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Since we’ve raised the issue of Messianic prophecies, there are plenty of others worth adding to the pile:
- That Messiah’s mother would be a virgin (Isa 7.14). (And yes, the Hebrew word there means virgin, as the choice of the Septuagint translators shows: they chose the Greek word parthenos, which unambiguously means virgin. The Septuagint translators were much more likely to know the nuances of a Hebrew word in their day than a modern scholar with naturalistic biases.) See Matt 1.22-23.
- That he would be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5.2). You’ll recall that Herod’s advisors used this prophecy to tell the Babylonian magi (the “wise men”) where they could find the infant king (Matt 2.3-6).
- That he would spend early years in Egypt (Hos 11.1). See Matt 2.15.
- That one preparing his way would cry out in the wilderness (Isa 40.3). See Matt 3.3.
- That he would bring light to Galilee (Isa 9.1-2). See Matt 4.12-16.
- That he would heal people (Isa 53.4). See Matt 8.16-17.
- That he would ride into Jerusalem on a donkey but also as a king (Zech 9.9). See Matt 21.1-5.
- That he would be betrayed by a friend, one who ate bread with him (Ps 41.9). See Matt 26.20-25, 47-56.
- That he would be sold for 30 pieces of silver (Zech 11.12-13). See Matt 27.9-10.
- That he would be silent before his accusers (Isa 53.7-8). See Matt 27.12-14.
- That he would be tortured (Isa 50.6). See Matt 26.67-68.
- That he would be mockingly urged to let God deliver him (Ps 22.7-8). See Matt 27.39-40.
- That he would be pierced (Zech 12.10). See Matt 27.35.
- That his clothes would be disposed of by lot (Ps 22.18). See Matt 27.35.
- That his death would be alongside both the wicked and the rich (Isa 53.9, 12). See Matt 27.38, 57-60.
Whew. That’s quite a list.
And did you notice a pattern?
All the confirmations I’ve listed are from Matthew.
Matthew is clearly writing his Gospel to demonstrate to his Jewish audience that Jesus is the Jewish Messiah. One of the clearest ways he does that is by demonstrating that Jesus fulfilled the Messianic prophecies; he’s constantly saying, “All these things happened so that it might be fulfilled which was written by the prophet … .” A study of those passages would be worth your time; I haven’t included all of them in the list above.
I began this series by saying that I’ve found two objective evidences that the Bible is not an ordinary book. We’ve looked—briefly—at both its literary unity and its prophetic accuracy. After a lifetime of study, I find those evidences compelling.
Perhaps you don’t. Fair enough. But I hope you’ll be intellectually honest enough—and scientific enough—not to simply dismiss evidences that don’t support what you’d like to believe. A pile of hard data calls for serious investigation.
You wouldn’t want to be unscientific, would you?