The Name of God in the Bible and the Quran

Part One: Names and Titles

Many people, including Christians, Muslims, and those who are not of either faith, hold that the God of the Bible, YHWH, and the god of Islam, who is called "Allah," are one and the same. While it may be true that in some senses they are similar (they share similar attributes, the Quran claims that the prophets of the Bible are the prophets of its Author, etc.), ultimately this claim of sameness cannot be true if one assumes the infallibility and total sufficiency of the Quran, as we shall see later in this study. What is the name of God in the Bible? How does this relate to Islamic theology? To study this issue, we should begin with a discussion concerning the difference between names and titles.

It is obvious that the Bible contains words that are etymologically related to the words "Allah" and "ilah" in Arabic. This does not imply, however, that "Allah" is the name of God in the Bible as claimed by some Muslims. In the New Testament, we see the word "theos" used to mean "God". Does this mean that somewhere between 400 BCE and 30 CE the name of God changed? Of course not! However, the language in which God chose to reveal Himself and His will changed from Hebrew/Aramaic (the Old Testament) to Greek (the New Testament); thus, the descriptive titles used of YHWH changed (from "el," "elohim," "eloah," and "elah" in Hebrew/Aramaic to "theos" in Greek, words that are basically synonymous).

What is a "descriptive title"? By this phrase, I mean a word that illustrates what one is. "God" is a word that describes YHWH, like "Lord" and "King." When I speak to my brothers, I call my male parent "Dad." When I write to him (or of him to my siblings), I capitalize the word. Is "Dad" my father’s name? Certainly not! Catholics speak of the man who claims to be the "Vicar of Christ" as "the pope". Does that make his name "the pope"? Of course not! Many such similar examples could be found, such as "Mother", "the President," or "the mayor," but none of these is the person’s name (unless the person actually has the name "President"). Likewise, as we shall see, neither are the words "elah," "eloah," "el," and "elohim" the name of God. (Note: It is true that the word "God" is often used as a proper name in English, just as "Christ" or "the President" are. As in the two examples, this is not proof that God’s name is "God", but that the descriptive title "God" is used as a name.)

Uses of "El"

The descriptive title "el" (or its plural "elim") is used in the Old Testament without reference to the one true living God in the following passages (all quotations are from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) unless noted otherwise):

"Who is like You among the gods, O LORD? Who is like You, majestic in holiness, Awesome in praises, working wonders? [Exodus 15:11]

"Then the king will do as he pleases, and he will exalt and magnify himself above every god and will speak monstrous things against the God of gods; and he will prosper until the indignation is finished, for that which is decreed will be done. [Daniel 11:36]

"El" can also describe humans: Job 41:25; Ezekiel 32:21 are examples of instances in which the word "el" is used to describe human beings (Young’s Literal Translation, however, translates the word "elim," the plural of "el," as "gods" in the Ezekiel passage). Thus, we see that the word "el" is not a name of God but is a descriptive term denoting either deity (true or pagan) or strength.

Uses of "Elohim"

The word "elohim" literally means "gods." It is used with this denotation, with the meaning of pagan or false gods, almost 200 times, in the following verses:

Genesis 3:5; 31:30, 32; 35:2, 4
Exodus 12:12; 18:11; 20:3, 23; 22:28; 23:13, 24, 32, 33; 32:1, 4, 8, 23, 31; 34:15, 16, 17
Leviticus 19:4
Numbers 25:2; 33:4
Deuteronomy 4:28; 5:7; 6:14; 7:4, 16, 25; 8:19; 10:17; 11:16, 28; 12:2, 3, 30, 31; 13:2, 6, 7, 13; 17:3; 18:20; 20:18; 28:14, 36, 64; 29:18, 26; 30:17; 31:16, 18, 20; 32:17, 37
Joshua 22:22; 23:7, 16; 24:2, 14, 15, 16, 20, 23
Judges 2:3, 12, 17, 19; 3:6; 5:8; 6:10; 10:6, 13, 14, 16; 17:5; 18:24
Ruth 1:15
1 Samuel 4:8; 6:5; 7:3; 8:8; 17:43; 26:19; 28:13
2 Samuel 7:23
1 Kings 9:6, 9; 11:2, 4, 8, 10; 12:28; 14:9; 18:24, 25; 19:2; 20:10, 23
2 Kings 5:17; 17:7, 29, 31, 33, 35, 37, 38; 18:33, 34, 35; 19:12, 18; 22:17
1 Chronicles 5:25; 10:10; 14:12; 16:25, 26
2 Chronicles 2:5; 7:19, 22; 13:8, 9; 25:14, 15, 20; 28:23, 25; 32:13, 14, 17, 19; 33:15; 34:25
Ezra 1:7
Psalms 82:1, 6; 86:8; 95:3; 96:4, 5; 97:7, 9; 135:5; 136:2; 138:1
Isaiah 21:9; 36:18, 19, 20; 37:12, 19; 41:23; 42:17
Jeremiah 1:16; 2:11, 28; 5:7, 19; 7:6, 9, 18; 11:10, 12, 13; 13:10; 16:11, 13, 20; 19:4, 13; 22:9; 25:6; 32:29; 35:15; 43:12, 13; 44:3, 5, 8, 15; 46:25; 48:35
Daniel 11:8
Hosea 3:1; 14:3
Nahum 1:14
Zephaniah 2:11

Moreover, the word is also used to refer to angels (Psalm 8:5), so its usage is not limited to deity. Thus, one can see that "elohim" is not the name of the true God, for false gods and angels are also said to be "elohim."

Uses of "Eloah"

The title "eloah" is similar to "el" and "elohim" in its usage. The word is the singular of the plural "elohim."

‘Now therefore, do not let Hezekiah deceive you or mislead you like this, and do not believe him, for no god of any nation or kingdom was able to deliver his people from my hand or from the hand of my fathers. How much less will your God deliver you from my hand?’" [2 Chronicles 32:15]

"He will show no regard for the gods of his fathers or for the desire of women, nor will he show regard for any {other} god; for he will magnify himself above {them} all [Daniel 11:37].

"He will take action against the strongest of fortresses with {the help of} a foreign god; he will give great honor to those who acknowledge {him} and will cause them to rule over the many, and will parcel out land for a price. [Daniel 11:39]

"Then they will sweep through {like} the wind and pass on. But they will be held guilty, They whose strength is their god." [Habakkuk 1:11]

In these passages, false gods are called "eloah." If this were the name of the true God, certainly no pagan god would be called by this name. Thus, we again see that the word is a noun that means "deity" and is not the name of God in the Bible.

Uses of "Elah"

"Elah" is the Aramaic term that is synonymous with "el" and "eloah" in Hebrew. It occurs primarily in Ezra, Nehemiah, Jeremiah, and Daniel (since these books were written during the period when this language was predominant):

Thus you shall say to them, "The gods that did not make the heavens and the earth will perish from the earth and from under the heavens" [Jeremiah 10:11].

"Moreover, the thing which the king demands is difficult, and there is no one else who could declare it to the king except gods, whose dwelling place is not with {mortal} flesh" [Daniel 2:11].

The king answered Daniel and said, "Surely your God is a God of gods and a Lord of kings and a revealer of mysteries, since you have been able to reveal this mystery" [Daniel 2:47].

"There are certain Jews whom you have appointed over the administration of the province of Babylon, {namely} Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego. These men, O king, have disregarded you; they do not serve your gods or worship the golden image which you have set up" [Daniel 3:12].

Nebuchadnezzar responded and said to them, "Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the golden image that I have set up? [Daniel 3:14]

"But {even} if {He does} not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up." [Daniel 3:18]

[8] "But finally Daniel came in before me, whose name is Belteshazzar according to the name of my god, and in whom is a spirit of the holy gods; and I related the dream to him, {saying,} [9] ‘O Belteshazzar, chief of the magicians, since I know that a spirit of the holy gods is in you and no mystery baffles you, tell {me} the visions of my dream which I have seen, along with its interpretation. [Daniel 4:8, 9]

‘This is the dream {which} I, King Nebuchadnezzar, have seen. Now you, Belteshazzar, tell {me} its interpretation, inasmuch as none of the wise men of my kingdom is able to make known to me the interpretation; but you are able, for a spirit of the holy gods is in you.’ [Daniel 4:18]

They drank the wine and praised the gods of gold and silver, of bronze, iron, wood and stone [Daniel 5:4].

"There is a man in your kingdom in whom is a spirit of the holy gods; and in the days of your father, illumination, insight and wisdom like the wisdom of the gods were found in him. And King Nebuchadnezzar, your father, your father the king, appointed him chief of the magicians, conjurers, Chaldeans {and} diviners [Daniel 5:11].

"Now I have heard about you that a spirit of the gods is in you, and that illumination, insight and extraordinary wisdom have been found in you. [Daniel 5:14]

Again, we see a word used for other than the only true God. How can "elah" be the name of God when it is used so many times to describe pagan gods? Why would anyone give the name of the true God to anyone but God? The words "el", "elohim", "elah", and "eloah" all can refer to human beings; yet we are to believe that these words are the name of God? If these are God’s names, why are these same names used of human beings, idols, and pagan gods such as Moloch (Amos 5:26)?

The Bible itself clearly refutes this reasoning, as one can see in the following passages where YHWH, signified in many translations by the LORD, is used:

Exodus 3:15
God, furthermore, said to Moses, "Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘The LORD [YHWH], the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ This is My name forever, and this is My memorial-name to all generations.

Exodus 6:3
and I appeared to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, as God Almighty, but {by} My name, LORD [YHWH], I did not make Myself known to them.

(Note: Though the KJV renders this verse "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", the first occurrence of the word "name" is not found in the Hebrew; thus, this passage does not call "El Shaddai" God’s name.)

Exodus 15:3
"The LORD [YHWH] is a warrior; The LORD [YHWH] is His name.

Deuteronomy 28:58
"If you are not careful to observe all the words of this law which are written in this book, to fear this honored and awesome name, the LORD [YHWH] your God,

Psalms 83:18
That they may know that You alone, whose name is the LORD [YHWH], Are the Most High over all the earth.

Isaiah 42:8
"I am the LORD [YHWH], that is My name; I will not give My glory to another, Nor My praise to graven images.

Isaiah 47:4
Our Redeemer, the LORD [YHWH] of hosts is His name, The Holy One of Israel.

Isaiah 48:2
"For they call themselves after the holy city And lean on the God of Israel; The LORD [YHWH] of hosts is His name.

Isaiah 51:15
"For I am the LORD [YHWH] your God, who stirs up the sea and its waves roar (the LORD [YHWH] of hosts is His name).

Isaiah 54:5
"For your husband is your Maker, Whose name is the LORD [YHWH] of hosts; And your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel, Who is called the God of all the earth.

Jeremiah 10:16
The portion of Jacob is not like these; For the Maker of all is He, And Israel is the tribe of His inheritance; The LORD [YHWH] of hosts is His name.

Jeremiah 16:21
"Therefore behold, I am going to make them know-- This time I will make them know My power and My might; And they shall know that My name is the LORD [YHWH]."

Jeremiah 31:35
Thus says the LORD [YHWH], Who gives the sun for light by day And the fixed order of the moon and the stars for light by night, Who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar; The LORD [YHWH] of hosts is His name:

Jeremiah 32:18
who shows lovingkindness to thousands, but repays the iniquity of fathers into the bosom of their children after them, O great and mighty God. The LORD [YHWH] of hosts is His name;

Jeremiah 33:2
"Thus says the LORD [YHWH] who made {the earth,} the LORD [YHWH] who formed it to establish it, the LORD [YHWH] is His name,

Jeremiah 46:18
"As I live," declares the King Whose name is the LORD [YHWH] of hosts, "Surely one shall come {who looms up} like Tabor among the mountains, Or like Carmel by the sea.

Jeremiah 48:15
"Moab has been destroyed and men have gone up to his cities; His choicest young men have also gone down to the slaughter," Declares the King, whose name is the LORD [YHWH] of hosts.

Jeremiah 50:34
"Their Redeemer is strong, the LORD [YHWH] of hosts is His name; He will vigorously plead their case So that He may bring rest to the earth, But turmoil to the inhabitants of Babylon.

Jeremiah 51:19
The portion of Jacob is not like these; For the Maker of all is He, And of the tribe of His inheritance; The LORD [YHWH] of hosts is His name.

Jeremiah 51:57
"I will make her princes and her wise men drunk, Her governors, her prefects and her mighty men, That they may sleep a perpetual sleep and not wake up," Declares the King, whose name is the LORD [YHWH] of hosts.

Amos 4:13
For behold, He who forms mountains and creates the wind And declares to man what are His thoughts, He who makes dawn into darkness And treads on the high places of the earth, The LORD [YHWH] God of hosts is His name.

Amos 5:8
He who made the Pleiades and Orion And changes deep darkness into morning, Who also darkens day {into} night, Who calls for the waters of the sea And pours them out on the surface of the earth, The LORD [YHWH] is His name.

Amos 9:6
The One who builds His upper chambers in the heavens And has founded His vaulted dome over the earth, He who calls for the waters of the sea And pours them out on the face of the earth, The LORD [YHWH] is His name.

What is God’s name? YHWH, not "God".

Zechariah 14:9
And the LORD [YHWH] will be king over all the earth; in that day the LORD [YHWH] will be {the only} one, and His name {the only} one.

The God of the Bible, YHWH, has one name. That this is a prophecy referring to an event that was in the future in Zechariah’s day does not mean that YHWH has more than one name (cf. Exodus 3:15) any more than it means that Jehovah was not already King over all the earth. It is an eternal reality that will only become visible to all "in that day".

The usage of various terms with YHWH (the LORD) also demonstrates that these terms are viewed as descriptive while YHWH is viewed as the name of God:

Deuteronomy 4:35
"To you it was shown that you might know that the LORD, He is God [elohim]; there is no other besides Him.

1 Samuel 2:2
"There is no one holy like the LORD, Indeed, there is no one besides You, Nor is there any rock like our God [elohim].

2 Samuel 7:22
"For this reason You are great, O Lord GOD; for there is none like You, and there is no God [elohim] besides You, according to all that we have heard with our ears.

1 Chronicles 17:20
"O LORD, there is none like You, nor is there any God [elohim] besides You, according to all that we have heard with our ears.

2 Chronicles 14:11
Then Asa called to the LORD his God [elohim] and said, "LORD, there is no one besides You to help {in the battle} between the powerful and those who have no strength; so help us, O LORD our God [elohim], for we trust in You, and in Your name have come against this multitude. O LORD, You are our God [elohim]; let not man prevail against You."

Isaiah 45:5
"I am the LORD, and there is no other; Besides Me there is no God [elohim]. I will gird you, though you have not known Me;

Isaiah 45:21
"Declare and set forth {your case;} Indeed, let them consult together. Who has announced this from of old? Who has long since declared it? Is it not I, the LORD? And there is no other God [elohim] besides Me, A righteous God [el] and a Savior; There is none except Me.

In these passages, YHWH is who the Supreme Being is; terms such as "God" and "Savior" describe Him.

In addition to these passages, several others demonstrate the descriptive nature of the use of the term "elohim":

Genesis 27:20
Isaac said to his son, "How is it that you have {it} so quickly, my son?" And he said, "Because the LORD your God [elohim] caused {it} to happen to me."

Leviticus 19:31
‘Do not turn to mediums or spiritists; do not seek them out to be defiled by them. I am the LORD your God [elohim].

Deuteronomy 1:30
‘The LORD your God [elohim] who goes before you will Himself fight on your behalf, just as He did for you in Egypt before your eyes,

Deuteronomy 7:1
"When the LORD your God [elohim] brings you into the land where you are entering to possess it, and clears away many nations before you, the Hittites and the Girgashites and the Amorites and the Canaanites and the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and stronger than you,

Deuteronomy 11:13, 14
[13] "It shall come about, if you listen obediently to my commandments which I am commanding you today, to love the LORD your God [elohim] and to serve Him with all your heart and all your soul, [14] that He will give the rain for your land in its season, the early and late rain, that you may gather in your grain and your new wine and your oil.

Deuteronomy 12:15
"However, you may slaughter and eat meat within any of your gates, whatever you desire, according to the blessing of the LORD your God [elohim] which He has given you; the unclean and the clean may eat of it, as of the gazelle and the deer.

Deuteronomy 16:10
"Then you shall celebrate the Feast of Weeks to the LORD your God [elohim] with a tribute of a freewill offering of your hand, which you shall give just as the LORD your God [elohim] blesses you;

Deuteronomy 21:10-12
[10] "When you go out to battle against your enemies, and the LORD your God [elohim] delivers them into your hands and you take them away captive, [11] and see among the captives a beautiful woman, and have a desire for her and would take her as a wife for yourself, [12] then you shall bring her home to your house, and she shall shave her head and trim her nails.

Deuteronomy 28:13
"The LORD will make you the head and not the tail, and you only will be above, and you will not be underneath, if you listen to the commandments of the LORD your God [elohim], which I charge you today, to observe {them} carefully,

Deuteronomy 31:12
"Assemble the people, the men and the women and children and the alien who is in your town, so that they may hear and learn and fear the LORD your God [elohim], and be careful to observe all the words of this law.

Joshua 23:10
"One of your men puts to flight a thousand, for the LORD your God [elohim] is He who fights for you, just as He promised you.

2 Samuel 24:3
But Joab said to the king, "Now may the LORD your God [elohim] add to the people a hundred times as many as they are, while the eyes of my lord the king {still} see; but why does my lord the king delight in this thing?"

Nehemiah 8:9
Then Nehemiah, who was the governor, and Ezra the priest {and} scribe, and the Levites who taught the people said to all the people, "This day is holy to the LORD your God [elohim]; do not mourn or weep." For all the people were weeping when they heard the words of the law.

Zechariah 6:15
"Those who are far off will come and build the temple of the LORD." Then you will know that the LORD of hosts has sent me to you. And it will take place if you completely obey the LORD your God [elohim].

In these passages, the name YHWH is used to designate the name of the Supreme Being. The term "elohim" is used as a noun that describes YHWH as God, much like the usage of the other terms "el," "eloah," and "elah" do in other passages both with reference to the true God and false Gods. It is used similarly in these passages to the word "teacher" in the phrase "Mr. Johnson my teacher" (with "Mr. Johnson" being the who and "teacher" being the what). Just as the word "teacher" describes the person "Mr. Johnson," the words for God describe the Being YHWH.

We have seen, therefore, that "God" is a descriptive title describing what YHWH is, much like the words "Lord," "Father," and "King." Thus, the only logical conclusion is that "elohim," "el," "elah," and "eloah" are not God’s name, but are descriptive titles. Thus, Allah, the name etymologically related to these words, is not God’s name in the Bible, nor is any word related to it in the Hebrew or Aramaic a name of God in the Bible. We see, however, that God’s name is YHWH, and throughout the Old Testament He is called by that name.

The name YHWH is significant in the New Testament as well. Although used in heaven when the worshipers cry out "Alleluia" or "Hallelujah," meaning "Praise Yah (abbreviation of YHWH)," (Revelation 19:1, 3, 4, 6) there is an even greater significance to this name:

[18] Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: when His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit. [19] And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man and not wanting to disgrace her, planned to send her away secretly. [20] But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. [21] "She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins." [22] Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet: [23] "BEHOLD, THE VIRGIN SHALL BE WITH CHILD AND SHALL BEAR A SON, AND THEY SHALL CALL HIS NAME IMMANUEL," which translated means, "GOD WITH US." [24] And Joseph awoke from his sleep and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took {Mary} as his wife, [25] but kept her a virgin until she gave birth to a Son; and he called His name Jesus. [Matthew 1:18-25, NASB]

That Jesus was given this name is no coincidence. He received this name to signify the fact that He was the instrument of YHWH in saving His people from their sins, and as "God with us" was YHWH Himself redeeming His people Israel. This name appears over 900 times in the New Testament and bears witness to the fact that YHWH, in the Person of Jesus Christ, is the Savior of the world. It is clear, then, that the name YHWH still carried significance in the days of Jesus’ first advent.


We have seen thus far that the biblical evidence overwhelmingly supports the hypothesis that the name of God is YHWH. There is, however, one verse for which the rendering in some English translations seems to suggest otherwise:

Amos 5:27
"Therefore, I will make you go into exile beyond Damascus," says the LORD [YHWH], whose name is the God [elohim] of hosts.

Based on this translation (and various other translations which render this verse similarly), some might say that "elohim" is a or the name of God. The Jewish Publication Society Old Testament, however, translates this passage as follows:

Amos 5:27
Therefore will I cause you to go into captivity beyond Damascus, saith He, whose name is the LORD God of hosts.

We inquired about the observed differences and their reasons with Dr. James Price (professor of Hebrew Studies) who commented as follows:

The phrase "YHWH ‘elohey tsebaoth" or "YHWH ‘elohim tsebaoth" occurs 19 times in the Hebrew Bible. In all instances, except Amos 5:27, all translations that I consulted translate the phrase as a proper name (2 Sam. 5:10; 1 Ki. 19:10, 14; Ps. 59:6; 80:5, 20; 84:9; 89:9; Jer. 5:14; 15:16; 35:17; 38:17; 44:7; Amos 4:13; 5:14ff, 27; 6:8). JPS [Jewish Publication Society] consistently translates all instances as a proper name. That phrase is popular in Amos, occurring 5 times in such a short book.

Since the same phrase is translated in this manner only this passage instead of the usual "YHWH God of hosts" as everywhere else, we conclude that Amos 5:27b is, therefore, no basis for arguing that the name of God is "elohim," and not YHWH.

There exists a certain ambiguity in the Hebrew text which may have led to the rendering found in some other translations. Continuing with his response, Dr. Price stated the following:

It is possible that the phrase"God of Hosts" is used as an appositive as in "David king of Israel." Thus the name here could be understood as "the LORD God of Hosts" as in all other instances. The Hebrew text reads:

  ... amar YHWH 'elohey tsebaoth sh-m-o. 
(He) said, YHWH God of hosts, his-name.

In Amos 5:27, the Masoretic accents favor the whole phrase being treated as a proper name. The name "YHWH" is linked with "God of Hosts" by means of the conjunctive accent Mereka; and the phrase "His name" is separated from "the LORD God of Hosts" by means of the disjunctive accent Tiphcha, as one would expect if it were the predicate nominative of a verbless clause. This favors the JPS translation, but the accentuation is not conclusive because the Masoretic accentuation is primarily musical, and this specific accentuation can be particularly ambiguous. On the other hand, the JPS translation is a little awkward, because, interpreting the verse the way it does, the clause ends up with no declared subject, but with an appositive on a subject pronoun (He) inferred from the inflection of the verb. As a result, most translators have interpreted the text as "the LORD whose name is the God of Hosts" without regard to the accents and without having given thought to being consistent with the other instances of the same expression. The JPS translation is justifiable, but not without its own problems; yet, at least, JPS is consistent in rendering this interesting expression.

Look again at the literal translation in comparison to NASB and JPS:

  ... amar YHWH 'elohey tsebaoth sh-m-o. 
(He) said, YHWH God of hosts, his-name.

... says the LORD, whose name is the God of hosts. [NASB]
... saith He, whose name is the LORD God of hosts. [JPS]

The Hebrew text does not contain the relative pronoun "whose" or the verb "is" which were inferred by both translations. Both translations also move "name" away from the end of the sentence and their use of the relative pronoun "whose" forced them to omit the possessive pronoun "his". Splitting apart the expression "YHWH God of hosts" clearly does more violence to the the Hebrew text than the translation chosen by the JPS. The following rendering may not be as elegant in English as those chosen by the NASB or JPS, but it would be more faithful to the structure of the Hebrew text:

... said (says) the LORD God of hosts(that is) His name.

Dr. Price concluded:

In light of all the evidence examined, it is unwise to conclude that "elohim" is a proper name based on one ambiguous apparent exception. That is not good exegesis.

Although the other translations are possible, the evidence favors the JPS rendering. Thus, it is clear that there is no justification from this one passage, in light of the unanimous testimony of the rest of the Old Testament, for concluding that "elohim" is a proper name of God in addition to YHWH. (I thank Dr. Price for his professional insights into this passage.)

With such being the case, there is no support in the Bible for "Allah" being the name of God. Besides the points above given by Dr. Price, the word used to mean "God" in this passage is "elohim."[*] "Elohim" is not pronounced the same as "Allah"; thus, it fails the test of being the same name as "Allah." Moreover, "elohim" is a plural noun, whereas "Allah" is singular; thus, the two are technically not cognates, and therefore are not the same "name". (The ‘importance of sound’ will be seen in Part Three.) Thus, one can see that the clear testimony of scripture is that YHWH is the name of God.

Alano Perez

[*] 'Elohey is an inflected form of 'elohim; it is the same word, but inflected to indicate a grammatical relationship with the following word. Technically, the form is the masculine, plural, construct form of 'elohim (which is the masculine, plural, absolute form). The absolute form is used when the word stands alone grammatically; the construct form is used when the word is grammatically linked with another word. It is the form used for "the God of Israel" ('elohey Yisrael), "the God of Heaven and the God of Earth" ('elohey hashamayim w'elohey ha'aretz - Gen 24:3), "the God of Abraham" ('elohey Abraham - Gen. 26:24), "the God of Isaac" ('elohey Yitschaq), "the God of Jacob" ('elohey Yaaqob - Exod. 3:5), etc.

Continue with Part Two: The Name of Allah

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