“Tenderheartedness”: The Hebrew Term רחם (rḥm) and Its Significance for the Doctrine of God

The Hebrew verb רחם (rḥm) is used over 40 times in the Old Testament and is translated in the Authorized Version as “compassion,” “pity,” or “mercy.” In its basic sense, רחם may mean (1) to feel affectionate love based upon a relational bond, or (2) to show kindness to the inferior or needy. The English term “mercy” best translates the second meaning, whereas the term “compassion” brings out the affective element in the first meaning.


God Never Sweats it: Impassibility


“So what exactly is meant by passions? What are affections, or emotions for that matter? And why have Christians throughout the ages been so adamant that God does not have passions? We’ll define some terms in a moment, but it’s good to say upfront that what’s being protected in the doctrine of Divine Impassibility is any creatureliness or finitude within the Godhead.” - Ref21


Does God Have Emotions?

The classical doctrine of God has fallen on hard times in some evangelical circles. In this article, I’m specifically thinking of the doctrine of impassibility.1 The Westminster Confession of Faith says God is without “passions.”2 Robert Reymond explains that doesn’t mean God is an immobile stone; he surely empathizes with human grief and suffering.