by Silas
























         The Greek word for Comforter is “parakletos”.  The most familiar translation of this Greek word is “Comforter,” but a better translation is Counselor or Advocate, as in a legal sense.  However, I will use Comforter since it is the most familiar translation.


Below are the New Testament texts concerning the Comforter.


JOHN 14:15-17:  "If you love me you will obey what I command.  And I will ask the Father and He will give you another Comforter to be with you forever - the Spirit of Truth.  The world cannot accept him because it neither sees him nor knows him.  But you know him for he lives with you and will be in you."


JOHN 14:25, 26:  "All this I have spoken while still with you.  But the Comforter, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you."


JOHN 15:26:  "When the Comforter comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father, he will testify about me."


JOHN 16:7,8:  "But I tell you the truth:  It is for your good that I am going away.  Unless I go away, the Comforter will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.  When he comes he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment...."


JOHN 16:13-15:  "But when he, the Spirit of Truth comes, he will guide you into all truth.  He will not speak on his own, he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.  He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it know to you.  All that belongs to the Father is mine.  That is why I said the Spirit will take from what is mine and make it known to you."



         Jesus spoke to his disciples about the Comforter and said that the Comforter was the Holy Spirit.  However, some 600 years later, Muhammad claimed that the Scriptures of the Jews and Christians predicted that another prophet would arise and that he (Muhammad) was that prophet.  To support Muhammad’s claim early Islamic writings state that Muhammad was the “Comforter.”  Today, despite the evidence, many Muslims obstinately insist that Muhammad was the Comforter and labor to find material in the Scriptures to make Muhammad's words ring true – otherwise Muhammad would be revealed to be both a liar and false prophet.  This article reviews and discusses the evidence that the Holy Spirit, not Muhammad, is the Comforter.  It addresses some good questions poised by Muslims regarding the Comforter, and it critiques Muslim writings asserting that Muhammad is the Comforter".



Note:  Unless stated, all Biblical quotes are taken from the New International Version [1], and all Quranic quotes are taken from Dawood’s translation of the Koran.  [2]







         Muhammad’s claim that the Bible foretold him is stated in the Quran, sura (chapter) 7:157:


 "... to those that shall follow the apostle - the unlettered prophet, whom they shall find described in the Torah and the Gospel ..."


Thus, the Quran states that both the writings of the O.T. and N.T. foretell Muhammad.


         Additionally the Quran 61:6 states that Jesus foretold another apostle to come:


"And of Jesus the son of Mary, who said to the Israelites:  'I am sent forth to you from God to confirm the Torah already revealed, and to give news of an apostle that will come after me whose name is Ahmad'.  Yet when he brought them clear signs, they said:  'This is plain sorcery.'"


         In the Hadith collection of “Sahih Muslim,” vol 4, #5810, Muhammad is reported to have said that his name was also Ahmad.  [3]


Jubair b. Mut'im reported on the authority of his father that he heard Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: I am Muhammad and I am Ahmad, …


The translator (Abdul Hamid Siddiqi) of Sahih Muslim notes that this is in reference to the 'Comforter' that Jesus spoke of.


         In the Sirat Rasulallah, the earliest extant biography of Muhammad written by Ibn Ishaq, a specific claim is made asserting that Muhammad is the Comforter.  On pages 103 and 104 of Guillaume's translation (The Life of Muhammad), the alleged prediction is described.  Ishaq's work mis-quotes the New Testament and takes it out of context, and references several non-biblical works in his support as proof.  Below is part of the quote from “The Life of Muhammad”, pages 103, 104:  [4]


         Among the things which have reached me about what Jesus the Son of Mary stated in the Gospel which he received from God for the followers of the Gospel, in applying a term to describe the apostle of God, is the following.  It is extracted from what John the Apostle set down for them when he wrote the Gospel for them from the Testament of Jesus Son of Mary: ...”But when the Comforter has come whom God will send to you from the Lord’s presence, and the spirit of truth which will have gone forth form the Lord’s presence he (shall bear) witness of me and ye also, because ye have been with me from the beginning. I have spoken unto you about this that ye should not be in doubt.” The Munahhemana (God bless and preserve him!) in Syriac is Muhammad: in Greek he is the paraclete.



Guillaume notes that,

“The passage quoted is John 15:23ff.  It is interesting to note that the citation comes from the Palestinian Syriac Lectionary and not from the ordinary Bible of the Syriac-speaking Churches.  …The most interesting word is that rendered “Comforter” which we find in the Palestinian Lectionary, but all other Syriac versions render “paraclete”, following the Greek.  This word was well established in the Hebrew and Aramaic speaking world.  The menahhemana in Syriac means the lifegiver and especially one who raises from the dead.  Obviously such a meaning is out of place here and what is meant is one who consoles and comforts people for the loss of one dear to them.  This is the meaning in the Talmud and Targum.  It ought to be pointed out that by the omission of the words “that is written” before “in the law” quite another meaning is given to the prophecy.  The natural rendering would be “the word that concerns the Namus must be fulfilled”.


         Guillaume is stating that the Ibn Ishaq quote is corrupted, i.e. inaccurate or tampered with.  Ibn Ishaq recorded versions of history that he heard from sources he assumed to have some degree of reliability.  However, they could have been mistaken or Ibn Ishaq could have altered the material to fit his understanding.  Additionally, Ibn Ishaq often records conflicting versions of historical events.  He would record historical information that he himself disagreed with, or doubted, in order to record plausible historic options.


         These claims, and a few others, lead Muslims to believe that Muhammad is the Comforter.







         First, let the New Testament texts speak for themselves.  They clearly state that the Comforter is the Holy Spirit.  There is no ambiguity about this.  Consequently Muhammad is not the Comforter based upon what the Bible explicitly states.


         Second let us take the context of the texts into account.  If you are going to understand any passage of Scripture you must understand its context.  When Jesus spoke these words in John it was His last ministerial time with His disciples prior to His death, crucifixion, and resurrection.  Jesus is being very intimate with them.  Understand then, when he speaks to them He is including them – these very disciples, specifically.  These are the men He knew best and loved; they were His friends.  These were His final words to them, and He wanted them to know what was in store.


         Therefore, knowing that these passages of John are being spoken intimately between Jesus and His disciples there are several key points we can discover concerning the Comforter and His relationship with Jesus’ disciples.



John 14:16 — And I will ask the Father and He will give you another Comforter to be with you forever - the Spirit of Truth.

The Comforter will be with these disciples forever.  Jesus promised the Comforter would be with these disciples forever.  Muhammad could not be the Comforter because he wasn't born until over 500 years later - following the deaths of these disciples.  He was born around 570 and died around 632 AD.


John 14:17 — But you know him for he lives with you and will be in you.

The Comforter lives with the disciples already now and will later be 'in' them.   The Holy Spirit came to the disciples and indwelt them.  Muhammad could not be the Comforter because first he wasn't around at the time when Jesus was speaking to his disciples nor second could he ever be in any of the disciples.  The Greek word is 'en', and it means 'right inside'.  Jesus is saying that the Comforter will be 'right inside' of the disciples.


John 14:26 — The Comforter is specifically described as the Holy Spirit.   The Comforter is not a man.  Muhammad could not be the Comforter because he was never the Holy Spirit.


John 14:26 — The Comforter will be sent in Jesus' name.  The Holy Spirit represented the Lord on earth.  No Muslim believes that Muhammad was sent by God in Jesus name.  Muhammad did not come in Jesus' name, as the apostle of Jesus, rather he came in his own name with his own questionable “revelations”.


John 14:26But the Comforter, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you."

The Comforter will teach these disciples and remind them of what Christ said to them.  As the early Christians grew the Holy Spirit taught them.  Muhammad is not the Comforter because he never knew the disciples and he didn't teach these disciples, and Muhammad never reminded the disciples of what Christ said.


John 15:26When the Comforter comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father, he will testify about me.

The Comforter would be sent to these disciples.  These disciples received the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost.  Muhammad was never sent to these disciples.


John 16:13But when he, the Spirit of Truth comes, he will guide you into all truth.

The Comforter will guide these disciples into all truth.  These disciples (and others) grew in the knowledge of God through the revelations from the Holy Spirit.  Muhammad never guided these disciples into any truth.


John 16:13He will not speak on his own, he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.

The Comforter will speak to these disciples.  These disciples grew to know the leading of the Holy Spirit, i.e. they knew His voice.  Muhammad never spoke to these disciples.


John 16:14He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you.  All that belongs to the Father is mine.  That is why I said the Spirit will take from what is mine and make it known to you.

The Comforter will take from Jesus and make it known to the disciples.  Muhammad never knew Jesus and never took from Jesus and made it known to anyone.



         The context of these passages shows clearly that Muhammad could not be the Comforter.  Jesus was not speaking of another person to come at a later date.  Jesus’ precious final words to His disciples were meant for them.  Jesus was not merely preaching a sermon to be analyzed and intellectually talked about through the centuries, rather, He was giving His the disciples with Him there His final commands, love, and encouragement.


Here's a question for you to consider: In Islamic theology, Muhammad rendered Jesus’ message fulfilled or ended because Muhammad brought God’s latest message to the people. Muhammad expected that true believers in God would accept Islam. Therefore, if Jesus was foretelling Muhammad, wouldn’t Jesus be prophesying that his ministry will be rendered void by the Paraclete? Read the context of the passages and decide.


         Further, to fulfill exactly what Jesus foretold concerning the Comforter and His relationship with the disciples, the New Testament records the fulfillment of the coming of the Holy Spirit and the disciples receiving Him.  The disciples received the Comforter - the Holy Spirit, on the day of Pentecost in Acts 2:3, 4.  The Comforter was now “in” the disciples and He remained “in” them from then on and taught them — just as Jesus had said He would.







         The writings of the early Church Fathers also mention the Comforter, or Paraclete.  Below are some of their statements on His identity.  These early Church Fathers lived during the first 3 centuries of Christianity.


Note:  Quotes are taken from “The Ante-Nicene Fathers” edited by Rev. Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson, AGES Software, Albany, Oregon© 1996, 1997   [5]




Page 224

“What is His name, or what His Son’s name, that we may know?” And there is also one Paraclete. For “there is also,” saith [the Scripture], “one Spirit,” since “we have been called in one hope of our calling.” And again, “We have drunk of one Spirit,” with what follows. And it is manifest that all these gifts [possessed by believers] “worketh one and the self-same Spirit.” There are not then either three Fathers, or three Sons, or three Paracletes, but one Father, and one Son, and one Paraclete.




Page 1155

The old things which were done by the prophets and escape the observation of most, are now revealed to you by the evangelists. “For to you,” he says, “they are manifested by the Holy Ghost, who was sent;” that is the Paraclete, of whom the Lord said, “If I go not away, He will not come.”




Page 1083

He will come to judge the quick and the dead; who sent also from heaven from the Father, according to His own promise, the Holy Ghost, the Paraclete, the sanctifier of the faith of those who believe in the Father, and in the Son, and in the Holy Ghost.


Page 1094

Happily the Lord Himself employs this expression of the person of the Paraclete, so as to signify not a division or severance, but a disposition (of mutual relations in the Godhead); for He says, “I will pray the Father, and He shall send you another Comforter ... even the Spirit of truth,”





It is time, then, that we say a few words to the best of our ability regarding the Holy Spirit, whom our Lord and Savior in the Gospel according to John has named the Paraclete.


We must therefore know that the Paraclete is the Holy Spirit, who teaches truths ...


But the Paraclete, who is called the Holy Spirit, ...


In the case of the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete ...


         Above are the statements of 4 of the Ante-Nicene Church Fathers.  They state that the Comforter is the Holy Spirit.  From the time of Jesus through the history of the early church the early Christians believed that the Comforter was the Holy Spirit.  There was no confusion or uncertainty on their part regarding the identity of the Comforter.




         There exist some very good questions concerning the Comforter and these need to be answered.  Also, there are some Muslim assertions that bear a closer examination.  I will try to answer the questions, and assess the assertions.






         Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad used to say 'you' to their followers but really it was a general expression for those who follow their teachings.  For example, Jesus told his followers that they would see him coming back to the earth and all of them have since died.  Couldn't Jesus have meant the disciples in general, specifically the future ones, when speaking about the Comforter?



         Examine John chapters 13 through 17.  This was the time when Christ was alone with His disciples.  His actions and dialog with them were very personal.  He washed their feet, predicted His betrayal, comforted them, foretold the coming of the "Comforter", taught them about 'abiding' in Him, foretold tribulation for them, and said a most intimate prayer (chapter 17) for them and Himself.  If you review all of this, you will see that Jesus was not speaking in a general term of 'you', to the possible exclusion of these men, but at the very least He was speaking to those with Him — His disciples.  And later on they experienced what Jesus foretold — they “received” the Comforter.


         I encourage all Muslims to read John chapters 13 through 17.  Be sincere in your reading, ask God to guide you.  You will see that Jesus was speaking very dearly to His disciples.






         The Greek word for spirit is 'pneuma'.  It is of neutral gender and uses the pronoun "it".  Whereas, in almost all the verses referring to Paraclete the pronoun used is "he".  Does this imply that the Comforter be a human male?



         The Greek word 'pneuma' is of neuter gender, but, the Greek pronoun for "it", "he" and "she" is the same word used for the 3rd person singular.  The pronoun's gender is determined by the context.  In most texts the pronoun used with the word “pneuma” is translated "HE" because the Holy Spirit is a personage not an 'it'.  Simply because the Greek language uses a neuter noun for a word does not mean the word should translate into English using neuter pronouns.  For example, the Greek word for "heaven" is masculine, but you would not translate a phrase into English "I am looking forward to heaven, he will be beautiful."






         In 1 John 4:6, the terms "the spirit of truth" and "the spirit of error" are used for human beings.  Does this imply that the Comforter, the Spirit of Truth, be a human?



         This verse is not referring to human beings.  Humans are humans, spirits are spirits.  For example, refer to 1 Tim. 4:1 "The Spirit clearly says that in the later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons." There is a difference between spirits and humans.  Note also, in this verse, the Spirit is speaking and teaching the disciples.






         Since Jesus was a Comforter, shouldn't the foretold “another” Comforter also be a man?   Wouldn’t Muhammad be a better fit because he also was a man, like Jesus?



         The Holy Spirit is like Jesus.  Not as in a physical body, but as in Nature.  a) II Cor 3:17 states "Now the Lord is the Spirit...   There is a relationship between the Spirit and the Lord, and both are said to dwell in the believer (see Romans 8:9-11).  Galatians 2:20 says "...Christ lives in me...".  Galatians 4:6,7 states "God has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts.."  Acts 16:6,7 states the Holy Spirit and the Spirit of Jesus are the same.

         Finally Jesus and Muhammad didn't have much in common, outside of physical characteristics.  When it comes to character and actions, the two men were worlds apart.  Muhammad murdered people, massacred people, tortured people, allowed female slaves to be raped, sent his men out to kill, steal, and enslave.  Muhammad changed his laws when the situation changed  As a result of Muhammad’s lack of moral integrity, the Islamic world today bears his fruit.  Take a look at the world’s Islamic nations today.  Most of them are near the bottom of the scale.  They are plagued by poverty, oppression of women, denial of basic civil rights and freedoms, rent by civil war, killings in Islam’s name, and war with their neighbors.  Don’t blame the people or “culture”, blame the religion that has shaped the culture.  The world would have probably been a much better place had not Muhammad come along.






         Could the term “Holy” in John in today's text have come from a later addition made quite deliberately.



         There are hundreds of Greek manuscripts that pre-date Islam,  and all of the earliest, most important Greek texts with this passage have “Holy” in them.






         The Spirit was present on earth before Christ’s birth and people were filled with the Spirit (Elizabeth in Luke 1:41 and Zechariah in Luke 1:67), so, if the Holy Spirit were already present on Earth, even during Jesus time, then how could the Comforter be the Holy Spirit?  Remember, Jesus said that He needed to depart before the Comforter could come.



         The receiving of the Comforter by the disciples eclipsed the previous “filling” or “moving” others before them had experienced.  The ministry of the Holy Spirit, i.e. the Comforter within and without these disciples would be taking on a deeper, more intimate function, and the disciples would continue to know their Lord Jesus through the Holy Spirit.  The disciples were going to have the Holy Spirit bond with them:  He was going to “dwell” with them, be “in” them, “live” in them.  This was more than what previous people had experienced.  Their experience would be a greater revealing to man of the Holy Spirit’s role, and they would continue to know and experience Jesus. 


The Expositor’s Bible Commentary states:  [6]



         The Spirit’s function is to represent God to the believer as Jesus did in his incarnate state. “Another” (allon) means another of the same kind, not of a different kind. The concept of the Holy Spirit was not new, for the Spirit of God was the active agent in creation (Gen 1:2) and in remonstrating with men who were sinning against God (Gen 6:3). He called and empowered men to do unusual deeds Judges 3:10; 13:24-25; 14:6, 19; 15:14) and to prophesy (Zech 7:12). John the Baptist had predicted that Jesus would baptize with the Holy Spirit (Matt 3:11; Mark 1:8; Luke 3:16; John 1:33). In his discussion of the new birth, Jesus had already spoken to Nicodemus of the work of the Holy Spirit (John 3:5). The ministry of the Spirit, however, would be directed primarily to the disciples. He would direct their decisions, counsel them continually, and remain with them forever. He would be invisible to all and un-apprehended by the world at large since the world would not recognize him. To use a modern metaphor, he would not operate on the world’s wavelength. His presence was already with the disciples insofar as they were under his influence. Later, he would indwell them, when Jesus himself had departed. This distinction marks the difference between the Old Testament experience of the Holy Spirit and the post-Pentecostal experience of the church. The individual indwelling of the Spirit is the specific privilege of the Christian believer (see John 7:39).



         Jesus told the disciples that his separation from them was in their best interest. As long as he was with them in person, his work was localized; and it would be impossible to communicate with them equally at all times and in all places. The coming of the “Counselor” would equip them for a wider and more potent ministry.









         The New International Commentary on the New Testament [7] answers this precisely:

         He can come only when Jesus goes away (16:7).  This appears to mean that the work of the Spirit in the believer is a consequence of the saving work of Christ and not something separate from it.  The same truth may be implied in the statement that the Spirit is sent in the name of Jesus (14:26).  It is only because Christ has died for us and put away our sin that the Holy Spirit can be found at work within our hearts.


         Because the receiving of the Comforter is really about the new birth, i.e. being born of the Spirit, then it was necessary for Christ to fulfill His mission, (His death and resurrection for the forgiveness of sins) in order for men to be cleansed from their sinful nature and become a new creation by receiving the Comforter.







         Let us examine some Islamic writings from Muslim spokesmen found on their webpages or books concerning the Comforter.  Let us test the logic, honesty, and soundness of their work.





         Frequently various Muslims quote from Appendix 5 of the Anchor Bible, [8] written by Dr. Ray Brown, because they find a quote or two that seems to support their contention that the Comforter is a man.  Because of the detailed nature of Brown’s work, most Muslims will not put forth the effort to actually comprehend what they read.  For example, take a look at this webpage from Akbarally Meherally:


http://www.mostmerciful.com/paraclete.htm [9]





         Here are some quotes from the beginning of his article.


         “This presentation should revolutionize the present day Christian concept for the coming of "PARACLETE" that was foretold by JESUS
Presentation is based upon exhaustive studies carried out by the reputable biblical scholars of our era and published in the famous ANCHOR BIBLE.”
(see Meherally's INDEX page)


“Please read the following exhaustive study done by the biblical scholars of international and interfaith scope to know the real truth about this misunderstood personality of "The Paraclete" who was to come after Jesus. Was this Paraclete once regarded as an independent salvific male figure like Jesus and later confused with the Holy Spirit?” (near the beginning of the article)


         His lead-in sounds exciting for a Muslim claim doesn’t it?  Meherally implies that he has found some Christian scholarship that is going to “revolutionize” Christian thinking on the Holy Spirit, and point us toward the Comforter being a man, namely Muhammad.


         If you examine Meherally’s presentation you find a number of the Anchor Bible pages scanned and posted.  It is a very busy post, filled with underlining and shading.  It certainly looks like Meherally was finding juicy bits of information to support his claim that Muhammad was the real Paraclete.  Let us examine the Anchor Bible in detail and find out its true position on the identity of the Comforter.


         In the beginning of Appendix 5 in the Anchor Bible, Vol 29A, Brown states exactly what he intends to do.  Here is his opening paragraph.


         “The word Parakletos is peculiar in the NT to the Johannine literature (the writings of John in the New Testament).  In 1 John ii 1 Jesus is a parakletos (not a title), serving as a heavenly intercessor with the Father.  In five passages in John (xiv 15-17, 26; xv 26-27; xvi  7 – 11, 12-14) the title parakletos is given to someone who is not Jesus, nor an intercessor, nor in heaven.  Christian tradition has identified this figure as the Holy Spirit, but scholars like Spitta, Delafosse, Windisch, Bultmann, and Betz have doubted whether this identification is true to the original picture and have suggested that the Paraclete was once an independent salvific figure, later confused with the Holy Spirit.  To test this claim we shall begin by isolating under four headings the information that John gives in the Paraclete passages, keeping the resultant picture distinct from what is said in the NT about the Holy Spirit.”



         Brown clear states that he is going to examine the Scriptures and background material and determine whether the liberal scholar’s claim of the “Paraclete” being a male person is valid.  He is going to analyze the Comforter passages on their own merit and not fold in other Scriptures on the Holy Spirit from the New Testament. It is a long examination by Dr. Brown, and needs to be read slowly. If you try to read it too quickly, as we all do from time to time, you will miss important details.


         Here are some of the key points that are established by Dr. Brown:


1)       On page 1136

         “Thus the basic functions of the Paraclete are twofold:  he comes to the disciples and dwells within them, guiding and teaching them about Jesus; but he is hostile to the world and puts the world on trial.”


2)       On page 1137

         “The Paraclete is a witness in defense of Jesus and a spokesman for him in the context of his trial by his enemies; the Paraclete is a consoler of the disciples for he takes Jesus’ place among them; the Paraclete is a teacher and guide of the disciples and thus their helper.


3)       On page 1139

         “It is our contention that John presents the Paraclete as the Holy Spirit in a special role, ...


         Appendix 5 of the Anchor Bible discusses the characteristics of the Comforter.  It notes that several liberal 'scholars' thought that the Comforter could have been a man, not the Holy Spirit.  Note that these scholars, like Bultmann, denied the miracles of Jesus.  Even the Quran acknowledges Christ's miracles.


         The Anchor Bible details who the Comforter is (the Holy Spirit), and what His ministry, or function is going to be (dwelling in the disciples and teaching them).  In spite of Meherally’s efforts to show that the Anchor Bible supports the contention that the Comforter is a man, it is clear by reading the Anchor Bible that the Comforter is the Holy Spirit.  Here are some quotes below.


1)       Page 644 of vol 29A - "The OT theme of "God with us" (the Immanuel of Isa 7:14) is now to be realized in the Paraclete/Spirit who remains with the disciples forever.


2)       Page 1136 - "Thus the basic functions of the Paraclete are twofold:  he comes to the disciples and dwells within them, guiding and teaching them about Jesus; but he is hostile to the world and puts the world on trial."


3)       Page 1137 - [this is where the Anchor Bible discredits Bultmann's theory that the Comforter is a man]

         "Earlier in this century the attempt of the History of Religious School, especially W. Bauer, Windisch, and Bultmann, to find the origins of the Paraclete in proto-Mandean Gnosticism enjoyed a certain vogue.  Bultmann’s thesis is that the Paraclete is an adaptation of the Mandean Yawar.......Michaelis and Behm have subjected this theory to penetrating criticism, and it has few followers today.


4)       Page 1139 - "It is our contention that John presents the Paraclete as the Holy Spirit in a special role, namely, as the personal presence of Jesus in the Christian while Jesus is with the Father."


5)       Page 1140 - "Nevertheless, we would stress that the identification of the Paraclete as the Holy Spirit in 14:26 is not an editorial mistake, for the similarities between the Paraclete and the Spirit are found in all the Paraclete passages."


6)       Page 1141 - "Thus, the one whom John calls "another Paraclete" is another Jesus.  Since the Paraclete can come only when Jesus departs, the Paraclete is the presence of Jesus when Jesus is absent.  Jesus' promises to dwell within his disciples are fulfilled in the Paraclete."





         The Anchor Bible concludes with an examination of the life of the early church and the relation of the “Comforter” to the Christians.  Brown starts off by asking the question:


         What brought the Johannine tradition to put emphasis in the Last Discourse on the Spirit as the Paraclete, that is, as the continued post-resurrectional presence of Jesus with his disciples, teaching them and proving to them that Jesus was victorious and the world was wrong?  We suggest that the portrait of the Paraclete / Spirit answered two problems prominent at the time of the of the final composition of the Fourth Gospel……


         The first problem was the confusion caused by the death of the apostolic eyewitnesses who were the living chain between the Church and Jesus of Nazareth. …


         The concept of the Paraclete / Spirit is an answer to this problem.  If the eyewitnesses had guided the Church and if the Beloved Disciple had borne witness to Jesus in the Johannine community, it was not primarily because of their own recollection of Jesus.  …. Only the post-resurrectional gift of the Spirit taught them the meaning of what they had seen (ii 22,  xii 16).  Their witness was the witness of the Paraclete speaking through them…The later Christian is no further removed from the ministry of Jesus than was the earlier Christian, for the Paraclete dwells within him as he dwelt with the eyewitnesses.  And by recalling and giving new meaning to what Jesus said, the Paraclete guides every generation in facing new situation; he declares the things to come (xvi 13).


Finally, the Anchor Bible concludes here with:


         "The Christian need not live with his eyes constantly straining toward the heavens from which the Son of Man is to come; for, as the Paraclete, Jesus is present within all believers."  (page 1143).






         Meherally is keen to prove that Muhammad is the Comforter.  In fact he is so eager that he failed to understand what he read.


         So allow me to draw your attention back to three of Meherally’s bold statements presented as the purpose of his writings and website:




         Where was Meherally’s “In-Depth” study?  All he did was copy and paste a handful of pages from the Anchor Bible Dictionary, add some underlings, shading, and a few comments at the end.  I certainly hope Muslims do not consider that to be ‘in-depth”.  Meherally did not bother to comprehend what he was reading.  The Anchor Bible’s conclusions state that the Comforter is the Holy Spirit, and the Anchor Bible actually contests and undercuts those that argue otherwise.  Had Meherally understood that he would not have put used the Anchor Bible’s material on his site.  He essentially used material that proves him wrong.



2)  MUST READ     This presentation should revolutionize the present day Christian concept for the coming of "PARACLETE" that was foretold by JESUS  Presentation is based upon exhaustive studies carried out by the reputable biblical scholars of our era and published in the famous ANCHOR BIBLE.


         Where is Meherally’s analysis?  Where is his discussion of the actual Scriptural verses and quotes from the Anchor Bible?  Also, isn’t it misleading that Meherally would imply that he is putting something that would “revolutionize the present day Christian concept…”?  After all, hasn’t the Anchor Bible been in publication for many years?  Hasn’t this knowledge been available for the public?  Why is Meherally implying that he is coming up with some new, powerful, dynamic revelation that is going to impact Christianity?  



3)  “Please read the following exhaustive study done by the biblical scholars of international and interfaith scope to know the real truth about this misunderstood personality of "The Paraclete" who was to come after Jesus. Was this Paraclete once regarded as an independent salvific male figure like Jesus and later confused with the Holy Spirit?”


         Here Meherally makes two comments.  The first implies that he has uncovered some hidden or not well know truth.  The second is a question regarding various peoples beliefs - was the Paraclete once regarded as male figure?  My response is that people in the West enjoy freedom of thought, freedom of religion, freedom of speech.  Islam denies these rights.  Consequently, it should be no surprise to anyone that there are different opinions about various topics.  There are thousands of different religions in the West, and their followers do not have to fear death as they would if they lived in Muslim lands.  In Muslim countries people who leave Islam are punished or even put to death.  So, because the Anchor Bible notes and discusses various people’s beliefs does not mean those beliefs are endorsed. 


Meherally states near the end of his article:


2. If the followers of Jesus were to believe that Jesus - a Paraclete, "is present within all believers " then the visualized Johannine picture of Father sending "another paraclete" to guide the mankind into all truth, is made redundant.




         Meherally failed to understand what he reads.  Over and over again the Anchor Bible states that the Comforter is the Holy Spirit.  Jesus is present within all believers via the Comforter, i.e. the Holy Spirit.  There is no redundancy. 


In the following quotes we shall let the Anchor Bible speak for itself.


         "It is our contention that John presents the Paraclete as the Holy Spirit in a special role, namely, as the personal presence of Jesus in the Christian while Jesus is with the Father…. "Nevertheless, we would stress that the identification of the Paraclete as the Holy Spirit in 14:26 is not an editorial mistake, for the similarities between the Paraclete and the Spirit are found in all the Paraclete passages…."Thus, the one whom John calls "another Paraclete" is another Jesus.  Since the Paraclete can come only when Jesus departs, the Paraclete is the presence of Jesus when Jesus is absent.  Jesus' promises to dwell within his disciples are fulfilled in the Paraclete….


         "The Christian need not live with his eyes constantly straining toward the heavens from which the Son of Man is to come; for, as the Paraclete, Jesus is present within all believers."




         I will quote from the Anchor Bible’s main body of work (page 644) instead of appendix 5 to show the reader where it stood all along.


         We shall see in App. V that the Spirit of Truth is a Paraclete precisely because he carries on the earthly work of Jesus.  The Paraclete/Spirit will differ from Jesus the Paraclete in that the Spirit is not corporeally visible and his presence will only be by indwelling in the disciples.  The OT theme of “God with us” (the Immanuel of Isa vii 14) is now to be realized in the Paraclete/Spirit who remains with the disciples forever.


         The Anchor Bible & Brown leave us no doubt about where they stood.  Any yet Meherally, thinking he had stumbled across something of value, foolishly rushed to cut, paste, and post.


         Now then, continue to examine Meherally’s work. What did Meherally present that was his own work other than a few comments at the end of a long cut and paste job?  Was there anything of note?  Did Meherally provide any thought provoking insights or observations?  I don’t think so.  A few glib comments at the end of an article is not research, not a proof, not even a good argument.  Let me ask the Muslim reader:  “Do you think Meherally’s work is comprehensive and reliable?


         There is little for me to do to refute Meherally.  He did not comprehend what he read, and he did not provide any real work of his own.  Meherally’s work is like cotton candy:  it looks large on the outside but once you tear into it, you find it is mostly fluff and has little substance!








         Maurice Bucaille states in his introduction of his book “The Bible, The Quran, and Science”, “It was in a totally objective spirit, and without any preconceived ideas thta I first examined the Quranic Revelation. ... I repeated the same test for the Old Testament and the Gospels, always preserving the same objective outlook.” (pages 16 and 17) [10]


         Any reader has the right to examine what he reads and the claims an author makes. Just how objective was this self proclaimed scholar Bucaille? Let us examine four assertions Bucaille raises and judge his credibility.





         On page 111, he says

'It seems inconceivable that one could ascribe to the Holy Spirit the ability to speak and declare whatever he hears.  Logic demands that this question be raised....'.




         Any quick reading of the N.T. shows that the Holy Spirit did indeed speak (not audibly) and do many other things.  Refer to these Scriptures as support:  1 Cor. 2:13, Rev. 14:13, Acts 13:2 .  The Holy Spirit communicated to the disciples.  Not all forms of “speaking” need to be done via vocal chords.


         On the other hand, if Bucaille demands that all speaking is done via vocal chords then he should judge Muhammad false because Muhammad used metaphors when referring to speech.  At the time Muhammad ingested the poison that ultimately killed him, he stated:  (From the Kitab al-Tabaqat al-Kabir, by Ibn Sa'd, page 249):  [11]


         Verily a Jewish woman presented poisoned (meat of) a she goat to the apostle of Allah.  He took a piece form it, put it into his mouth, chewed it and threw it away.  Then he said to the Companions:  "Halt!  Verily, its leg tells me that it is poisoned."


         And isn’t there a Quranic verse that states that Solomon carried on a conversation with an ant?  Ants don’t have vocal chords!


         Therefore, if Muhammad is allowed to use a figure of speech to describe non-standard communication, other people should be allowed to do so also.  Goat legs and ants don’t talk!





         On page 112 Bucaille discusses the Greek words 'akouo' - to hear, and 'laleo' - to speak. He sums up his investigation by saying

"The two Greek words therefore define concrete actions which can only be applied to a being with hearing and speech organs.  It is consequently impossible to apply them to the Holy Spirit."




         The reasoning applied to response #1 also applies here.  The word and use of akouo  can be found in several other verses for example:  a) God 'hears' - I John 5:15; (God does not have physical ear organs). b) The law 'hears' - John 7:51  c) The dead shall 'hear' - John 5:25.


         The word and use of laleo can also be found in the following verses.  a) The Holy Spirit will be 'speaking' through the disciples - Mark 13:11. b)  Angels 'speak' - Luke 1:19,  c) the image of the beast 'speaks' - Rev. 13:15.


         So Bucaille's assertion is incorrect. These words do not exclusively define a being with hearing and speech organs.


         A question for the Muslim readers:  Did Bucaille do any legitimate research on this topic to have missed such an easy point?  It only took me 5 minutes to look these words up and find out how they are used.  If Bucaille missed or omitted something this simple, how credible is his work?





         Bucaille’s next two paragraphs detail how he thinks the word 'Holy' does not belong in John's text.  This section's last paragraph suggests that the word 'Holy' could have been added 'later'.




         The early Greek texts on this passage all include “holy” and many of these were written long before the text in question.  Even the Anchor Bible commentary discusses this and concludes that “holy” does belong in the text.  Only a later text missed “holy”.





         He then states that by omitting 'holy' the text really means  that a future man (i.e. Muhammad) would be the Comforter.  He says

"According to the rules of logic therefore, one is brought to see in John's Paraclete a human being like Jesus, possessing the faculties of hearing and speech formally implied in John's Greek text."




         Since Bucaille’s previous assertion is wrong, his next assertion collapses.  But Bucaille wants to believe that Muhammad is the Comforter, so he purposely fails to address the other words Jesus spoke about the Comforter, such as; “He shall be in you” (the apostles), “He shall teach you” (the apostles), etc...





         Bucaille was not objective, he was biased.  His work with the Greek language was shallow, and not well researched.  He made simple assertions that revealed a lack of interest of truth on his part.  The fact that I was able to find facts that prove Bucaille wrong, with only a little effort, shows that Bucaille did not have truth, or the presentation of the entire story, as part of his agenda.








http://www.irf.net/irf/main.htm [12]


         Zakir Naik is an Islamic spokesman.  He is also supposed to be a doctor.  He calls the material on his site “research”.  But it is hardly that.  His comment on the Comforter is a very short section, composed almost entirely of the NT Verses, with just a few of his comments mixed in.  All in all, it is very thin but I want to address one of his comments below.





In the Gospel of John 14:16, 15:26, and 16:7.  The word 'Comforter' is used in the English translation for the Greek word Paracletos which means advocate or a kind friend rather than a comforter.  


“Paracletos is the warped reading for Periclytos.  Jesus actually prophesied Ahmed by name. Even the Greek word Paraclete refers to the Prophet who is a mercy for all creatures.”


         After reading Naik’s assertion above, I have to ask, how much Greek does Naik know?  From where does Naik get his information from?  How does he know that Parakletos is the warped reading for Periclytos?  Does he cite any actual textual support?  In fact, let me ask “where did Naik get this nonsense”?  Did he invent it on the spot, or, is he relying upon Ahmad Deedat’s Exhaustive & Comprehensive Manual / Lexicon / Theological Encyclopedia Dictionary of the Greek New Testament?


         On the other hand, take a look at Kittel’s Theological Dictionary of the New Testament.  This is a 10 volume set that is recognized as one of the top, if not the very top, of Greek New Testament References  [13].


         On page 800, of volume 5, the study on the Greek word for Comforter is given.  The meaning and definition of this word is analyzed from its use in Greek literature, in the Septuagint, in Rabbinical literature, in Philo’s work, in early Christian literature, and in the NT itself.  Below are some quotes defining the meaning of parakletos.


Page 801:  The use as a noun, attested in secular Greek. From the 4th century B.C. in the sense of a “person called in to help, summoned to give assistance,” gives us the meaning of “help in court”.


Page 802:  In the Rabbis.  In the Hebrew or Aramaic of the Rabbis, in their religious vocabulary … it always denoted an advocate before God.


Page 802:  In Philo.  The word also means advocate consistently in Philo.


Page 803:  Thus the history of the term in the whole sphere of know Greek and Hellenistic usage outside the NT yields the clear picture of a legal adviser or helper or advocate in the relevant court.


Page 813:  More richly developed if more difficult to define is the idea, expressly attested only in John of a Paraclete at work in the world both in and for the disciples.  Jesus Himself is regarded as such during His early ministry.  The only description however is that of the Paraclete who after the departure of Jesus will continue His work and remain for ever with and in the disciples (14:16f, 26, 16:7, 13f.)  This is the Spirit.  Sent by God or Jesus to the disciples (14:16, 26, 15:26, 16:7) – not to the world, which has no organ for Him (14:17) – He teaches with all embracing authority and yet with strict adherence to Jesus and His message, maintaining, expanding and completing the work of Jesus, leading the disciples into all truth (14:26, 15:26, 16:13f).  His witness to Jesus (15:26), however is also accusation of the world before God’s judgment seat:  He convicts the world in respect of sin, righteousness, and judgment.  The is, He shows that sin is on the side of the world, right and triumph on the of Jesus )16:8 – 11).  The puzzle of combination of kerygmatic and forensic features in the picture of the Spirit-Paraclete is solved if we trace back the tradition historically to the OT and Jewish idea of the advocate.


         Here is another Greek reference that addresses Parakletos.


         "Parakletos" is the Greek N. T. word for "Comforter", literally “called to one’s side, i.e., to one’s aid”.  It denotes a legal assistant, counsel for the defense, an advocate, one who pleads another’s cause, an intercessor.  (From Vine's Exp. Dictionary. of N.T. Words, p200)  [14].


         Some Muslims assert that the original word in the N.T. was 'periklutos' - i.e. 'praised one', which is 'Ahmad' in Arabic.   ['Ahmad', or 'Praised One' is a name ascribed to Muhammad].  This is a baseless assertion. There is no evidence at all supporting this claim.  There are thousands of N.T. manuscripts pre-dating Islam and not one of these contains the word 'periklutos', anywhere.  Muslims like to charge Christians with changing their Bible - 'tahrif' (corruption) of their Scriptures, but it is Muslims who are guilty of 'tahrif' when they claim that the original word was 'periklutos'.


         As Cragg says in "Jesus and the Muslim", p.266: 

"There is however, no textual evidence in any way sustaining such variant reading, and the manuscript texts of St. John go back to the second century.  Moreover, the two Greek words are themselves compounds and the prefixes and root verbs are both different.  Suspicions of textual corruption here would be completely unfounded, on documentary, grammatical and exegetical grounds."  [15]


         Remember, the Muslim claim is based on a desperate attempt to find Biblical support for Muhammad's statement that the Bible foretold him.  The Bible never foretold Muhammad so Muslims have thrashed about, twisting the Scriptures, trying to find some way to make Muhammad's words true – otherwise they would have to accept that Muhammad was a liar and false prophet.


         Further, take for example a portion of verse 14:16, “He will give you another Comforter.”  If periklutos is used, it read, “He will give you another praised one.”  This statement is both out of place in its context and devoid of support elsewhere in the Bible – Jesus is never called the “periklutos” or “praised one”.


         However, 1 John 2:1 says:

         "...we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense - Jesus Christ the Righteous One."  Here, the Greek word 'Parakletos' is used, defined as 'one who speaks in our defense'.


John Gilchrist comments here:

Here, the context dictates an advocate (paraclete), not a 'praised one'.  Just as Christ is our advocate, so He promised to give us an advocate, or Comforter to be in us.  'Periklutos' could not fit here.  (From Gilchrist, "Is Muhammad Foretold in the Bible?", p29) [16].





         Let me ask the reader, in view of the evidence, does Naik have any credibility here?  Naik knows he has no logical or textual support, so instead of discussing something he cannot defend, he lies to his readers and misleads them by making a bold statement — “Paracletos is the warped reading for Periclytos”.  Sometimes if people cannot reason, or present a sound argument, they shout or make obtuse statements.  Here Naik is doing just that:  he has no case, so he relies on outrageous statements to fool his Muslim readership.


         Naik is supposed to be a medical doctor.  Let me ask you, the reader – would you want him making a diagnosis on you?  “Oh, you have a pain in your stomach, well, I will remove your foot – that will cure you!”   And that is exactly what Naik is doing here.  He is willing and able to deceive his Muslim readership, and he does not want them to search things out for themselves.






         Several proofs have been given that establish that the Comforter is the Holy Spirit:


1)  The New Testament Scriptures state this clearly.

2)  These Scripture’s context allows only the Holy Spirit to fulfill the role relegated to the Comforter.

3)  Jesus’ prediction of the Comforter coming to the disciples was fulfilled during Pentecost (see Acts Chapter 1).

4)  The early Church Fathers attest that the Comforter is the Holy Spirit.

5)  Christian scholarship also demonstrates, through exhaustive study of the Greek texts, (ref. the Anchor Bible Theological Dictionary and other works) that the Comforter is the Holy Spirit.





         The Comforter is the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit came during Pentecost, and the disciples received Him.  As the disciples continued to live, the words Jesus spoke about the Comforter's ministry were fulfilled.  Christians today experience the Comforter in their lives as Jesus said that they would.


         The suggestions of various Muslim writers that Muhammad could be the Comforter have been shown to be inaccurate, implausible, or unworkable due to ignorance of the Greek language, poorness of thought, or deliberate deception of their readership.







         The Islamic claims that Muhammad is the Comforter have been put to the acid test and they dissolved.  These claims were weak and failed for several reasons: 

1)  the Muslim writers offered no textual proof to substantiate their assertions

2)  they were unable to provide in-depth references as support

3)  they avoided providing the reader with analysis of the texts because any analysis would show the weakness in their argument


         In other words, the Muslims who wrote these articles knew deep down that they had no case.  But, in order to save face for Muhammad they had to make an attempt to keep him from looking false.


         Don’t you, the Muslim reader, deserve better than the deceptive ideas Muslim writers have fed you?  I’ve addressed the assertions, claims, and questions of these prominent Muslim apologists and polemicists.  And I have shown that their work is deficient.  Instead of presenting a thorough study of “The Comforter” they opted to present a weak, inaccurate, and deceptive account, hoping that you, the Muslim reader, would not think for yourself.  They have been exposed!  Shame on them! 


         Your eternal destiny is at stake:  paradise, or hell.  So, why settle for such meager fare from these Muslim writers who have not presented you the whole truth?  They have not researched the subject, and they did not present to you the facts that were easily accessible at their own hands.  Don’t you deserve better?  Your eternal destiny depends on whether or not you follow Jesus.  If Muhammad was a false prophet wouldn’t you want to know all the facts before you trust Islam to save your soul?







This prayer is written for anyone.  This includes Muslims who are seeking the truth and who want to know God in a personal way.


       “Lord Jesus, I believe in You.  I believe that You are the Son of God and the Lord.  I believe that You died for my sins and were raised from the dead.  I confess that I am a sinner and I ask You to come into my heart, cleanse me from my sins, and forgive me for my sins.  I turn to follow and obey You – I put my faith in you.  I now receive You as Messiah and Lord and totally commit my life to You.”








1)    New International Version, pub. by Zondervan, Grand Rapids, Michigan

2)    Dawood, N. J., “The Koran”, Penguin, London, England, 1995  

3)    Muslim, A., "Sahih Muslim", translated by A. Sidiqqi, International Islamic Publishing House, Riyadh, KSA.

4)    Ibn Ishaq, (d.782), "Sirat Rasulallah", compiled by A. Guillaume  "The Life of Muhammad", Oxford, London, 1955

5)    The Ante-Nicene Fathers” edited by Rev. Alexander Roberts AGES Software, Albany, Oregon© 1996, 1997

6)    The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, New Testament,  Zondervan Publishing House  1998 Grand Rapids Michigan

7)    The New International Commentary on the New Testament, edited by Gordon Fee, Eerdmans, 1998

8)    “The Anchor Bible”, Vol 29, Part A, “The Gospel According to John," Raymond Brown, Doubleday, 1966.

9)    http://www.mostmerciful.com/paraclete.htm

10) Bucaille, Maurice, “The Bible, the Quran, and Science,” Taj Company, 1993

11) Ibn Sa'd, (d. 852 A.D.), "Kitab al-Tabaqat al-Kabir", translated by S. Moinul Haq, Pakistan Historical Society.

12) http://www.irf.net/irf/main.htm

13) “Theological Dictionary of the New Testament”, edited by G. Kittel and G. Friedrich, Eerdmans

14) Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, Bethany House, p200

15) Cragg, Kenneth, "Jesus and the Muslim", p266:   Oneworld Publications Ltd

16) Gilchrist, John, "Is Muhammad Foretold in the Bible?",  p29, Jesus to the Muslims, South Africa 



Rev A: 97-07-08, Rev B: 12-10-97, Rev C: 9/25/01, Rev D: 9 June, 2002

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