Awesome!

Unfortunately, we’ve lost the true meaning of the word awesome, at least in the USA. (How about you in other countries?)

Awesome

Dictionary.com

1. inspiring awe: an awesome sight.

2. showing or characterized by awe.

3. Slang. very impressive: That new white convertible is totally awesome.

American Heritage Dictionary

1. Inspiring awe: an awesome thunderstorm.

2. Expressing awe: stood in awesome silence before the ancient ruins.

3. Slang Remarkable; outstanding: “a totally awesome arcade game” (Los Angeles Times).

I think these slang terms are even outdated. Anything anyone likes or thinks is cool can be labeled as awesome.

Awe

Dictionary.com

1. an overwhelming feeling of reverence, admiration, fear, etc., produced by that which is grand, sublime, extremely powerful, or the like: in awe of God; in awe of great political figures.

American Heritage Dictionary

1. A mixed emotion of reverence, respect, dread, and wonder inspired by authority, genius, great beauty, sublimity, or might: We felt awe when contemplating the works of Bach. The observers were in awe of the destructive power of the new weapon.

WordNet

1. an overwhelming feeling of wonder or admiration; “he stared over the edge with a feeling of awe”

2. a feeling of profound respect for someone or something; “the fear of God”

Exodus 15:11 “Who is like you, O LORD, among the gods? Who is like you, majestic in holiness, awesome in glorious deeds, doing wonders?

Psalms 66:3 Say to God, “How awesome are your deeds! So great is your power that your enemies come cringing to you.

Isaiah 64:3 When you did awesome things that we did not look for, you came down, the mountains quaked at your presence.

Joel 2:31 The sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the great and awesome day of the LORD comes.

We younger people sing in church “Our God is an Awesome God” or other songs and hymns mentioning the word, I wonder if they’re thinking that God is really cool or a great guy.

I have to wonder if Bible translators will feel a need to find another word for awesome to describe God.

Somewhat related to that, I think the church in general has lost the “fear of God” or awe of God in the classic sense. Mabye a future post on that.

4 Responses to “Awesome!”


  1. 1 ElShaddai Edwards

    I remember as a boy, I used “awesome” to describe something of no consequence and my dad immediately said, “only God is awesome.” Those kind of teaching tidbits stick with you…

  2. 2 ScriptureZealot

    That’s nice you had that.

    Nice to see you here.

  3. 3 cheryl

    I am on a mission to make people aware of this word. I have business cards with the following printed on them that I will hand out:

    Awesome(aw-yome’/Yare’) : to inspire reverence or godly fear or awe—if you research the meaning the only one who should inspire us to use this word is God Almighty –Yet it is one of the most widely and disrespectfully misused words in our language. Only God is Awesome!!!!

  4. 4 Scripture Zealot

    Wow cheryl, you’re bold. I think it’s a losing battle unfortunately. People older and older are using it the “new” way. I only know a couple of people who feel the same way I do. Thanks for commenting.
    Jeff

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