The Name of God in the Bible and the Quran

One Last Note

One challenge put forth by one of the people whom Osama Abdallah quoted in his article is as follows:

God has One name, and that's "ALLAH" ... If anyone has any doubts or proofs otherwise, let them bring their proof, starting with an archaeological evidence on how was "YHWH" pronounced in full with vowels, not the later-inserted ones!

We have already seen in Part One that YHWH is called repeatedly the name of God in the Bible and that Allah is never used in the Bible as God’s name; the lost pronunciation of YHWH does not diminish this fact in any way. Nevertheless, this challenge proves more than the one who issued it thought!

The reason why the pronunciation of YHWH has been lost (although many believe it to be something similar to "Yahweh") is that the ancient Israelites considered the name too holy to be pronounced. This demonstrates that the Israelites held the name YHWH in greater esteem than the descriptive titles "el," "elah," "eloah," and "elohim." Instead of pronouncing YHWH, they said "adonai" ("Lord" or "my Lord"; the vowel sounds from this Hebrew word were later inserted in the tetragrammaton – YHWH – to give us the transliteration Jehovah) and later ha-shem, "the Name." YHWH was considered God’s name and therefore too holy to be pronounced lest it should be used improperly:

Exodus 20:7 (KJV)
Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD {YHWH} thy God in vain; for the LORD {YHWH} will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.

To avoid doing this, the Israelites simply did not pronounce the name, which demonstrates their high estimation of it. On the other hand, the Israelites used "el" to refer to pagan gods (Exodus 15:11) and human beings (Ezekiel 32:21), "elohim" to refer to false gods (Zephaniah 2:11) and angels (Psalm 8:5), "eloah" to refer to false gods (Daniel 11:39 and Habakkuk 1:11) and "elah" to refer to false gods (Jeremiah 10:11; Daniel 3:12, 14, 18). If any of these words were the name of God, why would the Israelites throw them around thus and even call false, pagan gods by them?

Of course, none of these words is the name of God, nor is the word "Allah" ever used as the name of God in the Bible. For your reference, here is a list of the uses of "allah" in the Bible. One can see, therefore, that the name of God is not and never has been "Allah". YHWH has always been His name, and the fact that the vowels in the Name are unknown poses a greater problem for those who claim that God’s name is Allah than for Jews and Christians, because the loss of the vowel sounds of this name occurred because the ancient Israelites considered this name too holy to be pronounced.

Moreover, the claim of Muslims is that Muhammad came to restore the faith. If Muhammad was a prophet of God sent to restore the true religion of God, why did God not reveal to him the correct way to pronounce His name, of which YHWH Himself said "this is My memorial-name to all generations"? (This is also related to the doctrine of the completeness of the Quran discussed in Part Two. If the Quran is a book complete in and of itself, why does it nowhere contain the name of God as revealed to His previous prophets?) That Muhammad did not acknowledge YHWH as the name of God, which other non-Israelites acknowledged as being His name (the book of Job is an example), is further evidence that his witness is not in accord with that of the prophets of God.

Alano Perez

Articles by Alano Perez
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