Is Muhammed the Promised Comforter that Jesus Christ Spoke of?

parakletos

In John 14:16 The Lord Jesus introduces the disciples to the coming “Comforter”:

 

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

 

Muslims are told that the Comforter is the Prophet of Islam because the Greek word translated “Comforter” in Arabic is “Muhammed”.

 

Ahmed أحمد  has several meanings, depending on if it is used as verb or an adverb.

As a verb, Ahmed comes from “Al hamd or hamada حمد” which means “thanking” eg: Ana Ahmad Allah means “I am thanking Allah”.

As an adverb, it means “The most thanked one”.

 

 

 

It comes from the root word hamad meaning…praise …..praising …..praised.
Ahmed …means ..one who praised

 

Muhammed  مُحَمَّد‎  .means “Who is to be praised” and was the name given to the prophet of Islam by his grandfather ‘Abd al-Muttalib.

 

The Hebrew word for comforter is מנחם (Mnacham) which means a number of things according to Brown-Driver-Briggs (Old Testament Hebrew-English Lexicon)

 

A primitive root, meaning to Sigh (Breathe Strongly); by implication to be sorry, to pity, to console. Unfavourably it can also mean to avenge.  It can also mean to comfort or even to repent.

 

It does not mean the same thing as the Arabic “Ahmed”.

 

The Greek word translated as “Comforter” is παράκλητον (Parakleton) which means: an intercessor, a helper, succourer, aider, assistant.

 

The Lord Jesus tells us who this comforter would be in verse 17:

 

[Even] the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

 

 

 

The Comforter would be The Spirit of truth:
τὸ πνεῦμα τῆς ἀληθείας (to pneuma tis alatheias)

 

In verse 26 the Lord states:

 

But the Comforter, [which is] the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

 

Thus the Comforter would be The Holy Ghost:

τὸ πνεῦμα τὸ ἅγιον (To pneuma to hagyon)

 

In the Hebrew Scriptures he is called ורוח קדשך (wruach qäd’sh’khä)

Throughout the Bible the Holy Ghost (or, as He is sometimes called “The Holy Spirit”) Is declared to be God.

 

According to Dr. Zakir Naik;

 

“Ahmed” or “Muhammad” meaning “the one who praises” or “the praised one” is almost the translation of the Greek word Periclytos. In the Gospel of John 14:16, 15:26, and 16:7. The word ‘Comforter’ is used in the English translation for the Greek word Paracletos which means advocate or a kind friend rather than a comforter. 
Paracletos 
is the warped reading for Periclytos. Jesus (pbuh) actually prophesised Ahmed by name. Even the Greek word Paraclete refers to the Prophet (pbuh) who is a mercy for all creatures.

 

Some Christians say that the Comforter mentioned in these prophecies refers to the Holy Sprit. They fail to realise that the prophecy clearly says that only if Jesus (pbuh) departs will the Comforter come. The Bible states that the Holy Spirit was already present on earth before and during the time of Jesus (pbuh), in the womb of Elizabeth, and again when Jesus (pbuh) was being baptised, etc. Hence this prophecy refers to none other than Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).

 

Dr Naik reasons:  The Bible states that the Holy Spirit was already present on earth before and during the time of Jesus (pbuh) and because of this it must mean that the Comforter can only be the prophet of Islam.  However Dr. Naik overlooks what The Lord stated, that the Holy Spirit would NOT ONLY BE PRESENT WITH the believers, but after His departing this same Holy Spirit would be IN THEM:

 

And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; [Even] the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.  (John 14:16-17).

 

This occurred on the day of Shavuot (Pentecost) when the Holy Ghost (the Comforter) filled the Disciples as described in Acts Chapter 2, which (as the Apostle Peter stated) was also the fulfillment of a prophecy given by the Prophet Joel;

 

And it shall come to pass afterward, [that] I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit. (Joel 2:28-29)

 

Dr. Naik also fails to realise that the Disciples of Christ would be Baptised with The Holy Ghost as pointed out by John the Baptist:

 

I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and [with]fire:  (Matthew 3:11)

 

This also happened on the day of Shavuot (Pentecost):

 

And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.  And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.  And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.  And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.  (Acts 2:1-4)

 

Another famous Islamic apologist, the late Ahmed Deedat wrote:

 

 The very latest ruse I have stumbled across in the Afrikaans Bible, on the very verse under discussion; they have changed the word “Trooster” (Comforter), to “Voorspraak” (Mediator), and interpolated the phrase – “die Heilige Gees” – meaning THE HOLY GHOST, which phrase no Bible scholar has ever dared to interpolate into any of the multifarious English Versions. No, not even the Jehovah’s witnesses. This is how the Christians manufacture God’s word.”

 

(“Muhammad, the natural successor to Christ,” Ahmed Deedat, p. 51)

 

Now I just happen to have a copy of a Bible in Afrkaans that was given to me by my son who lives in South Africa.  I looked up John 14:16:

 

En Ek sal die Vader bid, en Hy sal julle ´n ander Trooster gee om by julle te bly tot in ewigheide:
(Afrikaans Bible Pub 1971, Bybelgenootskap van Suid_Afrika Kaapstad)

 

Here it does use the word “Trooster” as can be seen from the above.

The other two verses in John where Jesus speaks of the Comforter, in Afrikaans:

 

John 15:26:
Maar die Trooster, die Heilge Gees, wat die Vader in my Naam sal stuur….

 

John 16:7:
…sal die Trooster nie na julle kom nie…

 

So Ahmed Didat must have used a different Afrikaans translation to the one I have.

 

It is true that the Afrikaans translators have translated “τὸ πνεῦμα τῆς ἀληθείας” (to pneuma tis alitheias – the spirit of truth) as “die Heilge Gees” (which is not correct) however, at the beginning of His discourse, the Lord Jesus had already established that the Comforter IS the Holy Ghost!  So Mr. Deedat seems to be splitting hairs over this.

 

In fact even English language translations of the Qur´an differ:

 

For example, the very first line of the Qur’an:

 

Sahih International

 

In the name of Allah, the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful.

 

Muhsin Khan

 

In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.

 

Pickthall

 

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.

 

Yusuf Ali

 

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

 

Shakir

 

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.

 

Dr. Ghali

 

In The Name of Allah, The All-Merciful, The Ever-Merciful.

 

From the above it would seem that only M.M. Pickthall and M.H. Shakir agree on what the Arabic actually states whilst the other translators disagree.

 

As someone who has years of experience in translating from foreign languages into English (and vice-versa) I can appreciate how difficult it is to convey the meaning of a phrase, especially those idiomatic phrases people so often use.  For example; in English when it is raining very heavily we say, “It is raining cats and dogs!”  As English people we have no difficulty understanding what this means as we know that it is not meant to be taken literally.  The difficulty when translating into Spanish, for example, is that they have no such idiom.  If I were to translate this phrase literally, “Está lluviendo gatos y perros,” no Spaniard would understand and would probably think I was mad to even say such a thing.  The best equivalent phrase in Spanish is, “Está lluviendo a cántaros,” (It is raining pitchers).

 

Another example is the translation of the Holy “Spirit” or, as it is sometimes translated, Holy”Ghost”.  In the ancient Hebrew the word for “spirit” is רוח (ruwachthe Greek word is πνεῦμα pneumaIn both languages these words can mean:

1)the spirit, i.e. the vital principal by which the body is animated

 

a) the rational spirit, the power by which the human being feels, thinks, decides

 

b) the soul

 
2) the spirit, i.e. the vital principal by which the body is animated

 

a) the rational spirit, the power by which the human being feels, thinks, decides

 

b) the soul

 


3)
 a spirit, i.e. a simple essence, devoid of all or at least all grosser matter, and possessed of the power of knowing, desiring, deciding, and acting

 

a) a life giving spirit

 

b) a human soul that has left the body

 

c) a spirit higher than man but lower than God, i.e. an angel

 

4) used of demons, or evil spirits, who were conceived as inhabiting the bodies of men

 

5) a movement of air (a gentle blast)

 

a) of the wind, hence the wind itself

 

b) breath of nostrils or mouth

 

 Now the English language we speak today has developed and changed over the centuries because of influences brought about either directly, through foreign invasion, or indirectly through politics, commerce and the borrowing of words.  English is a mixture of Latin, French, Saxon, Norse, Greek, Latin and Gaelic amongst others.  So it is not surprising that the translators of the Bible had a choice of words to use when translating one word out of Hebrew or Greek.

 

The word “Spirit” has its roots in Latin, thanks to the Romans.  The Latin word is “Spiritus.”

 

The word “Ghost” has its roots in the Old Saxon word “Gest.”

 

Both words mean exactly the same thing so either word can be used as they mean the same thing.  The choice of word would depend largely upon context, but also upon the individual translator.  For example the very first English language translation of the Bible from the ancient texts (Tyndale’s Bible) translates using the word “Spirit”, however later translations such as the Geneva and the King James use the word “Ghost” as well as “Spirit”!

 

Now if the Comforter spoken of by Jesus Christ in John’s account is the Prophet of Islam, as many Muslims would like to have us believe, then it is ALSO TRUE that the Prophet of Islam MUST BE the Holy Ghost, and therefore (by definition)—GOD!

 

 

 

© 2013 John Hayworth

 

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