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Offline Reader Comments

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Here's what Prophet Jesus is reported to have said in John 16 (12-14) while addressing his audience:
"I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.  Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.  He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you." John 16:12-14
Christians suppose that the Greet word parakletos is the Spirit of Truth which refers to the Holy Spirit---sometimes translated as 'comforter'.  But here's what Muhammad Asad says while explaining Ahmed in 61:6:
This prediction is supported by several references in the Gospel of St. John to the Parakletos (usually rendered as "Comforter") who was to come after Jesus. This designation is almost certainly a corruption of Periklytos ("the Much-Praised"), an exact Greek translation of the Aramaic term or name Mawhamana. (It is to be borne in mind that Aramaic was the language used in Palestine at the time .of, and for some centuries after, Jesus, and was thus undoubtedly the language in which the original - now lost - texts of the Gospels were composed.) In view of the phonetic closeness of Periklytos and Parakletos it is easy to understand how the translator - or, more probably, a later scribe - confused these two expressions. It is significant that both the Aramaic Mawhamana and the Greek Periklytos have the same meaning as the two names of the Last Prophet, Muhammad and Ahmad, both of which are derived from the verb hamida ("he praised") and the noun hamd ("praise"). An even more unequivocal prediction of the advent of the Prophet Muhammad - mentioned by name, in its Arabic form - is said to be forthcoming from the so-called Gospel of St. Barnabas, which, though now regarded as apocryphal, was accepted as authentic and was read in the churches until the year 496 of the Christian era, when it was banned as "heretical" by a decree of Pope Gelasius. However, since the original text of that Gospel is not available (having come down to us only in an Italian translation dating from the late sixteenth century), its authenticity cannot be established with certainty.(Quran Ref: 61:6 )

Offline Joseph Islam

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Salamun Alaikum

I would have to strongly, but with respect, disagree with the conclusion reached built on the assumption "In view of the phonetic closeness of Periklytos and Parakletos it is easy to understand how the translator - or, more probably, a later scribe - confused these two expressions". This is not a view original to our late (and much respected) brother Asad but has been propounded by other Muslims too.
There is no documented evidence in any ancient NT manuscript to my knowledge that such a corruption of the term ever took place.  This is purely hypothetical propounded to reach a particular conclusion by Muslims.
With a view to maintain academic honesty, I endeavour to base my opinion (as best I can) on verifiable proof and not 'zan' (assumption).

This actually makes the Muslim position quite desperate and serves little to provide a cogent explanation. The desperation usually ensues by making use of the medieval Gospel of Barnabas which is well known to be disregarded by many scholars as of questionable authenticity.


The earliest copy of the Bible that we have is in Greek and the earliest extant piece is dated around 125 AD. A fragment exists which is possibly no larger than your credit card at the Rylands library in Manchester, England. On one side it contains a section from verses 31-33 and on the other 37-38 from the 18th chapter of the Gospel of John.
We know of approximately 5700 NT Manuscripts with numerous differences between them. Some are insignificant like accidental spelling errors, scribal errors while others are intentional, some theological. Scholars have a rich source of scriptures to track the changes, which I feel confirm the Quran's assertion that changes have indeed occurred and there are great insights as to why. The area of Biblical scholarship is well advanced, well documented, comprehensive and highly erudite which should deserve appreciation even though it can be critiqued and contested.

Given all the differences known, and have been painstakingly understood (accidental, intentional etc), there is not one shred of evidence in any ancient NT manuscript of which there are numerous that a corruption of the term 'Periklytos' suggested by Muslim doctors ever took place. There simply is no evidence and to any unbiased scholar of the New Testament, this may 'arguably' be a fantastic, desperate claim advanced by Muslims to prove a position.

The Quran teaches believers to verify claims (17:36) and not to rely on 'zan' (6:116). But when it comes to matters such as these, it is unfortunate to note that some Muslims are willing to part with the Quran's commands. There is no verification for this particular claim against the Bible writers and remains purely 'zan'.


'During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act' 
George Orwell