The Instigator
UtherPenguin
Pro (for)
The Contender
divergent_ambon
Con (against)

Muhammad was prophecised in the Book of Isaiah

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/4/2017 Category: Religion
Updated: 8 months ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 752 times Debate No: 104558
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (11)
Votes (0)

 

UtherPenguin

Pro

This challenge is currently closed, if you're interested in debating this, PM me directly.If you have any troubles with the rules, be sure to PM me about that as well to get that settled before the debate.

Rules:

-Burden of proof is on Pro.

-No squirreling

-Be civil and follow the format.

Format:

Round 1: Acceptance of rules, no arguments.

Round 2: Opening Cases

Round 3: Rebuttals

Round 4: Closing Arguments/ Counter-rebuttals

Terms:

prophecised: To be foretold.

Book of Isaiah:The first book of the Latter Prophets in the Hebrew Bible and the first book of the Major Prophets in the Christian Old Testament.

Muhammad:the prophet and founder of Islam. According to Islamic doctrine, he was God's Messenger, sent to confirm the essential teachings of monotheism preached previously by Adam, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and other prophets.
divergent_ambon

Con

I accept this debate.

I'd like to clarify that I am a progressive Christian, meaning I value the Bible and Christianity primarily for its personal spiritual value, not ultimate truth about reality. I also find great spiritual enrichment in Islam. As such, this is not about "which religion is right." I don't think Judaism, Islam, or Christianity have it figured out. Instead what the author of the passage my opponent will bring forth meant is important to me, not how religions interpret it. It's a question of historicity.

I look forward to this debate. May Allah grant us wisdom and enlightened minds in our discussion.



Debate Round No. 1
UtherPenguin

Pro

Thanks to Con for accepting the terms of the debate, looking forward to a stimulating discussion. The focus of my argument will narrow down to Isaiah chapter 42, but may draw upon other points of Hebrew Scripture in order to prove my points, in which I will demonstrate how the Servant of the Lord, as described in this chapter, is most likely a reference to the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). For brevity's sake, I will abbreviate “Servant of the Lord” to SoL.

Now, I’ve outlined my argument in the following syllogism.

Premise 1: A universal, non-Hebrew prophet was mentioned in Old Testament scripture.

Premise 2: The Messiah and the SoL are two separate people.

Addendum: The SoL is likely an Ishmaelite.

Therefore, The SoL must be a prophet coming from Arabia.

Premise 3: Muhammad was a prophet from Arabia.

Addendum: Fulfillment of prophecy.

Therefore, Muhammad (pbuh) is the SoL from Isaiah 42.

Now without further ado, my justification for this line of thought.

Premise 1:

-A universal, non-Hebrew prophet was prophesied in the Hebrew Bible.

Following the end of the Book of Genesis, Jacob blesses his twelve who would eventually form the twelve tribes of Israel. On the 10th verse he states to his son Judah the following.

The scepter will not depart from Judah,

nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet,

until he to whom it belongs[d] shall come

and the obedience of the nations shall be his.

-Genesis 49:10 [1]

In the original Hebrew, the phrase “he to whom it belongs” was translated from the word Shiloh (שלוח). However, the meaning of Shiloh is not clear. Some interpret Shiloh as being as physical place [2], however, in the context of the verse above, it is grammatically problematic to associate the Shiloh of this verse with the Shiloh seen in Samuel [2], as Shiloh in this verse is clearly characterised as a person. Furthermore, due to the unclear meaning of the word Shiloh, it is not a large step to believe that Shiloh is a distortion of the word Shaluh, meaning apostle or messenger [3]. Furthermore, the Latin Vulgate translates Shiloh as being “He that is to be sent” [3], which works perfectly with the translation of Shiloh as being a rendering of “apostle”, Shiloh therefore, is a foreshadowing of a prophet to come.

This prophet cannot be a Hebrew, because if he were a Hebrew, the scepter would not depart from Judah neither would the ruler’s staff. This prophet however cannot be the Messiah either, as the Messiah was explicitly from “The star of Jacob”, using the same metaphor as Genesis 49, the Messiah is still described as being within Israel “A star from out of Jacob, and a sceptre shall rise from Israel” [5]

The conclusion that must be drawn here is that another non-Hebrew prophet was prophesied, and one who cannot be the Messiah due to his lineal disconnect from the house of Judah. Thus solidifying my first premise.

Premise 2

-The SoL and the Messiah are two separate persons.

Now to draw attention to Isaiah 42. Now a common argument from Jewish and Christian commentators for the interpretation of Isaiah 42 is that the “Servant of the Lord” is simply the Messiah [6]. However this is internally inconsistent from both standpoints. First off, to address the Jewish conception Isaiah 42. It is incompatible with the universal themes in Isaiah 42, as demonstrated by premise one, the Messiah is a Jewish figure for the Jewish people; his mission is not universal in nature. However, Isaiah 42 explicitly shows the SoL’s mission as being universal in nature,

I, the Lord, have called you in righteousness;

I will take hold of your hand.

I will keep you and will make you

to be a covenant for the people

and a light for the Gentiles, [7]

This is not consistent with the Jewish interpretation of Isaiah 42, yet neither is it consistent with the Christian interpretation either. For the same reason, that if Christians believe Jesus (pbuh) as the Messiah, then this same logic applies. The conclusion that must be drawn here is that SoL is not the Messiah but separate from the Messiah. That isn’t to say that the Messiah isn’t mentioned elsewhere in Isaiah, but that the 42nd is not about him.

Addendum: A Prophet from Arabia

Throughout the Hebrew Bible, from the Torah to the Nevi’im, references are dropped of “Mount Paran” and “the holy ones” associated with it. Firstly, Paran by Biblical definition, is located in the modern day Hejaz region [8]

(insert Paran photo here)

From Deuteronomy we get:

“The Lord came from Sinai

and dawned from Seir upon us;[a]

he shone forth from Mount Paran; -Deuteronomy 33:2 [9]

The “Lord coming forth” on Sinai is a clear reference to Divine Revelation in Exodus. However, Mount Paran, in the deserts of Arabia, has no association to Moses, Israel or the Messiah. It is constantly referred to as the “Mount of Ishmael” [10].

Paran is mentioned in the context of Divine Revelation further in the Bible, Such as in Habakkuk 3:

God came from Teman,

the Holy One from Mount Paran.[b]

His glory covered the heavens

and his praise filled the earth -Habakkuk 3:33

Who could this Holy One be? Not certainly not anyone from the House of Israel, because to come from Paran means that one is coming from Arabia.

To draw attention to Isaiah 42; 11, the evidence continues to pile on.

Let the wilderness and its towns raise their voices;
let the settlements where Kedar lives rejoice.
Let the people of Sela sing for joy;
let them shout from the mountaintops.-Isaiah 42:11 [11]

Sela is the name of a mountain in the Middle of Medina. The Hebrew name of Sela translates directly to the Arabic name from the Medinan mountain. This connection to Arabia becomes more solidified with mentions of Kedar in the previous verse. As Kedar is the son of Ishmael, and thus his descendants are the Arabs. Another possibility could be that Sela was a reference to the city in Edom, but that fails to hold due to the complete lack of any reference to Edom anywhere in the chapter. Thus from the scriptural evidence from above. It is strongly evident that this prophet, this Servant of the Lord is coming from Arabia from the line of Ishmael.

Conclusion

I am writing my justification for Premise three along with the conclusion since the contents of both are essentially the same. When other candidates for the SoL are taken from Jewish and Christian tradition, such as Jesus Christ (pbuh), a soon to come Jewish Messiah, or Cyrus the Great, none of them seem to fill the mold of the SoL perfectly. In both the literal and metaphorical sense, the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) fulfills the majority of prophecies from this chapter of Isaiah. By being a figure with a universal mission, of Arab lineage coming from the region of Sela and Paran, he spreads his dominion both literally and metaphorically within his lifetime, hence aligning with promises of “triumphing over his enemies” [Isaiah 42:11-13].

We know from pre-Islamic Arab sources that the Jews of Yathrib (later, Medina) were waiting for the coming of a prophet [12], of all the regions of Arabia, why settle in Yathrib? It was generally irrelevant in the larger scale of Arab politics of the time, and certainly did not give the Jews of Yathrib any advantage over say, those living in Yemen or Ethiopia. It would make sense however, that if they believe a prophet was coming that they would settle in Yathrib.

As foreshadowed in Deuteronomy and Habakkuk, what better way to end the millennia long Abrahamic tradition of prophecy than by giving the blessing of prophethood to the other line of Abraham's (pbuh) progeny; the Arabs.

That summarised my opening case, on to you Con.

Sources:

1- https://www.biblegateway.com...

2-http://www.thebiblejourney.org...

3- https://books.google.ca...

4 - "Douay-Rheims translation". Latinvulgate.com. Retrieved 2013-04-16.

5- https://biblia.com...

6- https://www.biblestudytools.com...

7- https://www.biblegateway.com...

8- http://bibleatlas.org...

9- https://www.biblegateway.com...

10- https://en.wikipedia.org...

11- https://www.biblegateway.com...

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Debate Round No. 4
11 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by UtherPenguin 8 months ago
UtherPenguin
@divergent_ambon Eager to see what you have in store.
Posted by canis 8 months ago
canis
Anyway. There never was a "prophet".. Only people called prophets..
Posted by canis 8 months ago
canis
Well. You will not find find any prophties if you do not re-write it.
Posted by UtherPenguin 8 months ago
UtherPenguin
@divergentambon I have given you a challenge for the debate before, but I noticed you didn't respond in a week, so as to not activate the forfeit glitch I reopened the challenge. If you want me to send the challenge to you again then feel free to contact me.
Posted by divergent_ambon 8 months ago
divergent_ambon
@UtherPenguin

I sent you a request for this debate a while ago. I never got a challenge.
Posted by UtherPenguin 8 months ago
UtherPenguin
@bigdebate Whether he was mentioned as a legitimate prophet
Posted by bigdebate 8 months ago
bigdebate
How was he prophesied in the book? I'm not sure what the debate is over. It is just over whether the guy was mentioned or whether he is mentioned as a legitimate prophet?
Posted by UtherPenguin 8 months ago
UtherPenguin
@divergent_ambon Sounds good, I'll send the challenge to you in a bit.
Posted by divergent_ambon 8 months ago
divergent_ambon
Sent you a friend request offering an acceptance. I am a progressive Christian with proficient knowledge of Hebrew and a usable knowledge of Arabic, so I assure you this would be a good debate.
Posted by UtherPenguin 8 months ago
UtherPenguin
@levi_smiles Twisting definitions or semantics in a way that makes the debate unfairly easier or more difficult for the other side. Basically it's debating on the sole basis of semantics. For this debate, this rule isn't really binding given that debating scripture requires some degree of semantics.
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