Email Inquiry: Mennower Akhter
Inquiry Responder: John R. Houk
© April 24, 2009
There are two very significant remarks about John the Baptist made by Jesus Christ, but recorded in a mysterious way. The first remark about the Baptist is that in which John is presented to the world as the reincarnate Eliah (Elijah) the Old Testament. The mystery with which this appellation is enveloped consists in the significant silence of Christ about the identity of the person whom Eliah (not Elias) was expected to officially announce and introduce to the world as the Last Prophet.
The language of Jesus in this respect is exceedingly obscure, ambiguous, and mysterious. If John was Eliah, as is expressly and fearlessly declared, why, then, is the person whose precursor was Eliah not expressly and fearlessly mentioned? If Jesus were the "Messenger of the Covenant" and the Dominator [as the Vulgate translates the Hebrew Adon (Mal. iii. 1)], why does he not openly say so? If he courageously declared that it was not he himself but another Prophet who was that 'Dominator' it must, indeed, have been a criminal hand which erased and effaced the words of Jesus from the original Gospel.
At all events, it is the Gospels that are responsible for this ambiguity and obscurity. It cannot but be described as diabolical tampering with the text that has misled billions of Christians for so many centuries. Jesus, whatever he believed he represented, ought to have, to say the least, shown himself straightforward, and to have frankly declared: "John is the Eliah who was sent as a precursor to prepare the way for me!" Or if such was not the case, then he could have made the following declaration: "John is the Eliah who was sent to prepare the way for Prophet Muhammad." Perhaps this is due to the love of Jesus for ambiguity.
There are, in fact, several instances - as reported in the Gospels - where Jesus gives an answer or makes a statement which is obscure and entirely unintelligible. Leaving his godhead aside, as a Prophet, no, even as a teacher, he was expected to be a straightforward teacher and leader.
I can tell from these paragraphs that Mr. Akhter and I are going to have a disagreement whose God inspired or is responsible for revered Scripture. I am fairly certain we may not be able to overcome this in dialogue.
A Muslim believes the Quran is the infallible word of God/Allah revealed to Mohammed (either directly or via the angel Gabriel or both – I am uncertain). It is the Quran’s stipulation that everything in the Old and New Testaments that does not agree with the Quran was tinged by Jewish or Christian deception.
I don’t have a clue as to who Eliah is. I know Elias is the KJV English translation of the Koiné Greek for Elijah. Perhaps Mr. Akhter’s Eliah is also Elijah.
As to the Bible referring to Mohammed as the last prophet you will not find that anywhere in the Old or New Testaments. Christianity (of which I am a follower) connects the Jewish Scriptures we call the Old Testament as prophetic of the coming Messiah who we believe to be Jesus of Nazareth the Son of God. I am uncertain how Judaism handles Messianic scriptures in the Old Testament which they refer to as the Tanakh. My guess Judaism is still looking for their Messiah for am fairly certain that neither Jesus nor Mohammed fits their criteria. And yet since Jesus was Jewish of the tribe of Judah, I am fairly certain that Jesus is a closer to a Jewish version of a Messiah as compared to “Kill the Jews wherever you find them” Mohammed.
The Gospels are pretty clear that John the Baptist came in the spirit of Elijah to prepare the way for the Messiah which is Jesus Christ the Son of God.
11 Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing on the right side of the altar of incense. 12 And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him.
13 But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your prayer is heard; and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. 14 And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth. 15 For he will be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink. He will also be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb. 16 And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God. 17 He will also go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, ‘to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children,’[a] and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”
18 And Zacharias said to the angel, “How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is well advanced in years.”
19 And the angel answered and said to him, “I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God, and was sent to speak to you and bring you these glad tidings. (Luke 1: 11-19 NKJV)
John the Baptist personally endorsed Jesus the Son of God (via the Holy Spirit) who is simultaneously the Son of Man (via mother Mary).
1 In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, 2 and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!” 3 For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, saying:
“The voice of one crying in the wilderness:
‘Prepare the way of the LORD;
Make His paths straight.’”[a]
11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.[a]
13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. 14 And John tried to prevent Him, saying, “I need to be baptized by You, and are You coming to me?”
15 But Jesus answered and said to him, “Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he allowed Him.
16 When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He[a] saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. 17 And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” (Matt. 3: 1-3, 11, 13-17 NKJV)
Now let’s examine the Latin word “dominator” from Malachi 3: 1. You must realize the “dominator” does not necessarily have the meaning in English or Latin, right?
An English translation of the Latin word “dominator” comes up as “dominium, lordship, dominion, domination”. I am guessing dominium is a Latin transliteration and the other three have an easy to comprehend meaning.
Let’s examine the Hebrew to English translation of “Adon”.
Adon is the Northwest Semitic for "lord"  (Ugaritic adn, c.f. Akkadian adannu "mighty") (also see Baal)
• in the Tanakh, Adon may be used for men and angels as well as to El, (e.g., Exodus 34:23). El is called the “Lord of lords” (Deuteronomy 10:17)
• Adonai "my lord" in Masoretic tradition is used as a euphemism to refer to YHWH of the Hebrew Bible.
• Greek Adonis, an adoption of Tammuz
The Hebrew word that Mennower Akhter wrote as “Adon” has this Hebrew meaning:
It was necessary that mankind be morally prepared for the coming of the Lord. The messenger of the Covenant who would come to His temple would be none other than the Lord God Himself. The word “Lord” here (ha adon) always refers to God (cf. Isaiah 1:24; 3:1; 10:16, 33). (John Ankerberg)
Thus “ha adon” refers to God Almighty Himself coming to set the world strait for deliverance from this evil age created by Satan. Obviously Mohammed claimed he was not God: however Jesus of Nazareth born of a human female virgin by the overriding power of God does claim He is God.
Since “ha adon” refers to God Himself, it is no mystery when John the Baptist says this in the Gospel of Mark:
1 The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. 2 As it is written in the Prophets:[a]
“Behold, I send My messenger before Your face,
Who will prepare Your way before You.”[b]
3 “The voice of one crying in the wilderness:
‘Prepare the way of the LORD;
Make His paths straight.’”[c] (Mark 1: 1-3 NKJV)
We have learned that in Malachi 3: 1 Messenger is a reference to Almighty God. One could render “Messenger” of Mark 1: 2 as referring to Malachi’s “Messenger” and read – “Behold, I send God before your , Who will prepare Your way before You.”
John spoke of Jesus as the Messiah/God:
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend[a] it.
6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe. 8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. 9 That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world.[b]
10 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. 11 He came to His own,[c] and His own[d] did not receive Him. 12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: 13 who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
15 John bore witness of Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me is preferred before me, for He was before me.’”
16 And[e] of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace. 17 For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son,[f] who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.
19 Now this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?”
20 He confessed, and did not deny, but confessed, “I am not the Christ.”
21 And they asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?”
He said, “I am not.”
“Are you the Prophet?”
And he answered, “No.”
22 Then they said to him, “Who are you, that we may give an answer to those who sent us? What do you say about yourself?”
23 He said: “I am
‘The voice of one crying in the wilderness:
“Make straight the way of the LORD,”’[g]
as the prophet Isaiah said.”
24 Now those who were sent were from the Pharisees. 25 And they asked him, saying, “Why then do you baptize if you are not the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?”
26 John answered them, saying, “I baptize with water, but there stands One among you whom you do not know. 27 It is He who, coming after me, is preferred before me, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose.”
28 These things were done in Bethabara[h] beyond the Jordan, where John was baptizing.
29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! 30 This is He of whom I said, ‘After me comes a Man who is preferred before me, for He was before me.’ 31 I did not know Him; but that He should be revealed to Israel, therefore I came baptizing with water.”
32 And John bore witness, saying, “I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and He remained upon Him. 33 I did not know Him, but He who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘Upon whom you see the Spirit descending, and remaining on Him, this is He who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ 34 And I have seen and testified that this is the Son of God.” (John 1: 1-34 NKJV)
As we can see the dispute between me and Mennower Akhter is whose writings are Divine and whose writings are false. I would pray Akhter would see my view; however as long as he views the Quran as infallible and the Hadith, Sunna and so as near infallible then agreement between the two of us is unlikely.
Just a heads up Mr. Akhter sent me two pages of Islamic apologetics. I thought I would be able to sit down go through his points and respond as a Christian Apologist; however I have discovered that is impossible. I will continue to answer Mr. Akhter’s points; however it will be spread out and take some time. I am also guessing there may be a little back and forth between us which will inevitably make inquiry even longer. Feel free to jump in any time.
I wish I knew Mr. Akhter’s website or blog for I would have listed in the credit. I do have his email; however I do not publish emails unless it is obvious a writer wishes to be contacted.