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God’s Names in Abrahamic Religions

Three Abrahamic Religions have existed for centuries and have been deeply explored in their meaning. Islam, Judaism, and Christianity are considered the three Abrahamic Religions, and their history traced back to the Prophet Abraham. The beliefs of the religions are common; moreover, they worship the same God. However, the name given to God in each faith is different and has its unique roots and meaning.

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In Islam, the name of God is Allah, which is translated from Arabic as “the God.” This is the most common name used to refer to God in Islam. Allah is used in prayers and in general discussions on the topic of Islam. This specific name was used by Arabic people before Islam as well. In the Quran, God has many names, but only the best names belong to God (Cohen). An example might be Ar-Rahman, which translates as “The Entirely Merciful” and is used in the 55th Surah of the Quran as the title, explaining the merciful qualities of God.

In Judaism, seven names are referring to God. Some of the names shown are YHWH (pronounced as Yahweh) and Shaddai. For instance, Shaddai means “Almighty” and is composed of two parts, which are “sha,” which is a relative particle, and “dai,” which means “enough.” It is believed that this name refers to the word Dayeinu, which means “it would have been enough for us,” referring to the miracles performed by God when liberating Israelites from Egyptian servitude. Therefore, it is used to show the unlimited powers of God. However, the most common name is Yahweh, which is used in prayers and is more frequently referred to.

In Christianity, there are many interpretations as to what God’s name is. According to the New Testament, however, only two names should refer to God (Boyd). The first name is “God” on its own; it is used in the New Testament around 1000 times. This name expresses the initial Deity of God and is considered to be a well-known reference name for the Almighty. It is used in prayers and is the most common reference to God within the religion and outside of it. The other name is “Lord,” which implies that God is a master, owner, and unlimited power. “Lord” as God’s name is used in occasions where God is viewed from a position of ultimate control and is called upon in prayers to help fix the discouraging times.

Works Cited

Boyd, Samuel L. “Judaism, Christianity, and Islam: The problem of “Abrahamic religions” and the possibilities of comparison.” Religion Compass, vol. 13, no. 10, 2019, pp. 3-5.

Cohen, Charles L. The Abrahamic Religions: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press, 2020.

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