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Muhammad in Bible
- Yusuf Estes

Muhammad in Quran and Bible
- Could he be the "Paraklytos"?

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More than fourteen centuries have passed since the prophet of Arabia made claim to being the last and final 'messenger and slave' of Allah. Yet the intensity of discussion amongst scholars from all religions seems to have increased over the years and gained in volocity in the last few years more so than ever before.

Who was this man? What do his followers believe about him? How can others understand their undying devotion to his mission? What do the scholars tell us about this man, Muhammad, peace be upon him, and his 'message' to the world?

For more than fourteen centuries scholars from Judaism, Christianity and Islam have been discussing whether or not the prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, could have indeed, been a true prophet from Almighty God.

Was he the long awaited 'Messiah' the Jews have been waiting for so many centuries?

Was he the one prophesied in the Old Testament Book of Isaiah, calling in the wilderness

Was he 'That Prophet' mentioned in the New Testament Gospel of John?

We would like to share some of the findings of these scholars from their own sources and invite the reader to consider these evidences.

The most recent claim of revelation coming from the God of Abraham, Moses, David and Jesus, peace be upon them, is the claim of Muhammad, peace be upon him, regarding the Quran. The Quran makes the claim, Muhammad, peace be upon him, is the 'slave and messenger' of Almighty God.

But more importantly pertaining to our subject at hand, the Quran makes the claim that Muhammad, peace be upon him, is mentioned by name in the previous revelations (meaning the Bible). Can this claim be substantiated?

Let us begin by examining the statement in the Quran contained in the 61st chapter (As-Saff [the ranks]), verse 6:

61:6
And when Jesus said; "O Children of Israel! I am the apostle of God (sent) to you, confirming the Law (which came) before me, and giving glad tidings of an apostle to come after me, whose name shall be Ahmad." [61:6]

Please take notice of the name mentioned, 'Ahmad'. This is one of the most common of several names given to the prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, by his own people.

Now let us turn to the Old Testament (Torah of the Jews) and notice the book called Songs of Solomon, chapter 5, verse 16:

His mouth is very sweet;
he is totally desirable.33
This is my beloved!
This is my companion, O maidens of Jerusalem!
Check the footnote (33) to discovere what the word was BEFORE it was translated as "totally desirable" and in some versions of the translations we find, "altogether lovely."

(makhmaddim, “desirable”) is the plural form of the noun (makhmad, “desire, desirable thing, precious object”; (see below note #33)

It is asserted that this word "Makhmaddim" is in reality the word "Akhmad" or "AHmad". The reason for the emphasis on the "kh" sound is to prounouce the very hard "H" sound of the two types of "h" in the Semetic languages.

There is a word used in a passage of the New Testament of the Bible, located in the Gospel of John, chapter 14, verse 16, that many Muslim scholars refer to as pointing to the prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him. Let us review it and then observe what non-Muslim scholars comment about it.

14:15 “If you love me, you will obey34 my commandments.35

14:16 Then36 I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate37 to be with you forever—

14:17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot accept,38 because it does not see him or know him. But you know him, because he resides39 with you and will be40 in you.

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Old Testament Song of Solomon 5:16 note 33tn

The term (makhmaddim, “desirable”) is the plural form of the noun dm^j=m^ (makhmad, “desire, desirable thing, precious object”; HALOT 570 s.v. 1; BDB 326 s.v.). Like the plural (“sweetness”) in the preceding parallel line, this use of the plural is probably an example of the plural of intensity: “very desirable.”

34tn Or “will keep.”
35sn Jesus’ statement If you love me, you will obey my commandments provides the transition between the promises of answered prayer which Jesus makes to his disciples in vv. 13-14 and the promise of the Holy Spirit which is introduced in v. 16. Obedience is the proof of genuine love.
36tn Here kaiv (kai) has been translated as “Then” to reflect the implied sequence in the discourse.


37tn Or “Helper” or “Counselor”; Grk “Paraclete,” from the Greek word paravklhto" (paraklhto"). Finding an appropriate English translation for paravklhto" is a very difficult task. No single English word has exactly the same range of meaning as the Greek word. “Comforter,” used by some of the older English versions, appears to be as old as Wycliffe. But today it suggests a quilt or a sympathetic mourner at a funeral. “Counselor” is adequate, but too broad, in contexts like “marriage counselor” or “camp counselor.” “Helper” or “Assistant” could also be used, but could suggest a subordinate rank. “Advocate,” the word chosen for this translation, has more forensic overtones than the Greek word does, although in John 16:5-11 a forensic context is certainly present. Because an “advocate” is someone who “advocates” or supports a position or viewpoint and since this is what the Paraclete will do for the preaching of the disciples, it was selected in spite of the drawbacks.


38tn Or “cannot receive.”
39tn Or “he remains.”
40tc Some early and important witnesses (Ì66* B D* W 1 565 it) have ejstin (estin, “he is”) instead of e[stai (estai, “he will be”) here, while other weighty witnesses ({Ì66c,75vid Í A D1 L Q Y Ë13 33vid Ï as well as several versions and fathers}), read the future tense. When one considers transcriptional evidence, ejstin is the more difficult reading and better explains the rise of the future tense reading, but it must be noted that both Ì66 and D were corrected from the present tense to the future. If ejstin were the original reading, one would expect a few manuscripts to be corrected to read the present when they originally read the future, but that is not the case.

When one considers what the author would have written, the future is on much stronger ground. The immediate context (both in 14:16 and in the chapter as a whole) points to the future, and the theology of the book regards the advent of the Spirit as a decidedly future event (see, e.g., 7:39 and 16:7). The present tense could have arisen from an error of sight on the part of some scribes or more likely from an error of thought as scribes reflected upon the present role of the Spirit. Although a decision is difficult, the future tense is most likely authentic. For further discussion on this textual problem, see James M. Hamilton, Jr., “He Is with You and He Will Be in You” (Ph.D. diss., The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, 2003), 213-20.

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