanding and relevance to modern society *before* delving into whatever academic background whatever authors might have found from whatever school of thought regarding whatever ancient society that the author hopes would soon be forgotten. Jon (talk) 07:54, 30 March 2014 (UTC)

Edit request on 8 September 2013[edit]

This page has many inaccuracies. This page talks about Jews, who were never called the Cult of Yahweh. Yahweh is a transliteration of a name for G-d, the true pronunciation of which has been lost over time. Jews were also never polytheistic. G-d never had a consort, Asherah is not a Jewish god, and there were not seventy children. In fact, Jews have always believed that there were no divine beings other than G-d. The seventy names that this article refers to as G-d's children are actually different names for G-d. Jews believe that G-d has so many attributes that one name is not sufficient. They are all names of the same entity, like nicknames (you can have more than one without being more than one person). (

However, the names that were used as examples in this article are not names of G-d or even Hebrew. Some were members of a pantheon, but it was a polytheistic, Canaanite, pagan pantheon that didn't include the G-d that is worshipped by the Jews. The Jews did not believe in these gods and thought they were false. Jews would refer to the G-d they believed in as "better than any god" to refer to the fact that their G-d was the only G-d, and no other gods should be believed in. For example of the Canaanite non-Jewish gods mentioned in this article, Astarte was a god who had a cult that was looked upon contemptuously by Hebrews (; Resheph is not mentioned in the Bible as a god (; Shapshu was Phoenician (; etc. The only accurate examples were Yahweh and El. Baal was a Canaanite "god" who was worshipped by polytheists while Israelite Hebrews were sharing the land with them. In a Jewish story (the only time Baal is mentioned in Judaism), a Jewish prophet, Elijah, challenges a Canaanite priest to a contest, in which he disproved Baal's existence and simultaneously proved the Jewish G-d's existence. (

There were so many inaccuracies in this page that practically nothing in it is true. This page should either be very heavily edited by someone who has multiple real sources, or deleted. DFarmAdventurers (talk) 13:44, 8 September 2013 (UTC)

Some of your assertion are flat out wrong. See the following quote Tgeorgescu (talk) 21:47, 8 September 2013 (UTC)

Between the 10th century and the beginning of their exile in 586 there was polytheism as normal religion all throughout Israel; only afterwards things begin to change and very slowly they begin to change. I would say it is only correct for the last centuries, maybe only from the period of the Maccabees, that means the second century BC, so in the time of Jesus of Nazareth it is true, but for the time before it, it is not true.

—Prof. Dr. Herbert Niehr, Tübingen UniversityBible's Buried Secrets, Did God have A Wife, BBC, 2011
Niehr's statement is about Jews having been monotheists. Tgeorgescu (talk) 21:51, 8 September 2013 (UTC)
DFA, this article is written to describe Yahweh as he was understood or worshiped by every party at all points of history. It's hardly deniable that various parties understood Yahweh in a polytheistic context. Had this not been true, than the monolatrist Yahwist prophets would never have written half of the Jewish prophetic works condemning these parties for idolatry. Thanatosimii (talk) 00:44, 9 September 2013 (UTC)
Have to agree with edit. This page is ridiculous - Yahweh is a word not used at all in Judaism and somewhat impossible to say or write in Hebrew, it is certainly not the word claimed in this article, and Adonai is spelt very differently. This has no business being filed under a Jewish subheading or being associated with Judaism.— Preceding unsigned comment added by 2001:44B8:31D6:1900:D098:138F:B302:40F4 (talkcontribs)
Read WP:VER and WP:NOR. Bible scholars use the name Yahweh, so Yahweh it is. Tgeorgescu (talk) 00:53, 28 January 2014 (UTC)

"god" as a common noun is NOT to be capitalized - this is not a work of theology![edit]

‎Thanatosimii, I see that you are still engaged in pushing your own particular orthodox theological viewpoint here. You have been warned numerous times that you are acting in direct violation of several important Wikipedia policies, and obviously you do not care. Consensus in the discussions which followed was firmly against your rather free interpretations of various policies. You have now once again improperly reverted corrections. I include here the pertinent section of policy for your review:

"Proper names and titles referencing deities are capitalized: God, Allah, Freyja, the Lord, the Supreme Being, the Messiah. The same is true when referring to important religious figures, such as Muhammad, by terms such as the Prophet. Common nouns not used as titles should not be capitalized: the Norse gods, personal god. In a biblical context, God is capitalized only when it refers to the Judeo-Christian deity, and prophet is generally not capitalized.
Transcendent ideas in the Platonic sense also begin with a capital letter: Good and Truth. Nouns (other than names) referring to any material or abstract representation of any deity, human or otherwise, are not capitalized." [emphasis mine]

The following section of this article illustrates the main thrust of your unproductive activities here:

"Over time Yahwism became increasingly intolerant of rivals, and the royal court and temple promoted Yahweh as God of the entire cosmos, possessing all the positive qualities previously attributed to the other gods and goddesses. With the work of Second Isaiah (the theoretical author of the second part of the Book of Isaiah) towards the end of the Babylonian exile (6th century BCE), the very existence of foreign gods was denied, and Yahweh was proclaimed as the creator of the cosmos and true God of all the world." [emphasis mine]

These incorrectly-capitalized "gods" are absolutely NOT titles, and are clearly used in a historical context.

I urge all editors to fully read through the attached archives.

Heavenlyblue (talk) 00:49, 19 November 2013 (UTC)

Sigh. In the paragraph quoted, clearly the text refers to the Judeo-Christian-Islamic deity. Unless you're suggesting that the Jewish scribes suggested that Yahweh was some other religion's deity. Thanatosimii (talk) 06:06, 22 November 2013 (UTC)
"Yahweh is God" should be capitalized, but "Yahweh is a god" and "Yahweh is the god of..." shouldn't. Tgeorgescu (talk) 21:04, 5 February 2014 (UTC)
Is there precedent to your knowledge in any major MOS of making that kind of differentiation? "Yahweh is the god of storms" or "Yahweh is the god of war" or something to that effect would be an example of a common noun, but in the two instances in question, "God" is being used in its monotheistic sense, with the modifiers being further articulations of monotheism. It strikes me as a little odd that modifiers which semantically indicate that we aren't talking about a god in a common noun sense, but about God the singular deity, would syntactically indicate that we are using god as a common noun. My working definition for common noun (admittedly taken from Wikipedia itself) is a non-unique instance of a class, which "God of the entire world" is not. Cf. the capitalization of "City" in "City of London"Thanatosimii (talk) 23:46, 5 February 2014 (UTC)
Once again, you are twisting words and definitions to suit your purpose! In the two examples I gave, "god" is obviously used as a common noun and not part of a title. Heavenlyblue (talk) 19:30, 25 March 2014 (UTC)
I agree. Dougweller (talk) 19:52, 25 March 2014 (UTC)
Blue, if your sole tactic in interacting with me is to be as abrasive as possible to make me want to just stop participating in the project, well, you're succeeding. I can only hope better editors recognize how devoid of value your comments are when you choose not to interact with anything I actually write, but with what you've decided my sinister true motives are. The specious attack on my intellectual honesty, alleging that merely by disagreeing with you I must also ascribe to positions X, Y, Z, and whatever else, makes no difference to the actual debate we're having - even if I did ascribe to any of these views, that doesn't affect a debate on MOS. Have you even thought through the ramifications of the accusations you're making? If this were a work of theology, if "God" isn't a proper noun, I hope you do realize it still couldn't be capitalized, yes?
Doug, your opinion carries great weight in my book, but I wonder if you could flush that out a little. Is there a particular reason you wouldn't take "God of the entire universe" as a unique instance of a class, or do you object to my concept of noun-commonality? I'll grant that "god of" almost invariably has to be a common noun, but only because modifiers of any type, appended to a word, are typically used to distinguish between which of many members of a class to which we refer. It's a little different here. If "God of the entire universe" is not conceived of as a reference to something akin to a Platonic ideal, a singular uniqueness that doesn't come in various instances, then how does this even work as an expression of a monotheistic sentiment? Thanatosimii (talk) 05:52, 28 March 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for the compliment. Would you disgraee with the (inaccurate) statement "Zeus was seen as god of the entire universe but Mars was the god of Mars being written with a lower case 'g'? Dougweller (talk) 06:59, 29 March 2014 (UTC)
I agree that in the cases mentioned god is a common noun, as it is qualified and in a historical context, not as part of a title. So it should not be capitalised. BethNaught (talk) 08:06, 29 March 2014 (UTC)
This can be difficult with phrases like "G/god of Israel", which could be either a title or a descriptive phrase. Here, though, they're clearly descriptive. — kwami (talk) 08:10, 29 March 2014 (UTC)
That would be a highly borderline case in my book, as I admit the subject of this debate itself is. If a particular hypothetical sect began arguing that Zeus was simply God of the entire universe in a monotheistic sense, I would keep that capitalized. I have a vague recollection that some of the ancient philosophers did start moving in a monotheistic direction with Zeus so far as to be accused of atheism by denial of the other gods, so I could see a justifiable context wherein the sentence should use "God." In another context, wherein the rest of the pantheon is not actually being crowded out of their own godhood by Zeus's hypothetical aggrandizement, and Zeus is still just a god - an important god, but not the God - I would not support capitalization there.
The issue I see here is that this sentence occurs in a part of the article discussing Yahweh's transformation in the minds of his adherents from a god to God. If the same concept could be expressed by either writing "This is when Yahweh became God" or "This is when Yahweh became God of the entire universe," then we are in either case no longer making reference to Yahweh as a member of the class "god," which is required for commonality.
That said, I admit that this argument is technical, and if the body of consensus thinks I'm being pedantic, then I cede. Blue struck the capitalization because he went on a purge of what he took to be honorific capitalization, and I restored it mainly because that concept doesn't apply here, though I do also view that noun as proper. If I'm being lengthy in my defense of my edit, it's only because I feel compelled when I edit this page to carefully and precisely document my thought processes so as to defend my integrity against charges of nefarious fundamentalist conspiracies. I don't really care. Thanatosimii (talk) 04:38, 30 March 2014 (UTC)
But claiming you don't care is proof that you're part of a nefarious fundamentalist conspiracy ;)
"God" is no more a proper noun than "Lord" is. In this case the word wasn't being used as a title, though it can be a bit jarring to see it in l.c. for those of us used to honorific capitalization. — kwami (talk) 09:18, 30 March 2014 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────And the most recent attempt seems to have been to capitalize almost all mentions of the word, eg "The origins of the God" (the edit was reverted). Dougweller (talk) 08:49, 31 March 2014 (UTC)

Agreed, there's no way to justify "national God" or "origin of the God." Final note: the phrase "not a title" is being invoked a lot in this particular discussion, and I'd like to point out that that never had anything to do with my original argument. The MOS states that we capitalize titles, but it also separately states that we capitalize God when it refers to the Judeo-Christian deity. Part of this article is going to discuss the transition points wherein various sects of Iron Age Israelite religion began to conceive of Yahweh not as a god but as God, and when Yahweh is on the cusp of Godhood, whether or not we're talking about the Judeo-Christian deity is going to be perhaps a little more blurry than some here are expecting. Simply because an instance of "God" comes with modifiers will not preclude it from referencing Judeo-Christian monotheism. It seems that we're taking the cut-and-dry approach taught in primary school wherein modifiers make the difference between properness and commonality, cf. "to Grandmother's house" vs. "to my grandmother's house." That's fine only as long as we're talking about a class of things that comes in non-unique instances. Any expression of classical monotheism has at its basis a denial that God is a member of the class god, thus any expression of a monotheistic sentiment which ascribes to God a lower-case godhood strikes me as self-contradictory. I would hope we can at least come to an agreement that "God is the god of..." comes unnervingly close to "A = !A."
In its present form, especially after the recent merge, we have a lot of abrupt transitions, redundant material, and muddled, vaguely self-contradictory phrasing that is a bigger concern for me, but I do want to make sure we're on the same page here. As long as this is the argument you're rejecting, then I've said my peace. Thanatosimii (talk) 17:44, 31 March 2014 (UTC)
It's exactly like "Grandmother", and unique in the same way. "God is the god of..." is just bad style, because it uses the same word for different meanings. — kwami (talk) 01:46, 1 April 2014 (UTC)
There can logically be multiple grandmothers. There can't logically be multiple monotheistic deities. Thanatosimii (talk) 05:43, 1 April 2014 (UTC)
In a family there may be only one grandmother. Or take a title of office like "mayor": In a town there is only one mayor, who people may address simply as "Mayor". In monotheism, people still routinely speak of other deities. Either way it's equivalent. — kwami (talk) 00:20, 2 April 2014 (UTC)
A grandmother is a member of a class of being that comes in instances. According to monotheists, God is not a member of any class of being having instances. When monotheists refer to other deities, they aren't referring to instances of the same class as God. Thanatosimii (talk) 04:14, 2 April 2014 (UTC)
But what difference does that make? The word does not refer to a class of one, and it's the word we're talking about. "Secretary General of the United Nations" is a class of one, but that does not make it a proper noun. It's capitalized because it's a title. "Nobel Peace Prize winners of 1903" is also a class of one, but we don't capitalize it because it's not a title. — kwami (talk) 05:11, 2 April 2014 (UTC)
Your examples are phrases, not nouns, and thus can't be proper nouns.
I think at this point you need to explain why it is "God" is ever capitalized, being that it neither falls into your definition of a proper noun nor is a title. I've also given my working definition of common noun as a non-unique instance of a class, which excludes God due to the principles of classic monotheism. If you want to argue that God isn't a proper noun, I'd like to know what your distinction is. Thanatosimii (talk) 16:57, 2 April 2014 (UTC)
"Mayor" is a noun.
Easy. "God" is a title. — kwami (talk) 06:51, 3 April 2014 (UTC)
"Mayor" also wasn't one of your most recent examples. That example is a common noun because it's a class of things coming in instances.
How does "God" constitute a title? Thanatosimii (talk) 15:02, 3 April 2014 (UTC)

"...if your sole tactic in interacting with me is to be as abrasive as possible..."

Thank you, Thanatosimii. I find your behaviour and manner abrasive, too. Incidentally, the term "tactics" would be better applied to your own actions here; I have simply spoken plainly, to insist upon a fair and even application of the rules. You accuse me of being argumentative, but you yourself are adept at filling many pages with lengthy, convoluted grammatical and philosophical argument, much of which, in the end, I find trivial, and which always seems to have as its endpoint the injection of as many capital-g "Gods" as possible into the text of this article, and the rather blatant promotion of a specific orthodox religious viewpoint. There are many religious websites where you can do these things freely, but Wikipedia is not one of them.

My aim here, however, has not been to waste my time arguing with you, but rather to remedy the religious bias with which this article was, and to some degree still is, plagued.

I started this discussion by pointing out that the rules concerning common and proper nouns were being routinely bent and broken in this particular article, and by demonstrating, with multiple examples from Wikipedia articles on other gods that the particular god in this article - Yahweh - was getting, quite blatantly, special treatment, in clear violation of numerous Wikipedia policies and principles.

These policies have been repeatedly and specifically pointed out to you, and yet you seem perpetually to be engaged in trying to argue your way around them.

Once again, here are the pertinent Wikipedia guidelines:

And for those editors interested, some of the previous (archived) discussions concerning bias and terminology:

Why is "god" rendered as "God" in the lede?


yet more underhanded attempts to change "god" to "God":

POV issues due to undue weight:

The god of Israel or the God of Israel?:

And, of course, the current discussion, from the beginning:

Heavenlyblue (talk) 21:03, 9 April 2014 (UTC)

I'm dropping out of this particular discussion. Being that you've already decided I'm devious and nefarious (and "religious" to boot, despite the fact I've never made any comments to you indicating I have any religious beliefs at all), I'm not going to be able to say anything you'll take in good faith. Thanatosimii (talk) 01:15, 10 April 2014 (UTC)

1) This has nothing to do with your religious beliefs. Those are your own private business, and of no concern to me. My criticisms have dealt exclusively with your conduct here.
2) You accuse me of bad faith? Anyone who believes that should simply peruse your edit history on this page and have a good read through the Talk Page archives. I've always stated my positions clearly, but it seems to me that you have a well-documented history on this page of reverts and changes against consensus and policy. Personally, I find that sneaky. And your changes always seem to follow that same pattern that I've described clearly enough, I think - reinforcing traditional religious orthodoxy, attempting to excessively narrow the discussion, and denigrating other points of view that you seem to find non-traditional, 'minority', 'radical', or just plain suspiciously modern.
3) If it has been your intention here to conceal your religious beliefs, I'm going to say that you've done a very poor job of it.
4) You've used a half-dozen or so words for yourself, recently, that I have never used. I'm wondering if I should start taking your word for it. Heavenlyblue (talk) 04:57, 10 April 2014 (UTC)

(Break for length)[edit]

  • Comment - English grammars that cover the subject say to capitalize monotheistic Jewish/Christian/Zoroastrian/Islamic/Sikh "God". I'm not aware, or have not yet seen, a Cambridge/Oxford type grammar which says write the Jewish god as "god". Approximately along the same lines as English capitalizes Sun Wednesday Earth. Otherwise we'd use the definite article "the god created the earth", not "God created Earth" In ictu oculi (talk) 08:42, 10 April 2014 (UTC)
We were not debating if God should be capitalized. As I said above, "Yahweh is God" should be capitalized, but "Yahweh is a god" and "Yahweh is the god of..." shouldn't. Tgeorgescu (talk) 15:35, 10 April 2014 (UTC)

A lot of words about what should be capitalized, but no one cares that the article does not even approach a neutral point of view? (talk) 00:47, 16 April 2014 (UTC)

The religious neutral point of view is defined at WP:RNPOV. Please state whereupon this article violates the policy. Tgeorgescu (talk) 20:09, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
Also mind that this article is about a god of the ancient Hebrews, there is another article for God in its contemporary meaning. Tgeorgescu (talk) 20:13, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
You should quote some mainstream scholars (neither fundamentalist, nor very conservative evangelicals) who believe that it is false that the Hebrews were initially polytheistic and Yahweh was a god among many other gods, a god who later became God. Karen Armstrong's A History of God would be an introduction to the mainstream scholarship about Yahweh for those who did not yet read any historical criticism.

I’m not saying anyone has to like it or agree with it. I’m only saying historical criticism isn’t dead or dying. Ask anyone who has taken Bible classes or earned a degree in Bible from a university.

—Peter Enns, 3 Things I Would Like to See Evangelical Leaders Stop Saying about Biblical Scholarship
So, if this is what is taught about Yahweh in any major US university, this should be Wikipedia's own view, it is no violation of a neutral point of view, see WP:ABIAS for detalis. Tgeorgescu (talk) 21:27, 17 April 2014 (UTC)