8. Immateriality

By James M. Rochford

God is not a physical being, as Mormon theologians believe. Instead, the Bible teaches that God is a spiritual being. In fact, we define God as being an infinite, unembodied Mind.

(Jn. 4:24) God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.

(Jn. 1:18) No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him.

(1 Tim. 1:17) Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever.

(1 Tim. 6:15-16) He who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, 16 who alone possesses immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see. To Him be honor and eternal dominion!

If God is an immaterial and spiritual being, then what about the passages which speak of the fingers, arms, and eyes of God?

Moses writes that the Ten Commandments were “written by the finger of God” (Ex. 31:18). The Bible also teaches that God has an “arm” (Deut. 7:19), “wings” (Ps. 91:4), and “eyes” (Heb. 4:13). Does God have a physical form?

These are all anthropomorphic figures of speech. The Bible also teaches that “God is spirit” (Jn. 4:24). As faithful interpreters, we need to interpret these figures of speech in light of these clear, didactic passages of Scripture. Jesus himself explained that “a spirit does not have flesh and bones” (Lk. 24:39). Moreover, since the Bible affirms the invisibility of God, this wouldn’t fit with a humanoid, physical being, as Mormon theologians believe. This is a principle of grammatical-historical hermeneutics; we need to interpret the unclear portions of Scripture in light of the clear.