A- Fulfilled Prophecies
There are extensive prophecies dealing with individual nations and cities through the course of history in general, all of which have been literally fulfilled. And there are more than 300 prophecies were fulfilled by Christ Himself at His first coming. Other prophecies deal with the spread of Christianity, as well as various false religions, and many other subjects. One of my favorite prophecies, found in Daniel 9, gave the exact year of Christ’s baptism (27 A.D.) and Christ’s crucifixion (31 A.D.) about 600 years before it actually happen. The Bible is the only religious book that contains prophecies – 20% of the Bible is prophecies. Here are some of these Bible prophecies:
(1) Prophecies about nations:
a-Four world empires to arise: Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome (Daniel chapters 2, 7, 8).
b-Cyrus to be the warrior to capture Babylon (Isaiah 45:1-3).
d-Egypt would never again have a commanding position among the nations (Ezekiel 29:14, 15; 30:12, 13).
(2) Messianic prophecies:
The Old Testament predictions of the Messiah to come were so specific and so clearly fulfilled by Jesus of Nazareth that both Jesus and Apollos used these prophecies to prove to the Jews that Jesus was, indeed, the Messiah. There are more than 125 of these prophecies. Let’s review just 12 of them:
|Prophecy||Old Testament Scripture||New Testament Fulfillment|
|Born in Bethlehem||Micah 5:2||Matthew 2:1|
|Born of a virgin||Isaiah 7:14||Matthew 1:18-23|
|Of David’s lineage||Jeremiah 23:5||Revelation 22:16|
|Attempted murder by Herod||Jeremiah 31:15||Matthew 2:16-18|
|Betrayal by a friend||Psalms 41:9||John 13:18, 19, 26|
|Sold for 30 silver coins||Zechariah 11:12||Matthew 26:14-16|
|Crucified||Zechariah 12:10||John 19:16-18, 37|
|Lots cast for His clothes||Psalms 22:18||Matthew 27:35|
|No bones broken||Psalms 34:20 Exodus 12:46||John 19:31-36|
|Buried in rich man’s tomb||Isaiah 53:9||Matthew 27:57-60|
|Year, day, hour of His death||Daniel 9:26, 27 Exodus 12:6||Matthew 27:45-50|
|Raised the third day||Hosea 6:2||Acts 10:38-40|
Dr. Peter Stoner, former chairman of the departments of mathematics, astronomy, and engineering at Pasadena College California, worked with 600 students for several years applying the “principle of probability” to the prophecies of the Messiah’s coming. They chose just eight from the many available and finally decided the chances of all eight being fulfilled in one man in a lifetime is one in 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000. What would the odds be on the more than 125 prophecies of the Messiah? It couldn’t just happen!
B- The Proof of Scientific Accuracy
Another striking evidence of divine inspiration is found in the fact that many of the principles of modern science were recorded as facts of nature in the Bible long before scientist confirmed them experimentally. A sampling of these would include:
(1) Roundness of the earth (Isaiah 40:22).
(2) Almost infinite extent of the sidereal universe (Isaiah 55:9).
(3) Law of conservation of mass and energy (2 Peter 3:7).
(4) Hydrologic cycle (Ecclesiastes 1:7).
(6) Law of increasing entropy (Psalm 102:25-27).
(7) Paramount importance of blood in life processes (Leviticus 17:11).
(8) Atmospheric circulation (Ecclesiastes 1:6).
(9) Gravitational field (Job 26:7)
…and many others.
C- The Textual Evidence
The greatest miracle of the Bible is its unity. The 66 books of the Bible were written on three continents; in three languages; by about 40 different people; with totally different backgrounds; over a period of about 1,500 years; on the most controversial subjects; by people who, in most cases, had never met. Yet, though it seems totally inconceivable, the 66 books maintain harmony with each other.
Both the Old and New Testaments are strongly supported by manuscript evidence (the evidence of early hand written copies). The famous Dead Sea Scrolls are one example of the Old Testament evidence. These documents came from the “library” of a settlement founded at Qumran before 150 B.C. and abandoned about 68 A.D. Some of the manuscript copies were made during that period, and some were written earlier (third century BC) and brought to the settlement. The Dead Sea Scrolls match the Hebrew text behind today’s Old Testament, in spite of the passage of over 2,000 years (where one would expect errors to creep in).
There are over 20,000 known manuscripts document the New Testament text. This makes the New Testament the most reliable document of antiquity.
D-The Historical Evidence
(1) Archaeology- Ancient artifacts unearthed by archaeologists repeatedly confirm the accuracy and truth of the Bible. Sometimes, temporarily, evidence may not be found to substantiate certain historical facts from the Bible, but in time the evidence surfaces. Note the following:
a. For years skeptics said the Bible was unreliable because it mentions the Hittite nation (Deuteronomy 7:1) and cities like Nineveh (Jonah 1:1, 2( and Sodom (Genesis 19:1), which they denied ever existed. But now modern archaeology has confirmed that all three did, indeed, exist.
b. Critics also said that Bible-mentioned kings Belshazzar (Daniel 5:1) and Sargon (Isaiah 20:1) never existed. Once again, it has now been confirmed they did exist.
c. Skeptics also said the Bible record of Moses was not reliable because it mentions writing (Exodus 24:4) and wheeled vehicles (Exodus 14:25), neither of which they said existed at the time. They, of course, know better today.
d. At one time the 39 kings of ancient Israel and Judah who reigned during the divided kingdom were authenticated only from the Bible record, so critics charged fabrication. But then archaeologists found cuneiform records that mentioned many of these kings and, once again, the Bible record was proved accurate. Critics have repeatedly been proved wrong as new discoveries confirm biblical people, places, and events.
(2) Secular history supports the Bible. One example, in The Antiquities of the Jews, book 18, chapter 3, paragraph 3 the famous historian Flavius Josephus writes:
“Now, there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man, for he was a doer of wonderful works—a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews, and many of the Gentiles. He was [the] Christ; and when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him, for he appeared to them alive again the third day, as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him; and the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day.”
E- The testimony of Jesus
Jesus testified to the accuracy and reliability of the Old Testament and we know that His testimony is true because of His perfect sinless life and mighty miracles (healing all sickness, raising the dead, having authority over nature and getting resurrected). Jesus said: “the Scripture cannot be broken” (John 10:35), thus testifying to the authority of the Bible. And in Matthew 5:17, He added, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them,” meaning that Jesus believed and trusted in the Old Testament “Law” and “Prophets.”
In His service,
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