The name appears in Wulfila's Gothic language translation of the bible as gudja for "priest", but in Old Norse it is only the feminine form gyðja that perfectly corresponds to the Gothic form. The corresponding masculine Old Norse form would have been an unattested *gyði.
In Scandinavia there are surviving early attestations in the Proto-Norse form gudija from the Norwegian Nordhuglo runestone, and in the later Old Norse form goði from two Danish runestones, the Glavendrup stone (DR 209) and the Helnæs Runestone (DR 190).
Otherwise, there are no further surviving attestations except from Iceland where the goðar would be of historical significance. The goðar are depicted in the Sagas as the religious and political leaders of their district or goðorð. In Iceland, prior to Christianization, religious temples or hofs were privately owned and maintained by a hofgoði or temple priest. They were also an important part of the Icelandic political system for a long time after the arrival of Christianity.