Teotl is a central idea of Aztec religion. The Nahuatl term is often translated as "god", but it may have held more abstract aspects of the numinous or divine, akin to the Polynesian concept of Mana. In Pipil mythology Teut ( Nawat cognate of Teotl) is known merely as the creator and the father of life. The nature of "Teotl" has been an ongoing discussion between scholars for many years.
Teotl is also a key element in the understanding of the fall of the Aztec empire, because it seems that the Aztec ruler Moctezuma II and the Aztecs in general referred to Cortés and the conquistadors as "Teotl" - it has been widely believed that this means that they believed them to be Gods, but a better understanding of "teotl" might suggest that they were merely seen as "mysterious" and "inexplicable".
Whereas in most Nahuatl translations of the Bible and Christian texts, "God" (, Θεός) is translated with the Spanish word Dios, in modern translations by the Catholic Church in the 21st century, the word Teotzin, which is a combination of teotl and the reverential suffix -tzin, has been used officially for "God".