Additional MS 43725, f.260; John xxi.1-25
c. 1978, The British Library Board; BL/B/MS/X43
Al A'raf 7:157
"Those who follow the apostle, the unlettered Prophet, whom they find mentioned in the Taurat and the Injil..."
Al Saff 61:6
"...Jesus, the son of Mary said: 'O children of Israel! I am the apostle of Allah (sent) to you, confirming the Taurat (which came) before me and giving glad tidings of an apostle to come after me, whose name shall be Ahmad' "
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Are there any predictions of Muhammad outside the Qur'an? Have any of the previous Jewish and Christian Scriptures spoken about His coming? Some Muslims believe that in the Injil (John 16:7) there is reference to the prophecy mentioned in Sura 7:157 and again in Sura 61:6.
The commentary of Hamza, Vol. 1, pg.330 says: "We cannot give to this verse (Surah 7:157) all the commentary which it merits in light of the Old and New Testaments...John 16:7. All the misunderstanding which separates Jews, Christians and Muslims comes from the manner in which one pronounces or writes parakletos, which the translators of the gospel have rendered as 'counsellor.' Must we read it parakletos or periklytos?"
Muslims, aware that the original New Testament was written in Greek, choose the latter spelling, periklytos, which translates as 'glorious', over parakletos which means 'counsellor', or 'lawyer'. On the strength of the Qur'anic text (Sura 61:6) Muslims then claim that John 14:16 and 16:7 are predictions of the coming of Muhammad, and that the word periklytos (glorious), refers to Ahmad, a form of the name Muhammed, both meaning "the Praised one".
What some Muslims have tried to do with this word is replace the vowels as they see fit (replacing the a-a-e-o in parakletos with e-i-y-o in periklytos). In Hebrew and in Arabic, where the vowels are not included in the words, there is room for debate as to which vowels the author intended. However this is not so in Greek, as all vowels are clearly written in all Greek texts.
If in any doubt as to how this word is written, it is simple to review any of the existing manuscripts (MSS). They are open for anyone to examine (including two of the oldest, the Codex Siniaticus and the Codex Alexandrinus, both in the British Museum, in London). There are more than 70 Greek manuscripts of the New Testament dating from before the time of Muhammad. Not one of them uses the word periklytos! All use the word parakletos. In fact, the word periklytos does not even appear in the Bible!
At the heart of this argument, for a Muslim, is the desire to find any external prediction for the coming of Muhammad in both the Taurat and the Injil (as referred to in Sura 7:157). Without it, the only criteria for Muhammad's authority is the Qur'an; while the only authority for the Qur'an is Muhammad. This is circular reasoning, which is not a valid scholarly argument. Since the evidence for any prediction by Jesus concerning Muhammad does not exist in the Injil, this creates a problem for Muslims who must produce external criteria for the authenticity of their prophet.
A further problem for the Muslim exists once he studies the verses in question. John 14:16 says: "And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counsellor (parakletos) to be with you forever." Most Muslims quote only this verse, as well as John 16:7, and then shut the Bible. What they fail to realise is that, as is the case in most pieces of literature, it is dangerous to read any verse or phrase outside its context. If the reader were to continue reading beyond chapter 14:16 and chapter 16:7, he would find that Jesus predicts in specific detail the arrival and identity of the parakletos.
According to the context of John chapters 14 and 16 Jesus said that the parakletos is not a human being:
Jesus said the parakletos' specific mission was to point to him:
Jesus said that the parakletos is a spirit:
note: To whom does the phrase "another counsellor to be with you forever" (John 14:16) refer? See I John 2:1 where Jesus Christ is the other parakletos. He is also interceding for us.
It is clear from the context that no human prophet or angelic being can qualify as the parakletos. Consider: he will be with them forever, not seen, nor known, yet within others, and will set about reminding the people of what Jesus did, while bringing glory to Jesus. There is only one being who qualifies in all these areas, the Holy Spirit of the Injil, whom Jesus pointedly identifies as the parakletos. He fulfills all the above requirements.
In the first chapter of Acts, Jesus, just before he was to be taken up into heaven, and 40 days after he had first promised the coming of Holy Spirit (John14:16 and John16:7), again speaks of this "gift". He says:
It is obvious that this counsellor of whom Jesus speaks is indeed the Holy Spirit, who came in power 10 days after Jesus left, on the day of Pentecost (translated as the 50th day), and 570 years before the birth of Muhammad.
Sura 7:157 and 61:6 speak of a prophet, Ahmad (Muhammad), who was revealed beforehand in the Taurat and the Injil (Gospel). It is imperative, therefore, that these passages be found. Without them, Muhammad has no outside evidence to prove his prophethood, and the authority for the beliefs of over one billion Muslims hangs on the single testimony of one finite man. However, there are no passages in the Injil which speak of this coming prophet. Muslims believe that these passages in John are the ones which refer to Ahmad. Yet, are they? Can this promised one, this counsellor, be a human being or a prophet; or is he a spirit, specifically, the Biblical Holy Spirit?
As you read these verses and consider what has been said, you too, must come to a conclusion. Based on the evidence before you, you must decide who, indeed, is the person spoken of in the Injil: John 14:16 and John 16:7.
This pamphlet was compiled by an interdenominational group of evangelical Christians concerned with Muslim-Christian dialogue.