Does God have wings?

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keithr

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People have trouble believing the scriptures are the Word of God. They think He's lying, or everything they don't understand with their carnal mind must be allegory.
Some people don't seem to understand that God's Word isn't all literal, and that figures of speech are used extensively.

When Jesus said, Matthew 23:37 (WEB):

(37) “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets, and stones those who are sent to her! How often I would have gathered your children together, even as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you would not!​

he did not mean that he was a chicken, or that he had wings which he could spread over all the people in the city!
 
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Lambano

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Some - many - of the threads on these forums are just smack-your-forehead bizzare. They are entertaining in precisely the way a Monty Python skit - a really bad Monty Python skit - is entertaining. DOES GOD HAVE WINGS??? Yeah, the eternal transcendent Spirit has wings. Right. Got it. Cue the Monty Python theme. Beam me up, Scotty.
There IS a reason God forbids us to represent Him with a graven image...

And yet...

It was the Holy Spirit as a golden dove

This woman testifies that she saw the Holy Spirit as a dove (wings and all) - and it changed her life. Hard to argue against that.

I think I'm capable (though I could be wrong) of identifying the Bible's figurative language (like Jesus's mother hen imagery) as such, but for something like this, I'll think I'll just stand back in stunned awe, "lost in wonder, love, and praise". God is sovereign, and if He wants to appear to a wheelchair-bound lady in India as a winged dove and bring her to Christ that way, I ain't gonna be the one to tell Him "You can't do that!"

So please, forgive us our nonsense. This is hard. Be kind.
 

DJT_47

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Some people don't seem to understand that God's Word isn't all literal, and that figures of speech are used extensively.

When Jesus said, Matthew 23:37 (WEB):

(37) “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets, and stones those who are sent to her! How often I would have gathered your children together, even as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you would not!​

he did not mean that he was a chicken, or that he had wings which he could spread over all the people in the city!
The only problem when reading God's word, is determining what and when something is to be taken literally and not, and then what you ascribe to the words that you selectively choose to take as non-literal. It becomes subjective, and we then also say, for our convenience, what we feel or think the words mean based on our biases or preconceived ideas. This is done all the time. Look at the subject of baptism: People go to great lengths to deny it and it's necessity relative to salvation, and come up with a myriad of dramatic reasons claiming that the words really don't mean what they clearly say. And those words regarding baptism shouldn't even be controversial, as opposed to those of a truly non-literal nature such as found throughout the book of Revelation. So, this problem also applies to the subject of this post. You can take the words literally or not, and if not, you can then come up with your own logic to explain what they really mean as opposed to what they plainly say or infer. I'm not saying one way or the other, I'm simply stating what the bible says. The fact of the matter is, no one really knows. It's simply an interesting observation to be considered.
 

O'Darby

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There IS a reason God forbids us to represent Him with a graven image...

And yet...



This woman testifies that she saw the Holy Spirit as a dove (wings and all) - and it changed her life. Hard to argue against that.

I think I'm capable (though I could be wrong) of identifying the Bible's figurative language (like Jesus's mother hen imagery) as such, but for something like this, I'll think I'll just stand back in stunned awe, "lost in wonder, love, and praise". God is sovereign, and if He wants to appear to a wheelchair-bound lady in India as a winged dove and bring her to Christ that way, I ain't gonna be the one to tell Him "You can't do that!"

So please, forgive us our nonsense. This is hard. Be kind.
Sure - absolutely. God could manifest in any form He chose. The absurdity (to me) is in thinking the Eternal Transcendent God who is Spirit, Light and Love actually (ontologically) has wings when all such descriptions in the Bible are obviously anthropomorphic.

More seriously, these anthropomorphisms, if taken literally, limit God. If He is a "being with wings," then He is NOT a "being without wings" - which is a limitation on the limitless Being who is God.
 
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TLHKAJ

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he did not mean that he was a chicken, or that he had wings which he could spread over all the people in the city!
I believe Him at His Word. And my experience proves His Word is true. He never said He was a chicken, just like Holy Spirit isn't a dove. That's your carnal mind trying to understand God.
 

TLHKAJ

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Sure - absolutely. God could manifest in any form He chose. The absurdity (to me) is in thinking the Eternal Transcendent God who is Spirit, Light and Love actually (ontologically) has wings when all such descriptions in the Bible are obviously anthropomorphic.

More seriously, these anthropomorphisms, if taken literally, limit God. If He is a "being with wings," then He is NOT a "being without wings" - which is a limitation on the limitless Being who is God.
Why do you perceive that as a limitation? If wings are a limitation, then so are eyes, ears, arms, hands, feet, etc.
 
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O'Darby

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Why do you perceive that as a limitation? If wings are a limitation, then so are eyes, ears, arms, hands, feet, etc.
Right - If God had eyes, arms, hands, feet. etc., those would all (IMO) be limitations on the Eterenal Transcendent Spirt who is the most perfect being of whom we can conceive. The basic concept is Divine Simplicity: "Divine simplicity is central to the classical Western concept of God. Simplicity denies any physical or metaphysical composition in the divine being. This means God is the divine nature itself and has no accidents (properties that are not necessary) accruing to his nature." See Divine Simplicity | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
 

Lambano

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Sure - absolutely. God could manifest in any form He chose. The absurdity (to me) is in thinking the Eternal Transcendent God who is Spirit, Light and Love actually (ontologically) has wings when all such descriptions in the Bible are obviously anthropomorphic.
Or ornithomorphic, in this case. :Broadly:
 
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Lambano

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Sure - absolutely. God could manifest in any form He chose. The absurdity (to me) is in thinking the Eternal Transcendent God who is Spirit, Light and Love actually (ontologically) has wings when all such descriptions in the Bible are obviously anthropomorphic.

More seriously, these anthropomorphisms, if taken literally, limit God. If He is a "being with wings," then He is NOT a "being without wings" - which is a limitation on the limitless Being who is God.
If I understand what you said correctly (there were a lot of big polysyllabic words there, which a lawyer once told me is a characteristic fondness of most lawyers), the danger is in conflating a particular form or instance in which God chose to manifest Himself with the underlying reality of God. (The "ousia"; the Nicene fathers expressed the Trinity concept in Greek philosophical terms). Hence the 2nd Commandment prohibiting graven images applies to representing God in any form.
 
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keithr

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I believe Him at His Word. And my experience proves His Word is true. He never said He was a chicken, just like Holy Spirit isn't a dove. That's your carnal mind trying to understand God.
Err, I said that Jesus did NOT mean that he was a chicken, so why do you imply that I claimed that Jesus said he was a chicken? That's the exact opposite of what I wrote!

Jesus is now just like God in nature - Hebrews 1:3 (ISV):

(3) He {Jesus} is the reflection of God's glory and the exact likeness of his being, and he holds everything together by his powerful word. After he had provided a cleansing from sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Highest Majesty​

God is vast in size:

Isaiah 66:1 (WEB):
(1) Yahweh says, “Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. What kind of house will you build to me? Where will I rest?​
1 Kings 8:27 (WEB):
(27) But will God in very deed dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven and the heaven of heavens can’t contain you; how much less this house that I have built!​
Jeremiah 23:24 (WEB):
(24) Can anyone hide himself in secret places so that I can’t see him?” says Yahweh. “Don’t I fill heaven and earth?” says Yahweh.​

So it seems likely that if you saw Jesus holding you, and he had wings, then you were not seeing Jesus as he actually is.
 

Hobie

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As strange as it may seem, there are scriptures we typically overlook, suggesting that God has wings; not a wing, such as 'take you under his wing', but wings, plural!

Psalm 57:1

1{To the chief Musician, Altaschith, Michtam of David, when he fled from Saul in the cave.} Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in thee: yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast.

Psalm 91:4

4He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.

Psalm 36:7

7How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings.

Psalm 17:8

8Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings,

Psalm 61:4

4I will abide in thy tabernacle for ever: I will trust in the covert of thy wings. Selah.

Psalm 63:7

7Because thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice.

Ruth 2:12

12The LORD recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee of the LORD God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to trust.

Jeremiah 49:22

22Behold, he shall come up and fly as the eagle, and spread his wings over Bozrah: and at that day shall the heart of the mighty men of Edom be as the heart of a woman in her pangs.
Christ became fully man (as well as fully God) and will show Himself in this manner with the wounds He suffered for our sakes as He did with the disciples. I think we know enough to keep us till we get to heaven and see and understand all these things..
 
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TLHKAJ

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Err, I said that Jesus did NOT mean that he was a chicken, so why do you imply that I claimed that Jesus said he was a chicken?
I didn't make any such claim. I agreed that He isn't a chicken or a dove. And yet, He states in His Word that He has all these attributes. Don't forget, that God is spirit. And still yet, nothing is impossible with God. He isn't limited no matter what His spiritual attributes are. That is your carnal mind making that assumption. Jesus was God manifest in the flesh in form of a man with arms and legs (etc), and yet He was able to pass through crowds if He needed to. He isn't limited in the least.
 
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keithr

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I didn't make any such claim. I agreed that He isn't a chicken or a dove. And yet, He states in His Word that He has all these attributes. Don't forget, that God is spirit. And still yet, nothing is impossible with God. He isn't limited no matter what His spiritual attributes are. That is your carnal mind making that assumption. Jesus was God manifest in the flesh in form of a man with arms and legs (etc), and yet He was able to pass through crowds if He needed to. He isn't limited in the least.
Again you write, "That is your carnal mind making that assumption", yet I never made that assumption! Likewise you wrote, "He never said He was a chicken, ... That's your carnal mind trying to understand God.", yet I never claimed that Jesus said he was a chicken - I had written "he did not mean that he was a chicken" - the opposite of what you claimed I had assumed.

When I see people completely misunderstanding such simple statements, then I'm not so surprised that so many people also fail to understand God's Word!
 

Bob Estey

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As strange as it may seem, there are scriptures we typically overlook, suggesting that God has wings; not a wing, such as 'take you under his wing', but wings, plural!

Psalm 57:1

1{To the chief Musician, Altaschith, Michtam of David, when he fled from Saul in the cave.} Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in thee: yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast.

Psalm 91:4

4He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.

Psalm 36:7

7How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings.

Psalm 17:8

8Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings,

Psalm 61:4

4I will abide in thy tabernacle for ever: I will trust in the covert of thy wings. Selah.

Psalm 63:7

7Because thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice.

Ruth 2:12

12The LORD recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee of the LORD God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to trust.

Jeremiah 49:22

22Behold, he shall come up and fly as the eagle, and spread his wings over Bozrah: and at that day shall the heart of the mighty men of Edom be as the heart of a woman in her pangs.
I wouldn't think the Lord needs wings.