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Prophetic Witness: Mo or No Mo?


An Evaluation of Prominent Claims Made by Muslim Apologists that Assert that Muhammad was Foretold in the Bible

"Wildcat"

Introduction

Muslims claim that Mohammad is last in a line of prophets that include most of those mentioned in the Bible such as Adam, Abraham, Moses, David, Solomon, Jonah, and Jesus. With this being the case, we'd expect there to be numerous prophecies of Mohammad found in these prophets' revelations if there is any veracity to the Muslim claim. Similar to the claims of New Testament(Injil) writers in applying Old Testament(Torah and Zabur(Psalms)) prophecies to Jesus Christ, the Qur'an claims that there are prophecies of Mohammad in the Old Testament and New Testament. Let's look at a couple of passages that appear in the Qur'an:

"Those who follow the messenger, the unlettered Prophet, whom they find mentioned in their own (scriptures),- in the law and the Gospel;- for he commands them what is just and forbids them what is evil; he allows them as lawful what is good (and pure) and prohibits them from what is bad (and impure); He releases them from their heavy burdens and from the yokes that are upon them. So it is those who believe in him, honour him, help him, and follow the light which is sent down with him,- it is they who will prosper."(Surah 7:157)

The "unlettered Prophet" refers to Mohammad. Muslim apologists claim that there are several passages in both the law(Torah) and the Gospel(New Testament) that foretells the coming of Mohammad. This is the subject of this article. Also,

"And remember, Jesus, the son of Mary, said: 'O Children of Israel! I am the messenger of Allah (sent) to you, confirming the Law (which came) before me, and giving Glad Tidings of a Messenger to come after me, whose name shall be Ahmad.' But when he came to them with Clear Signs, they said, 'this is evident sorcery!'"(Ali, Surah 61:6)

Here we see that Mohammad claims that Jesus foretold his(Ahmad) coming.

One problem is that, contrary to the Qur'anic claim of Surah 61:6, there is no such statement mentioned by Jesus in the Gospels. To explain this, Muslims generally resort to their usual charge that the Bible has been corrupted. In other words, they claim, among other things, that Jews and Christians removed prophecies of Mohammad from their Scriptures. However, while textual criticism of both Testaments has rendered this claim to be absurd, Mohammad confirmed the integrity of the Bible that existed in his day. Today's Bible is based on manuscripts that predate Mohammad by centuries. Furthermore, we know that the Christians that lived in areas surrounding Arabia were using the same Bible in which we do today. The canons may have differed in minor degrees across the various groups, but each group accepted the same essential books, including the four Gospels. We will not elaborate on this theme here as it is beyond our scope. For more thorough discussions on this subject, please visit this link.

Be that as it may, Muslims still assert that there are prophecies in the Bible that foretell the coming of Mohammad. This is a classical example of one trying to "have their cake and eat it too." On the one hand, Muslims will claim that the Bible is corrupted and will attack it from all possible angles, and on the other hand they'll use it to their advantage when they feel that it suits their purposes. Given their perspective on the Bible, the question, of course, is: "How can Muslims know, without the use of circular reasoning, that the parts of the Bible that they feel are consistent with Islam and/or allegedly foretell the coming of Mohammad are not corrupted as well?" It is difficult to take Muslim apologists too seriously in this regard until they exhibit more consistency in their approach to the Bible. Interestingly, Muslims also use unsubstantiated claims of textual corruption, as we shall see below, on certain passages to try to build their case. With these thoughts in mind, let us now turn to some of the more popular Biblical passages from the Old Testament and New Testament that Muslims use/abuse to make their case.

Deuteronomy 18:15-19

"The Lord thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken; According to all that thou desiredst of the Lord thy God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, Let me not hear again the voice of the Lord my God, neither let me see this great fire any more, that I die not. And the Lord said unto me, They have well spoken that which they have spoken. I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him."

In this author's opinion, this is the only proof-text utilized by Muslims where it seems conceivable, upon a superficial study of the text, that a sincere mistake could be made by an overzealous Muslim desperately searching the Bible for allusions to Mohammad. However, we shall see that a proper contextual understanding of this prophecy dismantles the Muslim argument. Let's first consider the Muslim case.

Muslim apologists use several arguments in order to support their claim.

  1. Muslims assert that this verse cannot be referring to an Israelite because the text says that the prophet shall be "of thy brethren," meaning of the Israelites' brethren. Since Israel is a descendant of Isaac, and the Arabs are descendants of Ishmael, Isaac's brother, Muslims claim that "brethren" refers to the Ishmaelites. Since Mohammad was a descendant of Ishmael, this prophecy can apply to him.
  2. Further, it is claimed that "from the midst of thee" was not part of the original text because it does not appear in the Septuagint(ancient Greek Old Testament) or the Samaritan Pentateuch.
  3. Also, Muslim apologists cite the following verse in support of their claim: "And there arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses…."(Deuteronomy 34:10) Muslims assert that this proves that the prophet like Moses could not be an Israelite since this verse says that no prophet arose in Israel like Moses.
  4. The following verse is also used in support of the Muslim claim: "And this is the record of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, Who art thou? And he confessed, and denied not; but confessed, I am not the Christ. And they asked him, What then? Art thou Elias? And he saith, I am not. Art thou that prophet? And he answered, No."(John 1:29-21) Muslims claim that the prophet referred to is the same prophet foretold in Deuteronomy 18:15-19 and that this proves that the prophet like Moses was to be a separate prophet from the Messiah(thereby proving that the prophet in question cannot be Jesus) since the inquiring Jews apparently believed the two were different characters.
  5. Finally, comparison lists are usually given to show that Mohammad was more like Moses than Jesus. Some items typically found on these lists include that Mohammad and Moses were both born naturally whereas Jesus was born miraculously. Mohammad and Moses both had wives whereas Jesus did not. Mohammad and Moses were both ordinary men whereas Jesus was God Incarnate(Note: Muslims reject the divinity of Christ, but this is given as "proof" that the prophet cannot be Jesus, at least from the Christian's perspective). Mohammad and Moses each gave new laws for their respective followers to heed whereas Jesus did not. Mohammad and Moses were both military leaders whereas Jesus was not. Mohammad and Moses also each had successors that conquered Palestine(Umar and Joshua, respectively-this is actually not a perfectly fitting parallel because Umar was not Mohammad's immediate successor(Abu Bakr was) and Joshua was Moses' immediate successor).

    So, how do these arguments stack up to scrutiny? The whole argument quickly falls when we establish that the prophet in question must, contrary to Muslim claims, be Jewish. In that same chapter, let's consider the following verses: "The priests the Levites, and all the tribe of Levi, shall have no part nor inheritance with Israel: they shall eat the offerings of the Lord made by fire, and his inheritance. Therefore shall they have no inheritance from among their brethren: The Lord is their inheritance, as he hath said unto them."(Deuteronomy 18:1-2, ) Here we see that the word "brethren" clearly relates to the Israelites(from the other 11 tribes) in relation to the Levites. Also, going back one chapter, "Thou shalt in any wise set him king over thee, whom the Lord thy God shall choose: one from among thy brethren shalt thou set king over thee: thou mayest not set a stranger over thee, which is not thy brother."(Deuteronomy 17:15, ) This is even more revealing as the meaning of "brethren" is clearly explained. God told the Israelites that they shall set a king over them that is from among their "brethren" and is not a stranger. As we know from Biblical history, the Israelite kings were all Israelites. Furthermore, the Hebrew word used for brethren in each of the three texts is "ach" which indicates that "brethren" in Deuteronomy 18:15 is best interpreted to be referring to Israelites as is the case in Deuteronomy 18:1-2 and Deuteronomy 17:15[3,6]. For more information on the Biblical use of the word "brethren," please consult this article. In light of this, it is irrelevant whether or not "from the midst of thee" was part of the original text.

    In response to claim #3, Deuteronomy 34:10 is ripped from its historical setting. What the text indicates is that no prophet like Moses arose in Israel since the time that the verse was written, which was perhaps by Joshua or even Moses himself about 1,400 B.C. or so (or allowably, by a redactor like Jeremiah a few hundreds years later). Thus, this verse was written well before the time of Jesus and possibly many other Old Testament prophets, for that matter. Therefore, this verse does not lend any credence to the Muslim assertion that the prophet could not be an Israelite. We will actually be returning to this verse a little later to strengthen the argument that this prophecy was fulfilled by Jesus.

    In response to claim #4, the observation that the inquiring Jews apparently interpreted that the "prophet like Moses" and "the Christ" would be different prophets does not necessitate that the two actually are different prophets. This was simply a matter of interpretation and the only definite conclusion that we can draw from the text is that the inquiring Jews merely believed in the *possibility* that the "prophet like Moses" was a different prophet than the Messiah. One interesting point that should not be left unnoted is that the inquiring Jews apparently believed that the "prophet like Moses" would be JEWISH or else they would not have asked John the Baptist, a Jew, if he was the prophet in question. Thus, if we were to conclude that these particular Jews' understanding of the Messiah and prophet are essential in how we should interpret these prophecies today, then both Mohammad and Jesus would be disqualified. Furthermore, we do find that some people later believed that Jesus was the foretold prophet: "On hearing his words, some of the people said, "Surely this man is the Prophet."(John 7:40, Journey Bible).

    We next need to consider what actual qualities would make a prophet like Moses. Mohammad and Moses were both military leaders and each gave new laws. However, the comparisons about Moses and Mohammad each having wives would apply to most men throughout history. The comparisons about each having been born naturally and not being divine would apply to every man throughout history except Jesus Christ, as viewed from the Christian perspective. Both sides could continually give comparison and contrast lists and we will later present some interesting comparisons between Jesus and Moses which contrast to Mohammad. What is most important for now is to determine the qualifications and identity of the "prophet like Moses." It is here that we shall consider the qualifiers outlined for us within the passage in question and also return to Deuteronomy 34 and give the full context of the passage we considered earlier.

    "The Lord thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken; According to all that thou desiredst of the Lord thy God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, Let me not hear again the voice of the Lord my God, neither let me see this great fire any more, that I die not. And the Lord said unto me, They have well spoken that which they have spoken. I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him."(Deuteronomy 18:15-19)

    Here we see the important qualifiers for the prophet to be like Moses. This is what essentially made Moses unique among all Biblical prophets except the prophet foretold in Deuteronomy 18:15-19. First of all, we see in verses 18 and 19 that the prophet would speak what God would command him and that God would require people to hearken unto this prophet. In verses 16 and 17, we notice a more specific qualifier. Here the Lord is recalling where the Israelites requested Moses to be a direct mediator, or intercessor, between themselves and God so that they did not have to "hear again the voice of the Lord" or "see this great fire any more." So, we see that the prophet that would be like Moses would fulfill the criterion of direct mediator/intercessor as well.

    "And there arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face, In all the signs and the wonders, which the Lord sent him to do in the land of Egypt to Pharaoh, and to all his servants, and to all his land, and in all that mighty hand, and in all the great terror which Moses shewed in the sight of all Israel."(Deuteronomy 34:10-12, )

    In these verses, we see a couple of other important qualifiers. Moses knew the Lord face to face. This goes hand in hand with qualifier # 3. Second, Moses performed great signs and wonders. So, we are looking for a prophet that had the same kind of intimate relationship with God that Moses did and performed great signs and wonders.

    In summary, we see that the "prophet like Moses" would 1) speak all that God commanded him; 2) be one which God requires all to hearken; 3) serve as a direct mediator/intercessor between God and His people; 4) know God face to face; and 5) perform great signs and wonders. Did Jesus fulfill these five criteria? How about Mohammad?

    Jesus passes requirement #1 as He did speak what God commanded Him.

    "And the Jews marveled, saying, How knoweth this man letters, having never learned? Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me. If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself."(John 7:15-17)

    "Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things. And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him."(John 8:28-29)

    Mohammad actually claimed to receive revelations from the angel Gabriel. However, a Muslim could argue that since Gabriel was carrying out God's command to him and that Mohammad did as Gabriel commanded, that Mohammad was essentially speaking what God commanded him. Thus, we'll concede that both Jesus and Mohammad meet requirement #1 from the perspective of their respective followers.

    Moving on to #2, we have to ask whether or not God requires us to hearken unto the message of our respective subjects. What did Jesus and Mohammad have to say about their respective alleged prophethoods? Jesus claimed that salvation can be obtained only through Himself.

    "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God."(John 3:16-18)

    "Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die…."(John 11:25-26)

    "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."(John 14:6)

    Mohammad, although early in his ministry was more ambiguous, eventually says,

    "If anyone desires a religion other than Islam (submission to Allah), never will it be accepted of him; and in the Hereafter He will be in the ranks of those who have lost (All spiritual good)."(Surah 3:85)

    Thus, we see that both Jesus and Mohammad claimed exclusivity. We cannot prove that mankind is required by God to heed the words of either of our subjects. We must each determine which, if either, is to be followed for ourselves. However, for our purposes here, suffice it to say that both, based on their claims, pass requirement #2.

    We next will consider requirement #3, the role of a direct mediator/intercessor. It is here that we start to see divergences. Moses served as an intercessor between the Israelites and God as he spoke with God directly, as we saw from Deuteronomy 18:16-17. God spoke and instructed Moses directly so that the Israelites would "not hear again the voice of the Lord my God, neither let me see this great fire any more, that I die not." Similarly, Jesus is the Intercessor between the Church and God:

    "Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them."(Hebrews 7:25, The Journey Bible; see also Isaiah 53:12, I Timothy 2:5).

    We know that Mohammad did not serve as a direct mediator between his followers and God given that Mohammad claimed to receive his revelations from the angel Gabriel. For more information regarding Mohammad and Christ and the role of intercessor, please see chapters 5 and 6 of section 6 of Dr. William Campbell's book, "The Qur'an and Bible in Light of History and Science."(here and here) Thus, Mohammad is disqualified from being the prophet based on one of the key characteristics ascribed to the prophet in the very passage in question.

    Requirement #4 tells us that the prophet would speak with God face to face like Moses. This one more than less goes hand in hand with qualifier # 3. Did Jesus have the same intimate relationship with God as Moses?

    "No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him."(John 1:18)

    "And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was."(John 17:5)

    "Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us. Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? He that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and thou sayest thou then, Shew us the Father? Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? The words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself, but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works."(John 14:8-10, )

    Needless to say, we see that Jesus clearly passes this test as He claimed to be eternally united to the Father, even while on Earth. Mohammad did not claim to know God face to face but rather claimed to receive revelations from the angel Gabriel. Furthermore, even Islamic theology as a whole teaches that God is essentially unknowable.

    Finally, we will consider requirement #5, the performance of great signs and wonders. We know from the Gospels that Jesus did indeed perform great miracles. Jesus calmed a storm while He and His disciples were amidst the sea(Mark 4:35-41). Incidentally, Moses also exhibited miraculous control over nature as he parted the Red Sea to allow the Israelites to escape the Egyptians' pursuit(Exodus 14:21-31). Jesus fed thousands of people with just a few loaves of bread and some fish(Matthew 14:15-21; 15:32-38). Jesus also performed miraculous healings(Luke 6:8-10; Luke 17:11-19, even from a distance(Luke 7:1-10)), exorcisms(Mark 5:1-13), revivifications(Luke 7:11-16; John 11:1-46), etc. There are more than 30 specific miracle stories narrated in the four Gospels, but John adds this toward the end of his Gospel:

    "And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name."(John 20:30-31)

    Also,

    "And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen."(John 21:25)

    (Note: Other Old Testament prophets performed miracles, Elijah and Elisha come to mind, but these great prophets did not meet all 5 criteria.)

    Now that we have seen that Jesus is accredited with great miracles in the four earliest biographies written of Him, we turn to see what the earliest Muslim source has to say about Mohammad. The earliest material we have on Mohammad is the Qur'an itself, the Muslims' holy book. In the Qur'an, we do not see the presence of verses that can clearly be interpreted as describing miraculous events. Moreover, all throughout the Qur'an we see that Mohammad often refused to perform miracles and even admitted that he had no such ability to perform them:

    "They say: "Why is not a sign sent down to him from his Lord?" Say: "Allah hath certainly power to send down a sign: but most of them understand not."(Surah 6:37)

    "Say: "For me, I (work) on a clear sign from my Lord, but ye reject Him. What ye would see hastened, is not in my power. The command rests with none but Allah: He declares the truth, and He is the best of judges. Say: "If what ye would see hastened were in my power, the matter would be settled at once between you and me. But Allah knoweth best those who do wrong." "(Surah 6:57-58, )

    "They say: "We shall not believe in thee, until thou cause a spring to gush forth for us from the earth, "Or (until) thou have a garden of date trees and vines, and cause rivers to gush forth in their midst, carrying abundant water; "Or thou cause the sky to fall in pieces, as thou sayest (will happen), against us; or thou bring Allah and the angels before (us) face to face: "Or thou have a house adorned with gold, or thou mount a ladder right into the skies. No, we shall not even believe in thy mounting until thou send down to us a book that we could read." Say: "Glory to my Lord! Am I aught but a man,- a messenger?"(Surah 17:90-93, )

    Ironically, we even see that Mohammad's opposition questioned his alleged prophethood because he lacked what Moses had in this regard:

    "But (now), when the Truth has come to them from Ourselves, they say, "Why are not (Signs) sent to him, like those which were sent to Moses?" Do they not then reject (the Signs) which were formerly sent to Moses? They say: "Two kinds of sorcery, each assisting the other!" And they say: "For us, we reject all (such things)!"(Surah 28:48)

    Mohammad justified his inability to perform miracles by saying that the Israelites would not believe anyway since they turned their backs on Moses despite the latter's miracles.

    We do see miracle claims for Mohammad start to appear in his biographies(Sirat) as well as Hadith(sayings attributed to Mohammad). Both of these informational sources are regarded with high esteem among the vast majority of Muslims, secondary in authority to the Qur'an. However, the Sira were written more than 100 years after Mohammad's death and the Hadith were not recorded until more than 200 years after Mohammad's death. Given that these miracle accounts are contradictory to the clear testimony of the Qur'an(the earliest source) that Mohammad performed no miracles nor had the ability to perform them and that they were written more than a century after his death, it is reasonable to conclude that these accounts were embellished. Interestingly, there are similar miracle claims made for Mohammad in these sources that appear in the Gospels as well as the apocryphal biographies of Christ. The miracle stories that appear well after Mohammad's death are comparable in terms of historicity to those that appear in the apocryphal gospels which start appearing about 100 years or so after Christ's death. Like those with Mohammad, these fanciful stories which were recorded in the apocryphal gospels had no basis in history. The Church rightly rejected these fabricated gospels. On the other hand, we see that early Muslims may have actually contrived the miracle accounts we see in later Islamic secondary literature *because* of the miracles of Christ. Norman Geisler and Abdul Saleeb inform us:

    "….It is common knowledge that Islam borrowed many of its beliefs and practices from other religions. This has also been documented by many scholars. It is not surprising that Muslim miracle claims arise, then, as a result of Christian apologists demonstrating the superiority of Jesus to that of Muhammad by way of Jesus' miracles. It was only after two Christian bishops(Abu Qurra from Edessa and Arethas from Caesaria) had pointed this out that the Islamic miracle stories began to appear. As Sahas noted, 'The implication [of the bishop's challenge] is quite clear: Muhammad's teaching is one that might have merit; but this is not enough to qualify him as a prophet, without supernatural signs. If such signs could be shown one could possibly accept him as a prophet.'

    "Thus the task for Muslims was clear. If they could invent miracles they could respond to the Christian challenge. It was soon after this that Muhammad's miracle claims began to appear. Sahas notes that "it is quite interesting that several of these (miracle stories) sound as if they are being offered as responses to such Christians as Abu Qurra, and they bear an amazing resemblance to miracles of Jesus found in the Gospels.' Likewise, it was during this polemic that Muslims began to interpret certain events in the Qur'an as miracles. All of this points toward one conclusion: the Muhammad miracle stories lack credibility."[9](Geisler and Saleeb's source comes from "The Formation of Later Islamic Doctrines as a Response to Byzantine Polemics: The Miracles of Mohammad," in The Greek Orthodox Theological Review, vol. 27, nos. 2 and 3 (Summer-Fall 1982), pgs. 312-314 written by Daniel J. Sahas)

    Thus, we conclude that, like numerous other pagan miracle accounts attributed to various historical figures, Mohammad's miracle stories lack historicity. This is contrary to the historicity of Christ's miracles which are recorded in His earliest biographies, two of which were authored by His very disciples, at least within 60 years of Christ's death, and corroborated by extra-biblical sources. This includes the claim by Christ's followers of His own resurrection, by far the most important miracle(!), which the vast majority of New Testament scholars agree was circulating within 2 to 7 years of Christ's death thanks to the creed recorded by Paul in I Corinthians 15:1-7.

    In summary, the five requirements that the Bible gives us which provide the fingerprint, if you will, of the "prophet like Moses" are fulfilled by Jesus, but Mohammad fulfills only the first two.

    Before we conclude our comparison/contrast discussion of Moses, Jesus, and Mohammad, it is noteworthy to mention a few other interesting features that make Jesus and Moses comparably unique from the rest of humanity.

    Moses and Jesus each were in danger as infants and were sent to places in Egypt to escape their respective precarious situations(Compare Exodus 2:1-10 and Matthew 2:13-18). As far as we're aware, Mohammad was not in mortal danger as an infant and was never in Egypt.

    Moses and Jesus each mediated new covenants and sealed them through the shedding of blood.

    "And Moses took the blood, and sprinkled it on the people, and said, Behold the blood of the covenant, which the Lord hath made with you concerning all these words."(Exodus 24:8)

    "And he[Jesus] took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it: For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins."(Matthew 26:27-28)

    Mohammad did not seal his alleged covenant through shed blood. Mohammad also did not teach atonement of sins through bloody sacrifices as Moses and Jesus did either.

    Concerning a claim that we touched upon in point #5 of the Muslim case for Mohammad's fulfillment of the "prophet like Moses," Muslims assert that Jesus did not give new laws. However, this is, in essence, not accurate. Many new instructions were actually given in the Sermon on the Mount(Matthew 5-7:27). Jesus actually expanded on a couple of the Ten Commandments giving them new and even loftier moral dimensions. For instance,

    "Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment…."(Matthew 5:21-22)

    Also,

    "Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart."(Matthew 5:27-28)

    Jesus also instituted the ordinances of baptism(Matthew 28:19) and the Lord's Supper(Matthew 26:26-29) for His followers to observe. Therefore, Moses and Jesus each did provide new instruction to their respective followers.

    Moses and Jesus each knew and foretold of their impending deaths:

    "And Moses went and spake these words unto all Israel. And he said unto them, I am an hundred and twenty years old this day; I can no more go out and come in: also the Lord hath said unto me, Thou shalt not go over this Jordan…."(Deuteronomy 31:1)

    "And he(Jesus) began to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, after three days rise again."(Mark 8:31)

    "Ye know that after two days is the feast of the Passover, and the Son of man is betrayed to be crucified."(Matthew 26:2)

    This was actually quite significant. Moses had led the Israelites from Egypt into the wilderness and had been their leader and intercessor for 40 years. It was important that Moses foretold his death so that a new leader could be appointed that would take the Israelites beyond the Jordan River and into Canaan where they would prepare for battle with the Canaanites. If Moses had died suddenly, this could have resulted in chaos as the Israelites would not have known who to elect as Moses' successor and would not be clear as to what their next course of action would be.

    Despite Christ's prophecies of His crucifixion, burial, and resurrection, His followers became very depressed and frightened over the realization of these events. However, upon His resurrection and appearances to His disciples, they gained courage through which they would endure persecution, imprisonment, and torturous deaths preaching the Gospel to the world as commanded them(Matthew 28:19-20). As can be read in the book of Acts, the Church with one accord preached the Gospel of Christ to Jew and Gentile alike. But what of the minor controversies the church had to deal with such as whether or not circumcision was necessary for new converts? Christ promised that the Holy Spirit would come and lead them into all truth after His own departure(John 14:26; 16:7,13-14-this will actually become important when we consider the next prophecy that Muslims claim was fulfilled by Mohammad). Therefore, such issues were generally settled by the power of the Holy Ghost through Scriptural exegeses. Please see the book of acts for detail on such events and discussions.

    Mohammad died as a result of being poisoned by a Jewess after he and his followers invaded the city of Khaibar. It took 2-3 years for the poison to bring death, but nevertheless, Mohammad did not foresee his death in time to make proper arrangements for the future of his followers. A new leader was not announced by him. Abu Bakr took the position(Caliph), but many disputed his ascension to power. Many Muslims felt that Mohammad's successor should have been Ali, a blood relative(Ali eventually was Caliph - after the reigns of Abu Bakr, Umar, and Uthman). This controversy resulted in the eventual splitting of the Muslim community into the Sunnis and Shiites with both groups still existing to this day.

    Moses and Jesus each gave prophecies of the future of their people just prior to their impending deaths. Moses, in Deuteronomy 31-33, describes many key events that are to befall Israel in the impending centuries. Jesus, in Matthew 24(See also Mark 13 and Luke 21:5-36) foretold events that were to(and did) precede the Fall of Jerusalem, which took place in A.D. 70 as well as events that would unfold in church history that would precede His second coming.

    Moses and Jesus each died because of the sins of their people as well(Deuteronomy 32:49-52; Romans 3:22-26). While the death of Moses was not for redemptive purposes, it seems reasonable, because of the similarity, to propose that the death of Moses, invoked by God because of the Israelites' sins, was a type of Christ's death which DID have redemptive qualities for the sins of the Israelites as well as the world. Mohammad did not die because of the sins of his people, but was poisoned by an enraged Jewish woman because of what Mohammad's attack and looting of her people at Khaibar.

    Summary of remarkable similarities between Moses and Jesus

    1. Both were in mortal danger as infants and were sent to places in Egypt for refuge.
    2. Both sealed covenants through the shedding of blood.
    3. Both had/have a role as Intercessor between God and their people.
    4. Both knew God face to face.
    5. Both performed great supernatural signs and wonders.
    6. Both foretold their impending deaths.
    7. Both, just prior to their deaths, prophesied what is to become of their people.

    We conclude our discussion of this prophecy with a look at some verses in the Bible which confirms that Jesus Christ was indeed the prophet foretold in Deuteronomy 18:15-18. Here are the pertinent verses:

    "But do not think I will accuse you before the Father. Your accuser is Moses, on whom your hopes are set. If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me(John 5:45-46, Journey Bible)."

    Jesus here confirms that Moses prophesied His coming. Of course, a Muslim could reasonably respond that this does not mean necessarily that Jesus is attributing the Deuteronomy 18:15-19 passage to Himself. However, the following passage spoken by the apostle Peter as recorded by Luke explicitly states that Jesus is the prophet in question.

    "And now, brethren, I wot that through ignorance ye did it, as did also your rulers. But those things, which God before had shewed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled. Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began. For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you. And it shall come to pass that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people. Yea, and all the prophets from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold of these days. Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed. Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities."(Acts 3:17-26, )

    Thus, we see that the Bible confirms that Jesus was, and is, this Prophet. Of course, you can almost hear that familiar charge, "Your Bible has been corrupted" as a way of rationalizing away the presence of this verse. However, we have provided links above that clearly demonstrate that this is impossible, both from the angle of textual criticism, and from even the true and proper Islamic viewpoint of Judeo-Christian Scripture.

    John 14:26(and some other Holy Spirit passages)

    Besides the Deuteronomy 18:15-19 verses, the most popular verses that Muslims like to cite as referring to Mohammad are Christ's prophecies of the advent of the Holy Spirit(John 14:26 among others we'll consider). Fortunately, JPH has already written a piece on this for us(here). The reader is encouraged to also view his piece as it contains responses to certain elements not discussed in this article such as the deceptive use of the Anchor Bible by some Muslim apologists.

    First of all, John 14:26 and John 16:13 refer to the Comforter as the "Spirit of Truth." Obviously, Mohammad was not a spirit. Yet, Muslim apologists try to get around this problem by citing verses such as this one:

    "Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world."(I John 4:1)

    It is said that spirit, in this context, can refer to a human. However, the Greek word used for spirit in this verse is "pneuma," which, according to "The New Strong's Complete Dictionary of Bible Words," can mean only "spirit."[4,7]

    Plus, we actually see that the Comforter is explicitly identified as the Holy Spirit in John 14:26, one of the very verses that Muslims proof-text.

    "But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you."(John 14:26, )

    Some Muslim apologists have suggested that "Holy Spirit"(which is synonymous with "Holy Ghost" and is what we find in the earliest manuscripts) was not in the original text because the Codex Syriacus, a 4th century manuscript of the New Testament translated into the Syrian language, only contains the word "Spirit" rather than "Holy Spirit." However, all of the earlier New Testament manuscripts, including the Codex Vaticanus and Codex Sinaiticus, which are still in the original Greek, render "Holy Spirit" in the text rather than just "Spirit." Therefore, by the standards of textual criticism, it would be absurd to allow one later Syrian translation to usurp the testimony of several earlier(and at least a couple of MUCH earlier(2nd century)) manuscripts, some of which are in the original Greek. Plus, as we've shown, the word "spirit" would not lend much credence to the Muslim argument anyway since that word means simply "spirit."

    One reason that Muslim apologists use this verse with such fervency is because the word for "Comforter" in Greek, "Paracletos," is very similar in spelling to "Periklytos." "Periklytos" is Greek for "praised one" which is what the name, "Ahmed"(another name for Mohammad) means[12]. Muslims allege that the original text contained the latter word rather than the former. However, this is unfounded speculation because ALL manuscripts of the New Testament that we have today use the former spelling. This, of course, includes the many manuscripts that predate Mohammad's ministry. Christians would obviously have no polemical reason to corrupt the original spelling before Islam and Mohammad existed. It is also sometimes claimed that vowels were not part of the original text(like in the Hebrew Old Testament) and because of this, incorrect vowels were added by later scribes and this is the reason why we find "Paracletos" in the manuscripts rather than "Periklytos." However, this assertion is incorrect as, in fact, the vowels WOULD be included in the original text of ancient Greek[13].

    When performing proper exegeses of Scripture, it is imperative to consider all relevant verses. Muslim apologists typically will use verses that they think fits their agenda while ignoring other verses, even when the very next verse in the text provides the death knell to their position. In this case, it is important to consider ALL of the verses John records about the "Paraclete" when determining the latter's identity. Thus, all of these verses are provided below with certain parts of the text highlighted for further discussion.

    "And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever. Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him: for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you."(John 14:16-17, )

    "But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you."(John 14:26, )

    "But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:"(John 15:26, )

    "Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: Of sin, because they believe not on me; Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged. I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself, but whatsoever he shall hear that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you."(John 16:7-14, )

    Some observations from the verses presented are now in order.

    1. Notice in John 14:16 that Jesus says that "another Comforter" will be given. Muslim apologists allege that this proves that the Comforter had to be human since Jesus was human and He considered Himself to be a Comforter. However, this could just as easily be interpreted to conclude that this proves that the Comforter had to be divine since Jesus claimed divinity(John 8:58, 17:5, 14:6-11, etc.).
    2. Notice also in John 14:16 that the Comforter would abide with the disciples forever. Not only was Mohammad not born before almost 500 years after the last disciple had died, but Mohammad was on Earth for 62 years, not forever. Muslim apologists cite that Mohammad abides forever by his teachings. However, the text indicates that the Comforter Himself would abide forever and not just His teachings.
    3. While John 14:16 is cited in support of the Muslim assertion, the next verse is often ignored. We see in John 14:17 that the world cannot see the Comforter. Since Mohammad was visible, this cannot refer to him.
    4. For this observation, we will see how essential it is to display all relevant verses and avoid the use of proof-texting. One of the favorite Muslim assertions that the Comforter cannot refer to the Holy Spirit comes from the following phrase in John 16:7: "….It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you: but if I depart, I will send him unto you." It is asserted that since the Holy Spirit was already with the disciples(He was with Jesus-see the baptism narratives(like Matthew 3:13-17)), the Comforter could not be the Holy Spirit since Jesus must go away to send the Comforter to them. However, this argument falls since the disciples had yet to receive the Holy Spirit, but did so 10 days after Jesus' ascension into heaven(see Acts 2). Plus, John 14:17 confirms that the Comforter *WAS* with the disciples already! In this verse, we see 3 qualifiers of the Comforter, none of which Mohammad possessed. A) The disciples knew the Comforter. The disciples obviously did not know Mohammad since it was more than a half a millennium later that Mohammad was born. B) The Comforter dwelled with the disciples. Again, this disqualifies Mohammad. C) Finally, the Comforter was to be *in* the disciples. We know that this means literally inside the disciples since the Comforter was already dwelling inside of Jesus. Mohammad, a physical being, obviously could not dwell inside of anyone.
    5. It is claimed by at least one Muslim apologist that we are aware of that in John 14:26, the Comforter could not be the Holy Spirit since the verse says that "he will teach you all things." It is asserted that since the Holy Spirit did not teach anything new and Mohammad did that the latter is a better fit for this criterion. However, this assertion is simply false. There are many doctrines expounded by the New Testament writers that were not purported by Christ. Consider this quote by Craig Blomberg:

      "After Jesus' ascension there were a number of controversies that threatened the early church-should believers be circumcised, how should speaking in tongues be regulated, how to keep Jew and Gentile united, what are the appropriate roles for women in ministry, whether believers could divorce non-Christian spouses."[14]

      Thus, the Holy Spirit helped resolve these controversies as He inspired the writing of these doctrines.

      John 14:26 also states that the Comforter will bring into remembrance what Jesus said. The Gospels and other New Testament books each report things that Jesus said differently than the Qur'an. Christians explain that the New Testament is the product of the inspiration of the Holy Spirit as He brought into remembrance, among other things, what Jesus said. Muslims claim that the Qur'an accurately reports what Jesus said. Thus, both sides can claim fulfillment of John 14:26 for the Holy Spirit and Mohammad, respectively. Of course, which set of records is most accurate will have to be left up to the reader to decide. However, a few comments are in order. The New Testament was written within 40-60 years of Christ's ministry, some of it by Christ's closest companions during His ministry(Matthew, Peter, John, James, and Jude), some of it by one who has proven to be an amazingly reliable historian(Luke), and much of it by the apostle Paul who was granted apostolic authority by Christ's very disciples(II Peter 3:15-16). Furthermore, these accounts were written within the lifetimes of many eyewitnesses to the character, claims, and events surrounding the life of Jesus Christ. There are also 39 extra-biblical references to Jesus Christ(17 of them non-Christian) which corroborate over 100 details of Christ's life as detailed in the New Testament. Contrarily, the Qur'an was written about 580 years after Christ's ministry by one man(according to Muslim Tradition) which contradicts the unanimous testimony of the earliest accounts. For instance, Mohammad denies that Christ was crucified(Surah 4:157) which is contradictory to the testimony of the New Testament as well as several extra-biblical historians(e.g. Josephus, Tacitus, Thallus, etc.). Of course, it must also be remembered that Mohammad confirmed the very Gospels that he was contradicting as the Word of God(see the link near the very beginning of this article).

    6. For our last observation, we'll consider some of the text in our last two Comforter passages listed above. First of all, let's consider this verse: "And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness and of judgment:…" Christians claim that the Holy Spirit convicts the world of sin through His inspiration of the writings of the New Testament apostles/prophets and the recorded words of Jesus Christ, as well as the vast number of sermons, dissertations, books, and other presentations which reflect true Gospel teaching. On the other hand, Muslims could claim that the teachings of Mohammad in the Qur'an and Hadith convict the world of sin. Thus, we can't really draw any conclusions either way on this verse. However, let's consider some other important phrases in these passages; Specifically, "….he shall testify of me(John 15:26)," "Of sin, because they believe not on me;"(John 16:9) and "He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you."(John 16:14) For the passages in John 15:26 and John 16:14, it is up to the reader to decide whether or not the New Testament writers, prompted by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, or Mohammad in the Qur'an, Hadith, etc., accurately and amply testified of and glorified Jesus Christ. I will simply point to the factors described in #5 above to establish why this author feels that the Holy Spirit accomplished this and Mohammad did not. Let's pay a little more heed, however, to the phrase in John 16:9. It says that the Comforter will reprove the world of sin(verse 8) because it does not believe in Jesus. While Mohammad taught that Jesus was the Messiah, he also taught that his own teachings usurped that of Jesus. Therefore, Mohammad is essentially denying belief in Jesus as he instructed his followers to follow his teachings rather than Christ's. Therefore, Mohammad is once again disqualified as the Comforter whereas the Holy Spirit fulfills this Role.

    Summary: Mohammad cannot be the comforter because he

    1. Did not abide with the disciples forever.
    2. Was not invisible.
    3. Was not known by Christ's disciples.
    4. Did not dwell with Christ's disciples.
    5. Cannot dwell inside anyone.
    6. Taught a belief in himself rather than a belief in Jesus Christ.
    7. The text itself clearly identifies the "Comforter" as the Holy Spirit.

    However, all of the above criteria are met by the Holy Spirit.

    The above two prophecies we dealt with in the most detail because they are the most widely utilized and discussed by Muslim apologists. We will also consider a plethora of "secondary" prophecies claimed by various Muslims as pointing to Mohammad.

    Genesis 49:10

    "The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be."

    It is alleged by some Muslim apologists that "Judah" refers to Mohammad since this word is derived from a Hebrew verb meaning "to praise," which is similar to the meaning of Mohammad's name in Arabic[15]. Alternatively, some Muslims claim that Mohammad is "Shiloh" that is to come. Before we move on, let's quote this verse in context:

    "Judah, thou art he whom thy brethren shall praise: thy hand shall be in the neck of thine enemies; thy father's children shall bow down before thee. Judah is a lion's whelp: from the prey, my son, thou art gone up: he stooped down, he couched as a lion, and as an old lion; who shall rouse him up? The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be. Binding his foal unto the vine, and his ass's colt unto the choice vine: he washed his garments in wine, and his clothes in the blood of grapes: His eyes shall be red with wine, and his teeth white with milk."(Genesis 49:8-12, )

    Judah is one of Jacob's 12 sons(Genesis 29:35) who are the progenitors of the 12 tribes of Israel(Genesis 49:28). Thus, Jacob, on the verge of death(Genesis 49:29-33), is speaking in these verses to his son Judah and prophesying about his tribe's future. Jacob, in verse 10, prophesied the coming of Shiloh from the tribe of Judah and that Shiloh's coming would occur before Judah loses its national sovereignty and judicial power over Israel. The scepter did remain in place in Judah even during the exile in which the Jews were under Babylonian and Media-Persian captivity. However, the sceptre did depart in the first century A.D. The Romans removed the Jews authority to administer capital punishment in 11 A.D. One Jewish rabbi named Rachmon is recorded as saying "When the members of the Sanhedrin found themselves deprived of their right over life and death, a general consternation took possession of them; they covered their heads with ashes, and their bodies with sackcloth, exclaiming: 'Woe unto us, for the scepter has departed from Judah, and the Messiah has not come.'"[17] Furthermore, Jerusalem, the capital of Judah and of ancient Israel, fell in 70 A.D. under Prince Titus and the Romans. With the destruction of the Temple in 70 A.D., the tribal genealogies were lost forever as well. Therefore, if Shiloh were to come long after this event, not only would it be after the "scepter departed from Judah," but it would be impossible to confirm that Shiloh was from the tribe of Judah in the first place.

    Jesus fulfills this prophecy since He was born probably around 4 B.C.(15 years prior to the Romans excision of Jewish authority to administer capital punishment--that the Jews had to go through the Roman procurator Pontius Pilate in order to have Jesus Himself crucified(Matthew 27:11-26)), His ministry preceded the fall of Jerusalem(Jesus' ministry and death took place about 40 years before Jersualem's destruction) and He was a descendant of Judah(Matthew 1:1-16).

    Mohammad, however, is disqualified as being "Shiloh" since he was not born for 500 years after "the scepter departed from Judah" and was not a descendant of Judah since he was not Jewish. Furthermore, Mohammad was obviously not Judah himself since Judah refers to one of Jacob's sons and the Israelite tribe descended from him.

    Deuteronomy 33:2

    "And he said, The Lord came from Sinai, and rose up from Seir unto them; he shined forth from mount Paran, and he came with ten thousands of saints: from his right hand went a fiery law for them."

    Many Muslim apologists assert that this verse is a prediction of the coming of Jesus and Mohammad. It is said that the coming from Sinai represents Moses(which at the time this verse was written was in the past), Jesus "rising up" from Seir, and Mohammad "shining forth" from Mount Paran. It is also asserted that Paran refers to Mecca and the "ten thousands of saints" refer to Mohammad's invasion and occupation of Mecca. Furthermore, for this to also be an actual prophecy about Jesus as Muslims allege, Seir would also have to be Palestine since this is where Jesus carried out His ministry.

    First of all, the whole argument breaks down when we consider that the One coming in all of these cases is the Lord(see opening phrase of this verse). Muslims would definitely not attribute divinity to Mohammad because doing so would make them guilty of the Islamic sin of shirk, the worst sin according to Islam.

    Furthermore, Seir and Paran are actually near Egypt in the Sinai peninsula(Genesis 14:6; Numbers 10:12; 12:16-13:3; Deuteronomy 1:1). This eliminates the possibility of Jesus being the one "rising up" from Seir since this is not in Palestine. Furthermore, Paran is, in actuality, hundreds of miles away from Mecca in the northeastern Sinai of southern Palestine[10].

    A close look at the text also disqualifies on at least two other counts why this prophecy cannot refer to Mohammad. First of all, Mohammad conquered Mecca with 10,000 men, not ten thousandS. At best, Mohammad's regime was only one-half of the necessary number. Furthermore, verse 2 says that the subject "shined forth from Mount Paran," not "shined forth to Mount Paran." Even if Paran is/was Mecca, the verse says that the subject came from there, not went to there as Mohammad and company did.

    Sam Shamoun, in this article(here), presents a very thorough discussion on the Muslim use of this verse.

    Psalm 45:3-5

    "Gird thy sword upon thy thigh, O most mighty, with thy glory and thy majesty. And in thy majesty ride prosperously because of truth and meekness and righteousness; and thy right hand shall teach thee terrible things. Thine arrows are sharp in the heart of the king's enemies; whereby the people fall under thee."

    Some will assert because Mohammad is labeled "The Prophet of the Sword" that these verses are referring to him. However, it should be remembered, that while often prophetic in nature, the Psalms are also poetic in nature whose elements should not always be taken literally. These verses should also be considered within their proper contexts. The following verses say:

    "Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: the scepter of thy kingdom is a right scepter. Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows."(Psalm 45:6-7)

    Interestingly, verse 6 identifies the subject of the previous three verses as God. On the other hand, verse 7 indicates that God will anoint the subject. What are we to make out of this? Well, it can be interpreted within the Christian worldview to mean that God(Jesus as divine Messiah)(verse 6) was anointed by God the Father(verse 7). As a matter of fact, this is the interpretation of these verses given by the author of Hebrews(Hebrews 1:8-9). Thus, we see that this Psalm has some Messianic overtones. Consider also verse 17:

    "I will make thy name to be remembered in all generations: therefore shall the people praise thee for ever and ever."

    This verse prophetically demonstrates that the Messiah will be remembered and praised perpetually "in all generations."

    Since Muslim apologists would not dare attribute divinity to Mohammad, for considerations discussed in the last section, he is thus disqualified as our subject in this Psalm.

    Psalm 84:5-6

    "Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee; in whose heart are the ways of them. Who passing through the valley of Baca make it a well; the rain also filleth the pools."

    Some Muslims claim that this is a reference to the performance of the Islamic Hajj. That is, the pilgrimage to Mecca that is one of the five pillars of Islam for its followers to perform at some point in their lives. To support this claim, they will refer to the following surah which refers to Mecca by the name of Bakka.

    "The first House (of worship) appointed for men was that at Bakka: Full of blessing and of guidance for all kinds of beings:"(Surah 3:96)

    The following evaluation is derived from Toby Jepson's work on this subject.[18]

    Let's consider the whole psalm in its proper context:

    "How amiable are thy tabernacles, O Lord of hosts! My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the Lord: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God. Yea, the sparrow hath found an house, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, even thine altars, O Lord of hosts, my King, and my God. Blessed are they that dwell in thy house: they will be still praising thee. Selah. **Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee; in whose heart are the ways of them. Who passing through the valley of Baca make it a well; the rain also filleth the pools.** They go from strength to strength, every one of them in Zion appeareth before God. O Lord of hosts, hear my prayer: give ear, O God of Jacob. Selah. Behold, O God our shield, and look upon the face of thine anointed. For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness. For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly. O Lord of hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in thee."(Psalm 84, : **surrounds the verses in question)

    Following an examination of the entire text, the author of this psalm actually appears to be describing the Jerusalem Temple that Solomon built moreso than the Ka'aba in Mecca.

    First, the Hebrew word for "tabernacle" in verse 1 is "mishkan," which means "residence."[5,8] In other words, the author is describing this structure as God's residence. While the Bible describes God as dwelling within the Jerusalem Temple, the concept of God actually taking residence in the Ka'aba would be foreign to general Islamic theology.

    Secondly, we see in verse 4 that people live within this structure. The King of Saudi Arabia is the only person allowed in the Ka'aba and this is only once per year to clean. There certainly are not people living in it. However, there were people, particularly caretakers, that lived in the Jerusalem Temple(I Chronicles 28:11-12).

    Third, the people are described as going to Zion, which is often used interchangeably with Jerusalem(Isaiah 2:2). More specifically, Mount Zion is one of the hills in which Jerusalem is founded upon.

    Fourth, the occupation of doorkeeper does not exist at the Ka'aba whereas it did at the Jerusalem Temple.(II Kings 25:18)

    Thus, we can conclude that Mecca and the valley of Baca, wherever the latter place may be, are similar only in name. The people passing through this valley were clearly on their way to Jerusalem to visit Solomon's Temple.

    Song of Solomon 5:16

    "His mouth is most sweet: yea, he is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem."

    Muslims assert that since the word for "altogether lovely," machmad, can be translated as "praise" and that since Mohammad's name means "praised one" this is a prophecy of Mohammad. Although the word in this case is used as an adjective, it is claimed that this can be used as a noun. Thus, the rendering would be:

    "His mouth is most sweet: yea, he is Mohammad. This is my beloved, and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem."

    Of course, such an exercise of interpreting an adjective as a noun is unwarranted. Furthermore, if we translate machmad consistently as "Mohammad" in other Biblical verses, we get some interesting renderings. Consider the following:

    "Yet I will send my servants to thee tomorrow about this time, and they shall search thy house, and the houses of thy servants; and it shall be, [that] whatever is Muhammad in thy eyes, they shall take [it] in their hand, and carry [it] away." (I Kings 20:6)

    "Our holy and our beautiful house, where our fathers praised thee, is burned up with fire: and all our Muhammad things are laid waste." (Isaiah 64:11)

    "Son of Man, behold, I take away from thee the Muhammad of thine eyes with a stroke: yet neither shalt thou mourn nor weep, neither shall thy tears run down." (Ezekiel 24:16)

    "Because ye have taken my silver and my gold, and have carried into your temples my goodly Muhammad things: The children also of Judah and the children of Jerusalem have ye sold unto the Grecians, that ye might remove them far from their border." (Joel 3:5-6)

    The above examples should suffice to make the point of how hazardous the exegesis of "Song of Solomon 5:16" is on the part of certain Muslim apologists. It is by far most adequate to conclude that "altogether lovely" in the passage in question is in fact much closer to what the texts is actually conveying.

    Isaiah 21:7 "And he saw a chariot with a couple of horsemen, a chariot of asses, and a chariot of camels; and he hearkened diligently with much heed:"

    Some Muslim apologists allege that this is another "dual-function" prophecy with Christ being represented by "a chariot of asses" since He made a triumphal entry into Jerusalem on an ass the week before His crucifixion(Luke 19:28-40) and Mohammad being represented by "a chariot of camels" since he often rode on a camel. However, this is unfounded speculation on both counts. The verse doesn't even mention a rider for the chariot of asses or the chariot of camels. Plus, we know that Jesus rode on one donkey, not a chariot of donkeys, when He made his triumphal entry into Jerusalem(Mark 11:1-7). Secondly, we are unaware that Jesus or Mohammad ever rode in chariots of these particular animals. Thirdly, the context of the passage is actually referring to the fall of Babylon:

    "And, behold, here cometh a chariot of men, with a couple of horsemen. And he answered and said, Babylon is fallen, is fallen; and all the graven images of her gods he hath broken unto the ground."(Isaiah 21:9)

    This prophecy indicates how messengers will bring word of the capture of Babylon and the destruction of its graven images. This was fulfilled under Darius in 519 B.C. and again in 513 B.C.[15]

    Isaiah 21:13-17

    "The burden upon Arabia. In the forest in Arabia shall ye lodge, O ye traveling companies of Dedanim. The inhabitants of the land of Tema brought water to him that was thirsty, they prevented with their bread him that fled. For they fled from the swords, from the drawn sword, and from the bent bow, and from the grievousness of war. For thus hath the Lord said unto me, Within a year, according to the years of an hireling, and all the glory of Kedar shall fail: And the residue of the number of archers, the mighty men of the children of Kedar, shall be diminished: for the Lord God hath spoken it."

    Some Muslim apologists claim that this passage refers to Mohammad's flight from Mecca to Medina. It is said that the "inhabitants of the land of Tema" represents Medina or a town that helped the Muslims while they were in Medina(depending on the source). Kedar is said to represent the Quraish, especially since Kedar is a son of Ishmael who Mohammad claimed was his ancestor. The Quraish is the tribe that Mohammad was from in Mecca and eventually conquered after he had built a powerful enough military. Thus, it is argued that this passage represents the help that Mohammad received from Medina as he and the early Muslims escaped Meccan persecution("fled from the swords....") and the eventual conquest of Mecca by Mohammad and his followers("and all the glory of Kedar shall fail....")

    The evaluation of this passage is derived from this article(here). We will be outlining the fallacies in attributing this prophecy to events in Mohammad's life, but for a more thorough discussion the reader should read the above article.

    In various places in Scripture, we see where God allows pagan nations to rise in power and punish evil nations, including apostate Israel. In this particular case, God is using Elam and Media(Isaiah 21:2) to bring judgment upon various lands including Babylon(verse 9). An examination of chapters 13-24 of Isaiah reveal that the subjects of judgment are many nations including Moab(Jordan) in chapters 15 and 16, Damascus(Syria) in chapter 17, Egypt and Cush(Ethiopia) in chapters 18-20, and even Jerusalem in chapter 22. In the passage in question, a judgment is pronounced on Arabia and Kedar. The prophet Isaiah recorded this prophecy around 700 B.C. and it was fulfilled when Babylon was conquered in 539 B.C. by the Elamites and Medes under Cyrus. Nebuchadnezzar conquered Northern Arabia and Kedar(605-562 B.C.) which fulfilled the prophetic passage in question. Thus, this prophecy was fulfilled almost 1,200 years before Mohammad and company fled to Medina.

    Before concluding, we should consider the possibility of a typological fulfillment of this prophecy[20] through Mohammad's flight to Medina. Are there enough parallels to justify such an interpretation? The answer is no.

    First of all, Tema is 400 kilometers north of Medina. Therefore, it is irresponsible to associate Tema with Medina. For those that argue that Tema provided special help to Mohammad at Medina, the burden of proof rests on those that make this claim. Secondly, Kedar does not refer to the Quraish, Mohammad's tribe. Geographically, Kedar is located southeast of Israel in present-day southern Jordan[21]. In conclusion, we see that the only common denominator between this passage and the Islamic events described is that they both occured somewhere in Arabia.

    Isaiah 29:11-12

    "And the vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one that is learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I cannot; for it is sealed: And the book is delivered to him that is not learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I am not learned."

    Muslim apologists assert that this is a prophecy of Mohammad receiving the Qur'an. It is claimed that Mohammad was illiterate, and thus, "not learned." However, when considering these verses in their proper context, attributing this passage to Mohammad's visions becomes problematic.

    At the beginning of the chapter, God is pronouncing a judgment against the city of Ariel(verses 1-6), which is Jerusalem(synonymous with Mt. Zion-see verse 8) because of its inhabitants' disobedience to His Word. This is why God declares in verses 10-14:

    "For the Lord hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep, and hath closed your eyes: the prophets and your rulers, the seers hath he covered. And the vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one that is learned, saying, Read this, I prpay thee: and he saith, I cannot; for it is sealed: And the book is delivered to him that is not learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I am not learned. Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but HAVE REMOVED THEIR HEART FAR FROM ME, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men: Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvelous work among this people, even a marvelous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid."()

    Thus, the Lord is actually rebuking His people for hearkening to the counsel of men(verse 13) rather than Himself. Verses 11-12 describe the actions of *disobedience* of His people rather than describing a prophecy of a future illiterate(unlearned) prophet. The surrounding verses shed more light on the passage in question as we see from the text in bold that God has given them up to their own delusions after they persistently reject His righteous counsel(See also II Thessalonians 2:1-12). Therefore, this passage describes a rebuke and judgment against the "unlearned" described in Isaiah 29:12. Also, given that the unlearned subject of the verse in question is actually being spoken of in a dubious manner, it seems unlikely that Muslim apologists would still wish to maintain their assertion that Mohammad is the subject of the verse once they study the context of the passage.

    Furthermore, it is questionable as to whether or not Mohammad was actually illiterate. In Surah 7:157(quoted at the beginning of this article), the Arabic words for "the unlettered" are "al umni." Some Islamic translators, such as Pickthall, translate these words to mean illiterate. However, these words may be translated as "the Gentile" rather than "the illiterate" as well. There is also evidence from Islamic Tradition that Mohammad was not illiterate. One example is that Mohammad personally signed the Treaty of Hudaibiyah made with the Meccans in 628 A.D. as "son of Abdu'llah." Of course, one might claim in response that even illiterates can learn to sign their own name. However, just prior to Mohammad's death, he also, according to Islamic Tradition, requested pen and ink to write a command indicating his successor, but his capacity for doing so was lost before writing materials were brought to him. Most curiously, Mohammad was a successful merchant for many years prior to his claim of receiving angelic revelations. It seems very unlikely that such an occupation could have been performed by one who was completely illiterate. In addition, according to W. Montgomery Watt, many Meccans had the ability to read and write[11].

    Habakkuk 3:3

    "God came from Teman, and the Holy One from mount Paran. Selah. His glory covered the heavens, and the earth was full of his praise."

    Some Muslim apologists will claim, for similar misunderstandings discussed in above sections, that this verse refers to Mohammad coming from Teman and mount Paran which allegedly refers to Medina and Mecca, respectively. We have already seen where Paran is actually nowhere near Mecca. Also, Teman is 800 kilometers north of Medina[21]. Therefore, there are great geographical anomalies asserted by Muslim apologists in their attempts of fitting Mohammad into this verse. Furthermore, the subject of this verse is God. The verse says that "God came from Teman" which is self-explanatory and "and the Holy One from mount Paran." The latter phrase is an example of Hebrew parallelism where our subject, God, is described using a different name than what is used in the first phrase(see this link for more details: here). Considering that Muslims would consider it blasphemy(or shirk, as they put it) to associate Mohammad(or anything or anyone else) as God, it is surprising to see this verse ascribed to Mohammad by Muslim apologists.

    Matthew 21:43

    "Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof."

    It is claimed here that Jesus is prophesying the end of the covenant that God has made with the Jewish nation and that the new nation to which the kingdom is given to is the Islamic nation.

    To fully examine the meaning of these words of Jesus, we must understand them within the context of Scripture. Otherwise, any nation could claim to fulfill this prophecy. For instance, Mormon apologists could just as easily interpret this claim, when isolated from its proper context, as referring to the rise of Mormon America in the 19th and 20th centuries.

    First of all, let's examine the parable in which Christ spoke prior to the verse in question.

    "Here another parable: There was a certain householder, which planted a vineyard, and hedged it round about, and digged a winepress in it, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country: And when the time of fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the husbandmen, that they might receive the fruits of it. And the husbandmen took his servants, and beat one, and killed another, and stoned another. Again, he sent other servants more than the first: and they did unto them likewise. But last of all he sent unto them his son, saying, They will reverence my son. But when the husbandmen saw the son, they said among themselves, This is the heir: come, let us kill him, and let us seize on his inheritance. And they caught him, and cast him out of the vineyard, and slew him. When the lord therefore of the vineyard cometh, what will he do unto those husbandmen?"(Matthew 21:33-40, )

    Jesus here, in parable form, is summarizing Jewish history in terms of their abuse of God's prophets. Keep verses 37-40 in mind where Jesus speaks about the householder's son as we continue.

    "They say unto him, He will miserably destroy those wicked men, and will let out his vineyard unto other husbandmen, which shall render him the fruits in their seasons. Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes? Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof. And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder."(Matthew 21:41-44, )

    We notice in the emphasized passages that Jesus is referring to Himself as God's Son(verses 37-38), prophesies that He would also be killed by His own people(verse 39), and also claims that the Son would be "last of all"(verse 37). Thus, we see problems arise in the Muslim proof-text. First, Islamic theology denies that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. Second, Islamic theology denies that Jesus was killed(Surah 4:157). Thirdly, and most problematic of all, Islamic theology certainly denies that Jesus, the Son, would be "last of all" since they believe that Mohammad was the last prophet. Finally, Jesus tells us that He is the "stone which the builders rejected that has become the head of the corner" in verse 42. Jesus here is referring to Psalm 118:22-23 which predicts that the Messiah would be rejected by His own people. Muslims claim that Jesus was a prophet only to Israel and that Mohammad is the only prophet to the whole world. However, this is contradictory to the text immediately following verse 43. What Jesus says in verse 44, emphasized above, He explains less ambiguously in another parable at the beginning of chapter 22.

    "And Jesus answered and spake unto them again by parables, and said, The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son, And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come. Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage. But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise: And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them. But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city. Then saith he to his servants, the wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy. Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage. So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests."(Matthew 22:1-10, )

    What we see here is a recapitulation of the same concepts discussed in the first parable we considered. In this case, the king represents God and the king's son represents Jesus. In verses 3-4, God's servants represent the prophets and apostles and those "bidden to the wedding" represent the Jews. Verse 6 symbolizes the rejection and martyrdoms of the prophets and apostles by those same ones "bidden to the wedding" and verse 7 is a prophecy of the destruction of Jerusalem which would take place about 40 years later(70 A.D.). In verses 8-10, we see that the king bids his servants to seek other guests since "those that were bidden were not worthy."(verse 8) Thus, we see a theme in these two parables which make it clear that non-Jews, or Gentiles, were to be invited to the wedding, that is, the Kingdom of God. While various Old Testament Scriptures testify that the Messiah will serve as a Messenger to the Gentiles(e.g. Isaiah 42:1,7; 49:7, 60:3), we also see that the early church was instructed to take the Gospel to the Gentile nations just as indicated by the parables of Jesus. In Acts 9, Saul, perhaps the greatest persecutor of the church at the time, has a vision of Jesus Christ on his way to Damascus(to gather up more Christians for imprisonment/execution). Saul later converts to Christianity, as is expounded in the text, but what is of particular interest is the following passage:

    "But the Lord said unto him[Jesus speaking to Ananias], Go thy way: for he[speaking of Paul] is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name's sake."(Acts 9:15-16, ; words in [] are mine)

    Let's consider also the following passages:

    "Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him."(Acts 10:34, ; see also all of Acts 10)

    "What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory, Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles? As he saith also in Osee, I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved which was not beloved. And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people; there shall they be called the children of the living God....That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith.(Romans 9:22-26, 30, ; notice also Paul's appeal to OT prophecy(Hosea))

    We see the theme of the Kingdom of God being transferred, if you will, from the Jews to the Gentiles in the following verse very expressly.

    "I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall[speaking of the Jews] salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy."(Romans 11:11, words in [] are mine)

    Lastly, let's consider the words of Jesus Christ Himself,

    "And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen."(Matthew 28:18-20, )

    "But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth."(Acts 1:8)

    We see that Jesus commanded His disciples to take the Gospel to the world, which would obviously be comprised of mostly Gentiles. We also see that the early church fulfilled this command. We've merely provided a few verses, but anyone reading the New Testament as well as ancient non-Biblical documents can clearly see that this was performed by the early church. We can therefore conclude that it was the Gentiles that Christ had in mind in this parable. Additionally, in light of the context provided in Matthew 21-22 as well as the teachings and activities of the early church in application to such chapters, the claim that Jesus made in verses 42-44 of being the "stone which the builders rejected being the head" and "And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder" is problematic to Islamic theology. Contrary to the claim that Christ was sent only to the nation of Israel, we see that Christ claims to be the One through which salvation is determined for Jews and Gentiles alike.

    As a final note, it should also be mentioned that, while salvation was brought to the Gentiles, this was to be done through the nation of Israel as God had promised Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob(more on that in our final section below). Jesus Christ, the "Light of the Gentiles," the Israelite, the descendant of David, meets this criterion since He was an Israelite. Mohammad, however, was not a descendant of Isaac and thus, not an Israelite. Therefore, it is inconsistent with the Scriptures to claim that Mohammad served as the "Light" through which the world may be saved.

    Mark 1:7

    "And preached, saying, There cometh one mightier than I after me, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to stoop down and unloose."

    Many Muslim apologists assert that John the Baptist is here prophesying the coming of Mohammad. It is claimed that this prophecy cannot be referring to Jesus since Jesus was already alive at the time John had made this statement.

    (Incidentally, there are some Muslim apologists who will take this a step further. Some claim that it was Jesus that made this statement rather than John the Baptist and that Jesus was referring to the coming of Mohammad. It is claimed that the text is as it reads now due to Christian corruption. Of course, this is a claim that is only substantiated by very creative speculation with no manuscript support whatsoever. To give an analogy, one could just as easily speculate that this statement was actually made by Flavius Josephus rather than John the Baptist and that this was a prophecy of the coming of George W. Bush to the presidency of the United States.)

    Let's examine the claim that John the Baptist was referring to Mohammad. First, let's actually quote this verse in the context of surrounding verses as well as the parallels in other Gospel accounts.

    "And there went out unto him all the land of Judaea, and they of Jerusalem, and were all baptized of him in the river of Jordan, confessing their sins. And John was clothed with camel's hair, and with a girdle of a skin about his loins; and he did eat locusts and wild honey; And preached, saying, There cometh one mightier than I after me, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to stoop down and unloose. I indeed have baptized you with water: but he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost. And it came to pass in those days, that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized of John in Jordan."(Mark 1:5-9, )

    "I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: Whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire. Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him."(Matthew 3:11-13, )

    "And as the people were in expectation, and all men mused in their hearts of John, whether he were the Christ, or not; John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose; he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire: Whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor, and will gather the wheat into his garner; but the chaff he will burn with fire unquenchable. And many other things in his exhortation preached he unto the people. But Herod the tetrarch, being reproved by him for Herodias his brother Philip's wife, and for all the evils which Herod had done, Added yet this above all, that he shut up John in prison. Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened, And the Holy Ghost descendeth in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased. And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age…."(Luke 3:15-23, )

    "John answered them, saying, I baptize with water: but there standeth one among you, whom ye know not; He it is, who coming after me is preferred before me, whose shoe's latchet I am not worthy to unloose. These things were done in Bethabara beyond Jordan, where John was baptizing. The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. THIS IS HE OF WHOM I SAID, AFTER ME COMETH A MAN WHICH IS PREFERRED BEFORE ME: for he was before me. And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water."(John 1:26-31, )

    First, what about the Muslim objection of Jesus being already alive and, thus, being eliminated from the possibility that this prophecy was referring to Him? The fact that Jesus was already in the world does not negate His being the One foretold. John was the forerunner of the divine Messiah, as was foretold in the Scriptures(Isaiah 40:3, Malachi 3:1). The reason John uses "after" is because his ministry preceded that of the Messiah. Christ had not began His ministry as He was born 6 months after John the Baptist and rabbis could not begin ministering until they were 30 years of age(see Luke 3:23).

    From the texts quoted above, we can see that John was foretelling the ministry of Christ rather than Mohammad for the following reasons:

    1. As can be seen in all four passages, the predicted One would baptize with the Holy Ghost. Christ promised His disciples about the coming of the Holy Ghost(John 14:16, 17, 26, 15:26; 16-7, 14, Acts 1:8-see our discussion on this in section 2 above). This promise was fulfilled on the day of Pentecost(Acts 2), 10 days after Christ's ascension into heaven(Acts 1:9). Mohammad did not teach baptism with the Holy Spirit, or any sort of baptism for that matter.
    2. John, in verse 26, which is a direct parallel to the Muslim proof-text in Mark 1:7, actually says that the one whose shoe's latchet he is not worthy to unloose is already among the Jews. Interestingly, this actually proves that the one to follow John had to be already alive contrary to the Muslim assertion that the foretold prophet could not have been alive at the time. Thus, Mohammad is eliminated on these grounds as well.
    3. John, in John 1:30, actually confirms that he was speaking of Jesus when Jesus came to him(see verse 29).

    John 4:21

    "Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father."

    It is sometimes alleged here that this is a prophecy of Christ referring to the change in "holy cities" from Jerusalem to Mecca that would take place during Mohammad's ministry. What does the context of the verse reveal?

    "The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet. Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship. Jesus saith unto her, Woman believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth."(John 4:19-24)

    It is important to understand the context of the whole chapter. Jesus passed through Samaria on his way from Judaea to Galilee(verses 3-5). While his disciples went to the marketplace to purchase food(verse 8), a Samaritan woman came to Jacob's well where Jesus had asked her to give Him a drink. The woman questioned this action since Jews typically did not associate with Samaritans(verse 9). Verses 10-42 actually detail how Jesus revealed, in His usual elusive manner, that He was the Messiah. Jesus revealed to the woman that He knew personal information about her(verses 16-18). The woman then believed in Jesus and subsequently told the town(verses 28-29). Many townspeople came to Jesus and believed in Him(verses 30-42).

    The woman, as we've alluded to above, as well as Christ's own disciples, did not understand why Jesus would associate with a Samaritan(verse 27). Jesus sheds more light on this in the following piece of the narrative.

    "In the mean while his disciples prayed him, saying, Master, eat. But he said unto them, I have meat to eat that ye know not of. Therefore said the disciples one to another, Hath any man brought him aught to eat? Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish the work. Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? Behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest. And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together. And herein is that saying true, One soweth, and another reapeth. I sent you to reap that whereon ye bestowed no labour: other men laboured, and ye are entered into their labours."(John 4:31-38)

    Jesus reveals throughout His ministry that He came to break down the barrier that exists between Jews and Gentiles. Christ's witness to the Samaritans in this chapter exemplifies this. In light of the proper context of the chapter, it is reasonable to conclude that Jesus in verses 21-24 was indicating that the place of worship is unimportant and that proper worship is what God truly desires. Jesus simply taught that God wants those who worship to worship Him in "spirit and in truth" and the place of worship(which was Jerusalem at the time) would not matter.

    In light of this, we see that the text actually presents another problem for Islam rather than a prophecy of it. While Mecca in Saudi Arabia is the religious capital of the Islamic world, a place in which Muslims are required, resources permitting, to visit at least once in their lifetime, Jesus tells us that no city, mountain, location, etc., including Jerusalem, is important for proper worship. Additionally, verse 22 indicates that salvation is of the Jews. This is also contrary to Islamic theology. However, this is in harmony with the very ancient prophecies that foretell that ALL nations will be blessed through the seed of Abraham(Genesis 12:1-3, 18:18, 22:15-18), and more specifically, through the seed of Isaac(Genesis 21:12, 26:1-4), Abraham's son. Jesus, a descendant of Isaac along with the rest of the Jewish nation, declares that He is this salvation(John 14:6).

    Conclusion

    To establish the veracity of Islam, it is important that indication of the coming of Mohammad be established from previous Scriptures. Muslim apologists realize this and have attempted to find prophecies of Mohammad in the previous Scriptures. We have seen in this evaluation that the use of the Bible by Muslim apologists in attributing certain passages to Mohammad is at best irresponsible and at worst deceptive. We have seen that texts are misinterpreted, gross geographical errors are commonly made, surrounding texts and parallel passages are often ignored, unsubstantiated charges of textual corruption are leveled, and passages where the subject is clearly identified are misattributed to Mohammad in order to fit the Muslim agenda. It is very likely that most Muslim apologists are as aware of this as we are. Otherwise, charges would probably not be persistently made against Christians and Jews for allegedly removing legitimate prophecies of Mohammad from the Old Testament and New Testament, especially when manuscript support for the Bible renders this accusation preposterous. Furthermore, this insecurity seems to be displayed by the fact that Muslims have invented at least two Gospels for themselves: The Gospel of Barnabas, which is a literary forgery based on a 15th century Italian manuscript, and the "Gospel According to Islam" published in 1979[22]. Interestingly, many Muslims even today are promoting the former as the true Gospel of Christ even though it is just as contradictory to Islam as it is to Christianity(see the above link). In light of our study, it is very important for readers to diligently study and be critical of the claims of Muslim apologists, particularly when it comes to exegeses of the Judeo-Christian Scriptures.

    Notes and Acknowledgements

    1. For more information regarding alleged prophecies in the Bible foretelling the coming of Mohammad, the reader is encouraged to study the following pages: here and here

    2. Unless otherwise specified, all Qur'anic verses used were taken from Yusef Ali's English Translation of the Qur'an and Bible verses from the King James Version

    3. Strong, James. "The New Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible." Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers. 1990. Pg. 146.

    4. Ibid., pg. 1007.

    5. Ibid., pg. 1032.

    6. Strong, James. "The New Strong's Complete Dictionary of Bible Words." Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers. 1996. Pg. 302.

    7. Ibid., pg. 683.

    8. Ibid., pg. 443.

    9. Geisler, Norman L., Saleeb, Abdul. "Answering Islam. 2nd ed." Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Books. 2002.

    10. Ibid., pg. 154.

    11. Ibid., 195-196.

    12. http://www.answering-islam.org/Nehls/Answer/biblemhd.html

    13. http://www.answering-islam.org/Campbell/s6c1.html

    14. Strobel, Lee. "The Case for Christ." Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan. 1998. Pg. 42

    15. Shorrosh, Anis A. "Islam Revealed." Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers. 1988. 75.

    16. Ibid., 77.

    17. http://www.apologeticspress.org/bibbul/2001/bb-01-11.htm

    18. http://www.answering-islam.org/BibleCom/baca.html

    19. http://debate.org.uk/topics/trtracts/home.htm

    20. Typology is an ancient Judeo-Christian principle where certain passages of Scripture have either double fulfillments or the first fulfillment is symbolic of an even greater and more meaningful future fulfillment. An example is Matthew's use of Hosea 11:1 in Matthew 2:14-15.

    21. http://www.answering-islam.org/Dictionary/teman.html

    22. http://www.answering-islam.org/Green/test.htm