My cousin Tim Long is living in Egypt for the sake of the gospel. He has spent much of his educational life studying Islam and the Arabic language. Yesterday he posted a response on the “A Common Word…” post about whether or not Allah and Yahweh are one in the same. I think his post makes this much clear: they are the same linguistically, but not theologically (by theologically I mean that our understanding of God as revealed in the person of Jesus Christ). Here is what Tim said:

“In our Arabic language we have but one word for God (the creator) that has been in existence well before Islam (635AD). Our Bibles have always referred to God as Allah as well as our semitic sister languages, Aramaic, Syriac and Hebrew; refer to Him in the consonant form EL. Jesus, himself calling out from the cross (Eloi, Eloi = my God, my God) is the same in pronunciation as we would call out to Him in Arabic (Allahi, Allahi). I just wanted to clarify that among believers (in the Lord Jesus) here (living contextually in Egypt), we would take exception to saying Allah is not God. Looking at the linguistic development, you will find that very little has changed in reference to name, but understanding of the person of God is different.

Islam has taken many things from Judaism as well as Christianity, language included. Jesus continues to be identified in name as the Messiah in the Qur’an but it does not mean anything other than a title given to Jesus. The question is, do we change our words or language in Arabic because of what has been hijacked by another religion? Would you stop using the term God because Mormons would use the term? No, of course not. The difference is as you said, AND I AGREE, God has revealed Himself in Jesus Christ. The word may be the same but the understanding is completely different. The revelation of who He is, is different. But the term “Allah” is a word that has been in existence in this part of the world for thousands of years (pronunciations varying slightly) and will not change soon. So you will have to understand that your brothers and sisters in Christ will continue to call out to and worship “Allah”, but in a full understanding of Emmanuel.”

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