The previous post demonstrated that Sam was justified in asserting that the Jews expected a Jewish prophet, a fact that forces Muslims to grant, at least in principle, that the Jews of John 1:19-21 could have been mistaken in believing the Prophet and the Christ to be separate individuals. This led Sam to point out that John’s Gospel as a whole affirms their belief that the Prophet would be an Israelite, but confutes their expectation that the Prophet would be someone other than the Messiah Himself.
Unhappy with the conclusion Sam drew from the evidence on this score, Yahya accuses him of engaging in textual acrobatics, but in Yahya’s efforts to prove this harebrained charge he ends up looking like an exegetical cat on hot textual bricks, as the reader is invited to see.
(The following picks up my enumeration where I left off.)
8. Presumably because the passage does not specifically identify Jesus as “the Prophet” and “the Christ,” Yahya dismisses the relevance of the testimony found in John 1:45, where it is written:
Philip found Nathanael and said to him, "We have found Him of whom Moses in the Law and also the Prophets wrote--Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph."Yet, if Yahya would continue to read the chapter, he would find not only that Nathanael identified Jesus as the Messiah, saying, “Rabbi, You are the Son of God, you are the King of Israel,” but that he did so in response to Christ’s display of prophetic insight into his character and the circumstances surrounding his calling, all of which shows just what Nathanael understood Philip to mean when he spoke of Jesus as the one foretold by Moses and the Prophets:
The next day He purposed to go into Galilee, and He found Philip And Jesus said to him, "Follow Me." Now Philip was from Bethsaida, of the city of Andrew and Peter. Philip found Nathanael and said to him, "We have found Him of whom Moses in the Law and also the Prophets wrote--Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph." Nathanael said to him, "Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?" Philip said to him, "Come and see." Jesus saw Nathanael coming to Him, and said of him, "Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no deceit!" Nathanael said to Him, "How do You know me?" Jesus answered and said to him, "Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you." Nathanael answered Him, "Rabbi, You are the Son of God; You are the King of Israel." (John 1:43-49)It is also well to observe that this passage is not only found in the same chapter as the discussion of John 1:19ff, but it is quickly followed in John’s Gospel by Jesus performing a Moses-like miracle, i.e. changing water into wine, as we see in the next chapter.
9. With respect to John 5:39-40, which says,
“You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me; and you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life.”Yahya tells us that these verses don’t shed any further light on the matter, for they don’t call Jesus the Christ and the Prophet.
Aside from the fact that Yahya completely glossed over the other verses that Sam quoted along with verses 39-40, namely, verses 46-47, where Jesus says that He is the one spoken of by Moses, this reply shows once again that Yahya has absolutely no regard for context.
The words of Christ found in John 5 are once again followed in the next chapter by a Moses-like miracle, i.e. the miracle of feeding five thousand people, a sign that harkened back to the Manna that was provided for the people of Israel from heaven under Moses’ ministry.
10. In fact, it is this very miracle that led the people to say, as Sam pointed out:
Therefore when the people saw the sign which He had performed, they said, "This is truly the Prophet who is to come into the world." (John 6:14)
In response to this, Yahya makes what is perhaps his greatest blunder:
Again, this reference does not prove Shamoun’s belief that “the Prophet” and the Christ was the same person. All this reference teaches us is that a group of people saw Jesus performing a “miraculous sign” and then they believed him to be “the Prophet”. There is no mention of the people calling him the Christ as well in this passage and nor is there any mention of the people exclaiming the two are the same person. Suffice it to say Shamoun interpolates his own understanding and imposes it upon the people of this passage without any authority or logical reasoning whatsoever. Even if we go with the view that Jesus is “the Prophet” then the question of who was the Christ arises.Yahya’s blunder is exposed by the verse that immediately follows:
So Jesus, perceiving that they were intending to come and take Him by force to make Him king, withdrew again to the mountain by Himself alone. (John 6:15)This verse clearly shows that these Jews believed the Prophet and the Christ, i.e. the Messianic King, would be the same person, and, consequently, leave Mr. Snow and his argument out in the cold.
Although I have much more that I would like to say on this and one point in particular that I am saving for a special occasion – to be released once I think Yahya has been sufficiently prepped and primed – it just doesn’t seem right not to give Mr. Snow a chance to scrabble his way up from the bottom of the avalanche he presently finds himself buried under. Accordingly, I will break off my reply here for now.