Throughout the Quranic text, it is evident that the author knows St. Paul and turns him to his desired end, which is to confer the divine alliance upon the sons of Ismael, the perfect people. the musliymat. Fr. De Nantes, a colleague of Br. Bruno goes further, saying that throughout the whole Sura the similarities with the Gospel are so close and so numerous that he believes that the Quranic author’s intention was not merely to imitate the approach of St. Paul, but to substitute himself for Christ.
This may not be as far-fetched as it first sounds. The parallel between the “failure” of Christ leading to Calvary is paralleled by the “failure” of the Quranic author to take “the House at Bakka” in Jerusalem in 614.His faithful are dispersed, and this is his “calvary.” He uses the term “qarhun,” meaning “calvary.” specifically to emphasize the parallel. Yet the Sura also makes clear that the “failure” has not forced him to renounce his objective.
Let us take a look at the word Mecca, which we are told is the translation of Makka. We are told by Hiro that Mecca was the birth place of Muhammed, that it was a trading center of some 5,000 people, and that this was where Muhammed began his apostolate. There are two problems with this: 1) the word Mecca does not appear in the Qur’an at all. Rather, the word Bakka appears once and is wrongly translated as Mecca, and 2) all of the maps of antiquity prove beyond any shadow of a doubt that the city of Mecca did not exist in the seventh century. The great mapmaker of the 19th century, Vidal de la Blache, was an expert in the great commercial routes of antiquity and, using the Geography of Ptolemy, showed that Mecca did not exist. Even Blachere does not dispute the point, nor does Fr. Lagarde in his 1990 review in the publication IslamoChristiana of Br. Brunos first published volume. Indeed, given Blachere’s desire to promote Islam at the expense of Christianity. his testimony is all the more weighty:
There is no doubt that Byzantine writers have given us precious information about the Arab emirs ruling on the steppes of Syria with the consent of the emperor. Thanks to these authors, we are reasonably well informed about the conflicts of these emirs with their Babylonian counterparts in the service of the Persian Sassanids. Through these authors we can determine the religious affiliation of the Arab tribes, either nomadic or settled, in the Transjordan or on the steppes to the west of the Euphrates. Even mysterious Yemen furnishes us with several scraps of information about its past, and allows us to make out foreign trends, some of which come from Ethiopia, standing alongside its age-old paganism. But on the cradle of Islam, on the Hedjaz and Mecca, its holy city, in the sixth century, we have nothing more than the examples of Muslim “cartographers” (The Problem of Mahomet, 1952).
In other words, there is no pre-Islamic map in the world which shows the existence of Mecca. Attempts to show that Macoraba was Mecca under another name have always been pure speculation, and have no serious evidence to back them up.
So if there is no Mecca, what is the meaning of this word, Bakka? It appears only once in the whole Qur’an (Sura III, vs.96) in the same Sura that is concerned with the return of the faithful to Jerusalem. Now, in Sura II, vss. 125 and 127, the author talks about the House—al bayt—and attributes its foundation to Abraham. It is, therefore, perfectly obvious that the “House” is in Jerusalem specifically among the ruins of the Temple. It just so happens that the word Bakka is used in the Sura in relation to the House, with the consequence that the word can only be a reference to the “valley of Baka,” which is to the north of the Hinnom Valley and to the west of Jerusalem. Indeed, the meaning is so transparent, one wonders why none of the scientific enquirers have ever even suggested it as a possibility. But there is more.
The Qur’an gives no idea of the geography or layout of Mecca, but it does give some precise information about Jerusalem, which reinforces the fact that the theme of the Qur’an is concerned up to this point with a return to Jerusalem, to the cradle of the alliance made between God on the one hand, and Abraham and his son Ismael, on the other.
In Sura II, vs.158 the author refers to as-safa, which is the Hebrew transposition of ha-sophim. meaning “the sentry.” It just so happens that to the north of Jerusalem, there is a hill which is connected to the Mount of Olives, which is rendered in Greek as skopos. It is to be found in rabbinical literature, and is a point where one can overview Jerusalem as from a watchtower. Skopos is Greek for “sentry.”
Again, when the Quranic author promises his faithful in Sura IV, vs.13 and elsewhere, that they "will enter gardens—janna—where rivers flow underground— min tahtiha,” he is not writing mere literature. It is an exact description of the irrigation system of the Jerusalem of his time!