John 14:16—Are Muslims right in referring this promise of the coming “helper” to Mohammed?
Problem: Muslim scholars see in this reference of the promised “Helper” (Gk., parakletos) a prediction of Mohammed, because the Quran (Surah 61:6) refers to Mohammed as “Ahmad” (periclytos) which they take to be the correct rendering of “parakletos.”
Solution: There are absolutely no grounds for concluding the “Helper” (parakletos) Jesus mentioned here is Mohammed. First of all, of the 5,366 Greek manuscripts of the NT, not a single manuscript contains the word periclytos (“praised one”), as the Muslims claim it should read. Second, Jesus clearly identifies the “Helper” as the Holy Spirit, not Mohammed. Jesus referred to “the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send” (John 14:26). Third, the “Helper” was given to His disciples (“you,” v. 16), but Mohammed was not. Fourth, the “Helper” was to abide with them “forever” (v. 16), but Mohammed has been dead for 13 centuries! Fifth, Jesus said to the disciples, “You know Him [the Helper]” (v. 17), but they did not know Mohammed. He wasn’t even born for 6 more centuries. Sixth, Jesus told His apostles, the Helper will be “in you” (v.17). In no sense was Mohammed “in” Jesus’ apostles. Seventh, our Lord affirmed the Helper would be sent “In My [Jesus’] name” (John 14:26). But no Muslim believes Mohammed was sent by Jesus in His name. Eighth, the Helper Jesus would send would not “speak on His own authority” (John 16:13), whereas Mohammed constantly testifies to himself in the Quran (cf. Surah 33:40). Ninth, the Helper would “glorify” Jesus (John 16:14), but Mohammed claims to supersede Jesus, being a later prophet. Finally, Jesus asserted that the Helper would come in “not many days” (Acts 1:5), whereas Mohammed did not come for 600 years.
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This excerpt is from When Critics Ask: A Popular Handbook on Bible Difficulties (Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books, 1992). © 2014 Norman Geisler and Thomas Howe. All rights reserved. Used by permission. Click here to purchase this book.