Was name "Ahmad" (referring to prophet Muhammad) really mentioned in the Gospel of John?-research
In the recent years, some people comparing word "Ahmad" in a Quranic verse speaking of Jesus' prophecy about coming of prophet Muhammad (Qur'an, al-Saff: 6) with the word "Paraclete" in the Gospel of John (14: 26; and other phrases) have tried to make a connection between them, and have ascribed this idea to the Muslims (and even to the prophet himself) that the word Paraclete (its Greek pronunciation: Parakletos) is a distorted form of the word Periclete (its Greek pronunciation: Periklutos) which is approximately (but not exactly) equal to Arabic word Ahmad, and that Quranic verse refers to this point. But is this idea true?
Because of significance of this idea, I thought it is necessary to bring a brief report of my full scale research in this matter (The complete text of my research is brought in my book in Persian language): Adyane Ebrahimi wa Mas'aleye Payambare Mo'ud (Abrahamic Religions and the Question of the Promised Prophet), Tehran, 2015. The issue has a lot of Scientifical details, and this report only shows a very small picture of it. So, everyone who likes to read all the research he must refer to the original book.
At the beginning, let us look at the Qur'anic verse (al-Saff:6):
"And when Jesus, son of Mary, said: "O children of Israel, I am God's messenger to you, authenticating what is present with me of the Torah and bringing good news of a messenger to come after me whose name will be acclaimed." But when he showed them the clear proofs, they said: "This is clearly magic."
First point, is that, name "Ahmed" in the early days of appearance of Islam (during prophet's life) was never known as a famous name for the prophet, and though the Quranic verse (al-Saff:6) convinces us that it was really a name of prophet Muhammad, but if it was not mentioned in Ginza Rbba (the sacred book of Mandaeans, ended its writing at 8th century A.C) with pronunciation "Ahmat" we had not anyexternal evidence to prove it as a name of the prophet (Adyane Ebrahimi wa Mas'aleye Payambare Mo'ud, Pp. 215-216).
Second point, is that, first Muslim scholars (in the early Islamic period) never claimed happening of any distortion in the phrase of the Gospel of John, but they wrongly saw the same word Paraclete as meaning: "Praised one" which equals (in their mind) to Arabic words "Muhammad" and "Ahmad". Indeed, in the writings of Muslim scholars in the early Islamic period (indeed, up to 13th century A.H, according to 19th century A.C) there is no even one hint to such a distortion in the word Paraclete (claiming that the word Parakletos was originally the word Periklutos). In fact, this claim has come into Muslim writings through European sources from 17th and 18th century (same book, Pp. 216-222; 229-235).
Third point, is that, the Quranic verse is only an indirect reference to the phrase in the Gospel of John, and not a direct one. Indeed, it is not a true assumption that the prophet whlie relates the verse had the Biblical phrase in his mind. There are some important reasons for this: 1- In the phrase of Gospel, Jesus is speaking with his Apostles (who are named in the Qur'an as: al-Hawariyyun), and his prophecy about "Paraclete" is adressed to them. But in the Qur'an, the scene is arranged in a manner that Jesus' prophecy about "Ahmad" is adressed to all children of Israel. So, we see difference between two relations. In the two texts (both Gospel of John and the Qur'an) the prophecies are adressing to two different groups of people (In the Qur'an, whenever the Apostles of Jesus are in the view, the book refers to them as: al-Hawariyyun. Indeed, Qur'an's reference to the hearers as: children of Israel, shows that the prophecy is not told in the presence of the Apostles only, in contrary to Gospel wich places the pophecy in the assembly of the Apostles themselves). Another point here is that, none of two suggested Greek words (Parakletos and Periklutos) is exact equal for the Arabic word "Ahmad:. the name Ahmad, means: "the most praised one", while the word "Parakletos" means "who is called for" and the word "Periklutos" means: "who is very praised". Indeed, the equal Greek word for name "Ahmad" is a word other than "Periklutos". Finally, Absence of any "witness manuscript" of the gospel of John which bears the word "Periklutos" or Arabic name "Ahmad" leads us to conclude that there was never any such a thing in the manuscripts of Gospel of John in pre-Islamic periods, and so, the idea that there is a connection between Qur'anic verse and a "distorted form" of the word "Parakletos" can not be confirmed (same book, Pp. 224-228).
Fourth point, is that, the exact examination of the texts proves that, the theory of seeing the word Paraclete by the Muslims as a distorted form of the word "Periklutos" is a wrong idea which was originated from non-exactly reading of some writings of Muslims. Apparently, the first one who committed such a mistake, was George Sale the Brittish scholar who got such a wrong idea from misreading of a phrase in the Gospel of Barnaba, and brought it in his introduction to the English translation of Qur'an, and also in his explanatory footnotes on the Quranic verse al-Saff:6, while he himself later confessed that when he spoke about phrases of the Gospel of Barnabas, he had not seen it yet with his own eyes and what he has said, was borrowing from other sources which had related some things from this Gospel (same book, Pp. 229-235).
Of course, I have brought many details for my arguments in the original text of my book (Adyane Ebrahimi wa Mas'aleye Payambare Mo'ud, or: The Abrahamic Religions and the Question of the Promised Prophet). Now I bring a photo of the cover of my book, and a page of it which contains some more details about George Sale's mistake. This is E-mail of the writer: