Is lying a sin? Yes, but oftentimes some people point out biblical characters “lying” and not getting punished for it. Or use it to personally attack people for saying something untrue without examining their motives. Some have claimed that it was lying when King Solomon threatened to cut a child in half to reveal who the real mother was. Or that God lied when he told Abraham he wanted Isaac to be sacrificed. God also threatened to kill the Israelites and start over with Moses but didn’t follow through with it, did he lie? The real questions are, what is a lie, and why is it a sin?Continue reading
When we ask God for things we need, do we need to beg and plead with him? Or can we just trust that he loves us and will hear and answer us simply because we call on him? We don’t need to beg God to help us, instead, we can trust God to supply our needs because he promises to do so.Continue reading
Is Allah in the Quran the same God as YHWH in the Bible? God in the Bible is not the same character or personality as God in the Quran, and there are major contradictions between them theologically. However, Arab Christians call God, Allah, not because they believe Islam has the same God theologically, but because Allah means the[one] God in Arabic. The Arabic-descended Maltese language of Malta, whose population is almost entirely Roman Catholic, uses Alla for “God”. The Aramaic word for “God” in the language of Assyrian Christians is Elaha, or Alaha. A German speaker wouldn’t say God either, they would say Gott, which is where English gets its word God because English is a Germanic language. Nor would a Spanish speaker wouldn’t say, God, they would say Dios because that is God in Spanish. They are just the words for the classification of a deity, similar to how words like El-Shaddai or Adonai (the Lord) in Hebrew function as the title of Lord, or God Almighty, but these are not necessarily the name of God, like YHWH. Likewise, the new testament is translated from Greek, which uses the word Theos (Θεός). Paul didn’t make Greeks stop saying Theos and switch to Adonia, so I don’t believe it’s necessary for Arab Christians to use something other than Allah.
What does the Arabic bible say? Does it say “God”? No, it doesn’t. In an Arabic bible, it says Allah (اللهُ) because the language is Arabic. Where in the bible did Jesus say “to teach all nations but they have to learn English, Greek, or Hebrew language first”? The Arabic bibles say, Allah, because of linguistics, not theology. So it makes no sense for them to use a word unfamiliar to their language. It’s like saying we English speakers can’t say “God” because the English bible is not the original language, and we have to say Adonia. It’s the same argument as, “We can’t say Jesus we have to say Yeshua/Yahshua, because Jesus is a ‘pagan name’.” Jesus is “Isa” in Arabic, so an Arab speaking Christan proselytizing to an Arabic speaking non-Christian will say “Isa is the Masih” (Jesus is the Christ), and that is biblically correct because the language has the same meanings as the bible.
There are missionary ministries that are translating the Bible into indigenous languages around the world, so is it wrong for new Bible translations to call God whatever word an indigenous culture uses for “god” in their language? Again the New Testament authors had no problem using Theos because they didn’t maintain Adonia in the Greek translations of the New testament. Christos (Christ) is the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew “Mashiach” (Messiah), why do we use Christ then if we are supposed to stick with one language?
Any Bible-believing Christian that knows what the Quran says about God’s personality and character would reject it, however, the language of Arabic pre-existed the religion of Islam, so we must not equate the two. Arab speakers were there in the book of Acts 2:9-12 when the Holy Spirit was distributed to those in the Upper Room, so the language of Arabic is not anti-christ. Islamic theology on the other is classified as antichrist according to 1 John 4:2-3. We can translate the gospel to other languages for the sake of the great commission without syncretism with the religions of those cultures. our word “hell” comes from Helhiem the afterlife in Norse mythology. Does that mean the English-speaking Christians are practicing nordic god worship when we say it? No, all the days of the week and the first 6 months of the year in western European languages are named after Greco-Roman or Norse gods. Every language outside of Hebrew comes with words that have other uses for other beliefs, the words themselves are not evil because other religions use them. More on the translation of Hell here.
This writing is targeted at the western Christians who say “Allah is not God” as an aggressive phrase targeted at Arab speakers because they assume all Arabs are Muslim. To further my point, English-speaking westerners involved in New age pagan practices, often talk about a god but they aren’t talking about the biblical God. Yet they still use the same word because it is English. Should English-speaking Christian stop saying, God?
In conclusion, Arab-speaking Christians are going to use their native word for God, Allah. When people say God in English they are typically referring to YHWH, the God of the Bible. Ilah is the equivalent of saying “god” (with a lower case g), in Arabic. However, Allah is in reference to the Abrahamic God. The English translations of the bible use God instead of god when referring to the God of Abraham. Same thing with Allah and ilah. There are no capital letters in Semitic languages, that’s a western thing. So they distinguish between god (generic usage) and “The” God of Abraham by putting an equivalent of “the” in front. The Al in Allah, Allah can be translated to the word “the” in English. For example, Algebra is derived from the phrase “al-jabr” meaning “The reunion of broken parts”. It was the name of a book written by Muḥammad ibn Musa al-Khwarizmi, the 8th-century polymath scholar who invented “Algebra” (al-jabr) and also introduced the western world to Arabic numerals. In fact, his last name al-Khwarizmi is Latinized as algorithmi, which is where we get the word algorithm.
Gen 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth
Gen 1:1 in Arabic: فِي الْبَدْءِ خَلَقَ اللهُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالارْضَ.
Notice it uses Allah (اللهُ) for God, this is from the Coptic bible.
Deut 18:20 But any prophet who falsely claims to speak in my name or who speaks in the name of another god must die.
Deut 18:20 in Arabic:
وَأمّا النَّبِيُّ الَّذِي يَتَجَرَّأُ أنْ يَدَّعِي أنَّهُ يَتَكَلَّمُ بِاسمِي وَلَمْ أُوصِهِ بِشَيءٍ، أوْ يَتَكَلَّمُ بِاسْمِ آلِهَةٍ أُخْرَى، فَيَنبَغِي أنْ يَمُوتَ ذَلِكَ النَّبِيُّ.
Deut 18:20 uses the phrase alihat ukrah(آلِهَةٍ أُخْرَى،) for another god (false god).
Does God promise his people healing? Does the holy spirit really provide healing power? Promises to Abraham are extended to Gentiles in the new covenant (Gal 3:14). So we get all the same promises and more as believers. This includes all the blessings of the old covenant, like prosperity, good health, and victory over enemies (Ex 23:25-26, Deut 7:12-15, Deut 28:1-14).Continue reading
Is God three people or one person? The bible says God is one (Deut 6:4). Yet the Gospels suggest Jesus claimed to be God in the flesh. John 1:1-14 says, in the beginning, was the Word, and the Word with was God and was God and the Word became flesh as Jesus. Matthew 1:23 quotes from Isa 7:14 and Isa 8:8-10 saying that a virgin will conceive a child and his name with being Immanuel (God with us). Daniel 7:13 alludes to a messianic king called the “Son of Man”, that goes into God’s space and rules the world. Lastly, Jesus refers to himself as the Son of Man in many places like in Luke 5:24, where he shows that like God the Father, has the authority to forgive sins. The Holy Spirit that came upon Jesus (John 1:32-34) will be given to us (John 14:16-17), and the Holy Spirit is God’s presence from the Tabernacle/Temple in the old covenant. The concept of Oneness vs Trinity is debated all the time because it goes beyond our comprehension.Continue reading
In recent years subliminal messaging in various media has promoted the idea that Satan works for God as an executioner of God’s judgment rather than against God’s will. It’s even accepted by some that Satan is a misunderstood victim of God’s wrath rather than an enemy that will receive punishment on Judgment day. If that’s true then why was Jesus sent to defeat him?Continue reading
Some Christians may believe that different categories of unbelievers (Muslim, Atheist, Wiccan, etc) get saved more easily than others depending on what the barriers are but it’s a heart issue, not a mind issue. Proof of God is not the problem, no amount of intellectual debate will win someone over. Many former atheists have testimonies about God simply revealing his love to them through a believer’s actions.Continue reading
Was Jephthah’s sacrifice of his daughter to YHWH in Judges 11:29-40 legitimate? God never required human sacrifices, and always told the Israelites to substitute their firstborn males that were dedicated to him with animals (Exodus 13:11-16, Numbers 3:40-51). The firstborn of all clean animals got burnt on the altar, for unclean animals they could be killed outside the camp (unclean animals don’t belong on the altar) or substituted with a clean animal. Humans however were never to be killed and to be substituted with a clean animal, just like how Abraham substituted Isaac with a ram. Substitution for humans was always God’s intent and this points to Jesus being substituted for our sins.Continue reading
When asked by the Pharisees which is the greatest commandment, in Matt 22:34-40, Jesus replied, “Loving God with all of your heart, soul, and strength”. This is the “shema prayer” from Deuteronomy 6:4-5, and he said to love your neighbor as yourself (Lev 19:18).
1 John 4:19 says we should love God because he first loved us. When did he first love us? John 3:16 says God so loved the world that he gave his for born son the Messiah, and those that follow him will inherit the blessing of eternal life. This eternal life is the fulfillment of the promise to restore humanity after Adam’s sin (Gen 3:15).Continue reading
God said in the 2nd commandment of the 10, that we were not to make any images to worship (Ex 20:4). The thing is, God already made an image of himself in Genesis 1:26-27 when he made mankind in his image and likeness. When we love others we give God a true sacrifice (Heb 10:5-7, Psalms 50:14 & 23, Psalms 51:16-19), greater than any animal sacrifice offered by the Israelites in the Temple. James 3:6-9 explains that, among all the parts of the body, the tongue is a flame of fire and it can set your whole life on fire, for it is set on fire by hell itself. Sometimes it praises our Lord and Father, and sometimes it curses those who have been made in the “image of God”.Continue reading