Fulfilled Prophecy as Evidence for
the Bible's Divine Origin

  • 2,000 prophecies including approximately 200 about the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.

  • While a few of the prophecies have not yet been fulfilled (for example, the Second Coming of Christ), there are no prophetic failures.

  • While there are both obvious and subtle prophecies, most are very detailed and specific.

  • No other religion has specific, repeated, and unfailing fulfillment of predictions many years in advance of contingent events over which the predictor had no control.

  • Studies of psychics show only around 8% of their predictions come true and virtually all of these can be attributed to chance and a general knowledge of circumstances.

  • Fulfilled prophecy is powerful evidence that the Bible is divine rather than human in origin.

  • Objection: Jesus manipulated events to fulfill prophecy. Answer: (a) Many prophecies were out of his control (ancestry, place of birth, time of death). (b) His miracles confirmed Jesus to be the Messiah. (c) There is no evidence that Jesus was a deceiver. (d) In order to manipulate all the people (including his enemies) and even his disciples to make it appear that he was the Messiah, Jesus would have needed supernatural powers. If he had such powers, he must have been the Messiah he claimed to be.

 Examples of Non-Messianic Prophecies

  • The Succession of Great World Kingdoms (Daniel 2:37-42). Even negative critics agree that Daniel foretold the governments in order of Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome.

  • Cyrus King of Persia (Isaiah 44:28-45:1). Since Isaiah lived between about 740 and 690 BC (2 Kings 25-21) and Cyrus did not make his proclamation for Israel to return from exile until about 536 (Ezra 1), there would have been no human way for him to know what Cyrus would be named or what Cyrus would do.

  • Israel to Be Returned to Its Land A Second Time (Isaiah 11:11-12). The first was under Nehemiah and Ezra subsequent to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD. The second was in 1948. No other culture in history has been restored, especially after so much time and genocidal hatred. (Some say that the "second time" will be on the last day.)

  • The Closing of the Golden Gate (Ezekiel 44:2-3). The Golden Gate is the eastern gate of Jerusalem, through which Christ made his triumphal entry on Palm Sunday before the crucifixion (Matthew 21). Ezekiel predicted its closing and in 1543 Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent closed the gate and walled it up, not knowing he was fulfilling prophecy. It remains sealed to this day exactly as the Bible predicted, waiting to be re-opened when the Lord returns.

  • The Destruction of Tyre (Ezekiel 26:3-14). The prophecy was partly fulfilled when Nebuchadnezzar destroyed the city and left it in ruins. Alexander the Great later attacked the seemingly impregnable Island of Tyre by taking the stones, dust, and timber from the ruined mainland city to build a causeway to the Island. This prophecy is comparable to saying that Chicago will be destroyed and never rebuilt.

  • The Doom of Edom (Petra) (Jeremiah 49:15-17). Given the virtually impregnable nature of the ancient city carved out of rock and protected by a narrow passageway, this was an incredible prediction. Yet, in 636 AD it was conquered by Muslims and today stands deserted but for tourists.

  • Flourishing of the Desert in Palestine (Ezekiel 36:33-35). Since before the turn of the twentieth century, Israel has been renovated and Israel's agriculture is flourishing.

  • Destruction of Jerusalem (Mark 13:1-2). Fulfilled literally when the Romans completely destroyed Jerusalem and the temple buildings. According to historian and eyewitness Josephus, some of the stones were 37 feet long, 12 feet high and 18 feet wide. Stones were even pried apart to collect the gold leaf that melted from the roof when the temple was set on fire.

Examples of Messianic Prophecies

Topic

Old Testament

New Testament

Messiah to be the seed of the Woman

Gen. 3:15

Luke 2:5-7, Gal. 4:4

Messiah to be the seed of Abraham

Gen. 12:2-3, 18:18

Mat.1:1-2, Luke 3:34, Acts 3:25, Gal.3:16

Messiah to be of the tribe of Judah

Gen. 49:10

Mat. 1:1-2, Luke 3:33

Messiah to be of the seed of David

2 Sam. 7:16, Ps. 132:11, Jer. 23:5, 33:15

Mat. 1:6, 22:42-45, Luke 1:31-33, Acts 2:29-30, Rom. 1:3

Messiah to be born of a virgin

Is. 7:14

Mat. 1:18-25, Luke 1:26-38

Messiah to be born in Bethlehem

Micah 5:2

Mat. 2:1-6, Luke 2:4-6

Tribute paid to Messiah by great kings

Ps. 72:10-11

Mat. 2:1-11

Messiah to be heralded by a messenger

Is. 40:3. Mal. 3:1

Mat. 3:1-3

Messiah to be the Son of God

Ps. 2:2,7

Mat. 3:17, Luke 1:32-33

Messiah to be anointed by the Holy Spirit

Is. 11:2

Mat. 3:16-17

Galilee to be the first area of Messiah's ministry

Is. 9:1-7

Mat. 4:12-16

Messiah to be meek and mild

Is. 40:11, 42:2-3, 53:7

Mat. 12:18-20, 26:62-68

Messiah to minister to the Gentiles

Is. 42:1, 49:6-8

Mat. 12:21, Luke 2:28-32

Messiah will perform miracles

Is. 35:5-6

Mat. 9:35, 11:3-6, John 9:6-7

Messiah to be a prophet like Moses

Deut. 18: 15-19

Mat. 21:11, 24:1-35, John 1:45, 6:14, Acts 3:20-23

Messiah to enter the temple with authority

Mal. 3:1-2

Mat. 21:12

Messiah will enter Jerusalem on a donkey

Zech. 9:9-10

Mat. 21:1-11

Messiah to be betrayed by a friend

Ps. 41:9

John 13:18-21

Messiah to be forsaken by his disciples

Zech. 13:7

Mat. 26:31, 56

Messiah will be smitten

Is. 50:6

Mat. 26:67, 27:26,30

Messiah to experience crucifixion (long before crucifixion was invented)

Ps. 22:15-17

Mat. 27:34-50, John 19:28-30

Messiah will be pierced

Zech. 12:10

John 19:34-37

Details of Messiah's suffering and death and resulting salvation (hundreds of years before Christ!)

Ps. 69:21, Is. 53:2-12,

Mat. 26-27, Mark 15-16, Luke 22-23, John 18-19

Messiah to die in 33 AD

Dan. 9:24-26

33 AD is the widely accepted historical date of the crucifixion

Casting of lots for His garments

Ps. 22:18

John 19:23-24

Messiah to be raised from the dead

Ps. 16:10

Acts 2:25-31, 13:32-37, 17:2-3

Messiah's resurrection

Job 19:25, Ps. 16:10

Acts 2:30-31, 13:32-35, 17:2-3, 1 Cor. 15:20-22

Messiah to ascend to heaven

Ps. 68:18

Luke 24:51, Acts 1:9, Eph. 4:8-13

Messiah to be at the right hand of God

Ps. 110:1

Mat. 26:64, Mark 14:62, Rom. 8:34, Heb. 1:3

Messiah, the stone which the builders rejected, to become the head cornerstone
 

Ps. 118:22-23, Is. 8:14-15, 28:16

Mat. 21:42-43, Acts 4:11, Rom. 9:32-33, Eph. 2:20, 1 Pet. 2:6-8

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