Apr 4, 2011

33 Did the Old Testament prophesy Jesus a lot

Believer says: The Old Testament contains literally scores of prophecies about Jesus.

But skeptic says: The prophecies aren’t really about Jesus. The supposed Jesus prophecies are easy to dismiss. For examples:
#1) A supposed Jesus prophecy
Isaiah 53 predicted that Jesus would be a “suffering servant.” On the cross he would take our sins onto himself. 

But it wasn't about Jesus. It referred to Israel’s faithful during turbulent times around 550 BC. God would save Israel thanks to the faithful. But no thanks went to anybody who had strayed from God’s law. In other words, the faithful carried the burden, and so they were the “suffering servant.”

#2) A supposed Jesus prophecy
Psalm 22 predicted the cross and said about Jesus, “they tear at me, and they're at me like lions.” 

But wasn't about Jesus. It talked figuratively about David in the tenth century BC, when he was on the lam and afraid of his enemies who the psalm calls “bulls, dogs, and lions.” David was hunted by his enemies more than just once. One of the times was when they were at him “like lions.” 

#3) A supposed Jesus prophecy
Deuteronomy 18:15,18 says Moses predicted Jesus. 

But wasn't about Jesus. It simply stated that “a prophet like Moses” (or prophets in the plural like Moses) would serve the people after Moses. We could count many prophets after Moses in the Old Testament.

#4) A supposed Jesus prophecy
Psalm 110 says that God talked with Christ. 

But it wasn't about Jesus. The psalm opens with “the Lord said to my Lord.” God made a declaration to the new king, likely King Solomon in the tenth century BC. The psalm begins by saying God welcomed "my lord." In other words, the new Jerusalem king. Thus God didn't talk with Jesus.

#5) A supposed Jesus prophecy
Isaiah predicted that a virgin woman would give birth to Jesus. 

But it wasn't about Jesus. It predicted that “a maiden" would conceive a son.” It didn't say the maiden would have a miracle birth. It also predicted the future when the son got to be five or ten years old in war-torn Judea of 734 BC. There wasn't any news of a virgin birth then.

#6) A supposed Jesus prophecy
Genesis 18 has a story that included the Christian Trinity--the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. 

What Trinity? In the story Abraham came out of his tent and greeted God and two angels. They were Abraham’s three supernatural visitors. 

#7) A supposed Jesus prophecy
Psalm 2:7 says God talked to his son, who was Jesus. 

But it wasn't Jesus. The psalm says “you are my son.” It says the son sat on the Jerusalem throne. Any king was regarded as God’s son.

#8) A supposed Jesus prophecy
Psalm 69:21 predicted that Jesus would be given poison to drink on the cross. 

But it wasn't about Jesus. The psalm says “when I was hungry, they gave me poison.” On the whole the psalm was a complaint from David about his enemies in the tenth century BC. 

#9) A supposed Jesus prophecy
Genesis 49:10 predicted that Jesus would become king of Judea.

But it wasn't about Jesus. Genesis predicted that “the scepter belonged to Judah’s tribe until another person rules in its place.” Rightful kings came from the tribe of Judah; the kingly line was supposed come from that tribe alone. But kings who weren't rightful ones would sit on the throne eventually. They would rule in Judah's place. There was nothing about Jesus.

Recap: Christians claim there's a host of Old Testament prophecies about Jesus. But Christians say, too, they were double prophecies whenever the context pointed away from Jesus. They say one part was about contemporary events and another part was about Jesus. But I say the context pointed away from Jesus altogether. Or it was vague. If you drew from double prophecy and vagueness, you could make room for most any claim.

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