Did the Gospel Writers Fabricate Prophecies of Jesus? 4 Quick Responses
by Sean McDowell
One of the most common arguments for the Messianic credentials of Jesus is fulfilled prophecy. As my father and I point out in the updated Evidence that Demands a Verdict, numerous passages in the Old Testament foreshadow and predict events in the life of Jesus.
And yet there are some important objections to consider as well. One of the most common is that the Gospel authors deliberately crafted their biographies of Jesus so as to make it appear he fulfilled the Old Testament Scriptures.
There are (at least) four reasons this objection falls short:
1. At the time the Gospels were written, the Christian church was undergoing considerable persecution. Many Christians were martyred for their faith in excruciating and inhumane ways, such as by crucifixion, being burned alive, or being fed to wild animals. Since the Gospel writers had nothing obvious to gain from inventing a new religion, and everything to lose, this suggests they recorded what they believed actually happened and what Jesus really said.
2. The Gospels demonstrate restraint on the part of their writers, since Jesus is conspicuously silent on many of the controversial topics that were debated in the early church, including whether Gentile Christians had to undergo circumcision, the role of women, the practice of speaking in tongues, etc. If the gospel writers had felt at liberty to make things up out of whole cloth, it seems likely that Jesus would have addressed such issues…
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