“Jehovah” ≠ “Allah”

Despite what you might hear, Jehovah God and what is called “Allah” cannot be the same. After having a good talk with someone who had lived in Turkey and Kyrgyzstan for a while I thought a post of the highlights would do us all good. I am no theologian and I would sure like some comments on this, at least in the long run, especially from those who adhere or used to adhere to the Muslim persuasion. For now, here are the major differences:

1. In Hebrew, God (Elohim, from “eloah” or “el”) reveals Himself as Yahweh and is commonly translated as Jehovah.
In Arabic, “allah” (derived from the same Hebrew word) has always been a general word for any god and may or may not include the one true God. Muslims do not use the names Yahweh or Jehovah.

Note: According to my friend, in Turkey “Allah” was used to refer to Yahweh in the first translations of the Bible into Turkish. However, as the differences were realized and became irreconcilable, Tang-ruh was substituted instead, to identify Yahweh. (The same situation arises in other languages such as Mongolian.) From now on in the post I will refer to Yahweh or Jehovah as God with a capital ‘G’.

2. God has a Son Whose name is Jesus.
“Allah” had no son (Sura 23:91).

3. God the Father is referred to in masculine.
“Allah” claims no gender.

And, most importantly:

P1050210God’s desire is to work in us, change us through grace, and make us partakers of His holiness through the work of His Son;
“Allah” would desire to put a wide separation between God and man through the spread of the Islamic world view. That is, because the word “Islam” means submission, it would refer to “Allah” as someone who cannot be known personally, only submitted to unconditionally.

15 Comments

  1. Denise October 1, 2010 at 11:12 pm #

    . . . We say “God” in English, Spanish Christians pray to “Dio”, and my Egyptian, Christian friend prays to “Allah”. She is a Christian, prays to the same God we do, and her “Allah” does not deserve to be relegated to lower case, unrespected status because she prays to God in her native language.

    Remember, Jesus DID NOT speak English, he did NOT say “God”. He spoke the same language as the people he was with, most likely Aramaic. In Hebrew after the “Canaanite Shift” God was referred to as “Eloah” (plural in the bible “Elohim”) pronounced as “allah”. In Aramaic “God” was called “Elah/Alah”, and in Arabic He was referred to as “Allah”. All of the words were derived from the same root. So whether Jesus spoke Aramaic, Hebrew, or Arabic HE also called God “Alah”. He sure didn’t say “God” (the Germanic form of “Gut”), and he didn’t say Yahweh or Jehovah since those words were created/made up long after his death. . . . So let’s show a little respect for God, Allah, and Yahweh/Jehovah and remember the performance of some humans does not define who God is. So let’s not disrespect Him and those who follow him.

  2. Denise October 2, 2010 at 5:39 pm #

    “Despite what you may hear, Jehovah God and what is called ‘Allah’ cannot be the same.” Says who?

    The Christian God created Jesus, the Jewish God created Jesus, AND the muslim God (aka “what is called ‘Allah'”) created Jesus. So 3 Gods created one man who performed miracles, and spoke of God’s love to all? At the exact same time? There were three seperate Gods involved in the creation of Jesus? No. There is but one God, He created Jesus. And He created Jesus for ALL of mankind, muslim, christian and jew. He sent his son to die for the sins of all of mankind, not just one particular denomination.

    If three religions: Muslim, Christian and Jewish ALL believe that God gave us Jesus, how can YOU say that Allah cannot be the same as God? Why are “God” and “Jehovah” okay but “Allah” is not? Do you know that in the Quran, Allah loves Jesus so much that he delivered him into heaven before he was even crucified? Do you know that in the Quran, Allah’s love for his prophet is so strong that it breaks His heart to think that Jesus will have to die? Do you have an inkling as to how strong Jesus’ presence is in the Quran?

    It was because Jesus was no ordinary man that His death on the cross was unique. . . .

  3. Donald October 3, 2010 at 10:04 am #

    Denise, ask your Egyptian friend if the one she is praying to is a personal God, that is, whether or not He has led her to believe that He wants to bring her into a real, communicative relationship. Then you will know whether her Arabic word “Allah” is referring to Yahweh/Jehovah or to the allah of the Muslim religion. We would be very interested to hear what she says.

  4. Michael October 3, 2010 at 6:57 pm #

    The more I thought about your post Donald, the more meaningful it became to me. I understand that when you referred to “Allah” you were referring to the god of Islam, even if it is derived from “Elohim” (plural for a reason). I understand that when you referred to Jehovah, you meant God as revealed to Abraham and Moses and the prophets (and me and millions of others) even if we don’t know the exact original Hebrew pronunciation. Jesus Christ, the Word, the image of the invisible God, was before Abraham and creation. If he had never been made flesh (“no son”), that means no perfect substitutionary sacrifice for my sin, no ever-living High Priest, no peace with God, no victory over death. It is no mystery that he who loves God will love him also that is begotten of him. To hate Jesus Christ is to hate God, because He proceeded forth and came from God.

  5. Nathan Burkhalter October 4, 2010 at 4:37 pm #

    In the debate with the world over whether Allah and Jehovah are the same, it keeps coming to my mind the word Tashlan. Have you ever heard of C.S. Lewis? The books that he wrote are tremendous! Mere Christianity is very good but the Last Battle is the best. In my opinion, the gods of the “Amorites” and our God are not the same!

  6. John October 14, 2010 at 7:14 pm #

    Denise: I understand your postion on the Arabic word Allah. It is the word they use for God, however, there is a fundamental difference between the God of the Bible and the God of Islam. Simply put, the two are not the same and a study of the Christian Bible as a whole proves the point. The issue is not the the word for God and I believe you lost focus on this point.

    Second, your statement that “God created Jesus” is a heritical view regarding the deity of Christ. He was not (is not) a created being. He is God very God. Everything you can say about the Father you can say about the Son except He is not the Father and vice versa. He never had a beginning (Jn 1:1-3; Col 1) nor was He ever created. Instead, He is the Creator. This is what makes Him the Savior–God the Son died to satisfy the wrath of God the Father. Not two Gods but one God in triunity. This is quite a distinction from Islam’s view.

    If you are seriously discussing this issue and not just making personal attacks then study the triune God of Christianity and you’ll discover there really is a difference.

  7. Michael October 15, 2010 at 7:16 am #

    Likewise, would it be the true “God” (or the true “Allah” if you want to use that term) who causes a Muslim country to make it a crime to give any kind of help to a new Christian? What about those who declared a top biochemistry student in Egypt insane just because he turned to Christ–and institutionalized him, ruining his mind and body with drugs, beatings and electrical shocks? What “Allah” do they follow? John is right that it is not the pronunciation of the name that is so important, but the One that is known that makes the difference, and one can only know God through Christ, the perfect and eternal representation of His love.

  8. Donald October 15, 2010 at 3:27 pm #

    Thank you Denise, Michael, Nathan and John. There is so much to what you say and I enjoy reading and thinking about your comments when I have time. I hope that you won’t mind when I shorten your comments but I really want to keep things to the point and encourage others (especially anyone who is from the middle east) to read our comments and post their own.

    The Scripture that I based this post on was Exodus 6:3: “And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them” (KJV). Yahweh (Jehovah) according to Wikipedia is the personal name for God. Like the law that God gave to Moses shortly after, it prepares us to receive Jesus Christ, God’s only begotten Son, as our personal Lord and Saviour!

    This post has touched on something. All of us will need to decide what/who/Who we believe in enough to take action on the issues facing us today. I am sure that during the test some will try to take an impersonal view of God similar to original Catholicism, trying to make a god that includes all gods, suitable to the one-world order. Readers, take warning. Our relationship with God and how we believe His Word (as well as His Son) supercedes everything we say and write. That faith alone brings resolve and resolution.

  9. Debbie November 14, 2010 at 8:26 pm #

    How dare you refer to fellow human beings as those who “adhere the to Muslim persuasion”. Islam is a religion just as Christianity is a religion. How would you like being referred to as someone who “adheres to the Christian persuasion”. Your comments and views are incredibly arrogant, judgmental and disrespectful. I agree with you on only a single point, that is “we all will need to decide what and who we believe in enough to take action on the issues facing us today.”

  10. Michael November 15, 2010 at 10:03 am #

    Debbie, there is nothing disrespectful about saying someone adheres to a persuasion. According to Psalm 119:31, no Christian should be ashamed for adhering to the Truth. And not all religions are equal. Some result in much more happiness and success than others do.

  11. Donald November 15, 2010 at 1:16 pm #

    From a woman in Sudan:

    “Allah isn’t God. How could I worship him?”
    – Mary

    PS Pray that God will comfort and provide for the more than 4 million displaced Sudanese.

  12. Donald February 23, 2011 at 7:06 pm #

    “They have said, Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance. For they have consulted together with one consent: they are confederate against Thee”
    “So persecute them with Thy tempest, and make them afraid with Thy storm. Fill their faces with shame; that they may seek Thy name, O LORD. Let them be confounded and troubled for ever; yea, let them be put to shame, and perish: that men may know that Thou, whose name alone is JEHOVAH, art the most high over all the earth” (Psalm 83:4, 5, 15-18).

  13. Donald April 30, 2011 at 3:03 am #

    From an Iranian:

    “I read the Bible not as a duty. I read it to receive a message from God.”

  14. Donald January 30, 2012 at 2:43 pm #

    From John, a disciple who walked and talked with the Lord Jesus, God’s Son:

    “He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son. Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father” (I John 2:22,23)

  15. Junior July 30, 2014 at 1:05 am #

    God did extraordinary miracles through Paul, so that even handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him were [brought] to the sick. Oh, to be used by the Lord like Paul was! And to have the faith that he did! Our Heavenly Father can do extraordinary things through each one of us, too. Believing is the key! Love and God bless, Christy

Leave a Reply

Notify me of followup comments via email.