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  #1  
Unread 5th July 2013, 06:45 AM
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Prophecies fulfilled?

Greetings!


Jesus (allegedly) fulfilled 44 prophecies from the OT.

This is for many Christians a very strong reason to
believe in him as the savior and messiah.

I have always been wondering:

Is it not possible that all or some of these fulfilled prophecies
are cases of retro-engineered prophecy fulfillment?

What do I mean by that?

It's simple: All the authors of the NT were through and through
familiar with the OT.

Even Paul who was a Jew but became a Roman citizen.

So: They knew all the prophecies. What would be easier
than write their works so that it fit the old prophecies.
They wouldn't consider that 'lying' - they might even have
thought that it was a good thing they were doing.

That is what I mean by retro-engineered prophecy fulfillment.

How is it possible to know whether they were doing
this or whether some prophecies were genuinely fulfilled?
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  #2  
Unread 6th July 2013, 01:58 AM
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Kiss

Originally Posted by Pink Spider View Post
Greetings!


Jesus (allegedly) fulfilled 44 prophecies from the OT.

This is for many Christians a very strong reason to
believe in him as the savior and messiah.

I have always been wondering:

Is it not possible that all or some of these fulfilled prophecies
are cases of retro-engineered prophecy fulfillment?

What do I mean by that?

It's simple: All the authors of the NT were through and through
familiar with the OT.

Even Paul who was a Jew but became a Roman citizen.

So: They knew all the prophecies. What would be easier
than write their works so that it fit the old prophecies.
They wouldn't consider that 'lying' - they might even have
thought that it was a good thing they were doing.

That is what I mean by retro-engineered prophecy fulfillment.

How is it possible to know whether they were doing
this or whether some prophecies were genuinely fulfilled?
Well, don't forget that these New Testament scriptures were not written in a vacuum. There's a very loud silence from contemporary writers on the subject of his fulfilling all those prophecies. Of course, the Jews would claim that he didn't fulfill ALL of them...and those are ones that Christians say are left for his second coming.

Also don't forget that Paul would have been one of the last people to "retro-engineer". He was (originally) a Pharisee who persecuted the Christians, remember?

Last edited by Joshua260; 6th July 2013 at 02:15 AM.
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Unread 6th July 2013, 02:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Joshua260 View Post
Well, don't forget that these New Testament scriptures were not written in a vacuum. There's a very loud silence from contemporary writers on the subject of his fulfilling all those prophecies. Of course, the Jews would claim that he didn't fulfill ALL of them...and those are ones that Christians say are left for his second coming.
May I ask what you mean? I don't understand - please enlighten me.

What has 'the very loud silence' from contemporary writers to
do with my question about possible retro-engineered prophecy
fulfillment ?



No offense intended!
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Unread 6th July 2013, 02:36 AM
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Kiss

Originally Posted by Pink Spider View Post
May I ask what you mean? I don't understand - please enlighten me.

What has 'the very loud silence' from contemporary writers to
do with my question about possible retro-engineered prophecy
fulfillment ?



No offense intended!
What I mean is that there are no (at least I don't know of any) extra-biblical writings that pose exactly the same challenge. Jesus' life was not hidden; rather, he was very much in the public eye. Contemporaries desiring to crush the Christian explosion would have written contrary charges about the prophecies being fulfilled. The only contrary claim that was said was that of the Jew's claim that the apostles stole the body from the empty tomb. I don't want to sidetrack your thread but now that I've brought that up, it's worth noting that by the Jews making that claim, they inadvertently substantiate that the tomb was empty...a fact that is sometimes not well understood by some non-believers.
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Unread 6th July 2013, 03:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Joshua260 View Post
What I mean is that there are no (at least I don't know of any) extra-biblical writings that pose exactly the same challenge. Jesus' life was not hidden; rather, he was very much in the public eye.
So, you mean that since Jesus was a well known
figure and his acts and the circumstances of his
life were known, the prophecies about him were
truly fulfilled?

Maybe. But the gospels were written later - and
thus the retro-engineered prophecy fulfillment is
IMHO definitely a possibility.

Originally Posted by Joshua260 View Post
Contemporaries desiring to crush the Christian explosion would have written contrary charges about the prophecies being fulfilled.
I am not talking about those who desired to crush
the 'Christian explosion' - I am talking about Mark,
Matthew, Luke and John and their accounts of
Jesus' life.

Originally Posted by Joshua260 View Post
The only contrary claim that was said was that of the Jew's claim that the apostles stole the body from the empty tomb. I don't want to sidetrack your thread but now that I've brought that up, it's worth noting that by the Jews making that claim, they inadvertently substantiate that the tomb was empty...a fact that is sometimes not well understood by some non-believers.
Yes - I know that and I agree.

The question remains: Did Mark, Matthew, Luke and
John 'synchronize' their tales of Jesus with the OT in
order to give the 'impression' that he fulfilled many
OT prophecies and thus was the messiah?
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Unread 6th July 2013, 08:14 AM
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Well, I cannot prove to you they did not, but there is very important point that I can make that mitigates that possibility.

1) The Apostles all died painful deaths at the hands of those opposed to what they taught (with the exception of John, who at the very least was exiled to a prison colony for it). The center of what they taught was that Jesus was the Messiah predicted, and that He died on the cross and was resurrected. They would know for certain whether their teaching was true or not, yet not a single one of them is recorded as denying the truth of what they taught in order to avoid painful death. See, I can understand people dying for what they believed to be true, as we see many people willing to die for what they believe throughout history... but what about someone dying for what they KNEW FOR CERTAIN was a lie they had made up? And not one of them recanted of anything they taught... so why would they all be willing to die for a lie they had made up?
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Unread 6th July 2013, 09:15 AM
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It's important to question and think that way, because that ability to scrutinize also keeps you out of suicide cults, relational manipulation, and other oddities.

One thing to keep in mind -- whether Jesus fulfilled the prophecies was a controversy during His earthly ministry, and what caused Him to be put on trial. So you're looking at the writings, but also the people's perceptions during the time which was written about.

Who do people say I am.


Things like entering the city on a colt could have been manipulated, but it almost seems that since people knew Jesus knew His scriptures, the procession could have been seen as intentional, tongue-in-cheek, or maybe an official statement of "Okay I give in, I will tell you."

Prophecy relating to His birth was something He couldn't control; the flight into Egypt would not have been His family's first choice; and of course the slaughter of first-born babies.

Another question to ask -- how did the Jews know that certain scriptures were Messianic? Many Messianic prophecies had dual meaning, so I sometimes wonder what caused them to conclude Messianic interpretation.
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Unread 6th July 2013, 09:28 AM
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Kiss

Originally Posted by Pink Spider View Post
So, you mean that since Jesus was a well known
figure and his acts and the circumstances of his
life were known, the prophecies about him were
truly fulfilled?

Maybe. But the gospels were written later - and
thus the retro-engineered prophecy fulfillment is
IMHO definitely a possibility.


I am not talking about those who desired to crush
the 'Christian explosion' - I am talking about Mark,
Matthew, Luke and John and their accounts of
Jesus' life.


Yes - I know that and I agree.

The question remains: Did Mark, Matthew, Luke and
John 'synchronize' their tales of Jesus with the OT in
order to give the 'impression' that he fulfilled many
OT prophecies and thus was the messiah?

I totally understood what your question was and I'm saying that your suggestion is highly unlikely. I would also echo the other responses so far. What you're suggesting is a conspiracy of unrealistic proportions.
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Unread 6th July 2013, 11:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Joshua260 View Post
I totally understood what your question was and I'm saying that your suggestion is highly unlikely. I would also echo the other responses so far. What you're suggesting is a conspiracy of unrealistic proportions.
Yes it may be unlikely - but unlikely is not impossible.
I wouldn't call it a conspiracy - and it IMHO does
not substantially challenge Jesus' message.

In their eagerness to spread the good news - they
may have added certain details - to make a couple
(of not very precise and sometimes odd) prophecies
appear to be fulfilled.

I wouldn't blame them. It would IMHO not
call that a conspiracy at all.

On a personal note:

I am reading a gospel (Mark) the first time in my life -
and I am amazed. It's great stuff. Except for the
uncountable miracles and healings happening all
the time. But I guess that's my problem, innit?
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Unread 6th July 2013, 11:54 AM
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Originally Posted by food4thought View Post
Well, I cannot prove to you they did not, but there is very important point that I can make that mitigates that possibility.

1) The Apostles all died painful deaths at the hands of those opposed to what they taught (with the exception of John, who at the very least was exiled to a prison colony for it). The center of what they taught was that Jesus was the Messiah predicted, and that He died on the cross and was resurrected. They would know for certain whether their teaching was true or not, yet not a single one of them is recorded as denying the truth of what they taught in order to avoid painful death. See, I can understand people dying for what they believed to be true, as we see many people willing to die for what they believe throughout history... but what about someone dying for what they KNEW FOR CERTAIN was a lie they had made up? And not one of them recanted of anything they taught... so why would they all be willing to die for a lie they had made up?
I think we have to distinguish between the apostles
and the writers of the gospels.


I do not doubt the faith of the apostles - neither do I
deny the faith of the gospel authors.

This post was created mainly as a response to those
(like Lee Strobel) who put way too much emphasis
on the fulfillment of OT-prophecies in my humble
opinion.
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