Grace and Truth

This website is under construction !

Search in "English":
Home -- English -- 18-Bible and Qur'an Series -- 024 (“Allah” in the Bible?)
This page in: -- ENGLISH -- Hausa -- Igbo -- Indonesian -- Somali -- Yoruba?

Previous Chapter -- Next Chapter

18. Bible and Qur'an Series
BOOKLET 3 - The Textual History of The Qur'an and the Bible
(A reply to Amad Deedat's Booklet: Is the Bible God's Word?)
A Study of the Qur'an and the Bible

6. “Allah” in the Bible?

On page 22 of his booklet Is the Bible God's Word? Deedat reproduces a pamphlet allegedly showing that the Arabic word for God, Allah, is found in the Scofield translation of the Bible. Fortunately the evidence, in this case, is set before us to consider. A copy of a page from a Scofield Bible is reproduced and in a footnote we find that the Hebrew word for God, Elohim, is derived from two words, El (strength) and alah (to swear). This last word is supposed to be proof that the Arabic word Allah is found in the Bible!

A more far-fetched and fanciful effort to prove a point can hardly be imagined. The word in Hebrew is alah, a common word meaning “to swear”. How this is supposed to be proof that the word Allah in Arabic, meaning God, is found in the Bible is altogether unclear to us. Deedat's effort to twist the facts further in suggesting that Elah in Hebrew (meaning God) has been spelt by the editors of the Scofield translation alternatively as Alah (Deedat, Is the Bible God's Word?, page 21) taxes our credulity to an unbearable extreme. These editors clearly identify the latter word as another one entirely meaning “to swear”.

As if this was not enough, we are obliged to swallow even more of his unpalatable illogic when he suggests that the omission of the word alah in the latest Scofield translation is proof that the word has been “blotted out ... in the Bible of the orthodox!” (Deedat, Is the Bible God's Word?, page 21). What is quite clear is that it has been omitted from a footnote in a commentary and we cannot possibly see how this can be regarded as a change in the text of the Bible itself! Elsewhere Deedat claims that Christians may not consider any footnote as part of the Word of God itself (Is the Bible God's Word?, page 17). It is a great pity that this man cannot apply to himself the standards he demands from others.

It will be useful to point out here, however, that there is nothing unique about the word Allah nor must it be regarded as coming originally from the pages of the Qur'an. On the contrary it is quite clearly derived from the Syriac word Alaha (meaning “God”) in common use among Christians in pre-Islamic times (cf. the authorities cited by Jeffery in The Foreign Vocabulary of the Qur'an, page 66). It was also in common use among the Arabs before Islam as appears from the name of Muhammad's own father Abdullah (i.e., “servant of God” from abd, meaning “servant”, and Allah, meaning “God”). It is also certain that Allah was the name used for God in pre-Islamic poetry (Bell, The Origin of Islam in its Christian Environment, page 53). Accordingly there is nothing unique about the name at all. In the circumstances we really fail to see what Deedat is trying to prove or what his excitement is all about.

Page last modified on March 20, 2023, at 03:44 PM | powered by PmWiki (pmwiki-2.3.3)