given by inspiration of God, and
profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
How can I learn about God?
Confirmation of the Bible through Prophecy
The final area of confirmation of the reliability of the Bible is prophecy. The inclusion of many specific prophecies sets the Bible apart from all other works. The fulfillment of these prophecies points to the reliability of the other information presented in the Old and New Testaments. The number of prophecies is astounding. Therefore, the following analysis is limited to a few messianic prophecies and prophecies related to a specific city. The fulfillment of these prophecies will amply demonstrate the reliability of the Word of god.
A. Prophecies Concerning the Messiah
The Old Testament contains over 300 prophecies of the coming Messiah that were fulfilled in Jesus. For the purposes of this discussion, a few of these prophecies have been selected. Their fulfillment is explained in the New Testament excerpts that are included.
It should be remembered that the prophecies were written by a variety of men over several centuries. At least 400 years passed between the last of these prophecies and the appearance of Jesus.
#1. Born of a Virgin "Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will
be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel." Isaiah 7:14
"...she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit. And Joseph kept her a virgin until
she gave birth to a Son; and he called His name Jesus." Matthew 1:18, 24, 25
#2. Born at Bethlehem "But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, too little to be among the
clans of Judah, from you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth
are from long ago, from the days of eternity." Micah 5:2
"...Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea" Matthew 2:1
#3. Hands and Feet Pierced "...they pierced my hands and my feet." Psalm 22:16
"And when they came to the place called The Skull, there they crucified Him" Luke 23:33
#4. Garments Parted and Lots Cast "They divide my garments among them, and for my
clothing they cast lots." Psalm 22:18
"The soldiers therefore, when they had crucified Jesus, took His outer garments and
made four parts, a part to every soldier and also the tunic; now the tunic was seamless
woven in one piece. They said... 'Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it, to decide whose it
#5 Bones Not Broken "He keeps all his bones; not one of them is broken." Psalm 34:20
"But coming to Jesus, when they saw that He was already dead, they did not break His
legs." John 19:33 (Historical Note: The executioners normally broke criminals' legs to
hasten their death.")
(All Scripture quotations are from the New American Standard Bible.)
Given the fulfillment in Jesus' life of these and many other prophecies, it becomes evident that God directed what has been written by the prophets. Josh McDowell makes this conclusion:
Certainly God was writing an address in history that only the Messiah could fulfill. Approximately fourty major claims to be the Jewish Messiah have been made by men. Only one - Jesus Christ - appealed to fulfilled prophecy to substantiate His claims, and only His credentials back up those claims.
B. Prophecies Concerning the City of Tyre
In addition to the messianic prophecies, the Bible also contains many prophecies regarding the fate of certain cities and nations. As an example of the astounding accuracy of these biblical prophecies, the following is an analysis of the predictions relating to the city of Tyre. This city of ancient Phoenicia is now in southern Lebanon. It was once an enemy of Israel.
In Ezekiel 26, written between 592 and 570 B.C., the Lord declares His anger towards Tyre for her extreme arrogance.. He predicts her invasion by Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, and her ultimate destruction. Verses 7, 8 and 14, declare her fate:
For thus says the Lord God, 'Behold I will bring upon Tyre from the north Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon... and he will make siege walls against you.'
'And I will make you a bare rock; you will be a place for the spreading of nets. You will be built no more, for I, the Lord, have spoken,' declares the Lord God.
The fulfillment of Ezekiel's prophecy is explained by the Encyclopedia Britannica. It states, "After a 13-year siege (585-573 B.C.) by Nebuchadnezzar II, Tyre made terms and acknowledged Babylonian suzerainty (sovereignty)." It goes on to say:
In his war on the Persians, Alexander III marched southward toward Egypt, calling upon the Phoenician cities to open their gates. The citizens of Tyre refused to do so, and Alexander laid siege to the city. Possessing no fleet, he demolished old Tyre, on the mainland.
Philip Myers, a secular historian, summarizes the fate of Tyre:
Alexander the Great reduced (Tyre) to ruins. She recovered in a measure from this blow, but never regained the place she had previously held in the world. The larger part of the site of the once great city is now bare as the top of a rock - a place where the fishermen that still frequent the spot spread their nets to dry.
The record of history regarding Tyre makes it obvious that each prophetic detail recorded in Ezekiel was fulfilled just as the Bible predicted.
The Bible's uniqueness, it preparation, and the testimony of history, archeology and prophecy, all work together to confirm beyond reasonable doubt that it is totally reliable. Sir Frederic G. Kenyon makes this conclusion:
"... it is reassuring at the end to find that the general result of all these discoveries and all this study is to strengthen the proof of the authenticity of the Scripture, and our conviction that we have in our hand, in substantial integrity, the veritable Word of God."
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