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Old 12-08-2001, 09:41 PM   #1
BLoggins02
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Post OT Prophecies fulfilled, or not?

I ran across <a href="http://hopeofisrael.net/messiah.htm" target="_blank">this site</a>, proclaiming to be a list of a great many fulfilled mesianistic prophecies of the OT. As an agnostic, I cannot help but be held in wonder by the apparent accuracy of these prohecies. As someone who keeps an open mind, some of this is certainly quite convincing, at least on the surface.

Any thoughts on all of this?

(Note: Lest any theists take this out of context, I am NOT saying I now believe based on these things, only that I would like to hear the non-theist explanations for the alledged fulfillments. The Christian side of the argument here is obvious)
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Old 12-08-2001, 10:27 PM   #2
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I've analyzed the first few of these so called prophecies. So far, nothing much has turned up as worthwhile. There are a lot (a little over 300) and if I analyze ten per day, it will only take me a little over a month to finish all of them, at which point I will have learned a lot about biblical structure, history, etc... so I just might do that.

Here are the first few that I have considered:

Legend: O - OT Quote said to prophecise, N - NT Quote said to fulfill said prophecy, V - personal opinion on the verdict of correlation

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O: Gen 3:15 - And I will put enmity [great hatred] between you and the woman, and between your offspring [or seed] and hers
N: Lk 1:35 - And the angel answered and said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will over shadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God"
N: Mt 1:18 - Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together [sexual relations] she was found with child of the Holy Spirit.
V: I find no correlation between God's edict that snake and woman will hate each other and each other's offsprings (or seed) and the idea of a virgin birth.

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O: Gen 3:15 (second portion) - he [man] will crush your [serpent/satan's] head, and you [satan] will strike his heel."
N: Heb 2:14 - Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil
N: Jn 3:18 - He who believes in Him is not condemned, but he who does not believe in him is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
V: As to the first, I do find a slight correlation between man crushing satan's head, and the Son of God crushing satan's head; however I do not find any correlation between the OT passage and the second NT passage. The second is one of dogma and doctrine, not the verification of a pre forseen event.

---
O: Gen 5:24 - Enoch walked with God; then he was no more, because God took him away
N: Mk 6:19 - So Herodias nursed a grudge agains John and wanted to kill him. But she was not able to, because Herod feared John and protected him, knowing him to be a righteous and holy man.
V: Absolutely no correlation, not even to subject matter.

---
O: Gen 9:26-27 - Blessed be the LORD, the God of Shem! May Canaan be the slave of Shem. May God extend the territory of Japheth; may Japheth live in the tents of Shem, and may Canaan be his slave.
N: Lu 3:36 - [basically, in a list of "the son of"s, Jesus's lineage is traced through Joseph, and eventually, to] the son of Cainan, the son of Arphaxad, the son of Shem
V: First of all, in Lu 3:23, before the "son of"s, the following is said: "Now Jesus himself was about thirty years old when he began his ministry. He was the son, so it was thought, of Joseph, son of......." and then we begin the "son of" list. First of all, the phrase "so it was thought" is important. If immaculate conception is a prerequisite for Devinity on Jesus's part, then Joseph's lineage is of no consequence, since Joseph did not actually father Him. The lineage would be a "step son of" at best. If, on the other hand, the passage implies (which I do not believe it does) that Joseph was ACTUALLY the father of Jesus, then by failure of prerequisite Jesus was not the Son of God, and thus his lineage is of no consequence whatever. Besides, since Noah was supposedly the father of Shem, there are a great many people (biblically speaking) who would have descended from him. That Jesus would have descended from him is not really anything of surprise. The verdict: there is correlation, but the importance of said correlation is highly questionable.

---
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Old 12-08-2001, 11:27 PM   #3
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OK I've done my ten for the night and so will quote the remaining six. Altogether, I am rather unimpressed. After reading these "prophecies" you will get the feeling that most of them are rather unremarkable.

---
O: Gen 12:3 - I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.
N: Acts 3:25-26 - And you are heirs of the prophets and of the covenant God made with Abraham, "Through your offspring all peoples on earth will be blessed."
V: If we disregard the fact that it was in Peter's best interests to quote this particular piece of scripture to the onlookers, yes there is a definite correlation here. This passage, in itself though, is not prophecy, it is Peter remarking of a supposedly fulfilled prophecy. It is a "meta-prophecy", and a very obvious one at that.

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O: Gen 12:7 - The LORD appeared to Abram [or Abraham] and said, "To your offspring [or seed] I will give this land."
N: Gal 3:16 - The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. The scripture does not say "and to seeds," meaning many people, but "and to your seed" meaning one person, who is Christ.
V: The fact that Paul is preaching to the Galatians about the difference between seed and seeds does not ignore the fact that seed can also be interpreted as "offspring" as it is in the NIV. The clear interpretation of the OT passage is to say "To your descendants' I will give this land. Of course, the interpretation can go either way, depending on your theological sway. There is an obvious correlation here, but as in the last example because it is quoting the very prophecy it supposedly fulfills. One interpretation of "seed" fulfills this prophecy, the other does not.

---
O: Gen 14:18 - Then Melchizedek king of Salem [or Jerusalem] brought out bread and wine. He was priest of God Most High, and he blessed Abram, saying... [the usual blessings, they themselves are irrelevant to the discussion]
N: Heb 6:20 - Where Jesus, who went before us, has entered on his behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.
v: OK, so apparently we have this OT figure who is only mentioned twice in the whole OT (Gen and Psa). This priest blesses Abraham. Jesus is compared to him as a high priest in his order (which usually means "in the same company", or "on par with"). In many ways Melchizedek and Jesus are similar figures here, but what is the prophecy?

---

O: Gen 14:18 - [see above]
N: Heb 7:2 - [in the process of explaining who Melchizedek is]..., and Abraham gave him a tenth of everything. First, his name means "king of righteousness"; then also, "king of Salem" means "king of Peace."
V: The argument above stands here as well, but a few more comments here. First of all, of course Abraham gave him a tenth of everything, he was said to be King of Salem, or Jerusalem, it would be highly unusual for Abraham not to pay his taxes to a man he apparently knows so well. Second, "king of Salem" means "king of Peace", but only a priori. There is no prophecy fulfillment here, just explanation of OT scripture. Finally, the passage goes on to say this: "Without father or mother, without genealogy, without beginning of days or end of life, like the Son of God he remains a priest forever." Hmmm, this character seems to be more miraculous than Jesus himself! Not only does he not have a father OR mother, but he has apparently self-existed along with God. In fact, the general flavor of these series of passages is that Jesus is on par with, but not greater than, this guy called Melchizedek whom is only mentioned twice in the entire OT!

---
O: Gen 14:18 - Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. [ From there it goes to into the passage above, but the emphasis here is on the bread and wine part of the passsage]
N: Mt 26:26-29 - While they were eating, Jesus took the bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples saying, "Take and eat; this is my body." Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them saying, "Drink from it, all of you. This is the blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it anew with you in my Father's kingdom."
V: The symbolism here is beautiful, to be sure, but it is not prophecy. Jesus is simply observing a custom from the old testament. Mainly, the custom set forth in Gen 14:18 et al. The correlation is custom and tradition, not prophecy. Furthermore, Gen 14:18 does not mention the significance of bread and wine, and I am sure that bread and wine are not uncommon things to take for supper. Jesus' symbolism is the important part here, not the supposed fulfillment of prophecy. This is classic post hoc, ergo propter hoc reasoning here.

---
O: Gen 17:19 - Then God said, "Yes, but your wife Sarah will bear you a son, and you will call him Isaac. I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him."
N: Rom 9:7 - Nor because they are descendants are they all Abraham's children. On the contrary, "it is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned."
V: There is a definite correlation here, and could be considered prophecy. However, again, the author is merely quoting scripture which already supports his claim (Gen 21:12). This seems to be another "meta-prophecy", only taken as such on the a priori assumption that Jesus is the Son of God.

[ December 09, 2001: Message edited by: BLoggins02 ]</p>
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