Did Jesus Foretell Muhammad?

June 28, 2007

Firstly, I am going to reiterate my response to a comment on this topic: Now if you are trying say that the Greek word “paracletos” should read “pariclytos,” the argument fails. To say the two are so similar as to be switched by mistake is like saying “church” and “crutch” are the same word because they have some of the same letters in common (c, r, c and h). Paracletos means “comfortor” or “counsellor,” pariclytos means “praised one.” Similar letters does not prove anything if the two words have completely different meanings. There is also no evidence to suggest that the Greek originally read “pariclytos” in the first place. It is not a “cover-up”; there is no evidence to suggest it to be true, only speculation.

Secondly, the things the Lord Jesus said about the Comforter to come, that is the Holy Spirit, does not fit the person Muhammad. This passage is found in John 14:15 and following. The following are a few of the things could not fit Muhammad:

1. Jesus says that the Comforter will be with the disciples forever (v. 16). Muhammad was only a man. Besides this, he wasn’t born until 600 years after these words were spoken.
2. Muhammad is not the Spirit of truth (v. 17a), or the Holy Spirit (v. 26).
3. Muhammad, being a man, could not live within the disciples as the Comforter is said to do (v. 17b).
4. Also, in Acts 1:4 we read that Jesus commanded the disciples to wait in Jerusalem until the promised Holy Spirit comes. They could not have been commanded to wait in Jerusalem for 600 years until Muhammad was born. They were told to wait for the Holy Spirit so they could go out and preach the gospel.

A simply reading of the passages in question show that the context does not permit the promised Comforter to be Muhammad, as Muslims claim.

~
Also of Interest: Are Islam and Christianity Compatible?
Part 1 – Introduction
Part 2 – The Bible and the Quran
Part 3 – The Trinity
Part 4 – God and Allah
Part 5 – The Lord Jesus Christ
Part 6 – Salvation
Part 7 – Conclusion

Advertisements

Are Christianity and Islam Compatible? – Part 7 – Conclusion

June 27, 2007

Someone might say, “All religions are fundamentally the same and superficially different.” Many have pointed out to the contrary, “No, all religions are really superficially the same and fundamentally different” (1). Such is the case with Islam and Christianity.

On the surface level some things seem similar. Both claim to believe in the God of Abraham. Both claim to believe in the person of Jesus Christ, in his virgin birth, sinlessness and ability to perform miracles. Islam claims to recognize the Christian Bible at some level.

Yet when the doctrines of each of these religions are compared at any depth, it is easy to see that they do not teach the same thing. The God of the Bible and Allah of the Qur’an are not the same God. Islam denies the most fundamental doctrines of Christianity, namely the Trinity, the work of Christ on the cross, and salvation by faith. The Qur’an also claims to nullify the Bible, the very Word of God. While Islam and Christianity do hold some vague similarities, they are fundamentally different in their beliefs.

(1) E.g. Ravi Zacharias in many of his Let My People Think broadcasts. These can be found and listened to at rzim.org

Part 1 – Introduction
Part 2 – The Bible and the Quran
Part 3 – The Trinity
Part 4 – God and Allah
Part 5 – The Lord Jesus Christ
Part 6 – Salvation

Also of Interest: Did Jesus Foretell Muhammad?


Are Christianity and Islam Compatible? – Part 6 – Salvation

June 26, 2007

The major reason why the cross is such a stumbling block to Muslims is because of a lack of understanding of the nature of man and the need for atonement. Muslims believe that man is fundamentally good (Sura 30:29-30). Thus, “when Christians share the ‘good news of salvation from sin’ with Muslim friends, it is often not heard as ‘good news.’ This is largely because Muslims have traditionally not diagnosed the human condition as pessimistically as the Bible does; so they have not seen the need for as radical a solution” (1).

Despite this, Muslims believe that people are weak and capable of sin. The Qur’an says Muhammad sinned (2). Salvation, in Islam, is by works. Muslims must fulfill the Five Pillars of Islam: reciting the Shahada (confession of faith), reciting prayers five times a day (Salat), giving alms (zakat), fasting during the month of Ramadan (Saum) and, at least once in their lifetime, participate in a pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca (Hajj). On top of this, jihad is also considered by some Muslims to be essential. The word means struggle or “utmost effort”, and is interpreted as holy war against “infidels” by radical Muslims. But more liberal and westernized Muslims, jihad connotes a daily struggle to be good Muslims (3).

Even if a Muslim performs all these acts of worship, they can still never be sure of their salvation. Allah can do whatever he wants, and this includes denying heaven for even the most devout Muslim. Muslims are seen not as children of God but as slaves who should never question Allah’s will. They must only submit (4).

This works-based salvation also seems contradictory in light of the Islamic view of God’s sovereignty. How can one earn their salvation if it is already predetermined who will and will not be saved?

The Bible, on the other hand, is clear that Jesus Christ is the only way to salvation (John 14:6) and that we are saved through faith, not works (Ephesians 2:8-9). All have sinned and therefore all are born condemned to eternal damnation separate from God (Romans 5:12). But because of Christ’s atoning sacrifice on the cross, his death and resurrection on the third day, we can be born again (John 3:3) and reconciled to God (Romans 5:11). Being born again means to die to the sinful nature we were born into and made into new creations in Christ Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:17). We can then be called children of God as we are born again of the spirit (John 1:12-13). God has shown us great mercy! “While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

(1) Woodberry, 149-150.
(2) Martin, 623.
(3) Ibid.
(4) Malek, 78.

Part 1 – Introduction
Part 2 – The Bible and the Quran
Part 3 – The Trinity
Part 4 – God and Allah
Part 5 – The Lord Jesus Christ
Part 7 – Conclusion

Also of Interest: Did Jesus Foretell Muhammad?


Are Islam and Christianity Compatible? – Part 5 – The Lord Jesus Christ

June 25, 2007

Although Muslims reject the deity of the Lord Jesus, they still hold a high view of him. Some of the titles used for Jesus agree with the Bible. The most common title for Jesus in the Qur’an is “Son of Mary.” This was probably written to contrast the title Son of God and deny Christ’s divinity (1). He is also called Prophet (Sura 19:30) (2). The Qur’an also agrees at some points about the events of Jesus’ life, such as his virgin birth, miracles and sinlessness. These things are not said of even Muhammad (3).

One major point of contention between Islam and Christianity is the cross. The Bible clearly teaches that the Lord Jesus was crucified and died on the cross (e.g. Luke 23:26-49). The Qur’an, however, teaches that Jesus did not really die on the cross (Sura 4:157-158). Muslims claim that Jesus’ ascended to heaven without dying, and passages referring to Jesus’ death talk about the future (4).

The most common Muslim objection to the reality of the cross is that God is just and would not have allowed Jesus to die on the cross. Jesus was sinless, and suffering implies sin, as well as weakness. When faced with enemies, Muhammad either defeated them or escaped. A Muslim might say, “If indeed the cross is the revelation of God’s love, then that love seems both cruel and weak, for if God is love, how could He permit the beloved Messiah to suffer so, and if God is all-powerful why did He not intervene and rescue the Messiah?”(5) One Iranian Muslim asked, “Do we not honor him [Jesus] more than you do when we refuse to believe that God would permit him to suffer death on the cross? We believe that God took him to heaven” (6).

There are a couple of ways that Muslims deal with the death of Christ. Some claim that there was a crucifixion, but Allah performed a miracle and made someone else to look like Jesus, who was crucified and died in his place. Simon of Cyrene or Judas Iscariot are suggested as possible substitutes. Others claim that there was no crucifixion at all, but it was an illusion. Allah caused the Jews to imagine the crucifixion of Jesus. One minority sect, the Ahmadiyyas, advocate the swoon theory. This theory claims that Jesus was crucified but never died, and was revived when he was in the tomb. Even further, they claim that Jesus then went to India, married and had a family, and died in old age (7). All of these theories clearly contradict the Bible.

Phil Parshall describes the Muslim dilemma of the person of Christ in this way:

Islam is distinctly uncomfortable with Jesus. On the one hand Muslims desire to follow the traditional dictates of Islam and honor Christ as one of the greatest prophets of all time. On the other hand the alleged excesses of “Christ worship” as founding Christendom have made Muslims more than a little hesitant to attribute more than a passing word of respect toward Jesus. To Muslims, Christ’s deity and crucifixion present massive stumbling blocks (8).

(1) Malek, 87.
(2) Martin, 623.
(3) Ibid
(4) Saal, 65, 119.
(5) Woodberry, 11
(6) Ibid, 164.
(7) Malek, 186.
(8) Parshall, 184.

Part 1 – Introduction
Part 2 – The Bible and the Quran
Part 3 – The Trinity
Part 4 – God and Allah
Part 6 – Salvation
Part 7 – Conclusion

Also of Interest: Did Jesus Foretell Muhammad?


Those Who Have Not Heard

June 24, 2007

“How then can they call on the one they have no believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they heard without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!(1)'” (Romans 10:14-15).

(1)Isaiah 52:7


Are Christianity and Islam Compatible? – Part 4 – God and Allah

June 21, 2007

In Islam, God is called Allah. It is the Arabic word for God, as is actually used by Arabic-speaking Christians as well. Many Muslims claim that Christians and Muslims all worship the same God. But based on the rejection of the Trinity, we have already seen that the God of the Bible is not the same as Allah of Islam. For this reason I make the distinction between God and Allah.

The Qur’an claims many attributes of Allah that are similar to the Bible’s attributes of God. Each sura of the Qur’an starts with “In the name of Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate.” Many places in the Bible refer to God in this way (e.g. Exodus 34:6). Some Muslims recite the ninety-nine names of Allah found in the Qur’an, such as the Forgiving One (1).

The word Islam means submission (2). It is a fitting name because the religion of Islam is all about submitting to Allah. Christianity is likewise about submitting to God. We are told to obey the Lord (e.g. John 14:15), and surrender our lives completely to him (e.g. Matthew 16:24).

Muslims believe that everything is predestined by Allah. He may lead people to believe in him, or even lead people astray and cause them to do evil. This view is fatalistic and may cause Muslims to be indifferent about their behaviour, because “it is written” or predestined already. No one can go against the will of Allah (3).

Some Christians believe that God predestines all things in a similar way, but the Bible is clear that man has a choice to choose to follow him or to disobey. For example, Israel was told, “Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve” (Joshua 24:15), and Jesus pointed to the fact that people could choose to do God’s will (John 7:17).

(1) Saal, 103.
(2) Ibid.
(3) Malek, 87

Part 1 – Introduction
Part 2 – The Bible and the Quran
Part 3 – The Trinity
Part 5 – The Lord Jesus Christ
Part 6 – Salvation
Part 7 – Conclusion

Also of Interest: Did Jesus Foretell Muhammad?


Are Christianity and Islam Compatible? – Part 3 – The Trinity

June 20, 2007

The Muslim confession of faith is called the Shahada, and states, “There is no God but Allah and Muhammad is the prophet of Allah” (1). Foundational to the Islamic faith is monotheism, and it is considered shirk (blasphemy) to claim there is more than one God (2). Christians also believe that there is only one true God: “Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one” (Deuteronomy 6:4).

However, one of the main tenants of the Christian faith is the doctrine of the Trinity, that the one God exists eternally in three distinct persons, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Muslims consider worship of the Trinity to be polytheism. The Qur’an condemns the doctrine of the Trinity, calling it blasphemy (Sura 5:17, 73-75)(3). But one major factual error pops up in the Qur’an when this passage is looked up. It claims that the Trinity is God, Jesus and Mary. Any Christian would also call this blasphemy. Still, the Qur’an also rejects Jesus’ divinity. Muslims also refer to the angel Gabriel as the Holy Spirit (4).

(1) Walter Martin, The Kingdom of the Cults (Minneapolis: Bethany House, 1997), 623.
(2) Martin, 620.
(3) Ibid.
(4) M Nader, The Holy Spirit in the Quran [online]. [cite April 26, 2007.] http://www.submission.org/jesus/holy_spirit.html .

Part 1 – Introduction
Part 2 – The Bible and the Quran
Part 4 – God and Allah
Part 5 – The Lord Jesus Christ
Part 6 – Salvation
Part 7 – Conclusion

Also of Interest: Did Jesus Foretell Muhammad?


%d bloggers like this: