A Jewish friend of mine says: According to Megillah 14b, eight prophets, who were also priests, descended from Rahab the prostitute, and they are: Neriah; his son Baruch; Seraiah; Mahseiah; Jeremiah; his father, Hilkiah; Jeremiah’s cousin Hanamel; and Hanamel’s father, Shallum. None of them are considered prophets by Christians except Jeremiah. If Christians are true followers of God, why do they not accept them?
1. Just because some Jewish person nearly two thousand years ago said that certain persons were prophets, does not make it so. This is just one person’s opinion. Although I am sure that some people have accepted this opinion, this also does not make it true. I have no strong reason, as a Christian, to conclude that these men were prophets.
2. Christians hold to the scripture, not to the opinions of Jews who have written things that are not inspired, such as the Mishnah or the Talmud. Similarly, as Christians, we do not accept as inspired the Scriptures of other religions, such as the Baghavadh Gita or the Qur’an. My point is this. The Bible does not tell us that these men were prophets. Therefore, as a Christian, I do not accept the opinions of those from other religions. I accept the inspired Scripture, which includes the Old Testament, of course. The Bible does not say that these men are prophets. Therefore, I conclude that maybe they were and maybe they were not. Christians do not have an opinion about these men. We do not deny that they might have been prophets and we do not accept as proved that they were prophets. It is an open, unanswered question.
3. The third and the most important response is this. Literally, not a single word of these prophets has come down to us. In fact, this is true of way more than 90% of all the prophets who ever spoke to Israel. They may have spoken to the Jews, but their words were not recorded, or have not come down to us. Because we do not have their words, this is a non-issue. To use the technical term, this is a red herring fallacy. It is a complete waste of time to debate whether these men were prophets or not for the simple and obvious reason that we do not have any of their words.
In fact, based on personal experience, I conclude that this issue is being raised by a Muslim who cares nothing whatsoever about the truth and who is simply trying to create reasons, and false ones at that, to destroy the faith of Christians. I am somewhat offended by Muslims who have no evidence to present of the inspiration of their own scriptures, and who, therefore, create bogus arguments against the Christian and Jewish scriptures.
If you are not a Muslim, or if you did not hear of this from a Muslim source, please accept my apologies. If you are a Muslim or heard this from a Muslim source, I respectfully ask you to stop making or passing along this sort of fallacious argument. To me, they make Islam less respectable and less believable.