Saturday, July 24, 2010

Does the Bible predict Muhammad?

One of the oddities of Mohammedan apologetics is the popular claim that the Bible predicts the rise of Muhammad. Here I’ll make two brief observations:

1. Even if we grant, for discussion purposes only, that the Bible predicts the rise of Muhammad, that, of itself, wouldn’t begin to validate the prophetic pretensions of Muhammad. After all, the Bible undoubtedly predicts the rise of the Antichrist. Yet that’s hardly an endorsement of the Antichrist!

2. However, a deeper problem with this appeal is that it generates a dilemma for Mohammedan apologetics. On the one hand, there are passages in the Koran where Muhammad evidently commended the Bible as the standard by which his own prophetic claims should be judged. And this, of course, has proven to be an acute embarrassment to Mohammedan apologists. For if we measure Muhammed by that yardstick, he comes up short.

As a result, Mohammedan apologists devote much time and effort laboring to explain away the positive references to the Bible in the Koran. They assure us that Muhammad wasn’t referring to the Bible as we have it today.

In the same vein, you have books by Mohammedans like Maurice Bucaille which “discover” uncanny anticipations of modern science in the Koran while they “uncover” obsolete science in the Bible.

On the other hand, if Mohammedans are suddenly going to invoke Bible prophecies to corroborate Muhammad, then their appeal is only legitimate (assuming we grant their hermeneutical legerdemain) if the Bible as we have it today is authentic and reliable. You can’t spend half your time attacking the inerrancy of the Bible, then spend the other half of your time citing Bible prophecies which allegedly anticipate the rise of Muhammed.


  1. This is simply an amazingly profound point, simply lost to those who mostly need it most and pointed out to them!

    You can’t spend half your time attacking the inerrancy of the Bible, then spend the other half of your time citing Bible prophecies which allegedly anticipate the rise of Muhammed.

  2. The Bible is only reliable in those parts where it works for the Moslems for it to be reliable, duhh

  3. Historists say that the Bible predicts Muhammad via the rise of Islam in Revelations 9.

  4. Yeah its completely inconsistent, I point this out to my Muslim friends and try and answer the questions he asks regarding this.

    If your interested I deal with the supposed prediction in the Song of Songs which really proves how far they must go.

  5. Yes. Good article. This is a pretty typical argument. The presupposition that drives the thinking of Muslim apologists is that the Koran is true. Where the Bible appears to support Islam, they use the Bible to try to convince Christians of the claims of Islam. Where they can't twist a Bible passage to make it appear to agree, they must conclude that the Bible is erroneous.

    It's usually fruitless to attack this presupposition directly when witnessing to Muslims. A double approach works the best if your Muslim is Arab. First, positively drum on the gospel everywhere you can. Arabs tend to respect people who have a certainty of belief and we have every reason to be certain of the gospel of Christ.

    Second, reveal how they have twisted the meaning of the Biblical passages. Being confronted with the elucidation of the truth that good hermeneutics affords slowly weakens their confidence in the arguments they have been taught to make since those arguments require the employment of poor hermeneutics.

    Unless you are well-studied on the Koran, never argue the Koran. I have read much of the Koran, but never argue it. It's pointless unless your name is James White because when discussing faith, you want Muslims to keep the discussion on the Bible where you can demonstrate it's reliability. Although they can be tenuous in their argumentation, this approach will allow them the mental privacy to wrestle with the reliability of their presuppositions and consider the possibility of the truth of Christ as you weaken their arguments.