Should You Capitalize “Godly” or God’s Pronouns?

Many people capitalize that proper noun, “God,” when they are writing, but should we capitalize, “godly,” too? You do not have to capitalize, “godly,” because it is not a proper noun or a pronoun of God. Godly is an adjective, so although it is referring to characteristics that are similar to God, it should not be capitalized. 

It can be confusing to figure out when the first letter of religious terms is capitalized, but in this article, I will discuss when different major words are and aren’t capitalized. Grammar rules apply for most of these, but due to the religious figures, the rules warp a bit. 

God as a Proper Noun

Capital letters are usually used at the beginning of proper names. The word God refers to a singular being that is assuming the name of, “God.” When you are referring to the single God, you should capitalize the name, because “God,” is a proper name for God. 

There is an example at the beginning of the Bible, where “God” is capitalized. In Genesis 1:1 New International Version, we see a good example of God being capitalized, when it says, “1In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” God, being the supreme being that created everything, should be capitalized according to this example in Genesis 1:1. 

If you are writing, “God,” you are referring to a singular being that is taking the name of, “God,” so His name should be capitalized in all cases. A capital g should always precede God when referring to Him alone. The monotheistic God of the Bible’s name should walkways be capitalized. God’s name is a holy name, so it should be capitalized out of reverence for Him. 

Holy Spirit as a Proper Noun

Another aspect of God is the Holy Spirit. Christians believe that the Holy Spirit is co-equal with Jesus Christ and God the Father, so the Holy Spirit assumes another proper noun. Holy Spirit should be capitalized. 

Here is an example of “Holy Spirit” being capitalized in the Bible. “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you,” John 14:26. Holy Spirit is a specific being and not a general term, so it should be capitalized. 

Furthermore, some Christians refer to the Holy Spirit as the Holy Ghost, and that should be capitalized as well. The translation of the original text might be different depending on the translation that you use, but regardless of that Holy Spirit and Holy Ghost should both be capitalized. 

Jesus Christ as a Proper Noun

Jesus Christ is the other expression of God that should be capitalized as a proper name. Just like you would capitalize anyone’s name, we capitalize Jesus Christ, because His name is a proper noun. Although we believe that Jesus is the Son of God, we capitalize Jesus regardless of if He was or wasn’t God’s son simply because that is how the English language works. 

Throughout the Bible, “Jesus Christ” is capitalized. In Hebrews 13:8 Jesus’ name is capitalized, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” We see through this verse that the name Jesus Christ should in fact be capitalized. 

Even if we did not typically capitalize names in the English language, the name Jesus Christ should be capitalized regardless because He is the Son of God. It should be considered a reverential capitalization in that case. 

Polytheistic Religions

Some religions believe in multiple gods, so how are we supposed to write that form? When referring to multiple gods, you should use lower case. Pagan “gods” is a common noun, because you are referring to a group of gods.

When writing about specific deities, like Zeus, you should capitalize the name of the god. Although Zeus is not real, we capitalize the names of fictional characters in books, so we capitalize Zeus as well. Apollos and Ares are other fictitious gods that would receive lowercase treatment. 

The Bible even refers to some pagan gods in this way during the book of Exodus. God told Moses, “You shall have no other gods before me,” in Exodus 20:3. This example should set the precedent for us to keep pagan gods as lowercase gods. 

God’s Personal Pronouns

One major question that people have is whether God’s pronouns are capitalized. God’s pronouns are “He” and “Him”, because those are the pronouns that the Bible uses to describe Him. “4 God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness.” Genesis 1:4

Some people firmly believe that deity pronouns should be capitalized at all times, however, capitalized pronouns are not essential when referring to God. Lowercase is fine when referring to God’s pronouns. Growing up, I was taught to capitalize “He” and “Him” when referring to God, but it is not a firm rule. It is a matter of personal conviction. If you are convicted about honoring God by capitalizing His pronouns, then follow your own conviction. 

Personally, capitalizing on divine pronouns always reminds me that He is greater than any person. It is funny to me that everyone else’s pronouns are lowercase, but God is so great that even His pronouns are bigger than everyone’s. There is no judgment if you don’t capitalize God’s pronouns, but it is a matter of personal conviction. 


Ultimately when it comes to capitalizing religious terms it truly depends on the term being used and how it is being used. It might even come down to personal preference. Names for God like Father, Jesus Christ, and Holy Spirit are all proper and should be capitalized. Characterizations of God, like “godly,” should not be capitalized because they are common adjectives. Pagan gods should always be lowercase unless you are referring to a specific god’s name. God’s pronouns come down to personal preference. If you are convicted about capitalizing, “He,” and, “Him,” for God, then capitalized them, however, it is not wrong to not capitalize those words. 

For more articles about the Bible check out the Bible archive on this blog!

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