What God Really Looks Like In The Bible

God has made a lot of appearances in popular culture. From "The Simpsons" to "Bruce Almighty," TV shows and movies of all sorts have presented a range of takes on God to viewers.

The deity's devious foe, Satan, is commonly depicted sporting horns and a vicious pitchfork-like weapon. According to Aleteia, this image has its origins in both the Book of Revelation ("Then I saw another beast which rose out of the earth; it had two horns like a lamb and it spoke like a dragon," 13:11) and in the mythology of Ancient Greece (Underworld god Hades wielded a similar weapon). God, in turn, is often presented in art and popular culture as human in appearance, sporting a luxurious beard (or, in the case of "Bruce Almighty," as the magnificent Morgan Freeman). Here's what the Bible itself has to say about what God looks like.

The website Christianity.com reports that the most fundamental issue in pinning down exactly what God looks like is this: God does not have a specific form. If this mighty being is indeed everywhere at all times, after all, it would be impossible for God to have a standard physical form. By default, at any rate. Psalm 113:4-6, per Christianity.com, describes God as being "enthroned on high," but it seems that this isn't necessarily to be interpreted literally. 1 Timothy 1:17 refers to God as "eternal, immortal, invisible," which is also indicative of a state of being both everywhere and (on a level humanity can see) nowhere.

Physical, metaphorical, or both?

Very few individuals in the Bible claimed to have seen God face-to-face. God tells Moses (Exodus 33:20), "Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man can see me, and live." Perhaps God can assume certain familiar forms, though. Open Bible highlights specific passages that speak of God's physical appearance, such as Revelation 1:12-15: "like a son of man, clothed with a long robe and with a golden sash around his chest. The hairs of his head were white, like white wool, like snow. His eyes were like a flame of fire, his feet were like burnished bronze." But just as God has no specific form, neither does God have specific gender, although Jesus speaks of his Father in heaven.

Couple that with Isaiah 6:1, which states, "I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple." This further suggests that God can perhaps manifest in a humanlike form, but is also something more than physical. More than we can perceive.

As Crosswalk suggests, God's divinity and Incarnation (taking human form as Jesus) needn't be one and the same. With that in mind, the image of the towering humanlike God may be more than allegorical.