Sunday, June 20, 2010

Muhammad in the Bible?

Muslims apologetics, such books like Muhammad in the Bible, by Abdu L-Ahad Dawud, claim that the Bible predicts the coming of Muhammad. Let's examine the evidence to see if that is so.

In Deuteronomy 18:15-18 God promised Moses: "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." Muslims believe this prophecy was fulfilled in Muhammad, as the Koran itself claims when it refers to the "unlettered prophet," whom they mention in their own scriptures, in the law and the Gospels" (Sura 7:156). Let see if this is true since the Koran claims to be free from error, see Sura 18:1.

This prophecy could not be a reference to Muhammad for several reasons. First it is clear that the term "from among their brethren" means fellow Israelites in the Bible and not gentiles.

The term "brethren" when read in context can only refer to the twelve tribes of Israel as the opening verses of chapter 18 show:

"The Levitical priests, that is, all the tribe of Levi, shall have no portion or inheritance with Israel ... They shall have no inheritance among their brethren." (vv. 1-2)

Once more, in chapter 17:14-15 the Israelites are told to put one of their "brethren" as king over them, never a foreigner. The fact is that Israel at no time in their history have ever put an Ishmaelite "brother" as king, but always an Israelite i.e. Saul, David, proving that the word does not refer to any nation outside of the twelve tribes of Israel.

Another scripture in Deut 15:12 says: "And if thy brother a HEBREW MAN OR A HEBREW WOMAN..." The word "brother" is the exact word in Deut 18:15 for "brethren." so God is being specific about which brethren he is talking about, and Muhammad is NOT a Hebrew!

Notice also in verse 15 in a newer version of the Bible that makes it clear: "YHWH your God will raise up for YOU a prophet like me from AMONG YOUR OWN PEOPLE...I will raise up for them a prophet like you from AMONG THEIR OWN PEOPLE...(V.15, 18 NRSV). The context is fellow Israelites.

As shown earlier the prophethood according to Muhammad can ONLY come from the line of ISAAC AND JACOB. In the Koran we read: "And we bestowed on him Isaac and Jacob, and we ESTABLISHED THE PROPHETHOOD AND SCRIPTURE AMONG HIS SEED" (Sura 29:27).

He did not speak to God face to face they way Moses did. He did not perform signs and wonders the way Moses did (Deut 34:11), in fact Muhammad admits he can't do miracles (see sura 2:111; 3:180-181, and he claimed to get his revelations from an angel not God, see sura 25:33-34; 17:106-107.

Finally, the Quran bears witness that Muhammad was not the Prophet like Moses, since he could not do what the latter did:

But (now) when the Truth has come to them from Ourselves, they say, "Why are not (signs) sent to him (Muhammad), like those which were sent to Moses?" Sura. 28:48

Even more amazing than the Quran bearing witness that Muhammad was unlike Moses, is the fact that the earliest Muslim biographer, Ibn Ishaq, in his Sira RasulAllah, testifies that Moses wrote of Jesus:

When the Christians of Najran came to the apostle the Jewish rabbis came also and they disputed one with the other before the apostle. Rafi said, `you have no standing,' and he denied Jesus and the Gospel; and a Christian said to the Jews, `you have no standing' and he denied that Moses was a prophet and denied the Torah. So God sent down concerning them: `The Jews say the Christians have no standing; and the Christians say the Jews have no standing, yet they read the Scriptures. They do not know on the day of resurrection concerning their controversy,' i.e., each one reads in his book the confirmation of what he denies, so that the Jews deny Jesus though they have the Torah in which God required them by the word of Moses to hold Jesus true; while in the Gospel is what Jesus brought in confirmation of Moses and the Torah he brought from God: So each one denies what is in the hand of the other. (Alfred Guillaume, The Life of Muhammad, p.258) .

The only person who fits this prophetic profile is Jesus Christ the Lord. This is due to the following reasons:

  1. Christ states that Moses wrote about him. (c.f. John 5:46)
  2. The Apostles quote this passage as being fulfilled in Christ. (c.f. John 1:45; Acts 3:17-24)
  3. On both their births, infant deaths were enacted. (c.f. Ex. 1:15-16,22; Mt. 2:13)
  4. Both were rescued by divine intervention. (c.f. Ex. 2:2-10; Mt. 2:13)
  5. Christ being the Son of God, knew God the Father "face to face"- as did Moses. In fact, Christ is the image of God and is God's exact representation. (c.f. Mt. 11:27; John 1:1-3,14,18; John 14:9; Col. 1:15-17; Heb. 1:2,3)
  6. God prepared Moses for his mission by his wandering in the wilderness for forty years; Christ for forty days. (c.f. Ex. 7:7; Mt. 4:1)
  7. Christ, like Moses, shone with glorious light at the Mount of Transfiguration. (c.f. Ex. 34:29; Mt. 17:2)
  8. Christ performed greater miracles than Moses. An example would be raising the dead. (c.f. John 11:25-26,43-44)
  9. Christ spoke the words of God alone. (c.f. John 8:28)
  10. Christ, like Moses, intercedes on behalf of men. (c.f. Exodus 32:30-32; 1 Tim. 2:5)
  11. Christ, like Moses, is the mediator of God's covenant. (c.f. Exodus 24:4-8; Mark 14:24; 1 Cor. 11:23-25)
  12. Christ and Moses liberated their people from bondage; one from slavery, the other from sin. (c.f. Exodus; Isaiah 53; John 8:32-36; Gal. 5:1)
  13. Christ, like Moses, is an Israelite from the tribe of Judah. (c.f. Num. 26:59; Luke 3:22-38)

Duet 33:2. The prophecy of Sinai, Seir and Paran is not a prophecy of Judaism, Christianity and Islam as Badawi erroneously assumes. Paran and Seir are located near Egypt in the Sinai Peninsula, as any good Bible map will demonstrate. It is purely wishful thinking to claim that Seir refers to Jesus' ministry in Palestine, or that Paran is near Mecca, when Paran was thousands of miles away near southern Palestine in northeastern Sinai!

Proof of this can be found in the Holy Bible itself:

"And the children of Israel took their journeys out of the wilderness of Sinai; and the cloud (of God) rested in the wilderness of Paran." Numbers 10:12

"And afterward the people (Israelites) removed from Hazeroth, and pitched in the wilderness of Paran." Numbers 12:16

"And Moses by the commandment of the Lord sent them from the wilderness of Paran... And they went and came to Moses, and to Aaron, and to all the congregation of the children of Israel, unto the wilderness of Paran, to Kadesh..." Numbers 13:3,26

"These be the words which Moses spake unto all Israel on this side of Jordan in the wilderness, in the plain over against the Red sea, between Paran, and Tophel, and Laban, and Hazeroth, and Dizahab." Deuteronomy 1:1

All these verses prove that Paran could not possibly be Mecca but a locale near Sinai, since Moses and the Israelites never settled in that part of Arabia. Hence, Badawi's assertion fails in the light of the biblical evidence.

Furthermore the prophecy speaks of "Yahweh" coming not Muhammad. And he comes with ten thousand of his saints, not soldiers as Muhammad did to Mecca. There is no basis in this text for Mohammed's invasion of Mecca.

Finally, this prophecy was for a "blessing to Israel." (v.1) not for the Arabs.

For other Islamic Biblical references refuted go to Answering -Islam at this page for a full examination.