From Reliable to Divine: The Fulfilled New Testament Prophecies of Jesus
by J Warner Wallace
If you’re trying to determine whether or not the New Testament is historically reliable, archaeology and ancient non-Biblical records can provide “touch point” corroboration of the Biblical text. We took a similar approach when we examined the evidence corroborating the Old Testament. But these Biblical volumes claim to be much more than a reliable record of history; they claim to be the very Word of God. In order to assess such a bold claim related to the New Testament, we must examine a distinctive feature of the Biblical narrative: prophecy. If a book accurately predicts the future (rather than simply recording the past), it moves from reliable to Divine.
While the Old Testament describes a collective history of the Jewish people spanning thousands of years, the New Testament covers a much shorter period of time. As a result, while there are a number
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of prophetic declarations in the New Testament, the sixty-five years (or so) of recorded Biblical New Testament history doesn’t provide much opportunity to see these prophecies fulfilled (or even recorded on the pages of Scripture). Much New Testament prophecy (like the prophecy offered by the Book of Revelation) describes a future we haven’t yet experienced. There are, however, two categories of prophecy we can examine: prophecies made by Jesus and prophecies made about Jesus.
During Jesus’ life, He made several predictions in the presence of the disciples. At the time of these prophetic statements, His followers were often more than skeptical and less than understanding. But as the years passed, followers of Jesus saw His words come true, and these fulfilled prophecies served to strengthen their faith…