Saturday, September 06, 2014

How Islam's Prophetic Failures Support Christianity

Yesterday, I wrote a post about Muhammad that, in part, addressed Islamic claims that he fulfilled prophecies found in the Bible. I argued that Muhammad's alleged prophecy fulfillments are evidentially far weaker than Jesus' fulfillment of prophecy.

That contrast between Muhammad and Jesus illustrates the absurdity of an objection that's frequently raised against the Christian argument from prophecy fulfillment. Supposedly, according to atheists and other critics, the early Christians inserted Jesus into the Old Testament after the fact, without justification and without anything supernatural having occurred. Well, Islam is a religion with a lot of resources (many adherents, political influence, wealth, etc.), a religion that's had a strong motivation to find prophecies of its founder in the Bible and has had a lot of time to do it. (For those who don't know, the Quran suggests that the Bible predicted Muhammad. See surah 7:157.) So, why has Islam, after all this time, produced such pathetic results in its attempt to find prophecies of Muhammad in the Bible? They've had far more time and other advantages the early Christians didn't have, including a larger range of material to draw from (both the Old and New Testaments rather than just the Old). Yes, you could find alleged typological prophecy fulfillments for Muhammad, much as many of Jesus' alleged fulfillments are typological (e.g., Hosea 11:1 in Matthew 2:15). But non-typological fulfillments are much more evidentially significant, and Christianity has many of those as well. Islam doesn't. If it was so easy to make it look like Jesus fulfilled prophecies as unusual as Psalm 22 and the Suffering Servant Prophecy, to align his life with Daniel's Seventy Weeks prophecy, to fulfill the Son of David prophecy, to fulfill the Bethlehem prophecy, etc., why have Islam and other competing belief systems failed to produce anything that even comes close to being comparable or better? Then there are the Bible's non-Messianic prophecies, which the Quran also has failed to duplicate or surpass.

See here for an index of our posts on Christian prophecy fulfillment, both Messianic and non-Messianic.


  1. Although you've not explored it here, this same line of reasoning serves a double purpose, beyond exposing the theological vacuity of Islam, it also demonstrates its intellectual paucity. Why haven't Islamic scholars and intellectuals came up with an apologetic for these glaring weaknesses in 1,400 years (give or take)?

    I'd suggest at least two reasons, I.) because they are fallen sinners by nature their intellect is at enmity with God, therefore they have darkened and foolish minds which abide under the wrath of God, so they are judicially blinded. This is the nature of the case with all unregenerate thinking. II.) Due to Islam's tendency to wipe out or severely restrict non-Islamic practice and speech in the societal and intellectual ghettos they create, they've deprived themselves of the challenge of encountering and thus countering non-Islamic thought, and objections to Islam.

    I'm sure the apologetical encounter would be much simpler if, when faced with a gainsayer, the gainsayer loses his head. Pretty soon gainsayers get the message, and are much less concerned about losing arguments than losing other things.

    This stifles debate and therefore stifles intellectual development and the refining of arguments. Paradoxically for the Christian church heresy has had a refining and purifying effect for the true church. This serves as yet another example, and further evidence for the kind of God that has revealed Himself in Christian theism.

  2. I'm not sure that typological fulfillments are less evidentially significant. It depends on how tight the analogy.

    A genuine typological fulfillment requires God to arrange or prearrange history so that an earlier person, place, or event will foreshadow a later counterpart. That long-range mastery of world events is tremendously impressive.

  3. One of the major things that Muslims boastfully point out is that Islam has a greater claim to be the true fulfillment of Old Testament religion (rather than Christianity) by the fact that with the Jews they believe in one unified God and reject the doctrine of the Trinity. When in point of fact, the OT hints at God's plurality in oneness multiple times and in multiple ways.

    At one his websites (Two Powers in Heaven) Dr. Michael Heiser continues to argue rabbinical scholar Alan Segal's claim (nearly 30 years ago) that up until the 2nd century C.E., it was permissible in Judaism to believe in the concept of there being "two powers" in heaven without being heretical or pagan or polytheistic. It was a sort of Jewish Binitarianism.

    I've collected some of Heiser's videos on The Trinity in the Old Testament HERE.

    see also his paper: “Monotheism, Polytheism, Monolatry, or Henotheism? Toward an Honest (and Orthodox) Assessment of Divine Plurality in the Hebrew Bible” by Dr. Michael Heiser

    Dr. Benjamin Sommer, a professor in Bible and ancient Near Eastern languages at the Jewish Theological Seminary [sic !!!] recently wrote in his book The Bodies of God:

    “Some Jews regard Christianity’s claim to be a monotheistic religion with grave suspicion, both because of the doctrine of the trinity (how can three equal one?) and because of Christianity’s core belief that God took bodily form. . . . No Jew sensitive to Judaism’s own classical sources, however, can fault the theological model Christianity employs when it avows belief in a God who has an earthly body as well as a Holy Spirit and a heavenly manifestation, for that model, we have seen, is a perfectly Jewish one. A religion whose scripture contains the fluidity traditions [referring to God appearing in bodily form in the Tanakh], whose teachings emphasize the multiplicity of the shekhinah, and whose thinkers speak of the sephirot does not differ in its theological essentials from a religion that adores the triune God.”

    Continued in Next Post

    1. In light of the above resources I've given, the fact is that Islam's and modern Judaism's (with some exceptions like some mystical forms) affirmation of strict Unitarianism apostatizes from Old Testament religion and the Old Testament Scriptures!!!

      Mainstream Judaism departs from its roots.

      Just as Islam cannot be the ultimate fulfillment of Old Testament religion as it claims.