Case-Making 101: Does prophecy fulfillment support the reliability of the Bible?
by Teri Dugan
Our evidence collection over the past few posts has been based on the question that many skeptics have posed: How do we know the Bible is the Word of God? In those posts we have gone over some of the available evidence that falls into the following categories:
1. Physical Evidence: This includes historical and literary support for ancient documents; Jewish history; Scribal copying rules over the centuries; the massive amounts of early manuscripts in the original languages available for comparison; and the massive amount of archeology supporting the Biblical records.
2. Eyewitness Evidence: Eyewitness accounts from both Christian sources inside and out of the Bible, and non-Christian sources that include historians and even hostile witnesses that support the Biblical record.
In light of all the available evidence that points towards the accurate transmission and reliability of the Biblical record over time, J. Warner Wallace would say it is like “death by 1000 paper cuts.”
In addition to the physical and eyewitness evidence we have fulfilled prophecy. This is one of the best lines of evidence because of the prophecy fulfilled in the Old Testament times and the massive amount of Messianic prophecies from the Old Testament fulfilled in New Testament times in the person of Jesus.
Prophecy is the most compelling evidence for the accuracy, inerrancy and inspiration of the Bible. No other book or person has the amazing prophetic accuracy that the Bible has! Of the 26 other “so called” religious books not one has prophetic predictive accuracy.
- The mark of true prophecy is 100% accuracy.
- 27% of the Bible contains predictive prophecy.
- The Bible’s prophecy has been 100% accurate.
Skeptics often say things like: “Couldn’t a group of Christians have just thought up these prophecies and then placed them in the Bible after the fact or, couldn’t Jesus have attempted on his own to fulfill these prophecies?”
Answer: NO WAY
- Dead Sea Scrolls confirm the Old Testament prophecies are not made up.
- The Dead Sea Scrolls contain a complete copy of Isaiah, dated between 200 and 100 BC, as well as all the other prophets and prophecy passages.
- Jesus could not have planned prophecies concerning specific circumstances of his life…
- Specific details of His birth
- The time in which He lived
- Specific details of His death
There are over 300 repeated, incidental and specific prophecies in the Old Testament, written hundreds of years before his birth, that were literally fulfilled in life and times of Jesus—how does that look mathematically?
If even 8 of these prophecies were fulfilled in Jesus it would be equivalent to 1 chance in 10 to the 17th
- That is 1 in 100,000,000,000,000,000!
For fulfillment of 48 prophecies it would be 1 in 10 to the 157th
- That’s 1 in 10 with 157 0s after it!
Imagine the number that describes the fulfillment of all the rest!
Here are just a few examples of general prophecies fulfilled in the Old Testament…
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