Saturday, March 17, 2012

Teman near Medina my arse!

The Jews were expecting another prophet to come after Jesus and they expected him to come from an area in modern day Arabia. Among the verses in the Old Testament predicting this event is Habakkuk 3 (Revised English Bible) which states that “God comes from Teman, the Holy One from Mount Paran”. “Teman” is the name of an oasis near Medina. 

I'll try to examine your references to "Teman" today, and your subsequent suggestion that this helps the Muslims' claim that Mohammad is prophesied in the Bible. However, before I do, can I ask how you square the Qur'an referring to Jesus as the Messiah, with the Jews expecting another prophet to come after Jesus? Surely if Jesus was/is theMessiah then He is the fulfilment of the prophesies (no more prophets etc) and and you cannot use the Jewish scripture as support for Mohammad being predicted in the Bible. Just wondering...

You say that Teman is the "name of an oasis near Medina". Can you tell me how you know this? The reason I ask is that I have found that modern references to this "fact" on dawah sites seem to originate from a certain Al-Kadhi  whose claims to  scholarly reliability seem dubious, to say the least, if this paper  quoted below is anything to go by:

It is actually very easy to trace Al-Kadhi's sources. The suggestion that according to J. Hasting's Dictionary of the Bible, Teman is an Oasis just North of Madinah is copied nearly verbatim from Dr. Jamal Badawi's article "Muhammad in the Bible" but the problem is that Al-Kadhi [...] did not care to verify the claim for himself. He is, however, even more specific and audacious in his claims than Dr. Badawi was when continuing with
    Muhammad (pbuh) did indeed come from Paran. About 622 AD, he and his followers were forced to migrate from Makkah (Paran) to Madinah (Teman) ...
In fact, Dr. Badawi only wrote that "Teman is north of Medina" which is true, even though it is 800 km north, but by adding "just" and stating "Teman is an Oasis just North of Madinah" Al-Kadhi transformed this into a statement of gross ignorance. Even if the switch of Tema and Teman by Dr. Badawi had not occured, one cannot with honesty identify Medina with Tema (modern Tayma', a city about 400 km away from Medina) as Al-Kadhi does in his bold claims. According to the dictionaries this use of the word "just" means "closely, nearly, almost", or "by a small margin". 400 km is not a small margin. Tayma' is about the same distance from Medinah as Mecca. Al-Kadhi seriously misleads the reader. 

(My bolding and highlighting)

Let's look at a perhaps more scholarly work to find where Teman might be...The following information is from Baker Encyclopedia of Bible Places:Towns & Cities, Countries & States, Archaeology & Topography Consulting Editor John J. Bimson, © Inter-Varsity Press, 1995Published in the USA by Baker Books. ISBN 0-85110-657-9, pp. 296-7:

The modern site is Taima', about 400 kilometres north-north-west of Medina in north-western Arabia. It became an urban centre around 600 BC and excavations show that it reached its peak of prosperity in the 5th century BC. Several Aramaic inscriptions date from this period.
The city (Babylonian Tema') is also named in documents recording its occupation by Nabonidus during his exile in northern Arabia, 553-543 BC (AS 8, 1958, p.80; ANET, 3rd edition, p.562).
D. J. Wiseman

The inhabitants were renowned for wisdom (Jeremiah 49:7; Obadia 8-9). Eliphaz the Temanite was one of Job's comforters (Job 2:11, etc.).
A chief (`allup) of Teman (teman) is named among the chiefs of Edom (Genesis 36:15,42; 1 Chronicles 1:53), and Husham was one of the early rulers (Gensis 36:34).
The prophets include Teman among Edomite towns to be destroyed (Jeremiah 49:20; Ezekiel 25:13; Amos 1:12; Obadiah 9).
Habakkuk in his great vision saw God the Holy One coming from Teman (Habakkuk 3:3).
N. Glueck (The Other Side of Jordan, 1940, pp.25-26) identified it with Tawilan, since excavated to show a large Edomite town of the 8th to 6th centuries BC (RB 76, 1969, pp.386ff.). R. de Vaux argued that it denoted southern Edom (RB 77, 1969, pp.379-385).
J. A. Thompson
Teman is about 800 km north of Medina.
 TEMA. The name (Hebrew tema') of the son and descendants of Ishmael (Genesis 25:15; 1 Chronicles 1:30) and of the district they inhabited (Job 6:19). It is mentioned, with Dedan and Buz, as a remote place (Jeremiah 25:23) and as an oasis in the desert on a main trade route through Arabia (Isaiah 21:14).

TEMAN. The grandson of Esau (Genesis 36:11; 1 Chronicles 1:36), who may have given his name to the district, town or tribe of that name in northern Edom (Jeremiah 49:20; Ezkeiel 25:13; Amos 1:12).

I cannot see how you or any Muslim can claim that the Bible foretells the coming of Mohammed on this evidence, nor that Jews or Christians have somehow conspired to change their Holy Books to hide "the truth".

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