We’ve heard President Bush say it. We’ve heard pundits say it. We’ve even heard Christian pastors say it . . . the God of the Jews, Christians, and Muslims is one and the same. But is this a true statement? Let’s look at a bit of the history.
The Jews have been around since Abraham, the Christians since the Year One, and the Muslims since around 600 AD. Do they, as a group, represent merely different ways of worshiping the one true God? Well . . . . not exactly.
Judaism has always looked forward to a messiah. They simply don’t recognize Jesus as Him. They worship YHWH (Yahweh), sometimes pronounced “Jehovah.”
Christians worship the God of the Jews. We also believe that Jesus is the Jewish Messiah and the Messiah of the whole world. We believe that Jesus is the Son of YHWH and that He is both fully human and fully divine. We also believe in the Holy Spirit of God as the third person of the Godhead or trinity. We believe that God is One, expressed in three persons: The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Muslims believe in Allah. Their holy book, the Koran (Quran), teaches that Allah has no son nor any offspring. The Koran does not mention the Holy Spirit (so far as I can recall.) Muslims are strict monotheists. To their minds, the Christian belief in God as three in one, or the trinity, constitutes polytheism, or belief in multiple gods.
So the answer I would give is that yes, Christians do worship the God of the Jews, YHWH, and also believe that the promised Messiah has come in the person of Jesus Christ, and that Jesus, when He was raised from the dead, imparted the Holy Spirit to those who believe in Him.
However, though Mohammad insisted that Allah was the same as the God worshiped by Jews and Christians, he also insisted that Allah had no son. (He did briefly attribute three daughters to Allah, however–pagan deities who had been recognized as the daughters of an idol that was named Allah. He later decided that this was not true and rescinded this statement from the record of his revelations. It is one of the “Satanic Verses” of which you may have heard.)
Since Muhammad’s god is so different in nature and personality from the God of the Jews and of the Christians, and since Muhammad’s god is above having a son, he is obviously not the same as the God worshiped by Jews and Christians. The Jews are looking for the Messiah, and the Christians believe they have found Him. The Muslims say their god cannot and would not have a son. Allah is not the same as YHWH.
If the god of the Muslims has not, and does not intend to send His Son as Messiah, then he is not YHWH, who has promised to do this very thing and, in the eyes of Christians, has already done it.
This alone is sufficient to prove that YHWH and Allah are not one and the same person. There are many more differences between them, however, and in my next post I will talk about some of these differences.
Grace and Peace, Cindy