I think, with this article, I have to put forward the specific claims of the muslim. I’m gonna quote an article called “What does the Bible say about Muhammad …” by Shabir Ally at whyislam.org.
According to the Bible, God said to Moses, on whom be peace:
“I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers; I will put my words in his mouth, and he will tell them everything I command him.” (The Holy Bible, New International Version, Deuteronomy chapter 18, verse 18).
The prophet described in the above verse must have the following three characteristics:
1. He will be like Moses.
2. He will come from the brothers of the Israelites, i.e. the Ishmaelites.
3. God will put His words in the mouth of that prophet and he will declare what God commanded him.
Let us see which prophet God was speaking of.
What this writer as well as other muslims will do is then list ways in which they think their “prophet” is similar to Moses.
They here make two assumptions. They assume that this passage refers to a particular prophet. The other assumption they make is that the way this specific prophet is similar to Moses is not in the text, therefore they look for different parts of Muhammad’s like and the things he did that was similar to Moses.
Now it’s very important for those who actually respect what the Jewish Bible says and its divine source to actually read the context of the verse so we can see what the intention or the contextual understanding of the verse is.
Let’s start from Deuteronomy 18 verse 9 and go all the way to the end of the chapter. I’ll highlight certain parts of the text that help us see the contextual understanding of the verse.
When you come into the land which the LORD your God gives you, you shall not learn to do according to the abominations of those nations. There shall not be found among you any one that makes his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that uses divination, or sorcery, or interprets omens, or is a witch, or binds [special] bindings, or enquires of the Ov and Yidoni, or consults the dead. For all that do these things are an abomination to the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD your God does drive them out from before you.
You shall be whole hearted with the LORD your God. For these nations, which you shall possess, have listened to sorcerers, and to diviners: but you, the LORD your God has not allowed you so to do.
The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet from your midst, from your brothers, like me; to him you shall listen, according to all that you asked of the LORD your God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, Don’t let me continue to hear the voice of the LORD my God, neither let me see this great fire any more, so I won’t die. And the LORD said to me, They have done well in what they have spoken. I will raise them up a prophet from among their brethren, like you, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. And it shall come to pass, that whoever will not listen to my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him.
But the prophet, who shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die.
And if you say in your heart, “How shall we know the word which the LORD has not commanded?” when a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the thing doesn’t happen or come about, that is the thing which the LORD has not spoken, but the prophet has spoken it presumptuously: you shall not be afraid of him.
I remember, when I was a christian, taking up the task of not only reading the bible all the way through, but also having it read to me through an online audio bible. It was amazing how many times I’d come to a passage that was supposed to contain some awesome prophecy or doctrinal point, but when read in context, those special connotations seemed to totally disappear. In passages like Job 19:25 and even Psalm 22 which were supposed to hail about messiah, those hails were rendered mute by the context.
And what is the context?
The Lord warns the people against committing acts that the nations do, like divination. Most, if not all, of the deeds warned against have something to do with gaining mystical knowledge in a supernatural way, such as divination and enquiring of the dead. It is because of these acts that the Lord is driving out the old inhabitants of Canaan, and God didn’t permit the Israelites to use these forces; God was going to supply a prophet.
There are a few things to note so far. Firstly, there is no messiah in the context nor a special specific individual. Secondly, the text essentially says that God hasn’t permitted the Israelite to use one way of getting knowledge and that he is going to provide a prophet. Just as the nations listened to their wizards and soothsayers, Israel should listen to this prophet. But what else does this passage say?
So God is gonna raise a prophet “according to what the children of Israel asked” according to verse 16. Huh? Wait, what stuff did the children of Israel want or ask for? A messiah? A special individual who won’t show up for over a thousand years? Nope, the text tells us. The children needed someone to hear from God for them like Moses as they were afraid of a more direct communication.
So we have some info: his prophet would be listened to when Israel needed it, just as nations listen to their occult practitioners; and this prophet would hear from God as Moses did.
Did you spot that?
Did you spot the way in which the prophet would be like Moses?
Did the context just explain itself? That just like the Israelites wanted Moses to hear from God for them, they would have a prophet who would do that according to their request to God? I’m sure it did!
Now let me put something out there. Let me posit something. This isn’t a prophecy as such; it is law regarding how prophets should be dealt with in future. The context isn’t prophecy; it’s law! Therefore we’re not looking at a prophecy about a single special individual, like the Yeshu monster or Muslim Moe. We’re looking at a promise that God gives that, should the Jews need it, he’ll raise a prophet so that they can hear from him. This can be whenever they need it, i.e., God can send “a prophet” straight after Moses, like Joshua, and he can send “a prophet” at the time of Saul and David, like Samuel and Nathan. Because this is a promise about “a prophet” and not a specific prophecy about “the Prophet,” then it can happen as many times as needed. But because, during this time, false prophets could come, as this is law not prophecy, the people would need to know how to deal with false prophets. So God gave more law to guide them.
Do I have evidence for this “position” that I posited?
Of course I do. In that very same text, there is law on one way to check if a prophet is false or not.
You see, this is not a text telling you how to recognise Messiah; that concept is nowhere in this text. It’s a passage telling Israel that God will continue to talk to them after Moses, raising up for them a prophet as and when needed, and therefore Israel will also have a way to test the veracity of each prophet, be it Jeremiah or Hananiah.
It should be apparent here that, as can be expected of a religion that follows the errant stumblings of christianity, the muslim makes the exact same mistake as their christian brethren. Now I’ve avoided the hang-ups of the muslim and the christian because they are irrelevant to the context. Once the context is understood to be a law about how God will communicate with Israel, prohibiting occultists, but rather using prophets after Moses, then the notion of this passage only being about muslim Moe or the Yeshu monster fade into nothing.
“But David, what about the fact that the text says ‘from your brethren?’ Doesn’t that mean the prophet can be from the brothers or relatives of Israel like the Ishmaelites from whom muslim Moe (Mohammed) originate? Doesn’t the fact that Moses was talking to Israel on a whole mean that ‘your brethren’ cannot mean another Israelite but must mean an outsider who is related, like the Ishmaelite Mohammed?”
Let me put another question to you in order to answer that question. Did Israel sin against God when Saul and David were made king? I mean they were both Israelite, right? In fact all the kings of Israel and Judah were Israelites. So if the interpretation of “from their brothers” must mean and outsider who is related, then they must have sinned in that they only used Israelites as kings, right?
Let me show you what I mean. In just one chapter from Deuteronomy 18, in Deuteronomy 17 verses 14 and 15, it says this about the king who would rule Israel.
When you shall come to the land which the Lord your God is giving to you and you possess it and dwell in it, and shall say, “Let me set a king over me like all the nations which surround me,” you will most certainly set over yourself a king which the Lord your God will chose. You shall set over yourself a king from amongst your brothers. You can’t put over you a foreign man which is not your brother.
As you can see here, the text states that the king must be from amongst their brothers, much like Deuteronomy 18 says about a prophet that God sends. And here it makes sure to tell a person what a brother is not: it is not a foreigner, a non-Israelite!!! Just look at Exodus 12:43 where it says that a foreigner is not allowed to take part in the Passover, only someone who has become naturalised to become a full Jew or a full Israelite! That means it excludes the Edomites, even though they’re supposed to be relatives to Israel. This excludes the descendants of the other sons of Abraham, even though they may be relatives to Israel. Being a foreigner excludes Moabites and Ammonites although they are relatives to Israel. None of these, although being a relative of Israel, is counted as a “brother,” a person eligible to become a king. So in this text, which comes before Deuteronomy 18’s statement about a prophet, a brother means a fellow Israelite, a fellow Jew.
So to answer my question, no, those people of Israel who chose to put a king over all Israelites did not sin by choosing fellow Israelites, because that’s what the law states, that the person must be “from among their brothers” which means not a foreigner but a fellow Israelite.
So now, when the text of Deuteronomy 18 states prophets who speak what God commands them, these prophets are “from your brothers,” it should be clear that it is speaking about a fellow Israelite or fellow Jew.
Now, do you notice what has happened? The part of the text that muslims have used to say that “the special prophet” (a concept absent from the text) must be from among people outside of Israel who are related to them in actual fact is the part of the verse that disqualifies Muhammad, “muslim Moe,” from ever being classed as a true prophet for the Jews.
Now, the thought came across my head, “well, David, you said he can’t be classed as a true prophet for the Jews; but does that make him a possible true prophet for the Gentiles?” And the answer must be no! And why? For at least two reasons, even though there are more.
Firstly, if muslims are using Deuteronomy 18:15 and 18 to say that muslim Moe is a prophet, and those texts disqualify him, then they are relying on a lie or untruth to support him. A prophet whose claim to prophethood is based on an untruth, then that makes it much more likely that he’s not a true prophet.
Also, it’s forbidden by Torah law to add or subtract from the laws of God (Deuteronomy 13:1 [or the last verse in chapter 12 in christian versions]). If someone claims to be a prophet and makes a permanent change to Torah law, then he disqualifies himself from being a prophet for anyone. The muslims I have watched have made it painfully clear that Mohammad abrogated and annulled and changed the Law of Moses. They even think that the role of a prophet or “the prophet” in Deuteronomy 18 is to give new laws or change the law. That’s because they misinterpret the phrase “like Moses” to mean that, like Moses, this prophet shall give a new law. That’s a lot of stuff to put onto a little phrase like “like Moses” even though the text itself clarifies what it means to be “like Moses,” i.e., hear from God for the people. So the changing of the Torah law disqualifies him as being a true prophet for anyone.
So after all that I can conclude.
Muslims make the same mistake as christians in thinking they can lay claim to the Jewish Bible and then teach it to others as if they were the primary custodians and the rightful experts. They are neither! They also make the same mistake as christians in taking verses out of context to make awful conclusions that are either not in the text or are a misinterpretation of the text.
I’ve seen too often now watching muslims in debates with atheists, Jews and christians, that muslims treat the Jewish Bible quite badly. But you shouldn’t be surprised. Why? This is firstly because they make the same mistake as christians in thinking Jesus is a true prophet (and messiah) which is also based on distorting the Jewish Bible. A well-renowned muslim debater, Shabir Ally, stated that you can’t be a muslim without accepting Jesus or Isa. And this is also because they think the Jewish Bible is corrupted. I’ve seen muslims used illogical and irrational arguments to make such a claim and I personally have been in conversation with a muslim who used such mentally retarded arguments to show that the Jewish Bible and the books of Moses have fabrications in it.
Knowing the falsehoods that is part of Islam strengthens my resolve to keep away from it. Knowing these falsehoods inform me that christianity and islam are illegitimate children, ungrateful bastards who will happily tear down their “mother” in one way or another to lift themselves up.
For further reading you can check out the following: