Monday, February 10, 2014

Muhammad in the Bible: A Thorough Refutation of Paul Bilal Williams' Case for Islamic Relevance - Part 2

Here is the second part of Nakdimon's reply to one Muslims' attempt to find Muhammad in the Bible. Part 1 can be found here.

Fairness, consistency and Nabi-anic prophecies
The search for an Arab prophet

We continue with our rebuttal to what I thought was Paul Bilal Williams’ (PW) article trying to prove his “nabi” (Arabic for prophet) is mentioned in our Holy Scriptures. It turns out that this article was not written by PW, but by some unknown author of whom PW placed the article on his blog. Many thought it was written by PW, so when part 1 of this rebuttal was released and the entire premise of the paper was refuted, the author wrote the following message to PW in an email which PW posted on his blog:

Update: Monday 27th January

I have just arrived back from Australia and I received the following email:

As-salaamu alaykum Paul,

Hope you are well insha’Allah.

Firstly I really appreciate you posting my recent article on your website.

I just want to let you know that I have made a modification to the article in light of recent responses by Christians. I have removed the section on Ishmael and the covenant pending further research. A lot of the feedback on the use Hebrew has made me realise that I need to do deeper research in this area. Al-hamdulillah I have learnt lessons from this experience and it will only make my article stronger.

Also, the arguments about Ishmael and the covenant seem to have detracted from the main point I wanted to make, namely that Isaiah 42 is related to Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). At the moment all the attention is on the covenant which was not my original aim behind writing the article. Many Christians aren’t bothering to read beyond the covenant section of the article and this saddens me because I think it is of benefit overall.

I still think that I have to address the covenant in some capacity as it is a stumbling block for a lot of Christians, but I will only add it back into the article after thorough research insha’Allah.

I’m letting you know this because you are getting a lot of flak for it at the moment, people seem to think you wrote the article, perhaps you could update it to reflect the latest version and point out at the top of your post that you are not the original author, at the moment my website link is right at the bottom of the page after all the references and I don’t think many people are spotting that.

I commend the author of the paper for doing the honest thing and removing the part where he tried to make the case for an Arabian prophet that supposedly was to come. It is a rare thing to behold amongst Muslim apologists to retract their claims in light of clear refutations and acknowledge that more research is needed. There is no shame in that. We all lack knowledge in some area. At the same time it is disappointing to see the Muslim act as if the article still has any merit and pretend that his attempt to demonstrate the relevance of Ishmael had no consequence for the rest of the article, the acclaimed “main point” of his paper. Actually, by his own candid admission as stated in the paper in its initial form, the entire case for Muhammad’s prophetic claims stands or falls with the relevance or irrelevance of his supposed patriarch Ishmael, when he states at the outset of the article that “there is little point in moving forward as Ishmael represents the foundation for the emergence of an Arabian prophet”.[emphasis mine] As this was his stance, one has to wonder why he didn’t remove the entire article since nothing he goes on to say has any foundation whatsoever as the foundation for the entire paper has been removed. But since he didn’t remove the entire article but rather chose to remove the foundation only to leave the house of cards standing, we will have a sharp look at the rest of his paper.

In part one we have seen the author going to great lengths to try to prove that there is too a basis for the claims of his holy book, the Obscure Quran, that his prophet is mentioned in the Scriptures of the People of the Book, the Jews and Christians. He wanted to lay a basis for every argument he was about to make after his opening salvo by pointing out that when God made a Covenant with Abraham, Abraham’s son Ishmael was also included in the clauses of that agreement. I have pointed out and demonstrated that, when taking all of the passages and all of God’s promises into account, there is simply no way one can still make the case that Ishmael was any part of that Covenant God made with Abraham, no matter how positively pro-Islamic one wants to approach the text. And therefore there is no foundation for any argument for an Arabic prophet left to be made. It is only when one takes one verse and completely ignores everything else the Scriptures says about the Covenant God made with Abraham, that one can entertain the thought of Ishmael having any significance in the Abrahamic Covenant. Add to that Muhammad, the Islamic prophet, cannot even be traced to Ishmael while Muslims keep pretending that it’s a given, one would wonder why we are even discussing this matter and go along with the Muslim façade as if there is even a case to be made at all. Well… sometimes it’s necessary to walk a delusional person through his own delusions in order to show him the errors of his ways. So, being the good Samaritan that I am (tongue in cheek), here is how the paper continues:


Now that we’ve shown that Ishmael was not excluded from God’s covenant, we have to agree on a methodology that is fair and consistent when it comes to finding prophecies of Jesus and Muhammad (peace be upon them both). We can’t have one set of standards for Muhammad, and another for Jesus. Some critics will deny that any passage can relate to Muhammad because they don’t mention him explicitly by name. Others might hold that a single ambiguous verse overrides a multitude of clear ones. Thus they adopt a conflict approach with Muhammad, but this turns out to be quite hypocritical because these same critics adopt the complete opposite approach, one of concordance, in identifying prophecies of Jesus, meaning that they will accept any signs that match and overlook those that do not. Here is an example of such an inconsistency:

“When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt: And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son. [Matthew 2:14-15]

So according to the Gospel of Matthew, there’s a prophecy in the Old Testament that was fulfilled by Jesus. But when one goes back to the book of Hosea in the Old Testament where the statement is referenced from, you will find that Matthew quoted only half the passage:

 “When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt. [Hosea 11:1]

As you can see, when read in full, rather than being a prophecy about Jesus, this verse was in fact speaking of a past event, the exodus at the time of Moses. So, if Christians have no issue accepting that scripture can have apparent meanings whilst also foreshadowing future events for Jesus, then in the name of fairness and consistency they should adopt at least a similar standard for Muhammad. As you will soon see, though, the passages I will put forward for Muhammad are clear and unambiguous.

As I pointed out in part one of this rebuttal, it’s mindboggling to see Muslims crying for consistency while being as inconsistent as they are. If Muslims think inconsistent arguments are bad, why do they keep using them so much? You would think that if inconsistency is bad and consistency is the way to go, you would find Muslims arguing consistently. Left and right they will apply inconsistent methods in order to make their case. In fact, this entire article is one giant inconsistency: Arguing from books that you deem hopelessly corrupt to prove that your religion is valid. How can you bring an untrustworthy witness to the stand? But this is the hand that Muslims are dealt, courtesy of the Obscure Quran. As we move on, you will see the inconsistencies will keep piling on.

As the author’s claim of Ishmael being at all relevant has been shattered, we now turn to his argument that Christians use one set of standards to deal with the Messiahship of the Lord Yeshua in the Tenach and another set of standards in dealing with Muslim claims about Muhammad from the Tenach. My response will be manifold:

1.     Although there is plenty of material in the Tenach that testify about a Messianic figure emerging from the Jewish people, there is zilch, nada (Spanish), nichts (German), rien (French), niks (Dutch), kloom (Hebrew), niente (Italian), nothing (about all the languages I know) about an Arabian prophet anywhere in Scripture. We have already seen the author’s “foundation” collapse with the establishment of Ishmael’s irrelevance to God’s Covenant with Abraham.
2.     There are no Messianic chapters in the Tenach (outside of Isaiah 53 and Psalm 22), but the Messianic prophecies and allusions, types and shadows of the Messiah are sometimes hidden in the Tenach.
3.     There are, therefore, passages that are clearly Messianic and prophecies and allusion that are not immediately apparent Messianic in the Tenach. Since the hidden Messianic passages are put in the Tenach by inspired men, it only stands to reason that these passages are pointed out by inspired men that were inspired by the same Spirit that inspired these hidden Messianic passages in the first place.
4.     Jesus claimed that the Scriptures testify about him. (Luke 24:44-48, John 5:39) He then gave his disciples understanding of the Scriptures that do exactly that (Luke 24:45, John 20:22) Therefore, since these men have received this understanding from Jesus himself, their authority and understanding of the Scriptures, having come directly from the Lord of lords, supersedes that of any and all Muslims, including Muhammad’s.

Elaborating on point 2 above, as already stated, there are many allusions to and types of the Messiah in the Tenach. For example:

The binding of Isaac – A father offering his son: A child born under miraculous circumstances, regarded as an only, unique child about to get offered as a sacrifice and as a result of Abraham’s willingness to do so, and the child’s willingness to be the sacrifice, the blessing to all the nations flows from them ultimately through the Messiah, a child born under miraculous circumstances, the only, unique Son of God offered as a sacrifice. When Isaac asked Abraham where the sacrifice was, Abraham uttered the words “God himself will provide the LAMB (Hebr. seh) for the burnt-offering”. Note that Abraham was given a RAM (Hebr: ayil) in substitute for his son Isaac. The LAMB that God provided was the Son of God, the Lord Yeshua, the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world, as John the Baptist announced him (John 1:29). As happened to Isaac, it happened to the Lord Yeshua.

Joseph, the son of Israel – Joseph was the beloved son of his father, to the chagrin of his own brothers. They betrayed him out of jealousy, intended to kill him, sold him into slavery and left him for dead. He underwent a lot of hardship, suffered prison time was left to rot in a cell, only for God to exalt him to the right hand of Pharao, the mightiest man in the known world. Joseph saved his brothers in the end by making himself known and became the savior of both his people and the Gentile world, after being rejected and not recognized in his first appearance as they thought he was a Gentile ruler, yet being recognized the second time he revealed himself to his brother as their king. One cannot help but see the clear reference to the Lord Yeshua. As happened to Joseph, it happened (and is set to happen) on a greater plane to the Lord Yeshua.

Moshe Rebenu – Moses was born under the reign of a foreign ruler as his people suffered under hands of another people. In order to rescue Moses from a raid on the infants of Israel, God made him escape to safety in Pharao’s palace where he was kept safe while the other infants were being slaughtered. Eventually God called him to be the savior of his people, leading them out of the bondage of slavery, being the sole barer and sole mediator of the Covenant with God and Israel, interceding between his people and God. Again, one cannot help noticing the parallels with the Lord Yeshua. As it happened to Moses, our Teacher, so it happened to Yeshua, our Lord.

So as things happen to the Jewish people or individuals in the Tenach, so it also happens to the Messiah. Concerning the Messianic passage that the author appealed to, Dr Michael Brown, PhD, explains:

“When Matthew quoted the second half of Hosea 11:1, he took for granted that his Jewish readers would know the whole verse. (Remember that many of Matthew’s intended readers knew large portions of the Hebrews Scriptures by heart, and quoting just part of a verse was common Jewish practice of the day.) What he was saying was clear: Just as it happened to Israel, God’s national “son,” so also it happened to Jesus, God’s Messianic Son, and the ideal representative of the nation. Both were called out of Egypt in their childhood.” (Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, Vol. 4, pag 22)

Matthew, pointing out that as Israel was a child, called as a nation by God for the first time as a free nation, as God’s firstborn son (Ex 4:22) into safety, so also the Lord Yeshua was called by God, to safety out of Egypt, when the one seeking his life was dead.

Elaborating on point no.3 sometimes Messianic passages are not as clear as we would like them to be. For example, in the second Servant Song the servant is called Israel, yet when one studies the passage carefully it becomes clear that the one called “Israel” is not the nation:

Listen, O isles, unto me; and hearken, ye people, from far; The Lord hath called me from the womb; from the bowels of my mother hath he made mention of my name. And he hath made my mouth like a sharp sword; in the shadow of his hand hath he hid me, and made me a polished shaft; in his quiver hath he hid me; And said unto me, Thou art my servant, O Israel, in whom I will be glorified. Then I said, I have laboured in vain, I have spent my strength for nought, and in vain: yet surely my judgment is with the Lord, and my work with my God. And now, saith the Lord that formed me from the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob again to him, Though Israel be not gathered, yet shall I be glorious in the eyes of the Lord, and my God shall be my strength. And he said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth. (Isaiah 49:1-6)

Here we see a passage that seems to be talking about the nation of Israel since in verse 3 the servant is actually called Israel, but as one reads on this turns out not to be the case. This is about one that is part of Israel, identified as and called by the name of Israel, yet gathers the people of Israel to God and restores the tribes of the nation of Israel. This is not something that the nation itself will do, but someone within the nation! In other words, this is a typical job description of the Messiah! The Messiah, as the Ideal Representative is called Israel in this passage and it is the Messiah who is called to bring Israel back to God and restore the tribes of the nation. It is Messiah who will not only be the savior of Israel, but also will be given as a light to the Gentiles and through him God’s salvation will reach the ends of the earth!

Therefore when Hoshea 11:1 mentions Israel as the son that God called out of Egypt this applies to BOTH Israel, God’s “first born”, in its infancy at the Exodus AND in an ultimate sense to the Lord Yeshua, the Unique Son of God, in His infancy. Hence, the inspired apostle Matthew lets us know, the Scripture is made full, the words God spoke came to ultimate fruition at the “exodus” of the Lord Yeshua out of the land of Egypt. In other words, and most importantly, these appeals to the Tenach weren’t mere guesses from uninformed men that were just picking and choosing, like Muslims are left doing. We have the written testimony of inspired men, who were personally taught by the Lord Yeshua and received inspiration from the Lord Yeshua.

On the other hand, what do Muslims have to show for to substantiate their nabi-anic prophecies? By their own admission they have literally nothing: Allah and his messenger, during their collaboration of 23 years, never, not once, bothered to point to any prophecy that they insist is in our Scriptures and thus uninspired Muslim apologists are left with their hands in their hair, literally having to feel their way through the darkness Allah and his messenger left them in. This results in them jumping on any mention of an Arab location, any remote resemblance of anything that looks like anything from an event in their prophet’s life. On top of all this, there is simply no basis for any expectation of an Arabian prophet to appear, as Ishmael (generously assuming for the sake of argument that Ishmael is the forefather of Muhammad) has already been demonstrated to be irrelevant when it comes to the Covenant God made with Abraham.


Before getting into direct evidence of Muhammad in the Bible, we must first establish that Ishmael and his son Kedar are linked to modern day Arabia.

The Old Testament tells us that Ishmael dwelt in a place called Paran:

“While he (Ishmael) was living in the Desert of Paran, his mother got a wife for him from Egypt. [Genesis 21:21]

Many Christian interpretors of the Bible hold that Paran is in Arabia. From Clarke’s Commentary on the Bible:

 “He dwelt in the wilderness of Paran – This is generally allowed to have been a part of the desert belonging to Arabia Petraea, in the vicinity of Mount Sinai; and this seems to be its uniform meaning in the sacred writings.

Strong’s Bible Dictionary also tells us:



From H6286; ornamental; Paran, a desert of Arabia: – Paran.

Sebeos, a 7th century Armenian bishop and historian, when describing the Arab conquest of his time, wrote that the Arabs “assembled and came out from Paran” [1]

Professor Haseeb Shehada, an Israeli scholar and professor, in his translation of the Samaritan Torah suggested an identification of the wilderness of Paran with the desert of Western Arabia which is known today as Hijaz. [2]

Some Christians claim that Paran is not in Arabia but rather in the desert of Sinai in Egypt but this can’t be the case as the Old Testament clearly distinguishes between Sinai and Paran as two separate places:

“Then the Israelites set out from the Desert of Sinai and traveled from place to place until the cloud came to rest in the Desert of Paran. [Numbers 10:12]

We can also place the location of the descendants of Ishmael, known as Ishmaelites, to Arabia. According to Harper’s Bible Dictionary the term ‘Ishmaelites’ is used synonymously with the term ‘Midianites’. We can see this from the story of Joseph in Genesis:

 “So when the Midianite merchants came by, his brothers pulled Joseph up out of the cistern and sold him for twenty shekels of silver to the Ishmaelites, who took him to Egypt. [Genesis 37:28]

We know that geographically, Biblical Midian is located in modern day Western Saudi Arabia

Nooo this is wrong! Midianites are not synonymous with Ishmaelites. Genesis 37:28 merely qualifies what kind of Midianites Joseph was sold to, but that doesn’t automatically make Ishmaelites synonymous with Midianites. Midianites were not the descendants of Ishmael, rather they were descendants of Midian, the son of Abraham which he fathered through Ketura:

And Abraham took another wife, and her name was Keturah. And she bore him Zimran, and Jokshan, and Medan, and Midian, and Ishbak, and Shuah (Gen 25:1-2)

We see here that one of the sons of Abraham was named Midian. The Jewish Encyclopedia states:

Midian was the son of Abraham and Keturah. His five sons, Ephah, Epher, Hanoch, Abidah (R. V. "Abida"), and Eldaah, were the progenitors of the Midianites (Gen. xxv. 1-4; I Chron. i. 32-33).

Therefore, these Ishmaelites in Genesis 37:28 must have been mere descendants of Ishmael living somewhere in the area of Midian. Therefore saying that Midianites is synonymous with Ishmaelites, is like saying European is synonymous with Dutchman: Dutchmen are Europeans, but not every European is a Dutchman. Another example is Judges 8. Israel is being oppressed by Midianites and God raises up Gideon to deliver Israel from the oppression of the Midianites. This is what verse 24 says:

And Gideon said unto them: 'I would make a request of you, that ye would give me every man the ear-rings of his spoil.'--For they had golden ear-rings, because they were Ishmaelites.

Note that, speaking of Midianites, the Bible has to clarify which Midianites it speaks of, specifically Ishmaelites, who, apparently, were known particularly for their golden earrings. This would have been completely unnecessary would Midianites be a synonym for Ishmaelites.

But be that as it may, just because some descendant of Ishmael is named, in this instance Kedar, doesn’t mean that this descendant plays any meaningful role in God’s calling, let alone produce a prophet or deal with the origins of a prophet. Many names in that region are named with no significance of prophet hood. Yet, even if Muslims want to identify with Ishmaelites, Midianites and Kedar, the Bible says some devastating things about Kedar and the Ishmaelites in particular. For example, as we read Psalm 83 think of what people today these words most vividly apply to when you hear them speak of Israel:

O God, do not remain silent; do not turn a deaf ear, do not stand aloof, O God. See how your enemies growl, how your foes rear their heads. With cunning they conspire against your people; they plot against those you cherish. “Come,” they say, “let us destroy them as a nation, so that Israel’s name is remembered no more.” With one mind they plot together they form an alliance against you—the tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites, of Moab and the Hagrites, Byblos, Ammon and Amalek, Philistia, with the people of Tyre. Even Assyria has joined them to reinforce Lot’s descendants. Do to them as you did to Midian, as you did to Sisera and Jabin at the river Kishon, who perished at Endor and became like dung on the ground. Make their nobles like Oreb and Zeeb, all their princes like Zebah and Zalmunna, who said, “Let us take possession of the pasturelands of God.” (Psalm 83:2-12, NIV)

Ishmaelites are literally being called God’s enemies! Also, this is what God says about Israel in the end of days:

“Lift up your eyes round about and see; They all gather together, they come to you. Your sons will come from afar, And your daughters will be carried in the arms.  “Then you will see and be radiant, And your heart will thrill and rejoice; Because the abundance of the sea will be turned to you, The wealth of the nations will come to you. A multitude of camels will cover you, The young camels of Midian and Ephah; All those from Sheba will come; They will bring gold and frankincense, And will bear good news of the praises of the Lord.  All the flocks of Kedar will be gathered together to you, The rams of Nebaioth will minister to you; They will go up with acceptance on My altar, And I shall glorify My glorious house. (Isaiah 60:4-7, NASB)

God will so devastate the nations that the remnant of those nations. Kedar and Nebaioth included, will have no choice but to come to Israel and minister to the children of Israel.

Fairness and consistency.

The author of the article then goes into Isaiah 42 at length to try to demonstrate how Muhammad is foretold in our Scriptures. Here is where the rubber really meets the road. The prophecies of Muhammad are vividly painted, according to the author of this article, masterfully placing the hadith side by side with the first of the Four Servant Songs. There is one problem: The author of the article has demanded fairness and consistency. Therefore, to be fair, we will demand consistency from the author, and all Muslim apologists for that matter, and insist that they meet the following criteria:

Considering Muslims believe that the Bible is hopelessly corrupted and a man-made document, they must first and foremost account for the prophet hood of Isaiah in Islam! They also must come up with a consistent pattern of how to recognize the false Isaiah verses from the true Isaiah verses to prevent from being suckered by man-made verses posing as divine Scripture, since they hold to Biblical corruption.  Lastly they then have to show how they know that these verses apply to Muhammad. As I said, Allah and his apostle never pointed to a single verse! As long as these criteria cannot be met, ANY appeal to ANY verse as a prophecy of Muhammad is automatically a stab in the dark, no more than a wild guess.

Allah never bothered to mention Isaiah as being one of his prophets, nor did Muhammad ever mention Isaiah as a prophet. If Muslim apologists can’t meet the above criteria they are engaging in bid’ah at best, they are guilty of committing shirk at worst: The first being punishable by hellfire, the second being unforgivable! For if this is NOT divinely inspired, i.e. not revealed by Allah, they are merely making stuff up, engaging in innovation, and, at their own whim, taking things from uninspired men and attributing them to Allah. To echo one of the many lame arguments (which now proves to actually be effective against their own position) that Muslim apologists find so compelling when using it against Biblical authority: Isaiah who? What was his last name? Who was his father? When did he write? Did Allah ever ordered him to write anything? 

Thus, Muslims, you need to think long and hard before you fly off and attribute things to Allah that he very well may not have anything to do with. If you think that anything goes for the glory of your prophet, by all means, don’t let the prospect of hellfire stop you and follow your Ulamah, who did likewise engage in bid’ah, without divine guidance pointed to random verses in Scripture and, I’m sure, are now part of a big barbeque. I submit to you, that you cannot be either fair or consistent and meet above demands.

Since you demanded fairness: if you are fair, you will take down the article and not ever again point to any supposed prophecy of which you don’t know if it came from a true prophet, as you did with Isaiah. In fact, since you have no clue of ANY prophecy, I suggest you stop the entire “Muhammad in the Bible” spiel as long as you hold to the view that the Bible is corrupted. And since you demanded consistency: If you are consistent, you will have to throw out Surah 7:157, abandon the Quran and thus leave Islam altogether.

I will therefore propose one of many enhancements to the Quran:

“Therefore woe be unto those who point to the Scripture on their own whims and then say, "This is from Allah," that they hope to make small gain therewith in their apologetics. Woe unto them for what they attributed to Allah,” [The Obscure Quran 2:79b]

Muslims, your hearts seek to be in the right place. You seem to want to serve God, serve him diligently and yearn for Him. But you are serving the wrong god! Come to al Rab Yasua alMasih and you will not be ashamed! 


TAREK said...

Good job. Well said and elaborated. Well I have said it in the past muslims suffer from Constant Inconsistency Syndrome (C.I.S). They like to pick and choose you can see even with their own so call holy quran. Example: Surat 5 aya 32 they start from middle of the verse instead the beginning. Simply because the verse refute their claim of religion of peace. The verse in directed to Israel not to muslims.
Anyway it was just an attempt to demonstrate how much and far muslims are constantly inconsistent.
Would the muslims take a bit of time to really read this article with a free mind? I doubt not.
Please keep it and MAY GOD YAHWEH BLESS you all in JESUS' NAME AMEN.

Radical Moderate said...

The Nak Attacks again.

This is like the one two punch. I don't think we will be hearing from Paul Williams friend for some time lol

Answering Judaism said...

Another way to look at Hosea 11:1 is this:

In this passage, God speaks of the time he first called Israel out of the land for servitude to him and to be his son. Despite this, the people of Israel rebelled and turned to Baal, Asherah and whatever detestable deity they had decided to worship. Some even tried including Ha Shem in this pantheon, which of course he would not accept and rightly so he didn't.

The point is they were called to be his servant and proclaim his name among the Gentiles and bring the world to himself through them. In the same way, Jesus was called out of Egypt by his Father in heaven, to do his mission of redemption of bringing the Jews and the Gentiles into reconciliation by the vicarious death on the cross. This was the mission of Christ in the will of the Triune God from eternity. After being sent to Earth, Jesus was called for service by his Father to carry a mission and a function and to serve him.

Just as Israel was called to serve God, the Son himself was called for a mission.