L'Obs Idée - Press Illustration
"Can one compare Yahweh and Allah?"
Thomas Römer, a specialist in the Old Testament, and Jacqueline Chabbi, a historian of the first centuries of Islam, discuss this in "God of the Bible, God of the Koran". Exclusive excerpts.
The same God?
Thomas Römer. Unity, or divine uniqueness, corresponds to a simplified, or simplifying, reading of the biblical text after the fact, because in itself this text keeps numerous traces of changes in the understanding of this god. The names of the biblical god are multiple: Yahweh is the proper name of the god of Israel. There was a short form: Yahweh, but we also find the divine names Elohim, Eloa, El Shaddai, or simply El, some of which were used for other deities, before they were applied to the god of Israel. These traces show that this god was not at all, at the origins, a unique or "transcendent" god. He was also, among others, a god of Storm, such as Baal, worshipped in Ugarit.
The idea of a single Yahweh, namely that of Jerusalem, came into being at the end of the seventh century (about 622 BCE), under King Josiah. The kingdom of Judah decreed that allegiance must be given to the "one God" without denying the other gods. The idea that Yahweh is "one" legitimizes the Temple of Jerusalem, which for the first time in the first millennium B.C.E. became a city of some importance.
©Copyright Sarah Nyangué 2020