The History of the Idea of a Literal Connection between the Words “Ahmad” and “Paraclete” in the Qur’an and the Gospel of John

Document Type: Research Paper

Authors

1 University of Tehran

2 PhD candidate in Religions and Mysticism, University of Mashhad, Iran

Abstract

In recent years, some people, comparing the word “Ahmad” in a Quranic verse speaking of Jesus’ prophecy about Prophet Muhammad (Qur'an 61:6) with the word “Paraclete” in the Gospel of John (14:26, etc.), have tried to make a connection between them. They have ascribed to Muslims (and even to the Prophet himself) the idea that the word “Paraclete” is a distorted form of the word “periclete,” the meaning of which, in turn, is approximately equal to the Arabic word “Ahmad,” to which the Quranic verse refers. In this article, we examine this idea and conclude that the claim has stemmed from a mistake in the writings of some western scholars during the eighteenth century, and does not have any actual basis in Christian or Islamic literature.

Keywords


References

Bauer, Walter. 1958. Wörterbuch zu den Schriften des Neuen Testaments und der übrigen urchristlichen Literatur. Berlin: Verlag Alfred Töpfelmann.
Ginza der schatz. Edited and translated by Mark Lidzbarski. Gottingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht.
Guillaume, A. 1950. “The Version of the Gospels Used in Medina Circa 700 A.D.” Al-Andalus 15:289-96.
Guthrie, A., and E. F. F. Bishop. 1951. “The Paraclete, al-Munhamanna and Ahmad.” Muslim World XLI (October).
Hoyland, Robert G. 1997. Seeing Islam As Others See It: A Survey and Evaluation of Christian, Jewish, and Zoroastrian Writings on Early Islam. Princeton: The Darwin Press Inc.
Husayni Khatunabadi, Mir Muhammad Bagher. n.d. Tarjumah-ye Anajil-e Arba'ah. Edited by Rasul Ja'farian. Qom:  Internal Publications of Imam Khumaini’s Educating Center.
Ibn Babawayh, Muhammad ibn Ali. 1378 AH. ‘Uyun Akhbar al-Rida. Qom: al-Sharif al-Radi.
Ibn Hisham, Muhammad ibn Ibrahim. 1955. The Life of Muhammad. Translated by A. Guillaume. London: Oxford University Press.
Jeffery, Arthur. 1944. “Ghevond`s Text of the Correspondence Between `Umar II and Leo III.” Harvard Theological Review XXXVII: 269-332.
Karimpur, Saeed. 2014. Adyan-e Ebrahimi va Mas’ale-ye Payambar-e Mow‘ud. Tehran: Ameh.
 
———. 2015. Matn-e Kamel-e Enjil-e Barnaba. Tehran: Pajuheshgah-e Olume Ensani va Motale‘ate Farhangi (The Institute for Human Arts and Cultural Studies).
Keldani, Benjamin David. 1987 (1975).  Muhammad in the Bible. Kuala Lampur: Pustaka Antara.
Liddell, Henry George, and Robert Scott. 1966. An Intermediate Greek-English Lexicon. London: Oxford University Press.
Metzger, Bruce M. 1968. The Text of The New Testament. Oxford: Oxford University.
Safvat, Ahmad Zaki. 1937. Jamharat rasa’il al-‘Arab fi ‘usur al-‘Arabiyyat al-zahirah. Vol. 3. Beirut: al-Maktabah ul-‘Ilmiyyah.
Sale, George. 1877 (1734). The Koran. London: William Tegg and Co.
Schmidtke, Sabine. 2012. “Biblical Predictions of the Prophet Muḥammad among the Zaydīs of Iran.” Arabica 59 (3-4): 218-66.
Schulthess, F. 1903. Lexicon Syropalaestinum. Berlin: Aedibus Georgi Reimer.
St. Clair Tisdall, William. 1905. The Original Sources of the Qur'an. London: Society for the Promotion of Christian Knowledge.
Tabari, Ali ibn Rabban. 1922. The Book of Religion and Empire. Edited and translated by A. Mingana. Manchester: Manchester University Press.
The Gospel of Barnabas. 1907. Edited and translated by Lounsdale Ragg and Laura Ragg.  Oxford: Clarendon Press.