Is the Qur’an the final and perfect testament?

I’ve received a long comment within a previous posting on this blog from a FB friend who has posted his reasons for believing that the Qur’an is the final and perfect testament. Since he also kindly followed up with a personal note asking if I would respond, I thought “OK, why not”. So now I shall take a look at each of these 15 reasons, one by one.

1-Quran alone describes the perfect conception of Divine Unity and Attributes. Where as Christianity sins against God’s Unity, Judaism against God’s Universality, Buddhism against His Personality.

While I understand that this is an Islamic belief, its not evidence. Talk to a believer in any other belief system and they will make the exact same claim … “My belief in X is perfect, the others have it all wrong”. Everybody says the same, and all such statements are usually mutually exclusive, but boil it down, and its just a belief with no evidence.

2-Quran alone is an unaltered Scripture, exactly as it was revealed. No other book may claim such status.

Many others make the exact same claim. Christians assert that the bible is the divinely inspired word of God, the Mormons make a similar claim regarding their text, as do may many others. Believers in most faiths will date documents to the beginning, but often historical research tells a different story. For example the earliest date for Marks Gospel is AD 65-70, long after the events it describes. So what about the Quran? Secular scholars, such as John Wansbrough, Michael Cook and Patricia Crone, do not attribute the entire Qur’an to Muhammad (or Uthman), arguing that there “is no hard evidence for the existence of the Koran in any form before the last decade of the seventh century and that the tradition which places this rather opaque revelation in its historical context is not attested before the middle of the eighth.” “There is no proof that the text of the Qur’an was collected under Uthman, since the earliest surviving copies of the complete Qur’an are centuries later than Uthman. The oldest existing copy of the full text is from the ninth century. Islam was formed gradually over a number of centuries after the Muslim conquests, as the Islamic conquerors elaborated their beliefs in response to Jewish and Christian challenges. So yes, Islam makes this claim, but historical facts tell a different story.

3- Quran’s creed and practices have remained unaltered since its inception. No other religion can claim this status.

Well, once again, this is just a belief, and is a claim made by almost every belief system on the planet. However, as a historical fact, it is very much disputed … see my previous answer for details.

4-Quran’s recipient MUHAMMAD’s (saw) Life is fully known to history. No other religion can claim this historicity.

Most belief systems make this claim, in some cases its correct, for example we know quite a lot about Ron Hubbard and Joseph Smith, mainly because they are quite recent. However, as you go further back things become (naturally) fuzzier. However, knowing a lot about the history of Muhammad (some of with is disputed, some is not) does not prove (or disprove) anything about the Quran.

5-Muhammad’s (saw) coming is predicted in Jewish, Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, Zoroastrian scriptures.

While I accept that Islam makes this claim, I think you will find that Jews, Christians and others would disagree. With regards to books claiming to foretell the future, there is not one single factual example of this  … ever. Yes, I am aware of various prophecies within various text, but look closely and you find they are very vague … vague enough to mean almost anything.You also often find a bit of cheating going on, such as the authors of the Gospels changing things to fit.

6-Quran alone recognizes the apostle-ship of ALL PROPHETS of God, (including Jesus, Buddha, Krishna, Zoroaster and Confucius etc.) of all times, ages and peoples. No other scripture does.

Not factually correct. I can name many religious leaders who would claim to be Prophets, but not accepted as such by Islam. I can also name other religious beliefs that are all inclusive and claim that all roads lead to truth, for example the Bahai believers accepts a far wider range of belief than Islam does.

7-Quran alone embodies a perfect teaching for the physical, moral, spiritual, social, political and economic welfare of mankind. No other scripture does.

In reply, I’d ask, can you name a single belief system anywhere on the entire plant that does not make a similar claim for its specific holy book. But then the assertion regarding the content of the Quran being a perfect teaching for the physical and moral welfare is very questionable … as it is with almost every other system of belief that writes down moral guidance and declares it to be the final truth. We live in a world in which our ideas regarding what is right are wrong are evolving and improving. A good recent example is human sexuality, many historical texts condemn the concept of being Gay, see 7:80-81 in the Quran … yet we live in more enlightened times and now begin to understand that being Gay is not a crime, but rather is normal and natural. Thats just one little example of the Quran not being perfect and how our modern understanding and approach is far better. Lots of other examples exist, for example nobody would accept slavery … yet the Quran does as does the Bible and many other older texts. Should we really embrace concepts such as slavery?

8-Quran alone teaches the universal brotherhood and equality of all mankind. No other scripture does.

Little quibble about that …its not true. Islam actually teaches the universal brotherhood of all Muslims, and death to everybody else. The Qur’an contains detailed instructions and examples of how to meet unbelievers. The first instruction is that they should be called to Islam; in fact, the Qur’an says you cannot wage war against unbelievers until you have preached to them. The second instruction is that if they do not convert to Islam, then, they must be fought. The third instruction is that if they surrender, or convert, then you must stop waging war. The final instruction is that if they do not convert or surrender, then they must be killed. There are over 100 verses in the Qur’an that exhort Muslims to fight unbelievers; this includes ‘chopping their heads off’ (Qur’an 47:4). Call me picky if you like, but this does not quite fit the description of universal brotherhood.

9-Quran alone presents a LIVING FAITH IN GOD, where the DOOR TO DIVINE REVELATION and COMMUNION is open forever. No other scripture does.

Now, what is truly fasinating here is that during my time as a believer, these are the exact same phrases I used … except I was making the claim for Christianity. In fact, almost every belief system makes a similar claim.

10-Quran alone presents a teaching which is NEVER contradicted by any discovery of sciences. No other scripture does.

This is just not factually correct. According to the Quran the Sun revolves around the earth (31:29 and 21:33), and also apparently the Earth is flat (15:19 and 78:6-7), and man is made from a bit of clotted blood (96:2). Its poetical and it fits the cultural context, but its not scientifically factual. I used to make similar claims regarding the Bible, yet had to face up to it not being scientifically correct either.

11-Quran alone presents a spiritual science about the truth of after life, reward and punishment. No other scripture fully does.

The words “spiritual” and “science” don’t go together. Science is evidence based, this claim is not. Most other religious believers make the exact same claim for their texts.

12-Quran alone rejects superstitions (so-called “miracles”) which are against the perfect and eternal laws of God. No other scripture does.

Er … but Muslims believe the creation of the Quran itself to be a miracle. (See your point 14 below). It is supposed to be a revelation from Allah (God), as a perfect copy of what was written in heaven and existed there from all eternity. Thats a claim that falls into the “superstitious” category.

13- Quran is full of such SIGNs of GOD that attest to His Existence and Truth. News of the Hidden and Proofs that the sender of this WORD is a MIGHTY BEING, OMNIPOTENT AND OMNISCIENT, LIVING PERSONAL GOD.

(Looks like you are having a problem with your caps lock key here, you may need to get it fixed). The Quran is a book, the words prove nothing. I can in turn point you to the “Lord Of the Rings” and observe that it is full of signs and proof regarding the existence of Hobbits and elves.

14- The TEXT of the Quran is unparalleled and without match in its BEAUTY, ELOQUENCE and EXCELLENCE, besides its logic, proofs of Divine existence and Mighty signs… its challenge has never been met by any adversaries of the past and present, to PRODUCE THE LIKE OF IT. Even the mere TEXT OF THE QURAN is a huge and matchless MIRACLE.

I will accept “Poetical” … but all other belief systems will claim the above for their texts, hence the use of the word “unparalleled” does not stand up to any examination, there are lots of other very similar texts. “Our <insert-your-favorite-text-here> is the most beautiful, divine, logical…” etc….

15- Quran has resolved ALL THE DOCTRINAL and ESCHATOLOGICAL errors / differences that the Jews and Christians, due to their ignorance had attributed to God and the Messengers of God. Like the incorrect concept of SIN, ransom, atonement, resurrection, etc. Interpolating polytheistic pluralism in religion, (e.g. Mithraism being adopted as the religion of Jesus) the blasphemy of GOD begetting a SON and having a THIRD (entity), Law being declared a curse, killing Jesus at the Stake/Cross, Jesus flight to the Skies, bias of a particular people as THE ONLY CHOSEN PEOPLE, (mankind as a whole is worthy of address…) … even correcting historical errors (the number of Israelites being a few thousands in exodus, not 600,000!) etc. etc.

But then the Christians claim that Muhammad is a false prophet and that they have the truth, and the Jews claim the Jesus was a false Messiah and that they have the truth. Everybody claims that the others are wrong and only they have “truth”, yet nobody has any evidence for anything.

All of the above are simply beliefs for which there is no actual evidence. None of them are proof of anything and many other belief systems claim a very similar set of statements as proof that their specific belief is correct. The fact that you are a Muslim and I am not, is nothing to do with what is true, but rather has a lot more to do with geography. If you had been born in southern India you would now be a Hindu, or if you have been born in the US Bible belt, you would now be a Christian.

So why is your belief right and every other belief wrong?

This may not be a surprise, but without evidence …. I’m skeptical.

5 thoughts on “Is the Qur’an the final and perfect testament?”

  1. Isaiah 42 describes Muhammad

    1- Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles.

    Until “…delighted”

    If we consider “mine elect” as a noun then Mine elect = God’s elect = Mustafa (in Arabic) the name of our Prophet Muhammad Mustafa (SAV). Otherwise it is true for all prophets of God.

    After “..delighted…”

    All prophets after Jacob (pbuh) mentioned in the Bible came for Israelites not Gentiles. This includes Jesus (pbuh) (look Matthew 15:21-26, Matthew 10:5-6 and many more). And Jesus (pbuh) did not stay on earth long enough to do that. But Muhammad (pbuh) was a Gentile and he brought message and judgment to Gentiles first.

    2- He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heart in the street.

    Here the word “not cry” is used as “not complain about the duty that I gave him” because we see in verse 13 God says “… he shall cry”. There is a difference between these two using of the word cry. Now if we read your Bible Matthew 26:39-42, we can not say that Jesus (pbuh) never complained.

    But if you read the life of Muhammad (pbuh) , the history of Islam you cannot find even one complaining word of Muhammad (pbuh) about the mission (duty) that given by God Almighty.

    3- A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgment unto truth.

    This is true almost all prophets.

    4- He shall not fall nor be discouraged, till he had set judgment in the earth: and the isles shall wait for his law.

    Until “earth:”

    Jesus (pbuh) couldn’t finish his mission which had continued only for ~3 years. He fall and discouraged (you will find many places in NT about this) and he couldn’t set judgment in the earth, because his followers were a few and they had little faith (you will find many places in NT about this). And yet they “forsook him and fled” at the time that Roman soldiers came to arrest Jesus (pbuh). And Jesus (pbuh) himself says “My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence ” John 18:36

    But Muhammad established a state and ruled with his law that given by God. Therefore he set judgment in the earth and he did not fall and he was not discouraged.

    After “earth:”

    Here God says “his law”, and in verse 9 says “former things come to pass”. This means that he (new prophet) will bring new law. But if we read the Bible again, we see that Jesus (pbuh) says Matthew 5:17 “Think not I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy but fulfill”. And if we read further we understand that Jesus (pbuh) did not come with new law.

    But Muhammad (pbuh) came with new law.

    5- Thus saith God the Lord, he that created the heavens, and stretched them out; he that spread forth the earth, and that which come out of it ; he that giveth breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein;

    6- I the Lord have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles.

    Muhammad (pbuh) is a descendent of Abraham (pbuh) and came to Gentiles.

    7- To open blind eyes, to bring out prisoners from prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house.

    “To open blind eyes”. If we read verse 19 we will see more clearly that the word blind is used as idiom.

    Meaning, he will show people the things that they did not know and will show people how to comprehend God and His message.

    Prison is used as an idiom too. If a spirit doesn’t know God and doesn’t obey Him, then that spirit is in prison of Satan, and that person is prisoner of Satan. By accepting oneness of God and by obeying Him, the spirit of a person will be free and this makes that person free from prison of Satan. And in verse 8 God clearly states what He meant.

    8- I am the Lord: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.

    (With explanation of verse 7) we understand that the person that God is talking about will come to a place that people worship idols as their gods. If we read verse 17, we may understand this better.

    From verses 7 and 8, we understand that God is not talking about Jesus (pbuh) but Muhammad (pbuh). Because Jesus (pbuh) came to Israelites and they were not worshipping idols. But Muhammad (pbuh) came during the Jahilliya (ignorance) period of Arabs and destroy the idols. If we read verse 17, it will be understood more clearly.

    9- Behold, the former things come to pass, the new things do I declare: before they spring forth I tell you of them.

    As we read in verse 4 and my explanation of it, the person, God is talking about, will come new law. And this person cannot be Jesus (pbuh) because of the reasons stated above. This person is nobody but prophet Muhammad (pbuh).

    10- Sing unto the Lord a new song, and his praise, ye that go down to the sea, and all that is therein; the isles and inhabitants thereof.

    If you want to hear this new song please listen to someone reciting the Qur’an. The new song that God talking about is Noble Qur’an. If you hear how people recite the Noble Qur’an, you will understand what God is talking about.

    11- Let the wilderness and the cities thereof lift up their voice, the villages that Kedar doth inhabit: let the inhabitants of the rock sing, let them shout from the top of the mountains.

    12- Let them give glory unto the Lord, and declare his praise in the islands.

    Kedar is son of Ishmael (pbuh) (Genesis 25:13-16), and has nothing to do with Jesus (pbuh). This verse (verse 11) is not talking about Jesus (pbuh) but Muhammad (pbuh). As you know Muhammad (pbuh) is descendent of Abraham (pbuh) through Ishmael (pbuh). And the cities that they inhabited are in Arabia namely Telma (Tema/Teman), Yathrib (Al-Madinah Al-Munawwarah), Paran (Makkah) etc. And if you observe the ritual of Muslims (especially during Hajj), you will see that cities (Makkah and Al-Madinah) lift up their voices** and people shout and glorify Allah from top of mountains, especially Mt. Arafat**. The rock is the rock that God sent to Adam from heaven, and it is located at the side of Kaba. As you know Muslim people make 7 tours around Kaba and kiss this rock while glorifying the Lord.

    **in fact, you can see this in every Muslim country, when people are called to prayer, muezzins read the Adhan (calling to prayer) that sounds like a song. And even far from city you can hear this Adhan, it will look like that city lifted up its voice. Meaning of Adhan is

    Allah is the greatest, Allah is the greatest

    Allah is the greatest, Allah is the greatest

    I’m witness that there is no god but Allah

    I’m witness that there is no god but Allah

    I’m witness that Muhammad is His messenger

    Come to prayer, come to prayer

    Come to salvation, come to salvation

    Allah is the greatest, Allah is the greatest

    There is no god but Allah.

    13- The Lord shall go forth as a mighty man, he shall stir up jealousy like a man of war: he shall cry, yea, roar; he shall prevail against his enemies.

    14- I have long time holding my peace; I have been still, and refrained myself: now will I cry like a travailing women; I will destroy and devour at once.

    Until Islam, God had never ordered any prophets to fight against unbelievers to destroy them. Believer were fighting only to defense themselves. But Allah ordered Muhammad (pbuh) to fight against unbelievers, and slay them if they don’t accept Allah. And if you study the life of Muhammad (pbuh) you will see that he was the commander of the army and he fought with his sword and he lost one of his teeth during the war. And God destroyed unbelievers at once (with only during of one prophet).

    15- I will make waste mountains and hills, and dry up all their herbs; and I will make the rivers islands, and I will dry up the pools.

    Here God is talking about deserts of Arabia. In desert place, mountains and hills of sand are not steady, they diminish with winds and another one appears. And you can not find rivers but small water islands as described by God.

    Also this verse has nothing to do with Jesus (pbuh)

    16- And I will bring blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known: I will make darkness light before them, and crooked thins straight. These things I will do unto them, and not forsake them.

    As God says above, He did not send to pagan Arabs until Muhammad (pbuh) as stated in verse 22. Until Muhammad (pbuh), Arabs were worshipping idols, killing baby girls, drinking alcohol, gambling etc. Allah a way (Islam, unity of God) that they did not know, made Qur’an and Muhammad (pbuh) guided (as light before) them, and made crooked things (mentioned above) straight.

    This verse also has nothing to do with Jesus (pbuh).

    17- They shall be turned back, they shall be greatly ashamed, that trust in graven images, that they say to the molten images, Ye are our gods.

    This is exactly what pagan Arabs did, when they heard the message that given to Muhammad (pbuh) by God. They offered money, authority and many things to our prophet and he did not accept any of them. They ashamed, because they thought that all other Arabs will mock them, and will not visit the Kaba (at that time they were using Kaba as place of the idols that all other Arab tribes were using) and this would be their economic end. And they turned graven images and they asked help from those images.

    This verse also has nothing to do with Jesus (pbuh).

    18- Hear, ye deaf; and look, ye blind, that ye may see.

    19- Who is blind, but my servant? or deaf, as my messenger that I sent? who is blind as he that is perfect, and blind as the Lord’s servant?

    20- Seeing many things, but thou observest not; opening the ears, but he heareth not.

    In this verses God talks to Christians and Jews.

    In verse 18: Hear you (Christians and Jews) deaf, and look you (Christians and Jews) blind, you may see that above things are happening every day in Islamic world.

    In verse 19: God says, “Who is blind or deaf? My messenger (Muhammad (pbuh) and his followers) or you?

    In verse 20: You do see these things but you don’t pay attention, you don’t comprehend. You do hear the Qur’an and you know that Muslims sing new song and Muslim cities lift up their voices and they shout from top of mountains, they glorify Me, but you don’t pay attention, you don’t comprehend.

    Indeed, Christians and Jews think that Muslims do not see the right path (blind). Even you wrote that “What Muslims do not understand…”.

    These verses also have nothing to do with Jesus (pbuh).

    21- The Lord is well pleased for his righteousness’ sake; he will magnify the law, and make it honourable.

    In Qur’an many places Allah calls Prophet as “My friend” (friend is not exactly translation for Habeeb/Habib, because Habeeb is closer then friend but I couldn’t find another word for this). And He magnified the law and people still follow his law. Jesus did not bring new law, and non of the Christians follows the law that he was following.

    This verse also has nothing to do with Jesus (pbuh)

    22- But this is a people robbed and spoiled; they are all of them snared in holes, and they are hid in prison houses: they are for a prey, and none delivereth; for a spoil, and none saith, Restore.

    In this verse God talks about corrupted society of pagan Arabs. And, indeed, He had not send any prophets to Arabs until Muhammad (pbuh). That’s why “none saith, Restore”. But up to Jesus (pbuh), many prophets had been send to Israelites.

    This verse also has nothing to do with Jesus (pbuh)

    23- Who among you will give ear to this? who will hearken and hear for the time to come?

    Who will become Muslim?

    Copied from a post from a Muslim brother.

    • Well brother Taha, when you post a claim, you need to be ready for a reply , and here it is, a direct reply to the ever hiding “Jews-for-allah” one article website from which your article was taken from. Your article doesn’t even have a name for the writer, mine has. Have a read.

      Muhammad the Messenger? – Isaiah 42
      Islam claims that Muhammad is the Messenger of Isaiah 42. Is this true?
      Isaiah 42:1 (KJV) Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles.
      Isaiah 42:11 (KJV) Let the wilderness and the cities thereof lift up their voice, the villages that Kedar doth inhabit: let the inhabitants of the rock sing, let them shout from the top of the mountains.

      Islam claims Isaiah 42 refers to Muhammad. They argue that verse 1 and 11 connects the awaited one with the descendants of Kedar. Who is Kedar? According to Genesis 25:13, Kedar was the second son of Ishmael, the ancestor of Muhammad.

      Scripture Compared to Hadith Sahih Al-Bukhari
      This claim is further based on the titles that are given to Muhammad – Isaiah 42 compared to Bukhari 3:335:

      Isaiah 42:1 Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles.
      Bukhari 3:335 You are My servant and My messenger. I have named you “al Mutawakkil’ (meaning “the one who depends on Allah’).

      Isaiah 42:2 He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street.

      Bukhari 3:335 You are neither discourteous, harsh nor a noise-maker in the markets..

      Isaiah 42:3 A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgment unto truth.

      Bukhari 3:335 And you do not do evil to those who do evil to you, but you deal with them with forgiveness and kindness.

      Isaiah 42:4 . . . he will not falter or be discouraged till he establishes justice on earth. In his law the islands will put their hope.

      Bukhari 3:335 I have named you “Al-Mutawakkil” (meaning “Allah’s dependent”)….Allah will not let him die till he makes upright the crooked people by making them say: “None has the right to be worshipped but Allah.”

      Isaiah 42:5-6 This is what God the LORD says– he who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread out the earth and all that comes out of it, who gives breath to its people, and life to those who walk on it: “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…”

      Bukhari 3:335 I have named you ‘Al-Mutawakkil’ (meaning ‘Allah’s dependent’)….Allah will not let him die till he makes upright the crooked people by making them say: ‘None has the right to be worshipped but Allah.’

      Isaiah 42:7 . . . to open eyes that are blind, to free captives from prison and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.

      Bukhari 3:335 With which will be opened blind eyes and deaf ears and enveloped hearts.

      Isaiah 42:10-11 Sing to the LORD a new song, his praise from the ends of the earth, you who go down to the sea, and all that is in it, you islands, and all who live in them. Let the desert 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.

      Islam Concludes
      Islam concludes from the verses above that they focus on Kedar, speaking of the supremacy of Islam.

      From these likenesses or titles they conclude:

      (1) The slave servant of God (Isa. 42:1) is Muhammad.
      (2) God’s elected messenger (Isa. 42:1) is Muhammad;
      (3) Muhammad shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment in the earth (Isa. 42:4). It is claimed that as Jesus did not set up a worldwide government;
      (4) The LORD will keep Muhammad (Isa. 42:6);
      (5) that God will give Muhammad for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles (Isa. 42:6);
      (6) Islam claims “a new song” (Isa. 42:10) because it is in a different language (Arabic);
      (7) Islam asserts the islands of Isaiah 42:12 are in the South China Sea and in the Caribbean where Islam has spread;
      (8) Muhammad shall prevail against his enemies (Isa. 42:13) as Jesus failed too.
      Islam thus argues these passages refer to Muhammad and not to Jesus.

      Importance of Scriptural Context
      First, these titles were given to Muhammad only AFTER Isaiah 42 was written. Therefore, Muhammad fulfilled nothing! In addition, it appears above that Islam is attempting to fit their ideas INTO the Bible (isogesis with an “i” for Islam) instead of allowing the Bible to speak for itself (exegesis).

      Second, the Bible must be looked at in context. Basically, Isaiah 42 divides up into three parts: (1) the announcement of salvation (Isa 42:1-9), (2) an intervening song of praise (Isa 42:10-11), and (3) the completion of the announcement of salvation (Isa 42:14-17).

      Christianity Concludes
      Servant (Isa 42:1):

      The servant imagery is fulfilled in Jesus (Matt. 12:15-21) and is also applicable to Israel (Isa 41:8) before his coming, and to the church later (1 Pet. 2:21-25). Israel as “Servant” includes only the faithful, not unfaithful Israel (Isa. 42:18-22). This chapter is part of the Servant Songs of Isaiah:

      (1) Salvation for Elect Israel through God’s Servant (Isa. 42:1-4);
      (2) Royal Oracle about the Servant of the Lord (Isa. 49:1-7);
      (3) Israel’s Sin and the Servant’s Obedience (Isa. 50:1-9);
      (4) the Suffering and the Glory of the Servant (Isa. 52:13-53:12) that explicitly connect the great Servant with the royal house of Judah.
      Any interpretation must fit the whole Servant Song motif. Isaiah 53 (as do the other songs), describes many points that fit no one but Christ: rejected (Isa 42:3); sins of the elect laid upon him (Isa 42:5-6); murdered (Isa 42:8); died with the wicked and was buried with the rich (Isa 42:9); did no violence (Isa 42:9); raised from the dead (Isa 42:11). Clearly, this is not Muhammad.

      Elect messenger (Isa 42:1):

      Jesus is the messenger in the text (Isa. 11:2; 43:10; Matt. 3:16-17; Luke 9:35; John 3:34; 1 Pet. 2:4-6).

      Government (Isa 42:4):

      The Servant would be greater than Moses (Deut. 18:15-18; Acts 3:21-36) because he would mediate a New Covenant that would eventually ensure that all believers would keep his law perfectly (Isa. 42:6; Jer. 31:31; 2 Cor. 3:3; Heb. 8:7-13). Jesus set up a “now-but-not-now Kingdom.” Though Christ’s Kingdom has been inaugurated through his life, death, and resurrection and continues through his invisible Church, the consummation of the Kingdom will occur when Christ returns to complete the new heavens and new earth (Rev. 21:1-5).

      Keep (Isa 42:6):

      Calling and keeping are expressions parallel to Isaiah 42:1 and 41:10. God promises, to be with us. The Lord is Immanuel (Isa 8:8, 10; 43:2, 5; cf. Acts 18:9, 10). He says, “I am your God”; the basic promise for the covenant (Isa. 42:13-14; 43:1, 5; 44:2, 8; 51:12; Gen. 17:7; 21:17; 26:24; Lev. 26:12; Deut. 20:1; 31:6, 8; Jer. 32:38; Ezek. 37:27; 2 Cor. 6:16). He promises to strengthen and uphold us. The Lord is present in graciously delivering, exalting, and vindicating his children (Isa. 42:13; 42:1; 44:2; 49:8; 50:7). And he establishes order on earth by his power, as he did at the Exodus (Isa. 63:12; Ex. 15:6).

      Covenant (Isa 42:6):

      Jesus Christ, as God’s Servant, brought the new covenant to his people (Isa. 53:4-6; Jer. 31:31-34; Heb. 8:6-13; 9:15). The covenant is also called the “covenant of peace” (Isa. 54:10), the “everlasting covenant” (Isa. 55:3; 61:8), and the “new covenant” (Jer. 31:31).

      Sing a New Song (Isa 42:10):

      The redeemed will sing a new song as Moses and Miriam did when they had witnessed God’s acts of salvation (Ex. 15:1, 21; cf. 12:1-6; Ps. 149:1; Rev. 5:9; 14:3).

      Praise in the Islands (Isa 42:12):

      This refers to the fact that the glory of God will be everywhere – even in remote places such as islands. John Calvin explains:

      The nature of that shouting will be, that is, to celebrate the praises of God; for his goodness and mercy shall be everywhere seen; and therefore he enjoins them to celebrate this redemption with a cheerful voice, because the blessed consequences of it shall be shared by all the nations…. He mentions Kedar, because the Scenite Arabians, as is well known, dwelt in tents. But he employs the word towns, while he is speaking of a desert; and therefore it ought to be remarked, that desert denotes not only the vast wilderness which lay between Judea and Arabia, but the more distant countries which were commonly designated from that part which was adjoining to them, as some people give the name of “mountainous” to those plains which lie beyond the mountains; for the common people have their attention so much directed to what they see close at hand, that they suppose them to resemble other places that are more distant. Yet the Prophet here exalts and magnifies the greatness of the grace of God, in reaching even rude and barbarous nations, whose savage cruelty was well known.
      Prevail (Isa 42:13):

      Assurance comes from knowing that when the Lord’s zeal is stirred, he will accomplish his plan (Isa. 9:7). The man of war in Isaiah describes the Lord as a Divine Warrior in whom hope lies (Isa. 1:9; 5:26).

      Isaiah 42 speaks of only One – Jesus!

      Please see Christianity and Islam Contrasted.

      Baagil H. M., Muslim-Christian Dialogue, (Islamic Propagation Centre International (U.K.), Birmingham, U.K., 1984).

      Calvin, J. (1998). Calvin’s Commentaries: Isaiah (electronic ed.). Logos Library System; Calvin’s Commentaries (Is 42:12). Albany, OR: Ages Software.

      Richard Pratt, General Editor. Spirit of the Reformation Study Bible, Zondervan, Grand Rapids, MI, 2003.

      Answer by Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr.

      Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr., D.D., M.Div. is the Theological Editor at Third Millennium Ministries (IIIM).


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