A response to 6.3

A Paraclete like Jesus

Is Muhammad the paraclete of John 14:16? Muslims claim that Muhammad is. Why? Because they are desperate. They need a prophecy of Muhammad somewhere. Why is this significant? The Quran explains this very well:

Those who follow the messenger, the Prophet who can neither read nor write, whom they will find described in the Torah and the Gospel (which are) with them. He will enjoin on them that which is right and forbid them that which is wrong. He will make lawful for them all good things and prohibit for them only the foul; and he will relieve them of their burden and the fetters that they used to wear. Then those who believe in him, and honour him, and help him, and follow the light which is sent down with him: they are the successful [Sura 7.157].

The Quran makes the claim several times that Muhammad can be found in both the Torah and the Gospel. (Ironically, almost all prophecies about Muhammad, besides Deuteronomy 18:18 and John 14:16, come from books like Jeremiah and Haggai, which, according to Muslims, are not even inspired scripture!) The point, though, is that the Quran makes the claim that Muhammad was prophesied both in the Torah and Gospel. If this claim is false, then not only is the Quran false and not only is Muhammad a false prophet, but Islam itself is false, end of story. No matter how many archaeological digs may support Quranic claims, no matter how many mathematical miracles are found in the Quran, no matter how many tomatoes contain the name "Allah" spelled in Arabic script, the Quran is false, period, if Muhammad cannot be found in the Torah and the Gospel that were with the people of the late sixth century and early seventh century. Even the Quran makes the claim that Muhammad could be found in the Torah and Gospel of this time period, so why are Muslims using the Gospel of Barnabas (which was not in use at the time, even if it was on the list of "Sixty Books")? To prove that Muhammad is a prophet, they must find him in the Gospel and Torah that the people of his time had in their possession.

So what do these Gospels say? Anyone who studies them with any common sense can see that Muhammad could not have been the paraclete. Here is a simple list of many of the common sense reasons why:

Clearly logic demonstrates the impossibility of this paraclete being Muhammad. So how do Muslims respond? They pull a switcheroo and say that the word was not "parakletos."

Over and over I have seen the claim that Muhammad is the "parakletos," which was originally "periclytos," "pargaleeta," "parqaleeta," or "periqlytos," depending on which Muslim apologist you ask. According to these apologists, the word was originally "one whom people praise exceedingly" or "glorified one," which are the meanings of "Muhammad" in Greek. Although there is no manuscript evidence to support such a claim (outside of the infamous Medieval "Gospel of Barnabas", MGB for short), they still make this claim. Is it logical?

First of all, it must be noted that quoting from the Gospel of Barnabas is about the most desperate attempt to put Muhammad into the Bible ever seen on Earth. But hey, look what other teachings I can get out of other apocryphal books (who have way more textual support than the MGB):

Thomas, an Israelite judged it necessary to make known to our brethren among the Gentiles, the actions and miracles of Christ in his childhood, which our Lord and God Jesus Christ wrought after his birth in Bethlehem in our country, at which I myself was astonished; the beginning of which was as followeth [2 Infancy 1:1].

See there! I’ve irrefutably proven that Jesus is God!

Again; What says Moses to Jesus the Son of Nun, when he gave that name unto him, as being a prophet that all the people might hear him alone, because the Father did manifest all things concerning his son Jesus, in Jesus the Son of Nun; and gave him that name when he sent him to spy out the land of Canaan; he said: Take a book in thine hands, and write what the Lord saith: Forasmuch as Jesus the Son of God shall in the last days cut off by the roots all the house of Amalek. See here again Jesus, not the son of man, but the Son of God, made manifest in a type and in the flesh [Epistle of Barnabas 11:12].

Now I’ve proven that even Barnabas taught that Jesus was the Son of God made flesh. Moreover, he believed that Jesus abolished the law:

These things therefore hath God abolished, that the new law of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is without the yoke of any such necessity, might have the spiritual offering of men themselves [Epistle of Barnabas 2:8].

Nevertheless, these examples are irrelevant, because they are not inspired scriptures. (Besides, most scholars believe that the Epistle was written far too late to have been written by Barnabas: sometime between 70 and 150 AD. The point is, however, that if Muslims want to use the MGB, which has no manuscript support, to prove their points, they should look at other writings from this early period.) What is relevant is what God’s word says. So what do we find in it?

And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; [John 14:16]

Or, if you are a Muslim,

And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Glorified One, that he may abide with you for ever;

In this passage there are two key words: "another" and "comforter" (or, for the Muslim apologist, "periqlytos"). I’ll come back to the significance of "another" later, but for now I’d just like to say that to call "Muhammad" "like Jesus" is the biggest act of hypocrisy on the part of the Muslims. For you see, in Deuteronomy 18 they claim that Jesus and Muhammad are nothing alike (implicitly; they say that Jesus is not like Moses and that Muhammad was), but now all of sudden Jesus and Muhammad are very similar! They can’t have their cake and eat it too! If Jesus and Muhammad are alike enough that Muhammad can be the one prophesied in John 14:16, then they are similar enough for Jesus to also have fit the qualifications to have been the prophet of Deuteronomy 18. They can’t have it both ways.

The main issue, however, is the word "periqlytos." If it means "glorified one," what does that entail? Fortunately, the Quran clearly tells us who is to be glorified:

Yet they ascribe as partners unto Him the jinn, although He did create them, and impute falsely, without knowledge, sons and daughters unto Him. Glorified be He and High Exalted above (all) that they ascribe (unto Him) [Sura 6.100].

The commandment of Allah will come to pass, so seek not ye to hasten it. Glorified and Exalted be He above all that they associate (with Him) [Sura 16.1].

Or thou have a house of gold; or thou ascend up into heaven, and even then we will put no faith in thine ascension till thou bring down for us a book that we can read. Say (O Muhammad): My Lord be Glorified! Am I aught save a mortal messenger? [Sura 17:93]

Then he came forth unto his people from the sanctuary, and signified to them: Glorify your Lord at break of day and fall of night [Sura 19.11].

If there were therein gods beside Allah, then verily both (the heavens and the earth) had been disordered. Glorified be Allah, the Lord of the Throne, from all that they ascribe (unto Him) [Sura 21.22].

Allah hath not chosen any son, nor is there any god along with Him; else would each god have assuredly championed that which he created, and some of them would assuredly have overcome others. Glorified be Allah above all that they allege [Sura 23.91].

But when he reached it, he was called, saying: Blessed is Whosoever is in the fire and Whosoever is round about it! And Glorified be Allah, the Lord of the Worlds [Sura 27.8]!

Thy Lord bringeth to pass what He willeth and chooseth. They have never any choice. Glorified be Allah and Exalted above all that they associate (with Him) [Sura 28.68]!

Glorified be Allah from that which they attribute (unto Him), [Sura 37.159]

Glorified be thy Lord, the Lord of Majesty, from that which they attribute (unto Him) [Sura 37.180]

So glorify the name of thy Tremendous Lord [Sura 69.52].

Other prime examples include 2.32, 2.116, 5.116, 9.31, 10.68, 17.1, 20.130, 21.26, 25.18, 33.42, 39.4, 39.67, 43.13, 43.82, 52.43, 59.23, 68.29, and 76.36. The point, however, is that the clear testimony of the Quran is that ALLAH is worthy of being glorified. (The same is true of praise.) Moreover, along with these list passages, Allah is explicitly called the GLORIOUS one (Surah 22:24):

YUSUFALI: For they have been guided (in this life) to the purest of speeches; they have been guided to the Path of Him Who is Worthy of (all) Praise.

PICKTHAL: They are guided unto gentle speech; they are guided unto the path of the Glorious One.

SHAKIR: And they are guided to goodly words and they are guided into the path of the Praised One.

Further, in the traditions, Allah is explicitly called the Glorified:

"... Do you know that Allah's Apostle said, ‘We (Prophets) our properties are not to be inherited, and whatever we leave, is to be spent in charity,’ and he said it about himself?" They (i.e. 'Uthman and his company) said, "He did say it." 'Umar then turned towards 'Ali and 'Abbas and said, "I beseech you both, by Allah! Do you know that Allah's Apostle said this?" They replied in the affirmative. He said, "Now I am talking to you about this matter. Allah the Glorified favoured His Apostle with something of this Fai (i.e. booty won without fighting) which He did not give to anybody else ... [Taken from Sahih Bukhari, Volume 005, Book 059, Hadith Number 367.]

It is clear, then, that Allah is both the Glorious and the only one deserving of glory. So, using this Islamic logic as found in the Quran and Hadiths, we can draw this conclusion:

  1. Only Allah should be glorified. (From the Quran)
  2. The One who will come after Jesus will be glorified. (According to the Islamic apologists who hold to the "pargaleeta-periclytos-periqlytos-parqaleeta" teaching)
  3. Therefore, the One who will come after Jesus is God.

Thus, according to Islamic logic, John 14:16 should read,

And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another God, that he may abide with you for ever;

How, then, could the "periqlytos" be Muhammad? Muhammad most certainly was not God. Was the Holy Spirit? According to Trinitarian doctrine, yes. Is this interpretation compatible with Islam? No. Is it compatible with Christianity? Yes.

However, it gets worse, for we must remember that word "another." Even Kadhi knows that "allos" means "another of the same kind," so what is this verse saying? Simply put, according to the Islamic teachers who back this whole parqaleeta-pargaleeta-periqlytos-periclytos teaching (as much as a lot of these guys criticize the "corruptions" of Bible words and names—like "Moshe" to "Moses" or "Yehoshua"" to "Jesus" or parakletos to parqaleeta-pargaleeta-periqlytos-periclytos— you’d think they would have a somewhat standard transliteration of this word), it would mean that John 14:16 should be translated as follows:

And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another God (like me), that he may abide with you for ever;

You see what this means? According to the Muslim logic that the word Christians translate "Comforter" is really "praised one" or "glorified one," it follows not only that Jesus was calling the Comforter God, but that by using "allos" He was saying that He was like this "praised one" and is also God!

Now we have a problem. Jesus says the Father is greater than Himself in John 14:28, so it must be that He (the Father) is God. So we have the Father who is God, the Son who is God, and the One who will follow Jesus who is God. It doesn’t take a genius to see that that is three persons who are ONE God (Deuteronomy 6:4, Mark 12:29). Looks like a Trinity to me!

Two possible objections could be made to the above argument. The first is that it is totally invalid because the Christian Bible contains many cases of men who are glorified. This argument does not hold, however, in the light of the fact that Al-Kadhi is examining this promise of Jesus in the light of Islamic, not Christian, theology and presuppositions. Christians are also called children of God in the first epistle of John; however, such terminology would not be used among Muslims. Moreover, the argument that "parakletos" was originally "pargaleeta-periclytos-periqlytos-parqaleeta" is not made by any Christian that I know, but is a tactic used by Muslims who want to put Muhammad into the Gospel accounts. Thus, the basis of such a rebuttal is in fact non-existent.

One might also argue that the above list of documentation on who is the "glorified one" in Islam does not address the fact that Muhammad’s name means "praised one." There is no need for such, because the term "parakletos" necessarily refers to function, for Jesus was also (according to Al-Kadhi) a "glorified one", and His name does not mean "glorified one". With this fact in mind, there is no other conclusion that, because "glorified one" would necessarily be a descriptive title, God is the only one, according to Islamic theology, that can fill the role of the "glorified one", and Al-Kadhi is guilty of "shirk" for trying to argue that Muhammad, a mere man, could ever be the "glorified one". Thus, my argument that this passage must refer to the Holy Spirit even in light of Al-Kadhi’s hypothesis still stands.

Clearly we can see that Muhammad could not have been the one foretold in this prophecy even if the Greek were corrupted into parqaleeta-pargaleeta-periqlytos-periclytos, it would not mean that the prophecy would be about Muhammad, but rather would be a statement of Jesus saying that God (the Father) would send another who is God (the Holy Spirit) and who is like me (in that we are both God). So what did Jesus really say? According to the Muslims, in John 14:16 He flat out called Himself God and laid out the doctrine of the Trinity!

Alano Perez

The Rebuttal to "What Did Jesus Really Say?"
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