It is refreshing to read adult educational articles from Mr. Peterson (since he
is a university professor) rather than the primary school fairy tales that he
too often writes. Good work professor.
I'll bet that Professor Peterson is really nervous right now, trying to
figure out what on earth he's done wrong in this column such that
"skeptic" is voicing approval of it.
The main problem is that most people don't understand the translation
process and that you can rarely find a 1-to-1 match between words in different
languages that will convey all meanings and contexts.I often try to
explain the exact same examples given in this article when people talk about
"not taking the Lord's name in vain." The Judeo-Christian God does
have a name, and it isn't God. Its YHVH/YHWH, as Hebrew doesn't
traditionally use vowels, and usually written as Jehovah or Yahweh. In the KJV,
whenever you see "LORD God", usually with distinctive capitalization,
what is being obscured is usually "YHWH Elohim": a name and title.The same goes for the "name" Christ. It isn't his name, its
his title. An attempt to translate the very Jewish concept of "Messiah"
to a Greco-Roman classical world. Christ comes from Christos, a pagan concept.
On top of that, Jesus is a corruption of a name that would better be spelled
"Yeshua", but after passing through a number of languages on its way to
English it changed a bit each time.
Unfortunately, this will not persuade most.
During the Middle Ages many were illiterate with few understanding Latin, the
language of the Catholic mass. As the Eucharist was given, the priest would
always turn and gaze at the cross and away from the congregation while speaking,
making his words difficult to hear. While raising the host (bread), he spoke
"Hoc est corpus mei (drifting off)...", or "This is my body".
Most in the congregation understood that there was deep meaning and magic in
these words, which turned a cracker into the actual body of Christ. To those
with less than perfect hearing, the priests' words of the process of
transubstantiation sounded like "hocus pocus" and voila', the words
Enjoyed reading this column - thank you.
RE: We speak today of "theology," which is rational discussion
("logos") about "theos" or "god." True,In the
beginning(Arche) was the Word(Logos), and the Word(Logos) was with God(Theos),
and the Word Logos)was God(Theos).(John 1:1) In the Nicene homoousios(same
being) to=(the) patri (father) is a perfect paraphrase.(1John 1:1)
That which was from the beginning(archē ), which we have heard, which we
have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled,
of the Word(Logos ) of life. John says he was there and touched Jesus."In the very beginning the bible shows there is a plurality of Gods.
Beyond the power of refutation”.(Hof C v. 6 p.476)? (Genesis 1:1 Greek
XX) In the beginning God (*O Theos, Grk. 2316). Clearly God, singular.
*Nominative singular article.
The name "Allah" has always has a sacred sound and feeling about it to
me. Mukkake, my feeling about taking the name of God in vain has more to do
with the intent of the heart, or even the lack of honorable consideration,
rather than the title, spelling, or pronounciation of His Name. He knows who we
are referring to, however we say it, honor Him or dishonor Him.
Ye believers worship ye know not who. Your best scholars obfuscate to hide the
fact that none of you even know the name of your god. Titles, word etymologies,
pseudo-academic dictionary games are supposed to count as "defending the
faith"?But when you pray to "god", your petition
effectively amounts to "Hey! Somebody/anybody out there, please
respond!"You have no idea who or what is "answering", if
anything at all!You don't even know your god's name!
While the Honorable Professor Peterson is technically correct, anyone who
researches the true nature and character of the 'Allah' worshiped in
Islam will quickly come to understand that he is NOT at all the same as the God
of Abraham. This 'misunderstanding' by most non-Muslims is a result of
the Islamic practice of 'Taqiya', another Arabic word meaning
'deception'. Debating the translation of the word 'Allah' is
actually missing the point, and a further example of Taqiya in practice. Anyone
who researches using Islamic references written by Muslims for Muslims in
English can easily distinguish the true character of 'Allah', and
learn the truth for themselves. There are plenty of such references available
for anyone willing to look.
RE: Evangelical Protestants, though, some are under the misimpression that the
term "Allah" refers to a pagan moon deity from pre-Islamic Arabian
mythology???God 79, god 16 KJV,Strong's (Protestant
concordance) Number H426 matches the Hebrew ('elahh (Aramaic)), which
occurs 95 times in 78 verses in the Hebrew concordance of the KJV. (Ezr 4:24 -
Ezr 7:14). A cognate from the word Allah.
Rather than seeking for similarities -- Extremeists and Radicals
take issue with anything not precisely the same as being "evil" or
"wicked".This is the perfect example of it.Thanks for the clarity, but alas, the deft and ignorant - the one's
who need it the most - still won't get it.
Jesus called on God from the cross crying out Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani (My
God, my God, why have you forsaken me) as reported in Mark. In Matthew, the name
is Eli. As I understand it, Eloi (Aramaic), Eli (Hebrew), and Allah (Arabic) are
all three linguistic derivatives of El, the common ancestral Semitic name for
God in the time of Abraham.
It seems to me that the controversy over whether to use the term Allah in Arabic
translations of the Bible occurs as well WITHIN Arabic Christian circles, and
this is why it becomes an issue for evangelical translators. It is recognized
that Allah is the generic term for God. But it's still an issue for Muslims
who convert to Christianity. In their minds, the term Allah subjectively has
strong Islamic overtones, and as sensitive Christians, they don't want to
violate their consciences. This is certainly understandable-- "Blessed is
the one who has no reason to pass judgment on himself for what he approves"
(Rom 14:22b).Now, just because Allah is the generic term for God
doesn't mean that the Allah of Islam and the Allah of Christianity are one
and the same God. Despite the fact that they are both Abrahamic, there are still
irreconcilable differences. Christians and the LDS have the same issue. Mormons
say, "We are Christians, because we worship someone named Jesus Christ."
But they neglect the substantial differences between the two views in order to
make this semantic judgment. As an orthodox Christian, I find such comparisons
to be highly offensive.
Exactly, brokenclay. Thank you for correctly clarifying what Prof. Petersen
knows. It isn't the translation of a word; it's the definition of the
characteristics that signify the differences.The Arab Baptists in my
church refuse to use Allah, preferring Al Rab, The Lord, where possible. That
is their cultural preference, because they know the differences between the
attributes given to Allah by non-Christian theology. The God of Islam is as
foreign to The God of the Bible as the Mormon God is. It is the attributes and
description of "God" that defines and separates those who seek salvation
"in any other than who we have declared to you", said the apostle
Paul.In whatever language the word for "God" is, He/She/It
needs defining. This IS the reason those who come to the Biblical
Messiah/Christ/Savior become "born-again" as "new creatures in
Christ", with an indwelling of the promised Holy Spirit: That is the
Biblical promise. Those who alter Christ's power, promises and profession
receive a totally different outcome.Dr. Petersen should know that
salvation does not come from all Gods...
Which God are you claiming salvation in, Professors? The God of Mohammed,
Joseph Smith, or the Bible? Joseph's God is a polygamous exalted man;
Mohammed's God had no Begotten Son. The God of the Bible "is spirit,
and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and in truth.That
is the issue: "Who do you say I am?"I have taught Hebrew
for over 20 years. Every student knows that El, Elohim,Ya and Yaweh are just
words. Lower case and upper case in English are inserted exactly to
differentiate between false gods and the Triune God, both rendered ELOHIM in an
ancient language that has no lower case...I first learned my Hebrew
at BYU. It hasn't changed from the different synagogues or colleges where I
further studied the language. But each religion puts different meanings,
salvation power and requirements into that "God", rendering Him
different in essence, power and message..That is the issue, not the
entymology of the liguistics.
RE: Joseph Smith "retired to the woods to make the attempt (to pray)"
(Joseph Smith-History 1:13). Arabic-speaking Latter-day Saints, reciting the
first Article of Faith, testify that "We believe in Allah, the Eternal
Father." Readers of the Arabic Book of Mormon are encouraged to "ask
Allah, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not
true" (Moroni 10:4). But,Elijah(YHWH is God), In(D&C 110:
1-16) Elias and Elijah appear to JS, but in the Bible they are the same person.
The KJV translators attempted to transliterate Elijah to Elias because there
isn’t a Greek character for the English letter J.To avoid confusion,
modern translations: NIV, NJKV, NASB and the Catholic Bible have Elijah instead
of Elias in(Mt 11:14,; Luke 1:17
'Scuze the type-O, please. Make that "the etymogy of the
linguistics". (See last sentence in my previous post). :-)How
a misplaced letter can render a sentence into jibberish! So will an incorrect
belief in God, or a belief in the wrong God take you to an eternal dwelling
other than The Father's Kingdom. Jesus said that He alone is the Way, the
Truth and the Life. "No one comes to the Father except by Me." (John
14: 6). You don't have to believe it, but you can't add your own
specifications and remain true to the original.You can deny the
validity of the original, as Joseph and many others have, but you cannot pretend
a 19th-century rewrite is the original. So choose your definition
of God carefully, Professors. He might be more than just a word. He claims to
be The Word.
It appears that the authors are intent to draw parallels that don't exist
between Christianity and Islam by pointing out linguistic similarities between
the semitic languages and forcing illogical conclusions. As a native Hebrew and
Arabic speaker I can tell you the teachings of Muhammed (The Quran, the Hadith
and Sirat al-Rasul) are antithetical to the western Judeo-Christian ethic. Look
around the world; any country governed by sharia is a human rights disaster. In
Islam women are property not human beings.Rather than writing puff
pieces maligning "evangelical preachers" as "ignorant", guide
your readers to research "Taqiyya" and "Kitman". Learn what
abrogation means and how the Quran is organized. Google "Holy Land
Foundation Trial", learn why CAIR and HAMMAS are both Muslim Brotherhood
front groups.In short, educate yourselves.
Shazandra,"Dr. Petersen should know that salvation does not come
from all Gods."______________________________That
wasn't the point of his article. He didn't even imply that.
Evangelical preachers who claim there's no salvation in Allah obviously
refer to the Muslim God. I have sat in many such sermons in evangelical
Arab-Christian services. Our closest friends in the Arab Baptist congregation
of our church are the Jordanian pastor and his family. I have taken his Arabic
and religion courses; he has shared about Jordanian and Palestinian culture in
my Hebrew classes. When he uses the term 'Allah', we know how he
intends it based on the context.My Syrian Greek Orthodox
mother-in-law will use only 'Elohim' because culturally her childhood
in Damascus rendered Allah not as "God/Elohim", but with the strict
Muslim definition. She and many other Trinitarian Christians choose not to use
Allah in their prayers.You must know the meaning of the terms used
even in an English discourse. When sitting in LDS, JW, Unitarian or Christian
Science services I know all four are worshipping different Gods. Dr. Petersen is the one who is ignorant of what evangelical pastors mean when
they refer to "no salvation in Allah". Neither do those who deny the
implicit triune nature of Elohim understand its meaning.
"....Dr. Petersen is the one who is ignorant of what evangelical pastors
mean when they refer to "no salvation in Allah....."______________________________I don’t know how Daniel
Peterson interprets the evangelical view and neither do you. But insisting on
strictly measuring Islam and other faiths by Baptist religious dogma does
nothing to promote understanding between diverse faiths. That’s the dark
side of religion that turns so many off to religion in general. What a pity.
I talk with Saudi Arabs all the time about religion. Allah is the same god in
the Bible. They don't understand why God would have let his son die as
Christianity believes. (Actually, their doctrine most consistent with the
belief that God is omnipotent -- if he wants to forgive sins, he can just by
choosing. Christianity only permits God to forgive sins if and only if there is
an atonement. )The cool thing is I can bring up New Testament parables and they
have not heard them. "You know," I said to a friend, "God is
happier with one man who repents than 99 good men who stayed good."One Islamic scholar told me Jesus was conceived because God said to Mary,
"Be." The "be" means to exist. So when John says that Jesus
was the Word, the word might in fact be "Be". Just a thought.Allah is a moral god. He wants us to be moral.
OK, let's think this through a bit.When Islamic Fundamentalists
go on suicide terrorist attacks, they almost always shout "Allah
Akbar!"If what these LDS professors are saying is true, we
should be able to directly substitute the Mormon God in that same expression
without losing meaning at all:"The God of Abraham, Isaac and
Jacob is the Greatest!"Is that really what they mean? Is that
god they are praising and in whose name they are killing innocents really the
same god as the Mormon god?Let's continue the substitution.
According to LDS doctrine, the "God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob" in the
Old Testament is Jehovah, who is the premortal Jesus Christ. So, we should be
able to substitute:"Jehovah is the Greatest!""Jesus Christ is the Greatest!"So Peterson is not playing
such word games as to try and convince us that these Islamic Terrorists are
actually (knowingly?) committing suicidal acts of terror in the name of Jesus
Christ?!Are you serious?
Whether or not we believe we worship the same God (Allah) is of little
consequence to someone at the receiving end of Islamic Extremism. It is folly
to think that the reason for Islamic Terrorism is that we weren't