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Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Fulfilled Bible Prophecies?

Commenter Cranky said:

"There were many prophecies made in the Bible and all that could have been fulfilled have been fulfilled. Only a few remain. None have ever failed"

Do tell. I must have missed that.

With the great opportunity for God to make specific statements about verifiable future events in "his" book, you would think he could come up with at least one.

~~~~~~~

Cranky, you are in water over your head here. There are so many prophecies in the Bible that came true that your comment looks pretty foolish.

The Temple at Jerusalem is thrown down stone-by-stone

Bible passage: Matthew 24
Written: between 50-68 AD
Fulfilled: 70 AD

Jesus, for instance, predicted the destruction of the Temple within the generation of his hearers in approximately 30 AD. This means that the Temple would have had to be destroyed within the lifetimes of at least some of the hearers. Now, the Temple was a massive structure consisting of several buildings built of gigantic building stones. Yet, in 70 AD, that Temple was destroyed thoroughly stone-by-stone because during the attack I mentioned yesterday fires broke out and much of the gold of the Temple artifacts and treasuries melted down into the cracks of the stones. The Romans tore up the entire structure in order to recover that gold. Thus, the exact words of Jesus were precisely fulfilled.

Matthew 24:2 & 2 - Jesus left the temple and was walking away when his disciples came up to him to call his attention to its buildings. "Do you see all these things?" he asked. "I tell you the truth, not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down."

He also gave followers some signs to see as the cue to flee the area. Many believers heeded his warnings and left Jerusalem before the terrible events occurred. Here is just one of many easily verified prophecies.

~~~~~~~
God foretells the future of Tyre:

1) Tyre would be attacked by many nations

Bible passage: Ezekiel 26:3
Written: between 587-586 BC
Fulfilled: 573 BC, 332 BC, 1291 AD
In Ezekiel 26:3, the prophet said that Tyre, the Phoenician Empire's most powerful city, would be attacked by many nations, because of its treatment of Israel. At about the time that Ezekiel delivered this prophecy, Babylon had begun a 13-year attack on Tyre's mainland. Later, in about 332 BC, Alexander the Great conquered the island of Tyre and brought an end to the Phoenician Empire. Tyre later fell under the rule of the Romans, the Crusaders and the Moslems, who destroyed the city, again, in 1291.

Ezekiel 26:3
therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am against you, O Tyre, and I will bring many nations against you, like the sea casting up its waves.

2) Tyre's fortresses would fail

Bible passage: Amos 1:9-10
Written: about 750 BC
Fulfilled: 333-332 BC
In Amos 1:9-10, the prophet said that God would cause Tyre's protective fortresses to fail, as punishment for the way that Tyre treated Israel. That prophecy was fulfilled in 586-573 BC when Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar attacked the mainland of Tyre, and in 333-332 BC when Alexander the Great conquered the island of Tyre. Alexander's army built a land bridge from the mainland to the island so that they could use a battering ram to break through the island's fortress.

Amos 1:9-10
This is what the Lord says: "For three sins of Tyre, even for four, I will not turn back [my wrath]. Because she sold whole communities of captives to Edom, disregarding a treaty of brotherhood, I will send fire upon the walls of Tyre that will consume her fortresses."


3) Tyre's stones, timber and soil would be cast into the sea

Bible passage: Ezekiel 26:12
Written: between 587-586 BC
Fulfilled: 333-332 BC
In Ezekiel 26:12, the prophet said that Tyre's stones, timber and soil would be thrown into the sea. That probably would have been a fitting description of how Alexander the Great built a land bridge from the mainland to the island of Tyre when he attacked in 333-332 BC. It is believed that he took the rubble from Tyre's mainland ruins and tossed it - stones, timber and soil - into the sea, to build the land bridge (which is still there).

Ezekiel 26:12
They will plunder your wealth and loot your merchandise; they will break down your walls and demolish your fine houses and throw your stones, timber and rubble into the sea.


4) Tyre would lose its power over the sea

Bible passage: Zechariah 9:3-4
Written: between 520 and 518 BC
Fulfilled: 333-332 BC
In Zechariah 9:3-4, the prophet said that the Phoenician city of Tyre would lose its status as a powerful nation on the Mediterranean Sea. Today there is a city called Tyre that is either on, or near, the original Phoenician site. But this Tyre is a small city in modern-day Lebanon. It is certainly not the powerful nation that it was in the days of Zechariah.

Zechariah 9:3-4
Tyre has built herself a stronghold; she has heaped up silver like dust, and gold like the dirt of the streets.
But the Lord will take away her possessions and destroy her power on the sea, and she will be consumed by fire.


5) Tyre would never again be found
Bible passage: Ezekiel 26:21
Written: between 587-586 BC
Fulfilled: after 332 BC
In Ezekiel 26:21, the prophet said that the Phoenician city of Tyre would be brought to an end and would never again be found. When Alexander the Great destroyed the city in 332 BC, he brought an end to the Phoenician Empire. The Empire was never revived or "found" again. As for the city itself, it has been torn down and built upon by a succession of world powers. Today, finding artifacts from the original Phoenician Tyre is difficult. Many of the original buildings were destroyed by Greeks, Romans, Crusaders and Moslems. According to the Columbia Encyclopedia, Fifth Edition: "The principal ruins of the city today are those of buildings erected by the Crusaders. There are some Greco-Roman remains, but any left by the Phoenicians lie underneath the present town."

Ezekiel 26:21
I will bring you to a horrible end and you will be no more. You will be sought, but you will never again be found, declares the Sovereign Lord."

6) Tyre would never be rebuilt
Bible passage: Ezekiel 26:14
Written: between 587-586 BC
Fulfilled: 332 BC
In Ezekiel 26:14, the prophet says the Phoenician city of Tyre would be destroyed and never be rebuilt. This was fulfilled when Alexander the Great conquered Tyre in 332 BC. His conquest brought an end to the Phoenician Empire. The empire never recovered from the attack. And so, it could never rebuild Tyre. Other nations and empires have built cities on or near the original Phoenician site.

Ezekiel 26:14
I will make you a bare rock, and you will become a place to spread fishnets. You will never be rebuilt, for I the Lord have spoken, declares the Sovereign Lord.


~~~~~~~

Dr. Hugh Ross writes on this subject:

Fulfilled Prophecy: Evidence for the Reliability of the Bible
by Hugh Ross, Ph.D.

Unique among all books ever written, the Bible accurately foretells specific events-in detail-many years, sometimes centuries, before they occur. Approximately 2500 prophecies appear in the pages of the Bible, about 2000 of which already have been fulfilled to the letter—no errors. (The remaining 500 or so reach into the future and may be seen unfolding as days go by.) Since the probability for any one of these prophecies having been fulfilled by chance averages less than one in ten (figured very conservatively) and since the prophecies are for the most part independent of one another, the odds for all these prophecies having been fulfilled by chance without error is less than one in 10 to the 2000th (that is 1 with 2000 zeros written after it)!

God is not the only one, however, who uses forecasts of future events to get people's attention. Satan does, too. Through clairvoyants (such as Jeanne Dixon and Edgar Cayce), mediums, spiritists, and others, come remarkable predictions, though rarely with more than about 60 percent accuracy, never with total accuracy. Messages from Satan, furthermore, fail to match the detail of Bible prophecies, nor do they include a call to repentance.

The acid test for identifying a prophet of God is recorded by Moses in Deuteronomy 18:21-22. According to this Bible passage (and others), God's prophets, as distinct from Satan's spokesmen, are 100 percent accurate in their predictions. There is no room for error.

As economy does not permit an explanation of all the Biblical prophecies that have been fulfilled, what follows in a discussion of a few that exemplify the high degree of specificity, the range of projection, and/or the "supernature" of the predicted events. Readers are encouraged to select others, as well, and to carefully examine their historicity.

(1) Some time before 500 B.C. the prophet Daniel proclaimed that Israel's long-awaited Messiah would begin his public ministry 483 years after the issuing of a decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem (Daniel 9:25-26). He further predicted that the Messiah would be "cut off," killed, and that this event would take place prior to a second destruction of Jerusalem. Abundant documentation shows that these prophecies were perfectly fulfilled in the life (and crucifixion) of Jesus Christ. The decree regarding the restoration of Jerusalem was issued by Persia's King Artaxerxes to the Hebrew priest Ezra in 458 B.C., 483 years later the ministry of Jesus Christ began in Galilee. (Remember that due to calendar changes, the date for the start of Christ's ministry is set by most historians at about 26 A.D. Also note that from 1 B.C. to 1 A.D. is just one year.) Jesus' crucifixion occurred only a few years later, and about four decades later, in 70 A.D. came the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus.

(Probability of chance fulfillment = 1 in 10 to the 5th.)*


(*The estimates of probability included herein come from a group of secular research scientists. As an example of their method of estimation, consider their calculations for this first prophecy cited:

* Since the Messiah's ministry could conceivably begin in any one of about 5000 years, there is, then, one chance in about 5000 that his ministry could begin in 26 A.D.
* Since the Messiah is God in human form, the possibility of his being killed is considerably low, say less than one chance in 10.
* Relative to the second destruction of Jerusalem, this execution has roughly an even chance of occurring before or after that event, that is, one chance in 2.

Hence, the probability of chance fulfillment for this prophecy is 1 in 5000 x 10 x 2, which is 1 in 100,000, or 1 in 10 to the 5th.)

(2) In approximately 700 B.C. the prophet Micah named the tiny village of Bethlehem as the birthplace of Israel's Messiah (Micah 5:2). The fulfillment of this prophecy in the birth of Christ is one of the most widely known and widely celebrated facts in history.

(Probability of chance fulfillment = 1 in 10 to the 5th.)

(3) In the fifth century B.C. a prophet named Zechariah declared that the Messiah would be betrayed for the price of a slave—thirty pieces of silver, according to Jewish law-and also that this money would be used to buy a burial ground for Jerusalem's poor foreigners (Zechariah 11:12-13). Bible writers and secular historians both record thirty pieces of silver as the sum paid to Judas Iscariot for betraying Jesus, and they indicate that the money went to purchase a "potter's field," used—just as predicted—for the burial of poor aliens (Matthew 27:3-10).

(Probability of chance fulfillment = 1 in 10 to the 11th.)

(4) Some 400 years before crucifixion was invented, both Israel's King David and the prophet Zechariah described the Messiah's death in words that perfectly depict that mode of execution. Further, they said that the body would be pierced and that none of the bones would be broken, contrary to customary procedure in cases of crucifixion (Psalm 22 and 34:20; Zechariah 12:10). Again, historians and New Testament writers confirm the fulfillment: Jesus of Nazareth died on a Roman cross, and his extraordinarily quick death eliminated the need for the usual breaking of bones. A spear was thrust into his side to verify that he was, indeed, dead.

(Probability of chance fulfillment = 1 in 10 to the 13th.)

(5) The prophet Isaiah foretold that a conqueror named Cyrus would destroy seemingly impregnable Babylon and subdue Egypt along with most of the rest of the known world. This same man, said Isaiah, would decide to let the Jewish exiles in his territory go free without any payment of ransom (Isaiah 44:28; 45:1; and 45:13). Isaiah made this prophecy 150 years before Cyrus was born, 180 years before Cyrus performed any of these feats (and he did, eventually, perform them all), and 80 years before the Jews were taken into exile.

(Probability of chance fulfillment = 1 in 10 to the 15th.)

(6) Mighty Babylon, 196 miles square, was enclosed not only by a moat, but also by a double wall 330 feet high, each part 90 feet thick. It was said by unanimous popular opinion to be indestructible, yet two Bible prophets declared its doom. These prophets further claimed that the ruins would be avoided by travelers, that the city would never again be inhabited, and that its stones would not even be moved for use as building material (Isaiah 13:17-22 and Jeremiah 51:26, 43). Their description is, in fact, the well-documented history of the famous citadel.

(Probability of chance fulfillment = 1 in 10 to the 9th.)

(7) The exact location and construction sequence of Jerusalem's nine suburbs was predicted by Jeremiah about 2600 years ago. He referred to the time of this building project as "the last days," that is, the time period of Israel's second rebirth as a nation in the land of Palestine (Jeremiah 31:38-40). This rebirth became history in 1948, and the construction of the nine suburbs has gone forward precisely in the locations and in the sequence predicted.

(Probability of chance fulfillment = 1 in 10 to the 18th.)

(8) The prophet Moses foretold (with some additions by Jeremiah and Jesus) that the ancient Jewish nation would be conquered twice and that the people would be carried off as slaves each time, first by the Babylonians (for a period of 70 years), and then by a fourth world kingdom (which we know as Rome). The second conqueror, Moses said, would take the Jews captive to Egypt in ships, selling them or giving them away as slaves to all parts of the world. Both of these predictions were fulfilled to the letter, the first in 607 B.C. and the second in 70 A.D. God's spokesmen said, further, that the Jews would remain scattered throughout the entire world for many generations, but without becoming assimilated by the peoples or of other nations, and that the Jews would one day return to the land of Palestine to re-establish for a second time their nation (Deuteronomy 29; Isaiah 11:11-13; Jeremiah 25:11; Hosea 3:4-5 and Luke 21:23-24).

This prophetic statement sweeps across 3500 years of history to its complete fulfillment—in our lifetime.

(Probability of chance fulfillment = 1 in 10 to the 20th.)

(9) Jeremiah predicted that despite its fertility and despite the accessibility of its water supply, the land of Edom (today a part of Jordan) would become a barren, uninhabited wasteland (Jeremiah 49:15-20; Ezekiel 25:12-14). His description accurately tells the history of that now bleak region.

(Probability of chance fulfillment = 1 in 10 to the 5th.)

(10) Joshua prophesied that Jericho would be rebuilt by one man. He also said that the man's eldest son would die when the reconstruction began and that his youngest son would die when the work reached completion (Joshua 6:26). About five centuries later this prophecy found its fulfillment in the life and family of a man named Hiel (I Kings 16:33-34).

(Probability of chance fulfillment = 1 in 10 to the 7th).

(11) The day of Elijah's supernatural departure from Earth was predicted unanimously—and accurately, according to the eye-witness account—by a group of fifty prophets (II Kings 2:3-11).

(Probability of chance fulfillment = 1 in 10 to the 9th).

(12) Jahaziel prophesied that King Jehoshaphat and a tiny band of men would defeat an enormous, well-equipped, well-trained army without even having to fight. Just as predicted, the King and his troops stood looking on as their foes were supernaturally destroyed to the last man (II Chronicles 20).

(Probability of chance fulfillment = 1 in 10 to the 8th).

(13) One prophet of God (unnamed, but probably Shemiah) said that a future king of Judah, named Josiah, would take the bones of all the occultic priests (priests of the "high places") of Israel's King Jeroboam and burn them on Jeroboam's altar (I Kings 13:2 and II Kings 23:15-18). This event occurred approximately 300 years after it was foretold.

(Probability of chance fulfillment = 1 in 10 to the 13th).

Since these thirteen prophecies cover mostly separate and independent events, the probability of chance occurrence for all thirteen is about 1 in 10 to the 138th (138 equals the sum of all the exponents of 10 in the probability estimates above). For the sake of putting the figure into perspective, this probability can be compared to the statistical chance that the second law of thermodynamics will be reversed in a given situation (for example, that a gasoline engine will refrigerate itself during its combustion cycle or that heat will flow from a cold body to a hot body)—that chance = 1 in 10 to the 80th. Stating it simply, based on these thirteen prophecies alone, the Bible record may be said to be vastly more reliable than the second law of thermodynamics. Each reader should feel free to make his own reasonable estimates of probability for the chance fulfillment of the prophecies cited here. In any case, the probabilities deduced still will be absurdly remote...


I could go on and on and on.

"God gave the prophecies, not to gratify men's curiosity by enabling them to fore know things, but that after they were fulfilled they might be interpreted by the event, and His own providence, not the interpreters, be thereby manifested to the world."

Sir Isaac Newton (1642 - 1727)

In other words, God has used fulfilled prophecies to show men that He knows the future and has power over it, and the world, and all things. Man then has the choice to believe or not. But fulfilled prophecies are accomplished fact that can be ignored, but not refuted!

8 comments:

lava said...

As someone who quotes wiki, I shall share a quote from wiki with you.

"However, some scholars and historians who read the Bible today hold that it contains no accurate predictions of the future at all. Instead, it is the readers of the Bible who are creating what they see as "prophecy". This common psychological tendency is known as postdiction--retroactive clairvoyance, or prediction after the fact. In the last century this view has been accepted by many in Judaism, Catholic Christianity, in theologically liberal branches of Protestant Christianity, and in Unitarian Universalism. However, this view is totally rejected by Evangelical and Fundamentalist Christians."

"Another example, would be that Arthur C. Custance (weblink) maintained that the Ezekiel Tyre prophecy (Ezek. 26: 1-11; 29:17-20) was very remarkable. On the other hand, others consider the failure of the Tyre prophecy to be self-evident [1][2] (as Tyre still exists, contrary to the prophecy), and scholar Gustave Holscher maintained that certain passages of the book of Ezekiel were not written by a pre-Exilic prophet of Israel but were later added in the Persian period."

What does all this mean? I have no idea.

radar said...

It is only in recent times that pseudo-scholars try to change the dates of the writings of the Bible to invalidate their prophecies. They have a very hard time with some of these manuvers, specifically the Book of Daniel because his time frame is settled historically by other events framed in the writings.

I have great contempt for the work of these so-called scholars, working with the tools of speculation and armed with copies of copies of copies of copies of copies of copies of copies of copies of original texts at the very best. They have no good evidence, simply the belief that God could not possibly be real and so all evidences of his existence must be refuted somehow.

The first prophecies against Tyre were made by Amos in about 750 BC and it would be hard for these "scholars" to move him up 450 years!

Furthermore, both the Phoenicians and the city they built is completely wiped out. One can only find traces of the old city by excavation through layers of succeeding civilizations. Not on bit of the old city remains extant above ground. The human eye viewing Tyre today would see not one whit of the great city that ruled for hundreds of years.

cranky old fart said...

"Cranky, you are in water over your head here. There are so many prophecies in the Bible that came true that your comment looks pretty foolish."

Lawdy, lawdy, I is drownin'! Poor, poor foolish me.

Or not.

Nostradamus has many like apologists, so I should not be surprised by your "clear" examples of inerrant prophecy.

You'd think that an all knowing God could be a bit less obscure, and perhaps predict events not limited to a small region of the world and dependant on the interpretation of, and the vague actions of, men.

I mean, God did know there was a whole other hemisphere, no? Dude seemed to have little interest in his wider creation for some reason, or any understanding of the universe beyond the common understanding of at the time of whatever prophet was speaking.

Weird.

BTW, let's look at your Ezekiel/Tyrus. It could just as easily be said that Ezekiel 23:14 says that Nebuchadrezzar would destroy the city and that it would be built no more, which obviously wasn't the case.

And what of Ezekiel 29:10-13 that claims Egypt would be uninhabited by humans or animals for forty years after being destroyed by Nebuchadrezzar? Guess God was having a bad day on that one.

And on and on.

Why no real bell ringer like, "the world is a sphere that circles the Sun", or "tides are caused by the pull of the moon"?

By the way, God have any tips on the 5th at Sarasota?

scohen said...

"That prophecy was fulfilled in 586-573 BC when Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar attacked the mainland of Tyre"

It was not, he never breached the walls of tyre. He laid siege for 13 years, and had to accept a stalemate.

"In Ezekiel 26:21, the prophet said that the Phoenician city of Tyre would be brought to an end and would never again be found"

Yet we know exactly where it is. You're clearly changing the meaning of the word 'found' here.

"the prophet says the Phoenician city of Tyre would be destroyed and never be rebuilt"

Those are pretty much the exact words from the bible: It would never be rebuilt. Ever. Yet there is a city right there now. The bible doesn't say that it won't be rebuilt by the Phoenicians, but that it will NEVER be rebuilt.

You're adding words that aren't there. You're adding meaning that isn't present, and that's the only way you can make the prophecy true. While you're busy adding things, I wonder why you don't just become an old earth creationist, as it lessens the amount of mental gymnastics you'll have to do to justify your position on a great number of things.

Heck, while cranky is talking about useful prophecies, why not: Much sickness is caused by tiny invisible organisms. Wash your hands after touching anything dirty.

Think of the countless lives that would have saved --and think of the converts to your religion if the bible had that insight.

cranky old fart said...

scohen,

"Think of the countless lives that would have saved --and think of the converts to your religion if the bible had that insight."

Well, ya gotta remember that love of mankind, particularly of women and children, was not exactly the OT God's longsuit....

scohen said...

Cranky:
But think of the converts! The OT god loved converts.

creeper said...

"I have great contempt for the work of these so-called scholars, working with the tools of speculation and armed with copies of copies of copies of copies of copies of copies of copies of copies of original texts at the very best. They have no good evidence, simply the belief that God could not possibly be real and so all evidences of his existence must be refuted somehow."

1. Correct me if I'm wrong, but haven't you previously claimed that the Bible is one of the most accurately copied texts ever? I don't recall you backing up the boast, but I'm pretty sure you've made that claim.

2. Isn't Textural Criticiam also employed by present-day theologians who have absolutely no interest in refuting the existence of God?

3. Don't Textural Critics use exactly the same source materials as your good self? What makes you so fervently confident about those sources in your case but dismissive in theirs ("copies of copies of copies...")?

Anonymous said...

Here is a site with accurate dates to the year, predicting when the abomination of desolation will be set up from a starting point of 539BC to 611AD http://jesus-survival.com/Abomination-desolation.htm