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Topic: God by any other name

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Subject: God by any other name
Date Posted: 12/19/2008 12:44 AM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2005
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It seems to me that with some people its the word Allah that they get hung up on when thinking of Islam in terms of it being a branch off religion from Christianity. Its as if saying something other than just God makes their god a different god than the one of Judaism and Christianity. So if you happen to be one that gets hung up on that word heres a thought.

God in 5 different languages. Is a French, German, Italian, Portuguese or Spanish speaking christian worshipping a different god?

  • French: un dieu
  • German: Gott
  • Italian: dio
  • Portuguese: deus
  • Spanish: Dios
Date Posted: 12/19/2008 9:02 AM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2007
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For that matter, is there a difference between Yaweh, Jehovah and Allah?  I've never really been sure.

Date Posted: 12/19/2008 1:11 PM ET
Member Since: 9/16/2007
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Shoot, in Judaism alone there's at least a couple dozen names for God, all with different meanings.

I don't know which religions use Yaweh and Jehovah, but I think there are major differences between the Christian God and the Jewish God, so I suspect the same is true of Allah.

Date Posted: 12/19/2008 2:55 PM ET
Member Since: 5/23/2005
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I don't think the problem is that it's a different name.  God has so many different names that it's kind of a moot point.  Christians believe in the triune God, and Allah is not just another name for the triune God.  The main difference being that Jesus Christ is one part of the triune, Christian God, and Muslims believe that Jesus was only a prophet, and was not God.  That's where the belief that it's not the same God comes from, not the name.    

Date Posted: 12/19/2008 4:59 PM ET
Member Since: 3/10/2006
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It's always been my understanding that we all share the same God.  The difference lies in how Jesus was regarded, prophet only vs. Messiah (and of course how Muhammed was regarded later on).

All three religions are spirtually connected via Abraham, a patriarch and prophet.  Jews see him as the father of the Isrealites (and therefore Christians as well), and Muslims view him as both a prophet and ancestor to Muhammed.

Date Posted: 12/19/2008 5:09 PM ET
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Well Brenda the Jews dont think Jesus was the messiah they dont look at it the same way either but most christians I run across have no qualms about god being the same for both religions.

Date Posted: 12/19/2008 7:08 PM ET
Member Since: 5/23/2005
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I see what you're saying, and I guess it depends on what you mean by the "same God".  If you mean that God is the same no matter what attributes a person thinks He (or I guess you could say she) has, or who you think He is, but by merely believing in a God of some sort, it's the same as any other God, then yes, it is the same God.

I was thinking more along the lines of the qualities and attributes that different religions believe God has, and in that sense, it's not the same God.  The God that the Jews believe in is not the same as the God the Christians believe in, in the qualities and attributes.  And it's the same with the Muslim God, or the Mormon God.  They all stem from the same place, the Old Testament, but from there, there are a lot of differences.

If I believed that God was really an alien, but that God was also the God of Abraham, you could very easily say that it was the same God.  But I think it depends on the viewpoint you take, and whether or not you believe that it's important for a person to believe in certain attributes.  As in, does God care who you believe He is, or merely that you believe He exists?  That is why I made the point that (at least for any Christian I know) it's not about the name at all.

Date Posted: 12/19/2008 8:48 PM ET
Member Since: 1/13/2005
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Chris, this may be belaboring the obvious, but I'm thinking the reason is that each religion thinks they've gone far enough, and the next guy in the chain has gone too far.  So, as the middle guy, Christianity can easily say it came from Judaism but took the correct next step, and recognized the messiah when he showed up.  It's much harder for them to acknowledge that Muslims worship the same god because they've gone too far.  It all stopped with Jesus and they're just so wrong it can't possibly be the same . . .

OTOH, if my theory is right, generally Jews would think that the Christian god isn't *really* their god, and I honestly don't know if that's the case or not.

L. G. (L)
Date Posted: 12/19/2008 10:48 PM ET
Member Since: 9/5/2005
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And we UUs think they are all the same...or not...depending on who you ask. ;P

Date Posted: 12/20/2008 7:44 PM ET
Member Since: 9/16/2007
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I have a hard time seeing the Christian and Jewish gods as the same God.  I can't stand the phrase "Judeo-Christian."  Aside from the fact that Jews are monotheistic and Christians aren't, the attributes seem in direct contradiction most of the time.  Of course, it can depend on what kind of Christian is talking about their God.  But overall, I think Jews and Muslims are much more closely aligned.

Date Posted: 12/20/2008 11:44 PM ET
Member Since: 5/23/2005
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Christians are definitely monotheistic.  I'm not sure why you think they aren't.

Date Posted: 12/21/2008 12:13 AM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2007
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Other faiths often view Christianity as polytheistic because of the trinity, the father, son and holy spirit.  I know from what I was taught of the Bible that they're three-in-one, 3 different aspects of the same god, but I can understand non-Christians viewing it as polytheistic.

L. G. (L)
Date Posted: 12/21/2008 3:42 AM ET
Member Since: 9/5/2005
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Ditto what Vanessa said.  Though I understand the difference between the trinity and polytheism as practiced, by say, Hindus.

As an "outsider" (one not believing in Judeo-Christian theology)  I basically see Christianity and Islam as pretty much the same - they only worship different prophets - and are merely different points in the timeline of the same continum.    Judaism is different because their prophet  hasn't come - but it falls in-line as well.  The concepts are the same, the books teach the same ideologies, each have similar followers - similar myths.   They are each just one story of many.  Personally I find the Eastern religions contain more logic and less damnation, but also have some of the same ideology.  The Hindu myths are so much more colorful and entertaining, too.

 

Jeanne, I think it's referred to as Judeo-Christian religions because Jesus was Jewish.

 

(Edited for wicked homonym...)



Last Edited on: 12/21/08 4:32 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 12/21/2008 11:55 PM ET
Member Since: 11/28/2006
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Unfortunately, I think a lot of people forget that Jesus was Jewish.

 

Subject: deleted
Date Posted: 12/23/2008 8:09 PM ET
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deleted



Last Edited on: 2/3/15 8:47 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
L. G. (L)
Date Posted: 12/23/2008 9:09 PM ET
Member Since: 9/5/2005
Posts: 12,412
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Tom, you are right - they are all manifestations of the same God.  My bad!  That's what I get for posting late at night. :p

Date Posted: 1/4/2009 9:42 PM ET
Member Since: 6/25/2007
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This discussion reminds me of one of my favorite quotes from Thomas Moore's Utopia:

"He judged it not fit to determine anything rashly; and seemed to doubt whether those different forms of religion might not all come from God, who might inspire man in a different manner, and be pleased with this variety [...]"