Saturday, April 08, 2006

Q13 A3: Whether any name can be applied to God in its literal sense?

Yes. Not all names are applied to God in a metaphorical sense (e.g., "rock"), but there are some which are said of Him in their literal sense, because as regards what is signified by these names (e.g., "being", "good", "living", etc.), they belong properly to God.

That is, they belong to God more properly than they belong to creatures, and are applied primarily to Him.

But note: as regards their mode of signification, these literal names do not properly and strictly apply to God; for their mode of signification applies to creatures.

That is, what such a literal name signifies does not belong to Him in the ordinary sense of its signification, but in a more eminent way.

In summary: literal names imply corporeal conditions, not in the thing signified, but as regards their mode of signification; whereas those which are applied to God metaphorically imply and mean a corporeal condition in the thing signified.