Does the word 'God' with a capital G have a plural form?


6 Answers 6


This is not a problem of monotheistic preference.

When capitalised, the word god is a proper name. So from the pure grammatical point of view, it can have a plural form in the same way as John or Peter (credits to jgelacqua's comments)

It's like Yahweh or Elohim (actually this is a plural I believe - which shows that monotheism in the bible is a fuzzy notion).

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    Yet we could say, 'OK, all of the Bobs and Charlies form a line over here, Daves and Erics form a line down there.'
    – jbelacqua
    Apr 1, 2011 at 21:22
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    @Caleb, Sorry but the dogma of the Holy Trinity is much more recent than the word Elohim. If you wish to know why Elohim is a plural in the bible, please have a look at the exegete's works regarding this topic. Apr 1, 2011 at 21:35
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    @Caleb that's but one take on it. The doctrine of the Trinity is not in the Bible.
    – jbelacqua
    Apr 1, 2011 at 21:37
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    @jgbelacqua, Correct ! Assuming somebody wants to create (sorry has been revealed) his own religion with 2 gods, both of them named God, then, from the purely grammatical point of view, he would be entitled to write "Gods". Assuming he would use English as one of the languages in which to write his sacred/revealed texts, as so many other religions also do. Conversely, considering that so many English speakers have non monotheistic religions, the plural form might have some favour. Apr 1, 2011 at 21:40
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    +1 for plural form. This is pretty much how it is. When translating old testament text there are many Hebrew names for God that are simply translated God (or Lord, LORD, etc.. depending on name/context) The Hebrew concept of God is a monotheistic god but with many sides/faces/personalities. The compassionate God, the wrathful God, God as judge, God as forgiver, and so on. At some points they refer to multiple personalities collectively in a plural form. I don't know of an english translation that conveys this. Usually in the new testament greek God is simply 'Theos'. Apr 2, 2011 at 3:11

"God" is a proper noun. While proper nouns can be pluralized in some cases, it is not very common, and especially not so with "God".

However, I can think of an example. Here is an example with the proper noun, "Bob":

How many Bobs would it take to beat up Charlie?

That is, if Bob could be copied and the copies could fight Charlie, how many would it take to beat up Charlie? This example can be revisited with the proper noun, "God":

How many Gods would it take to beat up Satan?


Sure, why not?

If I don't presuppose that the term refers to one Supreme Being, I can imagine that there are more Supreme Beings. Gods and Goddesses. Unsurprisingly, the word "Gods" does appear in writing. What about the Fates, the Graces, the Norns? Burger Kings or Targets or KwikMarts? What about Egyptians or Armenians, Tudors and Plantagenets, or Kochs or Kardashians?

An interesting construction I discovered on a Hindu information site is "Forms of God" (as well as "Forms of Goddess"). This is an interesting plural, for a presumably (but not necessarily) different God-concept.

I suppose it a philosophical, religious, and/or metaphysical question whether the capitalized "God" is a name, a description, an honorary label, or something else. The different possibilities don't change the fact that mechanically, you can pluralize God. Whether one does so or not will depend on the meaning of the of the name/symbol/label to that person or group.

  • No, there can't be more than one Supreme Being, any more than there can be more than one largest member of a set. (There may be none, of course). May 31, 2011 at 15:58

It might be illustrative to compare it to something more unique than a person's proper name. While we expect there to be many Bobs and Johns, talking about "Gods" may be more like talking about "Englands" or "Swedens". Or "Princes" or "Madonnas"…

Grammatically sound, semantically a little strange, but possible. I suppose you could say things like "Traffic-wise, there aren't many Englands in this world" and "Stricture-wise, there aren't many Gods in religion".

Then again, people use "God" to refer to quite different concepts. I'm sure you could argue that two different persons' Gods (!) are as different as two different Bobs.

  • A more natural example of plural country names is "Koreas".
    – Dan
    Apr 3, 2011 at 0:45
  • @user744 Good point. I suppose also Congos and possibly Chinas (what with Taiwan).
    – Henrik N
    Apr 3, 2011 at 19:35

Interesting question. My intuition suggests that the convention is the capital 'G' is singular and reserved for monotheistic, Abrahamic religions and the lower-case usage is used in conjunction with other faiths which, it is of course assumed are polytheistic and therefore wrong.

I think of the sentence 'worshiping false gods so it sort of depends on the context. You'd never write '... our Gods' unless of course you were writing the speech for a heathen character.

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    I believe the actual usage is that the capital is used for a deity the speaker believes in. In which case "Gods" cannot be used by a monotheist, by easily by a polytheist.
    – Ben Voigt
    Jun 15, 2011 at 0:55

No. There are no known religions whose translation(s) of their scripturs or theology into English or tradition in English allow a plural and capitalized name 'Gods'.

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    Disagree. Let's imagine we are writing a story about a religious play in which we have Jesus, God, Mary, et al. And there is an understudy for God. So there's two of them. In one line of dialogue, the director might say, "OK, I want Jesus over there, and I need both Gods to come over here." It's possible.
    – The Raven
    Apr 1, 2011 at 23:37
  • The Greek or Hindu pantheon of Gods ...?
    – 5arx
    Apr 21, 2011 at 16:10
  • @5arx: That might be appropriate, except that in English, spoken (as a first language) in a predominantly Christian culture, you would properly refer to a set of members of those entities as 'gods'. Why is 'I', the first person singular pronoun, always capitalized, but 'you' is not? Kinda egotistical, but that's what they do.
    – Mitch
    Apr 21, 2011 at 16:24
  • @Mitch - Its a language that supports the Abrahamic monotheistic cultures so I guess its appropropriate. I would always use a capital G for 'God/s' regardless myself. Anything else would be disrespectful to the Almighty(ies) ;-)
    – 5arx
    May 3, 2011 at 9:56
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    @5arx: so close! I'm not convinced by that because the capitalization comes from that for beng in a title.
    – Mitch
    Jun 16, 2011 at 12:47

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