One of the strongest objective evidences of Biblical inspiration if the phenomenon of fulfilled prophecy. The bible is essentially unique among the religious books of mankind in this respect. Some of them contain a few vague forecasts, but nothing comparable to the vast number of specific prophecies found in the Bible. The same is true of modern "prophets", so-called. Such seers as Nostradamus, Jean Dixon, and others have made many predictions, but often they are nebulous and capable of various meanings. A few of their prophecies seem to have been fulfilled in a general way, but most of the have completely failed.(1/181)
Prophets, to be legitimate, must stand the test of time. If the prophet was not completely correct 100% of the time he is a false prophet. Prophecy, to be valid, must predate the event; must be precise enough so as to not be vague; must have enough events described to be beyond human ability to calculate or manipulate; in other words not be something that man could do, without God's guidance.
Only God knows the future. He is able to "call the things that are not, as though they were" (Romans 4:17). He declares "the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not yet done." (Isaiah 46:10; Acts 15:18). If one can demonstrate the ability to the future things that find exact fulfillment, it would follow logically that such a person, in possession of this gift, would be speaking on the behalf of God. His message therefore, would be valid. (3/81-82)
Scholars suggest that there are about 1,000 prophecies altogether in the Bible --- some 800 in the Old Testament and about 200 in the New Testament. (3/82) It must be noted carefully that the gift of prophecy --- clearly operative during those by-gone ages where the Biblical documents were being prepared and validated as Godís Word --- was terminated near the end of the first century AD, when the New Testament was completed (1 Corinthians 13:8-10) There are many religions today that claim to have "prophets", but remember for a prophet to be from God there can be no errors, ever! That lets all of the "prophets" since the first century out.
PROPHECIES FULFILLED BY JESUS CHRIST
The Old Testament, written over a 1,000 year period, contains over 300 references to the coming Messiah. All of these were fulfilled in Jesus Christ, and they established a solid confirmation of His credentials as the Messiah; the Anointed One (King; Priest; Saint); Intercessor (to release or deliver; help; meet; seek; accompany).
Many of the prophecies concerning the messiah were totally beyond human control:
Birth: Place, time, manner of.
Death: Peoples reactions, piercing of side, burial
Resurrection: Where did His body go?
By using the modern science of probability in reference to just eight of these prophecies --- the chance that any man might have lived to fulfill all eight prophecies is one in one hundred trillion!
To illustrate this: If we take 100 trillion silver dollars and lay them on the face of Texas, they would be two feet deep. Now we mark one of these silver dollars and stir the whole mass thoroughly --- all over the state. Now blindfold a man and let him travel as far as he wishes, but he must pick only one silver dollar. What chance would he have of picking the right one? The same chance that the prophets would have of writing just eight of these prophecies and having them all come true for any one man --- if they had written them without God's inspiration!
The chance of any one man fulfilling all of 48 prophecies is one in 10 to the 157 power. The electron is about as small an object as we can imagine. if we had a cubic inch of these electrons and tried to count them, it would take us (at 250 per minute) 19,000 time 19,000 time 19,000 years to count them. Now mark one of them, and thoroughly stir it into the whole mass. What chance does our blindfolded man have of finding the right electron? --- The same chance as one man of fulfilling 48 of the prophecies about Christ, without being the Son of God!
Jesus Christ fulfilled every prophecy written about the coming Messiah --- over three hundred of them! Would that have been possible had He not been the Son of God?
Here is a short listing of some of the hundreds of prophecies concerning Christ:
Linage Genesis 3:15; 9:26: 22:18; 26:4; 28:14; 49:10; 2 & Samual 7:12-16
Son of God Psalm 2:6-7
Virgin birth Isaiah 7:14
Birthplace Micah 5:2
Piercing of side Zechariah 12:10
Darkness Psalm 22:2
Vinegar Psalm 69:21
Mocking Psalm 22:6-8
Nakedness Psalm 22:17
Gambling for clothes Psalm 22:18
Unbroken bones Psalm 34:20
Burial Isaiah 53:9
Resurrection Psalm 16:10; Hosea 6:2; Psalm 30:3,9; Isaiah 53:10
Assention to right hand of God Psalm 110:1; 68:18; Proverbs 30:4; 24:3-10
OTHER HISTORICAL PROPHESIES
In addition to the hundreds of Biblical prophecies that have been fulfilled in the past, there are a special class of predictions that focus on the events of what the Scriptures call "the last days", "the latter times", or other similar expressions. These prophecies also provide further evidence of Biblical inspiration, since many of them are being fulfilled right before our eyes! As more and more of these ancient predictions are seen coming to pass, the evidence for the Divine origin of the Bible is made stronger all the time.
THE RE-ESTABLISHMENT OF ISRAEL
The most important of these end-time prophecies, the re-establishment of Israel as a nation in it's ancient homeland. That a nation could be completely destroyed as an organized entity by an invading army (by the Romans in 70 AD), itís people either slaughtered or scattered from one end of the world to the other, itís lands occupied and ruled by aliens for over 1900 years. Yet Israel survived as a distinct nationality, and then finally regained its homeland and became recognized as a viable nation once more by the other nations of the world. (1/191)
Seems impossible? Even so, it was predicted to happen many centuries before it happened. Jesus Himself predicted the fall of Jerusalem in Luke 19:43-44, "The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you in on every side. They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of Godís coming to you." Deuteronomy 28:64 prophesies "Then the Lord will scatter you among the nations from one end of the earth to the other." Jesus again predicts in Luke 21:24, "They will fall by the sword and will be taken prisoners to all the nations. Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles, until the time of the Gentiles is fulfilled.".
The Jews began to return to Palestine in small numbers in the early part of the twentieth century, and then in much larger numbers after World War I. After World War II the Israeli nation was re-established in part in 1948, and in 1967 in the "six-day war" Israel recaptured the "old city" of Jerusalem. Amazingly, Jerusalem is now completely under Jewish control, except for one spot. This is on Mount Moriah where the Arabs have built their famous Dome-of-the-Rock, the second most holy place in the Muslim world. The Jews for political or other reasons have not yet dared to expel the Arabs from this site, raze it, and proceed to rebuild their temple, as they must want to do. (1/192-193) "Last Days Prophecy" is being fulfilled right before our eyes!
In the 26th chapter of Ezekiel (592-570 BC) seven things are predicted to happen to the city of Tyre:
1) Nebuchadnezzar will destroy the mainland of Tyre (Ezekiel 26:8).
2) Many nations against Tyre (Ezekiel 26:3).
3) Make her a bare rock; flat like the top of a rock (Ezekiel 26:4).
4) Fishermen will spread their nets over the site (Ezekiel 26:5).
5) Throw the debris into the water (Ezekiel 26:12).
6) Never be rebuilt (Ezekiel 26:14).
7) Never be found again (Ezekiel 26:21) (2/285)
Nebuchadnezzar laid siege to mainland Tyre three years after the prophecy and after a 13 year siege (585-573 BC) Tyre made terms and acknowledged Babylonian authority over them (4 xxii.452) When Nebuchadnezzar broke the gates down, he found the city almost empty. The majority of the people had moved by ship to an island about 1/2 miles off the coast and fortified a city there. The mainland city was destroyed in 573 BC, as predicted. The city of Tyre on the island remained a powerful city for several hundred years. (2/286)
Alexander the Great, in his war on Persia, marching southward called on each city to open their gates to him, as part of his plan to deny the use to the Persian fleet. Tyre refused to do so, and Alexander laid siege to the city. Possessing no fleet, he demolished old Tyre, on the mainland, and with the debris built a causeway 200 feet wide across the straits separating the old and new towns, erecting towers and war engines at the farther end. (4/xxii. 452) Tyre continually raided the causeway with fire-ships greatly retarding progress, until Alexander pressured conquered subjects to make ships for his operation. After attaining a superior naval force, Alexander finished the causeway, battered the walls of Tyre down killed eight thousand of the inhabitants and sold thirty thousand into slavery. (5/153)
A history book by a secular historian reads, "Alexander the Great ... reduced Tyre to ruins... The larger part of the site of the once great city is now bare as the top of a rock --- a place where fishermen now spread their nets to dry." (5/55)
Another historian, John C. Beck, says, "The history of Tyre does not stop with after the conquest of Alexander. Men continue to rebuild her and armies continue to besiege her walls, until finally after sixteen hundred years, she falls never to be rebuilt again." (6/41)
All the prophecies of Ezekiel about Tyre have come true: Nebuchadnezzar destroyed the mainland city of Tyre; Many nations were against Tyre; Alexander made her a bare rock and threw debris into the water to make the causeway; fishermen now spread nets over the site; (there is a city of Tyre today, but it is located down the coast from the original Tyre) the old city of Tyre has never been rebuilt, even though a great freshwater spring are located at the site, providing 10,000,000 gallons daily. It is still an excellent site today but has never been rebuilt, although many have tried. All seven of the predictions came true in the minutest detail.
Some others examples of fulfilled Bible prophecy about history:
Sidon (Ezekiel 28:22-23);
Samaria (Hosea 13:16 & Micah 1:6);
Gaza-Ashkelon (Amos 1:8; Jeremiah 47:5; Zephaniah 2:4);
Moab-Ammon (Ezekiel 25:3-4; Jeremiah 48:47 & 49:6);
Petra-Edom (Isaiah 34:6-15; Jeremaih 49:17-18; Ezekiel 25:13-14 & 35:57);
Thebes-Memphis (Ezekiel 30:13-15);
Nineveh (Nahum 1:8-10; 2:6; 3:10; 3:13; 3:19);
Babylon (Daniel 2,7; Isaiah 13:19-22; 14:23;
Jeremiah 51:26 & 43);
Chorazin-Bethsaida-Capernaum (Matthew 11:20-24 );
Jerusalem Enlargement (Jeremiah 31:38-40); and finally
Palestine (Leviticus 26:31-33 & Ezekiel 36:33-35), where the events are happening before our eyes!
Please ask your-self this: if all the historical, scientific, and prophetic statements made in the Bible are true and accurate; then WHAT ABOUT THE THINGS THAT THE BIBLE SAYS ABOUT US HAVING ETERNAL LIFE (OR DEATH) BECAUSE OF THE CHOICES THAT YOU MAKE NOW (OR DON'T MAKE) --- THAT CAN AFFECT YOUR ETERNAL FUTURE?
1) Morris, Henry M., "Many Infallible Proofs", San Diego: Creation Life Publishers, 1974
2) McDowell, Josh, "Evidence that Demands a Verdict", Campus Crusades for Christ, Arrowhead Springs, San Bernardino, Ca 92414, 1972
3) Jackson, Wayne, "Reason & Revelation", "Prophecies - True and False", Apologetics Press, 230 Landmark Dr., Montgomery, AL 36117
4) Encyclopedia Britannica, 1970
5) Myers, Philip Van Ness, "General History for Colleges and High Schools", Boston: Ginn and Company, 1889.
6) Beck, John Clark, Jr., "The Fall of Tyre According to Ezekielís Prophecy", Unpublished Masterís Thesis, Dallas Theological Seminary, 1971.