There is often confusion, especially among Christians, when Muslims talk about Almighty God. Do they mean that the God of the Bible and Allah is the same Divine Person? It is important to be clear on the issue. The obvious differences are: Allah does not have a Son. He is not a Trinity consisting of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit who function in unity. He did not provide the Savior, Jesus Christ, who came to redeem all people who turn to Him, from the eternal punishment for their rebellion against God.
The Bible and the Koran show that the Triune God and Allah are as different as the East is from the West.
- The Bible reveals God as He acts in history. In the Bible we read that God spoke to Moses in the Sinai desert and sent him to Egypt (Exodus 3:1-10). While Abraham lived in Haran, after he came from Ur of the Chaldeans, he was told by God to move to Canaan, and settle there (Genesis 12:1-4; Acts 7:2,3). Jesus was born in Bethlehem (Matthew 2:1) and settled in Nazareth (Matthew 2:23). John wrote down the Revelation of Jesus when on the island of Patmos (Revelation 1:9-11). Paul preached in places like Athens (Acts 17:16-34) and Ephesus (Acts 19). Those are all historical places and archaeology has testified to the accuracy of the Bible's history.
- The Koran only names Mecca (Surah 3.96, cited by J Gilchrist, The Qur'an, The Scripture of Islam, Life Challenge Africa, 1995, p 9). Often historical details are lacking, as in the narrative of Jonah (Surah 37.139-148, cited by J Gilchrist, The Qur'an, The Scripture of Islam, Life Challenge Africa, 1995, p 9).
This sets the Bible apart as a God inspired book that testifies about a God in history. Only a supernatural God can direct the course of history and reveal Himself as He changes the destiny of nations. The Bible is the only religious book set in history. If the Koran had been a historical revelation of Allah, it would have been written in a different way. Allah would have been involved in the lives of some Arabian tribe in some specific part of Arabia. He would have spoken to different men during the history of his special people. Then we would have had the names of the places, and the incidents written down in the book. As with the Bible, we would have had many historical details in the museums scattered across the world. The fact that the Koran is not a historical revelation means that God and Allah are completely different. They are not in the same league and cannot be compared.
It is important to remember the differences, because Allah is addressed as God. The God of the Bible can be identified as the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, all three of them historical figures, the ancestors of the Jews, who today live in the country Israel. This is the country that is hated by the Muslims, and they have said on more than one occasion they will not rest until they have destroyed the Jews completely. Why? One of the reasons that the Jews are their enemies might be because Jesus was born a Jew. The nation of Israel is the bloodline of Isaac (the son of Abraham by Sara) who was chosen to be the ancestor of Jesus. The Arabs are the bloodline of Ishmael (the son of Abraham by Hagar). The country of Israel was promised as an eternal inheritance to the descendants of Isaac. The Muslims want to share this inheritance or drive the Jews out of Israel and usurp the country for themselves.
Muslims themselves acknowledge the differences between the Triune God and Allah. They declare
- that their god has no son,
- that he is only one god and not a trinity,
- that he did not provide a specific savior so that people can escape eternal punishment.
They oppose the Jew's claim on Israel, declaring that the Muslims are the heirs to Israel. The final clinch is that we read in the Bible that God, the Father of Jesus Christ says: 'I am the first and I am the last; apart from me there is no God (Isaiah 44:6b).