Favorite Muslim
Bible Verses

Ahmad

Falling Down

From Your Brethren

Corruption of the Text

Eloi, Eloi, Lama Sabachthani

Lord, Lord

Altogether Lovely



  • "But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you." (John 14:26).



Ahmad

According to the Koran, Jesus predicted a prophet to come after Him whose name would be "Ahmad," i.e. 'Helper,' a name Mohammed applied to himself:

"And remember when Jesus the son of Mary said, ‘O children of Israel! of a truth I am God’s apostle to you to confirm the law which was given before me, and to announce an apostle that shall come after me whose name shall be Ahmad!’ But when he (Ahmad) presented himself with clear proofs of his mission, they said, ‘This is manifest sorcery!’" (Sura 61:6)

In the Bible, Jesus promises the advent of a Helper, a Comforter, an Advocate:

"But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you." (John 14:26).

The Helper, or Comforter, that Jesus promised is not a man who happens to be named 'Ahmad,' but God the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity. In the Koran and in Islamic theology, the Holy Spirit is often confused with the Angel Gabriel, a created being. But in the Bible, in both testaments, the Holy Spirit is God. The promise is given that He will dwell in believers: "Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you." (John 14:17). But Mohammed ibn Abdallah does not dwell in his followers. And isn't it more than a little bit of a stretch to identify this lascivious man, by profession a warlord, with 'the Holy Spirit.'

Mohammed was not original in identifying himself as the Comforter. Mani made the same claim centuries before when he, too, assembled a new religion from bits and pieces of Christianity, Judaism, gnosticism and native religions:

"Mani, however, said that he was the Paraclete Spirit, and calls himself an apostle of Christ on some occasions, and the Paraclete Spirit on others." (Epiphanius, Panarion, Books II and III, Section V, Against Manichaeans, Chapter 46 [66], 12,6)

The promise of the Holy Spirit was not a promise of another prophet in centuries to come, but for "not many days" from the Lord' ascension: “And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, 'which,' He said, 'you have heard from Me; for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.'” (Acts 1:4-5). To apply this prophecy to Mohammed ibn Abdallah means there were six long centuries separating the prophecy from its fulfillment. But Jesus does not suggest any such length of time; He promises He will not leave His disciples orphans: "I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you." (John 14:18). If the Mohammedan interpretation were correct, then He left them orphans. The same New Testament which records the promise also records its fulfillment: "This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses. Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear." (Acts 2:32-33). This is not an open or unfulfilled prophecy.

It Mohammed really were the promised 'Ahmad,' then he would not have spoken of himself:

"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 show you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you." (John 16:13-14).

How ironic to realize that if Mohammed ibn Abdallah had even a little of God the Holy Spirit's self-effacing character, that would have been sufficient to cleanse the Koran of all the 'God and His Apostle' passages, where this fallible, ignorant man is placed on a plane with God.




Another maladroit identification of the unlettered prophet is as the Messiah of the Jews. The Jews of Arabia in Mohammed's lifetime hoped in a lively Messianic expectation; before Mohammed appeared, they warned their polytheistic neighbors that a liberating prophet was to come: "Now God had prepared the way for Islam in that they lived side by side with the Jews who were people of the scriptures and knowledge, while they themselves were polytheists and idolaters. They had often raided them in their district and whenever bad feeling arose the Jews used to say to them, 'A prophet will be sent soon. His day is at hand. We shall follow him and kill you by his aid as 'Ad and Iram perished.'" (The Life of Muhammad, A Translation of Ishaq's Sirat Rasul Allah, A. Guillaume, pp. 197-198). The Jews however had a hard time believing this local Arabian warlord, unlearned in the law, was he. Nevertheless the Muslims used this argument for Mohammed's prophetic vocation:

"Mu'adh b. Jabal and Bishr b. al-Bara' b. Ma'rur brother of the B. Salama said to them: 'O Jews, fear God and become Muslims, for you used to hope for Muhammad's help against us when we were polytheists and to tell us that he would be sent and describe him to us.' Salam b. Mishkam, one of B. al-Nadir, said, 'He has not brought us anything we recognize and he is not the one we spoke of to you.'" (The Life of Muhammad, A Translation of Ishaq's Sirat Rasul Allah, A. Guillaume, p. 257).

The prophet and his companions made the effort to sell this identification to the Arabian Jews. . .having forgotten for the moment, it would seem, that the Koran identifies Jesus as the Messiah of the Jews! "O ye people of the Book! overstep not bounds in your religion; and of God, speak only truth. The Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, is only an apostle of God, and his Word which he conveyed into Mary, and a Spirit proceeding from himself. . .The Messiah disdaineth not to be a servant of God, nor do the angels who are nigh unto Him." (Sura 4:169-170). So Muslims agree with the Christians that the Old Testament prophecies of a coming Messiah foretell Jesus' advent. And not only that, but those same scriptures are about Mohammed ibn Abdallah! Presumably he rather thoughtlessly picked this identification up from the Christians without really understanding what it means, not realizing that if the Old Testament Messianic promises are claimed by Jesus of Nazareth for himself, then he can't come along seven hundred years later and lay claim to the same verses himself!

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Falling Down

Prostration is the normal Muslim attitude of prayer. Muslims therefore like to say that 'Jesus prayed just like we do!' The ever-helpful 'Gospel of Barnabas' clarifies a point absent from the Bible text, that this was the Lord's habitual mode of prayer: "Having gone forth from the house, Jesus retired into the garden to pray, according as his custom was to pray, bowing his knees an hundred times and prostrating himself upon his face." (Gospel of Barnabas, Chapter 214.)


  • "He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, "O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will."
  • (Matthew 26:39).


Certainly prostration is one of several attitudes and postures of prayer mentioned in the Bible, especially in the Old Testament. Some of these Biblical 'falling down' references might relate to something like being 'slain in the spirit.' However some of the Old Testament references certainly do refer to prostration, like the following:

Abraham prostrated himself before the Lord: "And the LORD appeared unto him in the plains of Mamre: and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day; And he lift up his eyes and looked, and, lo, three men stood by him: and when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself toward the ground, and said, My Lord, if now I have found favor in thy sight, pass not away, I pray thee, from thy servant. . ." (Genesis 18:1-3). Notice that Abraham, a very wise man and undoubted monotheist, sees three but addresses one Lord. It is good to follow his eminent example.

The Koran reports, albeit incompletely, this momentous visitation from God:

"Hath the story reached thee of Abraham's honored guests?
When they went in unto him and said, 'Peace!' he replied, 'Peace: — they are strangers.'
And he went apart to his family, and brought a fatted calf,
And set it before them. . .And he conceived a fear of them." (Koran, Sura 51:26-28).

Abraham's visitors ate, ". . .he stood by them under the tree, and they did eat." (Genesis 18:8), though some people foolishly make this a criterion of Deity. Muslims say they share the faith of Abraham. If only it were so! If, like Abraham, they saw three, yet confessed one Lord, they would share his faith.




In the patriarchal age, men prostrated themselves not only to God but also to rulers. But during the Lord's earthly ministry, this was not very common. Later the Byzantine emperors would demand the full frontal face-plant from those ushered into their august presence, but that offensive practice had not yet started; in this period, even the Roman emperor did not expect prostration. Nevertheless, the disciples prostrated themselves before the Lord: "And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him." (Matthew 28:9); "And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted." (Matthew 28:17). This Greek word, 'proskuneo,' did not originally mean 'bow down,' but after it was used in the Septuagint to translate the Hebrew 'shachah,' as it is for instance in the passage just mentioned, Genesis 18:2, it does come to have that implication. It originally meant something like 'blowing a kiss,' a gesture of adoration which the pagans made to their idols, so the Seventy evidently felt it would serve for 'bow down,' a change of posture that implies worship. Making this change of posture shows that the petitioner is humbling himself before Almighty God.

A variety of postures and attitudes of prayer are mentioned in the New Testament. Prostration before God may not have been all that common, but let us concede for the sake of the argument that the disciples were in the habit of prostrating themselves before Almighty God. We have just seen them doing it, in Matthew 28:9 and 28:17. They'd done it before: "Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God." (Matthew 14:3). So do wise men: "And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh." (Matthew 2:11). People in trouble bow down before the Lord: "And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean." (Matthew 8:2). "While he spake these things unto them, behold, there came a certain ruler, and worshipped him, saying, My daughter is even now dead: but come and lay thy hand upon her, and she shall live." (Matthew 9:18). Like the leper we are unclean, like the little girl we are dead in sin, so why not prostrate ourselves before the Lord, Almighty God, and ask Him to heal us?

Daniel 2:46, however, shows Nebuchadnezzar falling down on his face before Daniel, a mere man: "Then King Nebuchadnezzar fell on his face, prostrate before Daniel, and commanded that they should present an offering and incense to him." But this practice was not acceptable to everyone; see Acts 10:25-26: "And as Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him, and fell down at his feet, and worshipped him. But Peter took him up, saying, Stand up; I myself also am a man." Peter, who had been instructed by the Lord, did not consider prostration before a mere man acceptable practice.

The four-and-twenty elders fall down upon their faces:

"The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created." (Revelation 4:10-11).

Notice before Whom they fall down, the "four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb" (Revelation 5:8). People can 'fall down' onto their knees, like the old song says: 'Four-and-twenty elders on their knees, Lord have mercy if you please.' The four-and-twenty elders, however, do fall on their faces in worship: "And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God. . ." (Revelation 11:16). This would be something for Muslims to emulate!

Possibly too, like other anti-trinitarians, they think there is something in Christ's prayer at Gethsemane, beyond His posture, that makes for their side.




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  • "The Lord your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your midst, from your brethren. Him you shall hear, according to all you desired of the Lord your God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, ‘Let me not hear again the voice of the Lord my God, nor let me see this great fire anymore, lest I die.’ "And the Lord said to me: ‘What they have spoken is good. I will raise up for them a Prophet like you from among their brethren, and will put My words in His mouth, and He shall speak to them all that I command Him. And it shall be that whoever will not hear My words, which He speaks in My name, I will require it of him."
  • (Deuteronomy 18:15-19).

 



A Prophet from Among Your Brethren

As noted, Muslims are apt to apply Messianic prophecies to the unlettered Arabian prophet, even though their own holy book identifies Jesus as the Messiah of the Jews. One of these promises was uttered by Moses. The Book of Deuteronomy speaks of a prophet to arise amongst the people in the future. Unfortunately for the claims of Mohammed ibn Abdallah, this prophecy is already 'taken;' Jesus is the prophet who was to come:

"For Moses truly said to the fathers, ‘The LORD your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your brethren. Him you shall hear in all things, whatever He says to you. And it shall be that every soul who will not hear that Prophet shall be utterly destroyed from among the people.’ Yes, and all the prophets, from Samuel and those who follow, as many as have spoken, have also foretold these days." (Acts 3:22-24).


  • "O ye to whom the Scriptures have been given! believe in what we have sent down confirmatory of the Scripture which is in your hands, ere we efface your features, and twist your head round backward, or curse you as we cursed the sabbath-breakers: and the command of God was carried into effect." (Koran Sura 4:50).

Corruption of the Text

In Koranic verses like the one above, Mohammed speaks in an objective way about the gospel and the scriptures "in your hands," in the hands of the "People of the Book." There is no hint in his language that the gospel, or evangel, was unknown, was lost at the time, was a secret, hidden book given by Allah to Jesus, or was in fact  the 'Gospel of Barnabas.' Nor does Mohammed present any other novel or unusual understanding of what the 'gospel' might be. It is what the Christians treasure, and is open to inspection. They are able to judge by this criterion.

Later, this would change, as it became apparent the Christians were inspecting their gospel and determining that Mohammed was a false prophet, inasmuch as his revelations differed from what had been handed down before. Later Muslim generations therefore searched the scriptures for any hint they had been corrupted or damaged in transmission. An example of the kind of Bible text they seek is Jeremiah 23:36:

"And the oracle of the LORD you shall mention no more. For every man’s word will be his oracle, for you have perverted the words of the living God, the LORD of hosts, our God." (Jeremiah 23:36).

As should be apparent, the words of the Bible are the pure words of God, not the perverted words of the false prophets.



  Ask the Christians


  No Change


  Confirmation


  Criterion


  Strange Bed-Fellows


  The Gospel of Barnabas


  Scripture Wresting


  Islamic History





  • "FROM THE LIPS OF JESUS

    "I ask my Christian visitors, 'Do you remember your Gospel narrative, that when Christ was supposed to have been on the cross, he cried out with a loud voice:

    "ELOI, ELOI, LAMA SABACHTHANI? which is, being interpreted, My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?" (Mark 15:34).

    "The above is a translation from the Greek manuscripts 'ACCORDING TO ST. MARK.' Obviously his Hebrew has a Greek accent. Because, his so-called originals were written in Greek. But listen to Matthew, who is supposed to have written his Gospel originally in Hebrew, which was aimed at the Jews. St. Jerome, an early Christian father of the 4th and 5th centuries after Christ, testifies as follows:

    "'MATTHEW, WHO IS ALSO LEVI, AND WHO FROM A PUBLICAN CAME TO BE AN APOSTLE, FIRST OF ALL THE EVANGELISTS, COMPOSED A GOSPEL OF CHRIST IN JUDEA IN THE HEBREW LANGUACE AND CHARACTERS, FOR THE BENEFIT OF THOSE OF THE CIRCUMCISION WHO HAD BELIEVED.'

    "Naturally, Matthew's accent would be more Semitic (Hebrew and Arabic) than that of Mark. Matthew records the same scene as Mark 15:34, but note the variation of the dialect:

    "Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying ELI, ELI, LAMA SABACHTHANI? that is to say, My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me'? (Matthew 27:46).

    "Please memorise the words - "Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani." (Eli - pronounced like L and I in English) Utter the words - ELI, ELI, LAMA SABACHTHANI; ELI, ELI, LAMA SABACHTHANI, to your Christian friends and neighbours and ask them whether these words - "Eli, Eli," sounds like "Jehovah, Jehovah!" to them? No! is the answer if they are not deaf. Ask further, whether "Eli, Eli," sounds like "Abba, Abba!" (meaning father, father! in Hebrew) to them! Again the reply will be "No!" if they are not deaf. Can't they see that the cry is to Allah? "Eli, Eli - Elah, Elah, Allah, Allah!" Let them hear these words from your lips and watch their reactions. No honest person can help agreeing with you."
  • (Ahmad Deedat, What is His Name? Chapter 4).




Eloi, Eloi, Lama Sabachthani

"And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" (Mark 15:34).

This is one of a very few instances where the gospels record Jesus' sayings in the Aramaic He actually spoke rather than in Greek translation. Early witnesses mention an original Gospel of Matthew in Aramaic or Hebrew; regardless, the other New Testament writings were conceived in Greek from their inception. Other instances include Mark 5:41, "Talitha cumi (little girl arise)," and Mark 7:34, "Ephphatha (be opened)." These instances are the exception which proves the rule. The Holy Spirit has no aversion to translation; Jesus' words are generally given in Greek with no record provided of the Aramaic ipsissima verba.

The actual words are here given for their evidentiary value. Psalm 22 contains remarkable prophecies of the crucifixion, such as, "For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have enclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet. I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me. They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture." (Psalm 22:16-18). That the Messiah's hands and feet would be "pierced" did happen; that his tormentors would cast lots for His clothing also did happen. That He could count his ribs may be the result of dehydration on the cross. When the last marathon runners struggle along toward the finish line after the TV camera trucks have departed and the elite runners are long gone, their skin has a taut and sunken cast owing to dehydration.

The Messiah carried our sin for us, in fact, He was made sin for us: "For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." (2 Corinthians 5:21). He must have felt a veil of shadow fall over His communion with the Father and the Holy Spirit, because "Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity..." (Habakkuk 1:13). That contamination which made it impossible for us to stand before God's holy face was all on Him.

What must the witnesses beneath the cross have thought when they heard Jesus utter these words? They must have realized it was Psalm 22. In the midst of that horror, helplessly watching death by torture, did they understand this prophetic psalm is playing out, in real time, as they watch? Even the hostile by-standers, the scoffers, must have complained, 'That impostor stayed in character throughout.' The Messiah was expected to say this, at least by those who counted Psalm 22 a Messianic psalm. The rule is exemplified in Acts 2:29-30: if a psalm is not fulfilled in David or Solomon, because the events in their fullest sense never happened to David or Solomon, then it is not about David or Solomon. It must be about the Messiah. Certainly David was never crucified, yet Psalm 22 describes a crucifixion. No doubt anyone can say "My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me;" merely saying that does not make one the Messiah, and yet the Messiah did say that, just as it was prophesied He would. Perhaps the evangelists transcribed the original words to satisfy the Berean purists, who wanted to know exactly what He said, to determine whether it lined up precisely with what was prophesied or was a hair's breadth off. Giving the Greek alone is imprecise, because there may be more than one way to translate a phrase into another language.

The Greek does not precisely match up between the NT and the Septuagint. Oddly enough Matthew 27:46 has "thee mou," the LXX "o theos mou," though more often it's the New Testament which has nominative for vocative. If the evangelists offered only the Greek, the Bereans might say, 'Well, that gives the gist of it, but how do we know the Messiah said exactly what the Messiah was supposed to say? Surely He didn't say it in Greek.'

What Jesus said is Aramaic not the original Hebrew of Psalm 22, but the New Testament authors seem to identify the two languages (see Acts 21:40), which are related in any case. Ahmad Deedat's Arabic is another allied language.

The cry of dereliction is in there, in the original, just as Jesus cried it, for its value as evidence that Jesus is the Messiah. He said what the Messiah was to say, He did what the Messiah was to do, He was crucified as the Messiah was to be crucified, He rose from the dead as the Messiah was to rise, therefore He is the Messiah.

Popular Muslim author Ahmad Deedat makes a valid point that the Aramaic word here used for God, 'Eloi,' is similar to the Arabic 'Allah.' Unfortunately he follows it up with a fanciful derivation of 'Hallelujah,' which means 'Praise Jah!' It has nothing to do with 'Oh Allah!' This line of argument is all the odder in that Muslims do not believe Jesus died on the cross: "Judas truly did nothing else but cry out: 'God, why hast thou forsaken me, seeing the malefactor hath escaped and I die unjustly?'" (Gospel of Barnabas, Chapter 217). It is far from obvious why Ahmad Deedat sought significance in what someone other than Jesus said from the cross.


All Have Sinned

  • "Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’
  • (Matthew 7:21-23).

Lord, Lord

This verse does not say, 'No one who says to me, "Lord, Lord," will enter the kingdom of heaven,' but "Not everyone." The Lord is denouncing, not Christians, but hypocrites, as in Matthew 15:7-8: "Hypocrites! well has Isaiah prophesied about you, saying, This people honor me with the lips, but their heart is far away from me. . ." (Matthew 15:7-8):

"Inasmuch as these people draw near with their mouths and honor Me with their lips, but have removed their hearts far from Me, and their fear toward Me is taught by the commandment of men, therefore, behold, I will again do a marvelous work among this people. . ." (Isaiah 29:13-14.)

Eternal Son

The Son is Eternal God




  • "His mouth is most sweet: yea, he is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem." (Song of Solomon 5:16).



Altogether Lovely

Some Muslims say that Mohammed ibn Abdallah is the beloved of the Song of Solomon, who is "altogether lovely." Strangely, though, they don't allow any pictures of him! They riot in the streets, murder, loot, and burn buildings, should anyone anywhere put crayon to paper and scrawl a likeness. When a claim is made, but the only possible form of evidence which might validate the claim is ruled out in toto, on principle, a priori, then not only has the claim not been validated, it cannot be validated. But conceding for the sake of argument that Mohammed was comely, let us compare him with Jesus, even under the Koran's version of events (was not crucified/did not die). Mohammed ibn Abdallah has been moldering in the tomb for some centuries; how comely is he now? Jesus did not see corruption: "He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption." (Acts 2:31). When an interred body needs be exhumed, onlookers are met with a horrifying, nightmarish display. So who is "altogether lovely:" one who is lovely for a brief period, like the blooming of a rose, followed by withering and decay, or one who is lovely still? You be the judge; compare for yourself:


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