Part Two : Alterations of the Prophecies
Now we are going to explain the alterations made in these prophecies by the people of Scriptures (Jews and Christians) and uncover the truth in accordance with available documents.
These alterations have been made in order to prevent the Muslims from proving the fact that Muhammad is a true Prophet by referring to the prophecies included in the Old Testament. The Christians and the Jews saw that the Muslims used these prophecies to their own advantage. Therefore, instead of giving a clear answer to the Muslims -if they had such an answer at all- they began to make alterations in the Bible.
Deuteronomy (18:15-22) says: "Jahova, thy Lord, will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken". In the verse 18 of the same chapter God is quoted as saying: "I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee..." In the verse 15 there appears the words "midst of thee".
In the repetition of this statement in the verse 18, this phrase is omitted. The phrase "From the midst of thee" together with the words "of thy brethren" make the reader notice that an alteration has been made in these phrases, especially because other Hebrew versions of the Old Testament (the sources of our translation) are full of errors persisting to this day through centuries.
In the footnotes added to the Hebrew Bible some of these errors are indicated. The picture of a page from the Hebrew version of the Bible is printed here in which there are ten mistakes and are corrected in the footnotes. Significantly, each page of the Hebrew Bible contains several enormous errors.
It seems that the original phrase must have been "from the midst of their brethren",45 that is, in the form appearing in the verse 18, or "from the midst of thy relatives, thy brethren"46.
In the Latin version of the Bible, translated by St. Jerome in the fourth Century from the Hebrew and Greek texts, the phrase "from the midst of thy nation" is used instead of "from the midst of thee." In the English translation made by Knox from Latin the passage is as follows. "The Lord thy God will raise up for thee a prophet like myself, of thy own race, a brother of thy own.
It is to him thou must listen." This English translation which is made from the Latin version of St. Jerome substitutes the phrase "from the midst of thee" with "of thy own race", followed by the explanatory phrase "a brother of thy own", which suits the sentence quite beautifully and confirms our guess about the Hebrew phrase. As it is seen, this translation omits "from the midst."
This shows that the phrase "from the midst" was not recorded in the Hebrew and Greek versions of the time of St. Jerome in the Christian fourth Century. Only in the unauthorized versions of that time this phrase could be seen. We can 45-If the two phrases have really been so,
then the Prophet in question is bound to be the Prophet of Islam, for Muhammad, peace be upon him, was among the brethren of the children of Isreal, that is, a descendent of Samel, who was the brother of Isaac, the ancestor of the Israelites. As a result, the phrases do not apply to Joshua and Jesus Christ, who were among the children of Israel.
46-If the two phrases have really been so, then the Prophet in question is bound to be the Prophet of Islam, for Muhammad, peace be upon him, was among the brethren of the children of Isreal, that is, a descendent of Samel, who was the brother of Isaac, the ancestor of the Israelites. As a result, the phrases do not apply to Joshua and Jesus Christ, who were among the children of Israel.
realize the fact that the prophecy appearing in Deuteronomy, chapter 18, does not apply to Jesus Christ as we refer to the phrase in Gospel of John, Chapter 1:19-22, and the foot-note annexed to it. There, three persons have been named: Christ, Elias and "the Prophet."
The footnote indicates that "that Prophet" is the same Prophet whose advent has been predicted by Moses in Deuteronomy (18:15-19). Thus it becomes clear that the Prophet referred to in Deuteronomy is not Jesus Christ.
In the section dealing with the "Third Prophecy", we quoted from the dream of Isaiah the Prophet the following sentence: "He saw ... a couple of riders, one on a donkey, and the other on a camel."
As we said, by the "one on a donkey" it is meant Jesus who rode on an ass, and by the "other on a camel" it is meant the Prophet of Islam who rode on a camel, as the Arabian Desert life required it. However, in various Bible versions, this sentence has been altered into:
"…He saw a chariot with a couple of horsemen, a chariot of asses, and a chariot of camels."
In the translation of Walim Glen, which is known as Fazel Khani version, the phrase is "An ass load and a camel load."
Those who know Hebrew notice that these are wrong translations and the true translation is the one noted before. The early versions of the Bible are, of course, free from this error. For example an Arabic version published in Rome in 1671 has rendered it as "one riding on an ass, one riding on a camel."
Another Arabic version of the Old Testament, published in Mosul in 1875 is free from such an alteration. This translation, too, has it as "One riding on an ass, one riding on a camel."
The Latin version of St. Jerome has rendered the phrases correctly: "A chariot he saw, with two out-riders, one that rode on an ass, and one that rode on a camel; looked long at them, watching them eagerly."
As for the motive behind these alterations, the fact is that for years, Muslim theologists have been referring to this dream as one of the proofs of Muhammad being raised up as a Prophet of God. Late at the second century of Hejira Imam Reza, peace be upon him, argued for the first time in favor of this prophecy in a debate attended by Ma'amoun,
the Abbasid Caliph, who had arranged it for the Imam to discuss with various religious sects. At any rate, since this phrase of Old Testament has more than one thousand years been referred to by the Muslims, and since the Hebrew version has been repeatedly published for many years, the people of the Scriptures are unable to do anything at the moment except make hypocritical changes in current translations.
It is up to our dear reader to make his own judgment. If these translators believe that the book of Isaiah is a divine book, then why do they not fear God when they translate it incorrectly? Not only in this case, but also in hundreds of other cases, they have been sticking, in respect of their own "Holy Bible", to an unfounded prejudice, the discussion about which would take a long chapter. Are the errors in the original texts not enough to prevent them from making further alterations in their translations?