Origins of Yahweh?

Speaking for only for myself, it surely seems that the God of the Christians is the same as that of the Jews, except with a continuation of the story which departs from Judaism.

From wiki I learned:

Hebrew Bible, also called Hebrew Scriptures, Old Testament, or Tanakh, collection of writings that was first compiled and preserved as the sacred books of the Jewish people . It also constitutes a large portion of the Christian Bible, known as the Old Testament.

The Koran does not seem to have found any place in the Christian BIble and neither do Christians (as far as I can tell) view it as related to the BIble.

Regardless I see no reason to assume each of the three worships a different God. As others have said the manner of the worship varies but each one worships a singular God. If indeed God is a singular being, it may well be that this being is what each religion worships in its own way., (In the interest of full disclosure, I don’t think God is a singular being apart from something that is in us which supports God belief.) So for me it isn’t really a question of whether the Jewish, Christian and Islamic God are the same being as it is a question about whether the same phenomenon which supports belief in each of the Gods is the same. I do think that is likely the case.


For a monotheist there is no other God for the God of Islam, or of Judaism, or of Christianity to be. One can insist that another group has an incorrect view of the one God. But saying that Muslims “worship a different God” while those who fail to subscribe to or those who do subscribe to the doctrine of the Trinity within Christianity have different ideas about the “same God” is to draw a line on a blurry continuum where no obvious place exists for such a line to be drawn.


I might have skimmed a few of the posts in this thread - and don’t think I’ve read very many in much depth - so my answer here may repeat a lot of stuff they may have already been said. And this is me writing with my own hat on (not as a moderator, but as just another participant here - hopefully my words will be weighed for their own merits alone. In other words - this is not put forward as any sort of ‘Biologos’ opinion, but only my own.

To the extent that anybody worships a “Creator” of everything and everyone, then they are worshipping the same (with respect to the worshipped being ‘Creator’) - no matter what different word they may have for such a being, and whether they do so from within a Christian tradition or not. To the extent that anybody worships an “ultimate Good”, then I would say their worshipped being also is yet another Christian understanding of God - and so then … the same, no matter what words or tradition their worship is embodied in.

To the extent that anybody attributes false attributes to God (I would say, making God out to be an evil tyrant or a deceiver, for example), I say that to the extent they do that, they are worshipping something that is not the Christian understanding of God (whether they do so from within a Christian tradition or not).

Furthermore, I think it necessary to concede (as has been said before), that none of us can have a complete understanding of all of God. We will have necessarily incomplete understandings, and certainly some wrong understandings too. So all of us, then are giving imperfect worship to God, probably some a lot more than others. The being we hope to have a relationship with is a forgiving one, if the Christian and the biblical narrative are true as many of us here see it. So thankfully we don’t all have to ace any “factuality” exams before God will relate to us. I think Christ is our true picture of God, but he doesn’t guarantee us that our understandings suddenly then become infallible.

In short, I think there are Muslims who (by evidence of their lives) worship the true God, and Muslims who worship false gods. I think there are Christians who worship the true God, and Christians who worship false gods. (and I think people, sinful as we are, can fluidly move between those categories as we variously resist or fall to temptations in our lives.) And since people will accuse me here then of suggesting that there are “many equal paths” to God and that all religions must therefore be right, I will pre-emptively correct them with this: I believe Christ, and Christ alone is our hope, no matter what religion we call ourselves. Whether or not people have uttered some set of “right words” in the “right language” addressing Christ by the “right name” is of no consequence. If Christ has not got hold of their heart, no right words or doctrines have saved them. Whether Christ has got a hold of a person’s heart - that is everything. If he has got hold of their heart, no lack of doctrines or lack of using familiar names or recognized religious language can hurt them, or stick with them for long - as Christ will teach them everything they need when they need it.


I have thought about this quite a bit because of the great Larycia Hawkins v. Wheaton College debacle. (If you will google it you will find many great minds weighing in on the topic.)

If we are talking about referents, I think the word Allah refers to the same referent as the God of Abraham. I believe all of the Abrahamic religions intend to direct their worship to the same entity, the one true God. So in that sense, yes.

However. I think the label triggers very different concepts for Muslims, Jews, and Christians. So in the sense of “Do Muslims, Christians, and Jews conceive of God in similar enough ways that their worship would be recognizable as directed at the same entity by an outside observer?” No, probably not. But if a Muslim comes to Christian faith, he or she does not exchange Allah for a different object of worship, he or she builds a different conception of who Allah is and what he wants from worshippers.

I think it is perfectly acceptable to say that I and a white Nationalist immigrant-hater follow different Jesuses. Everyone knows that means you are saying we have different concepts of who Jesus is and what he wants from us. I think it is also perfectly acceptable to acknowledge that when either of us talk about Jesus we have the same historical person as a referent in mind, so in that sense we are talking about the same Jesus.


We discussed the idea of different Gods a while back in a thread. What I remember from that was that it depends on the context. In some respects, it is the same God, in some respects not. We had the same discussion about whether the God another local church worshipped when their theology was non-trinitarian, was the same as ours. Our pastor ultimately said no, they were not the same, but it is a real gray area, as 90% of our theology was shared. I think that we have an infinite God, and whatever concept we have of him is limited and wrong in some respects.

1 Like

I watched a video by an ex-Christian a while back, and he says he doesn’t identify as an atheist because there are so many concepts of god. He says that if someone asks him if he’s an atheist, he asks them to tell him about their god… and then decides whether he’s an atheist or not about that god. In that sense, as others have said, even Christians can worship very different iterations of God. Some Christians, like myself, have at times developed a view of God as someone who’s obsessed with our good behavior, but have subsequently recovered (and continue to recover) a sense of grace and mercy in how we view that God (and ourselves in relation). Still, I would like to believe that I’ve come to see God a little bit more clearly rather than switched to a different one, though some “raised in the church” Christians can still have what feels like a conversion experience later in life that probably feels that way.


Christians read both the Old and New Testaments The God of the OT is often seen as legalistic and certainly there is that aspect to the OT. Many Christians testify to a born again experience when they make the transition from the legalistic God of the OT to the Savior God of the NT.

I would hope that your God is first and foremost Jesus Christ, Who is the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End of our faith and this should lessen the confusion over legalism. Love over obedience.

Christians believe in the God of the Bible. We understand that the God depicted in the OT is not exactly the same as the one in the NT, as do the Jews, but we say He is the same God, because Jesus says He is and demonstrates that the Father is… There is no such continuity and connection with Allah, the God of the Quran.

1 Like

Too bad Jesus apparently wasn’t aware that his belief in angels was actually belief in a concept that had evolved from various other sources. How foolish of him to speak to demons and about angels as if he had any authoritative, firsthand knowledge.

And thus, to @massam 's original question, the other major issue is simply as to whether anything about transcendent or supernatural truth has been revealed to us, or whether it is the result of the “evolution of religion”. critical scholars also, i neglected to observe above, also depend entirely on the assumption that beliefs about yahweh evolved, and they discount the very idea that anything known about him has been revealed… but then their very conclusions are simply, a result of question begging… they arrive at precisely the same assumptions they began with.

1 Like

Sorry? I don’t see the connections.

The five Marcan earliest accounts and one Lucan account, at least 30 years after their setting, of Jesus interacting with demoniacs aren’t foolishness on His part, regardless of which permutation of reality is true. At the very least they are culturally, mythically appropriate. One always gives the fullest possible goodwill to texts unless they are blatant frauds for unenlightened purposes. Even then the motivations of the writers is fascinating. The problem with angels, fallen and not, now is that interestingly they can only be believed in by faith, they explain nothing at all about historical human experience. Belief in them does of course, as the Spanish Inquisition realised. That belief was the problem. So they stopped stoking the fires. Angels, fallen and not, make the transcendent far less credible. Yet they are integral to the decades after the event gospels.

There is no rational alternative whatsoever to the evolutionary emergence of Yahweh from the NW Arabian desert storm god. The emergence of Aten happened in Egypt shortly after.

Yes. I continue to recommend following Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s hermeneutic as opposed to everyone else’s trusting in their own bootstraps (and some of those are stretchier than others :slightly_smiling_face:).

1 Like

Well said and welcome! Maybe you can tell us more about your self and, if you like, you thoughts. Thanks.

1 Like

Monotheism is one of my major research areas, starting with my doctoral work on the Gospel of John and explored further in my second book The Only True God.. I also have a number of smaller contributions to reference works on the topic.


On the other hand, Pastafarians are monotheistic.

1 Like

Thanks! Nice to meet you.


Dr. James F. McGrath is the Clarence L. Goodwin Chair in New Testament Language and Literature at Butler University. His PhD is from the University of Durham in England. His interests include not only early Christianity but also the Mandaeans, science fiction, and the intersection of religion and science. He blogs at Religion Prof on the Patheos web site.

1 Like

Yahweh has no origin or end. He just is. Can’t fit an infinite God into a finite mind. As a kid, a friend’s dad said prophetically, you can’t stretch a mosquito’ ass over a washtub.

1 Like

Like nature. Which is infinitely simpler and explains everything just as well.

It seems that there is a very serious problem here. Muslims claim that Allah, The God, wrote the Quran, that it is literally the Words of Allah. It says that that Jesus was a super prophet who condemned the Jews for their failure to obey Allah. He did not die on the cross and arise from the dead.

While I would agree that there are not two Gods, the alternative that either the Quran or the Bible is a lie is also not attractive.

Roger, how do you get from “difficult to draw a line between what is meant by God and what is meant by Allah” all the way to: “everything in the Quran must be true”?! It’s almost like you’re saying that anybody who refers to or worships the true Creator cannot possibly have any wrong ideas about the same. I wouldn’t even make that claim about the most faithful Christians!

1 Like

I would be one of the last one to say that everything in the Bible must be true, but the theology of Islam does claim that everything in the Quran must be true. Not only that but it seems that the Quran contradicts with the NT on the basic facts, such as the crucifixion.

If you think that God can and would deny the Son ,just say so. Muslim believe that Allah streamed His words to Muhammad, His Prophet or Spokesman, and these messages were collected and published as the Quran shortly after his death. The problem is not with understanding what Allan sad, that is clear for the most part. The problem is the content of what Allah said.

The problem is not what some people think is in the Bible. The problem is what everyone agrees is in the Quran.

I didn’t read everything @ReligionProf linked, but just from what you quoted of his post, it sounds like he was only addressing the question: can Allah be considered to be the same as the Judeo-Christian God?

So you still haven’t made it clear how this gets pulled down into the weeds of all these other downstream questions about the status of various holy books. To affirm that Allah is the Arabic name for “The Lord” [“The God”] (which it is … as a matter of simple language translation) does not equal these other exploded claims you are drawing into it. It does not suddenly entail a claim that the Quran is an infallible book.


“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

This is a place for gracious dialogue about science and faith. Please read our FAQ/Guidelines before posting.