WVW: John 14:16- Is Muhammad in the Bible? Part III
One time while reading the Quran, I saw in parenthesis a reference to John 14:16. So why in the world did this Quran put in parentheses a reference to the book of John? Well, the verse I was reading was Surah 7:157, which is a verse where Muhammad claimed to be mentioned in the Gospel. The editors of this Quran put John 14:16 in parentheses because they claim this verse, which consists of Jesus talking about the Helper, is where Muhammad is referenced. In fact, there are a a lot notes toward the back of this particular Quran which make many claims about Jesus and the Bible, and it’s some of the most jaw dropping and Biblically illiterate craziness you will ever see. Anyway, the point is this: Muhammad claimed to be referenced in the Gospel in Surah 7:157, and this particular Quran (along with other Qurans, Islamic resources, and Muslim apologists) says this reference can be found in John 14:16. So, who is the Helper in John 14:16 that Jesus referenced? Is it Muhammad? Let’s take a look.
“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever.” (John 14:16 ESV)
What’s the Context?
The Gospel of John was written by, you guessed it, John. He was not only one of Jesus’ twelve disciples but was also one of His closest disciples (Matthew 17:1, Mark 5:37, etc...). Unlike the Synoptic Gospels, John didn’t record any parables of Jesus. In this book, John focuses a lot on the divinity of Jesus, which quickly becomes clear when you start to read the first chapter. It is also this Gospel that records Jesus’ promise to His disciples to send the Helper.
Is Muhammad the One Sent by Jesus?
One of the most common places in the Bible where Muslims say Muhammad is mentioned is in the Gospel of John. In this book, Jesus made references to a "Helper." Muslims will often say that this "Helper" is a reference to Muhammad. However, in reality Jesus was actually talking about the Holy Spirit. If one simply reads these passages in their entirety and in context, it‘s one hundred percent clear that Jesus was talking about the Holy Spirit. Below are seven big problems with the claim that Muhammad was the Helper:
1) As referenced above, Jesus explicitly said the Helper is the Holy Spirit in John 14:26. This is a verse conveniently never quoted by Muslim apologists. This is why it’s so important to read verses in context. Jesus literally tells us who the Helper is. There is no ambiguity here. The Helper, who Jesus also called "the Spirit of Truth" (John 14:17, 15:26, 16:13), is the Holy Spirit that Jesus sent on the day of Pentecost (Acts 1:4-5, 8, 2:1-5). So, the Helper is the Holy Spirit, not a man who would come 600 years later and make up a new religion that contradicted the truth of Jesus Christ.
2) In John 14:17 (literally the very next verse after the one often quoted by Muslims as being a reference to Muhammad), Jesus said this Helper was currently dwelling with the disciples and will eventually be within them. So, if the Helper is Muhammad, that means Muhammad was with Jesus’ disciples, an idea that is absurd because Muhammad wasn’t born until approximately 540 years later. Also, Jesus said the Helper would be in the disciples, which is another obvious problem.
3) In John 14:16 Jesus said God (the Father) will send the Helper, and Muslims also believe God sent the Helper because they believe the Helper was Muhammad. So, if Muhammad was sent by God, and Muhammad was the Helper that Jesus talked about, and Jesus sent the Helper (as Jesus Himself said in John 15:26), that means Muhammad was sent by Jesus. So, what’s the big deal with Muhammad being sent by Jesus? Well, this places Jesus in the position of God since God is the one who sent Muhammad and Muhammad was sent by Jesus. If one tries to put Muhammad in the position of the Helper, then to be consistent one must also put Jesus in the place of God. So, when Muslims say Muhammad was the Helper they are inadvertently equating Jesus with God.
4) Jesus said the Helper will bear witness about Himself (John 15:26), so if Muhammad was the Helper then why would he bear witness about Jesus? Shouldn't Muhammad bear witness about God? Now someone might say that Muhammad did bear witness about Jesus because Muhammad said Jesus was a prophet (Surah 4:171, 5:17, 72, 75), but again context matters. In the very next verse (John 15:27) Jesus says the disciples will also bear witness about Jesus. So how did the disciples bear witness? By telling the truth that Jesus is Lord and God (John 1:1-3; Acts 4:33; 2 Peter 1:1; etc...). In the same way that the disciples would bear witness that Jesus was Lord and God, the Holy Spirit would as well. Since Muhammad didn’t bear witness to that truth (but actually contradicted it), Muhammad is not the Helper.
5) Jesus also said the Helper will glorify Himself (John 16:14), so if Muhammad was the Helper that means Muhammad glorified Jesus, but this would only be appropriate if Jesus is God. In fact, in Isaiah chapter 42 (ironically, another chapter Muslims falsely claim references Muhammad) God says He doesn’t share His glory with another (Isaiah 42:8). So, Jesus being glorified is inappropriate unless Jesus is God, and if Jesus is God, then Muhammad was a false prophet.
6) Notice how John 14:16 calls God “the Father”. This is important because Muhammad said God is the Father of no one (Surah 5:18; 19:88-93). In fact, in the Islamic tradition, there are 99 names of Allah and not one of them refers to God as Father. So, if Muslims admit this verse is true (which they have to in order to use it), then they just inadvertently admitted that God is a father and Islam is false.
7) If Muslims want to quote from the Gospel of John, then why won't they look at what the other parts of John say? If they believe the Gospel of John is reliable enough to quote from it, then they are in trouble because John's Gospel badly contradicts what Muhammad and the Quran say. John affirms the Divinity of Jesus, the Trinity, the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, etc..., yet Muhammad denied all of these. So, any attempt to use the Gospel of John to try to support Islam implodes. It's unfortunate that Muslims like to cherry pick verses out of context in order to avoid the inevitable conclusion that Muhammad was a false prophet.
In conclusion, when one takes an honest look at John 14:16 in context and with an open, unbiased mind, it's completely clear that Jesus wasn’t talking about Muhammad. The claim that the Helper is a reference to Muhammad is comical. Muhammad is nowhere to be found in the Bible, and this simple fact is one of the many reasons we can know for sure that Muhammad was a false prophet.
What Does John 14:16 Mean for Us Today?
John 14:16 highlights one of the many major differences between the truth of Christianity and the lie of Islam. Christianity tells us that Jesus sends the Holy Spirit to indwell the believer (John 14:17; Romans 8:9-11; 1 Corinthians 3:16, 6:19; 2 Timothy 2:14; 1 John 4:4), but in Islam such a concept is foreign. This is why the early church was an unstoppable force in the face of so much persecution and violence. Unlike Islam which spread by the sword, Christianity spread by the power of the Holy Spirit and the love of God. The early church was heavily persecuted, yet the Holy Spirit empowered and sustained them to keep speaking the truth of Jesus Christ. Jesus gives His children the Helper because He knows we need it. It’s so amazing that the God who created the universe and took our sin upon Himself will also live through us by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
Dingers, Part 1, 2, 3 were written by Joel from @who.was.muhammad on Instagram! Make sure you go ahead and check out his incredible work!