DOES OLORUN OLODUMARE MEAN GOD IN ENGLISH LANGUAGE

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DOES OLORUN MEAN ‘GOD’ IN ENGLISH LANGUAGE?

By Otonba M Akinfolarin

Otonba.akin@gmail.com 

The question asked is prompt because of the reactions of Christian adherents each time when the Christian-Yoruba people in particular and Nigerian in general are asked which ‘God’ they are preaching. Invariably, one gets the answer Olorun. I shall in this briefing to concisely present to all and sundry that Olorun (contraction of Olu-orun) does not mean or can it be interpret as ‘GOD’ as in English. 

In the world that we are living, there are many different cultures that have brought about DIETIES that are acknowledged to be DIVINE. Thus, the Greece as other Aryan races acknowledged and believed that Zeus or Jupiter is divine deities and Theos the Being that has made and arranged all things.  

In pre-Islamic Arabia, Allah is used by Meccans as a reference to the creator-god, possibly the supreme deity.  

Brahman is the concept of the supreme spirit found in Hinduism.  

The Hebrews speak of ELOHIM that express the concepts of divinity – the Canaanite father god is EL. Elohim, with ending – im, is plural and masculine, as a result, the Hebrews speak of the GODS (ELOHIM). One of the descendants of Jacob that gave birth to the twelve tribes of Israel, namely the tribe of Judah, before the phantom exodus from Egypt, know no divine deity. According to the dialogue between Moses and ‘God’ in the phantom burning bush that the descendants of Jacob and by extension the descendants of Abraham demonstrates that neither Moses nor the tribes of Israel ever heard of any “God of their fathers” (Ex. 3: 13). However, in (Ex. 6: 2,3), we read, “And God [Heb., Elohim] spoke unto Moses, and said unto him, I am the Lord [Heb., anoki YHVH = I am Yahweh]: “And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty [Heb., El-Shaddai, God my daemon], but by my name JEHOVAH (Heb., YHVH) was I not known to them”. Thus, the Judaists (Jews) speak of Yahweh Elohim as Hebrew deity.  

For the Christian, according to John Chapter 1, verses 1 and 14, which read: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us; ‘Jesus’ is their God as decreed during the First Council of Nicaea that was summoned by Emperor Constantine. 

The English that brought Christianity to the shore of Yoruba land have their Anglo-Saxons gods, (Woden, Ingui, Thunor, Hengest, Tiw, Welund, Seaxneat and Horsa) and Goddesses (Helith, Freo, Eostre, Nerthus, Erce, Frige, Hretha and Mothers) ‘graven images’. Every one of these Anglo-Saxons gods and goddesses are worshipped, and others who may have been the object of much veneration, were known as the gods of the Heathen Anglo-Saxons. 

As for the Yoruba before the incursion of foreign religions, their Exalted Being (if you like the Almighty) is Olodumare. The major deities they call ORISA – Divinity ((1) Orunmila – Eleri-ipin Ibikeji Olodumare (Ifa, if you like), (2) Obatala – Alabalase, and (3) Esu – Elegbara), and all other lesser deities are known as Imale (idols) such as Oya, Ogun, Sango, Agemo etc. 

The preceding paragraph have laid to rest by what names are some DIETIES that are acknowledged to be DIVINE among different people on earth are known.  

Let us now proceed to trace the true root meaning of ‘God’ in Anglo-Saxons, and in Christianity and see if it does and can connote Olodumare. Here I used the name Olodumare solely and not the compound Olu-orun Olodumare. Olu-orun is the appellation of Olodumare among the Yoruba. In addition, Olodumare is designated as Olu-orun, to all intents and purposes, for the reason that the dwelling of Olodumare is in the heavens.  

The adherents of Christianity and Islam, the two foreign religions in Yoruba land contracted Olu-orun to Olorun, which is intended to be the Owner of the heavens. The reason was that the two foreign religions namely Christianity and Islam elected to use the appellation for Christian ‘God’ and Muslim ‘Allah’.  

The derivation of the word ‘God’ is traceable to old English/Germanic god (guþ, gudis in Gothic, Gott in modern German).  The original meaning and etymology of the Germanic word god is somehow disputable, however most agree to a reconstructed Proto-Indo-European form. The form is hutóm, which is a passive perfect participle from the root of hu-, which expectedly meant “libation”, “sacrifice”. Putting side by side, we have: –

  • Vedic Sanskrit hu- = “to sacrifice”.
  • Greek khu-, kheu- = “to pour”.
  • Common Germanic strong verb geutan (Anglo-Saxon geotan) = “to pour”, English in-got.

Expectedly, the connection between these meanings is through the meaning “pour a libation”. Another potential meaning of hutóm is “invocation”, related to Sanskrit huta.

The word God was used to represent Greek theos, Latin deus in Bible translations, first in the Gothic translation of the New Testament by Ulfilas.

In the aspect of the science of language, especially, historically and comparatively, Greek theos is said to be associated to Zeus, the chief god in Greek mythology, who has Deus in a genitive form. Latin Diespiter means Jupiter, major god in Latin mythology, dies + pater, day + father. In Sanskrit. deva is a god, as derived from the root div, heaven, and dui denoting day, shine and brightness (Lating niter). Thus, it is not out of place to say god as traceable from old English/Germanic connotes “pour a libation”, an image (idol).

The Christian texts dominated the development of English conventional spelling.  As a result, the capitalised “God” was first used to refer to the Judeo-Christian concept, which now signifies any monotheistic conception of God, including the translations of the Arabic Allah, Yoruba Olorun etc.

Notwithstanding, the use of capitalisation, as for a proper noun does not remove the root meaning of the word ‘god’ as traceable from old English/Germanic connoting “pour a libation”, an image (idol). It still stand that ‘God’ in Anglo-Saxon expresses “sacrifice”/”pour” (geotan) to a graven image (god – idol).

Without any iota of doubt it is obvious, and without any contradiction ‘God’ is ‘god’ and ‘god’ is ‘God’. Nevertheless, ‘God’ is use euphemistically as the concept of a singular God. In consequence, the King James Version of 1611 renders Elohim (that express the concepts of divinity – the Canaanite father god is EL. Elohim, with ending – im, is plural and masculine) as “God”. In addition, kurios ho theos as “LORD God” (in the New Testament). 

Since the source of the word, ‘God’ is established and readers are now knowledgeable about the root meaning of ‘God’, traceable to old English/Germanic god; we can now turn our attention to the derivation of the ‘God’ of the Christians. To establish the source of the ‘God’ of the Christians, we cannot withhold the important rolls that historical occurrences played. Therefore, knowing about what happened as at when and why, will assist us to understand beyond reasonable doubt, regarding the derivation of the ‘God’ of the Christians.

Inside (Catholic Encyclopaedia, op. cit., pp. 656-7) it is written that “the earliest of the extant manuscripts of the Christian Scripture (The New Testament), it is true, do not date back beyond the middle of the fourth century AD”. In essence the Church (Church in this sense meant Roman Catholic Church) is telling the whole world that not less than 350 years after the time the Church claims that a Jesus Christ walked the sands of Palestine, there were no Gospels. This is to say the Gospels were progressively writing from 350 AD. The reason for quoting this extraordinary admission of the Church is to establish the period in time when the ‘God’ of the Christians came into existence. By the admission of the Church, it is clear there were no record of any kind anywhere on earth about Jesus Christ earlier than the middle of the fourth century of the Common Era (C.E.).

By 325 C.E., Constantine had been consolidating his rule of the western empire for twenty years, and within those years, he had conquered the Eastern Roman empire, now he had acquired the entire Roman Empire.

By the admission of the Church about the “conversion” and “baptism” of Emperor Constantine to be “entirely legendary” (Catholic Encyclopaedia, Farley ed., vol. xiv, pp. 370-1), it is inferable, there was no Christian religion at Constantine’s time.

There were clusters of presbyters that had developed different gods in the whole Roman Empire. Eusebius Pamphilus of Caesarea wrote that “Constantine noted that among the Presbyterian factions “strife had grown so serious, vigorous action was necessary to establish a more religious state”, but he could not bring about a settlement between rival god factions (Life of Constantine, op. cit., pp. 26-8)”. Further, Eusebius Pamphilus said his advisers warned him that the presbyters’ religions were “destitute of foundation” and needed official stabilisation (ibid.). As a result, the need for a new and State endorsed religion was in order. The Emperor, himself was initiated member of the religious order of Sol Invictus, a cult that regarded the Sun as the one and only ‘Supreme God’. So, it is not by accident that Christians worshiped on Sunday, the very day that Sol Invictus followers worshiped the Sun God. Now, to establish State endorsed Religion, the Emperor commanded all presbyters and their subordinates to the city of Nicaea.

What is known today, as Council of Nicaea was the first ecclesiastical gathering in the Church history. Emperor Constantine summoned attendees to the Council of Nicaea in June 21, 325 C.E.(AD). The summoned presbyters and their subordinates were instructed to bring along their written arguments. The total written arguments were “two thousand two hundred and thirty-one scrolls and legendary tales of gods and saviours, together with a record of the doctrines orated by them” (Life of Constantine, op. cit., vol. ii, p. 73; N&PNF, op. cit., vol. i, p. 518). From available record by a one-time Bishop of Llandaff in Wales (1782), namely Dr Richard Watson there were a total of 318, comprising “bishops, priests, deacons, subdeacons, acolytes and exorcists”. All gathered to debate and decide upon a unified belief system that encompassed only one god. (An Apology for Christianity, 1776, 1796 reprint; also, Theological Tracts, Dr Richard Watson, “On Councils” entry, vol. 2, London, 1786, revised reprint 1791).

Julius Caesar was deified by the Roman Senate after his death (15 March 44 BC) and subsequently venerated as “the Divine Julius”. The word “Saviour” was affixed to his name, its literal meaning being “one who sows the seed”, i.e., he was a phallic god. Julius Caesar was hailed as “God made manifest and universal Saviour of human life”, and his successor Augustus was called the “ancestral God and Saviour of the whole human race” (Man and his Gods, Homer Smith, Little, Brown & Co., Boston, 1952). Emperor Nero (54-68), whose original name was Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus (37-68), was immortalised on his coins as the “Saviour of mankind” (ibid.). The Divine Julius as Roman Saviour and “Father of the Empire” was considered “God” among the Roman masses for more than 300 years. He was the deity in some Western presbyters’ texts, but was not recognised in Eastern or Oriental writings. (Extracted from Nexus Magazine, Volume 14, Number 4 (June – July 2007)). This information is given so that all can know that the words “Saviour”, “God made manifest”, and “Saviour of mankind” preceded Christianity. In other words, Christianity expropriates the words those were affixed to deify Julius Caesar and immortalised Emperor Nero; as affix to their ‘God’.

The motive of Constantine was to establish State endorsed Religion, a new Religion that was in his eyes that will be a social reform, which the empire needed at that time. This new Religion is to give birth to new ‘god’ for his empire that would unite all religious factions under one deity. The attendees argued among themselves, each advancing arguments that will of course favour their own special deity. Overall, 53 gods were tabled for discussion. “As yet, no God had been selected by the council, and so they balloted in order to determine that matter… For one year and five months the balloting lasted…” (God’s Book of Eskra, Prof. S. L. MacGuire’s translation, Salisbury, 1922, chapter xlviii, paragraphs 36, 41).

The record of proceedings at the gathering of the presbyters indicated that over seventeen months of heated debate produced no consensus on a new deity. However, by balloting, the presbyters had succeed eliminating 48 gods out of the 53 gods that were tabled for discussion, by the time Constantine returned to Nicaea. The five short listed prospects were: Caesar, Krishna, Mithra, Horus and Zeus (Historia Ecclesiastical, Eusebius, c. 325).

For the purpose of fusing together the two geographical regions of the empire, namely Western Roman Empire and Eastern Roman Empire, religious wise, Constantine rule that the name of the great Druid/Gaul god – the Respected One, Hesus (Esus), be joined with the Eastern Saviour-god, Krishna (Krishna is Sanskrit for Christ). This god Esus, Hesus was first mention in a classical writing of a Roman poet, Lucan, (M. Annaeus Lucanus) in the first book of his Pharsalia, dating from the first c. AD, the last great battle in the civil war between Pompey and Caesar (Pharsalia I, 444-6). Lucan stressed that the god was worshipped with human sacrifice, and that it was apparently more or less well-known local god, among other gods.

Through voting by the 318 attendees, by the show of hands, the majority elected that the Respected One, Hesus and Saviour-god, Krishna became one ‘God’. In consequence, by Roman deification decree, Constantine legally deified two deities as one, through democratic consent. A new god was proclaimed and “officially” ratified by Constantine (Acta Concilii Nicaeni, 1618). In so doing, the official name for the new Roman god is Hesus Krishna, which subsequently evolved into “Jesus Christ”, when by the ninth century the letter “J” was now in the alphabets.

In 1711, a stone pillar was discovered buried under the choir of the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris. It depicts the “pagan god”, “Esus”, cutting branches from a tree. “Esus”, is the variant of the name “Jesus”. This pillar is dated to around the time of Christ. In Spanish Jesus is pronounced Hesus.

The doctrine of the Incarnation lies at the heart of the Christian religion (to be incarnate means to have a body of flesh). In John Chapter 1: 1-2 and 14 we read: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (2) The same was in the beginning with God. (14) And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

The pagan “logos” was Christianise, to be the ‘WORD’. The Catholic Encyclopaedia says: “Always the Church has {134} forcefully moulded words, and even concepts (as Saviour, Epiphany, Baptism, Illumination, Mysteries, Logos,) to suit her own Dogma and its expression. It was thus that John could take the expression ‘Logos,’ mould it to his Dogma, cut short all perilous speculation among Christians, and assert once for all that the ‘Word was made Flesh’ and was Jesus Christ.” (CE. xi, 392.).

We have now positively and convincingly substantiated the Pagan source of the ‘Christ’, to be the Pagan Myth, -the old Greek “Logos” of a Greek philosopher. The invention of the ‘Logos’ doctrine was credit to a Greek philosopher Heraclitus, who lived 535-475 before ‘Christ’, and had never heard of ‘Christ’. In addition, as they say the rest is history.

Our journey have taken us through etymological journey to discover and trace the root meaning of ‘God’, traceable to old English/Germanic god, as well as looking into the annals of Roman empire history to establish the root source of the Christianity ‘God’. We are now ready to trace the true root meaning of Olu-orun Olodumare the Exalted Being (if you like the Almighty) in Yoruba land. 

The most revered Being among the Yoruba in harmony with the dictation of their religious belief (Ifa) is Olu-orun Olodumare. The Yoruba do not worship Olu-orun Olodumare; they serve Olu-orun Olodumare and worship Orisa. Late Canon E. M. Lijadu got that clarification from an Ifa high Priest when written about Ifa belief.

The word Olu-orun as mentioned above is the appellation of Olodumare among the Yoruba. In fact, the word Olu-orun composed of two words in Yoruba and conveying Olodumare ‘s appellation. The word Olu in Yoruba in its general usage among the people is a reference to superiority. Accordingly, we have Olu-ko to be teacher, Olu-ode to be Chief hunter, Olu-pama to be Chief protector etc. In addition, wives sometime refer to their husbands as Oluwa-mi, which is my Lord. Therefore, The word Olu in Yoruba is tantamount in meaning to Lord in English.

The word Orun is derived from ancient Egyptian word for “Sky” or “Heavens”, which is Horu. The ‘H’ is elided to have pure Yoruba noun that begin with vowel ‘o’, and ‘n’ is added for nasal pronunciation (The Religion of the Yorubas pp 12-14 and p 36, by The Venerable Archdeacon J. Olumide Lucas). An in general the syllable Ol or Ol is generally used to denote ownership or agency. We know already how the word Orun is derived and what it connotes. Conclusively, the word Olu in Yoruba is tantamount in meaning to Lord in English and Orun in Yoruba is tantamount in meaning to Heaven in English. Therefore, Olodumare’s appellation is Lord-of-Heaven or Heavenly Lord. In essence, this implied that the Yoruba in the heavenly realm assigned a title to Olodumare the Supreme Being as they assign titles to human beings in the earthly realm. Without any iota of doubt that Olu-orun, which the adherents of the two foreign religions in Yoruba land contracted to be Olorun is not the name by which the Yoruba call the Supreme Being.

Now it is time to derive the true root meaning of Olodumare, The Ever-righteous One as given by Bishops Crowther and Johnson. Olodumare has components parts and one have to understand the meaning of the components parts. The components parts are as follow: Ol’odu-ma-re and all together is pronounced as Olodumare. The syllable Ol’ in this instance as an agency together with Odu, which is contracted to Olodu in its far-reaching form, is indicating completeness.

The word Odu is used for things that are foremost, of pre-eminent status in Yoruba land. Thus, Olodu connote in this instance Exalted Being or Exalted One to use the word of Bishops Crowther and Johnson. The last part of the components parts is expressing the idea among the Yoruba that the soul return to the Exalted Being after death. This is ‘Ma-re” and this word simply meant, “I shall go or I must go”, which is in existence and is enshrined in the word Olodumare. This concept of returning to the Exalted Being after death can be heard in some Yoruba sayings, for examples “Gbogbo ohun ti a ba se li aiye li ao duro ka ni asalu orun (We shall have to give an account of everything that we do in this world when we reach Hall of heaven)”. Nigbati mo ba ku, emi pelu re yio lo ro o niwaju Olu-orun (Whenever I die, both of us will have to state our case before the Heavenly-Lord. It thus clearly shows by the name of the Exalted One that the Yoruba concept of after death judgment and presence before the throne of Olu-orun Olodumare predated the coming of Christianity and Islam. In all it fullness and completeness Olodumare, without mischievousness, the holistic translation of the word Olodumare to English is THE EXALTED BEING TO WHOM I MUST RETURN. 

Although, the title of this essay is ‘DOES OLORUN MEAN ‘GOD’ IN ENGLISH LANGUAGE?’, but we can infer four important conclusions. Namely: –

  1. Adherents of Ifa and Christianity do not believe in the same ‘Supreme Being’.
  2. Olorun or Olu-orun is not and does not translate to ‘God’ in English language.
  3. Olorun or Olu-orun is not the name of the ‘Supreme Being’ in Yoruba belief (Ifa). It is a title.
  4. Olodumare is not and does not translate to ‘God’ in English language.

 

Is it Ifa or Christianity adherents that are serving and worshiping the true SUPREME BEING? I welcome readers’ vigorous feed back in light of this composition.  

By Otonba M Akinfolarin

London, United Kingdom

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28 Responses to “DOES OLORUN OLODUMARE MEAN GOD IN ENGLISH LANGUAGE”

  1. yinka says:

    I agree with you that Olorun means Olu-orun which is a title the yorubas have conferred on Olodumare. However, I disagree with you that Orun is a derivative of Horu. It could have been either way since yoruba religion wasn’t born yesterday. There are many things that we say as people of very deep roots that are found in the bible with a different twist.

    Olodumare or Olu-odu-mare from my understanding which has nothing to do with scholar research is different. Odu is intelligence so one can say Olu-odu means a Higher Intelligence. Mare (beauty) is from osumare (rainbow). Osumare means shade of beauty. Put these together and we have Olu-odu-osumare. Intelligence behind the making of the rainbow.

    Now, if we go to the Bible where it talks about the making of rainbow. Gen 9:13 “I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth”, there the Bible clearly states that the rainbow (osumare) is God’s sign (sorry, I don’t know where the name God came from). From here on, I think the question we should be asking is that which culture or tradition in practice today had influence on or was influenced by the early writters of the Bible.

    With the little I know about the Yoruba religion, it is impossible not to believe that a more thorough and more extensive Old Testament could have come out of the religion.

  2. sunnystrapp says:

    Hello Mr. Akinfolarin, Your article added to my knowledge about how people view Olodumare. Thank you. I am doing a study of the Bible with a few Nigerian persons where we share ideas. We enjoy the studies very much. It seems that you have a rather clear vision of “christianity” ala the Catholics or their offspring, the Protestants. Your knowledge of what the Bible really teaches leaves somewhat to be desired. Your conclusions are accurate considering the influence of the fore-mentioned religions. If you would like to study what the Bible really says, I’d be happy to hear from you. Regards

    • george gonzalez says:

      your reply is that it seems that you are a christian and christians dont
      want to listen to the truth even if it hits them smack in the head they
      dont except no explenation what so ever they are brain washed,the truth of the matter is that their is over 44000 religion in this world and
      the only one that is the true one is ifa is the oldest of them all its over
      45,000 years old put that in your little kitty jar,and all other religions
      are nothing else but copies of ifa, read in your bible about melchizedek in truth he is one and same orunmila in mecca he’s kown
      by both names..if you dont know what you are speaking about you
      should keep your mouth close……thank you

    • Rev George E Gonzalez says:

      sunnystrapp, its very nice to have a conversion with you,the subject at hand is that if I am not an hebrew why should I pratice their religion does that sound strange to you ? well I dont think so, the same thing goes for christianity which is the same thing as the hebrew religion not 100% but never the less the same thats where it comes from right ,so thinking along these lines if we as humen beings all come from africa then we all humam beings should be practicing their religion am I thinking right or not,their are thousands of religions in our world but they just copies of the one true one becuase theirs only one TRUE GOD and one TRUE religion so what are we beating around the bush making our selfs fools right Im just saying with all due respect you know every one has the right to believe in what ever the please and that its O.k. by me Im just trying to see this thru I hope every one understands me no offence ment….

  3. Otonba Akinfolarin says:

    Hi Sunnystrap,
    I think you have to read the article again to have a comprehensive understanding of the theme of the essay. No where in the essay did I allude to the teaching of the

  4. sunnystrapp says:

    Thanks, before you reach the appointed time, the offer still stands. :O)

  5. Otonba Akinfolarin says:

    By the way what

  6. Awotunde Dosunmu Ifaseeyin Agbosi says:

    E pele o brother Otonba. This is excellent work and it only hits at the tip of this subject. The thing is that this is common knowledge to the enemies who forced christianity on our people, but it is sad to see the lengths that our own Afrikan people will go to to STILL justify the foreign and false religions of this enemy IN THE FACE OF SUCH SUCCINT AND DIRECT FACTS. Everything about christianity in this article is fact. I do not see how another Afrikan (if this person indeed is Afrikan/black) could invite you to a study of such a false and anti-Afrikan document after examining THOROUGHLY such profound info. Also, to mention studying what the bible REALLY says does not absolve it from its false origins and in fact only digs the bible and christianity into deeper trouble. Because the words of the bible itself may be even worse than the false origins of the bible. From genesis to revelation the anti-Afrikan and anti-woman mode of the bible increases and spreads like a great cancer – yet another disease that truly holds Afrikans worldwide back from dealing the death blow of freedom. Baba Awotunde Dosunmu Ifaseeyin Agbosi. http://www.newafrikanvodun.com... awo@newafrikanvodun.com

  7. ayekoto52 says:

    Odu as in Oduduwa, Oludu is used in Ifa as one of the 16 chapters, Odu is also used as specific Ifa verse. Osu is meant to mean collection of somethings e.g Osuowo or as the Akures will put it Osusulowo, Mare could be seen as something far, long, high above the sky.
    Therefore, Osumare could be a collection of far above the sky things. Odumare or Olodumare could not be and not YahWeh, just as Allah is not YahWeh. The Ifa worshiper say ” Olugberin Alugberin ni orunko Orunmila orunmila baba Ifa, Ifa lan be si Olodunmare ti a bo.

  8. Oladiran Olarewaju says:

    Yoruba people need to emancipate themselves from the mental enslavement of both christianity and islam that have now bastardised their spiritual and belief systems. Our forebears had a clear understanding of who Olodumare was/is. He is not a first among equals and stands at a distinct level of his own, higher and above all gods and deities.

    All Yoruba names are descriptive sentences that have been contracted. This includes OL-ODU-MA-RE. ODU is ‘sacred words of eternal truths’

    ODUMARE are sacred words of eternal truths that cannot be unravelled. (A wa ma ri idi) OLODUMARE is the owner of the sacred words of eternal truths that cannot be unravelled, all as spelled out in the sixteen odu-ifa and the subverses. Odu-Ifa is an inexhaustible mine of eternal truths.
    There is nothing to compare Olodumare with. He is not a tribal god as in christian ‘God of Israel’ that resides in Zion. He is the ultimate creator of even the gods and deities and has no tribal or geographical boundaries. His residence is Orun and his title,by man, Olu-Orun (Olorun).

  9. Amos says:

    Odu as in Awon Oju Odu Meridinlogun should immediately connote sacred words. As someone has correctly explained above, MARE means beauty. Taking from Psalm 27 vs 1 and 4, (1. The Lord is my Light and salvation. Note “Light” here light means (illumination or revealing or unveiling of truth) ie ODU and 4. One thing I have desired of the Lord and that I will seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the BEAUTY (MARE) of the Lord and to enquire in His temple. From here, it is clear to infer that OLODUMARE means “the owner of the Beautiful Sacred words” Note the elders say in Yoruba “Eni koni ni ifa ni an fi ODU jo”
    needless to say that ODU is statement, or words.

    • Otonba Morakinyo Akinfolarin says:

      Dear Amos,
      I believed that though your name (AMOS) is a Hebrew name, you are not a Hebrew but a Yoruba. I know you will claim that Amos is your Christian name. Nothing can be far from the truth! Be aware that before the advent of Christianity on earth the Hebrew-Jew has been naming their offspring as Amos, David, Joseph, Isaiah etc. Thus bearing Amos as a name does not make you a Christian or not. Out of ignorance, you are named and identified by a foreign name to the detriment of your own indigenous name that should be portraying your background (ILE NI A MA WO KI A TO FUN OMO NI ORUKO).
      I strongly believed that you need to read this article all over again to have a comprehensive understanding of ODU.
      You highly erred by relating Yoruba ODU word with Hebrew-Jew’s writing. Yoruba history predated Hebrew-Jew’s history. According to Hebrew scripture (Old Testament) the world today, is six thousand (6000) years plus. A dead human bone was exhumed at Akure that is over thirty-five thousand (35,000) years old. In addition, the oldest Pyramid in Egypt is over ten thousand (10,000) years old. Thus, it is erroneous to relate Yoruba history or perceive her words through Hebrew scripture (Old Testament).
      The word Odu is used for things that are foremost, of pre-eminent status in Yoruba land. An in general the syllable Ol or Ôl is generally used to denote ownership or agency. Thus, OLODU connote in this instance Exalted Being or Exalted One to use the word of Bishops Crowther and Johnson. The last part of the components parts is expressing the idea among the Yoruba that the soul returns to the Exalted Being after death. This is ‘MA-RE’ and this word simply meant, “I shall go or I must go”, which is in existence and is enshrined in the word OLODUMARE. This concept of returning to the Exalted Being after death can be heard in some Yoruba sayings, for examples “Gbogbo ohun ti a ba se li aiye li ao duro ka ni asalu ọrun (We shall have to give an account of everything that we do in this world when we reach Hall of heaven)”. Nigbati mo ba ku, emi pelu re yio lo ro o niwaju Olu-orun (Whenever I die, both of us will have to state our case before the Heavenly-Lord). It thus clearly shows by the name of the Exalted One that the Yoruba concept of after death judgment and presence before the throne of Olu-orun Olodumare predated the coming of Christianity and Islam. In all it fullness and completeness OLODUMARE, without mischievousness, the holistic translation of the word OLODUMARE to English is THE EXALTED BEING TO WHOM I MUST RETURN.

      • oniwo George E Gonzalez Sr says:

        this is for Otonba,I have something very importaint to say to both of you,every single human being on this planet is a ( African ) an African is identified as a human being, now if you would like inregards to religion and wisdom the only people that has had it is the people who practice IFA why becuase it was gevin to them directly by Olodumare the only true living GOD theirs no other living GOD in this universe you may think so you may create one in your mind and thats fine but the fact still remains.the proplem is that to many people have created to many religions that are not real ? even christian are the same as the jewish and so on but people dont realize the facts they believe in blind faith which is wrong !!!! so every body says o no my religion is true but they only speake about their own books which are all false document created by them selfs just like the ctholic bible it was writen by the 72 priests of King Constantien so they would have a new religion.thats where the Bible was created.not by GOD not by the jews or anyone else.NOW IFA IS THE OLDEST LIVING RELIGION ON EARTH ANDITS THE ONLY THAT GOD HIMSELF CREATED FOR ALL HUMAN BEING BLACK,BROWN,WHITE, and you can put it in the bank thank you ..and dont ever forget the jews are not jews they are HINDU”s INDIANS
        they recreated them selfs ……………………………………………..

      • Oluo Awodele says:

        IBORU IBOYA IBOSHESHE yes you do have words of wisdom for sure ache ,, Mr, Otonba Morakinyo Akinfolarin: are you an Babalawo by any chance Sir. thank you very much for being on line and making your statement thank you once again. Oluo Ifasegun Awodele Ooni-Ooni in IFA yes Im an Babalawo for the past 31 years thats to Orunmila and sango and OLODUMARE for their blessings ache to you .Im also very thankful to the people who made this web site possible.

  10. Oladiran says:

    The bible is very explicit about the ‘GOD’ it is referrencing. This god was mentioned about 200 times in the bible and referred to as GOD OF ISRAEL. When you mention something once, it is for information. Twice, is to emphasize it but when it has to be repeated over 200 times, it is to sink it into any dumb heads that the words are exactly what they represent and should not be given any other meaning or translation. This god of Israel fought so many battles with the children of Israel against every other tribe begining from the Egyptians, the Hivites, the Peruzite, the Canaanite and a host of others including the descendants of Esau (Israel’s twin brother.) This ‘God of Israel even ordered the complete extermination of many of these tribes. If he was their God would he have so ordered ? Let our researchers just mention one tribe in the bible for whom this ‘God of Israel’ fought.
    This same ‘God of Israel’ acknowledged severally that these other tribes had their own GODS (of the same level with him)and being a jealous god forbade the Israelites to worship these GODS and never to have other gods beside him. This is the God worshipped today by christians and contrary to his instructions, have added another God in the person of Jesus Christ to the equation.
    Simply put, the god of the Christian church is GOD OF ISRAEL and for ISRAEL ONLY.
    There is no controversy about the person of Olodumare. He is the source of all sources and does not lay claim to any tribe or race. He is definitely not the ‘God of Israel’ in the christian sense, but the supreme Divinity over and above the ”God of Israel’.

    Trying to define the name Olodumare is simply an exercise in futility. The argument is endless. The significant thing is knowledge of the person of Olodumare as the singular and supreme Divinity. It is safer not to call him God, because of the confusion associated with that appellation, but to simply call him by his name, Olodumare while Olorun (Olu Orun) remains his unshared title.
    These facts had long been established by our forefathers. The confusion came with the advent of Christianity and Islam with both religions forcibly trying to replace the age-long and correct beliefs of our forfathers. We have been forcibly subjected to mental slavery (the worst form of slavery) and we can no longer refer to our past and the great deeds of our forefathers. Instead we quote copiuosly from the Bible and Quran. Show me where in the Bible or Quran the God of Israel or Allah did anything for a Yoruba, Ibo, Hausa or even Ghanaian. It is high time we emancipate ourselves from this mental slavery. “Non but ourselves can free our minds” (Bob Marley in Redemption Song)

    • Prince Israel says:

      May Yahweh opens the eyes of your spiritual understanding? Oluwa,Olorun and Olodumare are nothing but IDOLS! Dead gods!

      • Oluo Awodele says:

        very nice to meet you who ever you are, becuase you are not by law a jew or a hebrew your still an HINDOO yes an indian black and before that you were and black Egyptian and before that you were original african black Afrim people of Africa so whats your problem mr prince israel now what do you have to say buddy,now you know were you come from right. modern jewish people are the descendants of the ancient Afrim people that Ancient Egypt to Canaan and than Europe.so from being black to being white is quite a big trick HA I would say so right mr prince israel,,,think about it ??? dont act so rightious the real GOD is whatching your steps and what you are saying buddy. GOD BLESS

    • Oluo Awodele says:

      Please people stop the monopony I do think that you are a grown person and have been studing some what ?????, have not come to your senses yet. dont you realize that christianity is a totle fruad that Jesus is a fruad to, wake up people the bible was writin by King Constantin”s Priest”s and it toke them years to write the bible.and it had nothing to do with GOD or Jesus, so why dont you people wake up.you keep referring to the jewish for information they are also a big fruade to.they have stolen all the religious materio to create their religion as well, DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH IN ANCIENT RELIGION ? yes stop all this its crazy the same thing over and over all the time the hebrews they are nothing but copy cats thats all.the Christians have killed millions of people over 2,000 years to force them to believe in their religion they are murderers of women and childern and old folks does not matter if you believe me or not I dont care do your resarch thats all buddy just do it, GOD BLESS

  11. Omoregha Sunday ebun says:

    Some of u speak carnally, a carnal mind can not understand d things of “The One who created the heavens and the earth(awon orun ati aye). I am currently writing a book, when I’m through i will get back to u so that u can understand the mind of Olu-orun(Olodumare) whom d English man refers to as God and Hebrew man cals Him El Eli Lyon. If your gods(orisa or image) has power y is it doctrines fading away? I pray that d Almighty open ur mind of understanding.

    • Oladiran Olarewaju says:

      Can’t wait to read your book. EBUN OMOREGHA depict your roots but SUNDAY does not! It is part of the mental slavery.
      That said, the subject of discussion is OLODUMARE and the question is ‘Is Olodumare God? 
      This has nothing to do with Orisa. Anyway, Olodumare is not one of the Orisas (deities).
      I will not preempt your book but know that sagacios Traditional Yoruba mythology clearly and incontrovertibly distinguishes Olodumare from Orisas and Imales.  

      • Oniwo George E Gonzalez Sr says:

        Here is what people must understand,that in the beginning Olodumare gave orders to Obatala to create all that needed to be created now, Obatala appered as a black men after he had created the earth and created man and then women from the man and Obatala created them to his image which was black so all man and women were black human people,this was about ( 3 ) million years ago approximately,esu came down and tought human all they needed to know how to survive,and ESU thought only ( 2 ) men the secrets of IFA so they could communicate with IFA which later became ORUNMILA or OLODUMARE
        , we are speaking about the human kind,as they grew in size their where a lot of ifa priest all over the land,but their was only one race in the world their was no white people no hindus,no other kind except black race that’s all their was…. so the true owners of this planet is ans always will be are the African people they the true owners of this planet and no body else, all other races are invited guest that is all by common law or universal law.all other races in this world have committed violent crimes against that race which is on fortunate in the history of this planet ! its very sad what we have done to these people over all these century and the bad part of it we are still doing it what a shame GOD for gives us amen

  12. oluo ifa awodele says:

    I very happy that some one is educating people in this world about our
    religion and our race,most people have not have an idea of who are the
    african people,they think that we are very uneducated and stupid and
    lazy people but the thing is that they dont know where were they have
    gotten all their information from that they are usesing today in their schools in goverment in building in wars as well as in all other places
    of intrest and all types of knowledge they have goten it all from africa
    so why do they think their better then us, theirs no way that can ever happen not on this planet…..THE AFRICAN RACE IS THE ORIGINAL
    MAN AND WOMAN EVERY THING ELSE IS A COPY AND YOU CAN PUT
    THAT IN THE BANK……………………….

  13. oluo ifa awodele says:

    speakig about the hebrew people the are not original hebrew or jewish
    their real race is hindoo indians from a tribe calle Ioude from west north INDIA,in which case they whore throwen out of their own country for trying to take full control of the land and business their so when they had taken control of all the king of india got very mad and sent his army to collected the whole tribe and deported them out of the country that is they started migrating towards egypt after they
    egypt moses waited for the old to die off and the new generation
    to grow up (1) the old to die so the history of leaving india would
    die with them;
    (2) the young generation moses would teache them a new language
    and a new history and a new god.
    (3) create a new god which false, and would tell his people that has
    ordered them to KILL ALL THE CANAANITES and take their land of
    milk and honey for them selfs.
    but as you can see thats murder killing all does peoples just for the
    land…….I dont think so sorry but I think that people are evil down to the core their god is totlely EVIL. A GOD THAT ORDERS ITS PEOPLE
    TO KILL OTHER PEOPLE FOR THEIR LAND ITS GOT TO BE EVIL

  14. brian says:

    Interesting history and views. Very scholarly sounding writing of Christian history, but entirely inaccurate. Hebrew history also inaccurate, especially in the comments. There is really no need to misrepresent the Jewish/Christian history to establish any credibility to your religion. In fact, it lessens your credibility to quote old, tired, arguments that were never taken seriously. I will not try to persuade anyone reading this of anything, other than that you must do your own research. 

    • Oluo Awodele says:

      Well Brian, just to let you know things dont happen out of the blue, I have Jewish Family and let me tell you how they are ??????. O.K. all I said before is been researched by scholars from books that I do read its not what I say,its history my friend its been proofed O.K..thats the same problem we are having today in our country all the corporations are owned by you know who,and look how this country is all messed up ! so Mr Brian take off your bucket of your head and do some real research that will do you some good buddy,you see Im an IFA Priest for the last 31 years and have studied hard every day of those 31 years buddy Im not stupid or uneducated I have over 2,000 books of my own on this subject so I feel better educated and informed then you buddy I think that you should start listening and stop objecting so much.your friend OLUO IFASEGUN AWODELE Ooni-Ooni in IFA take care Mr Brian

  15. Oluwatosin Akintayo says:

    These ifa guys seem to be very intelligent, how come we have diverse and inaccurate stories of creation according to the Yoruba folklore? Talking about the Biblical history of creation, there are many generations that weren’t recorded thus not mentioned(e.g children of Israel born in Egypt after the children of the 12 patriarchs and before the time of Moses; examine Gen 46, exodus 6, numbers 2& Matt 1). The true origin of Oduduwa remains controversial as the Benin account looks more convincing than the multiple Yoruba accounts. The 6 days of creation isn’t exactly the 6 days we have come to know as Creator’s chronos differ from ours. Carbon dating isn’t an accurate measurement, except maybe you believe the stories of dinosaurs and evolution (my opinion though). My final take on this is, no history is accurate, even the written ones evolve with time, talkless of oral, and GOD/Olodunmare is a function of nomenclature n nothing more. Just so you may know I call Him Jehovah, you can call Him whatever you like, He remains who He is.

  16. kola says:

    Many Genesis stories are Mesopotamian rewrites; 4 of 40 Gospels were selected mostly on political grounds. None of the gospels written by their presumed authors; only 6 or 7 of the Pauline epistles were written by Paul, the book of Revelation was selected among several books of revelation and left out in a few cannons. The book of Enoch left in some cannons.

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