Fulfilled Prophecy – Proof of Bible’s Divine Inspiration?

New thread courtesy of J.D. – he writes:

Christians claim that the Bible has hundreds of fulfilled prophecies, and is proof of its divine inspiration. In actuality, these so called fulfilled prophecies failed, were false or weren’t prophecies at all. Many of these prophecies are so vague, they can be attributed to different events. It’s also a fact that the Bible was written 100’s, even 1000’s of years after these presumed prophecies and their “fulfillment” took place. It’s also fair to mention that nowhere in the Bible will you find countries such as the United States, Russia, China, Korea, Great Britain prophesied. Oh Christians will tell you that they are, if you know how to interpret the Bible.

Genesis 26:4 And I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these countries; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed.

Here God tells Isaac that his descendents (Hebrews) will be as numerous as the stars. Considering the number of stars there are in the universe, that would have to be on the order of 10 to the power of 20 Jewish people.
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Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

Christians say that this verse is a prophecy of Jesus’ birth to a virgin. There are a couple problems with this prophecy…First, virgin in this verse is a mistranslation of the Hebrew word “almah”, which actually means “young woman”. A young woman is not necessarily a virgin. “Bethulah” would have been the correct word to use if the author meant virgin. Second, nowhere in the New Testament is Jesus referred to as Immanuel.
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Isaiah 17:1 The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap.

Damascus is still inhabited today with over a million people, and hardly a ruinous heap.
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Isaiah 19:4-5 And the Egyptians will I give over into the hand of a cruel lord; and a fierce king shall rule over them, saith the Lord, the LORD of hosts. And the waters shall fail from the sea, and the river shall be wasted and dried up.

The river mentioned here is the Nile. The Nile is still one of Egypt’s greatest natural resource.
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Isaiah 19:18 In that day shall five cities in the land of Egypt speak the language of Canaan, and swear to the LORD of hosts; one shall be called, The city of destruction.

The Canaanite language has never been spoken in Egypt, and is now an extinct.
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Isaiah 52:1 Awake, awake; put on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city: for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean.

There are uncircumcised people living in Jerusalem even today.
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Ezekiel 29:10-11 Behold, therefore I am against thee, and against thy rivers, and I will make the land of Egypt utterly waste and desolate, from the tower of Syene even unto the border of Ethiopia. No foot of man shall pass through it, nor foot of beast shall pass through it, neither shall it be inhabited forty years.

Never in its long history has Egypt ever been uninhabited for forty years.
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Amos 9:15 And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the LORD thy God.

Many times, Jews have been pulled up out of their land. The ownership of their land is still being fought for.
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Jonah 3:4 And Jonah began to enter into the city a day’s journey, and he cried, and said, Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown.

Nineveh was never overthrown. Why? Because God changed his mind in verse 3:10, despite what Malachi 3:6, Numbers 23:19 and Ezekiel 24:14 says about God never changing his mind.

Jonah 3:10 And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not.

(another note on this one:so god did evil huh? sinned? not so perfect?)
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Zechariah 11:12 And I said unto them, If ye think good, give me my price; and if not, forbear. So they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver.

Christians say that this prophecy is was fulfilled when Judas received 30 pieces of silver for betraying Jesus. Matthew 27:9 recites this verse, but incorrectly credits Jeremiah with the prophecy.
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Matthew 1:22-23 Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

Again, Jesus is never referred to as Emmanuel (Immanuel).
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Matthew 2:23 And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene.

Nowhere in the Old Testament is such a prophecy found, so how could such a one be fulfilled?
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Matthew 12:5 Or have ye not read in the law, how that on the sabbath days the priests in the temple profane the sabbath, and are blameless?

There is no passage in the Old Testament that can be attributed to what Jesus is saying here.
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Matthew 24:34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.

Jesus states that all the signs marking the end of the world in Matthew 24 would be fulfilled before his generation ended. That generation ended 2000 years ago, and the world has not come to an end, neither has all those signs been fulfilled.
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Matthew 27:9 Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying, And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him that was valued, whom they of the children of Israel did value.

This prophecy was never spoken by Jeremiah.
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Matthew 26:64 Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.

Jesus tells the high priest that he would see his second coming. The high priest is long dead, and Jesus hasn’t returned yet.
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Throughout the New Testament, the end of the world is prophesied as being very near, at hand, to be witnessed by those living at the time. Paul often told the people he preached to that they would be witnesses to Jesus’ second coming. They are all long gone.

69 Responses to Fulfilled Prophecy – Proof of Bible’s Divine Inspiration?

  1. […] douglawrence wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptChristians claim that the Bible has hundreds of fulfilled prophecies, and is proof of its divine inspiration. In actuality, these so called fulfilled prophecies failed, were false or weren’t prophecies at all. Many of these prophecies … […]

  2. J.D. says:

    SO what your thoughts on this?

  3. The Atheist says:

    J.D.

    I think the fact that in most instances, the “prophesies” were recorded after the “fulfillment” is the most damning of all since it invalidates even prophecies that seem like they could have been fulfilled. Then of course, there are the prophesies that were never fulfilled.

    I agree that the prophesies as interpreted by Christians are unfulfilled, but consider this: if the prophesies were written after the fact (and most, but not all were), then I would expect that they would have been written in such a way as to make contemporary events, which were in recent memory at that time, appear as the fulfillment of the prophecy. That being the case, it would be interesting to understand how the prophecy would have appeared fulfilled to ancient readers.

    The other case, when prophecy was written in anticipation of events, occurred in dire times when the prophets wanted their contemporary readers to hold out hope that their suffering was just part of the prophecy and that they should not despair.

    Here are just a few thoughts on a few of the particular prophesies:

    Genesis 26:4 And I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these countries; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed.

    ‘Numerous as the stars’ could simply be an idiom, but I don’t know for a fact that it is. The part that says “thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed” would be hard to justify if we follow the Israelites through history and up to present day.

    Isaiah 19:18 …The Canaanite language has never been spoken in Egypt, and is now an extinct.

    Technically, Hebrew is a Canaanite language and it was not predominant in Egypt, but it was spoken there. That’s clearly not what the prophecy meant though.

    Matthew 1:22-23 …Jesus is never referred to as Emmanuel (Immanuel).

    This one is forgivable, although there is no evidence of prophecy fulfillment. The reason is the the name, “Immanuel,” is a translation of Hebrew: “Imanu El” – Imanu is the 1st-person plural form of “with”, so it is literally “with us;” and “El” is one of the names for God in the Hebrew Bible. So one could make the case that believing that Jesus was God who came to live among men is tantamount to calling him Immanuel.

    Matthew 2:23 Nowhere in the Old Testament is such a prophecy found, so how could such a one be fulfilled?

    It gets worse: archaeologists have actually found the city of Nazareth, but the city had not yet been built by the early part of the first century.

  4. J.D. says:

    I should have made clear that this is if you take the bible literally that is part of my basis for this. If you only take part of the bible literally, and others as idioms, then you are only doing your religion harm. Because there is no way to distinguish one from the other in the case of the bible. Exception: when they say, “this is a story, this is a parable,” etc.

    Other than that I agree with you.

  5. The Reverend says:

    I view biblical prophecies the same way I view the prophecies of Nostradamus, Jeanne Dixon and Jimmie the Greek. Although, with Jimmie, he used statistics and made specific predictions. But he still got it wrong.

    This makes me think of the jewish state of Israel. From what I understand the conservative christians support a jewish state because, according to biblical prophecy, the messiah’s return depends on it’s existence. I say such support would actually taint the prophecy and make it self-fulfilling, thereby rendering the biblical prophecy null and void.

  6. The Atheist says:

    I see what you mean – the prophesies are vague enough so that they could be (and have been!) interpreted in quite a wide variety of way.

    I don’t know that much about Nostradamus’ prophesies, other than some casual reading on the web and a few TV shows. But off the cuff, I think the majority of prophesies in the Hebrew Bible are different than the Nostradamus’ prophesies in an important way: the majority of prophesies in the Hebrew Bible were written after the prophesied event. So the motive of those prophecies seems to be to reinterpret tragic events as a punishment of God, or to reinterpret fortunate events as a reward from God. The motivation was not to foretell the future.

    Other prophesies, like the ones in the 2nd part of Isaiah, were made during distressful times (e.g., the exile) as a promise that God would intervene on behalf of the Israelites in times of distress. These took the form of threats to the Israelite’s oppressors, or promises of salvation (physical, not spiritual as in the New Testament) for the Israelites. These prophesies were intended to foretell the future. Possibly these are most like the prophesies of Nostradamus?

  7. The Reverend says:

    You are right, and I should have seen that distinction. I was only looking at the vagueness(?) of the prophesies. Back to the books.

    Excellent site, by the way. Extremely informative.

  8. The Atheist says:

    Thanks! I appreciate your contributions to it!!

  9. […] In actuality, these so called fulfilled prophecies failed, were false or weren??t prophecies at all.https://askanatheist.wordpress.com/2008/05/16/fulfilled-prophecy-proff-of-bibles-divine-inspiration/Gemstones in Jewish High Priest&39s Breastplate Page 209Ch. 32: Stones in jewish high Priest&39s […]

  10. J.D. says:

    Can you clarify that last bit. I am not sure how to navigate about that comment.

  11. Dal Koyo says:

    In response to ‘The Atheist in reference to Nostradamus: Even a blindfolded child can hit the pinata once in a while.

    Good discussion going on here.

  12. The Atheist says:

    Dal Koyo,

    Welcome to the discussion! Good point – what would truly be miraculous is if none of Nostradamus’ many prophecies could be construed as having come true.

  13. Daughter of a King says:

    We absolutely DO call Him Emmanuel, as did Mary and Joseph who knew who He was. So did His followers who believed He was indeed God. This doesn’t mean that was meant to be His proper name.

    ‘Call His name’ simply means ‘call Him’, doesn’t mean Emmanuel becomes His official name. It’s just like another passage of Isaiah – ‘and His name will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace’. These clearly are meant to be titles and not His proper name.

  14. Daughter of a King says:

    by “they would be witnessed to Jesus second coming didn’t mean they were going to be alive on earth. They did die on earth. but not “long gone”. They are also waiting for Jesus’s second coming. Which they will witness

  15. Daughter of a King says:

    Something that you need to realize also is the bible has been revised so that we can better understand it. And many words have been changed throught out the years for our better understanding; so when it says that God repented of what was gonna be done to niniveh…. Its obvious that “repent” is not the correct word. Because God does not repent. The new translations of the bible have placed that word there but it is not what should be there. That is why you don’t put too much emphasis on one word.

  16. Daughter of a King says:

    About the damascus prophecy. It was already fulfilled.The burden of Damascus refers to the capital city of Syria. Along with Isaiah 7, it predicts the downfall of the coalition between Syria and Ephraim. Tiglath- pileser of Assyria destroyed Damascus in 732 B.C…this was the fulfillment of that prophecy.

  17. Daughter of a King says:

    The prophecy mentioned in Isaiah 52 has not been fulfilled because it is will come to pass in the millenium (the 1000 years). The millenium will occur after the 7 years of tribulation. This is after his 2nd coming. Which has not yet occured.

  18. The Atheist says:

    Daughter of a King,

    Thanks for stopping by to comment!

    We absolutely DO call Him Emmanuel…

    I agree with you here. Here’s what I posted earlier (above) in response to the claim of this failed prophesy: “he reason is the the name, “Immanuel,” is a translation of Hebrew: “Imanu El” – Imanu is the 1st-person plural form of “with”, so it is literally “with us;” and “El” is one of the names for God in the Hebrew Bible. So one could make the case that believing that Jesus was God who came to live among men is tantamount to calling him Immanuel.”

  19. The Atheist says:

    Daughter of a King,

    by “they would be witnessed to Jesus second coming didn’t mean they were going to be alive on earth.

    I think the 2nd-coming prophesy did mean that the witnesses would still be alive on earth. In Mat 24, Mar 30, and Luke 21, when Jesus is telling the disciples when He will return, He says in verse 34: “I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.”

  20. The Atheist says:

    Daughter of a King,

    Something that you need to realize also is the bible has been revised so that we can better understand it.

    Who do you believed revised the Bible, and how can you tell that their purpose for the revisions were to help us better understand?

    Its obvious that “repent” is not the correct word. Because God does not repent.

    How can you tell that the verses that say that God repented are not the correct verses, and the verses that say that God does not repent are the incorrect verses?

  21. The Atheist says:

    Daughter of a King,

    Tiglath- pileser of Assyria destroyed Damascus in 732 B.C…this was the fulfillment of that prophecy.

    Then given the chronology, do you agree that this “prophesy” may have been written after the destruction of Damascus? If not, how do you know that it was written earlier?

  22. The Atheist says:

    Daughter of a King,

    The prophecy mentioned in Isaiah 52 has not been fulfilled because it is will come to pass in the millenium (the 1000 years).

    Deutero-Isaiah (chapters 40 – 55) was written during the exile in Assyria and this prophesy echoed the hopes that the Israelites held for Jerusalem in Judah (which was a refuge for some who fled from the Northern Kingdom during the exile). The time for this prophesy’s fulfillment is long since passed.

  23. Daughter of a King says:

    a bout the “God repenting” well God does not contradict himself this is why I say it was incorrectly interpreted. And it was King James who revised the “king James” Version… and well the bible has been revised so many times and the words made simpler and simpler each time. For exaple, If i were to write “Your irrelevant comment about the spheric apple was unnecessary in the argument between Luis and Ana”…and somebody trying to translate it into a different language or the same one but with simpler words with a more understandable vocabulary…….and it looked something like this:……”When you talked you said the wrong thing about the round apple in Luis and Ana’s fight”……… Same kinda thing but little words such as fight… and round…and “saying the wrong thing”….. can give the reader other conclusions about the phrase… they get the same idea but you know what I mean? cuz i have a teen bible and the words are made so much simpler for me to understand that I feel a lot of important details are missing. So when the bible was interpreted from the original language they used that word… to interpret it but it really doesn’t go there. You know what i mean?

  24. Daughter of a King says:

    are you aware of what the millenium is though? thats the time its talking about.. and yes issaiah was written then, but it was prohesizing about the millenium

  25. The Atheist says:

    Daughter of a King,

    a bout the “God repenting” well God does not contradict himself this is why I say it was incorrectly interpreted.

    Even if we were to agree that “God does not contradict himself”, how can you be certain that it’s not the other way around? Could it be that the verses that are the correct ones are the verses that say that God repents, and the incorrect verses are the ones that indicate that God does not repent?

    and well the bible has been revised so many times and the words made simpler and simpler each time.

    Are you aware that we have ancient Hebrew and Greek manuscripts which are presumably much closer the the original wording than the kind of simplification-by-translation that you are describing? We don’t have to depend on these simplified translations you speak of for our understanding of what the original manuscripts might have said. So when some verses say that God repents and others say that he does not, we can look at the most ancient manuscripts we have (which are in the original language – not translations) to verify that those verses indeed say that God repents.

  26. Daughter of a King says:

    Because that is what a prophecy is lol.. thats how i know it was before. and well those prophecies tha are full of promises to Israel have not been fulfilled yet… they will in the millenium….. again have you read about the millenium?

  27. The Atheist says:

    Daughter of a King,

    are you aware of what the millenium is though?

    Yup ;)

    thats the time its talking about..

    How can you tell?

  28. The Atheist says:

    Daughter of a King

    Because that is what a prophecy is lol.. thats how i know it was before.

    But how do you know that this “prophecy” wasn’t a fake prophesy written after the event?

    and well those prophecies tha are full of promises to Israel have not been fulfilled yet… they will in the millenium…..

    How do you know they will be fulfilled? How do you know that they are not simply false prophesies?

    again have you read about the millenium?

    Yup ;)

  29. Daughter of a King says:

    yes I’m aware of that but I have been too lazy to look at those and don’t know where to find them. I have been wanting to find those original documents well i mean the original writings. Do you know where I can find them?… and well I guess you didn’t understand my little exaple about the apple and the argument….. What i was trying to say is.. lets erase that word repentance… I’m saying that the word belonging there shouldve been a different one… and that one was placed there…. like the word could have been that God felt bad for them or something else… because repentance means being sorry for a sin you have commited. There was no sin there in order for God to repent of it… he doesn’t sin. Therefore he can’t repent. Thats why it couldnt’ve been the other way around. 1. because God does not sin and therefore can’t repent of sin. 2. if it was then the word there wasnt repent in the original document. or writings

  30. Daughter of a King says:

    I know it because it is in the word of God. In the bible God says if you give your life to him you are new and become his and that you become alive, a new man that is no longer a slave of sin. All of a sudden his holy spirit is within you and you feel it and it gives you joy. After accepting Jesus in my heart and reading about it it’s like wow. I can not doubt that this God exists and his word is true. After experiencing him in me.. I believe what his word promises… becuase i have experienced it… and therefore have faith in it now. That is why I know they are not false prophecies… just like in the word he said that when i gave my life to him i would have a new nature…. ui believe that there will be a millenium. I believe in his second coming. I believe I will live with him forever eternally after death and his second coming… unless he decides to come before i die here on earth then ill just go straight to him.

  31. The Atheist says:

    Daughter of a King,

    I have been wanting to find those original documents well i mean the original writings. Do you know where I can find them?…

    Haven’t we all! :)) If I knew where to find the originals, I would be famous. But I do know where to find the earliest copies available. These copies were written in the same language as the originals (e.g., Hebrew, Greek, Aramaic) – in other words, they are not translations.

    Wikipedia has some good information on the oldest Hebrew-Bible manuscripts:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Codex_Cairensis
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leningrad_Codex
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tanakh_at_Qumran

    The Hebrew manuscripts are pretty much the same with only minor differences. They all say the same thing: that God repented.

    Wikipedia also has some good information on the oldest Greek manuscripts:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Codex_Sinaiticus
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Codex_Vaticanus

    What i was trying to say is.. lets erase that word repentance… I’m saying that the word belonging there shouldve been a different one…

    You can erase the word in your own personal version if you like – but that doesn’t change the fact that the earliest known manuscripts say that God repented, and by all indications, the original manuscripts said it too.

    repentance means being sorry for a sin you have committed.

    Actually, that is not what the word repentance means. Repentance means to feel remorse, or to be sorry for any act, regardless of whether the act was a sin.

  32. The Atheist says:

    Daughter of a King,

    When I asked, “How do you know [the prophecies] will be fulfilled”, you answered: “I know it because it is in the word of God.” But how do you know the Bible is the Word of God?

    I’m not sure I understood the rest of your comment – are you saying that you believe in God because things in the Bible, like prophecy, convince you that it is divine, or are you saying that you believe that the Bible is the Word of God because of an spiritual experience you had? In other words, I’m asking which came first: the belief that the Bible is divine, which makes you believe in God, or and experience with God that makes you believe that the Bible is the Word of God?

  33. Daughter of a King says:

    An experience with God is what made me believe that the Bible is the word of God.

  34. Daughter of a King says:

    An experience with God is what made me believe that the Bible is the word of God

  35. The Atheist says:

    If the question is not to personal, could I ask you to describe that experience? Please don’t feel you have to respond if it is too personal.

    Also, many people of many different faiths claim that they experience the presence of their particular God. How can you be sure that what you experienced was not a God of one of these other faiths?

  36. jblove50 says:

    so in regard to…

    Ezekiel 29:10-11 Behold, therefore I am against thee, and against thy rivers, and I will make the land of Egypt utterly waste and desolate, from the tower of Syene even unto the border of Ethiopia. No foot of man shall pass through it, nor foot of beast shall pass through it, neither shall it be inhabited forty years.

    Never in its long history has Egypt ever been uninhabited for forty years.

    and another one of your attempts to disprove prophecies..

    Isaiah 19:18 In that day shall five cities in the land of Egypt speak the language of Canaan, and swear to the LORD of hosts; one shall be called, The city of destruction.

    The Canaanite language has never been spoken in Egypt, and is now an extinct.

    how can you know all of this?
    were you there??
    i dont think so.
    you have gained this knowledge
    from “credible” history books, websites,
    classes, wherever you learned it.
    But what makes where you learned you info
    any more credible than the Bible?
    there is no way to prove exactly what has happened
    in history. we only learn by what people have written
    down before us and as im sure you as well know humans
    are flawed in some ways. i understand you not agreeing with
    the bible exactly but honestly from what i have read of your
    ideas about it you seem to have alot of knowledge about the
    bible but never really given it a chance to be true.
    i mean i cant really judge what you have done and not done
    but thats just what it seems. i really believe if you give it a chance
    maybe you can see just an inkling into what us christians are thinking.

  37. Daughter of a King says:

    Well in my personal experience I was praying and one of the guys from the church started praying for me… and God’s presence was over me I knew it because I was crying of joy for this feeling I had in the moment I knew it was the presence of God because I dont just start crying out of joy… and my whole body was like weak and I felt like my legs were to weak to hold my body and that is how it felt.

  38. Lisa Bee says:

    I have estimated that some 32 million words have been added to the English vocabulary since c100. This is approximately about the time Revelation was written.

    The contradiction is not with the Bible itself, but in the translation, as well as, the interpretation of the Bible–which now include many.
    Sheol is such a word. Sheol can mean grave, afterlife, hell, and death. An Example is in Psalms 16:10 when David states that “you shall not leave my soul in (Sheol) Hell. The interpreter said this was Hell, and many church doctrines was built around this single verse. If you place the correct interpretation of grave, then you have a whole different meaning to the word.

    The same goes for ‘God hated Esau” God did not hate Esau, the correct interpretation should have been God did not ‘chose’ Esau. Lisa Bee

  39. The Atheist says:

    All,

    Sorry I’ve taken so long to respond. I’ve been incredibly busy with work the last several weeks and have simply not had time. But my work load is getting back to normal so I’ll be around much more.

    jblove50

    First, let me say: thanks for the comments and welcome to the blog!

    how can you know all of this? were you there??

    Is this a serious question? How do you know what’s written in the Bible is true … were you there? :))

    (questions like that sound pretty silly, don’t they?)

    i really believe if you give it a chance maybe you can see just an inkling into what us christians are thinking.

    I’ll be happy to give it a chance… yet again ;) Can you give me any compelling reasons why I should accept that everything that the Bible says is true? Or perhaps you don’t believe that everything it says is true – just most things, or perhaps only certain things (in which case we might agree on many of those things). If that is the case, which parts would you have me accept as true and why?

  40. The Atheist says:

    Daughter of a King,

    God’s presence was over me I knew it because I was crying of joy for this feeling I had in the moment

    Interesting! When I read your post, I got to wondering if believers other than Christians feel the presence of their Gods. I did a little searching around on the web and, as you might guess, they do. Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, etc. all claim to feel the presence of their Gods and they all have emotional responses to the “presence”. Yet this can’t be the case since belief in one of these Gods precludes belief in the others. Perhaps what you felt was one of these other Gods? Or perhaps the emotional response that you and believers in other Gods feel is just a perceived presence? Your thoughts?

  41. The Atheist says:

    Lisa Bee

    Welcome to the blog!

    God did not hate Esau, the correct interpretation should have been God did not ‘chose’ Esau

    Are you referring to Mal 1:3? The word translated as hate is “SNE” (saw-neh) … which means ‘a personal hatred’ in any other context I’ve seen. Can you cite a context where is simply means ‘not to choose’?

    I think you are right that sheol could be used to refer to the grave or the underworld. That is as I would expect since in ancient times, those two concepts were conflated. I think that the whole concept of an underworld likely came from the fact that dead people were buried in the ground. If the dead were imagined to still be alive in some sense, they were imagined to be alive under the ground – in an underworld

  42. Lisa Bee says:

    Yes, the original verse is in Malachi 1:3 but the continuation of the verse and the consequences is found in Hebrew 12:16-17 16Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright.

    17For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.

    The blessings that would have been bestowed upon him would have far out weighed the morsel of food that he received. The main point to the story is that there is a time when it becomes “to late” to repent of our actions.

    What is an atheists expectations of life after death? Lisa Bee

  43. The Atheist says:

    Lisa,

    Just to be clear, are you suggesting that Heb 12:16-17 is the key evidence that the Hebrew word, “SNE”, does not mean “hate” but instead means “not chosen”? I would be especially interested to hear your take on other mistakes that linguists have made in translating the Bible, and I would even more be interested in your justifications. Thanks for taking the time to explain!

    What is an atheists expectations of life after death?

    Nice segue! :))

    There is no “official” atheist belief about life after death. I would guess the vast majority would believe that death by definition means the end of life. Do you feel that this issue of life after death is somehow tied to this discussion topic?

  44. Lisa Bee says:

    Life after death has always been tied to each topic of the Bible, This is the main concept behind the scriptures. Our afterlife is a product of our earthly behavior.

    Man often confuses themselves with foolish misconceptions of what heaven and hell are like, based on our own selfish wants and desires that are a part of our lives. This is not what the scriptures attest to. The roman catholic church has done much to destroy the Bible truths. Satan could not win by the persecution of the church, so the church became the persecutor. The doctrines of original sin, Jesus descent into hell, purgatory, and limbo (all false doctrines) were created by man to justify their own actions and none are Biblical. I know I have given you lots to start new threads on–oh happy days.

  45. The Atheist says:

    Lisa,

    What are you talking about? If I didn’t know better, I’d say you were ignoring earlier posts on this thread and just “saying stuff”. Is this a response to something someone posted earlier? Or is it a clarification of statement you made earlier?

  46. Xela777 says:

    Lord have mercy! [He does ; ) ] I read about halfway down so I could be considerate responder, but halfway down I got bored so I’m skipping down here. Sorry.

    Now, I am going to try to respond to EVERY single one of these “false” prophecies, even though I hate taking up space.

    Genesis 26:4
    K, yes, it may be an idiom, thank you for understanding how the Jews were very … expressive type people, but if even that doesn’t satisfy you, I could just say that we’ll keep reproducing in heaven, which means eternal reproduction, which means eventually at some point that Isaac’s descendants will easily outnumber the starts, given eternity.

    Isaiah 7:14
    Did you like study Hebrew so you could faultilize our translation, or…? No, seriously, I’m curious to know what you’re doing knowing Hebrew. While I have no comments on the Hebrew translation, is it possible that instead of “young woman” it means, say, more accurately, maiden? Maiden’s are young women and virgins.

    Isaiah 17:1
    That is the, shall we say, new, Damascus? The one the speaker is referring to is his current Damascus, which is somewhere underground, built upon by the new. The point is, it’s gone. Was the Ottoman empire STILL the REAL Ottoman empire in WWII?

    Isaiah 19:4-5
    Um, how do you know he’s talking about the Nile? RIght, I know it’s LIKELY it’s the Nile, but, it could be something else. And also, this prophecy could’ve been fulfilled technically just by drying it up for a short amount of time, say, a day? Come now, you can’t realistically expect the Nile to be a huge gushing river for a whole 2000 years, can you? It must have had SOME irregular cycle.

    Isaiah 19:18
    I’m sorry, didn’t someone earlier post that Hebrew “IS” a Canaanite tongue? Someone give me and 5 cites worth a sentence and Hebrew, and we’ll go down and repeat it this summer. ; )

    Isaiah 52:1
    This could be a reference to heaven, doesn’t have to be now. Yes, I’m sorry we’re so hard to pin down due to our lack of date specific prophecies, but, atheists keep saying “wait, we’ll find it!”

    Ezekiel 29:10-11
    K, it’s a long history, some of which hasn’t been recorded. You sure you checked all those years? And who says women and children can’t live in it?

    Amos 9:15
    I respond to this with “heaven” again. And I’d like to point out that the Jews are the only people to keep a national identity without a homeland for more than 5 generations? Other nations lose theirs in three.

    Jonah’s
    These things about God don’t necessarily talk about a constant quality of not-changing-mindness. The first you gave talks about how God Himself never changes. He doesn’t switch between bi-polarism and normal type thinking. This doesn’t mean He can’t change His mind. (By the way, He already knew He would forgive them, but He’s not going to say that when they still have to, otherwise there’d be no point.) To the second Jonah part, what the devil translation are you using?! And who could possibly translate it like that!?

    Matthew 2:23
    Wait, you’re asking how we don’t call E/Immanuel E/Immanuel? Are you kidding? I love Immanuel! I sing that song every Christmas! (there, I just called Him Immanuel. I qualify as “they”, because it’s talking about people in the future.)

    Matthew 2:23
    You do realize there’s a difference between speaking and writing, right? Or I could take the atheist trapdoor out and say “We haven’t found it yet!”

    Matthew 12:5
    You scanned the whole OT? Wait, how is this even a prophecy? And Jesus is talking about the law, not the Torah.

    Matthew 24:34
    WoAH WoAH whoa there! Wrong generation! He’s talking about the generation that “sees the budding of the fig tree.” Re-read it. I will suggest that this budding is Israel becoming a nation again, which was 1948, so, my end-of-the-world forecast is 2048 (generation=100 years in my opinion). No, when He doesn’t come back that doesn’t mean the Bible is wrong, it means I was wrong.

    Matthew 27:9
    What, “Jeremy” the prophet? Who’s that? Or are we talking about Jeremiah? What, did you hear all of his speeches?

    Matthew 26:64
    Um, why does this mean the second coming? He, could die, see Jesus, while Jesus is riding a cloud towards him? Or, He COULD be talking about the second coming. See below.

    To the rest of the stuff 1:1
    To God 1,000 years is a day, soooo…
    And, if Paul’s promising Christians that they’ll see the second coming, of course they will! Either you’re dead or alive, and the dead ones come back during the second coming!

    Anything else? Or did I not beat one up thoroughly enough? (Sorry for taking so much room)

  47. Xela777 says:

    And how do I change my “profile” pic? I don’t like looking like some confused timid guy.

  48. The Atheist says:

    Xela777

    FYI: I haven’t seen J.D. (the author of this post) on this blog in quite a while. He may not be around any longer to respond…

    But I am interested in your approach to the contradictions. Let me start by asking about a few comments you made:

    I could just say that we’ll keep reproducing in heaven, which means eternal reproduction, which means eventually at some point that Isaac’s descendants will easily outnumber the starts, given eternity.

    RIght, I know it’s LIKELY it’s the Nile, but, it could be something else.

    You seem to be speculating that we keep reproducing in heaven, or that the Nile mentioned isn’t the same Nile, for the sole purpose of resolving a biblical prophesy. Other than the fact that you would seem to propose anything if it would resolve the conflict, do you have any basis for believing that we will reproduce in heaven, or that the Nile mentioned isn’t the same Nile?

    If not, then I hope you’re joking by this post, or if you’re not joking, then I would respectfully like to ask you to consider that your line of thinking seems dangerously close to a psychiatric definition of delusion. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delusion#Psychiatric_definition for a lay description, and perhaps research the topic more on your own. Then give some thought to what constitutes “healthy” thinking.

  49. Xela777 says:

    No, it never actually says “Nile”. It just mentions a river in Egypt. And, if we’ll keep assuming it’s the Nile, this could be a future-to-us-prophecy. Nile is never mentioned by name is my point, therefore I do not think it’s a “viable” target. And some of my “responses” were on the spot-bull, are there any I should redo?

    But I seriously wonder if we keep reproducing in heaven. Can I get any Christian feedback on this?

  50. Damian says:

    Reproducing in heaven sounds a bit iffy to me. If your spouse is not a Christian then you are going to have to hook up with someone else. And you’d have to also wonder if there would be contraceptives in heaven too – think about it; if you live for eternity and have a baby every 10 years you are going to be a bit over it after you’ve popped out the 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000th one.

    For that matter, has anyone ever really considered what it would actually be like to live forever?

  51. Xela777 says:

    It usually overwhelms me at times, but oh well. To the population count, I was thinking that heaven would be not just an earth, but like new solar system, galaxy, such and such, so we could just reach out into space. And there wouldn’t be any pain, cause all remnants of sin are gone.

    The thing that bothers me is that it doesn’t seem God would do away with something so grand ( ;) ), but it also seems like He would, because of the passage in Matthew, where…

    The Pharisees ask Jesus, if a chick marries a guy, he dies, she marries again, he dies, if she marries again, he dies, all in all 7 times, who gets her in heaven? Jesus responds with the idea that we will no longer “be given in marriage, but will be like the angels in heaven.”

    Ok…
    So are angels neutered, (But Jesus keeps his gender, wouldn’t we?) do they have parties on the weekends, do they partner with someone for 100 years and move on, in vitro, what? I think Billy Graham wrote in a book once that angels can’t reproduce, but then what are the sons of God that find girls so attractive in Genesis 6?

    Think I’ll post for a new forum.

  52. Damian says:

    Yeah, that’s probably a question for a theologian rather than an atheist. Another good question for them would be how could anyone ever really be in ‘heaven’ if they knew that someone they loved was suffering for all eternity in hell?

  53. xela777 says:

    As mean as we sound, if you don’t want to accept my Lord, and reject Him openly, ignore me throughout our lifetime, no matter how many times I explain, in the end of the end, why should I care?

    Ok, so if that’s too harsh, if you would rather be without God, and you’re in hell, and that’s what you wanted, well then good for you.

    By the way, I’m going off the definition (mine of course) that hell is eternal separation from God, not necessarily a “burn because you don’t obey me” thing. Do we need to start a post on hell?

  54. Damian says:

    “Why should I care?”
    Really? Is this what you call ‘love’? If I were to learn that my wife was suffering eternally despite my repeated warnings I would be completely torn up.

    With regard to a definition of hell, take a look through Jesus’ mentions of it. He seems pretty emphatic that it is more of the ‘fire’ kind than the ‘separation’ kind.

  55. xela777 says:

    Could be figurative speech. Could be literal.

    I thought that was the reaction I would get. Christians are told not marry non-Christians for this reason.

    I’m going with the assumption that I’m going to judge evil like God does in the future/heaven, I’m guessing this is what I would say to you then. And the idea is we’re supposed to love God more, that’s the whole point.

    I’ll toss in the idea that husbands should also probably love their wives enough to temporarily go to hell, like Jesus was forsaken by God for us, although none of us really get the “opportunity”. I’m thinking of the song “Inside the Fire” btw.

  56. Damian says:

    Imagine this scenario:
    You leave school (I’m assuming you are not currently married), find a lovely Christian girl, settle down and raise a family. Everything is perfect until your wife, like me, loses her faith and becomes an atheist. Years later so do your children. These are people in your life who you would literally die for – your love for them is so great.

    When you all eventually die you discover that they are now in hell. How can you possibly say that you will “judge evil like God does” and be able to put all this behind you. This means that you will have to be happy (or at least content) that they are suffering for all eternity.

    Have you thought this through? Is this heaven? What kind of creature would you have become? Wouldn’t you at least wish that God would be merciful and simply stop their existence? Surely that would be within his power?

  57. xela777 says:

    I have thought this through. I’ll kill your argument right now and say that once someone is a Christian, always a Christian, even if you turn away. If you look at my very first post you’ll see I’m a high schooler. And as I said previously, yes, I should be able to at least temporarily go to hell for her, which is a little more than dying.
    But assuming that I didn’t respond with the last comment, what kind of creatures are we NOW? I do not profess to understand this fully, this is just what I’ve come up with in the last 3 years.
    And why so passionate on the subject?
    Are you a Christian now married to an atheist, or are you both atheist, what?

  58. Damian says:

    I’ll kill your argument right now and say that once someone is a Christian, always a Christian, even if you turn away.

    Really? I once was a Christian but now I genuinely don’t believe. In fact, I deny the existence of the holy spirit (I really genuinely believe that the concept is imaginary). See you in heaven then!

    Please don’t say as other Christians have said that I must have never been a Christian in the first place because I genuinely was – take it from me. And besides, for the purposes of the scenario of your lovely wife you can assume that she genuinely was a Christian but went through the same process as me.

    And as I said previously, yes, I should be able to at least temporarily go to hell for her, which is a little more than dying.

    Is this just a wish for how you would like it to work or do you have a scriptural basis for it?

    what kind of creatures are we NOW?

    Seemingly more unconditionally loving than those that are able to enjoy heaven while others suffer eternally.

    And why so passionate on the subject?

    I used to be a Christian but I now love truth more than fantasy. And I think the world would be better off if we lived in reality a little more. I have nothing much against Christians per se.

  59. Xela777 says:

    The only proof I can give of the hell going is that Jesus was forsaken by God, we got the “Husbands love your wives as Jesus loves the church”, but other than that, no.

    Yes, I won’t give you the “you weren’t a Christian” load. Hopefully I’ll see you there.

    Is it our fault others will suffer eternally?

  60. former atheist says:

    i think the fact that you have endevoured to disaprove prophecy, is a pointer that you believe in something. you have faith in what you believe in and at the end of the day, you will find your way. am praying for you.

  61. Joseph says:

    Concerning the comment you make about prophecies being made after the fact to make it seem that a prophecy was made and then fulfilled, what proof do you claim to this? No offense but great men of renowne reputation and an entire nation have been the bearers of God’s word for thousands of years and have paid a terrible price for their service to God. So I have to ask, “Who are you that you claim their testimonies a hoax?” Are you some man of great reputation that I have never heard of? Realize that you slander men who frequently suffered and died horribly to give us those prophecies. It seems so easy for people today to assault the character of men who had, and highly valued a good reputation now that they are gone, unable to answer your insult. Would you have us believe that hoaxers would endure torture to perpetrate their lie and that an entire people would just go along with it?

  62. The Atheist says:

    Hi, Joseph. There were a few commenters here; which comments by which commenters are you asking about?

    A question I have for you: you referenced people who died for their beliefs a few times in this post. How do you feel about people who have died for Islam? Do you feel that they are slandered when people debunk Islam? Among the adherents of their particular sect of Islam, they too are great men or renown.

  63. sant maskeen singh says:

    sant maskeen singh…

    […]Fulfilled Prophecy – Proof of Bible’s Divine Inspiration? « Ask an Atheist[…]…

  64. […] Is Failed Prophecy- Proof of the Bible’s Divine Inspiration? with a  laundry listing  of unfulfilled prophecies in the bible.   […]

  65. […] Fulfilled Prophecy – Proof of Bible’s Divine Inspiration? Christians claim that the Bible has hundreds of fulfilled prophecies, and is proof of its divine inspiration. In actuality, these so called fulfilled prophecies failed, were false or weren’t prophecies at all. Many of these prophecies are so vague, they can be attributed to different events. It’s also a fact that the Bible was written 100’s, even 1000’s of years after these presumed prophecies and their “fulfillment” took place. It’s also fair to mention that nowhere in the Bible will you find countries such as the United States, Russia, China, Korea, Great Britain prophesied. Oh Christians will tell you that they are, if you know how to interpret the Bible. + Throughout the New Testament, the end of the world is prophesied as being very near, at hand, to be witnessed by those living at the time. Paul often told the people he preached to that they would be witnesses to Jesus’ second coming. They are all long gone. […]

  66. […] Fulfilled Prophecy – Proof of Bible’s Divine Inspiration? Christians claim that the Bible has hundreds of fulfilled prophecies, and is proof of its divine inspiration. In actuality, these so called fulfilled prophecies failed, were false or weren’t prophecies at all. Many of these prophecies are so vague, they can be attributed to different events. It’s also a fact that the Bible was written 100’s, even 1000’s of years after these presumed prophecies and their “fulfillment” took place. It’s also fair to mention that nowhere in the Bible will you find countries such as the United States, Russia, China, Korea, Great Britain prophesied. Oh Christians will tell you that they are, if you know how to interpret the Bible. + Throughout the New Testament, the end of the world is prophesied as being very near, at hand, to be witnessed by those living at the time. Paul often told the people he preached to that they would be witnesses to Jesus’ second coming. They are all long gone. […]

  67. […] Fulfilled Prophecy – Proof of Bible’s Divine Inspiration? […]

  68. 2 likes says:

    2 likes

    Fulfilled Prophecy – Proof of Bible’s Divine Inspiration? | Ask an Atheist

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