God Proof #12
The Bible is an amazing book. Its 66 books were written by some 40 authors over the span of some 1,500+ years. And through it all, the Bible remains seamless and harmonious. One interesting fact when we talk about proving God, or proving the authority of the Bible comes by way of fulfilled prophecies. Now by prophecy, I am not talking here about the looser sense of the word in movies and the popular writing of today. I mean the utterances spoken by the prophets of God in days gone by, of which the veracity has already been proven for all to see.
Lets look at just the prophecies of Jesus Christ alone. There are roughly over 300 of them that can be traced back and proved to have already come to pass! Some critics will offer this rebuttal to the data: "well, maybe Jesus had read these prophecies, and then purposely tried to position himself in the right place at the right time in order to fulfill them publicly." Now this is rather silly, as most of you probably can sense from the outset. Did Christ plan to be born in the right town and at the right time? Did Jesus say to himself, "well next week I have to die at the hands of Pontius Pilate on a cross to fulfill Isaiah 53?" I'm afraid that simply doesn't fly.
Now what do I mean by prophecies fulfilled? Here is a short list of examples below:
He would be born of the seed of Abraham (Gen. 12:1-3, 22:18), of the tribe of Judah (Gen 49:10), of the house of David (2 Samuel 7:12f), etc. The city in which He would be born (Micah 5:2), that Jesus would come while the temple was still standing (Malachi 3:1), that He would be born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14), that He would perform miracles (Isaiah 35:5-6), that He’d be rejected by His own people (Psalm 118:22; 1 Peter 2:7), the exact time in history when Christ would die (Daniel 9:24-26; 483 years after the declaration to reconstruct the city of Jerusalem in 444 B.C. This was fulfilled to the very year.), how He would die (Psalm 22:16-18, Isaiah 53; Zech 12:10), and that He would be resurrected (Psalm 16:10).
So what does this all mean? Is it just old wive's tales that were written in one part of a book, and verified at another part of the same book? That would be a good argument if the book were written by the same author in the same lifetime. But as I stated above, it was spread out across generations and hundreds of years. Okay, so maybe all the writers simply looked back across the pages and invented accounts to fulfill the prophecies, right? Remember that the Bible is a historical document as well as an inspired book. The person and existence of Jesus (remember we are talking here only about prophecies related to Christ; we haven't touched on the other ones) vindicated over 300 such predictions, in ways that defy backward plagiarism.
Weak arguments exist, but so do strong rebuttals. At the end of the day, I'm afraid we are left with good evidence for the veracity of the Bible, as well as proof that it was inspired by God. Not only do the prophecies tell us that Jesus was the real deal, but they also tell us that God knows His plan for the past, present, and future - and knows it well. As C.S. Lewis put it in his book "Mere Christianity", '... we have reason to be uncomfortable...' Or in the case of the Christian believer; we have reason for our assurance.