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"True and False Prophets"

Reader comment on item: Pope Benedict XVI and the Koran
in response to reader comment: Prophet Muhammad in the Old Testament

Submitted by Lactantius Jr (United Kingdom), Aug 6, 2011 at 15:32

To Arianit

It is extremely common for some Muslims to pick and choose which passages in the Bible are correct, claiming as for example Shabir Ally does, that everything in the Bible which agrees with the Qur'an is correct, whilst anything in the Bible that disagrees with the Qur'an has been corrupted by Jews and/or Christians, and very significantly Arianit, you only quote verses 17-19 of Deuteronomy 18, whereas also quoting verses 20 and 21 as I do, completely undercuts your assertion that the verses you quote refer to Muhammad, and even the Bible translation you have used (New International Version?), which reads "I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers" rules out Muhammad, Muhammad being an Arab not an Israelite, as the New Living Translation rendering of "fellow Israelites" translates it, emphatically excluding Muhammad as the prophet like Moses. Much more could be said about whether Muhammad was like Moses, and using the Islamic source documents (Qur'an, Sahi Hadith, Tafsir and Ta'rikh) it can be emphatically demonstrated that Muhammad was most unlike Moses in many ways. Rather than doing this however, I use the two verses following the passage from Deuteronomy that you quoted, to demonstrate that Muhammad was indeed a false prophet and not speaking on behalf of the God of the Bible, but before doing that, I ask you whose name did Muhammad speak in? Did he speak in the Name of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob? The God Who revealed Himself to Moses from "the burning bush," Exodus 3:1-21 http://tinyurl.com/3e7rv3w and here is a record of what that God said to Moses, as recorded at Exodus 3 verse 15

"God also said to Moses 'say this to the people of Israel: Yahweh, the God of your ancestors, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob has sent me to you. This is My eternal Name, My Name to remember for all generations.'" http://tinyurl.com/4xbabgy

Muhammad never spoke in the eternal Name Yahweh, speaking instead in the name of Allah, and there in no indication in the Islamic source documents, that Muhammad even knew the Biblical God's eternal Name Yahweh, and this fact too, demonstrates that Muhammad was a false prophet. However, I return to the passage of Deuteronomy 18 which you selectively quoted, and I quote verses 17-21 of Deuteronomy 18 from the New Living Translation of the Bible, a section titled True and False Prophets and which can be read online at http://tinyurl.com/3oygqkr

"Then the Lord said to me, 'What they have said is right. I will raise up a prophet like you from among their fellow Israelites. I will put my words in his mouth, and he will tell the people everything I command him. I will personally deal with anyone who will not listen to the messages the prophet proclaims on my behalf. But any prophet who falsely claims to speak in My name or who speaks in the name of another god must die.'

"But you may wonder, 'How will we know whether or not a prophecy is from the Lord?' If the prophet speaks in the Lord's name but his prediction does not happen or come true, you will know that the Lord did not give that message. That prophet has spoken without My authority and need not be feared."

The most popular "prophecy" used by Muslims such as yourself Arianit, to "prove" that Muhammad is predicted in the Old Testament, is found in Deuteronomy 18, but this claim rebounds on you, and my purpose in responding to you in the way I do, is to demonstrate that according to Deuteronomy 18, Muhammad cannot possibly be a prophet of the Biblical God.

There are two things to be considered here, and I call them Part A and Part B, with Part A arguing that if a person speaks in the name of false gods, that person is a false prophet, and because Muhammad spoke in the name of false gods, Muhammad was therefore a false prophet. Part B arguing that if a person delivers a revelation that doesn't come from God, that person is a false prophet, and because Muhammad delivered a revelation that didn't come from God, Muhammad was therefore a false prophet, and by appealing to Deuteronomy 18 to support your belief in Muhammad, you unintentionally grant that the arguments of Part A and Part B are true.

In quoting Deuteronomy 18:17-19 your claim that these verses are a miraculous prediction of Muhammad, grant that these verses are inspired by God and true, and so you surely cannot ignore the very next verse which says,

"But any prophet who falsely claims to speak in My Name or who speaks in the name of another god must die." Deuteronomy 18:20 http://tinyurl.com/3hteghl

Here are two tests for spotting a false prophet, 1) giving a revelation which God has not given him to speak, and 2) "speaking in the name of another god," and since you appeal to Deuteronomy 18:17-19 you cannot deny the truths of the arguments in Part A and Part B. Thus, according to a passage that you regard as divinely revealed by God, a person who delivers a message not coming from God, or who speaks in the name of false gods, must be a false prophet, which means that Muhammad was a false prophet, since he did both when he spoke the infamous "satanic verses," which we learn about not from Christian or Jewish sources, but from the writings of early Muslims, including Ibn Ishaq, Wakidi, Ibn Sa'ad, al-Tabari, Ibn Abi Hatim, Ibn al-Mundhir, Ibn Mardauyah, Musa ibn 'Uqba and Abu Ma'shar. According to the great Muslim scholar Ibn Hajar, three chains of isnad in these accounts "satisfy the conditions requisite for an authentic report." (Ibn Hajar, quoted in Allam Shibli Nu'mani, Sirat-un-Nabi, Volume 1, M. Tayyib Bakhsh Budayuni, tr. (New Delhi: Kitab Bhavan, 2004), p. 164.) Additionally, Sahi al-Bukhari, Islam's most trusted source on the life of Muhammad, gives indirect confirmation of the "satanic verses" episode, "The Prophet performed a prostration when he finished reciting Surat an-Najm [Sura 53], and all the Muslims and Al-Mushrikun (polytheists, pagans, idolaters, and disbelievers in the Oneness of Allah and in His Messenger Muhammad) and jinn and human beings prostrated along with him." (4862 Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume Six, Muhammad Muhsin Khan, tr. (Riyadh: Darussalam, 1997), and in addition, certain verses of the Qur'an refer to Muhammad's damaging lapse into polytheism,

"Verily, they were about to tempt you away from that which we have revealed (the Qur'an) unto you (O Muhammad SAW), to fabricate something other than it against us, and then they would certainly have taken you a friend! And had we not made you stand firm, you would nearly have inclined to them a little. In that case, we would have made you taste a double portion (of punishment) after death. And then you would have no one to help you against us." Sura 17:73-75

"Never did we send a messenger or a prophet before you, but; when he did recite the revelation or spoke, shaitan (satan) throws in. Then Allah establishes his revelations. And Allah is all-knower, all-wise. That he (Allah) may make what is thrown in by shaitan (satan) a trial for those in whose hearts is a disease (of hypocrisy and disbelief) and whose hearts are hardened. And certainly the zalimun (polytheists and wrongdoers etc) are in an opposition far-off (from the truth against Allah's messenger and the believers). Surah 22:52&53

Evidence contained in the Islamic accounts concerning the "satanic verses" episode is overwhelming, and it is thus clear that on at least one occasion, Muhammad delivered a message that did not come from God, it also being clear that Muhammad spoke in the name of false gods by promoting polytheism., establishing from Islamic sources, that the arguments in Part A and Part B are almost certainly true.

Conclusion

Muslims who want to deny that a person speaking in the names of false gods is a false prophet, or delivers a revelation that doesn't come from God is a false prophet, must abandon their claim that Deuteronomy 18 predicts the coming of Muhammad, but Deuteronomy 18 is a favourite Biblical passage claimed by Muslims to predict the coming of Muhammad, and if the Bible contains no clear prophecies about Muhammad, then Muhammad was a false prophet, since he claimed (in the Qur'an no less!) that the Jewish and Christian scriptures contain prophecies of his coming. This presents Muslims with an insoluble dilemma. If they cling to Deuteronomy 18, then Muhammad was a false prophet. If they abandon it, then they are on the verge of having no biblical prophecies of Muhammad, implying that Muhammad was a false prophet.

If you are genuinely interested in seeking the truth about God, please hear what the Bible says Arianit,

"If you look for Me wholeheartedly, you will find Me." Jeremiah 29:13

and I commend to you the recent posting of mine "couldn't be clearer than this" on Dr.Pipes' site at http://www.danielpipes.org/comments/187060 which outlines the gospel of grace. You're not worth it Arianit, you don't deserve it and you can't earn it with good works, it's a free gift from a most loving God, do you want it?

You're going to live forever Arianit, please choose your address.

With kind regards and best wishes

Lactantius Jr

Submitting....

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