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Thread: Prophecy in the Bible

  1. #1 Prophecy in the Bible 
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    I’m always amazed at the way in which the very people who shout the loudest about taking the bible literally are always the most eager to do mental gymnastics in order to come up with “prophecies” about Jesus in the Old Testament. If you read most of the popular prophecy passages in the Old Testament literally it’s clear that they don’t have anything to do with Jesus; they require extremely non-literal interpretations to be regarded as Jesus prophecies. For example, the popular passage in Isaiah 7:14 is clearly saying that a specific military threat will be dealt with very soon. Of course it’s possible to construe it as a Jesus prophecy, but that interpretation would be pretty far from “literal”.

    It’s especially surprising when you consider the large number of actual prophecies in the Bible in which a prophet explicitly states that a specific thing is going to happen in the future. Fundamentalists seem to completely ignore these. But perhaps that's because so many of the actual prophecies in the Old Testament didn't come true?


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    Good topic, but I think we need to get to specifics. I just got into this Prophecy thing, and here is a great page of prophecies specific to the Messiah, and the claims that those prophecies were fulfilled by Jesus or in the New Testament.

    http://christiananswers.net/dictiona...rophecies.html

    Although it's an apologetics site, they do seem to have difficulty with presenting their answers in a way that would convince a skeptic, although I suppose their real purpose is to convince people in the process of, or thinking of undergoing, conversion.

    Another problem is that they've got whole screenfuls of "prophecies" which are just too simplistic for words - prophecies 2 to 8 are of this kind, when they deal with his genealogy. Prophecies 2 to 5 are essentially predicting that the Jewish messiah would be a Jew. And Prophecies 6 to 8 are stretching out to three different "prophecies" the same result of saying that the Messiah was a descendant from David.

    I'm going to leave this here for the moment, and come back with specific answers to each of the 45 prophecies.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Silas
    Good topic, but I think we need to get to specifics. I just got into this Prophecy thing, and here is a great page of prophecies specific to the Messiah, and the claims that those prophecies were fulfilled by Jesus or in the New Testament.

    http://christiananswers.net/dictiona...rophecies.html
    I always wonder about places like that: do they actually think that this sort of thing would convince skeptics, or are they just trying to pat themselves on the back? Who is that sort of thing really intended for?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silas
    Good topic, but I think we need to get to specifics. I just got into this Prophecy thing, and here is a great page of prophecies specific to the Messiah, and the claims that those prophecies were fulfilled by Jesus or in the New Testament.
    I understand that the reason that the Bible shows Jesus to have done so many things that the Old Testament predicts the Massiah will do is that the Apostles were very aware of what the Old Book said He would do. And since they sincerely believed He WAS the Massiah, He HAD to have done those things, didn't He? That was very logical thinking for those times!

    In other words, slight coincidences they observed or read about in His life were, each time they were repeated, enlarged upon and made more Old Testament-like. This is the way rumors arise and spread.

    In fact, it has been said that Christianity began entirely as a rumor that spread among people who were starkly disenchanged with Roman society and eager to hear of a better one to come.

    I might add that people have grown to hate our modern society as well.
    The world is filling with discontent.

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    But I'll bet Scifor is absolutely fascinated by the predictions of Nostradamus.

    And is Charles suggesting the Apostles, some 30 years later manipulated Jesus' place of birth, His name, His flight into Egypt, His home in Nazareth, His death on a cross. Many of the prophecies of Messiah are absolutely specific and specifically fulfilled.
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    Forum Bachelors Degree charles brough's Avatar
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    Other people in Judia had the name Jesus, and I could hardly say he did not exist! In order to drive the Romans out of his homeland, he shaped his life around what the Old Testament prophets stated the "liberator" (Massiah) would be like and do. He and his apostles shaped their lives to that end. The culmination of their effort was the riot in the Temple. It was supposed to have then spread, as the Muslim rioting has spread now, into a general insurrection against Rome. It failed, however, and the generfal uprising did not happen until 70 AD.

    He was caught and executed.

    But there was so much discontent throught the Empire, that His disciples found ready audiences. People wanted to be "liberated" because they had come to hate society (much as many people do today). So, they told of things Jesus did that sort of complied with what the old Jewish prophets said a SAVIOR would do, and they exaggerated. The stories grew and became closer and closer to what the old Prophets predicted. Do you know any speaker who does not shape his speech to fit what the audience wants to hear? If he does not, he does not get audiences!

    I am just looking at the real world without self-delusions.

    So, Christianity began as a rumor spread by Jesus's friends and one that grew less accurate as it spread as all rumors do---that is, until it was put down in writing.

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    Not sure where you find information about this political subplot. Probably the same place people find similar subplots in the lives of Ghandi and Martin Luther King.

    Jesus was executed because he was a religious rabble rouser, not because he was a political rabble rouser. No place in anything I have ever read do I find Jesus advocating the overthrow of Roman political rule.

    So where does Chas. find it?
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

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    As you say, it is not that you will find my analysis in any history book. I just take the information we know and figure out motives. People do what their needs and their ideology lead them to do. To find out what happened, one needs to know the times, know what they believed, and then you can rather well tell what they did.

    When everything people believe is belief, how can you make a distinction between religious and political? The rioting and war on terror we experience today is certainly both religious and political.

    Jesus did the things he is said to have done because he figured he was the Jewish Messiah. The objective of the Messiah was to liberate the Jewish people. As Silas pointed,
    ,out:http://christiananswers.net/dictiona...rophecies.html
    to achieve something good, he had to be the leader and that entailed doing what the old prophets said to do.

    I am just pointing out the logical interpretation of the story based on natural causation. One can have a very different view based upon faith.

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    Weird, I'm just this minute reading the chapter in Gospel Truth? by Graham Stanton that discusses the reason that Jesus was crucified. Will get back to you when I've read the chapter (but I'm at work now).
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scifor Refugee
    I always wonder about places like that: do they actually think that this sort of thing would convince skeptics, or are they just trying to pat themselves on the back? Who is that sort of thing really intended for?
    Well not everyone is a skeptic of course (big understatement)? And even fewer have gone beyond skepticism (Scott Peck allusion). But I think that the primary function of sites like this is as a reference for Christians, many of whom continue to study this stuff their whole lives.

    If religion is a con, then there is usually no point at which the mark realizes he has been taken, since the biggest promises are fulfilled after death then if there is no awareness after death, then there would be no awareness of having been told a lie, would there?

    For the most part religion is simply harmless like many of the herbal and other new age cures, and even if there is no real power there, sometimes the placebo effect still works. By contrast, medicine and science has real power, and the power for harm is always there. The hippocratic oath, to at least do no harm, is not an easy oath to satisfy when our ignorance is still great and our physical individuality and uniqueness is quite real. Likewise science is destroying the world, because this is the natural result of power in the hands of the ignorant or the unscrupulous.

    On the other hand, perhaps power of this sort is an illusion, anyway, for all this science and technology cannot give us what we really want in our heart of hearts, it cannot make someone love us. Many religions believe that God has real power, but that just leaves him mostly helpless to acheive what he really wants -- for us to love Him and/or to love each other as He does. So maybe real power simply isn't that important.
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    Forum Radioactive Isotope zinjanthropos's Avatar
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    Biblical prophecy is not predicting the future, it's more like following a cookbook recipe. If you really want it to happen then you will make either a conscious or unconscious effort to be sure it does. I don't care what book you read that involves some type of future activity, if you really believe and want it to occur, perhaps to prove a point, then you make it so. Otherwise you look like an idiot.
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    z's obvious lack of knowledge about Bible prophecy only succeeds in making him (or her) look like an idiot.

    The suggestion seems to be that when prophets told the Israelites if they did such and such of things, God would see to it that their lands would be taken away and their temple destroyed, they (the Israelites) then went out and invited destruction from the Assyrians, followed by the Babylonians and Medes and Persions and final destruction at the hands of the Romans. (That sentence is way too complex, but I can't figure out how to break it down.)

    It is not as though someone sat down last year and wrote the Bible and worked it out so that various predictions were made and then fulfilled.

    Bible prophecy involves much more than clues about Messiah. But even there, it would have been impossible to manipulate events to coincide with prophecies.

    One of the strange things about prophecy (even that by Nostradamus) is that often it is not always recognized as prophecy until it has been fulfilled.
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    Forum Radioactive Isotope zinjanthropos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    z's obvious lack of knowledge about Bible prophecy only succeeds in making him (or her) look like an idiot.

    One of the strange things about prophecy (even that by Nostradamus) is that often it is not always recognized as prophecy until it has been fulfilled.
    Gee, should I resort to partiality and name calling or leave it to prejudicial idiots? You know nothing about me.

    'Not always recognized as prophecy until it is fulfilled' you say, I seem to recall saying something similar. So it is not prophecy unless it comes reasonably close to being true. There are no totally innaccurate prophesies? Hmmm.
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    Don't need to know anything about you personally, z, to see that you do not know much about Bible prophesy. Partiality?

    I saw nothing in your post about inaccurate prophecies. I think you suggested that sometimes people see something they think is a prophecy and then try to find some event to fit it. Or that sometimes people see something they think is prophecy and then attempt to manipulate events to agree with their perceived prophecy. Or that sometime people observe an event and attempt to find a prophecy which fits it.

    I saw nothing that even remotely suggesting that sometimes prophecy remains unrecognized until fulfilled. So I am not sure what you think you said that was similar.

    Bible prophecy is not as focused on predicted future events so much as it is on revealing God's truths. Most of Old Testament prophecy is delivered on an either or basis -- if you do this, these bad outcomes will result; if you do that, these good outcomes will result.

    However, unless one is date specific, you can never say the prophecy was inaccurate or unfulfilled -- only that it has not been fulfilled yet.
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    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    If religion is a con, then there is usually no point at which the mark realizes he has been taken, since the biggest promises are fulfilled after death then if there is no awareness after death, then there would be no awareness of having been told a lie, would there?
    Good of a religious to have put that point, so let me the unreligious put the opposite point: What if the atheists after death are treated as if they were right? And miss out on Eternity. That's where Pascal's wager comes in. I do hope I have the moral strength when the time comes, not to fail in my unbelief.

    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    One of the strange things about prophecy (even that by Nostradamus) is that often it is not always recognized as prophecy until it has been fulfilled.
    You've actually put your finger on why no prophecy is actually prophecy in the sense of "foretelling future events". Things were written in the past, and they are reinterpreted in accordance with events as they transpired. The Bible Code is another example of "prophecy" that cannot be recognised until it takes place (particularly since in that case the "prophecy" consists only of random words to do with a subject set in proximity to each other in ELS sequences).

    The problem for some religionists lie in the fact that some "prophetic books", like Revelation, are treated completely literally, even though no prophecy has been fulfilled to the literal letter in all history (other than very broad stuff like "Jerusalem will be destroyed"). This is why Evangelical Christians in the US are Zionists, because they want Israel to fulfill its old Davidic borders so that Jesus can come again and fight the Antichrist on the plain of Megiddo.
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    Actually, it was Mitchell who penned, "If religion is a con. . ." so he can defend that if he chooses.

    Silas sez:

    Things were written in the past, and they are reinterpreted in accordance with events as they transpired.
    This sounds a lot like evolutionism which, when an objection appears valid, the "evidence" is reinterpreted in accordance to a new paradigm.

    I do not put any stock in the so called Bible Code. The same kinds of patterns can be found in virtually any writing in any language if one piddles with it long enough. Personally, I find literal interpretations of Revelations to be equally misplaced to various events and times in history.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silas
    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    If religion is a con, then there is usually no point at which the mark realizes he has been taken, since the biggest promises are fulfilled after death then if there is no awareness after death, then there would be no awareness of having been told a lie, would there?
    Good of a religious to have put that point, so let me the unreligious put the opposite point: What if the atheists after death are treated as if they were right? And miss out on Eternity. That's where Pascal's wager comes in. I do hope I have the moral strength when the time comes, not to fail in my unbelief.
    You can hope that you might be given such an option, but I think oblivion is a bit too much to hope for.

    My 10 year old son came to me last night because he was afraid of death, he thought maybe he was just a brain and that after it died he would not exist. I told him that I didn't think non-existence was anything to be afraid of and that many, if not most, actually hope for this. Then I recited Hamlet's soliloquy. Then, of course, we launched into the long discussion passing through Chaos science and quantum physics of why I did not think that non-existence was such a likely possibility. We ended by watching the movie "What dreams may come." Which reflects well my suspicions that life after death is likely to be quite confusing rather than suddenly proving whether you were right or wrong. I think it quite likely that an atheist will simply believe that he lost in delerium or dreaming on his deathbed, and never come to the conclusion that he was wrong.

    I would also like to point out in that movie where the real difference between heaven and hell lies, which is more about where your path will eventually lead rather than where you immediately find yourself. The real difference between heaven and hell was at that point of the movie where "Christy" (Robin Williams) is about to go chasing after what he believes to be his wife, but his friend stops him. Heaven is having such a guide to give such desperately needed advice (which you are only likely to have if you are inclined to heed such advice) and hell is following the illusion of people but in reality being completely alone. And alone you will most certainly follow sinful inclinations that will inevitably lead in the end to dark places, some of which are shown quite graphically in the film.

    Some of you may wonder how I can even be Christian if I praise this movie so highly, so I should say that, I do not, for example, believe in the reincarnation aspects of the film.
    See my physics of spaceflight simulator at http://www.relspace.astahost.com

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    Forum Radioactive Isotope zinjanthropos's Avatar
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    Apologies dt if you think I was attacking your Bible. Personally I find prophesizing, prognosticating, predicting on the same level as fortune cookies. If I dined every nite at the local Chinese food restaurant eventually one or more fortune cookies will come close to hitting paydirt.

    Same goes for astrology, handicapping a horserace, gambling et al. Its pure conjecture. Not worth taking seriously. If you believe in it then so be it. We are at opposite ends of the spectrum and I do not wish to convert anyone to my way of thinking. I threw my two cents in there expecting to get lambasted by somebody, a personal prophesy I kept to myself, an educated guess.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    My 10 year old son came to me last night because he was afraid of death, he thought maybe he was just a brain and that after it died he would not exist. I told him that I didn't think non-existence was anything to be afraid of and that many, if not most, actually hope for this. Then I recited Hamlet's soliloquy. Then, of course, we launched into the long discussion passing through Chaos science and quantum physics of why I did not think that non-existence was such a likely possibility. We ended by watching the movie "What dreams may come." Which reflects well my suspicions that life after death is likely to be quite confusing rather than suddenly proving whether you were right or wrong. I think it quite likely that an atheist will simply believe that he lost in delerium or dreaming on his deathbed, and never come to the conclusion that he was wrong.
    Wow. You're like, the fantasy Dad!
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