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Why The Bible is Divine: Prophecy

One of the evidences for us to know the bible contains a supernatural element and is from a divine source can be seen in the remarkable prophecies validated by history and supported unintentionally by outside unfriendly sources. We will look at historical prophecies of other nations and Messianic prophecies.


Count Down to The Messiah

The first one we will look at is one of the most amazing.  Daniel 9:24-27.  Now lets keep in mind that we have a manuscript/fragment from the book of Daniel dated to around 200BC (4QDanc).  Compare that to later copies and we know for sure that the later copies are just as reliable as the older ones due to the proven reliability of the transmission. What does Daniel 9:24-27 say?  Daniel foretells when the Messiah will come (Daniel 9:25).  The calculated time of the Messiah's coming according to Daniel is around 25AD... when Jesus begins his public ministry.  There are more interesting prophetic details but this one is huge in and of itself.

Seventy weeks represents 490 years [ 70 x 7 years=490]
"490-Year period begins with command to restore Jerusalem, including (Street and wall vs. 25 in troublous times). This best fits the order of King Artaxerxes who gave NeFrom the command to “Build Jerusalem” until “ Messiah the Prince” (Mashiyach Nagiyd) there is 483 years ( 7 + 62 =69) because 69 “Sevens” is equal to 483. Since the command to rebuild Jerusalem, including the walls, was given in 444 B.C. the date “Messiah” was “Cut off” (Vs. 26) is A.D. 33 (444 B.C. – 483 years= 39 A.D. using a solar –calendar, the Jewish-calendar was Lunar, so one year was equal to 360 days not 365 days) hemiah “Letters” allowing him to rebuild the gates in 444 B.C. (Nehemiah 2:1-8). " [1]
Jewish Rabbi Rashi agrees this is Messianic in nature but claims it points to Agrippa II. But this fails because he was not cut off before the city or the Temple were destroyed. In fact, he helped the Romans and their general Titus conquer Jerusalem. Agrippa rewarded for his efforts in helping Rome, lived another 23 years after the fall of Jerusalem.  Jesus is the only significant person that existed in that time frame that fits the details given by Daniel because he was cut off from the land of the living before the fall of Jerusalem.
 Also read DANIEL 9: Timeline To The Messiah

The Birth Place of The Messiah

A second remarkable prophecy is in Micah 5:2 where he explicitly names the birthplace of Israel's Messiah, a village named Bethlehem.  A manuscript of Micah was also found with the Dead Sea scrolls. The book was written after King David but speaks of a coming ruler over Israel.  The birth place of Jesus as recorded by the gospels.

The Cost of Betrayal 

A third remarkable prophecy in Zechariah 11:12-13 details how much the shepherd of God will be betrayed for; 30 pieces of silver.  This amount comes from a slaves wage in Ex.21:32.  A predominate Jewish commentator David Kimchi also understands this passage to be Messianic in nature and the gospels recorded the exact amount Judas was awarded from the Jewish leadership for the location of Jesus so he could be arrested.  

The Prophecy of Tyre

Ezekiel 26 records the future of The Tyre empire and its great city.  The book itself is dated to 550BC, even the most critical scholars hold a minority view that date it to 400BC.  Regardless of this date; the prophecy itself is still amazingly held true.  Verse 21 states that the city and empire would be brought to an end and never exist again.  The city was in fact torn down and as other empires conquered the land, they used the reminisce to rebuild their own buildings.  To this day the Phoenician empire and buildings do not exist. Verse 14 makes it clear it would never be built again.  Once Alexander the Great destroyed the city in 332AD; the Phoenician Tyre empire never was restored or resurrected.  This prophecy has been true for 2,340 plus years even to this day.  In modern times there is a new city called Tyre, but it is not the same empire of the same city nor is it in the same location.

The Prophecy of Nineveh

Nahum 1:8-9 describes the fall of The Assyrian capital Nineveh and that it's destruction would be permanent.  History has also proven this true.  Once the Assyrian empire and Nineveh was conquered by Babylon, it never recovered and its fall was historically permanent.  The Babylonian chronicles and Egyptian Pharaoh Neco II historical records support what is stated in Nahum and the end of the conflict and fall of Nineveh is dated around 609BC.  Historical scholars agree that Nahum was written around 615BC which makes this prophecy true for over 2,630 years.  Nahum 3:15 states that a fire would ravage the city during the siege.  Archaeologists unearthed the site during the 1800s and found a layer of ash covering the ruins.

The Prophecy of Babylon

Isaiah 14:23 describers how Babylon will be brought to an end and also reduced to a swampland.  150 years after this was recorded, Babylon was conquered by Cyrus and Archaeologists attempted excavating Babylon during the 1800s AD. Some parts of the city could not be dug up because they were under a water table that had risen over the years.  

 The Prophecy of The Church

In Matthew 16:17-18 Jesus tells of how the Church will not be stopped and will in fact thrive.  After his death and as Jewish-Christians grew, it survived Jewish persecution, then several and severe Roman persecutions, then became the first religion to spread world wide. It survived the USSR's violent persecution in that region and is thriving in China while under harsh persecution to this day.  Luke 21:33 records Jesus stating that his words will never be forgotten.  After his execution, his disciples executions, and their disciples executions, his words have remained.  Even modern secular historians agree that the bible, namely the gospels, are in fact historically reliable.
Also read Modern Secular Historians and The Bible

The Prophecy of Jesus' Miracles

In Isaiah 35:4-6, written around 8th century BC, and currently have a scroll dated 200 BC that states that God will come (in the whole context is the Messianic prophecies) to heal the blind and deaf.  Jesus came and did just that as recorded by the gospels.  Even the Jewish Talmud Sanhedrin 107b, Sanhedrin 43a, and Sotah 47a describes Jesus as practicing sorcery that lead people of Israel astray and that healing was done in the name of Jesus (Hul 2:22f; AZ 2:22/12; y Shab 124:4/13; QohR 1:8; b AZ 27b).  They affirm healing was conducted but the power source is where they disagree.  The bible records this accused source of healing power by the Jews in Luke 11:15 which continued on into the Talmud. Thus validating that healings were performed by and through Jesus.

The Prophecy of Jesus' Miraculous Birth

Isaiah 7:14 states that the Messiah will be born from a virgin.  Again, it was written around 8th century BC, and currently have a scroll dated 200 BC.  The gospels state it was in fact a virgin birth from Mary.  The Jewish Talmud Shabbat 104b, and Sanhedrin 67a admits that the birth was not from his father Joseph but attempt to explain it through the idea that Mary was just unfaithful.  They associated Jesus to being the son of a 'Pandera' in an attempt to explain a earthly fatherly figure [2]. Thus validating a unique situational birth but through a close minded explanation. 

The Prophecy of The Crucifixion

Psalm 22, Isaiah 53, and Zechariah 12 parallels the gospels record of the Crucifixion in amazing detail and similarities.  Psalm 22:16 talks about pieced hands and feet and being included with criminals.  Psalm 22:7, 17 talks about the on looking crowd.  The Book of Psalms is attributed to King David and there is a manuscript from the Dead Sea Scrolls dated 200BC.  The gospels record his execution in such detail that it must have come from eye witnesses.  The Jewish Talmud Sanhedrin 43a-b records that he was in fact executed. Ancient Roman and other secular writers also record that he was executed. Historically because Israel was under Roman rule, they were not allowed to carry out their own executions therefore Rome had to have been involved as recorded by the gospels.
Also read Early Accounts of Christianity from Non-Christians

The Prophecy of The Resurrection

In one of the most fundamental prophecies of the Christian faith we see in the Old Testament writings is the understanding of a bodily resurrection (Psalm 16:10, Isaiah 26:19, Daniel 12:2, Job 19:25-26).  Even early and later Jewish Rabbis supported this belief in a bodily resurrection (Ketubot111b, Sanhedrin 72a, Niddah 70b, Crescas, Albo, Orthodox Judaism).  Jesus himself is recorded as declaring his own bodily resurrection 3 days after his death (Matthew 12:40) which not only was symbolized through the story of Jonah but is echoed in Hosea 6:2.  Then, just as Jesus stated days earlier, and as the Jewish leadership warned Rome about, his body was not found in the tomb where it was laid to rest. Matthew 28:11-15 records the Jewish leadership coming up with an explanation for why his body was no longer there. Even the Jewish Anti-Christian medieval writing the Toledoth Yeshu records the explanation; thus validating the bible's record and the missing body.  Where there any eye witness accounts? Yes.  The bible records it and names people who would have still been alive at the time of the writing.  That culture made it clear how important witnesses are (Deuteronomy 17:6; 19:15; 1 Timothy 5:19).  Just as we do today.  Names are given of people in 1 Corinthians 15:5-8 who could have been interviewed.  Paul wrote before 70 AD and died around 64AD.  Jesus died only 36 years before Paul died.  In fact, most scholars date the writing of 1 Corinthians around 53 to 57 AD.  Making it written only 20 years after Jesus died; making eye witnesses named key proof of Paul's claims.  Papias (70-165AD) is even quoted by Eusebius (263-339AD) as speaking with witnesses first hand and talking with the daughters of Philip.     
Also read Evidence for the Resurrection

Also read Early Accounts of Christianity from Non-Christians  |  Modern Secular Historians and The Bible  |  What Makes Christianity The True Faith?  |  Archeology page  |  Apologetics page


1.  http://www.truthnet.org/TheMessiah/10_Messiah_Objections_Daniels70weeks/
2.  Peter Schäfer, pp 52–62, 133–141

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