Allah: God: Jehovah: Ahura_Mazda: Gitchi-Manitou: etc.
A Controversy of Names
There are many different names for God found in the Bible and elsewhere.
Yet, many claim a single proper name for God saying" these other names are simply titles or may be even counterfeit altogether!.
Jehovah Witness's quote Psalm 83:18 as saying," You, whose name is Jehovah, you alone are the Most High over all the earth". Rev 15:3 says," Great and wonderful are your works, Jehovah God, the Almighty. Righteous and true are your ways, King of eternity." Psalm 90:2 says," Even from time indefinite to time indefinite you are God." Rev 4:11 reads: ," You are worthy, Jehovah, even our God, to receive the glory and the honor and the power, because you created all things, and because of your Will they existed and were created." ( Quotes taken from "What Does the Bible Really Mean" Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of NY P13-15;195)
In Page 195 from the above publication it is written," This verse, Psalm 83:18, (seen above) speaks about a name. In the original Hebrew in which much of the Bible was written, a unique personal name appears here. It is spelled (YHWH) in the Hebrew letters. In English, the common rendering of that name is "Jehovah". Does that name occur in only one Bible verse? No, it appears in the original text of the Hebrew Scriptures nearly 7,000 times!
How important is God's name? Consider the model prayer that Jesus gave. It begins this way," Our Father in the heavens, let your name be sanctified." (Mat 6:9) Later, Jesus prayed to God: " Father, glorify your name." In response, God spoke from heaven, saying: "I both glorified it and will glorified it again." (John 12:28) Clearly, God's name is of the utmost importance."
The above does seem to be a powerful argument from which it might be deduced that the almighty infinite God has a personal name. But is it reasonable that the "Infinite Timeless Prime Mover of All would take on a temporal personal name? Does not a personal name in itself contain the very essence of finite reality? Does not a name denote a specific person, place or thing? Yet, God is beyond description nor is the Almighty bound within the realms of Space, Time and cause-and-effect finite existence. How then can he have a single personal name? But, in spite of all my rambling, Scriptures of many world faiths mention God IE: Allah, Jehovah, Ahura-Mazda, etc. in many tongues and give praise and worship in many faiths. Still, it must be asked, from whence is God bequeathed a single name with a single language? In many Scriptures the name of God is still of supreme importance. How can this be? Might the term "Name" when applied to the Divine, have a deeper more significant meaning than simply a personal name such as what you or I might have?
What could be meant by the scriptural word "name"? Does it necessarily mean specifically "Jehovah" or "Jesus"? To reiterate, There are many names for God in the Bible itself. Many more Names can be found in diverse faiths around the world. Question: Is one particular name of such overriding importance; especially when promises of a New, and different, Name can be found in the Bible itself; different names both before and after the time of Jesus? Maybe the Biblical word "name" ,as it relates to God, is being abused in modern times as a noun pertaining to a single person, place or thing. Perhaps the word "name" may have a different usage; such as referring to an attribute, quality or distinction of one universal God. Perhaps "Name" may relate to a universal acknowledgement or means of addressing the Almighty. Whatever the case, The reality of God never changes but specific names, as seen in many faiths, times and places, does.
Often, it seems, a "personal" name for God can become a stumbling block preventing those of one tradition from recognizing the valid truths to be gleaned from another. Within Orthodox Christendom, the name "Jesus" is often worshipped. All believers will urgently say," Only in the name of Jesus can you be saved" or," You must Pray in the name of Jesus." The name of Jesus is considered everlasting and must forever be used when addressing God. No other name used is acceptable before God. Another Christian sect, the Jehovah's Witnesses claim," Jehovah, and only Jehovah, for all time, is the name for God. But the question must be asked, are all the traditions using other names for God all wrong? Allah is honored by Islam, Brahma by Hindu's, Ahura-Mazda by Zoroastrians among many others. Even within Christianity itself, one sect rejects the other's name through which to address and worship God. From this simple illustration it becomes apparent problems can arise when one rigidly adheres to what is taught by many organized deemed acceptable teachings espoused by teachers and followers alike.
To box in the Almighty, as walled in and imprisoned within a matrix of men; to hint at God as being an actor upon only the stage of one single faith or proclaim any belief system as most completely, or even exclusively, representing the light of God's eternal Will seems arrogant to me. (This thinking becomes a culture medium from which the seeds of bigotry, self-assured righteousness fear and superstition spring up.) Thankfully, for one desiring to search for answers above and beyond the realm of single faith based studies, truths, doctrines and dogmas, the unity and oneness of God is abundantly clear. God does not choose one organized religion out of many as a single narrow road to salvation. Think about it: Would not finding the valid path to God be turned into a lottery game; where, among numerous possibilities, only those lucky enough to inherit the right faith or stumble upon it through diligent searching are granted peace in the Heavenly Kingdom? Personally, I cannot believe or condone thinking that encourages this paradigm of thought. I don't believe you can either.
But we have Scriptures such as Acts 4:12 New King James Version (NKJV) written by Luke claiming"Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved."
In spite of this popularized passage there are many other references for a promised new name.
"Isaiah 62:2 King James Bible " And the Gentiles shall see thy righteousness, and all kings thy glory: and thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the LORD shall name."
This new name, written by Isaiah, might well refer to Jesus as it was written hundreds of years before the time of Christ. Regardless, this Old Testament scripture tells of the Lord coming in a new name. Obviously, this infers that the names denoting God DO change.
Not only are different names for God to be found in diverse cultures and languages the world over, but differing names for God appear in the Bible as well. In the time of Abraham God was known as "El-Shaddai"; In Moses tome - "YHWH" (Yahweh); For Jesus The name "Father" or, in Aramaic, "Abba" was used in reference to the Almighty One.
Muhammad, some six to seven centuries after Christ, uses "Allah" as the only name for God: Al-ilah which means the God.
All of these Names for God (within a multitude of others); are mentioned, some even within the Bible itself! Yet, believers of each faith believe their own name for God is the only right and true vehicle favored by the Lord through which to address and worship.
Revelations 2:17 King James Bible "He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it."
It seems, once again, hundreds of years after Isaiah; well after Jesus the Christ had appeared; another mention of a "new name" is revealed. What will it be this time?
And again in Revelations: Not only is a new name mentioned; but a new Jerusalem as well!
Revelations 3:12 King James Bible "Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name. 3:13 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches."
What Might be meant by the word "name"? Does it necessarily mean Jesus? There are many names for God in the Bible itself. Many more Names can be found in diverse faiths around the world. Question: Is one particular name of such importance; especially when promises of a New Name can be found in the Bible itself; different names both before and after the time of Jesus? Maybe the scriptural word "name" is being abused in modern times as a noun pertaining to a singular person, place or thing. Perhaps the word "name" may have a different usage; such as referring to an attribute, quality or distinction of one universal God. The reality of God never changes but names, as seen in many faiths, times and places, does.
For those who cling to ancestral names for God; in which names have become an idol in themselves and certain practices of faith an only road to salvation; the Bible has the following.
In various Bible scriptures the disciples ask Jesus privately about signs for the end times. Included are passages describing "when these things shall be fulfilled". A warning for the churches is also seen in the same scriptures.
13:5 "And Jesus answering them began to say, Take heed lest any man deceive you: 13:6 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.
13:7 And when ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars, be ye not troubled: for such things must needs be; but the end shall not be yet. 13:8 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be earthquakes in divers places, and there shall be famines and troubles: these are the beginnings of sorrows...
13:21 And then if any man shall say to you, Lo, here is Christ; or, lo, he is there; believe him not: 13:22 For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect ( KJ Bible Mark)
Might Mark 13: 6 and 13: 21-22 be referring to many present day priests and churches, who extol and worship Jesus' name as a substitution for God; even though Jesus himself makes it clear we are to worship ",our Father who art in Heaven," as directed in the Lord's Prayer?
Something to think about.
A listing of faith traditions, from within the Bible and more as seen from around the world , can be viewed by clicking here.