Origins of Yahweh?

It doesn’t mean that Christians and Muslims can join hands and go merrily skipping down the road together, though, as some would have it, because they believe in the same God/Allah.

As is true of Christians who disagree about the Trinity or countless other things for that matter, and so once again I think that my point stands - suggesting either that belief in the same God means complete agreement about attributes, or conversely that disagreement about doctrines means one worships “a different god,” muddies waters and creates confusion.


You would agree that Pastafarians are the ones more confused, I hope. :slightly_smiling_face: Yes, we need to discuss the attributes we understand God to have and why. I would have difficulty worshiping Allah, however, because of the implicit association of certain attributes and doctrines with that name.

So you wouldn’t worship in an Arabic-speaking Christian church? You didn’t mention a “name” you mentioned the transliterated word for God in the monotheistic sense as used by Christians, Jews, and Muslims in the Arabic-speaking world.

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I would still have difficulty, since I do not speak Arabic. :slightly_smiling_face: Typically, though, when we talk about worshipping Allah, we are inferring the Islamic [mis]understanding of God’s attributes and associated doctrines. Sure, you can propose an exceptional scenario putting me in an Arabic speaking Christian church, but not practically.

Do you know at least one other language to grasp the concept? “We” do not infer an Islamic understanding of God when using the word for God in that language that Jews and Christians used prior to as well as since the rise of Islam. If YOU do then that is perhaps a result of your not knowing Arabic, but even so you ought to be able to grasp the general point. Do you reject the worship of Spanish-speaking Christians because they don’t use your English word “God”?

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You are extrapolating beyond warrant. Tell me that when an English speaking person hears or overhears the word “Allah” in normal conversation they don’t immediately infer that the Islamic understanding of God is what is in reference.

They do if, like you, they don’t know Arabic and don’t know that Allah is not a “name” but the term used by Arabic-speaking monotheists for God since before the rise of Islam. Should your ignorance, or even widespread ignorance, be the deciding factor?

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Thanks for helping out here!

I’m just talking about reality, not made up scenarios. You extrapolate beyond warrant.

History and language are reality and not hypothetical. Your ignorance does not turn reality into unreality. Your suggestion otherwise is an insult to the Christians in the Middle East whose heritage as Christians goes back further than your own as an English speaker.

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Your putting me in an Arabic speaking church any time soon is certainly hypothetical, and being condescending to boot.

Yes and No. We have a situation in the USA today where a large group of people who see the world through Fox News have a very different understanding of Donald Trump from other Americans who see Donald Trump through MSNBC.

Are they looking at the same person? Yes. Do they see the same reality? No. There are two Donald Trumps. Both are real in the minds of his supporters and critics and that fact is a serious problem for the society in which we live. We have to make a choice between the Donald Trump, the Con-man, who must be rejected and Donald Trump the Savior, who tells us what we want to hear and must be blindly accepted.

In a similar way the history of Israel has yielded the OT which gives an understanding of the God of Israel, YHWH. Jesus, the Jewish Messiah, was born about 1 A D or 1 A C E. From the New Covenant, based on the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ came a new faith, which is universal as Judaism is not.

Not too long after this a man by the name of Muhamad lived in Arabia who had a series of revelations from the God he called Allah (The God.) He become the Prophet/King of Medina and later of all of Arabia. His visions seem to bee colored by his responsibilities as Prophet and King, but since they were to words of Allah, they must be timeless, because Allah is timeless.

Allah says He is the God of the OT and NT, but there many contradictions, too many to mention them all. One obvious one is that the OT and NT are based on covenants. The Quran is not. There is no covenantal law in the Quran, like the Ten Commandments. Also the Quran uses the title Christ meaning Messiah with Jesus, but shows little or no awareness of what that title means and why it was so important to Jesus… God, YHWH, revealed His sacred, personal Name to Moses and it is on almost every page of the OT, usually more than once, yet it does not appear once in the Quran. Allah says that Allah is His only Name.

There is no way that the God of the Bible is Allah of the Quran. Yes, Jesus changed the way Christians understand the God of the OT, but He, Paul, and the rest of the NT writers make clear just how and why this happened. and they were born Jews. Muhamad was born a pagan. He was never Jewish or Christian, but he did not write the Quran, Allah did.

So we have two radically different pictures of Deity and that is the way I prefer to leave it. Of course as a Christian I much prefer the NT view, but I prefer to draw the contrast and let others decide for themselves, which they choose, because that is what they are going to do anyhow. …

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I note that Jews (other than those who have converted to Christianity) do not consider the New Testament any more valid scripture than you consider the Quran to be valid scripture. And like Muslims they do not consider Jesus to be God. So from your point of view do Jews worship the same God as you do?
In the end it all turns on how one defines God. All three religions claim to worship the God of Abraham who spoke through/to the prophets Abraham, Moses, and a few others. All three religions claim to worship an omniscient, omnipotent, omnibenevolent God who is one. Then there are the differences; neither Judaism nor Islam consider Jesus to be God (though Islam does consider him to be a great prophet).

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Donald Trump is just one person, Roger. People have different ideas about him, but he is still one person, right?

If someone is speaking in Arabic and uses the term Allah for God, then of course… that is the Arabic word for “god”, no dispute.

But I know plenty of Arabic Christians, and they don’t use the term “Allah” when they are speaking about God when speaking otherwise in English. I think that is @Dale ’s point. If someone is speaking English, and in the otherwise English conversation they choose to use the Arabic word “Allah” for God, this usually implies what Dale getting at…. It certainly has been in my experience.

Do you actually know Arabic Christians living in the United States that casually refer to “Allah” if they are publicly praying or preaching in an American church? Or would they likely avoid so doing because they know that, by so doing, they would likely cause confusion since they recognize the very dynamic that I believe Dale is referring to?

perhaps my experience is limited, but any friend or acquaintance I know where Spanish is their first language simply doesn’t say “Dios” when they are otherwise speaking or praying in English. Or back when I knew enough Spanish where I could converse with Spanish-speaking friends in their churches, I would say “Dios” when I was speaking Spanish. I didn’t revert to saying “God” in the middle of an otherwise Spanish conversation or prayer. I similarly have simply never heard any middle eastern colleague or acquaintance refer to God as “Allah” when otherwise speaking or praying in English if they mean God in a Christian context… they translate all their words into English.

In contrast, Any and every time I have ever heard anyone use the term “Allah” for God when otherwise speaking in English, it has indeed been as Dale described, that it is done specifically to carry the implication of the Islamic view of God.

Is my experience truly that unique?

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There is plenty of room for linguistic confusion, but the main point is that when Jews, Trinitarian Christians, Oneness Pentecostals, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Muslims, and a variety of others talk about the one God, they are all talking about the same God because they all agree that there is only one. They disagree about the attributes of that one God, and that is clear regardless of whether a Muslim says “God” or “Allah” and regardless whether a Christian says “God” or “Allah.”


Well put.

If you look at the controversy in Malaysia, the majority Muslim government has, at least for a time, forbidden the use of the word “Allah” in Christian scriptures. That sounds a lot like our disagreement in the US–only on the other foot. It’s interesting to note that Arabic Christians have used that name for centuries.

Could it be a fear on the part of the majority religion in both cases, that the minority would gain acceptance? By the way, I’m a missionary kid from Niger, where 95% and more are Muslim. Our term for God was “Ubangiji Allah,” or “Lord God,” sometimes, though often we also used “Allah.” Thanks.


What is meant by the words depends very much on the context where either is said, as @Daniel_Fisher clearly explained.

If under pain of death a militant Islamist ordered me to say “Allahu Akbar”, I would not, because it would dishonor the God who is, although academically and technically it might not. It would, however, in point of fact, be denying that Jesus is our Sovereign Lord. So context absolutely makes a difference.

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

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