Yahweh, Jesus, and other Gods

The term “god” can be confusing because there have been many proposed gods. Therefore, when I am writing the term god on this blog, I will try to be as specific as possible. My hope is that this cuts down on any confusion.

When I am not referring to any specific god, I will generally use the plural form, “gods” because it is more inclusive. The term gods covers both the both a monotheistic god and polytheistic gods.

When I am referring to a specific god, I will try to use his or her name. For example, if I am discussing the hammer-wielding god from Old Norse mythology, I will refer to him as “Thor.”

This gets a little more tricky when referring to the god of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam since they often use the generic term “god” in the place of a name. It is further complicated by the fact that while many people believe Jews, Christians, and Muslims are worshiping the same god, there are some differences in their beliefs about god. Therefore, when referring to the god that believers in these three religions believe in, I will try to be as specific as possible. The term I use will depend on the context. When referring to the god of the Hebrew scriptures (known as the Old Testament in Christianity), I may simply use the proper name of this god, which is best translated as Yahweh. Using the proper name is the easiest and least cumbersome way of writing it. However, many believers are unfamiliar with the name Yahweh because many scriptures in use today translate the name “Yahweh” to “lord” because it became a tradition in Judaism not to pronounce the name of their god. Therefore, I may use terms such as the god of the Hebrew Scriptures to ensure that readers know which god I am referring to.

When referring to the Islam, I may use a term such as “the god of Islam” because I do not know if the name Yahweh or any other proper name for god was ever used in Islam. While many people use the Arabic word for god (Allah) when referring to the god of Islam, I probably will not use this term if I am trying to be specific to Islam, since it is simply a translation of the word “god” and not a proper name.

Using the term god becomes even more tricky with Christianity since they believe in a trinity (god the father, god the son, and god the spirit) as one god. When referring to the son in the trinity, I will simply use the name “Jesus.” When referring to the spirit in the trinity, I will simply use the term “Holy Ghost” or “Holy Spirit” as that term seems to be unique to Christianity. When referring to the father in the trinity, I will use different terms, depending on the context. I may use the same terms I use for the god in Judaism or I may refer to him as the father god.

I hope that this works and is not confusing to anyone. I also reserve the right to change how I refer to gods depending on what works best for the writing.


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