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Lets not hate:“Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself”

The followers of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have to learn to live as peaceful neighbors in this global village.

Jesus said:” And the second (commandment) is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.”[Jesus:Mark;12:31] ,[also at Leviticus;19:18].

“ …(Show) kindness un to parents, and unto near
kindred, and orphans, and the needy and into the
neighbor who is of kin (unto you) and the
neighbor who is not of kin…”(Qur’an;4:36).
In a Tradition narrated by Aysha: “The Prophet
(pbuh) said “Gabriel continued to recommend me
about treating the neighbors kindly and politely
so much so that I thought he would order me to
make them as my heirs.”[Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith
Number:.48 Volume:8]
“ …(Show) kindness un to parents, and unto near kindred, and orphans, and the needy and into the neighbor who is of kin (unto you) and the neighbor who is not of kin…” (Qur’an;4:36).
In a Tradition narrated by Aysha: “The Prophet (pbuh) said “Gabriel continued to recommend me about treating the neighbors kindly and politely so much so that I thought he would order me to make them as my heirs.”[Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith Number:.48 Volume:8]
Muslims, Christians and Jews have common roots through their spiritual ancestor Abraham. Despite some doctrinal differences there are many beliefs and traditions, which they share.  Although generally the Christian believe in Judeo-Christian traditions, but in most of cases, the Western culture conflicts with the Biblical traditions, specially in application of Commandments, Law, the dietary prohibitions, status of women, homosexuality and other moral values which have been heavily influenced by Greco-Roman pagan traditions and social changes. The commonalities of Islam, with Judaism and Christianity are enormous (according to scriptures, leaving apart from what is practiced by them) but the common perceptions in the West are totally different due to lack of knowledge. The doctrinal differences between Islam, Christendom and Judaism are neither trivial nor ignorable, yet it would be imprudent and counterproductive to fight one another or hate one another over them. The debate over them should be with in the confines of highest standards of ethics, for God says in the Qur’an:

“And dispute you not with the People of the Book except in the most kindly manner -unless it be those of them who wronged- but say: “We believe in the Revelation which has come down to us and in that which came down to you; our God and your God is one, and it is to Him we submit (in Islam)” (Qur’an;29:46), “Call unto the way of thy Lord with wisdom and fair exhortation, and reason with them in the better way. Lo! thy Lord is best aware of him who strayeth from His way, and He is Best Aware of those who go aright.”( Qur’an;16:125).

Abraham, the common ancestor of Jews, Christians and Muslims provides the common point:

“Abraham was neither a “Jew” nor a “Christian”, but was one who turned away form all that is false, having surrendered himself unto God; and he was not of those who ascribe divinity to aught beside Him.”(Qur’an;3:67).

Those Jews and Christians who embrace Islam are promised for a double reward by Allah in Qur’an:

“Those unto whom We gave the Scripture before it (Jews & Christians), they (some) believe in it, And when it is recited unto them, they say: We believe in it. Lo! it is the Truth from our Lord. Lo! even before it we were of those who surrender (unto Him).These will be given their reward twice over, because they are steadfast and repel evil with good, and spend of that wherewith We have provided them”(Qur’an;28:52-54).

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Lets not hate, link: http://wp.me/pCgrB-fY

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Related links:

http://faithforum.wordpress.com

http://endeavour-peace.page.tl

Jews, Chrisitians & Muslims

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Discussion

5 thoughts on “Lets not hate:“Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself”

  1. Hello,

    I’m a Christian and I don’t believe that Christians and Muslims worship the same God at all. The Bible teaches that Jesus is God, He is the Creator, and I worship Him. Muslims reject Jesus, and therefore have a different god. You don’t have to like it, but that is what all true Christians believe.

    What is the name of the god of Islam? My understanding is that Allah is simply the Arabic word for God, and God’s name can’t really be God. That isn’t a proper name. So, what is his name?

    Thanks for your help,
    Bill

    Like

    Posted by Bill | September 20, 2009, 1:24 am
    • Dear Bill,
      “ELAH” is one of the names for God, used about 70 times in the Old Testament. It is very similar to Arabic “Allah” or ‘Eelah’. Elahh [hla]’ (Aramaic; el-aw’): corresponding to God:–God, god. In Hebrew [hwla] ‘elowahh el-o’-ah; probably prolonged (emphat.) from [la]’el ale; a deity or the Deity:–God, god. Again, when combined with other words, we see different attributes of God. Some examples: Elah Yerush’lem – God of Jerusalem: (Ezra;7:19), Elah Yisrael – God of Israel: (Ezra;5:1), Elah Sh’maya – God of Heaven:(Ezra 7:23). Elah Sh’maya V’Arah – God of Heaven and Earth: (Ezra;5:11).

      I think the detailed article below should be able to provide answers to the doubts/issues raised by you.
      Thanks
      Abujak

      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
      The God of Muslims and Christians!

      Introduction:
      The 9/11 has further widened the gulf between the followers of two main faiths of the world. Although Islam like Christianity or any other religion has nothing to do with the acts of few desperate heretics [takfiri in this case] using terror and violence as a tool to achieve their political objectives under the garb of religion. However now a days it is trendy to claim that the God of Muslims is different to the God of Christians. The rhetoric of the myth gave a tacitly playful acknowledgement of the existence of two Gods, but the question was understood as not asking about the existence of two actual Gods, but whether or not Christians and Muslims were imagining the same being; the entity who would be the one true God. But it is not that simple either, because one may say that he believes in the one true God, who happens to be a wrestling with some one, or walking. One may talk of the “one true God” and mean the same thing as others think as far as the term itself goes, but it does not highlight the characteristics of God, which they would not agree on. Hence the question should not be phrased causally as; “Do Christians and Muslims worship the same God?” (as we can agree there could only be one God), but instead: “Do Christians and Muslims perceive a God with either identical or similar enough characteristics to be called the same Being?”
      Perceptions:
      Generally people tend to relegate the divine to an object of speculation due to their knowledge based upon intellect and common sensual perceptions. Generally people have no doubts about anything that they can perceive through their senses, which is accepted as the fundamental truth. However, if one is in the desert at noon and see a lake in the distance, but only finds sand when reaches that area, what appeared to be a lake turned out to be mirage. Likewise if a pencil is placed in a glass of water it will look as if it is broken, though in actual fact it is not. In a late night gathering, if the people start discussing about the supernatural-ghosts, while traveling back home, many get so carried away that they feel as if a ghost or demon is following them, whereas in reality it is just an illusion. A magician will produce strange objects which seem to be real, even though they are not. Hence human senses can be deceptive, but does this mean that people should doubt the existence of something they can feel? Quite the reverse because if they doubt what they see, hear and feel, there will be a conflict between fact and fantasy that will eventually drive them nuts. But another condition may be added here about obtaining knowledge – meaning, certainty regarding the existence of what is sensed. The mind may misjudge something the first time it perceives it. For example, it may think a mirage is a lake, but the second time it sees it will not make the mistake. Similarly it will soon realize that even though the pencil on the glass of water looks broken, in fact it is not. The various ways in which the senses delude us are limited and easy to recognize. This includes the tricks that magicians perform and the circus activities.
      Any theological exposition which carries the idea of God, somewhat frivolously, reshaping God as an object to be discussed, is against God’s transcendence [beyond the ordinary range of human perception]. It must be appreciated that such approach may lead to erroneous conclusions. Consequently when people articulate God in such a manner, they do not speak of God, but of an idol, with what ever ‘name’ they choose. However much one may wish to accurately know of God, the divine is something that cannot be comprehended by humans in totality due to limitations of human perception, but allegory makes the incomprehensible as comprehensible. Thus many people may perceive God, in their own way depending upon his [or her] level of intellect, perceptions and knowledge, though openly may be claiming to follow a specific creed. Thus the question as to who is right and who is wrong depends upon the parameters and perceptions.
      Do all Christians believe in Jesus to be God?
      It is generally thought that all true Christians believe in Jesus to be God. This statement has inherent contradiction, who will define the term “True Christian”? All the Christian’s groups/ sects claim that only their belief is the ‘true’ one, others are false. Let us analyze if all the Christians hold exactly the same concept of God:
      1. The present popular Christian concept of God was not known to the early followers of Jesus Christ who, continued to worship the God of Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, and Moses in the Jewish temple, like Jesus Christ. Hence the concept of God of early Christians is similar to the Jews and Muslims but it differs with the present day Christians raising the question as to who the true Christians are?
      2. The concept of God held by Prosperity Gospel Pentecostals differ greatly from that held by double-predestinarian Calvinists.
      3. The concept of God held by a pacifist Mennonite differ greatly from the concept held by a pro-war believer in Manifest Destiny.
      4. The concept of God of Unitarians differs from the Protestants and Catholics.
      5. Many prominent Christian figures hold divergent concepts of about God, like Mother Teresa’s [a Roman Catholic] concept of God differ from Jerry Falwell’s [A Fundamentalist evangelist founder of Group known as the ‘Moral Majority’].
      Obviously there are significant differences among Christian groups, so significant that some Christians deny that other Christians are truly Christians.
      Commonalties:
      No rational person, well versed with the history can dispute that the three claimants of monotheistic faith, trace ancestry to a singular God of Abraham, however it can certainly be debated whether or not the God perceived and represented by each has markedly different characteristics. It is no secret that Islam, Christianity & Judaism have common roots. Hence the God depicted by each is so remarkably similar.
      If Christians differ so greatly from one another in their perceptions [concepts] of God, then the Muslims and Christians may also have noteworthy differences as well. Yet, they have important concepts in common – for example:
      a) They claim to believe in the same God that Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, the prophets and Jesus believed and followed.
      b) The knowledge gained through study of history of religions reveal that that both depictions of the God evolved from earlier concepts of God, that El became Eloh’im who is called YHVH in the Bible, and Allah in the Qur’an.
      c) In each case the God has commanded war and peace at varying times.
      d) In each case, the God is on the side of the oppressed, Who holds those who hoard resources with fiery contempt.
      e) Each is depicted as a God who saves men by his Grace but will one day judge man by his works and come down to reign on the earth.
      f) It cannot be denied that the God as mentioned in the Qur’an and the God of the existing Bible display differing characteristics at some places. But if the temptation to force the Old and New Testaments into a seamless theology is resisted, it would be found that the God of the OT and God in the NT have differing characteristics as well.
      • The New Testament God is also referred as the ‘God of our fathers..’ [Acts 3:13 and 5:30] and the ‘God of Abraham and of Isaac and of Jacob..'[Acts;3:13] (these are common Old Testament usages). Acts;7:2 He is referred to as the ‘God of glory.’ In Luke 1:32, 35 and 76 He is referred to as ‘the Highest.’ Luke;1:68 terms Him ‘the Lord God of Israel’.
      • “He hath ordained for you that religion which He commended unto Noah, and that which We inspire in thee (Muhammad), and that which We commended unto Abraham and Moses and Jesus, saying: Establish the religion, and be not divided therein. Dreadful for the idolaters is that unto which thou callest them. Allah chooseth for Himself whom He will, and guideth unto Himself him who turneth (toward Him). And they were not divided until after the knowledge came unto them, through rivalry among themselves; and had it not been for a Word that had already gone forth from thy Lord for an appointed term, it surely had been judged between them. And those who were made to inherit the Scripture after them are verily in hopeless doubt concerning it. Unto this, then, summon (O Muhammad). And be thou upright as thou art commanded, and follow not their lusts, but say: I believe in whatever Scripture Allah hath sent down, and I am commanded to be just among you. Allah is our Lord and your Lord. Unto us our works and unto you your works; no argument between us and you. Allah will bring us together, and unto Him is the journeying.”(Qur’an;42:13-15).
      a) They believe God is Omnipotent, All-Merciful, and without any imperfection. [Qur’an;6:18, 6:54 & 85:14, 36:82 Psalms;139:7, Isaiah;40:28, Exodus;34:6-7, Psalms;119:64, Ephesians;2:4, 2 Samuel;7:22 ].
      b) Most of the Christians today believe that God is revealed most fully and gloriously in a crucified person [Jesus], while the Muslims [like early Christians] believe that it is beyond the human vision to perceive Him [Qur’an;6:103, also John;1:18, 1Timothy;6:16, Exodus;33:20]. God is not a ‘being’ like any creatures or thing known to human. Hence the God can be comprehended through ‘His works’ or ‘signs’. The God in Abrahamic faiths is Supreme, Creator and Sustainer Who created the universe and all the creatures. Muslims believe that God is revealed gloriously through the Signs [ayahs] of His existence manifest through the last inspired book [Qur’an] as well in the existence of human self, the cosmos and all other signs in His Creations [Qur’an;10:6, 2:164, 30:20, 39:59, 1:101, 12:105, 4:174-175 and many more]. (Some Christians seem to have a concept closer to Islam’s, substituting the Bible for the Quran.) So there are commonalities and divergence.
      Is the God mentioned in the Qur’an and the Bible different? Certainly, at least as much as the God in the Old Testament and New Testament are different. This is to say, both texts try to describe the same God, but have attribute to him differences. So how big of a difference does there have to be, before one may call these different Gods?
      1 Many make a great deal of the difference of Trinity, although then we must also say that Judaism worships a different God from Christians as well.
      2 Moreover any sect of Christianity that rejects the concept of Trinity, as well as many or most Christians before the 4th century C.E creeds, do not worship the same God either.
      3 There is the difference of the Christ, but even this is not so clear as it seems to appear. It is no secret to historians that it took several hundred years for the idea of Christ’s coequal status with God-Father to become orthodoxy (a la filioque).
      4 Just as Christ is one of greatest prophets and a Messiah in Islam, Christ was no more than a Messiah (and not coequal with God) to many Christians in the pre-creedal centuries (and many continue this line of thought even today).
      The Christians have to closely look in to many aspects, which need serious consideration:
      1) At what point does the line of exclusion should be drawn at fellow Christians in the same way Christians exclude the Muslim for differing beliefs?
      2) What about particular atonement models which many Protestants unknowingly hold on to and decide who is a “True Christian” or not?
      3) What about differing concepts of afterlife?
      4) Differences on Resurrection?
      5) Differences on Virgin Birth?
      6) Differences in how to view inspiration?
      7) Differences in predestination and God’s determinism?
      Pervasive Myth of Orthodoxy
      These are some of the glaring differences which have evolved into creed-level fundamentals over time for some Christian or another (or Muslim), but there is a pervasive myth of orthodoxy within the Church that undermines the key point here. That is to say, every Christian wants to believe that he believes the same as the early followers of Christ did, but this myth of consistency and orthodoxy across churches in the beginning betrays in itself an ignorance of history.
      1) At what point do the Christians consider the other an other because his God is too other?
      2) At what point rather than looking for insight, merely looking for a reason to label a Christian as liberal or unorthodox, or a Muslim an extremist, misogynist, and racist in a violent religion?
      Choosing to use rhetoric that encourages the idea that the other is a follower of another God and not my God gives approval that the other; Is pagan, ignorant, not righteous hence will lose in the end to the true God. However these aspects do not make rhetorical or physical violence easier to justify. Based upon their intellect, instincts, knowledge and personal experience, individuals may formulate their own “inner concept of God”. So the issue becomes meaningless.
      The Name of God:
      Let us first find out what the name means: A name is a word or group of words used to refer to an individual entity (real or imaginary); the name singles out this entity by directly pointing to it, not by specifying it as a member of a class. According to Encyclopedia Britannica, the term “common name” is sometimes used roughly as the equivalent of “noun”; the concern in this treatment is with what is more specifically a “proper noun,” or “proper name,” although a wholly logical distinction has never been established between the two classes. For instance, it is possible to refer to the same entity, in this case a river, in two distinct ways:
      (1) “The Colorado is a beautiful river,” and
      (2) “The river that flows through Austin is beautiful.”
      Because there is only one river that flows through Austin, Texas, the subject of sentence (2) is unambiguously identified, and the reference of the sentence is fully individual. The subject of sentence (2), however, is not a name but rather a nominal (noun) phrase that specifies one member of the whole class of rivers by indicating a unique property of it. The word Colorado in sentence (1), on the other hand, is a name, because it directly points to the specific river. The fact that there is more than one river called Colorado, and that more specific information is sometimes needed to identify the one being discussed (e.g., “I prefer the Texan Colorado to the California one”), does not change the status of “Colorado” as a name, because each of the two rivers is referred to in the way required by the definition.
      Now let us consider the English word ‘God’, the name given to the Single, Unique, Supreme deity, the Creator and Cherisher of all which exists in the entire universe. The study of history of religions reveal that that depictions of the God evolved from earlier concepts of God, that El became Eloh’im who is called YHVH in the Bible, and Allah in the Qur’an.
      False Deities are nothing but mere Empty Names:
      It is said that a ‘rose’ may be called by any name, it will remain ‘rose’ and its fragrance will not change with the change of name. Similarly if an idol is given the name of god, it will not become god, it will remain what it is. Qur’an mentions:
      “Is, then, HE who has every living being in His almighty care, [dealing with each] according to what it deserves – [is, then, He like anything else that exists]? And yet, they ascribe to other beings a share in God’s divinity! Say: “Give them any name [you please]: but do you [really think that you could] inform Him of anything on earth that He does not know – or [do you] but play with words? “Nay, goodly seems their false imagery to those who are bent on denying the truth, and so they are turned away from the [right] path: and he whom God lets go astray can never find any guide”.(Qur’an; 13:33)
      Most of the commentators explain this phrase as an expression of utter contempt for those allegedly “divine” beings: i.e., “they are so unreal and meaningless as not to deserve even a name”. It is also conceivable that we have here an echo of the statement, to be found in Qur’an;7:71, 12:40 and 53:23, to the effect that those false objects of worship are but “[empty] names which you [disbelievers] have invented”:
      The various names of God among Hebrews represent God as he is known, as well as the divine aspects which are attributed to him. The numerous names of God have been a source of debate amongst biblical scholars. The researcher of Pentateuch [first five books of the Hebrew Scriptures] have discovered two types of scripts by ‘P’ [Priestly] writers. The ancient sources call one as ‘J’ [because the writer called the divine as Jehovah] and the second ‘E’ [as the author preferred more traditional name of God, ‘Eloh’im’]. ‘J’ and ‘E’ scripts differ in some aspects, ‘J’ describes God as anthropoid, walking in the garden of Eden like a ruler, enjoying the breeze, after the floods smelled a sweet odor of burnt offering by Noah, while Abraham sees Him as a guest in his tent [Genesis;3:8-9, 6:6, 8:21, 18:1-5]. But in the script of ‘E’ God is more of supernatural. He does not appear before men rather sends His angel as messenger. ‘E’ was sure that Moses seeing God in the burning bush was a new stage of manifestation by Eloh’im. Moses asked His name, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob called Him El, Jehovah said “Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh” [I Am That I Am] [Exodux;3:13-15]. “And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shall you say unto the children of Israel, I AM has sent me unto you. And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shall you say unto the children of Israel, The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me unto you: this is my name forever, and this is my memorial unto all generations.”[Exodus;3:14-15]
      This complex sentence [I Am That I Am] was a Hebrew idiom meaning “Whom ever I Am,” or “mind your own business”. In the primitive world, knowing some one’s name was synonymous to gaining control over him. God could not be subdued in this way. In medieval times, God was sometimes called The Seven. Among the ancient Hebrews, the seven names for the Deity over which the scribes had to exercise particular care were: Eloah, Elohim, Adonai, Ehyeh-Asher-Ehyeh, YHWH (i.e. Yahweh), Shaddai, Zebaot.
      Brief Description of Names of God & His Titles in Bible:
      Monotheism has been clearly emphasized in Bible, the verse from the book of Deuteronomy contains an exhortation from Moses (peace be upon him):”Shama Israelu Adonai Ila Hayno Adna Ikhad”. It is a Hebrew quotation which means: “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord”(Deuteronomy;6:4, Isaiah;43:11, 45:5,46:9). Jesus (peace be upon him) also said: “Shama Israelu Adonai Ila Hayno Adna Ikhad ”[“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord”](Mark;12:29), “..There is none good but one, that is, God..”(Mathew;19:17). Qur’an says: “Your God is one God; there is no one worthy of worship except Him, the Compassionate, the Merciful.” (Qur’an;2:163). The monotheism in Islam is called Tawhid in Arabic; Allah, the One and Only God. Allah says:, “Say: He is Allah the One and Only; God the Eternal, the Uncaused Cause of All Being ; He begets not, and neither is He begotten; And there is nothing that can be compared with Him.”(Qur’an;112:1-4). Attributes of Allah has been mentioned at many places in Qur’an some references are Qur’an; 2:255, 59:22-24, 42:11-12, 11:6, 6:59, 31:34, 4:164, 7:143, 31:27, 6:115, 4:87, 2:133). Similarly according to Bible, God says: “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:” “Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God.”(Exodus; 3:15, 20:3-5, Deuteronomy 5:7-9, 1Timothy;2:5). God has been addressed with different names in Bible, the most prominent one are mentioned below:
      • “ELOHIM” (or Elohay) is the first name for God found in the Bible, and it’s used throughout the Old Testament over 2,300 times. Elohim comes from the Hebrew root meaning “strength” or “power”, and has the unusual characteristic of being plural in form. In Genesis 1:1, we read, “In the beginning Elohim created the heaven and the earth.” Right from the start, this plural form for the name of God is used to describe the One God, a mystery that is uncovered throughout the rest of the Bible. Throughout scripture, Elohim is combined with other words to describe certain characteristics of God. Some examples: Elohay Kedem – God of the Beginning: (Deuteronomy 33:27). Elohay Mishpat – God of Justice: (Isaiah 30:18). Elohay Selichot – God of Forgiveness: (Nehemiah 9:17). Elohay Marom – God of Heights: (Micah 6:6). Elohay Mikarov – God Who Is Near: (Jeremiah 23:23). Elohay Mauzi – God of My Strength: (Psalm 43:2).Elohay Tehilati – God of My Praise: (Psalm 109:1). Elohay Yishi – God Of My Salvation: (Psalm 18:47, 25:5). Elohim Kedoshim – Holy God: (Leviticus 19:2, Joshua 24:19). Elohim Chaiyim – Living God: (Jeremiah 10:10). Elohay Elohim – God of Gods: (Deuteronomy;10:17).
      • “EL” is another name used for God in the Bible, showing up about 200 times in the Old Testament. El is the simple form arising from Elohim, and is often combined with other words for descriptive emphasis. Some examples: El HaNe’eman – The Faithful God: (Deuteronomy 7:9). El HaGadol – The Great God: (Deuteronomy 10:17). El HaKadosh – The Holy God: (Isaiah 5:16). El Yisrael – The God Of Israel: (Psalm 68:35). El HaShamayim – The God Of The Heavens: (Psalm 136:26). El De’ot – The God Of Knowledge: (1 Samuel 2:3). El Emet – The God Of Truth: (Psalm 31:6). El Yeshuati – The God Of My Salvation: (Isaiah 12:2). El Elyon – The Most High God: (Genesis 14:18). Immanu El – God Is With Us: (Isaiah 7:14). El Olam – The God Of Eternity (Genesis 21:33). El Echad – The One God: (Malachi 2:10). “Have we not all one father? Has not one God created us?” [Malachi;2:10]
      • “ELAH” is another name for God, used about 70 times in the Old Testament. It is very similar to Arabic “Allah” or ‘Eelah’. Elahh [hla]’ (Aramaic; el-aw’): corresponding to God:–God, god. In Hebrew [hwla] ‘elowahh el-o’-ah; probably prolonged (emphat.) from [la]’el ale; a deity or the Deity:–God, god. Again, when combined with other words, we see different attributes of God. Some examples: Elah Yerush’lem – God of Jerusalem: (Ezra;7:19), Elah Yisrael – God of Israel: (Ezra;5:1), Elah Sh’maya – God of Heaven:(Ezra 7:23). Elah Sh’maya V’Arah – God of Heaven and Earth: (Ezra;5:11).
      • “YHVH” is the Hebrew word that translates as “LORD”. Found more often in the Old Testament than any other name for God (approximately 7,000 times), the title is also referred to as the “Tetragrammaton” meaning the “The Four Letters”. YHVH comes from the Hebrew verb “to be” and is the special name that God revealed to Moses at the burning bush. “And God said to Moses, ‘I AM WHO I AM; and He said, thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, I AM has sent me to you… this is My eternal name, and this is how I am to be recalled for all generations'” (Exodus;3:14-15). Therefore, YHVH declares God’s absolute being – the source of everything, without beginning and without end. Although some pronounce YHVH as “Jehovah” or “Yaweh,” scholars really don’t know the proper pronunciation. The Jews stopped pronouncing this name by about 200 A.D., out of fear of breaking the commandment “You shall not take the name of YHVH your God in vain” (Exodus;20:7). (Today’s rabbis typically use “Adonai” in place of YHVH.) Here are some examples of YHVH used in scripture: YHVH Elohim – LORD God: (Genesis;2:4). YHVH M’kadesh – The LORD Who Makes Holy: (Ezekiel;37:28). YHVH Yireh – The LORD Who Sees/provides: (Genesis;22:14). YHVH Nissi – The LORD My Banner: (Exodus;17:15). YHVH Shalom – The LORD of Peace: (Judges;6:24). YHVH Tzidkaynu – The LORD Our Righteousness: (Jeremiah;33:16). YHVH O’saynu – The LORD our Maker:(Psalm;95:6).
      Since the Christians initially had the Old Testament scriptures as their ‘Bible’ and frequently quoted from it in the New Testament, some of the names for God carry over into the New. Most frequently simply the term God is used. Jesus in referring to God calls Him Father [metaphorically, being the Creator and Sustainer, not biologically]. The New Testament in completion of the Old adds the revelation of Jesus Christ as being a name for God, as one of the divine persons in the trinity. The Holy Spirit or Holy Ghost is considered to be fully equal as such being part of the three persons.
      ‘Jesus’ is the Greek form of the Hebrew human name ‘Joshua’:
      Word ‘Jesus’ has never been used as name of God, it is a later development after Jesus. According to Easton’s Bible Dictionary; ‘Jesus’ is the name derived form the Hebrew ewvwhy Yahowshuwa` [yeh-ho-shoo’-ah or Yhowshua {yeh-ho-shoo’-ah}; Jehovah-saved; Jehoshua (i.e. Joshua)], the name of a Jewish leader: also spelled as –Jehoshua, Jehoshuah, Joshua. It became Jesus in Greek [from IhsouV : Iesous (ee-ay-sooce’) ]. Hence ‘Jesus’ is the Greek form of the Hebrew name Joshua, which was originally Hoshea [Oshea evwh](Numbers;13:8,16), but changed by Moses into Jehoshua (Numbers;13:16; 1Chronicles;7:27), or Joshua. After the Exile it assumed the form ‘Jeshua’, whence the Greek form Jesus. “And they said, Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? how is it then that he said, I came down from heaven?” [John;6:42]
      Names of God: The Lord Revealed in YHVH is the Lord Revealed in Yeshua (Jesus)?
      The Christians claim and believe that the LORD who revealed Himself as YHVH in the Old Testament is revealed as Yeshua (Jesus) in the New Testament. They take support from John;8:56-9, where Jesus presents himself as the “I AM.” When challenged by some Jewish leaders regarding His claim of seeing Abraham (who lived some 2000 years earlier), Jesus replied, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was I AM.” [Obviously from ‘I Am’ here Jesus meant that ‘I Am’ (The God) existed before Abraham (‘I Am’is the name of God revealed to Moses, Exodus;3:14-15, also explained above). If Jesus would have said; “I am (me) is ‘I Am’(God) who existed even before Abraham”, then one may interpret it to mean that Jesus was claiming Divinity. But Jesus said; “..before Abraham was I AM” which simply means that, God (I Am) existed even before Abraham, who knows and told him (Jesus). Earlier it is mentioned that; “Jesus answered, If I honor myself, my honor is nothing: it is my Father that honors me; of whom you say, that he is your God:”[John;8:54]. The Jewish leaders were looking for an excuse to ridicule Jesus so they seem to have deliberately misinterpreted.
      God can also be called with other beautiful names suitable to His attributes: “He is Allah! There is no deity worthy of worship except Him! To Him belong the most beautiful Names [attributes of perfection].”(Qur’an;20:8). Islamic traditions mention ninety nine (number not fixed) names of Allah like; Ar-Rahman (The Merciful), Al- Hayy (The Ever Living), Al-Qayum (The Self-Subsistent). Ar-Rahman (The Merciful), is the most recited name of God by the Muslims, because they start every good work small or big, by stating: “In the name of Allah Most Gracious Most Merciful”. Hence Ar-Rahman (The Merciful) is the one of the most common attributable name of Allah [God]. Some people get embroiled in to the names and attributes of God, by perceiving Him like a human or any other creature, such an approach leads to nowhere. They forget that God is Unique and there in none like Him.(Qur’an;112:4, Exodus;9:14; Deutronomy;33:26; 2Sameul;7:22; Isaiah;46:5,9). This simply lead the Pope to accept the reality.
      Pope Declares that Allah and Jehovah are the names of same God.
      In his weekly general audience in late May of 1999, Pope John Paul II addressed Muslims in a series discussing “inter-religious dialog.” He quotes from the 1994 Catechism of the Catholic Church n. 841 which states, “… together with us they (Muslims) adore the one, merciful, God.” The Pope and many other religious leaders today, who are being wooed into the ecumenical movement, are accepting the idea that the God of the Koran and the God of the Bible are one and the same. [Issue Date: January/February 2000]
      The Devil [Satan]- Cannot be Equated with God:
      People devoid of rational arguments in desperation accuse that the Muslims have been deceived by Satan, who presented himself as God. This is not a new accusation; the non believers even during the lifetime of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) resorted to such asinine slander. Due to utter ignorance they do not realize that Satan [Devil] has been cursed in Qur’an repeatedly. How can the writer of a book can curse himself? The Muslims are commanded to start the recitation of Qur’an and other noble works by praying to seek Allah’s refuge against the mischief of Satan, the cursed one”[Qur’an;16:98, 41:36]. Any one can read the Qur’an, no where Qur’an appreciates the Satan [devil or evil], rather devil is condemned and rejected with full harshness:
      “Did I not charge you, O ye sons of Adam, that ye worship not the devil Lo! he is your open foe! ”[Qur’an;36:60]
      “O believers! Do not follow the footsteps of Satan: because anyone who follows the footsteps of Satan is seduced by him to commit acts of indecency and wickedness. If there had not been the grace and mercy of Allah upon you, none of you would have ever been purified from that sin, for it is Allah Alone Who purifies whom He pleases, and Allah is All-Hearing, All-Knowing. ”[Qur’an;24:217]
      “Nor is this [Qur’an] the utterance of a devil worthy to be stoned”[Qur’an;81:25]
      “And We have guarded it from every outcast devil”[Qur’an;15:17]
      All the emphasis is on believe in One Supreme God, His messengers, revealed books, the Day of Judgment and performance of good deeds. Hence the hollow statement is rejected in totality. Satan is just one of creatures, while endeavouring to lead men astray, Satan never claims to be God’s “equal” (Qur’an;7:20, where he speaks of God, to Adam and Eve, as “your Sustainer”, or Qur’an;15:36 and 39, where he addresses Him as “my Sustainer”, or Qur’an;8:48 and 59:16, where he says, “behold, I fear God”) but, rather, tries to make men’s sinful doings “seem goodly to them” (Qur’an;6:43, 8:48, 16:63, 27:24, 29:38), i.e., persuades them that it is morally justifiable to follow one’s fancies and selfish desires without any restraint. But while Satan himself does not make any claim to equality with God, the sinner who submits to Satan’s blandishments attributes to him thereby, as it were, “a share in God’s divinity”.
      “And when everything will have been decided, Satan will say: “Behold, God promised you something that was bound to come true! I, too, held out [all manner of] promises to you – but I deceived you. Yet I had no power at all over you: I but called you – and you responded unto me. Hence, blame not me, but blame yourselves. It is not for me to respond to your cries, nor for you to respond to mine: for, behold, I have [always] refused to admit that there was any truth in your erstwhile belief that I had a share in God’s divinity.”(Qur’an;14:22)
      It must be stressed, in this connection, that the Qura’nic expression Shaytan is [also] often used as a metaphor for every human impulse that is intrinsically immoral and, therefore, contrary to man’s best – i.e., spiritual – interests. In his commentary on this passage, Razi remarks: “This verse shows that the real Satan (ash-shaytan al-asli) is [man’s own] complex of desires (an-nafs): for, Satan makes it clear [in the above] that it was only by means of insinuations ‘(waswasah) that he was able to reach [the sinner’s soul]; and had it not been for an already-existing [evil] disposition due to lusts, anger, superstition or fanciful ideas, these [satanic] insinuations would have had no effect whatsoever.”
      Conclusion:
      The Muslims doubtlessly believe in One Supreme God, the God of universe, the humanity, the God worshiped by Prophet Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad [peace be upon them all]. Most of the learned Christians like Pope John Paul II and others also believe that the God of Muslims and Christians is the same. While there are many common perceptions, there are differences as well. The most significant being the concept of Trinity, which is also not unequivocally supported even by the Bible, hence many among the early Christians and many even now remain opposed to it. If there are differences among the Christians about perception of God, but they remain Christians, then what is the logic for undue criticism of Muslims with almost identical perceptions. Effort should be made to narrow down the differences to find common ground for the peace.
      “Say: “O followers of earlier revelation! Come unto that tenet which we and you hold in common: that we shall worship none but God, and that we shall not ascribe divinity to aught beside Him, and that we shall not take human beings for our lords beside God.” And if they turn away, then say: “Bear witness that it is we who have surrendered ourselves unto Him.”[Qur’an;3:64]

      _________________________________________________
      References:
      The Message of Qur’an by Muhammad Asad.
      ‘The Creator’ by Aftab Ahmad khan
      ‘Islam-introduction’ by Sheikh Ali Tantawi
      ‘The History of God’ by Karen Armstrong.
      ‘The Great Transformation’ by Karen Armstrong.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Names_of_God_in_Judaism
      http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=52&letter=N
      http://www.mrwebauthor.com/mrmrswebauthor/names/
      http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_are_the_New_Testament_names_for_God
      http://www.allaboutgod.com/names-of-god.htm
      http://taddelay.wordpress.com/2009/10/15/do-christians-and-muslims-believe-in-the-same-god/
      http://healtheland.wordpress.com/2007/11/13/fundamentalist-christianity-101-muslims-and-christians-do-not-worship-the-same-god/
      http://www.brianmclaren.net/archives/blog/q-r-hell-etc.html#more
      http://wp.me/pCgrB-ge

      Like

      Posted by Abujak | November 25, 2009, 1:50 am
  2. Dear Bill,
    Salam, Peace

    The points raised by you may be summarized in following sequence to facilitate comments:
    1. Allah is simply the Arabic word for God, and God’s name can’t really be God. That isn’t a proper name. So, what is his name?
    2. The Bible teaches that Jesus is God, He is the Creator, and Christians worship Him as God.
    3. Muslims reject Jesus [as God].
    4. Hence Muslims have a different God.
    5. Muslims and Christians don’t worship same God.

    Comments by Abujak:

    There is no compulsion in matters of Faith, any one may choose to believe what ever he thinks is convincing or right, but there is no harm in listening to the other views:
    “O mankind! The truth has come to you from your Lord! He that follows guidance follows it for his own good, and he that goes astray does so at his own risk; for I am not a custodian over you.”(Qur’an;10:108)
    “There is no compulsion in religion.” (Qur’an;2:256)
    “… He who lays the loathsome evil (of disbelief) upon those who will not use their reason?(Qur’an;10:100).

    Comments below, if read with concentration and open mind may clarify the observations raised by worthy brother.
    God:
    Let us be clear first as to what God means? According to Encyclopedia Britannica: “God is the deity or Supreme Being. Each of the major monotheistic world religions worships a Supreme Being, who is the sole God of the universe, the maker of all things, omniscient and all-powerful. God is also good. In ancient Israel God was named Yahweh. The God of the Hebrew Bible also became the God of Christianity, but generic words, such as theos in Greek or Deus in Latin, were often used to refer to him. In Islam the term is Allah. Monotheism is characteristic of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, all of which view God as the creator of the world, who oversees and intervenes in human events, and as a beneficent and holy being, the source of the highest good. The monotheism that characterizes Judaism began in ancient Israel with the adoption of Yahweh as the single object of worship and the rejection of the gods of other tribes and nations without, initially, denying their existence. Islam is clear in confessing one, eternal, un-begotten, unequaled God, while Christianity holds that a single God is reflected in the three persons of the Holy Trinity.” Link: http://faithforum.wordpress.com/christianity/evolution-of-christiainity/trinity/
    Trinity is the Christian doctrine, the unity of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as one God in three persons. The word Trinity does not appear in the Bible. It is a doctrine formulated in the early church to interpret the way God revealed himself, first to Israel, then in Jesus as Saviour, and finally as Holy Spirit, preserver of the church. The doctrine of the Trinity developed in the early centuries of the church and was explicitly stated at the Council of Nicea in 325.[ Encyclopedia Britannica]. More at >>>>>>> http://www.bibleislam.com/son_of_who.php
    ARIUS (Early history of the Church) a popular leader from Alexandria, Egypt.
    He argued, Jesus (peace be upon him) was created and not ‘begotten.’
    He was charged with heresy and his followers were horribly oppressed by the Church.
    After the matter was ‘decided’ and ‘confirmed’ by the Council of Nicaea in 325 A.D. and in an effort to consolidate both beliefs, Jerome altered the original version of the Gospel of John 3:16 by changing the word ‘monogenes’ (unique) and substituted the word ‘ingenious’ meaning ‘only begotten.’
    ‘God’ is the name of the Divine Being. It is the rendering (1) of the Hebrew ‘El, from a word meaning to be strong; (2) of ‘Eloah, plural ‘Elohim. The singular form, Eloah, is used only in poetry. In Arabic the unique name of God is ‘Allah’ [synonymous to Hebrew Eloah]; which is pure, does not conjure up any mental picture nor can it be played around with unlike the English word ‘God’. The Gospel informs the use of same word for God: “And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” [Matthew;27:46]. Also proving the God to be other than Jesus.
    God can also be called with other beautiful names suitable to His attributes: “He is Allah! There is no deity worthy of worship except Him! To Him belong the most beautiful Names [attributes of perfection].”(Qur’an;20:8). Islamic traditions mention ninety nine (number not fixed) names of Allah like; Ar-Rahman (The Merciful), Al- Hayy (The Ever Living), Al-Qayum (The Self-Subsistent). God is Unique and there in none like Him.(Qur’an;112:4, Exodus;9:14; Deutronomy;33:26; 2Sameul;7:22; Isaiah;46:5,9).
    The Hebrew word Jehovah [Yahovah (yeh-ho-vaw’)] means (the) self-Existent or Eternal), is the only other word generally employed to denote the Supreme Being, is uniformly rendered in the Authorized Version by “LORD,” printed in small capitals. The existence of God is taken for granted in the Bible. There is nowhere any argument to prove it. He who disbelieves this truth is spoken of as one devoid of understanding (Psalms;14:1). The more common noun ‘elohiym,(el-o-heem) is plural of gods in the ordinary sense; but specifically used (in the plural thus, especially with the article) of the supreme God tended to replace Yahweh to demonstrate the universal sovereignty of Israel’s God over all others. At the same time, the divine name was increasingly regarded as too sacred to be uttered; it was thus replaced vocally in the synagogue ritual by the Hebrew word Adonai (“My Lord”), which was translated as Kyrios (“Lord”) in the Septuagint, the Greek version of the Old Testament. The attributes of God are set forth in order by Moses in Ex 34:6-7. (see also De 6:4; 10:17; Nu 16:22; Ex 15:11; 33:19; Isa 44:6; Hab 3:6; Ps 102:26; Job 34:12.). God’s attributes are spoken of by some as absolute, i.e., such as belong to his essence as Jehovah, Jah, etc.; and relative, i.e., such as are ascribed to him with relation to his creatures. Others distinguish them into communicable, i.e., those which can be imparted in degree to his creatures: goodness, holiness, wisdom, etc.; and incommunicable, which cannot be so imparted: independence, immutability, immensity, and eternity. They are by some also divided into natural attributes, eternity, immensity, etc.; and moral, holiness, goodness, etc.
    ‘Jesus’ is the Greek form of the Hebrew name ‘Joshua’:
    Jesus has never been used as name of God, it is a later development after Jesus. According to Easton’s Bible Dictionary Jesus is the name derived form the Hebrew ewvwhy Yahowshuwa` [yeh-ho-shoo’-ah or Yhowshua {yeh-ho-shoo’-ah}; Jehovah-saved; Jehoshua (i.e. Joshua)], the name of a Jewish leader: also spelled as –Jehoshua, Jehoshuah, Joshua. It became Jesus in Greek [from IhsouV : Iesous (ee-ay-sooce’) ]. Hence ‘Jesus’ is the Greek form of the Hebrew name Joshua, which was originally Hoshea [Oshea evwh](Numbers;13:8,16), but changed by Moses into Jehoshua (Numbers;13:16; 1Chronicles;7:27), or Joshua. After the Exile it assumed the form ‘Jeshua’, whence the Greek form Jesus. “And they said, Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? how is it then that he said, I came down from heaven?” [John;6:42]
    Jesus was the Prophet of God for Israelites:
    It is mentioned at many places in the Bible:
    “But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel”(Matthew;15:24)
    “And Jesus said to them, ‘A prophet is not without honour, except in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house.”(Mark;6:4)
    “And the crowds said, ‘This is the prophet Jesus of Nazareth of Galilee.”(Matthew;21:11)
    “They say unto the blind man again, What sayest thou of him, that he hath opened thine eyes? He said, He is a prophet.”(John;9:17)
    “He who receives you receives me, and he who receives me receives him who sent me. He who receives a prophet because he is a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward, and he who receives a righteous man because he is a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward.” (Matthew;10:40-41)
    Jesus said:” And this is eternal life, that they know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent.” (John;17:3)
    “Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me, and to accomplish his work.” (John;4:34).
    “So Jesus answered them, “My teaching is not mine, but his who sent me; if any man’s will is to do his will, he shall know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own authority.”(John;7:16-17)
    “So Jesus proclaimed, as he taught in the temple, “You know me, and you know where I come from? But I have not come of my own accord; he who sent me is true, and him you do not know.”(John;7:28)
    “So they took away the stone. And Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, “Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me: I knew that thou hearest me always, but I have said this on account of the people standing by, that they may believe that thou didst send me.”(John;11:41-42)
    “Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him”.(John;13:16).
    “He (Jesus) said: “I am indeed a servant of God: He hath given me revelation and made me a prophet;” (Qura’n;19:30)
    “And remember, Jesus, the son of Mary, said, ‘O Children of Israel! I am the messenger of God (sent) to you, confirming the Law (which came) before me and giving glad tidings of a messenger to come after me, whose name shall be Ahmed.’ But when he came to them with clear signs, they said, ‘This is evident sorcery!”(Qur’an; 61:6).
    Jesus and Divinity? More at >>>>
    Jesus never claimed or taught that he is [was] God, the Creator, and that he should be worshiped. There is not a single verse in whole of Bible where Jesus says, in unequivocal terms that: I am God, worship me. His teachings are summarized at http://wp.me/PCgrB-cD. Jesus Christ repeatedly preached to worship only God:

    Jesus Christ Never Claimed Divinity:
    According to Bible Jesus said: “Not every one who says to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he WHO DOES THE WILL OF MY FATHER WHO IS IN HEAVEN (Surrender to will of God: Islam). On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord’, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I NEVER KNEW YOU; DEPART FROM ME, YOU EVILDOERS’.”(Methew;7:21-23).
    God says:” Certainly they have disbelieved who say: “Christ the son of Mary is God.” While Christ himself said: “O children of Israel! WORSHIP GOD, MY LORD AND YOUR LORD.” Whoever ascribes divinity to any one besides God, un to him will God deny paradise, and the hellfire will be his home. There will be no helper for the wrongdoers.(Qur’an;5:72). This statement of Jesus still exist in three Gospels: “Then said Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, THOU SHALT WORSHIP THE LORD THY GOD, AND HIM ONLY SHALT THOU SERVE.” (Mathew;4:10, Luke;4:8), “Jesus said to her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended unto the Father: but go unto my brethren, and say to them, I ascend unto my Father and your Father, and MY GOD AND YOUR GOD.”(John;20:17). A study of the Christian scriptures reveals that Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) never claimed divinity. In fact there is not a single unequivocal statement in the entire Bible where Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) himself says, “I am God” or where he says, “Worship me”. In fact the Bible contains statements attributed to Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) in which he preached quite the contrary: “My Father is greater than I.” (John;14:28). “My Father is greater than all.” (John;10:29). “…I cast out devils by the Spirit of God….” (Mathew;12:28). “…I with the finger of God cast out devils….”(Luke;11:20). “I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not my own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.”(John;5:30). Prophet Jesus refuted even the remotest suggestion of his divinity, as evident form Bible: “And behold, one came and said unto him, ‘Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?’ And he said unto him, ‘Why callest thou me good? There is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.”(Mathew; 19:16-17). God addresses the Jews and Christians: “O people of the Book! Commit no excesses in your religion: nor say of God aught but truth. Christ Jesus the son of Mary was (no more than) an Apostle of God and His Word which He bestowed on Mary and a Spirit proceeding from Him: so believe in God and His Apostles. Say not “Trinity”: desist: it will be better for you: for God is One God: glory be to him: (for Exalted is He) above having a son. To him belong all things in the heavens and on earth. And enough is God as a Disposer of affairs.”(Qur’an;4:171). “Say: He is God the One and Only; God the Eternal, the Uncaused Cause of All Being; He begets not, and neither is He begotten; And there is nothing that can be compared with Him.”(Qur’an;112:1-4).
    God says that in hereafter, Jesus will be questioned: “After reminding him of these favors, God will say: “O Jesus son of Marry, Did you ever say to the people, “worship me and my mother as gods beside God?” He will answer: “Glory to You! How could I say what I had no right to say? If I had ever said so, you would have certainly known it. You know what is in my heart, but I know not what is in yours; for You have full knowledge of all the unseen. I NEVER SAID ANYTHING OTHER THAN WHAT YOU COMMANDED me to say that is TO WORSHIP GOD, WHO IS MY LORD AND YOUR LORD. I was a witness over them as long as I remained among them; but when You called me off, You were the Watcher over them and You are a Witness to everything. If You punish them, they surely are Your servants; and if You forgive them, You are Mighty, Wise.”(Qur’an;5:116-118).

    Muslims Believe in All Previous Scriptures & Prophets: It is part of articles of faith of a Muslims to believe in all the previous messengers of God and the scriptures; in the form they were revealed upon them. (Qur’an;2:136, 3:3-4, 57:26, 4:163, 2:79). Hence Muslims believe in Jesus as Prophet of God [not God] like many early and present Christians i.e. Arians, Unitarians etc. Although Muslims believe in all the previous messengers and scriptures, the Jews and Christians don’t believe in Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) as messenger of God, although he was prophesied in Bible at; Deuteronomy;18:18 & 19, John; 16:12-14, 14:16, 16:7, 15:26, 16:7 and Song of Solomon; 5:16.
    All the divine revelations (scriptures) except Qur’an are not in original revealed form. The Bible; which besides Torah, Psalm and Gospel also contain other scriptures, books and commentaries by mostly unknown scribes attributing to known messengers and personalities. The Torah, Psalm and Gospel as available in the Bible may contain the original revelations in some form which pass the test of Qur’an; the criterion to distinguish right from wrong: (Qur’an;25:1, 17:81).
    The Pure Faith of Abraham : Jesus said: “If you were Abraham’s children, you would do what Abraham did.” (Gospel of Jhon;8:39). Qur’an expressly asks Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) to follow the religion of Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him): “Follow the religion of Abraham, the true in faith, and he was not of those who ascribe divinity to aught beside God;”(Qur’an;16:123). “Abraham was neither a “Jew” nor a “Christian”, but was one who turned away form all that is false, having surrendered himself unto God; and he was not of those who ascribe divinity to aught beside Him.”(Qur’an;3:67, 4:125, 12:38).
    Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him said): …You (Muslims) are an heir to the heritage of Abraham. (Sunan of Abu Dawood:770)
    Muslims worship the same God, worshiped by Adam, Noah, Abraham, Jacob, Moses and Jesus:
    All messengers of God including Abraham based the faith on the strict adherence to monotheism (The doctrine or belief that there is only one God). Muslims worship Allah (one God), the God of Adam, Noah, Abraham, Jacob, Moses, Jesus and all other messengers. The Muslims prefer calling Allah with His name ‘Allah’, instead of the English word ‘God’. The Arabic word Allah is pure and unique, unlike the English word God which can be played around with. Jesus is reported to have addressed the God with the same name: “Eli, Eli, la’ma sabach-tha’ni?” (Mark;15:34, Mathew;27:46). Monotheism has been declared in Bible, the verse from the book of Deuteronomy contains an exhortation from Moses (peace be upon him):”Shama Israelu Adonai Ila Hayno Adna Ikhad”. It is a Hebrew quotation which means: “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord”(Deuteronomy;6:4, Isaiah;43:11, 45:5,46:9). Jesus (peace be upon him) also said: “Shama Israelu Adonai Ila Hayno Adna Ikhad ”[“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord”](Mark;12:29), “..There is none good but one, that is, God..”(Mathew;19:17). Qur’an says: “Your God is one God; there is no one worthy of worship except Him, the Compassionate, the Merciful.” (Qur’an;2:163). The monotheism in Islam is called Tawhid in Arabic; Allah, the One and Only God. Allah says:, “Say: He is Allah the One and Only; God the Eternal, the Uncaused Cause of All Being ; He begets not, and neither is He begotten; And there is nothing that can be compared with Him.”(Qur’an;112:1-4). Attributes of Allah has been mentioned at many places in Qur’an some references are Qur’an; 2:255, 59:22-24, 42:11-12, 11:6, 6:59, 31:34, 4:164, 7:143, 31:27, 6:115, 4:87, 2:133). Similarly according to Bible, God says: “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:” “Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God.”(Exodus;20:3-5, Deuteronomy 5:7-9), Exodus;3:15, 1Timothy;2:5).)
    Related Links:
    http://faithforum.wordpress.com/christianity/evolution-of-christiainity/jesus-divinity/
    http://faithforum.wordpress.com/christianity/the-bible/monotheism-in-bible/
    http://faithforum.wordpress.com/christianity/the-bible/bible-prophesised-muhammad/
    http://faithforum.wordpress.com/christianity/the-bible/the-new-testament/gospels-injeel/
    http://faithforum.wordpress.com/christianity/evolution-of-christiainity/son-of-god/
    http://faithforum.wordpress.com/christianity/evolution-of-christiainity/father-abba/
    http://faithforum.wordpress.com/interfaith/jews-chrisitians-islam/islam-christianity/muslims-believe-in-jesus/
    http://faithforum.wordpress.com/interfaith/jews-chrisitians-islam/commonalties/
    http://faithforum.wordpress.com/e-books/the-creator/
    http://faithforum.wordpress.com/christianity/was-jesus-god/claims-of-divinity-of-jesus-analysis/
    http://docs.google.com/View?id=dc77dvbh_7drfxgpg8

    I do understand the comments are lengthy but the subject demands this much as minimum.
    Best Regards,
    Abujak
    20 September 209

    Like

    Posted by Abujak | September 20, 2009, 5:05 pm
  3. Hello Abujak,

    I wasn’t asking for you to agree that Jesus is God, I was only stating that Christians believe Jesus is God. You don’t have to like it, but Christians define Christianity. Muslims do not define Christianity. All true Christians believe Jesus is God, and therefore, Muslims and Christians worship different Gods. I’d be happy to respond to your bad Jehovah’s Witness argumentation about the deity of Jesus another time, but that’s beside the point right now.

    I see no justification that the name of the god of Islam is “God.” Maybe I missed it. My theory would be that he hasn’t revealed his name to Muslims because he doesn’t want them to know his true identity, which is Satan or some other demon.

    What you said about Allah’s 99 names is interesting. If I referred to Ar-Rahman, do you think the typical American Muslim would know who I was referring to? Also, I’m not really sure that those examples you gave are proper names, either. For example, my wife’s name isn’t “Wife.” That is simply a title. I could also call her “The Beautiful One” or “The Kind One” but those aren’t her names either. She has a name, and she shows respect to other people by telling them her real name.

    Thanks,
    Bill
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    November, 25 2009, st 01:6 AM #5
    Dear Bill,
    “ELAH” is one of the names for God, used about 70 times in the Old Testament. It is very similar to Arabic “Allah” or ‘Eelah’. Elahh [hla]’ (Aramaic; el-aw’): corresponding to God:–God, god. In Hebrew [hwla] ‘elowahh el-o’-ah; probably prolonged (emphat.) from [la]’el ale; a deity or the Deity:–God, god. Again, when combined with other words, we see different attributes of God. Some examples: Elah Yerush’lem – God of Jerusalem: (Ezra;7:19), Elah Yisrael – God of Israel: (Ezra;5:1), Elah Sh’maya – God of Heaven:(Ezra 7:23). Elah Sh’maya V’Arah – God of Heaven and Earth: (Ezra;5:11).

    I think the detailed article below should be able to provide answers to the doubts/issues raised by you.
    Thanks
    Abujak

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    The God of Muslims and Christians!

    Introduction:
    The 9/11 has further widened the gulf between the followers of two main faiths of the world. Although Islam like Christianity or any other religion has nothing to do with the acts of few desperate heretics [takfiri in this case] using terror and violence as a tool to achieve their political objectives under the garb of religion. However now a days it is trendy to claim that the God of Muslims is different to the God of Christians. The rhetoric of the myth gave a tacitly playful acknowledgement of the existence of two Gods, but the question was understood as not asking about the existence of two actual Gods, but whether or not Christians and Muslims were imagining the same being; the entity who would be the one true God. But it is not that simple either, because one may say that he believes in the one true God, who happens to be a wrestling with some one, or walking. One may talk of the “one true God” and mean the same thing as others think as far as the term itself goes, but it does not highlight the characteristics of God, which they would not agree on. Hence the question should not be phrased causally as; “Do Christians and Muslims worship the same God?” (as we can agree there could only be one God), but instead: “Do Christians and Muslims perceive a God with either identical or similar enough characteristics to be called the same Being?”
    Perceptions:
    Generally people tend to relegate the divine to an object of speculation due to their knowledge based upon intellect and common sensual perceptions. Generally people have no doubts about anything that they can perceive through their senses, which is accepted as the fundamental truth. However, if one is in the desert at noon and see a lake in the distance, but only finds sand when reaches that area, what appeared to be a lake turned out to be mirage. Likewise if a pencil is placed in a glass of water it will look as if it is broken, though in actual fact it is not. In a late night gathering, if the people start discussing about the supernatural-ghosts, while traveling back home, many get so carried away that they feel as if a ghost or demon is following them, whereas in reality it is just an illusion. A magician will produce strange objects which seem to be real, even though they are not. Hence human senses can be deceptive, but does this mean that people should doubt the existence of something they can feel? Quite the reverse because if they doubt what they see, hear and feel, there will be a conflict between fact and fantasy that will eventually drive them nuts. But another condition may be added here about obtaining knowledge – meaning, certainty regarding the existence of what is sensed. The mind may misjudge something the first time it perceives it. For example, it may think a mirage is a lake, but the second time it sees it will not make the mistake. Similarly it will soon realize that even though the pencil on the glass of water looks broken, in fact it is not. The various ways in which the senses delude us are limited and easy to recognize. This includes the tricks that magicians perform and the circus activities.
    Any theological exposition which carries the idea of God, somewhat frivolously, reshaping God as an object to be discussed, is against God’s transcendence [beyond the ordinary range of human perception]. It must be appreciated that such approach may lead to erroneous conclusions. Consequently when people articulate God in such a manner, they do not speak of God, but of an idol, with what ever ‘name’ they choose. However much one may wish to accurately know of God, the divine is something that cannot be comprehended by humans in totality due to limitations of human perception, but allegory makes the incomprehensible as comprehensible. Thus many people may perceive God, in their own way depending upon his [or her] level of intellect, perceptions and knowledge, though openly may be claiming to follow a specific creed. Thus the question as to who is right and who is wrong depends upon the parameters and perceptions.
    Do all Christians believe in Jesus to be God?
    It is generally thought that all true Christians believe in Jesus to be God. This statement has inherent contradiction, who will define the term “True Christian”? All the Christian’s groups/ sects claim that only their belief is the ‘true’ one, others are false. Let us analyze if all the Christians hold exactly the same concept of God:
    1. The present popular Christian concept of God was not known to the early followers of Jesus Christ who, continued to worship the God of Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, and Moses in the Jewish temple, like Jesus Christ. Hence the concept of God of early Christians is similar to the Jews and Muslims but it differs with the present day Christians raising the question as to who the true Christians are?
    2. The concept of God held by Prosperity Gospel Pentecostals differ greatly from that held by double-predestinarian Calvinists.
    3. The concept of God held by a pacifist Mennonite differ greatly from the concept held by a pro-war believer in Manifest Destiny.
    4. The concept of God of Unitarians differs from the Protestants and Catholics.
    5. Many prominent Christian figures hold divergent concepts of about God, like Mother Teresa’s [a Roman Catholic] concept of God differ from Jerry Falwell’s [A Fundamentalist evangelist founder of Group known as the ‘Moral Majority’].
    Obviously there are significant differences among Christian groups, so significant that some Christians deny that other Christians are truly Christians.
    Commonalties:
    No rational person, well versed with the history can dispute that the three claimants of monotheistic faith, trace ancestry to a singular God of Abraham, however it can certainly be debated whether or not the God perceived and represented by each has markedly different characteristics. It is no secret that Islam, Christianity & Judaism have common roots. Hence the God depicted by each is so remarkably similar.
    If Christians differ so greatly from one another in their perceptions [concepts] of God, then the Muslims and Christians may also have noteworthy differences as well. Yet, they have important concepts in common – for example:
    a) They claim to believe in the same God that Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, the prophets and Jesus believed and followed.
    b) The knowledge gained through study of history of religions reveal that that both depictions of the God evolved from earlier concepts of God, that El became Eloh’im who is called YHVH in the Bible, and Allah in the Qur’an.
    c) In each case the God has commanded war and peace at varying times.
    d) In each case, the God is on the side of the oppressed, Who holds those who hoard resources with fiery contempt.
    e) Each is depicted as a God who saves men by his Grace but will one day judge man by his works and come down to reign on the earth.
    f) It cannot be denied that the God as mentioned in the Qur’an and the God of the existing Bible display differing characteristics at some places. But if the temptation to force the Old and New Testaments into a seamless theology is resisted, it would be found that the God of the OT and God in the NT have differing characteristics as well.
    • The New Testament God is also referred as the ‘God of our fathers..’ [Acts 3:13 and 5:30] and the ‘God of Abraham and of Isaac and of Jacob..'[Acts;3:13] (these are common Old Testament usages). Acts;7:2 He is referred to as the ‘God of glory.’ In Luke 1:32, 35 and 76 He is referred to as ‘the Highest.’ Luke;1:68 terms Him ‘the Lord God of Israel’.
    • “He hath ordained for you that religion which He commended unto Noah, and that which We inspire in thee (Muhammad), and that which We commended unto Abraham and Moses and Jesus, saying: Establish the religion, and be not divided therein. Dreadful for the idolaters is that unto which thou callest them. Allah chooseth for Himself whom He will, and guideth unto Himself him who turneth (toward Him). And they were not divided until after the knowledge came unto them, through rivalry among themselves; and had it not been for a Word that had already gone forth from thy Lord for an appointed term, it surely had been judged between them. And those who were made to inherit the Scripture after them are verily in hopeless doubt concerning it. Unto this, then, summon (O Muhammad). And be thou upright as thou art commanded, and follow not their lusts, but say: I believe in whatever Scripture Allah hath sent down, and I am commanded to be just among you. Allah is our Lord and your Lord. Unto us our works and unto you your works; no argument between us and you. Allah will bring us together, and unto Him is the journeying.”(Qur’an;42:13-15).
    a) They believe God is Omnipotent, All-Merciful, and without any imperfection. [Qur’an;6:18, 6:54 & 85:14, 36:82 Psalms;139:7, Isaiah;40:28, Exodus;34:6-7, Psalms;119:64, Ephesians;2:4, 2 Samuel;7:22 ].
    b) Most of the Christians today believe that God is revealed most fully and gloriously in a crucified person [Jesus], while the Muslims [like early Christians] believe that it is beyond the human vision to perceive Him [Qur’an;6:103, also John;1:18, 1Timothy;6:16, Exodus;33:20]. God is not a ‘being’ like any creatures or thing known to human. Hence the God can be comprehended through ‘His works’ or ‘signs’. The God in Abrahamic faiths is Supreme, Creator and Sustainer Who created the universe and all the creatures. Muslims believe that God is revealed gloriously through the Signs [ayahs] of His existence manifest through the last inspired book [Qur’an] as well in the existence of human self, the cosmos and all other signs in His Creations [Qur’an;10:6, 2:164, 30:20, 39:59, 1:101, 12:105, 4:174-175 and many more]. (Some Christians seem to have a concept closer to Islam’s, substituting the Bible for the Quran.) So there are commonalities and divergence.
    Is the God mentioned in the Qur’an and the Bible different? Certainly, at least as much as the God in the Old Testament and New Testament are different. This is to say, both texts try to describe the same God, but have attribute to him differences. So how big of a difference does there have to be, before one may call these different Gods?
    1 Many make a great deal of the difference of Trinity, although then we must also say that Judaism worships a different God from Christians as well.
    2 Moreover any sect of Christianity that rejects the concept of Trinity, as well as many or most Christians before the 4th century C.E creeds, do not worship the same God either.
    3 There is the difference of the Christ, but even this is not so clear as it seems to appear. It is no secret to historians that it took several hundred years for the idea of Christ’s coequal status with God-Father to become orthodoxy (a la filioque).
    4 Just as Christ is one of greatest prophets and a Messiah in Islam, Christ was no more than a Messiah (and not coequal with God) to many Christians in the pre-creedal centuries (and many continue this line of thought even today).
    The Christians have to closely look in to many aspects, which need serious consideration:
    1) At what point does the line of exclusion should be drawn at fellow Christians in the same way Christians exclude the Muslim for differing beliefs?
    2) What about particular atonement models which many Protestants unknowingly hold on to and decide who is a “True Christian” or not?
    3) What about differing concepts of afterlife?
    4) Differences on Resurrection?
    5) Differences on Virgin Birth?
    6) Differences in how to view inspiration?
    7) Differences in predestination and God’s determinism?
    Pervasive Myth of Orthodoxy
    These are some of the glaring differences which have evolved into creed-level fundamentals over time for some Christian or another (or Muslim), but there is a pervasive myth of orthodoxy within the Church that undermines the key point here. That is to say, every Christian wants to believe that he believes the same as the early followers of Christ did, but this myth of consistency and orthodoxy across churches in the beginning betrays in itself an ignorance of history.
    1) At what point do the Christians consider the other an other because his God is too other?
    2) At what point rather than looking for insight, merely looking for a reason to label a Christian as liberal or unorthodox, or a Muslim an extremist, misogynist, and racist in a violent religion?
    Choosing to use rhetoric that encourages the idea that the other is a follower of another God and not my God gives approval that the other; Is pagan, ignorant, not righteous hence will lose in the end to the true God. However these aspects do not make rhetorical or physical violence easier to justify. Based upon their intellect, instincts, knowledge and personal experience, individuals may formulate their own “inner concept of God”. So the issue becomes meaningless.
    The Name of God:
    Let us first find out what the name means: A name is a word or group of words used to refer to an individual entity (real or imaginary); the name singles out this entity by directly pointing to it, not by specifying it as a member of a class. According to Encyclopedia Britannica, the term “common name” is sometimes used roughly as the equivalent of “noun”; the concern in this treatment is with what is more specifically a “proper noun,” or “proper name,” although a wholly logical distinction has never been established between the two classes. For instance, it is possible to refer to the same entity, in this case a river, in two distinct ways:
    (1) “The Colorado is a beautiful river,” and
    (2) “The river that flows through Austin is beautiful.”
    Because there is only one river that flows through Austin, Texas, the subject of sentence (2) is unambiguously identified, and the reference of the sentence is fully individual. The subject of sentence (2), however, is not a name but rather a nominal (noun) phrase that specifies one member of the whole class of rivers by indicating a unique property of it. The word Colorado in sentence (1), on the other hand, is a name, because it directly points to the specific river. The fact that there is more than one river called Colorado, and that more specific information is sometimes needed to identify the one being discussed (e.g., “I prefer the Texan Colorado to the California one”), does not change the status of “Colorado” as a name, because each of the two rivers is referred to in the way required by the definition.
    Now let us consider the English word ‘God’, the name given to the Single, Unique, Supreme deity, the Creator and Cherisher of all which exists in the entire universe. The study of history of religions reveal that that depictions of the God evolved from earlier concepts of God, that El became Eloh’im who is called YHVH in the Bible, and Allah in the Qur’an.
    False Deities are nothing but mere Empty Names:
    It is said that a ‘rose’ may be called by any name, it will remain ‘rose’ and its fragrance will not change with the change of name. Similarly if an idol is given the name of god, it will not become god, it will remain what it is. Qur’an mentions:
    “Is, then, HE who has every living being in His almighty care, [dealing with each] according to what it deserves – [is, then, He like anything else that exists]? And yet, they ascribe to other beings a share in God’s divinity! Say: “Give them any name [you please]: but do you [really think that you could] inform Him of anything on earth that He does not know – or [do you] but play with words? “Nay, goodly seems their false imagery to those who are bent on denying the truth, and so they are turned away from the [right] path: and he whom God lets go astray can never find any guide”.(Qur’an; 13:33)
    Most of the commentators explain this phrase as an expression of utter contempt for those allegedly “divine” beings: i.e., “they are so unreal and meaningless as not to deserve even a name”. It is also conceivable that we have here an echo of the statement, to be found in Qur’an;7:71, 12:40 and 53:23, to the effect that those false objects of worship are but “[empty] names which you [disbelievers] have invented”:
    The various names of God among Hebrews represent God as he is known, as well as the divine aspects which are attributed to him. The numerous names of God have been a source of debate amongst biblical scholars. The researcher of Pentateuch [first five books of the Hebrew Scriptures] have discovered two types of scripts by ‘P’ [Priestly] writers. The ancient sources call one as ‘J’ [because the writer called the divine as Jehovah] and the second ‘E’ [as the author preferred more traditional name of God, ‘Eloh’im’]. ‘J’ and ‘E’ scripts differ in some aspects, ‘J’ describes God as anthropoid, walking in the garden of Eden like a ruler, enjoying the breeze, after the floods smelled a sweet odor of burnt offering by Noah, while Abraham sees Him as a guest in his tent [Genesis;3:8-9, 6:6, 8:21, 18:1-5]. But in the script of ‘E’ God is more of supernatural. He does not appear before men rather sends His angel as messenger. ‘E’ was sure that Moses seeing God in the burning bush was a new stage of manifestation by Eloh’im. Moses asked His name, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob called Him El, Jehovah said “Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh” [I Am That I Am] [Exodux;3:13-15]. “And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shall you say unto the children of Israel, I AM has sent me unto you. And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shall you say unto the children of Israel, The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me unto you: this is my name forever, and this is my memorial unto all generations.”[Exodus;3:14-15]
    This complex sentence [I Am That I Am] was a Hebrew idiom meaning “Whom ever I Am,” or “mind your own business”. In the primitive world, knowing some one’s name was synonymous to gaining control over him. God could not be subdued in this way. In medieval times, God was sometimes called The Seven. Among the ancient Hebrews, the seven names for the Deity over which the scribes had to exercise particular care were: Eloah, Elohim, Adonai, Ehyeh-Asher-Ehyeh, YHWH (i.e. Yahweh), Shaddai, Zebaot.
    Brief Description of Names of God & His Titles in Bible:
    Monotheism has been clearly emphasized in Bible, the verse from the book of Deuteronomy contains an exhortation from Moses (peace be upon him):”Shama Israelu Adonai Ila Hayno Adna Ikhad”. It is a Hebrew quotation which means: “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord”(Deuteronomy;6:4, Isaiah;43:11, 45:5,46:9). Jesus (peace be upon him) also said: “Shama Israelu Adonai Ila Hayno Adna Ikhad ”[“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord”](Mark;12:29), “..There is none good but one, that is, God..”(Mathew;19:17). Qur’an says: “Your God is one God; there is no one worthy of worship except Him, the Compassionate, the Merciful.” (Qur’an;2:163). The monotheism in Islam is called Tawhid in Arabic; Allah, the One and Only God. Allah says:, “Say: He is Allah the One and Only; God the Eternal, the Uncaused Cause of All Being ; He begets not, and neither is He begotten; And there is nothing that can be compared with Him.”(Qur’an;112:1-4). Attributes of Allah has been mentioned at many places in Qur’an some references are Qur’an; 2:255, 59:22-24, 42:11-12, 11:6, 6:59, 31:34, 4:164, 7:143, 31:27, 6:115, 4:87, 2:133). Similarly according to Bible, God says: “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:” “Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God.”(Exodus; 3:15, 20:3-5, Deuteronomy 5:7-9, 1Timothy;2:5). God has been addressed with different names in Bible, the most prominent one are mentioned below:
    • “ELOHIM” (or Elohay) is the first name for God found in the Bible, and it’s used throughout the Old Testament over 2,300 times. Elohim comes from the Hebrew root meaning “strength” or “power”, and has the unusual characteristic of being plural in form. In Genesis 1:1, we read, “In the beginning Elohim created the heaven and the earth.” Right from the start, this plural form for the name of God is used to describe the One God, a mystery that is uncovered throughout the rest of the Bible. Throughout scripture, Elohim is combined with other words to describe certain characteristics of God. Some examples: Elohay Kedem – God of the Beginning: (Deuteronomy 33:27). Elohay Mishpat – God of Justice: (Isaiah 30:18). Elohay Selichot – God of Forgiveness: (Nehemiah 9:17). Elohay Marom – God of Heights: (Micah 6:6). Elohay Mikarov – God Who Is Near: (Jeremiah 23:23). Elohay Mauzi – God of My Strength: (Psalm 43:2).Elohay Tehilati – God of My Praise: (Psalm 109:1). Elohay Yishi – God Of My Salvation: (Psalm 18:47, 25:5). Elohim Kedoshim – Holy God: (Leviticus 19:2, Joshua 24:19). Elohim Chaiyim – Living God: (Jeremiah 10:10). Elohay Elohim – God of Gods: (Deuteronomy;10:17).
    • “EL” is another name used for God in the Bible, showing up about 200 times in the Old Testament. El is the simple form arising from Elohim, and is often combined with other words for descriptive emphasis. Some examples: El HaNe’eman – The Faithful God: (Deuteronomy 7:9). El HaGadol – The Great God: (Deuteronomy 10:17). El HaKadosh – The Holy God: (Isaiah 5:16). El Yisrael – The God Of Israel: (Psalm 68:35). El HaShamayim – The God Of The Heavens: (Psalm 136:26). El De’ot – The God Of Knowledge: (1 Samuel 2:3). El Emet – The God Of Truth: (Psalm 31:6). El Yeshuati – The God Of My Salvation: (Isaiah 12:2). El Elyon – The Most High God: (Genesis 14:18). Immanu El – God Is With Us: (Isaiah 7:14). El Olam – The God Of Eternity (Genesis 21:33). El Echad – The One God: (Malachi 2:10). “Have we not all one father? Has not one God created us?” [Malachi;2:10]
    • “ELAH” is another name for God, used about 70 times in the Old Testament. It is very similar to Arabic “Allah” or ‘Eelah’. Elahh [hla]’ (Aramaic; el-aw’): corresponding to God:–God, god. In Hebrew [hwla] ‘elowahh el-o’-ah; probably prolonged (emphat.) from [la]’el ale; a deity or the Deity:–God, god. Again, when combined with other words, we see different attributes of God. Some examples: Elah Yerush’lem – God of Jerusalem: (Ezra;7:19), Elah Yisrael – God of Israel: (Ezra;5:1), Elah Sh’maya – God of Heaven:(Ezra 7:23). Elah Sh’maya V’Arah – God of Heaven and Earth: (Ezra;5:11).
    • “YHVH” is the Hebrew word that translates as “LORD”. Found more often in the Old Testament than any other name for God (approximately 7,000 times), the title is also referred to as the “Tetragrammaton” meaning the “The Four Letters”. YHVH comes from the Hebrew verb “to be” and is the special name that God revealed to Moses at the burning bush. “And God said to Moses, ‘I AM WHO I AM; and He said, thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, I AM has sent me to you… this is My eternal name, and this is how I am to be recalled for all generations'” (Exodus;3:14-15). Therefore, YHVH declares God’s absolute being – the source of everything, without beginning and without end. Although some pronounce YHVH as “Jehovah” or “Yaweh,” scholars really don’t know the proper pronunciation. The Jews stopped pronouncing this name by about 200 A.D., out of fear of breaking the commandment “You shall not take the name of YHVH your God in vain” (Exodus;20:7). (Today’s rabbis typically use “Adonai” in place of YHVH.) Here are some examples of YHVH used in scripture: YHVH Elohim – LORD God: (Genesis;2:4). YHVH M’kadesh – The LORD Who Makes Holy: (Ezekiel;37:28). YHVH Yireh – The LORD Who Sees/provides: (Genesis;22:14). YHVH Nissi – The LORD My Banner: (Exodus;17:15). YHVH Shalom – The LORD of Peace: (Judges;6:24). YHVH Tzidkaynu – The LORD Our Righteousness: (Jeremiah;33:16). YHVH O’saynu – The LORD our Maker:(Psalm;95:6).
    Since the Christians initially had the Old Testament scriptures as their ‘Bible’ and frequently quoted from it in the New Testament, some of the names for God carry over into the New. Most frequently simply the term God is used. Jesus in referring to God calls Him Father [metaphorically, being the Creator and Sustainer, not biologically]. The New Testament in completion of the Old adds the revelation of Jesus Christ as being a name for God, as one of the divine persons in the trinity. The Holy Spirit or Holy Ghost is considered to be fully equal as such being part of the three persons.
    ‘Jesus’ is the Greek form of the Hebrew human name ‘Joshua’:
    Word ‘Jesus’ has never been used as name of God, it is a later development after Jesus. According to Easton’s Bible Dictionary; ‘Jesus’ is the name derived form the Hebrew ewvwhy Yahowshuwa` [yeh-ho-shoo’-ah or Yhowshua {yeh-ho-shoo’-ah}; Jehovah-saved; Jehoshua (i.e. Joshua)], the name of a Jewish leader: also spelled as –Jehoshua, Jehoshuah, Joshua. It became Jesus in Greek [from IhsouV : Iesous (ee-ay-sooce’) ]. Hence ‘Jesus’ is the Greek form of the Hebrew name Joshua, which was originally Hoshea [Oshea evwh](Numbers;13:8,16), but changed by Moses into Jehoshua (Numbers;13:16; 1Chronicles;7:27), or Joshua. After the Exile it assumed the form ‘Jeshua’, whence the Greek form Jesus. “And they said, Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? how is it then that he said, I came down from heaven?” [John;6:42]
    Names of God: The Lord Revealed in YHVH is the Lord Revealed in Yeshua (Jesus)?
    The Christians claim and believe that the LORD who revealed Himself as YHVH in the Old Testament is revealed as Yeshua (Jesus) in the New Testament. They take support from John;8:56-9, where Jesus presents himself as the “I AM.” When challenged by some Jewish leaders regarding His claim of seeing Abraham (who lived some 2000 years earlier), Jesus replied, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was I AM.” [Obviously from ‘I Am’ here Jesus meant that ‘I Am’ (The God) existed before Abraham (‘I Am’is the name of God revealed to Moses, Exodus;3:14-15, also explained above). If Jesus would have said; “I am (me) is ‘I Am’(God) who existed even before Abraham”, then one may interpret it to mean that Jesus was claiming Divinity. But Jesus said; “..before Abraham was I AM” which simply means that, God (I Am) existed even before Abraham, who knows and told him (Jesus). Earlier it is mentioned that; “Jesus answered, If I honor myself, my honor is nothing: it is my Father that honors me; of whom you say, that he is your God:”[John;8:54]. The Jewish leaders were looking for an excuse to ridicule Jesus so they seem to have deliberately misinterpreted.
    God can also be called with other beautiful names suitable to His attributes: “He is Allah! There is no deity worthy of worship except Him! To Him belong the most beautiful Names [attributes of perfection].”(Qur’an;20:8). Islamic traditions mention ninety nine (number not fixed) names of Allah like; Ar-Rahman (The Merciful), Al- Hayy (The Ever Living), Al-Qayum (The Self-Subsistent). Ar-Rahman (The Merciful), is the most recited name of God by the Muslims, because they start every good work small or big, by stating: “In the name of Allah Most Gracious Most Merciful”. Hence Ar-Rahman (The Merciful) is the one of the most common attributable name of Allah [God]. Some people get embroiled in to the names and attributes of God, by perceiving Him like a human or any other creature, such an approach leads to nowhere. They forget that God is Unique and there in none like Him.(Qur’an;112:4, Exodus;9:14; Deutronomy;33:26; 2Sameul;7:22; Isaiah;46:5,9). This simply lead the Pope to accept the reality.
    Pope Declares that Allah and Jehovah are the names of same God.
    In his weekly general audience in late May of 1999, Pope John Paul II addressed Muslims in a series discussing “inter-religious dialog.” He quotes from the 1994 Catechism of the Catholic Church n. 841 which states, “… together with us they (Muslims) adore the one, merciful, God.” The Pope and many other religious leaders today, who are being wooed into the ecumenical movement, are accepting the idea that the God of the Koran and the God of the Bible are one and the same. [Issue Date: January/February 2000]
    The Devil [Satan]- Cannot be Equated with God:
    People devoid of rational arguments in desperation accuse that the Muslims have been deceived by Satan, who presented himself as God. This is not a new accusation; the non believers even during the lifetime of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) resorted to such asinine slander. Due to utter ignorance they do not realize that Satan [Devil] has been cursed in Qur’an repeatedly. How can the writer of a book can curse himself? The Muslims are commanded to start the recitation of Qur’an and other noble works by praying to seek Allah’s refuge against the mischief of Satan, the cursed one”[Qur’an;16:98, 41:36]. Any one can read the Qur’an, no where Qur’an appreciates the Satan [devil or evil], rather devil is condemned and rejected with full harshness:
    “Did I not charge you, O ye sons of Adam, that ye worship not the devil Lo! he is your open foe! ”[Qur’an;36:60]
    “O believers! Do not follow the footsteps of Satan: because anyone who follows the footsteps of Satan is seduced by him to commit acts of indecency and wickedness. If there had not been the grace and mercy of Allah upon you, none of you would have ever been purified from that sin, for it is Allah Alone Who purifies whom He pleases, and Allah is All-Hearing, All-Knowing. ”[Qur’an;24:217]
    “Nor is this [Qur’an] the utterance of a devil worthy to be stoned”[Qur’an;81:25]
    “And We have guarded it from every outcast devil”[Qur’an;15:17]
    All the emphasis is on believe in One Supreme God, His messengers, revealed books, the Day of Judgment and performance of good deeds. Hence the hollow statement is rejected in totality. Satan is just one of creatures, while endeavouring to lead men astray, Satan never claims to be God’s “equal” (Qur’an;7:20, where he speaks of God, to Adam and Eve, as “your Sustainer”, or Qur’an;15:36 and 39, where he addresses Him as “my Sustainer”, or Qur’an;8:48 and 59:16, where he says, “behold, I fear God”) but, rather, tries to make men’s sinful doings “seem goodly to them” (Qur’an;6:43, 8:48, 16:63, 27:24, 29:38), i.e., persuades them that it is morally justifiable to follow one’s fancies and selfish desires without any restraint. But while Satan himself does not make any claim to equality with God, the sinner who submits to Satan’s blandishments attributes to him thereby, as it were, “a share in God’s divinity”.
    “And when everything will have been decided, Satan will say: “Behold, God promised you something that was bound to come true! I, too, held out [all manner of] promises to you – but I deceived you. Yet I had no power at all over you: I but called you – and you responded unto me. Hence, blame not me, but blame yourselves. It is not for me to respond to your cries, nor for you to respond to mine: for, behold, I have [always] refused to admit that there was any truth in your erstwhile belief that I had a share in God’s divinity.”(Qur’an;14:22)
    It must be stressed, in this connection, that the Qura’nic expression Shaytan is [also] often used as a metaphor for every human impulse that is intrinsically immoral and, therefore, contrary to man’s best – i.e., spiritual – interests. In his commentary on this passage, Razi remarks: “This verse shows that the real Satan (ash-shaytan al-asli) is [man’s own] complex of desires (an-nafs): for, Satan makes it clear [in the above] that it was only by means of insinuations ‘(waswasah) that he was able to reach [the sinner’s soul]; and had it not been for an already-existing [evil] disposition due to lusts, anger, superstition or fanciful ideas, these [satanic] insinuations would have had no effect whatsoever.”
    Conclusion:
    The Muslims doubtlessly believe in One Supreme God, the God of universe, the humanity, the God worshiped by Prophet Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad [peace be upon them all]. Most of the learned Christians like Pope John Paul II and others also believe that the God of Muslims and Christians is the same. While there are many common perceptions, there are differences as well. The most significant being the concept of Trinity, which is also not unequivocally supported even by the Bible, hence many among the early Christians and many even now remain opposed to it. If there are differences among the Christians about perception of God, but they remain Christians, then what is the logic for undue criticism of Muslims with almost identical perceptions. Effort should be made to narrow down the differences to find common ground for the peace.
    “Say: “O followers of earlier revelation! Come unto that tenet which we and you hold in common: that we shall worship none but God, and that we shall not ascribe divinity to aught beside Him, and that we shall not take human beings for our lords beside God.” And if they turn away, then say: “Bear witness that it is we who have surrendered ourselves unto Him.”[Qur’an;3:64]

    _________________________________________________
    References:
    The Message of Qur’an by Muhammad Asad.
    ‘The Creator’ by Aftab Ahmad khan
    ‘Islam-introduction’ by Sheikh Ali Tantawi
    ‘The History of God’ by Karen Armstrong.
    ‘The Great Transformation’ by Karen Armstrong.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Names_of_God_in_Judaism
    http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=52&letter=N
    http://www.mrwebauthor.com/mrmrswebauthor/names/
    http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_are_the_New_Testament_names_for_God
    http://www.allaboutgod.com/names-of-god.htm
    http://taddelay.wordpress.com/2009/10/15/do-christians-and-muslims-believe-in-the-same-god/
    http://healtheland.wordpress.com/2007/11/13/fundamentalist-christianity-101-muslims-and-christians-do-not-worship-the-same-god/
    http://www.brianmclaren.net/archives/blog/q-r-hell-etc.html#more
    http://wp.me/pCgrB-ge

    Like

    Posted by Bill | September 26, 2009, 10:44 pm

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