yahweh divine name

Is Yah­weh Divine Name” For God ?

When Mus­lims con­front the Chris­t­ian mis­sion­ar­ies with the ety­mo­log­i­cal evi­dence that the word Allah is indeed relat­ed to the word Elo­him, the mis­sion­ar­ies are very quick to point out that YHWH (YHWH) is the Divine Name” for The Deity that they wor­ship and that since Mus­lims are not taught about this Divine Name” of God, it there­fore fol­lows that Mus­lims are call­ing upon God wrongly. 

This is not a new argu­ment from the missionary. 

When the Prophet Muham­mad(P) was in Mad­i­nah, the Jews of Mad­i­nah offered a sim­i­lar objec­tion, claim­ing that Mus­lims should not refer to The Deity by mere­ly call­ing Him Allah. 

Thus, the fol­low­ing Qur’an­ic verse was revealed to reply to the objection :

Say : Call upon Allah or call upon Rah­man”; By what­ev­er name ye call upon Him (it is well): for to Him belong the most beau­ti­ful names.” (Qur’an, 17:110)

We should also note the fol­low­ing obser­va­tions regard­ing the claim :

1. First of all, the very first word in Gen­e­sis 1:1 is Elo­him”, not Yah­weh’. The word YHWH only start­ed appear­ing in Gen­e­sis 2:4, and even then, it was almost always accom­pa­nied with the word Elo­him”, as in Yah­weh Elohim”.

2. Accord­ing to The New Strong’s Exhau­sive Con­cor­dance of the Bible, the word Yah­weh is “…the Jew­ish nation­al name of God”[1]. In short, this is the name that only the Jews them­selves use. Com­pare this with the entry for Elo­him, in the same ref­er­ence : “…spe­cial­ly used of the supreme God”[2]

3. The final point is that accord­ing to the Chris­t­ian belief itself, the name Yah­weh is only used for the old covenant con­text, and not valid for Chris­tians, who believe that they are in a new covenant. This is evi­dent when nowhere in the New Tes­ta­ment does the word Yah­weh appear. 

As John Gilchrist says :

… While the name Yah­weh appears through­out the Old Tes­ta­ment in the orig­i­nal Hebrew text, it appears nowhere in the books of the New Tes­ta­ment, not even in the orig­i­nal Greek texts. In 0ld Tes­ta­ment times Yah­weh was the name of the covenant God of Israel (Exo­dus 3.15), but the Lord has nev­er used this name in a new covenant con­text. The com­ing of Jesus Christ brought about a major change in God’s rela­tion­ship with his peo­ple. Now he is pro­ject­ed sole­ly as the Father of all true believ­ers, Jew and Gen­tile alike, with­out any dis­tinc­tion being made between them (Romans 10.12). The name Yah­weh was used sole­ly in an old covenant con­text and the New Tes­ta­ment plain­ly states that the old covenant has become obso­lete” (Hebrews 8.13) and that it has been entire­ly abol­ished” (Hebrews 10.9). For this rea­son one nev­er finds the name Yah­weh in the New Tes­ta­ment — it was rel­e­vant only to the peo­ple of Israel in old covenant times.…The New Tes­ta­ment delib­er­ate­ly avoids the use of the name Yah­weh and the only pos­si­ble trans­la­tion of theos into Ara­bic is Allah

On a side note, we refer to Mark 15:34 where Jesus(P) is report­ed to have cried out in Aramaic :

    ELOI, ELOI, LAMA SABACHTHANI ? 

Which is trans­lat­ed into Eng­lish as :

My God, My God, why hast thou for­sak­en me ? 

Accord­ing to The New Strong’s Exhau­sive Con­cor­dance of the Bible, the defi­na­tion of eloi is as follows :

eloi [ELWI] of Ara­ma­ic ori­gin, 0426 with pronom­i­nal stuff.; n m AV — Eloi 2 ; 2 ; Eloi = my-God”; 1) Ara­ma­ic for the phrase my-God”[4]

If the claim is that Yah­weh is the so-called true” name of God, then why instead of call­ing out :

    ELOI, ELOI, LAMA SABACHTHANI ? 

Jesus(P) could have instead just cried out :

    YAHWEH, YAHWEH, LAMA SABACHTHANI ?

This shows that the claim that Yah­weh is the only true name” for God cer­tain­ly does not hold water. Jesus(P) did refer to God as Eloi”, or Eli” (accord­ing to Matthew 27:46).

So are we expect­ed to believe that Jesus(P) was igno­rant of this true name” of God when he called upon Him as Eli” (of which its tri­lat­er­al root-word is relat­ed to the root of the Ara­bic word Allah) instead of Yah­weh, and Chris­tians who only exist 2000 years lat­er are aware” of the true name” of God ? 

We think not !

It seems that the mis­sion­ar­ies have cre­at­ed more prob­lems than they think they had solved. And cer­tain­ly, only God knows best ! Is Yahweh "Divine Name" For God? 1Endmark

Cite this arti­cle as : Mohd Elfie Nieshaem Juferi, Is Yahweh Divine Name” For God ?,” in Bis­mi­ka Allahu­ma, Octo­ber 7, 2005, last accessed May 29, 2024, https://​bis​mikaal​lahu​ma​.org/​c​h​r​i​s​t​i​a​n​i​t​y​/​y​a​h​w​e​h​-​d​i​v​i​n​e​-​n​a​me/

3 Comments

  1. YHWH is the name of a storm/​war deity wor­shipped by the Mid­i­an­ites in Seir. This YHWH became Elo­him lat­er on when nomads known as the Sha­su arrived and brought this deity to Israel. YHWH was a less­er deity that was lat­er equat­ed with Elo­him, the supreme deity.

    There is also evi­dence that this YHWH is a title the pagan Egypt­ian god Ra used (see the destruc­tion of mankind text) and that may describe it’s origin.

  2. Actu­al­ly, Yah­weh is not exact­ly the true ren­der­ing of the YHWH in Exo­dus. It’s a total guess. The chief Rab­bi’s stopped using it 1000’s of years ago, and killed you if it was uttered. How could Chris­t­ian mis­sion­ar­ies fig­ure it out now ?

    The ear­li­est Ara­bic Bible by a Jew(HaLevi of Jerusalem) trans­lat­ed it as YaHuwa. Nev­er­the­less, the mean­ing is exact­ly the same of the Jew­ish Ency­clo­pe­dia as the name Hayu-Qayum is in the Qur’an ; the liv­ing/­self-suf­fi­cient !

    It’s also inter­est­ing that David only referred to God as Yah, not Yah­weh. This is found in Israelite prophets in the Qur’an(YAcub, ZakariYA,etc.).

    What’s even more inter­est­ing is that John the Bap­tist is called YAhya(Yah lives) only in the Qur’an, as a pose to Yuhanna(Yu ? is grace).

  3. I think we also ought to realise that the Jews regard­ed YHWH” as sacred. The mere pro­nounce­ment of God’s divine name was con­sid­ered taboo. The Jews treat­ed God’s Name’ with utter respect, hence God was not addressed in that manner.

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