BIBLICAL HEBREW NAMES OF GOD.
Elohim = Derived from the most distinct and revered Hebrew name for God. It s actually the plural expression of the word “El”, meaning Eternal Creator and Judge of The Universe (God). Elohim (the plural form of El) represents the plurality of God in Genesis, identifying the Godhead as Trinitarian.
Yahweh (”Jahweh”) = the name of the God of Israel, as preserved in the original consonantal Hebrew Bible text.
Jehovah = “He is”, meaning that God is the One who is self-existent; that is, eternal and dependent on no one and nothing else for His existence. Derived specifically from “I AM WHO I AM” (’ehyeh asher ‘ehyeh). Also, He Who Was. He Who Is. He Who Is To Come. This name best describes His Omnipotent Eternal Nature.
Adonai = The Lord Our Sovereign. The name Adonai, translated “Lord” (only the “L” capitalized), occurs approximately 300 times in the Old Testament. It’s interesting to note that it is almost always used in the plural possessive form meaning “My Lords”. This, once again, confirms the concept of The Trinity as found in the name “Elohim”.
MUSLIM / ISLAMIC NAME IN CONTRAST:
Allah = Modern day Muslims have claimed the word “Allah” means “The One True God”. They claim this term is consistent with the Christian and Jewish reference to God. The truth is that “Allah” is the Islamic distinction of the word for “god” or “a god of many gods” and is therefore a ‘false god’ which carries with it entirely opposing characteristics and attributes to the God of Israel as described in the Bible. There is no Aramaic or Arab construct for the same word meaning “God” in relation to the Hebrew (Yahweh, Jehovah, Elohim, Adonai) because the Arabs have altogether rejected any existence of the Jewish God or the God of Israel. Due to the fact that Muslims declare Ishmael to be the chosen son of Abraham over Isaac, they altogether deny the existence of the Jewish God of Abraham Isaac and Jacob, and therefore have created their own concept of a god. They also reject the Davidic line and priesthood leading to Jesus Christ. In the Islamic mind, there is no other name for God but “Allah”. So there is absolutely no comparison between the Jewish and Muslim terms.
Allah was, in fact, the name of the chief god in the Kaabah, the pagan temple that Muhammad “purged” by destroying the more than 300 idols contained in it.
“Allah is a generic title for whatever god was considered the highest god. Different Arab tribes used “Allah” to refer to its personal high god. “Allah” was being worshipped at the Kaa’ba in Mecca by Arabs prior to the time of Mohammed. It was formerly the name of the chief god among the numerous idols (360) in the Kaaba in Mecca before Mohammed made them into monotheists. Historians have shown that the moon god called “Hubal” was the god to whom Arabs prayed at the Kaa’ba and they used the name “Allah” when they prayed.”
Muhammad likely kept the name of this ancient pagan moon god and the symbol of the crescent moon because it would be easier to convert idolaters to his new religion if he could offer something with which they were familiar. Muslims see no contradiction in this strategy, nor even in keeping the chief object of worship in the ancient Kaabah, the black stone that Muslims kiss and revere today, even as idolaters did before Muhammad incorporated it into Islamic religious practice.
Yahweh (Jahweh) of the Bible and Allah of the Qur’an are not the same. Twelve times Jahweh calls himself, or is referred to as, “the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob.” An overwhelming 203 times in 201 verses (from Ex 5:1 to Lk 1:68), Jahweh is called “the God of Israel”—never the God of Ishmael. Muslims of course reject any reference to the God of Israel and the God of Abaham, Isaac, and Jacob.
In contrast, Islam and Allah express hatred for Israel and all Jews. That fact alone is enough to distinguish Jahweh from Allah. The Qur’an and authoritative Islamic tradition cited in the hadith vilify the Jews repeatedly…
The History springs from the birth of Isaac and Ishmael. Isaac is the only authentic first-born son to both Abraham and Sarah. Sarah was the one through whom God’s promises of the land and of the Messiah would be fulfilled. Isaac is the one whose descendants would possess the promised land. On the other hand, Ishmael was the illegitimate son born to a concubine. That is so clearly and repeatedly declared in Scripture that it cannot be honestly disputed. Yet the Arabs, who claim to be descended from Ishmael, lay claim to the promises given by God to Isaac and through him to the Jews. Islam’s claim that Ishmael was the son of promise not only contradicts Scripture but irrationally gives an illegitimate son priority over his half-brother, the true heir.
Distinguishing Isaac beyond dispute from the other sons born to Abraham, God called Isaac the “only son” of Abraham and commanded that he be sacrificed on Mount Moriah (Gn 22:2). It was Isaac who, in submission to God’s command, willingly allowed his father to bind him upon the altar, and whom God delivered at the last moment when He had proved the complete obedience of both father and son, thus representing a type of Christ and the sacrifice provided by the Father (Gn 22:1-14). This is the testimony of Scripture from the God who “cannot lie” (1 Sm 15:29; Ps 89:35; Ti 1:2, etc.) and whose “gifts and calling…are without repentance” (Rom 11:29).
Isaac had twin sons, Esau and Jacob. Contrary to custom of the time, instead of Esau, the firstborn, God chose Jacob, the younger son, through whom His promises would be fulfilled. Before these twins were born, God specifically revealed to their mother, Rebecca, the destiny of their descendants: “Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people…and the elder shall serve the younger” (Gn 25:23). The prophecy did not pertain to Jacob and Esau as individuals (Esau never served Jacob in his lifetime) but to the nations that would descend from them. The Arabs come from both Ishmael and Esau because the latter and his descendants intermarried with the descendants of Ishmael (Gn 28:9). The descendants of Jacob became known as the Nation of Israel.
The Jews, (isolated in Egypt for 400 years and brought as an identifiable ethnic group into the promised land), are the descendants of Abraham through his son Isaac and grandson Jacob, whose name God changed to Israel. The promise of the land and of the Messiah was renewed by God to Isaac: “Unto thee, and unto thy seed, I will give all these countries,…in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed…” (Gn 26:3,4). Also, to Jacob (Israel) God said, “…the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed;…and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed” (Gn 28:13,14).
Indisputably, the land of Israel (”from the river of Egypt unto the great river…Euphrates” - Gn 15:18-21) was given to the Jews forever. God declared, “The land shall not be sold for ever: for the land is mine…” (Lv 25:23). Their right to this Land in its entirety is steadfast, inalienable and eternal….This right…cannot be forfeited under any circumstance…[Israelis] have neither the power nor the jurisdiction to negate it for future generations to come….And until the coming of the Great Redemption, they will never yield this historic right.
The Rise of Islam was an attempt by the descendants of Ishmael and Esau to steal Israel’s birthright. It is a false religion with a false god and a pile of false claims all designed to fuel its ancient hatred towards the chosen people of God, the Jews. This is why there continues to be such a dispute in the middle East. All that to say that the word “Allah” is not synonymous to the God of the Universe, creator of mankind, as described in the Bible or referred to by Evangelical Christians.
Rev Chris Curry
Living Waters Canada