Argument from Prophecy

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info.gif Argument from Prophecy: "A type of apologetic argument that attempts to defend the divinely inspired character of prophets (and ultimately of the Scriptures that record the prophecies) by showing that the prophets foretold events whose occurrence could not have been humanly foreseen. Thus an argument from prophecy is essentially an argument that appeals to miracles. Sometimes the argument is used in a reverse direction. The fact that the life of Jesus fulfilled certain Old Testament prophecies, for example, is cited to support the claim that Jesus really is the Messiah. Arguments from prophecy have become less popular in an age characterized by critical biblical scholarship, which in many cases claims that apparently fulfilled prophecies were written after the events prophesied occurred."

Evans, C. (2002) Pocket Dictionary of Apologetics & Philosophy of Religion. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

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    Bloom, John A.

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    Is Fulfilled Prophecy of Value for Scholarly Apologetics?

    "Is fulfilled prophecy of value for scholarly apologetics? I would say yes. As I have tried to illustrate with the example of Tyre, it allows us to engage liberal scholarship and respond to liberal attacks on the reliability of Scripture. After all, somebody who wrote or edited the book of Ezekiel was able to predict the future. Moreover, fulfilled prophecy plays a critical role in apologetics because it helps to show that God influences history and therefore may be relevant to our personal lives. However, it appears to me that conservative biblical scholars have shied away from the serious study of fulfilled prophecy because of the fear of liberal criticism and the sensationalizing publications of trendy popularizers."
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    Newman, Robert C.

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    Daniel's Seventy Weeks and the Old Testament Sabbath-Year Cycle

    "According to contemporary historians, the first century A.D. was a time of great Messianic expectation among the Jews. The feeling was widespread that some prophecy regarding the time of his coming was now fulfilled...But what Old Testament prophecy lies behind this expectation that the Messiah should have come in the first century of our era? Conservative Christians have long believed that Daniel 9:24-27 gives just such a prediction, although there has been considerable disagreement on how the details of this prophecy fit the ministry of Jesus."
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    Newman, Robert C., John A. Bloom, and Hugh G. Gauch

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    Public Theology and Prophecy Data: Factual Evidence that Counts for the Biblical Worldview

    "The key feature of prophecy which allows it to provide humans with evidence that God exists is that successful predictions, though hard to make, can be easy to check. The 'hard to make' part reveals God’s involvement, while the 'easy to check' part enables human discovery. Prophecy has content 'which God alone can know at the time of the revelation,' since it is 'not predictable from natural laws' accessible to human understanding, yet this content is the sort 'which humans can certainly discover afterward.'"