The Claim that Muhammad's Name has been Removed from the Bible

Many Muslims attempt to discredit the validity of the Bible because there is not a single verse in it that mentions the name "Muhammad." They expect to see Muhammad's name in the Scriptures of the Jews and Christians because of these two verses that are found in their holy book, Al-Qur'an.

And remember Jesus, the son of Mary, said: "O Children of Israel! I am the apostle of God (sent) to you confirming the law (which came) before me, and giving glad tidings of an apostle to come after me, whose name shall be Ahmad."
Surat-us Saff (61):6

Those who follow the apostle, the unlettered Prophet (Muhammad) whom they find mentioned in their own (Scriptures), -- in the Law and the Gospel; -- For he commands them what is just and forbids them what is evil;
Surat-ul A'raf (7):157

The more educated Muslims know from research that the early manuscripts of the Bible dating after the time of Muhammad are the same as those prior to the time of Muhammad. Therefore the accusation that the Bible was altered to remove the name Muhammad is baseless. However, they continue to claim that even though the name Muhammad is not explicitly mentioned, still there are clear references in the Bible that point to him, thus confirming his prophethood and mission to all mankind, including the Jews and the Christians. With this argument, some Muslims attempt to persuade Christians that they likewise must follow Muhammad and the religion he came to perfect, the religion Islam.

In reference to the Qur'anic verse above describing Jesus as "giving glad tidings of an apostle to come after him whose name is Ahmad," many Muslim scholars who have searched the Bible for Muhammad's name claim that the verses in the book of John of the New Testament regarding the Holy Spirit are, in fact, prophecies of Muhammad. Examples are John 14:16, 15:26, and 16:7. The original Greek word "paracletos" in these verses is rendered "comforter", "advocate", or "counselor" in the various English translations. Some Muslim scholars contend that the original Greek word was erroneously written from the very beginning and that it should have been "periclutos", which is a close translation for "ahmad", meaning "worthy of praise".

It should first be noted that the words "ahmad" and "Muhammad" are two different things. The word "Muhammad" is a proper name and means "the one who is praiseworthy." On the other hand, the word "ahmad" is an adjective meaning "worthy of praise." It appears that the word "ahmad" was not used as a proper name prior to the time of Muhammad. That is why we find that nowhere in all the Qur'an is the prophet of Islam addressed as "Ahmad". Instead we find the proper name "Muhammad..."

As for the references in the book of John of the New Testament, the passages continue to describe this "paracletos" (comforter, advocate, counselor) as "the Spirit of Truth" whom the world cannot see, who lives in the hearts of the believers, and who will testify about Jesus. This is the same Spirit of whom Jesus spoke when he instructed his disciples:

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.
Acts 1:8

After about fifty days following the death of Jesus, this promise of the Holy Spirit was fulfilled in the lives of the disciples, and it all happened in miraculous fashion on the Day of Pentecost. In describing the great event, the disciple of Jesus named Peter declared:

God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of the fact. Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear.
Acts 2:32-33

From the above descriptions, it should be clear that this "paracletos" could only be the Spirit of God, and could never be a human being! Furthermore, this "paracletos" which Jesus promised would come to his disciples from the Father did indeed come during the lifetime of his disciples. Muhammad came long after the deaths of Jesus' disciples -- over five hundred years!

Muslims have also searched through the Old Testament, particularly the Torah, the books of Moses, to find possible references to Muhammad. Two passages that are most commonly cited are Deuteronomy 18:15 & 18:

The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own brothers. You must listen to 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.

Many Muslims claim that this prophet to be raised up after Moses and to be like Moses is Muhammad. This matter is taken up under the next section.

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