John 14:16 "And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever." (American Standard Version)
In this verse, Jesus promises that another "Comforter" will appear, and thus, we must discuss some issues concerning this "Comforter."
The Greek word paravklhtoß, ho parakletos, has been translated as ‘Comforter.’ Parakletos more precisely means ‘one who pleads another’s cause, an intercessor.’ The ho parakletos is a person in the Greek language, not an incorporeal entity. In the Greek language, every noun possesses gender; that is, it is masculine, feminine or neutral. In the Gospel of John, Chapters 14, 15 and 16 the ho parakletos is actually a person. All pronouns in Greek must agree in gender with the word to which they refer and the pronoun "he" is used when referring to the parakletos. The NT uses the word pneuma, which means "breath" or "spirit," the Greek equivalent of ruah, the Hebrew word for "spirit" used in the OT. Pneuma is a grammatically neutral word and is always represented by the pronoun "it."
All present day Bibles are compiled from "ancient manuscripts," the oldest dating back to the fourth century C.E. No two ancient manuscripts are identical. All Bibles today are produced by combining manuscripts with no single definitive reference. The Bible translators attempt to "choose" the correct version. In other words, since they do not know which "ancient manuscript" is the correct one, they decide for us which "version" for a given verse to accept. Take John 14:26 as an example. John 14:26 is the only verse of the Bible which associates the Parakletos with the Holy Spirit. But the "ancient manuscripts" are not in agreement that the "Parakletos" is the ‘Holy Spirit.’ For instance, the famous Codex Syriacus, written around the fifth century C.E., and discovered in 1812 on Mount Sinai, the text of 14:26 reads; "Paraclete, the Spirit"; and not "Paraclete, the Holy Spirit."
Why is it important? It is significant because in biblical language a "spirit," simply means "a prophet."
"Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world."
It is instructive to know that several biblical scholars considered parakletos to be an ‘independent salvific (having the power to save) figure,’ not the Holy Ghost.
The question, then, is: was Jesus’ parakletos, Comforter, a ‘Holy Ghost’ or a person - a prophet - to come after him? To answer the question, we must understand the description of ho parakletosand see if it fits a ghost or a human being.
When we continue reading beyond chapter 14:16 and chapter 16:7, we find that Jesus predicts the specific details of the arrival and identity of the parakletos. Therefore, according to the context of John 14 & 16 we discover the following facts.
1. Jesus said the parakletos is a human being:
John 16:13 "He will speak."
John 16:7 "…for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you."
It is impossible that the Comforter be the "Holy Ghost" because the Holy Ghost was present long before Jesus and during his ministry.
John 16:13 Jesus referred to the paraclete as ‘he’ and not ‘it’ seven times, no other verse in the Bible contains seven masculine pronouns. Therefore, paraclete is a person, not a ghost.
2. Jesus is called a parakletos:
"And if any man sin, we have an advocate (parakletos) with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous." (1 John 2:1)
Here we see that parakletos is a physical and human intercessor.
3. The Divinity of Jesus a later innovation
Jesus was not accepted as divine until the Council of Nicea, 325 CE, but everyone, except Jews, agree he was a prophet of God, as indicated by the Bible:
Matthew 21:11 "...This is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee."
Luke 24:19 "...Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people."
4. Jesus prayed to God for another parakletos:
John 14:16 "And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another parakletos."
5. Jesus describes the function of the other Parakletos:
John 16:13 "He will guide you into all the truth."
God says in the Quran of Muhammad:
"O mankind! The Messenger has now come unto you with the truth from your Lord: believe, then, for your own good!..." (Quran 4:170)
John 16:14 "He will glorify Me."
The Quran brought by Muhammad glorifies Jesus:
"…who shall become known as the Christ Jesus, son of Mary, of great honor in this world and in the life to come, and [shall be] of those who are drawn near unto God." (Quran 3:45)
Muhammad also glorified Jesus:
"Whoever testifies that none deserves worship except God, who has no partner, and that Muhammad is His servant and Messenger, and that Jesus is the servant of God, His Messenger, and His Word which He bestowed in Mary, and a spirit created from Him, and that Paradise is true, and that Hell is true, God will admit him into Paradise, according to his deeds." (Saheeh Al-Bukhari, Saheeh Muslim)
John 16:8 "he will convince the world of its sin, and of God’s righteousness, and of the coming judgment."
The Quran announces:
"Indeed, they have disbelieved who say, ‘God is the Christ, son of Mary’ - seeing that the Christ [himself] said, ‘O Children of Israel! Worship God [alone], who is my Lord as well as your Lord.’ ‘Indeed, whoever ascribes divinity to any being beside God, unto him will God deny paradise, and his goal shall be the fire: and there are not for the wrongdoers any helpers!’" (Quran 5:72)
John 16:13 "he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, [that] shall he speak."
The Quran says of Muhammad:
"Neither does he speak out of his own desire: that [which he conveys to you] is but [a divine] inspiration with which he is being inspired." (Quran 53:3-4)
John 14:26 "and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you."
The words of the Quran:
"…while the Messiah had said, ‘O Children of Israel, worship God, my Lord and your Lord.’" (Quran 5:72)
…reminds people of the first and greatest command of Jesus they have forgotten:
"The first of all the commandments is, ‘Hear, O Israel; the Lord our God is one Lord.’" (Mark 12:29)
John 16:13 "and He will disclose to you what is to come."
The Quran states:
"That is from the news of the unseen which We reveal, [O Muhammad], to you…" (Quran 12:102)
Hudhaifa, a disciple of Prophet Muhammad, tells us:
"The Prophet once delivered a speech in front of us wherein he left nothing but mentioned everything that would happen till the Hour (of Judgment)." (Saheeh Al-Bukhari)
John 14:16 "that he may abide with you for ever."
…meaning his original teachings will remain forever. Muhammad was God’s last prophet to humanity. His teachings are perfectly preserved. He lives in the hearts and minds of his adoring followers who worship God in his exact imitation. No man, including Jesus or Muhammad, has an eternal life on earth. Parakletos is not an exception either. This cannot be an allusion to the Holy Ghost, for present day creed of the Holy Ghost did not exist until the Council of Chalcedon, in 451 CE, four and half centuries after Jesus.
John 14:17 "he will be the spirit of truth"
…meaning he will be true prophet, see 1 John 4: 1-3.
John 14:17 "the world neither sees him..."
Many people in the world today do not know Muhammad.
John 14:17 "...nor knows him"
Fewer people recognize the real Muhammad, God’s Prophet of Mercy.
John 14:26 "the Advocate (parakletos)"
Muhammad will be the advocate of humanity at large and of sinful believers on Judgment Day:
People will look for those who can intercede on their behalf to God to reduce the distress and suffering on Day of Judgment. Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, and Jesus will excuse themselves.
Then they will come to our Prophet and he will say, "I am the one who is able." So he will intercede for the people in the Great Plain of Gathering, so judgment may be passed. This is the ‘Station of Praise’ God promises Him in the Quran:
"…It may be that your Lord will raise you to Station of Praise (the honor of intercession on the Day of Resurrection)" (Quran 17:79)
Prophet Muhammad said:
"My intercession will be for those of my nation who committed major sins." (Al-Tirmidhi)
"I shall be the first intercessor in Paradise." (Saheeh Muslim)
Some Muslim scholars suggest what Jesus actually said in Aramaic represents more closely the Greek word periklytos which means the ‘admired one.’ In Arabic the word ‘Muhammad’ means the ‘praiseworthy, admired one.’ In other words, periklytos is "Muhammad" in Greek. We have two strong reasons in its support. First, due to several documented cases of similar word substitution in the Bible, it is quite possible that both words were contained in the original text but were dropped by a copyist because of the ancient custom of writing words closely packed, with no spaces in between. In such a case the original reading would have been, "and He will give you another comforter (parakletos), the admirable one (periklytos)." Second, we have the reliable testimony of at least four Muslim authorities from different eras who ascribed ‘admired, praised one’ as a possible meaning of the Greek or Syriac word to Christians scholars.
The following are some who attest that the Paraclete is indeed an allusion to Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him:
The First Witness
Anselm Turmeda (1352/55-1425 CE), a priest and Christian scholar, was a witness to the prophecy. After accepting Islam he wrote a book, "Tuhfat al-arib fi al-radd ‘ala Ahl al-Salib."
The Second Witness
Abdul-Ahad Dawud, the former Rev. David Abdu Benjamin Keldani, BD, a Roman Catholic priest of the Uniate-Chaldean sect. After accepting Islam, he wrote the book, ‘Muhammad in the Bible.’ He writes in this book:
"There is not the slightest doubt that by "Periqlyte," Prophet Muhammad, i.e. Ahmad, is intended."
The Third Witness
A synopsis of the life of Muhammad Asad has already been given above. Commenting on the verse:
"…an apostle who shall come after me, whose name shall be Ahmad" (Quran 61:6)
…where Jesus predicts the coming of Muhammad, Asad explains that the word Parakletos:
"…is almost certainly a corruption of Periklytos (‘the Much-Praised’), an exact Greek translation of the Aramaic term or name Mawhamana. (It is to be borne in mind that Aramaic was the language used in Palestine at the time of, and for some centuries after, Jesus and was thus undoubtedly the language in which the original - now lost - texts of the Gospels were composed.) In view of the phonetic closeness of Periklytos and Parakletos it is easy to understand how the translator - or, more probably, a later scribe - confused these two expressions. It is significant that both the Aramaic Mawhamana and the Greek Periklytos have the same meaning as the two names of the Last Prophet, Muhammad and Ahmad, both of which are derived from the Hebrew verb hamida (‘he praised’) and the Hebrew noun hamd (‘praise’)."
The Biblical prophecies on the advent of the Prophet Muhammad are evidence of the truth of Islam for people who believe in the Bible.
In Deuteronomy 18, Moses stated that God told him: “I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers; I will put my words in his mouth, and he will tell them everything I command him. If anyone does not listen to my words that the prophet speaks in my name, I myself will call him to account.” (Deuteronomy 18:18-19).1
From these verses we conclude that the prophet in this prophecy must have the following three characteristics:
1) That he will be like Moses.
2) That he will come from the brothers of the Israelites, i.e. the Ishmaelites.
3) That God will put His words in to the mouth of this prophet and that he will declare what God commands him.
Let us examine these three characteristics in more depth:
1) A prophet like Moses
There were hardly any two prophets who were so much alike as Moses and Muhammad . Both were given a comprehensive law and code of life. Both encountered their enemies and were victorious in miraculous ways. Both were accepted as prophets and statesmen. Both migrated following conspiracies to assassinate them. Analogies between Moses and Jesus overlook not only the above similarities but other crucial ones as well. These include the natural birth, the family life, and death of Moses and Muhammad but not of Jesus. Moreover Jesus was regarded by his followers as the Son of God and not exclusively as a prophet of God, as Moses and Muhammad were and as Muslims believe Jesus was. So, this prophecy refers to the Prophet Muhammad and not to Jesus, because Muhammad is more like Moses than Jesus.
Also, one notices from the Gospel of John that the Jews were waiting for the fulfillment of three distinct prophecies. The first was the coming of Christ. The second was the coming of Elijah. The third was the coming of the Prophet. This is obvious from the three questions that were posed to John the Baptist:
“Now this was John’s testimony, when the Jews of Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to ask him who he was. He did not fail to confess, but confessed freely, “I am not the Christ.” They asked him, “Then who are you? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the Prophet?” He answered, “No.” (John 1:19-21). If we look in a Bible with cross-references, we will find in the marginal notes where the words “the Prophet” occur in John 1:21, that these words refer to the prophecy of Deuteronomy 18:15 and 18:18. 2 We conclude from this that Jesus Christ is not the prophet mentioned in Deuteronomy 18:18.
2) From the brothers of the Israelites
Abraham had two sons, Ishmael and Isaac (Genesis 21). Ishmael became the grandfather of the Arab nation, and Isaac became the grandfather of the Jewish nation. The prophet spoken of was not to come from among the Jews themselves, but from among their brothers, i.e. the Ishmaelites. Muhammad , a descendant of Ishmael, is indeed this prophet.
Also, Isaiah 42:1-13 speaks of the servant of God, His “chosen one” and “messenger” who will bring down a law.
“He will not falter or be discouraged till he establishes justice on earth. In his law the islands will put their hope.” (Isaiah 42:4). Verse 11,
connects that awaited one with the descendants of Kedar. Who is Kedar? According to Genesis 25:13, Kedar was the second son of Ishmael, the ancestor of the Prophet Muhammad .
3) God will put His words in the mouth of this prophet
The words of God (the Holy Quran) were truly put into Muhammad’s mouth. God sent the Angel Gabriel to teach Muhammad the exact words of God (the Holy Quran) and asked him to dictate them to the people as he heard them. The words are therefore not his own. They did not come from his own thoughts, but were put into his mouth by the Angel Gabriel. During the life time of Muhammad , and under his supervision, these words were then memorized and written by his companions.
Also, this prophecy in Deuteronomy mentioned that this prophet will speak the words of God in the name of God. If we looked to the Holy Quran, we will find that all its chapters, except Chapter 9, are preceded or begin with the phrase, “In the Name of God, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.”
Another indication (other than the prophecy in Deuteronomy) is that Isaiah ties the messenger connected with Kedar with a new song (a scripture in a new language) to be sung to the Lord (Isaiah 42:10-11). This is mentioned more clearly in the prophecy of Isaiah:
“and another tongue, will he speak to this people” (Isaiah 28:11 KJV).
Another related point, is that the Quran was revealed in sections over a span of twenty-three years. It is interesting to compare this with Isaiah 28 which speaks of the same thing,
“For it is: Do and do, do and do, rule on rule, rule on rule; a little here, a little there.” (Isaiah 28:10).
Note that God has said in the prophecy of
Deuteronomy 18, “If anyone does not listen to my words that the prophet speaks in my name, I myself will call him to account.” (Deuteronomy, 18:19).
This means that whoever believes in the Bible must believe in what this prophet says, and this prophet is the Prophet Muhammad .