From: Simon Ewins
To: Steve Bedard
Thus spake Steve Bedard to Tyler A. Wunder:
TA> In other words, could you please produce these prophecies (e.g. c
TA>and verse) instead of doing as so many Christians do, which is to vagu
TA>refer to "the prophecies" and not really know what any of them are? T
TA>could you produce evidence of the thing prophecied having come to pass
SB> There is a prophesy about Alexander the Great in Daniel 8:21-22.
Nonsense, That was written _after_ Alex had died. In addition it makes _no_
mention at all of old Alex. Regarding prophecy, read the following...
James J. Lippard writes:
"Probably the most famous of these prophecies is the prophecy that Jesus
would be born of a virgin. The gospels of Matthew (1:18-25) and Luke
(1:26-35) both claim that Jesus was born of a virgin, but only Matthew
(1:23) appeals to the Hebrew scriptures as an explanation for why this
should be the case. The verse appealed to is Isaiah 7:14, which reads:
"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."
There are a number of difficulties with this passage. As many have noted,
the Hebrew word translated as "virgin" in this verse is "almah," which
is more accurately translated simply as "young woman." The Hebrew word
"bethulah" means "virgin."
In the book of Isaiah, "bethulah" appears four times (23:12, 37:22, 47:1,
62:5), so its author was aware of the word. In the New American Standard
translation of the Bible, all other appearances of "almah" are translated
simply as "girl," "maid," or "maiden" (viz: Genesis 24:43, Exodus 2:8,
Psalms 68:25, Proverbs 30:19, Song of Solomon 1:3, 6:8). Thus the claimed
fulfillment adds a biologically impossible condition which is not even
present in the original prophecy(1).
Another problem is that nowhere in the New Testament does Mary, Jesus'
mother, refer to him as "Immanuel." Thus we have no evidence that one of the
conditions of the prophecy was ever fulfilled. But the most serious problem
with this alleged messianic prophecy is that it has been taken out of
context. Looking at the entire seventh chapter of Isaiah, it becomes clear
that the child in question is to be born as a sign to Ahaz, King of Judah,
that he will not be defeated in battle by Rezin, King of Syria, and
Pekah, son of the King of Israel. Jesus' birth was some seven centuries
late to be such a sign.
J. Edward Barrett (1988, p.14) points out evidence that early Christians
rejected the virgin birth. One piece of Barrett's evidence is that in 1
Timothy 1:3-4, the writer (who may or may not be the apostle Paul) advises
that his audience "instruct certain men not to teach strange doctrines, nor
to pay attention to myths and endless genealogies, which give rise to mere
speculation rather than furthering the administration of God which is by
faith." The earliest gospel, Mark, lacks an account of Jesus' birth, as
does John, the latest gospel. Virgin birth is obviously quite relevant to
genealogy, and both Matthew and Luke present Jesus' genealogy in close
proximity to the story."