Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Mohammed - the Fulfillment of Biblical Prophecy?

Many Muslims claim that Mohammed was foretold in earlier Scriptures, i.e. the Bible, and thus Christians and Jews ought to recognise that he was The Prophet of God. To substantiate this claim, they point to several passages in the Old and New Testaments which supposedly speak of Mohammed. In fact, this line of inquiry has a very long yet not well-evolved record in the history of Muslim polemics against Christianity. In many respects, the same claims which the Muslims were making against the Byzantines in the 11th century are those which are being used by Muslims in the 21st. Little innovation has been introduced into most of these claims of prophetic foretelling for Mohammed. This is not because of the great success which these Muslim arguments have had with those who are knowledgeable of the Bible (indeed, these arguments tend to serve better at bolstering Muslims in their own beliefs than in changing anyone else's), but rather because of the stagnancy introduced into Muslim polemics on this point. This stagnancy is induced by the Muslim truism that the Bible (the Torah and the Gospels) was altered by the Jews and Christians so as to deny the "truths" of Islam which would otherwise still be found in these texts. Thus, when the Muslims find verses in these Scriptures which their more creative theologians can recast as evidential prophecies of Mohammed, it becomes an article of faith that these "prophecies" are still found (despite Jewish/Christian tinkering) because of providential preservation on the part of Allah. Upon examination, however, it is quite clear that Mohammed is not discussed in these passages, and indeed, the Bible is silent about him. A look at the actual context of these passages, both in the text and in the historico-social settings, dispels the myth that these passages refer to Mohammed. While any Christian who has spent a reasonable amount of time studying the Bible is unlikely to be swayed by the arguments that Mohammed is found in these passages, it may still be helpful to new Christians to see the errors in the Muslim claims for these verses, and can also be of benefit to all Christians who deal with Muslims in helping us to systematically dispel and debunk these claims in the minds of the Muslim friends and neighbours with whom we interact. As such, I present the most common Old and New Testament verses which are abused by Muslim polemicists.

Source and further reading:
Study to Answer.Net:
A Resource for a Reasoned, Respectful, and Ready Defence of the Christian Faith

No comments: