Is Deuteronomy 18 about Muhammad? By richardzetter on March 17, 2021 • ( 40 ) Would be great to get people’s feedback, either here or on the blog post 🙂 What am I missing? Is Deuteronomy 18 about Muhammad? Like this:Like Loading... Related ‹ Blogging Theology meets Professor John Dominic CrossanWhat do I think of the Gospel of Barnabas? ›Categories: Islam
Betteridge’s Law of Headlines… good article btw
Not to go overboard, but I do actually have a question mark article in the affirmative – Did the sun actually set in a ‘muddy spring?’ (Q 18:86). I’ve got some others that aren’t really as simple as yes or no
I didn’t know that phrase – good to know! Yeah that’s a good point, it typically is for a ‘no’. Though I do wonder if I’d do it even if it was a ‘yes’ – I might write ‘Is Isaiah 53 about Jesus?’, as Muslims are more likely to read that than ‘Isaiah 53 is about Jesus’
You Won’t Believe…these 6 facts about Isaiah 53 about… number 3 will shock you!
Haha, now you’re talking
“I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren”
This verse, for me, is the weakest argument for Prophet Mohammad (phuh) in this verse as it can be reasonably argued both ways. I personally feel the brothers to the Israelites are the descendants of Ishmael and that is a better understanding.
When we read on and see that the person described clearly fits the personality of Prophet Muhammad (phuh) very well we can go back to this sentence and have more confidence in believing it is Prophet Muhamad (phuh)
“like unto thee”
If we do a side by side comparison between Moses (pbuh) and Prophet Muhammad (phuh) we will see that there is a striking similarity
Moses (phuh) came with a law
Muhammad (phuh) came with a law
Moses (phuh) came with a book
Muhammad (phuh) came with a book
Moses (phuh) was accepted by the people he was sent to
Muhammad (phuh) was accepted by the people he was sent to
Moses was a ruler
Muhammad (phuh) was a ruler
Moses had a wife and family
Muhammad (phuh) had a wife and family
Moses (phuh) had a natural birth
Muhammad (phuh) had a natural birth
Moses (pbuh) migrated his people to a new land
Muhammad (pbuh) migrated his people to a new land
Moses (pbuh) died a natural death
Muhammad (pbuh) died a natural death
All of these similarities are very clear. It is also clear that Jesus (phuh) cannot be “likened” to Moses (pbuh) at all, for the following reasons:
Jesus (pbuh) never came with a law, never came with a book. Was not accepted by his people, didn’t rule, did not marry and have children, never migrated with his people and didn’t die a natural death
It is also clear that Jesus (pbuh) according to the Christians is God and Moses (pbuh) is obviously not God.
So my view is that this can only be speaking about Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)
“he shall speak in my name”
Prophet Muhammad (phub) ONLY spoke in God’s name. the Quran starts each chapter with “In the name of Allah”
Whilst I believe Jesus (phuh) also spoke in God’s name, it is not clear from the Biblical scripture he did. I cannot recall anything that would suggest he did. I could be wrong.
Now we have assessed the entire verse and seen that Prophet Muhamamd (phuh) is Like Moses (pbuh) we can go back to the very first point which can be read both ways, and have more confidence that it does refer to Prophet Muhammad (phub)
Thank you very much – I agree that theoretically ‘brothers’ could go either way, but I lay out my argument for why it is much more probable that ‘brothers’ is Israelites. You’ve taken a different approach, which is to focus on the similarities between Moses and Muhammad, and then to come back to the point about ‘brothers’. But would you agree that if we seperate these points, then ‘brothers’ on its own is more likely to be an Israelite than an Ishmaelite?
Some of those similarities you’ve mentioned between Moses and Muhammad are common to a huge swathe of mankind (wife and family, natural birth, natural death). Indeed, you do not focus on the potential dissimilarity in the number of wive(s) Moses and Muhammad had.
The other similarities would not be surprising if Muhammad sought to follow in the footsteps of Moses – he claimed to come with a law, a new book, and to be a ruler/leader of a community. Muhammad is, to my knowledge, the most widely cited figure in the Qur’an; the Qur’an and/or Muhammad is very interested in him.
The idea that they were accepted by the people they were sent to – well yes and no. Moses had most of the Israelites follow him, but had a few rebel. Muhammad failed to convince most of the Meccans, fled to Medinah where some accepted him and some did not, and then conquered Mecca. Not quite the same sequence of events.
I don’t even need to argue that Deuteronomy 18 is directly about Jesus; it may well be establishing the concept of prophethood, and Jesus is the greatest prophet. But if you do want to find direct similarities between Moses and Jesus, the NT does speak of the ‘law of Christ’ (1 Corinthians 9:2; Galatians 6:21). Jesus reinterpreted the Old Testament law and spoke with unprecedented authority (Matthew 5-7). This reinterpreted law of the OT can be called, and was called in the NT, the ‘law of Christ’.
Well it’s debatable if Moses ‘came with a book’; you’d have to discuss if he actually himself sat down and wrote the first five books of the NT. At the very least his teachings were written down; and so too with Jesus. Muhammad himself didn’t even write the Qur’an, other people wrote it down.
John 12:49, for example – Jesus speaks the words of the one who has sent him, the Father. A prophet speaks on behalf of God, and Jesus claimed to be a prophet (Luke 4:24; John 4:44). His disciples understood that he was a prophet (Acts 3:22)
But besides all this, you’ve not really interacted with my discussion about what does DEUTERONOMY tell us it means to be like Moses…
Among their brothers. We know that the prophet like Moses was being anticipated by the Jews along with Elijah and the Messiah as three different entities. The New Testament attests to the fact that the latter two were fulfilled through the advent of John the baptist and the Christ Jesus son of Mary. Jesus makes no mention that he is the prophet like unto Moses and for christians to ascribe this to him is unfair and dishonest to his memory. Much like they have attributed to him Godhood. He had the time to affirm that he is the christ but doesn’t include the fact that he is ‘that prophet’ ? Why? Ask your self that question. Also who is the advocate that will only come once Jesus has left? Claiming the holyspirit is a cope out. The prophecy furthermore ends by giving the criteria for discerning the truthfulness of such a prophet which is through prophecies. The fact that you only looked at the Final Testament The Quran and not explored hadith prophecies raises some questions. We see three succesive prophecies of conquest in the quran. Firstly the ultimate victory of the Romans over the Sassanids(30:1-4), Secondly the conquest of Mecca(48:27) and Thirdly the eventual inheritance and dominion of the muslims over the lands (24:55, 21:105- which directly quotes the psalms btw). The hadith literature contains even more prophecies, some that have happened in recent years such as the colonisation of muslim lands, emergence of pagan worship of the idol dhul khulasa in a specific tribe in arabia and the bedouin arabs competing in constructing tall buildings. Keep in mind ‘the prophet’ as he is known by both muslims and non muslims, prophecied in anticipation of the hour. ‘Ahead of the hour…there will’. So, although the Deutonomy prophecy might be ambiguous, the truth of THAT prophet will be distinguished from falsehood and will stand the test of time. And say: “The truth has now come [to light], and falsehood has withered away: for, behold, all falsehood is bound to wither away!”
We know that the prophet like Moses was being anticipated by the Jews along with Elijah and the Messiah as three different entities
They’re three in one?
LOL. No Comment. Is that what you deduced from the entire text?
that was the main thing I took away yes…
as for the claim
“Jesus makes no mention that he is the prophet like unto Moses and for christians to ascribe this to him is unfair and dishonest to his memory”
Jesus didn’t need to God did see Mark 9:7
“This is my beloved Son; listen to him.””
Your on the haqq(truthfulnes)
May Allah preserve you
Jazakallahukheir, May we all be guided my brother!
Jazakallhukheir brother, May we all be guided to the straight path. Ameen.
‘We know that the prophet like Moses was being anticipated by the Jews along with Elijah and the Messiah as three different entities.’ – The Jews anticipated different things, some of which Jesus says is right, some of which is wrong. E.g. a lot of Jews were expecting a political messiah who would defeat the Romans, but Jesus denied that he had come to do this. We have to let Jesus and the believers in the New Testament define messianic truths, not reported statements from a Jewish crowd.
But yes, Deuteronomy 18 did lead some Jews to expect a coming prophet, and the New Testament says this is about Jesus (Acts 3:22). The NT says that Jesus is the Prophet of Deuteronomy 18 (either literally or typologically), as well as Messiah, King, Son of David, etc, Jesus has many titles.
You raise some other prophecies that I hadn’t thought of, for which I am grateful 🙂 Allow me to share my thoughts:
‘Secondly the conquest of Mecca(48:27) and Thirdly the eventual inheritance and dominion of the muslims over the lands (24:55, 21:105- which directly quotes the psalms btw). The hadith literature contains even more prophecies, some that have happened in recent years such as the colonisation of muslim lands, emergence of pagan worship of the idol dhul khulasa in a specific tribe in arabia and the bedouin arabs competing in constructing tall buildings’
Yep, conquest of Mecca is predicted, though of course we only know about that prophecy because the Muslims were victorious in self-fulfilling that prophecy. Prophecies may have been made by other figures which we have never heard about, because their communities didn’t self-fulfill their prophecies.
I’m not sure what ‘lands’, lit. al-ard, refers to in Q 24:55. Whether its the land of Mecca or the ‘earth’ (both a specific land and ‘the earth’ are used in the Qur’an for ard), Muslims have self-fulfilled the former, and not finished doing the latter. Q 21:105 does seem like its about the whole earth; but this hasn’t happened yet/hasn’t been fulfilled yet, and also it seems like it might be talking eschatologically, after the day of judgement (see the previous verses).
The problem with the hadith literature is that some hadith are very embarrassing and hard to believe, and others are better; its such a large body of literature one has a very large sample size to cherry pick good bits and ignore the less good bits. I would be interested to do a survey of the hadith, see all of the prophecies in them, and then see which ones have or have not come true (e.g. I believe there are hadith about the end of the world being immediate in the seventh century, e.g. Muhammad ‘pointing with his index and middle fingers, saying, “The time of my advent and the hour are like these two fingers.’ Sahih Bukhari 4936 – https://sunnah.com/bukhari:4936; ‘When would the Last Hour come? Thereupon Allah’s Messenger (way peace be upon him) kept quiet for a while. Then looked at a young boy in his presence belonging to the tribe of Azd Shanu’a and he said: If this boy lives he would not grow very old till the Last Hour would come to you. Anas said that this young boy was of our age during those days.’ https://sunnah.com/muslim:2953b)
Arabs competing in tall buildings – I wonder if this is one of those hadith that were written to criticise the worldliness of early Muslim rulers, whether Umayyad or Abbasid. It reminds me of a hadith talking about those who came wearing black, today understood by some to be about Isis, but originally about the Abbasids.
Regardling Dhu Khalasah, I read this article – http://www.salvationfromhell.com/2016/11/prophecy-of-cult-of-dhu-khalasah.html – which I think is making the same point as you are.
This is really not a shocking prophecy – first of all, take into account the issue of selection bias made above. If lots of prophecies are made, some will come true, even if others are false. But also, it is not surprising that some pagans would want to stick to their paganism even if after the coming of paganism – people often stick to ancestral religion, as the Qur’an itself says. Are Dhul Kulasa the only group to have gone back to or retained their paganism? Paganism crops up all over the place, e.g. the modern revival of paganism in Britain, and Wiccanism in America. Some would say Folk Islam has pagan elements, though I don’t know much about that topic. Also the prophecy sounds like its talking about the end times, yet as Salibi (the source quoted in that article) says, the cult was revived UNTIL 1815, not AT 1815. Who knows how early it has been resurrected there, it could have been centuries and centuries ago. And the prophecy may well have been prophesied after the group had already come back into being
You are obviosly a very learned individual and are on a path of knowledge which I aspire to be on God willing. Assuming that you seek to emulate a spirit of veracity, I can see that you haven’t done your due diligence in the task of dissecting muslim sources. For example, when you quoted the hadith of the boy and hour you failed to note that their is a different phrasing in another hadith rendering it ‘until YOUR hour’ ie your death https://sunnah.com/muslim:2952.
We are living in a different age now where info can be found easily. Your objections have been adequately answered elsewhere online and you have easy access to them. I would gladly discuss with you if you were a lay person with need for direction and clarification. But I believe you have reached a stage of introspection. I urge you not to cling to something that will bring you no benefit in this world and the next. Lastly, I ask God Almighty for his mercy and guidance to envelop us all. Nice chatting to you. Peace.
Hi Ibn Abdulla,
You are correct that I was not aware of this other version of the hadith – but now I do know about it because you have told me 🙂 see, dialogue works! I have never claimed to be an expert on all hadith.
I would say this is not the end of the issue however:
1) Assuming the wording of Sahih Muslim, what does this mean? They came to ask about the last hour, and Muhammad replied by saying ‘If he [this boy] lives he would not grow very old that he would find your Last Hour coming to you’. What does this mean? The Arabs asked about the Last Hour, and so is this another way of saying that the Last Hour is not far away, but addressed back to the Arabs in the second person? Basically a rewording of the version I gave. Is this a special judgement from God upon the desert Arabs? (This would fit Marshall and Durie’s theories). Or is this just saying that these individuals who came to him would all die very soon (from what cause?)?
2) If we assume that this is only talking about the end of the desert Arabs and no one else, how do we square this with the other hadith I gave which said ‘until the hour is established’. There is no hint of a restriction here only to these people; it seems to be talking about the end for everyone. Is there a contradiction? Or can we reconcile them? I think the translator tries to reconcile them by saying ’till the Last Hour would come TO YOU’, but I cannot find ‘to you’ in the Arabic. Am I missing it?
3) Did you have a response to that other Bukhari hadith about the end being like two fingers? I presume it would be something like the responses given here (https://questionsonislam.com/question/hadith-i-was-sent-you-time-when-last-day-very-close-these-two-fingers-sound-how-should-we), which are fair enough, unless we read this hadith in light of the one about the boy not growing old.
I have found this article (https://islamqa.info/en/answers/20673/the-middle-hour), but it deals with hadith saying ‘your hour’, not the hadith I cited which just says ‘the hour’. The comment by Anas on this hadith ‘Anas said that this young boy was of our age during those days.’ seems to be relevant only if it is implying that the end is soon. So do you know an article that specifically deals with that hadith?
Funny how you circumvate our Prophet and the points I raised regarding him, their is no logical christian explanation for him, the proofs are clear, submit or face ruin. up to you. Say: “Have you given thought [to how you will fare] if this be truly [a revelation] from God and yet you deny its truth? – even though a witness from among the children of Israel has already borne witness to [the advent of] one like himself, and has believed [in him], the while you glory in your arrogance [and reject his message]? Verily, God does not grace [such] evildoing folk with His guidance!” (46.10)
Your other points don’t matter if Jesus is the prophet sent to come.
God from heaven declared he is. If God in heaven declares it there’s nothing else to add.
That’s why Peter and John both refer to Jesus as the prophet Moses.
that’s why Peter says;
Citing Deuteronomy 18, Peter declares of Jesus thay
“The Lord God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your brothers. You shall listen to him in whatever he tells you. And it shall be that every soul who does not listen to that prophet shall be destroyed from the people.” (Acts 3:22–23)
Peter’s words reveal the significance of Jesus’s prophetic office—only his word brings salvation. Those who listen to him will be saved; those who don’t will be destroyed.
that’s why after Jesus has finshed speaking with Moses and Elijah about “his departure [Greek, exodon], which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem” (Luke 9:31). He literally discussed his Exodus…
As for who the Paraclete is- that’s the holy spirit.
You need to read John’s broader Pneunmaology without preconceptions look what the author of John say in the preceding chapter;
John 14:16 “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever”
John 15:26 “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 14:26 “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 16:7-14 “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.”
The word for comforter is the same lemma as the word helper or ‘paraclete’
Jesus is the prophet to come he is the prophet like Moses.
Just as Moses delivered the people of Israel from Egypt to receive God’s Word at Sinai, so Jesus has delivered his people from death in order to inscribe his law on their hearts.
Truly, there is no prophet like him. And for that reason, in a world filled with competing prophets, we must listen to him above all others.
Holy spirit again what a cope out. wow. really. The figure sounds a lot more like a prophet than a spirit. Furthermore Prophets have been described as spirits before in the bible. If you truly believe in all that you are saying may God guide you. If you are rejecting the truth out of hatred or envy, then the Lord says,
‘Out of their selfish envy, many among the followers of earlier revelation would like to bring you back to denying the truth after you have attained to faith – [even] after the truth has become clear unto them. None the less, forgive and forbear, until God shall make manifest His will: behold, God has the power to will anything’ (2:109) …. and
But as for him who, after guidance has been vouchsafed to him, cuts himself off from the Apostle and follows a path other than that of the believers – him shall We leave unto that which he himself has chosen, and shall cause him to endure hell: and how evil a journey’s end! (4:115)
[so, too,] they would argue with thee about the truth [itself] after it had become manifest – just as if they were being driven towards death and beheld it with their very eyes. (8:6)
VERILY, those who turn their backs [on this message] after guidance has been vouchsafed to them, [do it because] Satan has embellished their fancies and filled them with false hopes (47:25)
Verily, they who are bent on denying the truth and on barring [others] from the path of God, and [who thus] cut themselves off from the Apostle after guidance has been vouchsafed to them, can in no wise harm God; but He will cause all their deeds to come to nought. (47:32)
No not a cop out. An assertion isn’t and argument. You need to demonstrate why it’s a cop out.
I’d also be interested where Prophets are described as “spirits”?
I am aware of two uses of the phrase; one where they describe God’s spirit filling prophets.
The other discussing the Spirit of the Prophet
now back to who is the paraclete As well as so fat no evidence being presented to support the clam that “prophets are spirits”
let’s look at the words of John;
Jesus says the phrase “I will send”
Did Jesus send Muhammed?
Jesus uses the words Spirit of Truth who proceeds from the father.
In what way does the Muhammed Proceed from the father?
Jesus says this “Paraclete” would bear witness at the same time as the disciples.
Which disciples were alive in Mecca or Medina during the time of Muhammed
Jesus says this Spirit will Glorify him with the same Glory of God the Father?
Does Muhammed worship Jesus?
Your argument has more holes than a Swiss cheese.
This is an interesting discussion between Ryan and Ibn Abdulla, and I want to leave you guys to it. But my big question Ibn Abdulla, like Ryan, was your statement Ibn Abdulla that ‘Furthermore Prophets have been described as spirits before in the bible’ – I’d be very interested if you could provide some reference(s)
Hi Richard, quick q, whats your opinion on the prophecies observed in both the Quran and hadith literature?
With regards to the spirit going hand in hand with prophets,
1 John 4:1-2 states, ‘Dear friends,do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.’
Is the Antichrist that you believe in not satan in the flesh and a false prophet and god? we see him being described here as a false spirit.
and in the shepherd of hermes, “How will a person know which of them is a prophet and which is a false prophet?” The Shepherd answers this question by distinguishing the speech and behavior of a spirit from God and a spirit from the devil with the caveat that spirits from the devil may speak some true words and thereby appear to be from God.
Granted the prophets might not be necessrily spirits per se but they are in agent with the spirits of God which can include angels, “Of the angels he says, “He makes his angels winds(spirits), and his ministers a flame of fire.”” Hebrews 1:7
Likewise, Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible states:these are the four spirits of the heavens; or, “the four winds of the heavens”… angels are called “spirits” or “winds”, Psalm 104:3, they are created spirits, and so differ from God; are incorporeal ones, and so differ from men; and are immaterial and immortal, and so die not: they are spiritual subsistences, and spirits of the heavens, or heavenly spirits.
and in the Quran, ‘We have thus revealed a Spirit to you [Prophet] by Our command: you knew neither the Scripture nor the faith, but We made it a light, guiding with it whoever We will of Our servants. You are indeed guiding to the straight path (42:52)
Both evil and good spirits can take agency in men, in the Islamic point of view the evil spirits are the djinn created from fire and the good spirits are the angels created from light. When angels take agency in men these men assume the prophetic title hence becoming Spirits of truth.
I don’t know if your comment below about an end of discussion was between you and Ryan or also with me; but either way I hope you see this comment.
I really appreciate your comment, I hadn’t thought of 1 John 4:1-2; I think that’s the closest thing you listed to John 14-16.
I’m still not convinced that the same applies in John 14-16, and here is why:
1) In 1 John 4:1-2, ‘spirit’ and ‘false prophet’ are tied very closely together. However the mention of ‘false prophet’ clarifies what he is talking about; we don’t have that clarification in John 14-16 that a Prophet is being spoken about.
2) Typical usage in scripture, both OT and NT, is not to use ‘spirit’ as a shorthand for ‘spirit of a prophet’. 1 John 4 seems to be quite unusual in doing this, and even there it instantly clarifies that we’re talking about false prophets.
3) 1 John 4 is talking about multiple spirits. By contrast, John 14-16 is talking about a single Spirit.
4) As Ryan has already mentioned, there are so many features here that describe the Holy Spirit, not a future Prophet. The Spirit will be ‘with you forever’ (John 14:16), in contrast to Jesus who is about to depart from this world. ‘the world cannot receive [him], because it neither sees him nor knows him’ (John 14:17); the world could receive Muhammad, and it did see and know him. How are the disciples able to know the Spirit? ‘You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.’ (John 14:17) The very name parakletos (John 14:26) is the one who comes beside, which matches the Holy Spirit being always with Jesus’ followers; by contrast Muhammad is not besides people beyond his eathly life span. The Spirit proceeds, exporeuomai, from the Father (John 15:26). This is the language of outflowing, not of sending prophets. The Spirit is sent by Jesus from the Father – is this Muhammad? (John 15:26).
5) John 20:22 – 22 ‘And when [Jesus] had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.’ The Spirit is here clarified to be the Holy Spirit, and the disciples were able to have it from Jesus in the first century. They didn’t have to wait until the 7th century.
I will reply to your points about those other prophecies in a seperate post.
Another point – now I am not an expert on this but from what I understand of the ‘individual salvific figure’ that you cited to me, from the History of Religion school, is not a human prophet, but an exalted heavenly redeemer – I do not think you want to claim this as Muhammad
Did the disciples not believe that Jesus would return in their lifetimes ? I dont see a problem with Jesus sending Mohammed as long as the authority is ultimayely God’s in the end. Just like Moses commisioned Aaron as a prophet through the permission of God, likewise Jesus can ask God to send us a prophet to guide us to all truth.
But Moses was greater than Aaron. Is Jesus greater than Mohammed? Who sent Mohammed in the Torah and Sunnah and Hadith?
The Parousia was completed in the destruction of the Jewish temple in AD70. That however is a separate discussion.
Over all I don’t think you’ve really addressed the questions and implications posed by the who Jesus identifies as the spirit earlier in Mark
In the famous “Anchor Bible” we find the following quote:
“The word parakletos is peculiar in the NT to the Johnannine literature. In John ii Jesus is a parakletos (not a title), serving as a heavenly intercessor with the Father … Christian tradition has identified this figure (Paraclete) as the Holy Spirit, but scholars like Spitta, Delafosse, Windisch, Sasse, Bultmann, and Betz have doubted whether this identification is true to the original picture and have suggested that theParaclete was once an independent salvific figure, later confused with the Holy Spirit.”
As you yourself have claimed, The holyspirit was already received before Jesus had ascended.
The word “Paraclete” is applied to Jesus himself in 1 John 2:1
“My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin,we have an advocate (parakletos) with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” 1 John 2:1
“And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter (parakletos) , that he may abide with you for ever” John 14:16
Is there another holy spirit?
He will abide with you forever. Muhammad teachings are widely documented and in a sense he is abiding with us forever. Especially due to him being the final prophet.
But who am I kidding. You have probably seen all these arguments but guidance is from Allah. May he guide us all.
Hi Ibn Abdullah,
Thank you for your further comments 🙂
I will try and reply tomorrow (I like to reply early on in the day), but before I do, could you explain what you know about those scholars and why they suggest the Paraclete might be ‘an independent salvific figure’?
Hi Ibn Abdulla,
Sorry for the slow reply, I took the weekend off but am back now:
1. So Windisch uses a method of chopping the Paraclete sayings out of the Gospel and interpreting them in isolation, a method Muslims would not allow for the Qur’an, and which the Qur’an cannot reasonably expect Christians to do to the Injil. Sasse postulates different layers within the text, and again the same point applies. As the Anchor Bible Dictionary recognises, in the form that we actually have it, the Paraclete is the Holy Spirit (John 14:26). As it says, ‘Furthermore, even if the Paraclete passages came from an independent source, the evangelist felt able to identify him with the Holy Spirit (14:26), thus providing some justification for attempting an integral exegesis of all the allusions to the spirit in the Gospel. Additional support comes from the editorial comment interjected at 7:39: “for the Spirit did not yet exist (oupō gar ēn pneuma) because Jesus had not yet been glorified.” So basically if Christians approach the Gospel as believers (as Muslims do to the Qur’an and as the Qur’an expects of Christians) rather than modern secularists, one arrives at the conclusion that the Paraclete is the Holy Spirit.
Now, if we are quoting the famous Anchor Bible Commentary by Raymond Brown, it may be worth noting that Brown rejects the approach of those scholars that he notes. He also notes the background of some of these scholars:
‘Earlier in this century the attempt of the History of Religions School, especially W. Bauer, Windisch, and Bultmann, to find the origins of the Paraclete in proto-Mandean Gnosticism enjoyed a certain vogue.’
Brown, R. E. (2008). The Gospel according to John (XIII-XXI): Introduction, translation, and notes (Vol. 29A, p. 1137). New Haven; London: Yale University Press.
The History of Religions school interpreted the Gospels against the background of other religious movements, rather than against a Jewish background, presumably not an approach the Qur’an wants Christians to take.
‘Michaelis and Behm have subjected this theory to penetrating criticism, and it has few followers today. (For a summary of arguments, see Brown, “Paraclete,” pp. 119–20.) A Jewish background is more generally postulated.’
Brown, R. E. (2008). The Gospel according to John (XIII-XXI): Introduction, translation, and notes (Vol. 29A, p. 1137). New Haven; London: Yale University Press.
Scholars in recent decades have, rightly, increasingly recognised the Jewish nature of the NT documents, including the Gospel of John.
It may be worth noting the dates of some of these scholars; Spitta (note sure the date), Delafosse (not sure the date), Windisch (1927, 1933), Sasse (1925), Bultmann (1963), Betz (963). Some of these scholars are very old, and might have benefitted from this recent recognition of the Jewishness of John’s Gospel facilitated by the discovery of the DSS in the 1940s. None are at the cutting edge of modern scholarship. I’m not saying there is no wisdom to be learned from the past, but can we have some more recent scholarship written in light of the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, which Raymond Brown has benefitted from? Also I’m not sure you want to cite Bultmann, who wanted to ‘demythologise’ the scriptures; I don’t think the Qur’an wants us to demythologise Jesus’ miracles, nor to apply this to the Qur’an. Butlmann famously said: ‘We cannot use electric lights and radios and, in the event of illness, avail ourselves of modern medical and clinical means and at the same time believe in the spirit and wonder world of the New Testament. (New Testament and Mythology & Other Basic Writings, 4)’. Now perhaps we can interpret this charitably – https://www.patheos.com/blogs/unsystematictheology/2016/03/the-most-misunderstood-quote-in-modern-theology-guest-post-by-david-congdon/ – but one has to be sensitive to Bultmann’s perspective before citing him as an authority.
For the sake of tidyness I’ll reply to your other points in a seperate comment
As you yourself have claimed, The holyspirit was already received before Jesus had ascended.’ – Jesus has gone and been ‘glorified’ (John 7:39), which in Jesus’ gospel refers to his crucifixion (John 12:23-24). After this the Spirit can be given (John 7:39). Jesus’ during his resurrection appearances is on his way out of this world, and so he gives his Spirit to his disciples.
3. Yes absolutely, Jesus Christ is a Paraclete. But not the Paraclete of John 14-16 – Jesus says ‘Another paraclete’ in John 14:16 because the Spirit takes the place fo Jesus. Raymond Brown whom you cited to me makes this very point – the Holy Spirit is portrayed in similar terms to Jesus. Did you read Brown or just the citation from him which often seems to get passed around on Muslim websites?
5. Jesus’ teachings are still with us, but that was not what Jesus meant by being with us – he meant the Spirit remaining with us, being alongside (this is what the Paraclete does), and being ‘in us’.
You didn’t address all of the points – does Muhammad exporeuomai from the Father? (John 15:26). I presume he is not sent by Jesus and the Father (John 15:26). Muhammad wasn’t breathed out by Jesus? (John 20:22). How is it that the world does not ‘see [Muhammad] or know [Muhammad], you know him for he dwells with you and will be in you.’? (John 14:17).
This is the end of my discussion with you, I hope you continue with your search and remain truthful to yourself.
The biblical canon was closed when Mohammed came along and claimed to be a prophet.
He added pagan practices to the law and took away from it, e.g the Sabbath. Another reason why he can’t be a prophet for people who believe in the bible.
Your making an argument that doesn’t exist. For 10 years the prophet was commanded to only teach tawheed( the oneness of God).
Muslims may say Deuteronomy 18 is about Muhammad (pbuh).
Christians may say Deuteronomy 18 is about Jesus.
But Jews say none of them fit that verse.
For Muslims it doesn’t matter if Deuteronomy 18 is about Muhammad (pbuh) or not, Torah is not a Muslim’s holy book. Nothing is changed to Muhammad as a last prophet and messenger of Allah.
But for Christians maybe its matter, because Jesus teaches Torah and Injeel.
Let Christians and Jews talk about this.
Thank you for your comment 🙂
I do quote the Jewish Study Bible in my article, such that Deuteronomy 18 is originally just about the institution of prophets and not any given individual. As a Christian I would say this may well be true, but that Jesus is the prophet par excellence, and thus the ultimate fulfilment of Deuteronomy 18. But yes Jewish-Christian discussion about Jesus are always a good idea!
I think it does matter for a Muslim, in that the Qur’an chastises Jews for not accepting Jesus. So the Muslim has to wonder where in the Torah available at the time of Jesus that predictions of Jesus could still be found.
Nope, it doesn’t matter for Muslims and also Muslims doesn’t need to wonder where is it in the Torah about Jesus or Muhammad.