God (Matt. xxi. 43 explains ver. 41). Therefore they cannot be Muhammad and his disciples. Since the stone is Christ, it cannot be Hagar, or the Black Stone in the wall of the Ka'bah, nor can it be Muhammad. Opposition to Christ is therefore what the parable shows to be displeasing to God, and in the end fatal and ruinous to all His enemies. The destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in A.D. 70, about forty years after the Crucifixion of Christ, explained part of its meaning. Some Muslims fancy that the "Lord of the Vineyard" who was to come (Matt. xxi. 40) was Muhammad. But this cannot be maintained, for Christ (ver. 37) was the Son of the Lord of the Vineyard, and no one imagines Him to be Muhammad's son. It is only by wresting words from their places and omitting to consider the context and the explanations given in other parts of the Bible that an appearance of plausibility can be given to the Muslim view regarding this parable.

5. Mark i. 7. Muslims often say, "The Injil contains the words of Jesus, and accordingly we find that in Mark i. 7 He prophesied of Muhammad, saying, 'There cometh after Me he that is mightier than I,' &c." This shows how hopelessly impossible it is for Muslims to find any prophecy regarding Muhammad; for ver. 6 of this chapter tells us that these words were not spoken by Jesus, but by John the Baptist. Moreover, we learn from John i. 26-34, that John spoke of Christ, not of Muhammad. The context shows this clearly (see also Matt. iii. 11-14; Luke iii. 16, 17). If it be said that Christ was already in the world, and that therefore He could not be said to come after John, the answer is that He began to preach only after John had been cast into prison (Mark i. 14: compare Matt. iv. 12, 17) and had thus ended his ministry, for he was soon after beheaded in prison by Herod's command.

6. John i. 21. "Here," say some among the Muslims, "we have a clear mention of Muhammad. The Jews mentioned three prophets in succession, Christ,


Elijah, and 'the Prophet', i.e. Muhammad, and John did not contradict them. 'The Prophet' is Muhammad, who is foretold in Deut. xviii. 18. He cannot be Christ or Elijah, who are mentioned quite separately." But we have already seen that Deut. xviii. 18 cannot refer to Muhammad, but does refer to Christ. Hence "the Prophet" in this verse is Christ. The Jews were reckoning backwards. They thought John the Baptist might be the promised Messiah. When he denied this, they asked whether he was the Messiah's forerunner, Elijah (Mal. iv. 5; Matt. xvii. 10; Mark ix. 11). John explained that he was not Elijah in person, nor had the latter returned to earth, as the Jews thought he would (though John was the person to whom Mal. iv. 5 pointed; see Matt. xi. 14). Being then unable to understand who he was, the Jews asked whether he was "the prophet", referring to Deut. xviii. 18. With regard to the meaning of this latter prophecy there was at that time some difference of opinion among the Jews. Many rightly understood that it indicated the promised Messiah, as is clear from John vi. 14. But others did not think so, as we see from John vii. 40, 41, supposing that the prophet mentioned in Deut. xviii. 15, 18, was another forerunner of the promised Messiah. The whole passage (John i. 19-28) shows that the questioners wanted to learn whether John the Baptist was the Messiah, or one of His forerunners. It would not have been reasonable to ask whether John the Baptist was a supposed prophet coming hundreds of years after the Messiah, when the Messiah Himself had not yet declared Himself such, and was not recognized by them.

7. John iv. 21 is supposed by some to be a declaration that Jerusalem would be the Holy City and the Qiblah no longer, but that its place would be taken by another city, which, the Muslims say, must be Mecca. But in vers. 23, 24, Christ Himself explains the meaning of His own words, by saying that true and acceptable worship does not depend upon the place where it is