Bible Question:

Is God a man or like a man?

Bible Answer:

“Is God a man or like a man?” is a question that many have asked. Some say that He is an immortal version of man. They claim that the Bible reveals God is a man. They point to Bible verses that would appear to reveal that God has a head, ears, hands, face and feet. Then they claim that God is a man. A woman once struggled with the verse that says Jesus sat down at the high hand of God (Mark 16:19; Luke 22:69; Acts 2:33; 5:31; 7:55; Romans 8:34; Colossians 3:1; Hebrews 10:12; 12:2; 1 Peter 3:22). Here is one of those verses,

But from now on the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the power of God.” Luke 22:69 (NASB)

This verse reveals that sitting at the right hand is actually a statement referring to Christ having power. In Christ’s time someone sitting next to a king had a position of power. That is the purpose of the phrase “right hand of God.” It is a statement of power and not that God has a right hand.

God Is Spirit and Light

Does God Have Human Parts?

It  is important to realize that descriptions of God as having feet, hips and appearing as a man should not be taken literally but anthropomorphically. That is, God is not actually any of these. Scripture frequently ascribes “human form or attributes to a being or thing not human, especially to a deity.[1]

If we were to take every reference about God in scripture literally we would think that God has arms and a voice (Job 40:9), a face, hands and a back (Exodus 33:20-23), eyes and ears (Psalm 34:15), a head (Dan. 7:9), feet (Exodus 24:9-10), fingers  and a voice (Deuteronomy 9:10), hair (Daniel 7:9) and wings (Psalm 17:8).

Is God An Inanimate Thing or an Animal?

We would also think that God is or like a tower (Proverbs 18:10), a rock (Psalm 18:31), the sun (Psalm 84:11), a moth (Psalm 39:11), a sun and shield (Psalm 84:11), a shadow (Psalm 91:1), a lion (Isaiah 31:4; Amos 3:8), a hen (Matthew 23:37), a lamb (John 1:36), fire (Deuteronomy 4:24), a water fountain (Psalm 68:26), a temple (Revelation 21:22) and a torch (Revelation 21:23).

Therefore, what does God look like? Is He all of these things? Is He a moth-field-fire-shadow-rock-lion thing? Does God fly like a moth? Is God a rock with hands, feet and ears? Is God a water fountain with wings and fingers? Is God a lion and a lamb? What is God?


Is God a man or like a man? Numbers 23:19 answers the question,

God is not a man, that He should lie,
Nor a son of man, that He should repent;
Has He said, and will He not do it?
Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?
Numbers 23:19

The testimony of scripture is that God is not like us. For example, in Psalms 51:21 God Himself declares,

You thought that I was just like you . . . Psalms 50:21  (NASB)

The truth is that scripture uses a variety of terms to help us understand the character of God. God is not a man, an inanimate object or an animal. Scripture clearly states that God is spirit (John 4:24) and God is light (1 John 1:5). Both descriptions of God are consistent with the descriptions in Exodus 24:9-10; Ezekiel 1:26-29 and Revelation 4:2-3. The Q&A discusses these three scriptures in order to provide the reader a wonderful understanding of what God looks like. He is not a man, inanimate object or an animal. God is both spirit and light who manifests Himself in three persons.


Suggested Links:

What will we see when we get to heaven?
The Transfiguration