Apart from the obvious difficulties associated with claiming that Muhammad is "the Prophet like Moses" of Deuteronomy 18:18 (e.g. the fact that Muhammad was not a Jew, could not perform miracles, did not speak with God face to face, and was clearly condemned as a false prophet just two verses later in Deuteronomy 18:20), there is the absurdity of appealing to the expectations of certain Jews to prove a point, especially when the expectation in question has no grounding in any scripture and when the view was so limited in extent that we have no record of it outside of a small passage in the Gospel of John.
Sam addressed the major problem for Muslims, namely, that if they're appealing to the Jewish expectation that the Prophet would be distinct from the Messiah, they can't ignore the Jewish expectation that the Prophet would be an Israelite (since they approached John, who was an Israelite). In other words, if Muslims believe that Jewish expectations about the Prophet were correct, the Jews should have gone to an Arab. But they didn't.
So Muslims must conclude that these Jews were wrong in their expectations. But how can Muslims say that the Jews were wrong in their expectations and then appeal to Jewish expectation as evidence for their Prophet? Welcome to the most inconsistent religion in the world, my friends.
Amazingly, rather than reject the absurd Muslim argument as any intellectually honest examiner would, Yahya Snow has attempted to refute Sam's arguments. But Yahya just can't seem to grasp the most basic points. For instance, he declares that, according to Sam's reasoning, the Jews must have expected the Messiah to have a natural birth, because they asked John if he was the Messiah. But this misses the point entirely. Sam isn't appealing to Jewish expectation. Sam is claiming that it's a mistake to base one's case on Jewish expectation, and he points out the fact that the Jews were expecting a Jewish prophet in order to show Muslims that their claim is self-refuting. Yet Yahya just doesn't seem to get this, and he's posting videos to defend his total misunderstanding both of John's Gospel and of Sam's arguments.
Here's a review of the exchange so far, beginning with the relevant passage from John.
John 1:19-23--This is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent to him priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, "Who are you?" And he confessed and did not deny, but confessed, "I am not the Christ." They asked him, "What then? Are you Elijah?" And he said, "I am not " "Are you the Prophet?" And he answered, "No." Then they said to him, "Who are you, so that we may give an answer to those who sent us? What do you say about yourself?" He said, "I am A VOICE OF ONE CRYING IN THE WILDERNESS, 'MAKE STRAIGHT THE WAY OF THE LORD,' as Isaiah the prophet said."
(Shockingly, Yahya claims that there's no indication in the text that John believed he was preparing the way for God. Did anyone catch verse 23?
Sam's First Argument:
Yahya's First Response:
Sam's Reply to Yahya:
Yahya's Second Response:
Yahya also wrote an article on this topic, which can be read here. Our very own Semper Paratus responded to Yahya's article here.
I have something more from Sam on this issue as well. When asked about Yahya's position, Sam sent the following email to a Christian:
Here is my reply. Let me know if it now makes sense.
As I said in the show we don’t know what the Baptist knew as far as the relationship between the Christ and the Prophet was concerned, and since we cannot enter his mind we have no business second-guessing him. It must be stated that God didn’t reveal everything to the prophets. He revealed only that which they needed to know, no more and no less.
However since Yahya is using the Baptist’s silence to prove his assertion he needs to continue reading a little further to see what the Baptist said concerning his role and function:
“John replied in the words of Isaiah the prophet, ‘I am the voice of one calling in the desert, “Make straight the way for the Lord.”’” John 1:23
Here is the OT text that the Baptist was quoting:
“Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her hard service has been completed, that her sin has been paid for, that she has received from the LORD's hand double for all her sins. A voice of one calling: ‘In the desert prepare the way for the LORD; make straight in the wilderness a highway for our God. Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain. And the glory of the LORD will be revealed, and all mankind together will see it. For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.’… You who bring good tidings to Zion, go up on a high mountain. You who bring good tidings to Jerusalem, lift up your voice with a shout, lift it up, do not be afraid; say to the towns of Judah, ‘Here is your God!’ See, the Sovereign LORD comes with power, and his arm rules for him. See, his reward is with him, and his recompense accompanies him. He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.” Isaiah 40:3-5, 9-11
According to Isaiah the voice, or herald, was to prepare for the coming of God, the appearance of the glory of Yahweh. In other words, Yahweh was going to appear visibly for all to see after the voice prepared the people for his coming.
Since the Baptist explicitly says that he is that voice this means that Jesus is Yahweh God since John himself says that he came to prepare his way:
“Now some Pharisees who had been sent questioned him, "Why then do you baptize if you are not the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?' I baptize with water,' John replied, 'but among you stands one you do not know. He is the one who comes after me, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.’ … The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, ‘Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! This is the one I meant when I said, “A man who comes after me has surpassed me BECAUSE HE WAS BEFORE ME.” I myself did not know him, but the reason I came baptizing with water was that he might be revealed to Israel.’ Then John gave this testimony: ‘I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. I would not have known him, except that the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, “The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is he who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.” I have seen and I testify that this is the Son of God.’" John 1:25-27, 29-34
It now makes sense why the Baptist could say that Jesus existed before him since Jesus is the God of the OT who was coming to reveal himself to his people and therefore existed long before the Baptist was born.
Moreover, John the Apostle mentions the testimony of the Baptist right after stating that Jesus is God and that he (as well as others) saw or beheld his glory:
“In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. All things were made through him; nothing has been made without him that has been made. In him was life that life was the light of men… The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. John testifies concerning him. He cries out, saying, ‘This was he of whom I said, “He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.”’ John 1:1-4, 14-15
Notice the connection between the Apostle’s words here with Isaiah 40:3-5 and the glory of Yahweh which would be seen by all.
Thus, according to both Johns Jesus is the human appearance, the visible manifestation, of the OT God of Israel.
In light of this are you telling me that Muhammad is a prophet whom the Baptist would accept in light of what John’s Gospel tells us the Baptist believed about Christ?
But we’re not finished yet. Yahya tried to argue that the statements of these Jews who questioned the Baptist actually disprove my beliefs. He bases this on the fact that these Jews must have believed that the Christ would be born to human parents since they asked the Baptist whether he was the Christ. In other words, his logic goes like this:
A) The Jews wondered whether the Baptist was the Christ.
B) The Baptist was born to human parents.
C) Therefore, these Jews believed that Jesus would have a natural birth.
In his haste to refute me Yahya only manages to further embarrass both himself and his fellow Muslim apologists.
In the first place, I never based my position on what these Jews believed concerning Christ and the Prophet. Rather, MUSLIMS are the ones trying to use these Jews as evidence that the Prophet is someone distinct from the Christ. I was simply showing them what happens to their argument if they assume that the understanding of these particular Jews concerning these matters were correct.
And since Yahya has now mentioned another problem raised by the beliefs of these particular Jews he is going to have to be consistent and accept that these Jews were not only right that the Prophet is not the Christ but that the Christ would not be born supernaturally from a virgin. This means that not only is the New Testament wrong concerning the Messiah’s virginal conception and birth but Muhammad was also wrong for believing in Jesus’ miraculous birth to a virgin!
It gets even worse. According to Luke’s Gospel John’s father was a priest who officiated at the Temple. Being in such an important position he would not have been able to hide the fact that his wife was barren since it was plain to all that they had no children. Moreover, both the Holy Bible and the Quran state that John was born to his parents at a time when his father had passed the age of being able to impregnate a woman (Luke 1:5-25, 36, 39-45, 56-79; Quran 3:37-41; 19:1-15).
Thus, in light of Yahya’s fallacious logic this means that the Jews must have expected that both the Christ and the Prophet would be born supernaturally to an elderly barren woman and a father who had passed the age of being able to impregnate a woman. Yet since Jesus was born to a young virgin maiden and had no human father he could not be the Christ! Moreover, Muhammad cannot be that Prophet since his mother wasn’t barren and his father wasn’t old!
This leads to the other major problem raised by Yahya’s desperate polemics. Notice that he argued that the Baptist must have believed that the Christ and the Prophet were two distinct persons solely on the basis of his silence, e.g., the Baptist never objected to this distinction nor did he ever assert that Christ and the Prophet are the same entity. Yet by the same token the Baptist never objected to being the Christ on the grounds that he was born to human parents whereas the Christ had to be born supernaturally to a virgin. In fact, there is nothing to suggest that the Baptist knew or believed that the Christ would be supernaturally conceived by the Holy Spirit to a virgin who never had sex with a man.
Therefore, according to Yahya’s foolish reasoning this means that the Baptist also didn’t believe that the Messiah would be born of a virgin, but would be born to human parents instead. It further shows that the Baptist believed that the Christ and the Prophet would be born like him, e.g. born to an older barren woman whose elderly husband could no longer impregnate her!
Hence, according to the above factors Muhammad could not be that Prophet, but a false prophet whom the Baptist would have condemned, since Muhammad wasn’t born to an elderly barren woman or a father who couldn’t conceive children. Muhammad also personally believed in Jesus’ virgin birth, which neither the Baptist nor his Jewish interrogators believed!
In light of this do you see just how silly and desperate Yahya’s counter-points truly are?
Let me repeat. I did not nor do I base my position on what these Jewish interlocutors believed concerning the Christ and the Prophet. MUSLIMS LIKE YAHYA DO SO. Therefore, if these Jews were right then that means that the Prophet must be an Israelite and that both he and the Christ must be born through the process of sexual intercourse to an older man passed the age of being able to impregnate women and an elderly mother who was barren. If this is the case then Yahya has provided further evidence that Muhammad is a false prophet condemned by the Holy Bible, the Baptist, and these particular Jews since he wasn’t an Israelite whose parents were way pass the age of having children and erroneously believed that the Messiah was born supernaturally to a young blessed virgin maiden!
In other words, Yahya is now stuck with his fallacious reasoning and must abandon Muhammad as a fraud and deceiver!