Category | PROPHETIC FACTS IN THE BIBLE
There where many prophets that lives in ancient Israel, and some are even mentioned in the Bible. In fact it is most likely that each generation of Israel had multiple prophets throughout the nation. Many of them never wrote or recorded any of their prophecies, but rather where spokesmen for God to the people or to rulers. As early as 6 generations from Adam, the first prophet is recorded – the prophet Enoch, and from his time forward, God used prophets to preach and direct His word to the people all the way until the time that Christ the Messiah was born. This was God’s chosen method in which to direct His word to humanity, since ancient times.
God… spoke in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Has in these last days spoken unto us by His Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds… – Hebrews 1.1-2
God reveals to us that after Christ’s death, which marked the beginning of the last days, He no longer chose to speak to humanity through prophets, but rather through the Lord Jesus Christ.
CRITICISM OF PROPHECY
Many critics would like to state that all the biblical prophecies where written to match historical events after they occurred, but as you will find in the following articles, that cannot be the case, as archaeological finding such as the Septuagint and the dead sea scrolls prove these prophecies where written, sometime hundred of years before, the events ever took place.
Most prophecies are so specific that there is no way that they could have been fulfilled by any one person, but rather would have to be setup divinely by God in order to happen! The statistically probability of many prophecies fulfillment becomes impossible unless they where a divine inspiration.
Prophetic Validation – Matching Manuscripts
We get a high end date using the oldest archaeological finds in our ancient manuscripts the Septuagint of about 300 b.c., that would mean we can prove any prophecy written after this time being fulfilled in history as a divine act only capable by God. However we have very strong archaeological evidence of most Biblical writings dating back to the time frames they already indicated in their texts, such as verses from the book of Numbers or Isaiah dating back before 500b.c..
Although another way to look at older prophecies, is to determine the fact that if any of those prophecies are consistent in all ancient text, they could not have been changed to match any historical event, due to the fact that all the manuscripts would had to have been changed. With this we know that all ancient manuscripts of the Old Testament where copied innumerable times! We find that the Septuagint and the dead sea scrolls match each other for historical accuracy, and were written by different scribes in different areas so that should theoretically give an older end date (i.e. 1-2 hundred years longer) credibility to the prophecies recorded in their texts.
Prophetic Validation – Archaeology
Archaeology is the most reliable source of historic validation, and prophetic facts are validated through correlation of these events. When we find a prophetic claim in the Bible, that was stated way before its time, it can be validated by looking at history and learning about what happen at its occurrence.
Additionally, if archaeology could find any proof that an item mentioned at the time of the prophecy was valid, but could not have been known during the time of its fulfillment or anytime after until it was discovered in modern archaeological finding, this would also create a validity for ancient prophecy.
Prophetic Validation – Sociology
Prophets faced overwhelming persecution
Being a prophet in Israel was not always the most coveted job. In fact multiple generations in Israel continued to mingle with other nations diverting from the laws that God had given. Sociology teaches us that as any group of people introduces and integrates new ideas, that it over time will become more socially acceptable. In fact, many of the prophets that where given direction by God to rebuke the people where ridiculed, mocked and hated, lived in poverty or prison, and eventually where executed.
Now for most people, if they where the only person to represent an idea, they would not go through with a lie if they where threatened with death.These prophets literally nothing to gain and everything to loose. They had no motive, unless there was something they experience supernaturally. Psychologically these prophets would had to have experienced something that made them desire to give their message more then desire to save their own life. This did not happen on just one occasion but in successive generations, prophets would rise up with a message from God, against the social norm, often alone and would face persecution and death.
Logically, if a prophecy had been written after the event too place, they would not have been taken literally by the population, scholars or authorities of its time frame. They would have been treated by the Jewish community as invalid documents, the same as any other false prophecy. Obviously the educated Jewish community of those times had known or had strong indication that these prophetic texts held authentic value from the time frame they claimed to have been written or they would have been discarded. These texts where regarded with the highest authority, even generation after they rejected and killed those prophets because they had seen their prophecies come true over time.
Prophetic Validation – Present Day Verification
Most displeasing to critics, are the present day verification of Biblical prophecies. One perfect example is the reconstitution of the nation of Israel. A modern day miracle in itself, never before has any nation every completely been disbanded persecuted and destroyed, only later to come together after many centuries and reform as a nation. Typically because as a people group is conquered, it is usually absorbed by its new conqueror, and the people slowly dissipate or loose their identity. However this people miraculously come together just as predicted in the Bible.
Contradictions in Prophetic Criticism
Biblical critics often contradict their own statements or the statements of other critics, often proclaim multiple points of view. For instance, the two critical points of view that :
- First, prophecies must have been written after the events already happened,
- and second, that the books are filled with prophecies that never happened because the author was simply guessing at the unfolding of events.
You can’t claim both critical points of view, obviously one would cancel out the other. Either the writer was guessing at events or he was making claims to events after they had happened in order to convince their audience.
Often times we find that conflicts in prophecies actually validate characters and the prophecies; as we can see that perhaps we may not have all the pieces to the puzzles of history. What may seem like contradictions to us, may be because you would have to be in time reference of the author in order for the prophecy to make sense.
i.e Ezekiel’s prophecy about Egypt being uninhabited for 40 years may seem ridiculous because we cannot find historic evidence for this, yet, just because it wasn’t recorded in history doesn’t mean it never happened.
End Times Prophecies
Reading Prophecies in the Bible can be very exciting but you have to learn how to differentiate between when God is talking about an end times prophecy, or when it is a contemporary prophecy. Contemporary meaning a prophecy pertaining to an event that will happen relatively recent to the audience it was first presented to. To understand an end time prophecy typically the prophet uses the following phrases right before giving the prophecy:
- “In the Day of The LORD (YaHWeH)”
- “In that day” (there are many instances this phrase is given to indicate it is a last day prophecy)
If these phrases do not precede the prophecy then the given message is typically for a contemporary time frame.
Different Teachings / Schools of Thought
It is important to understand the different schools of though when it comes to many of the end time prophecies to properly be able to discern what the author is telling us about future events and to weed out bad interpretations.