Thursday, June 30, 2016

Why Would Jesus Predict Muhammad In The Bible? Why Do Muslims Quote The Bible? (Understanding The Muslims)

            The question is not whether Jesus Christ predicted Muhammad in the Bible as a prophet. Many Christian scholars have adequately and reasonably falsified the notion that Muhammad is mentioned in the Bible. So let us be clear from the outset that Muhammad is not mentioned in the Bible.

            We could think from another vantage point to understand the Muslim mindset. Hence, we could ask two questions:

            (1) If Christ were to have predicted Muhammad, what could have been the most compelling reason that may have motivated Christ to predict Muhammad?

            (2) Why would a Muslim refer to a possibility that the Bible or Christ predicted Muhammad as a prophet? 

            The Bible states that Jesus Christ is God incarnate and the Lord and Savior of mankind. Any conservative Christian would believe that the Bible does not mention Muhammad. On the contrary, the Islamic holy book, the Quran, refers to both Jesus and Muhammad as prophets. The Quran denies Christ’s divinity. 

Why Would Jesus Predict Muhammad In The Bible?

            The most minimalistic answer to this question is that Jesus Christ would have predicted Muhammad, if Muhammad was in God’s will (plan) to carry out the work of Christ Jesus, which is to preach Christ crucified so to save people from their sinfulness or eternal doom. This is the hallmark of a true prophet/disciple succeeding Christ (cf. Apostle Paul).

            Both the Quran and the extra-Quranic literature informs us that Muhammad neither did affirm Christ as God incarnate nor did preach Christ as the only way to heaven. Essentially, Muhammad contradicted Christ. 

            If Muhammad contradicted Christ, why would Christ predict Muhammad knowing well that he would absolutely contradict HIM?

            Christ, being God, would know perfectly well as to what each man would do at any point in time. Hence, Christ would have precisely known that Muhammad would contradict HIM in the future. Christ then had no reason whatsoever to predict Muhammad from the perspective of a true prophet of God. Therefore, the notion that Christ predicted Muhammad is an insane and a preposterous thought.

            However, Christ could have predicted Muhammad for one good reason. Christ could have revealed to mankind that Muhammad would deny Christ. Hence, in this context - the context of false prophets - Christ had a plausible reason to predict Muhammad. Therefore, if Christ had predicted Muhammad, Christ could have only predicted Muhammad as the one who would deny HIM.

            From within the perspective of the Bible, wherein the Bible teaches that Christ is God and that believing in Christ is the only way to heaven, there is absolutely no reason for Christ to have predicted Mohammed as the true prophet or a true disciple of God.

Why Do Muslims Argue That Christ Predicted Muhammad As A Prophet In The Bible?

            Whether we engage in a friendly religious banter or in a serious religious conversation, our Muslim brother or sister, at some point in time, will argue that Muhammad was foretold in the Bible.

            Well-known apologist of Islam, Ahmed Deedat, had argued extensively for the case of Muhammad in the Bible, “During 1975 Ahmed Deedat held a series of lectures at the Durban City Hall, two of which set out to prove that Muhammad is foretold in the Bible. The first lecture, entitled What the Bible Says About Muhammad, dealt with the prophecy in Deuteronomy 18.18 in the Old Testament, and in it Mr. Deedat sought to show that Moses was predicting the coming of Muhammad when speaking of a prophet to follow him who would be like him. During 1976 Mr. Deedat published this lecture in booklet form under the same title. In his second lecture in 1975 he spoke on Muhammad the Natural Successor to Christ and here he endeavoured to prove that Jesus was foretelling the coming of Muhammad when he exhorted his disciples to wait for the coming of the one he called the Comforter who, he said, would follow him.”1 Therefore it is of no surprise that our Muslim friend will table this theme for the purpose of discussion.

            Why do Muslims depend on the Bible to confer greater credibility upon Muhammad? Fundamental to every Islamic argument against Christianity is the notion that their holy book Quran is pure and trustworthy. At the same time, Muslims would passionately argue that the Bible is corrupt in its transmission. Effectively, they argue that the Bible that we have now is not what God gave to the original authors, for the Muslims believe that the original content of the Bible has been corrupted during the transmission of the Bible over the thousands of years.

            If a serious Muslim believes that the Bible is corrupt, then why do they refer to the Bible about the possibility of Muhammad being predicted? If the Bible is corrupt, would not the notion that Muhammad is predicted in the Bible also be false?

            This author highlights this point well, “Muslims have made the claim for a long time that the coming of Muhammad is prophesied in the Bible namely the Jewish Scriptures (Old Testament), and the Christian Scriptures (New Testament). Why do Muslims make this claim?

            The claim rests on the assertion in the Qur’an that Muhammad’s coming is described in the Scriptures of the ahl al-kitab, i.e., the People of the Book, a title given to Jews and Christians. It states, “Those who followed the Apostle the unlettered Prophet [Muhammad], whom they find mentioned in their own (Scriptures) in the Law and the Gospel” (Qur’an 7:157). The Law and the Gospel refer of course to the Jewish and Christian Scriptures respectively. An inconsistency emerges at this point when the Bible is brought into the discussion by Islam. Many Muslims charge that the Bible is:

             1)  Corrupted and unreliable.

            2)  Some parts of it are true.

            3)  Some parts of it are false.

            If (1) is true, then the argument that Muhammad is predicted in the Bible is moot and irrelevant because the Bible cannot be trusted. Both (2) and (3) essentially amount to saying the same thing and most Muslims opt for either (2) or (3). The reason for doing so however is not based on any consistent criterion but rather an ad hoc approach, it is contrived from the beginning. How do Muslims argue what parts of the Bible are true and reliable and which ones are not? They do so by using the Qur’an as their reference guide. When the Bible agrees with the Qur’an, it is right, when it does not, it is flat out in error. This is the exact same methodology that cults use in judging the Bible, if it does not conform with their “new” revelation or scripture, it is in error. The same methodology is employed by Islam in its treatment of the Bible.” 2  

            A Muslim takes utmost joy to an extent that he thinks that it is his birthright to criticize the Bible as a corrupt document. In the same vein, why does Islam not offer the Quran for a thorough criticism (historical, textual etc.)? History is replete with instances of violent Islamic backlashes against any attempt to criticize the Quran or its prophet Muhammad. This is the double standard Islam practices. 

            How do Muslims justify that the Quran is free from all corruption? They will say that the Quran is pure because Quran says so (circular argument) or that Allah has preserved it to be pure. In the same vein, if we assure the Muslims that the Bible claims purity (e.g. John 10:35) or that God protects the Bible from any corruption, they would immediately reject our argument.

            Therefore, whenever Muslims refer to Muhammad from the Bible, they are merely exposing their double standards without realizing their fallacy. This is because they are indoctrinated to do so and they do not think through their arguments. 

            The other reason that motivates Muslims to cite the Bible is more serious in nature. As we have seen, Christ had no compelling reason whatsoever to predict Muhammad as the true prophet of God. Moreover, Muslims believe that Quran is pure and that the Bible is corrupt. However, Muslims have the audacity to falsely cite Muhammad from the Bible as a slap in the face of Christianity.

            By citing Muhammad from the Bible, the Muslim implies that Christ is not God. How? If Christ had predicted Muhammad, and if we are to assume that the Quran is pure and from God, then Christ is a mere prophet and not God.

            Significantly, the Muslims believe, albeit without any good reason, that they possess greater knowledge than Christians.

            Therefore, it is incumbent upon the Christian to expose the fallacy of the Islamic argument in order to highlight the fact that Bible is indeed the word of God. If the Bible can be reasonably proven as God’s Word, and we can prove this reasonably, then on the basis of mutual exclusivity, the Quran cannot be God’s Word.

            Alternatively, we could ask our Muslim brother or sister to prove that Quran is God’s Word. I personally wonder that if Muslims had even one reasonable argument to prove that the Quran is the Word of God, they would have allowed the world to freely and academically critique the Quran without taking any offense.

            When Muslims take the liberty to critique the Bible, they should also allow a free academic critique of the Quran.

            We live in a civilized world, so there is no harm in enjoying a civil discussion analyzing our respective religious worldviews.

Endnotes:

1 http://www.answering-islam.org/Gilchrist/muhammad.html

2 http://www.answeringmuslims.com/2015/12/does-bible-predict-coming-of-muhammad.html


Read also http://crossexamined.org/simple-reason-quran-word-god/ to understand why Quran cannot be the Word of God. 

4 comments:

Pastor Peter Dart said...

I agree with you completely and see your arguments as sound in every way. What I find to be most devastating however is the fact that Muslims don't need any help to discredit The Bible as the Word of God, Christians themselves do that very industriously and regularly. When they come upon a section they don't like they manipulate using all types of arguments like irrelevancy, cultural differences, mistranslation, etc, anything to slide out from under the Bible's authority as the inspired Word of God. We (Christians) are the only major religion to do this to our sacred writings, and we do so under the false respectability of the term liberalism. God help us. Pastor Peter Dart.

Raj Richard said...

Pastor Peter,

Thank you for your comment.

Postmodernism is indeed a killer. I have literally seen a good friend of mine move over to the Postmodern club and ended up believing doctrines that absolutely contradicted the core tenets of Historic Christianity under the guise of tolerance and love. I suspect the reason for his move to the postmodern camp was his disappointment with the local church.

In other words, the local church should take the blame for the growth of liberals. The church is failing in its responsibility to deal with the growth of liberalism.

Syed said...

Hi Raj.. I am surprised at a few statements. I have never come across any good Islamic statement which claims that prophet Muhammed was foretold in bible.nor can a good Muslim criticise or call the holy bible corrupt. Your article is highly misguided. Yes, Muslims do believe that Christ is a prophet and not god, same as Muhammed.there are many translations of the holy Quran available. You will not find a single verse in it saying that the holy bible is false or has mistakes.

Raj Richard said...

Syed, thank you for your comment.

I do dialogue with Muslims, and in most of my dialogues, my Muslim brother/sister have said that the Bible is corrupt and that Muhammad is foretold in the Bible.

In fact, in my blog I have cited the instance where the renowned Islamic apologist, the late Mr. Ahmed Deedat, conducted several sessions arguing that Muhammad was foretold in the Bible.

I also request you to google your own apologist, Shabbir Ally, who claims that the Bible is corrupt...

So neither am I nor my article is misguided :)

Thanks again, brother.