• BBQueue
    6
    For a prophecy to be verifiable as having been fulfilled, it must meet the following criteria (if you think these are unreasonable, please explain why). Also keep in mind that I did not develop the criteria, nor do I know who did, and I do not necessarily agree with any of it (although I admit that it does sound reasonable enough to leave no doubt as to the validity of a prophecy, if not a little excessive to fill this role):

    1. The event which is the fulfillment, must be verifiable as having happened, in the way that the story relates. It must be verifiable that the story of the event has not been altered to fit the prophecy. It must be shown that the event was not engineered to fit a known prophecy.
    2. The prophecy must be verifiable as to authorship, age, and integrity. It must be verifiable that the prophecy was made, in the current form, before the event prophesied. It must be shown that the prophecy has not been altered to fit the event.
    3. The prophecy must be specific enough to only apply to the event prophesied. it must be unambiguous enough that it could not apply to any other event, or eventuality.
    4. The prophecy must be extraordinary. Prophecies that apply to things that nobody would doubt, such as the sun rising in the east, or some nation coming to power by the sword, are not prophecies. Good guesses do not count.
    5. The followers of the religion or faith about which the prophecy was made cannot be intentionally intervening to make the prophecy come true.
  • BBQueue
    6
    I'm asking because the Bible would otherwise be inherently flawed or just predetermined based on what was known at certain points in history. I don't believe that anyone in the New Testament or those who wrote it was alive at the same time as anyone involved with the Old Testament, for instance, so it can't be effectively said that the New Testament was not framed at least in part as a fruition of some Old Testament prophecies, even if this means that the New Testament writings don't entirely agree with what actually happened or what may have happened in reality.

    For instance some of the actions of Jesus could be exaggerated in the New Testament to agree with depictions in Isaiah chapter 53, and I would bet hands down that this is true to an extent unless you can point to something specific that is written about Jesus that disagrees with something in Isaiah 53.

    There could of course be things that neither agree nor disagree with Isaiah 53, but for example there isn't anything in the New Testament that specifically depicts Jesus to look or act different than what was phrophesized. Rather the subject of Jesus physical appearance appears to be all but avoided in the book of Matthew, and his behavior is never mentioned as specifically as what was prophesized, but his actions are really only described in terms of helping others or performing miracles.

    So it sounds like they were purposely vague in the New Testament about whether Jesus fit the prophecy in Isaiah 53, which I would ultimately take to mean that he probably did not fit the prophecy entirely, if at all. But I suppose it is easy to convince yourself of something if you say or write it in a way that sounds like what you want it to be.
  • Gnomon
    425
    For a prophecy to be verifiable as having been fulfilled,BBQueue
    For a modern prophecy to be verified is relatively easy. For example, Herbert W. Armstrong claimed to to be a prophet, and he predicted (in writing) that he would live to see the return of Jesus, Armageddon, and the Wonderful World Tomorrow. Since he lived into his nineties, I had to wait about 10 ten years. But sure enough, he eventually died, and as far as I can tell his prophecy was unfulfilled.

    But verifying ancient prophecies is completely dependent on subjective interpretations of scripture and of history, based on sketchy information. Most academic bible scholars consider typical Old Testament prophecies to be merely get-right-with-god bluster, and not to be taken literally. Some, such as those in Daniel were apparently written years after the events prophesied, hence retro-prophecy. But biblical literalists would not accept such non-faith-based interpretations. The internet is full of discussions about prophecy, but most of it is of the faith-based kind. If you want skeptical validation, you'll have to look long & hard.

    Sample : https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Biblical_prophecies
  • christian2017
    636
    Some, such as those in Daniel were apparently written years after the events prophesied, hence retro-prophecy.Gnomon

    How would we prove this to be true either way. Why the use of the word apparently? I think chapter 4 of the book of Daniel (could be a different chapter) was actually written by Nebuchadnezzar the 2nd himself. How would we go about proving for sure whether the book of Daniel was written at the time of Nebuchadnezzar the 2nd or at a much later date? It appears it would be highly beneficial to those who hate religion to say it was written much later.
  • god must be atheist
    1.6k
    How would we go about proving for sure whether the book of Daniel was written at the time of Nebuchadnezzar the 2nd or at a much later date? It appears it would be highly beneficial to those who hate religion to say it was written much later.christian2017

    I don't have an answer for you, Christian2017, but I have a question for you to ponder:

    How would we go about proving for sure that the book of Daniel was written much before the time of Neuchadnezzar the 2nd or at a much earlier date?
  • Bitter Crank
    8.6k
    Jesus prophesied that "the poor you will always have with you". That may have been more of an indictment than a prophecy, but it seems to have come true.
  • 180 Proof
    616
    But verifying ancient prophecies is completely dependent on subjective interpretations of scripture and of history, based on sketchy information.Gnomon

    Seems pretty straight forward to me, especially when a "prophesy" concerns an event predicted to occur within a specified time-frame (and/or in a specified location). In the case of New Testament Gospel accounts of Jesus' Second Coming prophesy, he specifies a time and implies a place by specifying who will witness the predicted event. Here I quote (forgive the length & tedious repetitions):

    “For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and will then repay every man according to his deeds. Truly I say to you, there are some of those who are standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.“ (Matthew 16: 27, 28)

    “Behold, I have told you in advance. So if they say to you, ‘Behold, He is in the wilderness,’ do not go out, or, ‘Behold, He is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe them. For just as the lightning comes from the east and flashes even to the west, so will the coming of the Son of Man be. Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather.

    But immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory. And He will send forth His angels with a great trumpet and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other.

    Now learn the parable from the fig tree: when its branch has already become tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near; so, you too, when you see all these things, recognize that He is near, right at the door. Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place.“
    (Matthew 24: 25-34)

    “Then they will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. And then He will send forth the angels, and will gather together His elect from the four winds, from the farthest end of the earth to the farthest end of heaven. Now learn the parable from the fig tree: when its branch has already become tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near. Even so, you too, when you see these things happening, recognize that He is near, right at the door. Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place…“ (Mark 13:26-30)

    “Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. But when these things begin to take place, straighten up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near. Then He told them a parable: Behold the fig tree and all the trees; as soon as they put forth leaves, you see it and know for yourselves that summer is now near. So you also, when you see these things happening, recognize that the kingdom of God is near. Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all things take place.“ (Luke 21:27-32)

    “But Jesus kept silent and the high priest said to Him, “I adjure you by the living God, that you tell us whether you are the Christ, the Son of God.” Jesus said to him, “You have said it yourself; nevertheless I tell you, hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of power, and coming on the clouds of heaven.“” (Matthew 26: 63, 64)

    Millennia of rationalizing apologias, obfuscating mystifications, dogmatic indoctrination, schismatic martyrdoms, and countless more sanctified atrocities could no more "interpret" away the fact that Jesus did not return in the lifetimes of those to whom he'd pronounced his prophesy any more than Papal writ changes the fact that the Sun does not go around the Earth and that, as Galileo said of the Earth, "Eppur si muove."
  • BBQueue
    6
    Jesus prophesied that "the poor you will always have with you". That may have been more of an indictment than a prophecy, but it seems to have come true.

    Because that is not something extraordinary or profound and is fairly ambiguous as opposed to something specific that is nonetheless tangible. The "poor", for instance could refer to anyone that you want, and the definition could change to fit your preferences. Also it is fairly unlikely that anyone would doubt the consistent presence of the poor, so it isn't particularly unique prophecy and therefore it is unsurprising that it came true. Basically anyone could have made the same prophecy years ago and it would be believed,as it is fairly obvious.
  • christian2017
    636
    How would we prove this to be true either way. Why the use of the word apparently? I think chapter 4 of the book of Daniel (could be a different chapter) was actually written by Nebuchadnezzar the 2nd himself. How would we go about proving for sure whether the book of Daniel was written at the time of Nebuchadnezzar the 2nd or at a much later date? It appears it would be highly beneficial to those who hate religion to say it was written much later.christian2017



    Well first of all according to Christians the book of Daniel was written around the time Nebuchadnezzar the 2nd just to clear up any confusion about what Christians claim.

    If i understand you questions implications correctly, that was my whole point with the above quote, which is that just like whether Joan of Arc really experienced supernatural things we don't really know for sure whether the book was written at the time Christians say it was written. That being said in the encyclopedia (World Book) it says Joan of Arc did experience supernatural things. Is the encyclopedia wrong, it could be, but how would you or I prove that either way.
  • christian2017
    636
    “For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and will then repay every man according to his deeds. Truly I say to you, there are some of those who are standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.“180 Proof

    Why do you say this means that Jesus Christ would return in their lifetimes. Don't you think it would be ridicoulous for Jesus Christ to return just 50 years after his first coming. I don't think the idea for him to come twice in 50 years is not even according to the old testament. Christians believe that Jesus Christ can sustain life for well beyond 100 years. Scientists also believe that life can be sustained well beyond 100 years.
  • Gnomon
    425
    How would we prove this to be true either way. Why the use of the word apparently? I think chapter 4 of the book of Daniel (could be a different chapter) was actually written by Nebuchadnezzar the 2nd himself. How would we go about proving for sure whether the book of Daniel was written at the time of Nebuchadnezzar the 2nd or at a much later date? It appears it would be highly beneficial to those who hate religion to say it was written much later.christian2017
    The book doesn't say who wrote the book about a Jewish prophet. What makes you think it was written by a Babylonian king? How would you prove it either way, except by textual exegesis and historical records? I say "apparently" because I was not there to witness the events related. Besides, if we can't prove it either way, why believe it?

    Historically, the book of Daniel was not written during the time of Babylonian captivity, hence not by the hero of the story. It was not accepted into the official canon of the Torah until many years later, and then it was placed at the end, in the miscellaneous Writings, rather than in the section devoted to prophets. For Jews, it was treated as a novel -- like the book of Esther -- telling the exploits of a heroic Jew and fortune teller. But for Christians, the book of Daniel was full of marvelous gory imagery that could be interpreted as prophecies of the Messiah in Roman times. Its graphic symbolism lent itself to various interpretations, similar to the poetic imagery of Nostradamus. Both are still being re-interpreted millennia later to fit our modern events, that have no logical connection to sixth century Babylon.

    So, it seems to be "beneficial to those who hate" Reason to say that Daniel was written by the hero of the story, just as the first four books of the Torah were attributed to Moses, who died in the middle of the story. :smile:


    PS___Sorry, I wouldn't normally get involved in such a topic on a philosophy forum, but I couldn't resist the opportunity to review some of the eye-opening research that taught me to regard Bible prophecies as no more valid than those of internet Psychics, and horoscope Astrologers.

    Book of Daniel : http://jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/4874-daniel-book-of
  • TheMadFool
    4.7k
    I think we need to really consider the matter of prophecies, especially their fulfillment, very seriously. If a given prophecy, be it christianity or any other belief system, is ever fulfilled down to every last detail, then people will immediately jump to the conclusion that the source of the prophecy is legitimate and that, to me, has dire consequences. Imagine if a Bible prophecy comes true. It would immediately result in the vindication of homophobia, misogyny, etc. which I can only guess originate in scripture.

    Combine the above real danger and the fact that the probability of even the wildest of prophecies coming true is NOT zero and we have the makings of a grand disaster for humanity. The problem is further compounded by the infinite nature of future-time. If beings like humans could evolve from inanimate stuff, I'm quite confident, given the time since prophecies were fashionable, a few of them are already due.
  • BBQueue
    6
    I honestly think that to find any biblical prophecy that fits ALL of the suggested criteria would be extremely extraordinary, and therefore it shouldn't come as a surprise that there isn't a prophecy to be found that is verifiable by those criteria.

    There could be something that fits most of the criteria, but also doesn't fit one crucial rule, and therefore can't be verified, so by that logic you definitely are not going to find anything substantial. But at the same time we would have no rules to decide how valid a prophecy is, if it was not for that list of criteria, and we would just have people on here saying "this is in the Bible, so it means that prophecy came true," while failing to acknowledge that events in the Bible could be exaggerated extremely and even skewed to fit predictions that were made in a former prophecy. I just know that there are those types of people on this forum though, which is why I mentioned the criteria in the first place.
  • christian2017
    636
    The book doesn't say who wrote the book about a Jewish prophet. What makes you think it was written by a Babylonian king? How would you prove it either way, except by textual exegesis and historical records? I say "apparently" because I was not there to witness the events related. Besides, if we can't prove it either way, why believe it?Gnomon

    Daniel wrote most of the book of Daniel according to Christians. It is essentially said right in the book. Ofcourse just like the Joan of Arc and all the magical things associated with her, they could be false.
  • Ciceronianus the White
    881
    Millennia of rationalizing apologias, obfuscating mystifications, dogmatic indoctrination, schismatic martyrdoms, and countless more sanctified atrocities could no more "interpret" away the fact that Jesus did not return in the lifetimes of those to whom he'd pronounced his prophesy any more than Papal writ changes the fact that the Sun does not go around the Earth and that, as Galileo said of the Earth, "Eppur si muove."180 Proof

    That unabashed apologist, C.S. Lewis, called Matthew 24:34 "the most embarrassing verse in the Bible." A refreshing moment of honesty from the man who argued that as Jesus said he was the Son of God (well, John said he said that) he must be the Son of God. Only a liar or a madman would claim he was the Son of God if he wasn't, reasoned Lewis. But Jesus clearly wasn't a liar or a madman, he continued, so it follows....sigh.
  • BlueBanana
    920
    The prophecy must be specific enough to only apply to the event prophesied. it must be unambiguous enough that it could not apply to any other event, or eventuality.BBQueue

    This seems like double standards. In no context except bashing the Bible would anyone expect a prophecy to be unambiguous or clear in any sense. I suppose that's more reasonable in the context of using the prophecy as empirical proof, but isn't it circular reasoning to take this kind of premise of prophesies having to exist for the purpose of proving themselves just because you want to make the prophesies a proof of something?
  • god must be atheist
    1.6k
    Seems pretty straight forward to me, especially when a "prophesy" concerns an event predicted to occur within a specified time-frame (and/or in a specified location). In the case of New Testament Gospel accounts of Jesus' Second Coming prophesy, he specifies a time and implies a place by specifying who will witness the predicted event. Here I quote (forgive the length & tedious repetitions):180 Proof

    I see what you mean, 90%content (180 proof). However, perhaps Jesus, or rather, verily I say unto you, that Jesus came back about 50 years after the prophecy was sung. He came back, looked around, said "fuck this shit" and turned around and went back.

    I would have done the same thing if I were Him.

    "We don't need another hero," must have been written all over the Empire by the graffiti artist "zeitgeist".

    And a good leader knows when the people don't want a good leader to lead them on.
  • god must be atheist
    1.6k
    In no context except bashing the Bible would anyone expect a prophecy to be unambiguous or clear in any sense.BlueBanana

    i have never seen a prophecy claimed outside the bible, other than those of Nostradamus. And this claim also stands for his predictions.

    The reason all prophecies are ambiguous or unclear is that they are all lies inasmuch as the claim is that the prophet knows the future. The more ambiguous and unclear they are, the harder to prove that they are shmafu. That's PPH101 material (first year prophecy school teaching.) This applies to the Bible, to Nostradamus, to anyone who has claimed to have made a true prophecy.

    Maybe the reason you figure no context outside the Bible prophecies is asked to fulfil this stringent requirement is that you are not familiar with other prophecies.

    Some other prophecies:

    1. The world will end tomorrow. (Claimed by 29,393,582 prophets between year 9 AD and year 2011)
    2. The world will not end tomorrow. (Claimed by 293,392,588 prophets between 332 BC and 2020 AD)
    3. The world will end or not end, tomorrow or at a later date, it entirely depends. (Claimed by 837,729,599 prophets between 2085 AD and 3937 AD.)
  • god must be atheist
    1.6k
    Only a liar or a madman would claim he was the Son of God if he wasn't, reasoned Lewis. But Jesus clearly wasn't a liar or a madmanCiceronianus the White

    You can't argue against logic like that.

    It would certainly drive any son to madness to have the Father as his father.

    I wanted to gag my dad with soup-spoon, and I became insane, and he was only a demi-god for crying out loud.
  • BlueBanana
    920
    What is it supposed to prove to expect something from a prophecy that those who believe in them don't claim?
  • god must be atheist
    1.6k
    What is it supposed to prove to expect something from a prophecy that those who believe in them don't claim?BlueBanana
    1. Truth (if the prophecy is accurate, precise and not trivial).
    2. A revelation that all prophecies in the bible are false, misleading and just for show, there is / was / has been no divine intervention, and the whole thing is a hoax (in case there is not even one prophecy in the bible that is accurate, precise, and not trivial).
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