“Oh People of the Book! Commit to no excesses in your religion, nor say of God anything but the truth. Christ Jesus, the son of Mary, was (no more than) a messenger of God, and His Word, which He bestowed on Mary, and a spirit proceeding from Him. So believe in God and His messengers. Say not, ‘Trinity.’ Desist! It will be better for you, for God is One God, Glory be to Him! (Far exalted is He) above having a son. To Him belong all things in the heavens and on earth. And enough is God as a Disposer of affairs.” (4:171).

While Christians and Jews agree that they, intellectually at least, worship the same God – the God of creation and of the Jewish Bible, many question if Muslims worship that same God. Many think they don’t. But people should understand that the Muslim practice of calling God “Allah” does not necessarily indicate, intellectually at least, that they worship a god other than the God of the Bible. For “allah” is the Arabic word for “God/god,” and the Qur’an constantly interchanges the words “Allah and God.” Many Christians don’t know that the name of God in the Hebrew Bible which is YHWH/YHVH can be written Yahweh or Yehvah – even though it appears nearly 7,000 times in the Hebrew Bible.

Even though Islam and Christianity have a lot in common, they remain divided. Christians and Muslims might do some good by focusing on their many commonalities than reinforcing their doctrinal differences. Maybe this can begin to bridge the gap, and help us move towards greater understanding and peace.

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