4. Fulfilled Prophecy

Seven Compelling Evidences

by Dan Hayden
Featured in Answers Magazine

Among the many amazing evidences that confirm the Bible’s divine origin, surely the wealth of fulfilled prophecies is near the top. Just a few examples should suffice to dumbfound all but the most hardened critics.

Accurate predictions of future events that have virtually no probability of occurring by coincidence are spectacular precisely because they seem so suprahuman. Popular prognosticators like Nostradamus have entertained generations with their elaborate fortune-telling, despite their pitiful track records of inaccuracy.

But biblical prophecy is different from all other predictions. With incredible detail, forthright clarity, and impeccable accuracy, the Bible has consistently unveiled the future for centuries.

Critics of the Bible, for instance, have squirmed over the prophetic insights of Daniel, the sixth-century BC Jewish prophet in Babylon. With eye-opening precision, Daniel interpreted two sets of dreams, one by a pagan ruler (chapter 2) and the other by the prophet himself (chapter 7), thereby forecasting the entire course of Middle East history over the next five centuries.

With impeccable accuracy, the Bible has consistently unveiled the future for centuries.

Daniel describes the exact ebb and flow of four empires from Babylon to Medo-Persia to Greece to Rome. He even foresaw the meteoric rise to power of the Greek conqueror Alexander the Great, as well as the final division of his Greek empire by four of his surviving generals (Daniel 7:6, 8:5–8, 11:2–4).

Desperate to counter the implications of this prophetic phenomenon, nineteenth-century skeptics concocted dating schemes that placed the time of Daniel’s writing after the events. Careful research by modern textual scholars, however, has validated the early origin of this prophecy, establishing Daniel as the authentic author.1 Daniel’s prophecy is a genuine “Wow,” which clearly gives evidence of the Bible’s divine nature.

Historical Prophecies

Yet the Bible is filled with other amazing, supernatural predictions, just like Daniel’s, that can be verified by historical records. Historical prophecies that spoke about the future at the time of writing but later came true are particularly effective as an evidence of Scripture’s trustworthiness.

Your ability to point to Ezekiel’s prophecy of the destruction of the Phoenician city Tyre (Ezekiel 26) or Isaiah’s amazing prediction concerning the coming reign of the Persian King Cyrus—two hundred years before his birth (Isaiah 44:28)—will certainly give you an advantage in any discussion on the Bible’s authenticity as a divine book. Only the true God can so consistently predict such distant events, as God Himself asserts (Isaiah 41:21–23, 48:3–5).2

Messianic Prophecies

Just as effective are Messianic prophecies that were validated in the New Testament. Even though the fulfillment of these predictions hundreds of years later is documented within the Bible itself rather than secular history, the impact is still impressive.

Sharing details about any one example should suffice to make your point. Consider Micah, the seventh-century BC prophet who foretold that Christ would be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2). Christ’s parents, Mary and Joseph, lived in Nazareth, which was nowhere near Bethlehem. So God used a Roman census for taxation to send Jesus’s earthly parents south on an arduous journey to the little town of His birth.

Yet Micah accurately predicted this event over six hundred years before it occurred. Jesus could not have manipulated these events, nor could Luke, the historian who recorded its fulfillment. More than sixty fulfilled Messianic prophecies like this validate the Bible as the Word of God.

As you familiarize yourself with these categories of amazing biblical predictions, you will certainly be equipped to give amazing evidences that the Bible is God’s impeccable truth for mankind. Perhaps it will even add to your own excitement about your faith.

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The Old Testament is filled with dozens of specific messianic prophecies that were miraculously fulfilled. Every believer should memorize the most obvious and memorable of these prophecies. They include specific PROPHECIES ABOUT HIS LIFE: born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:18), born in the small town of Bethlehem (Micah 5:2; Matthew 2:1), and a healer of the blind and needy (Isaiah 35:5–6; Matthew 11:5). PROPHECIES ABOUT HIS SACRIFICIAL DEATH: beaten and spat upon (Isaiah 50:6; Mark 14:65), crucified with sinners (Isaiah 53:12; Matthew 27:38), and buried with the rich (Isaiah 53:9; Matthew 27:57–60). PROPHECIES ABOUT HIS VICTORY OVER DEATH: His resurrection from the dead (Psalm 16:10; Mark 16:6), His ascension into heaven (Psalm 68:18; Mark 16:19), and His exaltation at God’s right hand (Psalm 110:1; 1 Peter 3:22).

Dan Hayden holds a ThM from the Dallas Theological Seminary. He continues to educate and entertain on his Internet podcast, A Word from the Word, while serving as the director of ministries at Sola Scriptura.

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Fulfilled Messianic Prophecies

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Answers Magazine

April – June 2011

Continual attacks on God’s Word can cause even Christians to question the Bible. Are you prepared to answer the attacks, or more important, questions from those who honestly want to learn how we know God’s Word is true? This issue of Answers will burrow down to the heart of the matter, highlighting seven reasons we know the Bible is true!

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  1. Josh McDowell, Daniel in the Critics’ Den (Orlando, Florida: Here’s Life Publishers, Campus Crusade for Christ, 1979).
  2. Sources for historical and Messianic prophecies: Dan Hayden, “Prophecy: Were the Biblical Prophets Accountable for Their Accuracy?” in Did God Write the Bible? (Wheaton, Illinois: Crossway Books, 2007) and Erwin Lutzer, “Reason Three: A Prophetic Reason” in Seven Reasons Why You Can Trust the Bible (Chicago, Illinois: Moody Press, 1998).


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