Review: The 99 Beautiful Names of God

reviewed by Dr. Ralph F. Wilson

The 99 Beautiful Names of God for All the People of the Book, by David BentleyThe 99 Beautiful Names of God
   for All the People of the Book

by David Bentley
Pasadena: William Carey Library, 1999
Paperback, 112 pages

I didn't know until I read Bentley's book that the rosary didn't originate with Catholics but with Muslims -- the Crusaders picked it up in the eleventh and twelfth centuries and brought it to Europe. Devout Muslims to this day use a string of 33 beads (sometimes called "worry beads") to help them recite the 99 Beautiful Names of Allah as a devotional practice. The list begins:

  1. The Beneficent, Ar-Rahām
  2. The Merciful, Ar-Rahīm
  3. King, Al-Malik

and works down to

  1. The Patient One, As-Sabūr

Muslims, of course, draw the names of God from the Qur´an, but Christians and Jews will find the concepts behind the names quite familiar from the Bible. David Bentley takes the Muslim 99 Beautiful Names of Allah and provides a single-page daily devotion for each, explaining the meaning of the Name in its Muslim setting, and then providing devotional content from the Old and New Testaments for each name, concluding with a prayer. I see this book as an excellent bridge between Christians and Muslims, a place where they can find common ground. I recently gave a copy of The 99 Beautiful Names of God to a Muslim friend who was interested in learning more about Christianity. The book is irenic, respectful, and well suited to increasing understanding -- and a clear knowledge of the Gospel.

You can purchase the book from: William Carey Library. List price is $13.99, their price is 35% off list, 45% discount on 3 or more.

David Bentley is also the editor of a new English translation of The Priest and the Prophet by Joseph Azzi (Pen Publishers, 2005; PO Box 661336, Los Angeles, CA 90066, USA, ISBN 0965668398, $12), which traces the influence of unorthodox Christian priest Waraqa Ibn Nawfal on Mohammed and the Qur´an.

Copyright © 2024, Ralph F. Wilson. <> All rights reserved. A single copy of this article is free. Do not put this on a website. See legal, copyright, and reprint information.

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