The Chosen One (4) … so who is he?
In his book: The Jesus Dynasty, Professor James D Tabor joins the increasing number of scholars who assert that Jesus was far more human than the church would lead you to believe. Prof. Tabor also reminds us of the fact, universally accepted now, that first century Jews were expecting at least two major prophets.
We continue the search for the identity of the last of these major prophets; and put to the test the proposition that he is no other than the prophet of Islam, Muhammad, peace be upon him.
Having looked at the physical description of the chosen prophet, in some detail in previous posts; we continue to analyse these fragments of the Dead Sea Scrolls entitled: “The Chosen One” or “المصطفى“, for further information on the historical and circumstantial attributes of the expected prophet.
When you carefully read fragment 4Q536 below, you will notice that there is a distinction made between the (words of the Prophet, said to contain great wisdom) and the (words of God that the Prophet will write in a Book that will not decay.)
This is highly significant, because Islamic tradition has always maintained a clear distinction between the words of Prophet Muhammad (ص), referred to as “Hadith” and the words of God or “The Quran” which Muslims consider to be the literal and pure words of God.
Such a distinction can only be found in Islamic scriptures, and is unparalleled, neither in Christianity nor Judaism, for the Old and New testaments do not have clear dividing lines between the words of God and those of the prophets or even the writers and narrators of stories therein.
8 he made […] | that you are afraid of […] 10 he will strengthen its concealment at the end of your powers. His possessions […] | and he will not die in the days of evil. And his words will contain great wisdom. I will praise you […] | is sentenced to death. Who will write the words of God in a book that will not decay? And my sayings […] |You will come to me and in the time of evil he will know you forever. A man who […] your servants, […] sons […]
I have coloured 4 passages that contain attributes of the Chosen One:
- He will not die in the days of evil, so this possibly excludes Jesus -as known in Christian theology- from being the subject of the document. Muhammad (peace upon him) triumphed against his enemies and did not die until his mission was completed.
- Who will write the words of God in a book that will not decay: Of all the Books claiming to be a revelation from God, the Quran stands out as the only book that : 1- Claims to be the literal word of God, and 2: has been truly preserved and did decay in transmission. Whilst there is plenty of evidence of the corruption of transmission of the Bible and other sacred books, similar claims made about the Quran are but speculations and suppositions.
- His word will contain great wisdom: Muslims have cherished the words of the Prophet and many volumes have been written analysing every word, description, action, story about Muhammad () and Hadith became a large subject of Islamic Scholarship to extract wisdom from the noble mouth of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him.
- I will praise you: The very name of the prophet, “Muhammad“, actually means “Praised“, this in addition to God directly praising the Prophet in many verses of the Quran, as in [Quran 68:4] And verily, you are on an exalted character.
In summary, we find the two fragments 4Q534 and 4Q536 provide compelling evidence that Prophet Muhammad, peace upon him is indeed the Chosen One of God:
We have the physical evidence of the moles on his back and the colour of his hair. We have a prophecy that he will defeat his enemies, that his message will reach the whole world and last until the end of time. We have evidence about him being unlearned and then suddenly acquires knowledge about the holy books, angels and prophets. Evidence of his great wisdom, that his message will be universal and directed to all the people; and that he writes- separately- the words of God in a book.
I end this post with a little challenge: Can you find any individual in history who fits the description given in fragments 4Q534 and 4Q536 better than Muhammad, the Prophet of Islam?