C - JESUS AND THE COMFORTER
Whenever Muslims seek to prove that Muhammad is foretold in the New Testament, they immediately appeal to the promise of Jesus that the “Comforter” would follow him and claim that this Comforter was Muhammad (particularly as in the Qur'an, Jesus is alleged to have foretold the coming of Muhammad in Surah al-Saff 61:6 in similar language). Whereas the Revised Standard Version uses the word “Counselor” rather than “Comforter”, we shall use the word “Comforter” throughout this chapter because it is more familiar to the Muslims. The texts where the Comforter is mentioned by Jesus are:
It is generally alleged by Muslims that the Greek word “paracletos” (meaning Comforter, Counselor, Advocate, etc., in effect, one who unites men to God) is not the original word but that Jesus in fact foretold the coming of Muhammad by name and that the translation of his name into Greek (or at least the meaning of his name in Greek) is “periklutos”, that is, the “praised one”.
There is not a shred of evidence in favor of the assertion that the original word was “periklutos”. We have thousands of New Testament manuscripts pre-dating Islam and not one of these contains the word “periklutos”. In view of the fact that Muslims are prone to leveling false allegations that Christians are regularly changing the Bible, it is rather intriguing to find that they have no scruples about doing this themselves when it suits them to do so. In any event a cursory reading of the texts where the word “paracletos” appears will show that this is the only word that suits the context as I will show in one instance later on in this chapter.
Some wiser Muslims admit that “paracletos” is correct, but they claim in any event that Muhammad was the Comforter whom Jesus was referring to. Let us briefly examine some of the texts in a truly exegetical manner to discover whether Muhammad is indeed the Comforter whose coming Jesus foretold.
It is quite obvious from the four texts quoted that Comforter, Holy Spirit, and Spirit of Truth are interchangeable terms and that Jesus is speaking of the same person in each instance. The one obvious fact that emerges is that the Comforter is a spirit. (The fact that Jesus always speaks of the Spirit in the masculine gender in no way suggests that the Comforter must be a man as some of the publications in the Bibliography suggest. God himself is always spoken of in both the Bible and the Qur'an in the masculine gender and God is spirit - John 4:24. In the same way Jesus always speaks of the Comforter as a spirit and not as a man).
If we apply sound exegesis to John 14:16-17 we shall discover no less than eight reasons why the Comforter cannot possibly be Muhammad.