Consider this challenging statement—One can oppose and even disbelieve the truth of the Bible, but one cannot disprove any measurable fact mentioned in the Bible.
Religious skeptics and Christians scholars alike have scrutinized measurable facts in the Bible related to geographical locations, significant people, and historical events. After centuries of intense and sometimes hostile examination, the Bible has continually proven to be historically, archaeologically, and geographically accurate. In addition, even with various scientific advances, the Bible’s correlation with aspects of observable science is truly remarkable, especially when one remembers the Bible’s antiquity.
In spite of efforts to disprove it, the Bible’s integrity remains intact. It was compiled over 15 centuries (from approximately 1500 BC to AD 100) and written by over forty human authors under the divine supervision of the Holy Spirit. No other book has such a lengthy compilation period involving dozens of writers with varying backgrounds who lived in different locations with no benefit of collaboration. These obstacles, in the natural, would predictably contribute to a lack of cohesion and purpose. Due to its divine supervision, however, the Bible has a clear purpose with no contradictions among its diverse contributors. In fact, there is no other literary work of antiquity that has as much verifiable proof for its authenticity and accuracy as the Bible.
As a divine book, the Bible focuses on God’s sovereignty and glory which are demonstrated by His providing redemption to the undeserving through the Lord Jesus Christ. These undeserving recipients accept, by faith, the biblical truth of salvation and receive divine forgiveness and the gift of eternal life.
(See Life’s Most Important Decision )
1 Timothy 1:15-17, The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. 16 But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life. 17 To the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.
[All verses in this study are from the English Standard Version of the Bible, unless otherwise noted.]
Some biblical truths, like salvation, are accepted by faith. Other biblical truths, such as fulfilled prophecies, are a matter of facts. The provable accuracy of fulfilled prophecy not only proclaims the sovereign power of God Almighty but also adds credence to other aspects of Scripture that are not yet fully observable. For example, Jesus is the Savior, Lord of Lords, Christ (Messiah), and King of kings; but those descriptions are not yet evidenced before the entire world.
1 Timothy 6:13-15, I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who in his testimony before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, 14 to keep the commandment unstained and free from reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 which he will display at the proper time—he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords. (underlining added)
Fulfilled prophecy is a divine work and accentuates the eventual and complete recognition, throughout the world, of Jesus as Savior, Lord of Lords, Christ (Messiah), and King of kings.
2 Peter 1:16-21, For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17 For when he received honor and glory from God the Father, and the voice was borne to him by the Majestic Glory, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased,” 18 we ourselves heard this very voice borne from heaven, for we were with him on the holy mountain. 19 And we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, 20 knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. 21 For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. (underlining added)
The fulfillment of biblical prophecy is staggering. Some prophetic statements highlight nations, rulers, or events with the original prophecies often separated by centuries from their eventual fulfillment. The Reasons to Believe website makes this observation—
Unique among all books ever written, the Bible accurately foretells specific events – in detail – many years, sometimes centuries, before they occur. Approximately 2500 prophecies appear in the pages of the Bible, about 2000 of which already have been fulfilled to the letter—no errors. (The remaining 500 or so reach into the future and may be seen unfolding as days go by.) Since the probability for any one of these prophecies having been fulfilled by chance averages less than one in ten (figured very conservatively) and since the prophecies are for the most part independent of one another, the odds for all these prophecies having been fulfilled by chance without error is less than one in 102000 (that is 1 with 2000 zeros written after it)!
The prophetic pinnacle of God’s Word is Jesus Christ, the center of hundreds of prophetic statements. The mathematical odds that these specific prophecies could be fulfilled in one person are astronomical. An article dealing with that subject is titled, “What are the odds surrounding Jesus Christ?” and can be found on the ChristianAnswers.net website. Attribution for the following data is given to Les Krantz in What the Odds Are (HarperPerennial, 1992). Part of this article states the following:
If you still happen to be unconvinced that the baby born in Bethlehem 2000 years ago was anything more than just an ordinary human baby, let me challenge you with a few of “the odds” in that regard.
- To begin with, did you know that the Old Testament prophet Micah, writing circa 700 B.C., out of the hundreds and hundreds of cities in the scores and scores of nations in existence all over the world even in those days, designated Bethlehem of Judea as the birthplace of the Messiah (Micah 5:2)?
- And that at about the same time, Isaiah (7:14) said that the Christ would be born of a virgin?
- Or that a prophecy made in 1012 B.C. specified that the Messiah’s hands and feet would eventually be pierced—a clear reference to death by crucifixion—800 years before the Romans ever even instituted crucifixion as a form of capital punishment!
- Malachi 3:1, penned in about 425 B.C., specified that the Messiah would be contemporary with the temple in Jerusalem–a temple that was destroyed in 70 A.D. and has never been rebuilt.
- Well, if all this impresses you even a little bit, you ought to go compare Zechariah 11:11-13 (written over 500 years before Christ) to Matthew 27:3-10 (written some 25-30 years after Christ). Only coincidence?
- A number of years ago, Peter W. Stoner and Robert C. Newman wrote a book entitled Science Speaks. The book was based on the science of probability and vouched for by the American Scientific Affiliation. It set out the odds of any one man in all of history fulfilling even only eight of the 60 major prophecies (and 270 ramifications) fulfilled by the life of Christ.
The probability that Jesus of Nazareth could have fulfilled even eight such prophecies would be only 1 in 1017. That’s 1 in100,000,000,000,000,000.
Stoner claims that that many silver dollars would be enough to cover the face of the entire state of Texas two feet deep. Now I’ve been to Texas. I’ve driven for days to get across Texas. Texas is a very big state. Who in his right mind would suppose that a blindfolded man, heading out of Dallas by foot in any direction, would be able, on his very first attempt, to pick up one specifically marked silver dollar out of 100,000,000,000,000,000?
One March several years ago I received a paper from United States Senate Chaplain Richard Halverson. In it he wrote: “The fact is, the birth, crucifixion, and bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ are celebrated worldwide by folk of every race, language, and color, every year. And believing in Jesus, they have been delivered from the most evil, disastrous, frustrating, debilitating habits and life forms possible. The real problem with Jesus Christ is not that folk can’t believe in Him—but that they won’t believe in Him.”
My friend, in all honesty, what are the chances you’ve not been altogether objective about the nature of the baby born in Bethlehem? What if the baby was God? What if He is God? What if you are to submit your life to Him?
(To read how the mathematical probability of Christ fulfilling 8 prophecies was determined, click on this link: http://sciencespeaks.dstoner.net/Christ_of_Prophecy.html#c9 )
In light of the amazing fulfillment of prophecies by Jesus Christ, another fact should be noted. Of the writings related to different religions, only the Bible gives specific prophecies.
If you are a believer in Christ, you will read through the following fulfilled prophecies with a sense of wonder and accompanying thankfulness. If you are not yet a believer in Christ, you may also read through these prophecies but continue to reject the obvious conclusion. As forthright students of Scripture and history realize, however, all of the following prophecies have two things in common—(1) The time elapsed between the prophecy and its fulfillment are centuries apart, and (2) Jesus Christ is the literal fulfillment of all of them.
PROPHECIES OF JESUS CHRIST AS MESSIAH
|1||Genesis 3:15||seed of a woman||Galatians 4:4|
|2||Genesis 12:3||descendant of Abraham||Matthew 1:1|
|3||Genesis 17:19||descendant of Isaac||Luke 3:34|
|4||Numbers 24:17||descendant of Jacob||Matthew 1:2|
|5||Genesis 49:10||from the tribe of Judah||Luke 3:33|
|6||Isaiah 11:10||descendent of Jesse||Romans 15:12|
|7||Jeremiah 23:5-6||descendant of David||Matthew 1:1|
|8||Ezekiel 37:24||will shepherd His people||Matthew 2:6|
|9||Isaiah 9:7||heir to the throne of David||Luke 1:32-33|
|10||Psalm 45:6-7, Psalm 102:25-27||anointed and eternal||Hebrews 1:8-12|
|11||Micah 5:2||born in Bethlehem||Luke 2:4-5, 7|
|12||Daniel 9:25||time for His birth||Luke 2:1-2|
|13||Isaiah 7:14||to be born of a virgin||Luke 1:26-27, 30-31|
|14||Psalm 72:9||worshipped by shepherds||Luke 2:8-15|
|15||Psalm 72:10, 15, Isaiah 60:3||honored by great kings||Matthew 2:1-11|
|16||Jeremiah 31:15||slaughter of children||Matthew 2:16-18|
|17||Hosea 11:1||flight to Egypt||Matthew 2:14-15|
|18||Isaiah 40:3-5||the way prepared||Luke 3:3-6|
|19||Malachi 3:1||preceded by a forerunner||Luke 7:24, 27|
|20||Malachi 4:5-6||preceded by Elijah||Matthew 11:13-14|
|21||Psalm 2:7, Proverbs 30:4||declared the Son of God||Luke 1:32, Matthew 3:17|
|22||Isaiah 9:1-2||Galilean ministry||Matthew 4:13-16|
|23||Psalm 78:2-4||speaks in parables||Matthew 13:34-35|
|24||Isaiah 56:7, Jeremiah 7:11||temple becomes a house of merchandise instead of prayer||Matthew 21:13|
|25||Psalm 69:9||zeal of Jews for the temple instead of God||John 2:17|
|26||Deuteronomy 18:15||a prophet||Acts 3:20, 22|
|27||Isaiah 29:18, Isaiah 35:5-6||blind, deaf, and lame are healed by the Messiah||Luke 7:22, Matthew 11:3-5|
|28||Isaiah 42:2-3, Isaiah 53:7||Messiah will be meek and mild||Matthew 12:18-20, 11:29|
|29||Isaiah 42:1, Isaiah 49:1||will minister to Gentiles||Matthew 12:18-21, Luke 2:32|
|30||Isaiah 61:1-2||to bind up the brokenhearted||Luke 4:18-19|
|31||Isaiah 53:12, Isaiah 59:16||to intercede for the people||Romans 8:34, Hebrews 7:25|
|32||Isaiah 63:14, Jeremiah 6:16||gives rest to our souls||Matthew 11:29-30|
|33||Isaiah 53:3, 8:14, 28:16, Psalm 118:22||rejected by His own people, the Jews||John 1:11, Luke 23:18, Acts 4:11, 1 Peter 2:6-8|
|34||Psalm 110:4||priest after the order of Melchizedek||Hebrews 5:5-6|
|35||Zechariah 9:9||triumphal entry||Mark 11:7, 9, 11|
|36||Malachi 3:1||entered the temple with authority||Matthew 21:12|
|37||Psalm 8:2||adored by infants||Matthew 21:15-16|
|38||Isaiah 53:1||not believed||John 12:37-38|
|39||Zechariah 13:7||sheep of the Shepherd scattered||Matthew 26:31|
|40||Psalm 41:9, Psalm 55:12-13, Zechariah 13:6||betrayed by a close friend||Luke 22:47-48, Matthew 26:49-50|
|41||Zechariah 11:12||betrayed for thirty pieces of silver||Matthew 26:14-15|
|42||Zechariah 11:13||betrayal money used to buy Potter’s field||Matthew 27:6-7|
|43||Psalm 35:11||accused by false witnesses||Mark 14:57-58|
|44||Isaiah 53:7||silent to accusations||Mark 15:4-5|
|45||Isaiah 50:6||spat on and struck||Matthew 26:67 and 27:30|
|46||Isaiah 53:5||scourged||Matthew 27:26|
|47||Psalm 35:19||hated without reason||John 15:24-25|
|48||Isaiah 53:5||vicarious sacrifice||Romans 5:6, 8|
|49||Isaiah 53:12||crucified with malefactors||Mark 15:27-28|
|50||Zechariah 12:10, Psalm 22:16||pierced through hands and feet||John 20:25-27|
|51||Psalm 22:7-8||sneered and mocked||Luke 23:35|
|52||Psalm 69:9||was reproached||Romans 15:3|
|53||Psalm 109:25||people shook their heads||Matthew 27:39|
|54||Psalm 69:21||given vinegar for His thirst||John 19:28-29|
|55||Psalm 109:4, Isaiah 53:12||prayer for His enemies||Luke 23:34|
|56||Psalm 22:17-18||soldiers gambled for His clothing||Matthew 27:35-36|
|57||Psalm 22:1||forsaken by God||Matthew 27:46|
|58||Psalm 31:5||committed His Spirit to God||Luke 23:46|
|59||Psalm 38:11||friends stood afar off||Luke 23:49|
|60||Psalm 34:20||no bones broken||John 19:32, 33, 36|
|61||Zechariah 12:10||His side pierced||John 19:34|
|62||Amos 8:9||Darkness over the Land||Matthew 27:45|
|63||Isaiah 53:9||buried with the rich||Matthew 27:57-60|
|64||Psalm 16:10, Psalm 30:3, Psalm 49:15, Psalm 118:17||to be resurrected||Mark 16:6-7|
|65||Isaiah 44:3, Joel 2:28||sent the Holy Spirit||John 20:22, Acts 2:16-17|
|66||Isaiah 55:3-4, Jeremiah 31:31||Establishes a new covenant||Matthew 26:28, Luke 22:20, Hebrews 8:6-10|
|67||Psalm 68:18, Psalm 110:1||His ascension to God’s right hand||Mark 16:19, Ephesians 4:8|
|68||Isaiah 9:2, 11:10, 65:1||the Gentiles will seek the Messiah||Romans 11:25, Matthew 4:16|
** A complete version of the above prophecies with verse texts printed out is available at: http://www.godandscience.org/apologetics/prophchr.html
** For your edification, another chart that lists 351 prophecies fulfilled in Jesus Christ can be accessed at http://www.newtestamentchristians.com/bible-study-resources/351-old-testament-prophecies-fulfilled-in-jesus-christ/
** Messianic Prophecies Fulfilled by Yeshua (Jesus) introduces many of the prophecies concerning Jesus Christ and how they are uniquely focused on the Jewish people. This article is available at: http://lbcc.org/files/2012/03/prophesies_yeshua_fulfilled-1.pdf
The fact of prophetic fulfillment is clear and well established and, as such, is profoundly significant. As stated earlier, one of the primary purposes of fulfilled prophecy is to focus our attention on the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ. His physical entrance into our world is eternally significant for every person.
Just as hundreds of prophetic verses have proven to be true historically, billions of people over the last 2,000 years can personally attest the truth of the following verses.
John 3:16, For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
Acts 4:12, And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.
Acts 10:43, To him all the prophets bear witness that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.
Romans 10:9-10, … if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.
2 Corinthians 5:17, Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation, The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
1 Peter 1:3-5, Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, 5 who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
(See Spiritual Realities Before and After Receiving Jesus Christ )
When faced with fulfilled prophecies and the historical reality of the Lord Jesus Christ, any person is bucking the odds—mathematically and spiritually speaking – to trust any Person besides Jesus or believe any teaching besides the Bible for truth that is applicable to this life and the life to come.
Fulfilled Prophesies Verify Biblical Truth © 2013 WordTruth, Inc—Verses from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version © 2001Version by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.