Just the very mention of the word “prophecy” can cause a lot of people to tune out. Maybe the idea of a fortune-teller looking into a crystal ball comes to mind. Or perhaps some of the self-proclaimed “prophets” that you can find on the internet selling their books and DVDs about their version of how the world will end. People should be skeptical of anyone who claims to be a prophet, or of anything that is labeled as prophecy. I know I am.
So with that being said, what would it mean if we found evidence of actual prophecy? What would be the implications of that? Let’s take a look at an example of what some consider legitimate, verified prophecy.
In 1947, a young Arab shepherd boy discovered a cave near the Dead Sea in the Judean Desert. Excavations of the site over the next decade would reveal 11 caverns, now known as the Qumran caves. These caves contained numerous ancient scrolls and manuscripts, dating back thousands of years, now referred to as the Dead Sea Scrolls.
A 24-foot scroll containing a complete copy of the book of Isaiah (one of the books of the Bible) was among the artifacts found in this cave. The scroll was independently carbon-dated multiple times and the age of the scroll was determined to be from 100 BC. This means we can prove that the book of Isaiah was written before the birth of Jesus. This particular copy was dated by scientific method to 100 years before the birth of Jesus, while the original book of Isaiah has been dated by historians to 739 – 681 years before the birth of Jesus.
Many have claimed that the book of Isaiah contains prophecy that foretells the coming of Jesus. Since we know that these writings originated hundreds of years before the birth of Jesus, as verified by carbon dating, it would be quite remarkable if they indeed spoke of someone who had not yet been born.
Let’s take a look…
“Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” -Isaiah 7:14
“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” -Isaiah 9:6
“He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.” -Isaiah 53:2-3
“He was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.” -Isaiah 53:7,12
“But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.” -Isaiah 53:5
So who do you think these passages are referring to?
If someone were familiar with the story of Jesus, but had never read the book of Isaiah, what do you think they would conclude from these passages?
The implications of authentic, verified prophecy are not lost on those that doubt the existence of God. There is no naturalistic explanation to account for something like this. If God is real, and God created time itself, then it follows that He sees all of it – past, present, future. He alone can reveal the future to us.
Check out this video to learn more…