Take the 2-minute tour ×
Christianity Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for committed Christians, experts in Christianity and those interested in learning more. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Some say that name "Ahmed" (the Muslims' prophet who is also known as "Mohamed") is mentioned in scripture, and it is foretold that he would be a prophet, but his name was censored years after Jesus.

Does modern Christianity accept this? Are there any references?

I know that Mohamed was born many years after Jesus, but I'm looking for something in the way of a divination or a enunciation.

share|improve this question
1  
So which is it? Was his name censored or not? Censor means removed. If his name was censored, then what proof does anyone have that it was ever there in the first place? And, if it is there, then obviously it wasn't censored. Can't have it both ways. –  H3br3wHamm3r81 Feb 1 '13 at 5:22
add comment

4 Answers

up vote 16 down vote accepted

Considering that he was born in 570 AD, and the last of the books of the Bible were written by contemporaries of Christ in the first century AD and compiled in present form by the 4th century AD, this is an extremely unlikely claim.

He was obviously not mentioned as a historical or contemporary figure, due to the chronology. And had he been mentioned in prophecies as a future person, and then removed from the record later, it's quite likely that 20th century discoveries of ancient Christian writings would have found it, somewhere in over half a millennium of time in which the uncensored prophecy would have existed.

Obviously it's impossible to prove a negative, but as of now, no evidence exists that I'm aware of to support that claim. If a Muslim wishes to advance the claim, the onus is on him to back it up by producing an ancient document containing the censored prophecy.

share|improve this answer
    
Thank you for answer, but check my edits please. I think you've misunderstood me (about first Paragraph). –  Moctava Farzán May 28 '12 at 11:57
    
@MoctavaFarzán: The "divination or enunciation" part was covered in my answer when I spoke of a hypothetical prophecy involving him as a future figure. –  Mason Wheeler May 28 '12 at 12:13
add comment

You might want to look at this question, which is virtually identical. To summarize:

It is a simple matter to search the entire contents of the Bible. Doing so will reveal no occurrences of the words Muhammad or Ahmad or any of their spelling variants. Manuscripts of the New Testament have been found going back to the first few decades after Jesus, and in none of these manuscripts does the name Muhammad or Ahmad appear.

Claims like this, made by Muslims, are usually referring to the Gospel of Barnabas. The Gospel of Barnabas has never been part of the Christian Bible. It contradicts all of the early Christian documents in many ways, follows a remarkably Islamic point of view, and includes a passage in which Jesus predicts Muhammad. No manuscripts of this gospel, or any description of it, exist from before the 16th Century. (There are mentions of a Gospel of Barnabas from the 6th Century - still much later then the canonical gospels - but we have no way of knowing if this is the same document.)

To directly address the 'censored' question: No, there is absolutely no evidence whatsoever of the name having been removed from any biblical documents. There are no manuscripts of biblical documents that contain his name; there are no letters referring to such documents; there are no letters discussing such censorship. Also the canon of scripture was established before Mohammed, and we have many copies of the documents that predate Mohammed, so no: this did not happen.

share|improve this answer
    
Actually Song of Songs 5:16 when read in hebrew has the word Mohammed in it along with a fairly detailed description of his hair, the # of his followers etc. –  user1361315 Feb 24 at 20:22
    
No, it contains a word that sounds a bit like 'Mohammed'. See answers to this question for more information. –  DJClayworth Feb 24 at 20:43
add comment

Have to understand the scriptures were written in sematic (aramic, hebrew) languages not english. Semetic names often mean something Isacc or Yizkah could be translated into "one who laughs" or laughing one. Another example Ishmael is two words and could be translated into "listens the" or "God Listens". There are various variations of the name Muhammad that base word though is the letters H-M-D (HA - MEEM - DEL) which means "praised" or "to praise". Here is an article on H-M-D on wikipedia that describes how this base word is used in the various semetic languages.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E1%B8%A4-M-D

So yes the name is found in the scripture lots of times but used as a word and not to refer to someone. There are occurances in the scripture were muslims claim the word is actually refering to a person. In the new testament there are several mentions of the conselor/advocator/spirt of truth that will come after.

John 14:16 John 15:26

The greek word is parakletos. In Aramic I guess this can be translated in to HA-HE-MEEM-DEL or machmad. On youtube there are probably 100s of videos of passion of christ scene where the actor playing Jesus is reading some from John 15:20 or so. Here they take the liberity of translating the word to aramic themselves. This is complicated because there are no original aramic copies of the new testament, oldest copies found are written in greek.

The other thing muslims mention is in old testament. There is a verse in the psalms song of solomon 5:16 where the word HA-HE-MEEM-DEL-LAMED-HA-MEEM is used. In the english translations of this is translated as "altogether lovely". This english translation is not really correct as this is the word HA-HE-MEEM-DEL is plural form.

An example of this is Elohim, the third word in the Genesis, in english this word is obviously just translated to God but it is actually a plural form of Eloh (A-L-H). When it is used in the bible though the nous is plural but the verbs are singular. I think this is called a royal noun? On wikipedia they talk about it depth.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elohim

This is unlikely that a form of language used to describe God is used to describe a person. Muslims add in to this claim the context of the usage. The main claim for evidence of Muhammad in the bible (which you were probably getting at) presented by muslims is the 10000 saints prophecy. This is mentioned a couple times in the old testament.

Deuteronomy 33: 2 Isaiah 42: 1-13 Habakkuk 3: 3

Muslims believe that MT Paran where Abraham brought Ishmael and Hagar is somewhere around their two holy cities Medina and Mecca which may or may not be right. They claim these mentions of arab sons/tribes (nebaioth, tema, kedar) and mention of 10000 saints coming down MT Paran is the description of Muhammad taking over the city of mecca from the idol worshippers. They have some books other than the their main book that I am not to familiar with where the actual mention 10000 saints being lead down a mountain or something.

Muslims also claim the description of this man matches a description of Muhammad given in a book written by someone who was alive at the time. If you read 5:10-5:16 it says best of 10K, describes man like it says it their muslim books, and then "he is Muhammad(s)". So here they are saying look in addition to our prophecy it also calls him out by name. When reading from start to finish though this is actually a sheep herding girl describing here love.

So in summary yes the name is also a common word that is used lots in the scripture. Does it refer to a person? In almost all cases no and in some places it has been questioned but there is no place where it is 100% clear the word is refering to a person.

share|improve this answer
    
Just to be clear, Christians are almost united in the idea that parakleos refers to the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity - not Muhammed. Muslims certainly do believe that Achmed is in Scripture. Christians most certainly do not. –  Affable Geek Feb 2 '13 at 1:03
    
@John C It’s like proving 2 divided by ten is 2. Here it is how: 2/10 is same as two/ten. T is common, so what remained is wo/en. Now ‘W’is 23 rd letter and ‘O’ is 15 the letter. Similarly ‘E’ is 5 th and ‘N’ is 14 th. Hence (wo/en) = (23+15) /(5+14)= 38/19= 2. It is not about “what is truth” but “what you want as truth. How to know, “which one is truth”? It is to know whether the things/personalities which are being related to each other are “in synch” with each other or not. –  Seek forgiveness Feb 2 '13 at 8:06
add comment

Since your question does not focus on any specific claim, I will address only the general genre of claims that are made on this topic.

I hear two genres of claims being made about Mohamed and Islam in relation to the Scriptures.

  1. Texts containing relevant information and teachings not present in the accepted cannon of Scripture have been excluded from Christian study. This claim usually centers around the (re)-discovery of various ancient texts documenting the beliefs of various historical groups that held teachings heretical to Christianity.

    One such example can be seen in this news article. In reference the recent find a well preserved copy of the Gospel of Barnabas being discovered last year in Turkey:

    A 1,500-year-old Bible in which Jesus is believed to have foretold the coming of the Prophet Mohammed to Earth has attracted attention from the Vatican this week.

    It's important to note that this article isn't well researched. The find is not a 1500 year old Bible, it is a possibly 1500 year old copy of a book purporting to be the Gospel of Barnabas, which is NOT EVEN CONSIDERED PART OF THE BIBLE. While Barnabas was one of Jesus disciples and the claim is often forwarded by skeptics that the testimony of someone in that position should not be ignored, the currently suggested date for the manuscript in question is hundreds of years after the texts we have from other apostles and it has not been established that this book even represents the teachings of Barnabas. Seeing as how the witness is also contrary, it makes little sense to hold these writings in esteem not granted to the earlier accepted manuscripts.

    The article goes on to point out two claims:

    “In one version of the gospel, he is said to have told a priest: ‘How shall the Messiah be called? Mohammed is his blessed name.’

    “And in another, Jesus denied being the Messiah, claiming that he or she would be Ishmaelite, the term used for an Arab,” the newspaper added.

    As noted above, however oft-repeated these claims may be among those skeptical of or opposed to Christianity, they are not based on documents that have any credible bearing on Jesus, his teachings, or the foundations of Christian faith. It is well accepted in Christian circles that even during the early church there were all sorts of heretical groups around teaching all sorts of divergent things about Jesus. These teachings were systematically rejected as being contrary to the plain and verified teachings of Jesus as witnessed by those closest to him. The re-discovery of ancient documents from these divergent groups poses no threat to Christianity, nor should their doctrines be taken as having any bearing on Christian doctrine.

  2. Words present in the original language text that point to the coming of Mohamed or of Islam have been misinterpreted either deliberately or though lack of understanding. There are several variations on this claim using different words from various passages.

    The most common one centers around the Greek world Parakletos, particularly in the John texts. The argument takes about a dozen different forms, but the gist of it is that the Greek text, being a translation of what Jesus would have actually said in Aramaic is confusing and misleading. The claim is that rather than being a reference to the Holy Spirit (this third person of the Trinity, promised by Jesus to come after he left and act as an advocate leading us into truth) this should actually be interpreted as a reference to a later prophet. The claim often includes an accusation that biased later generations of Christians only introduced the idea of the trinity in later copies and translations.

    These claims simply do not hold water and are rejected by all Christian teaching. One of the principles we use for interpreting Scripture is using other more clear passages on an issue to shed light on any that we are not sure how to understand. We also use the interpretations of people present (i.e. the disciples for Jesus teachings, etc.) to help guide our own. In this case the verses in John that are in question are clearly and concretely demonstrated to be talking about the same Holy Spirit that was given at Pentecost and dwells with believers. Furthermore, any attempt to render these passages in a different light ends up making a massive mess of the rest of Scripture turning it to testify against itself (a pretty sure sign you've read it wrong).

    Another example sometimes cited is in Isaiah where several tributes to a coming elect servant are given. While Christianity universally understands these as describing the coming Christ himself, they don't bear a name. One of them intros "Behold my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen, in whom my soul delights." An argument is sometimes made that "my chosen" or in context, "God's chosen" translated into Arabic is "Mustafa" (true enough), then claiming that nobody had that name until the founder of Islam came along. Never minding for a minute how many people have the name even to this day, a name alone isn't enough to tie somebody to a prophecy esp when the other parts of the prophecy don't match. Isaiah includes many specific descriptions that even Muslims don't try to interpret as being fulfilled in anyone but Christ. Some of those prophecies being re-directed on a linguistic twist isn't something Christians acknowledge as a link.

    While the above are simply some of the possible examples of this, the universal conclusion of Christian scholarship (and hence, doctrine) is that such techniques represent a poor hermeneutic, not taking into account the whole of Scripture, forcing items out of context and rendering the text to say something it was never meant to say.

Christianity universally and categorically denies that any texts outside of the canon provide an authoritative witness to Jesus teachings AND that the words brought into question as possible references to Mohamed or Islam have anything to do with the subject. On the contrary, any such teachings are expressly contrary to the vast weight of scholarship on the issue. It is not a point of common understanding between faiths, and anything built off of such a "bridge" invariably ends up being contrary to other Christian doctrine.

share|improve this answer
2  
It should be pointed out that the '1500 year old book' has not been actually shown to be 1500 years old, or to contain text of the Gospel of Barnabas. –  DJClayworth May 29 '12 at 21:21
    
@DJClayworth Duly noted. –  Caleb May 30 '12 at 12:34
add comment

protected by Caleb Mar 9 '13 at 12:50

Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality answers, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site.

Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.