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More Questions for Hard-Core Skeptics – Did Jesus Fulfill Messianic Prophecies?

September 22, 2008

Okay, if you have made it this far through my posts directed at ex-Mormon atheists, I hope you have discovered strong evidence that suggests an Intelligent Designer, Jesus Christ really lived, and the NT documents OT Messianic prophecies that Jesus Christ fulfilled.

For the really hard-core skeptics among us, I would like to go back to the argument regarding fulfilled prophecy to address the question of whether the NT writers could have fabricated a history and intentionally deceived people into believing that Jesus fulfilled the OT Messianic prophecies.

Some may point out that there is no archaeological evidence linking Jesus’ birth to the town of Bethlehem, but I would ask what archaeological evidence we might possibly expect to find for a baby born in a manger? While archeology has verified and confirmed many Bible accounts, are we going to find evidence for every single detail buried in the dirt and sand?

What about oral tradition and historical evidence? According to this article, there is only one tradition concerning Jesus’ birthplace and that is the town of Bethlehem which was prophesied about in Micah 5:2 in 710 BC.

There is a Church of the Nativity built there and a star on the floor marking the spot where it is believed that Jesus was born:

One of the most convincing prophecies, though, for hard-core skeptics has to be the Daniel 9 prophecy concerning the coming of the Messiah because the NT authors do not appear to recognize the fulfillment of this prophecy (at least they do not refer to it directly). Jesus alludes to it in Luke 19:42-44, but if Luke were aware of the mathematical calculations predicting the exact year or exact day according to some calculations, you would think he would have pointed this out in his efforts to convince people that Jesus fulfilled the OT Messianic prophecies. He never directly makes this link, though.

Scholars, following in the example of Daniel, who “understood by the books” the exact time frame of Jeremiah’s prophecies (Daniel 9:2), have set themselves to understand the exact time frame predicted in Daniel 9:24-27 for the coming of the Messiah. One such argument for an exact date is provided in the link above.

Even the most liberal scholars date the book of Daniel at 165 BC (since they do not believe he could have prophesied so many specific details about the Alexandrian empire before these events transpired). There is no question then, even from the most liberal scholars, that the prophecy was written at least 195 years prior to Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem on a donkey.

If it is true, as skeptics assert, that the NT authors fabricated the story about Jesus fulfilling OT Messianic prophecies, what was their motive? What did they get out of it?

And how did they gain any acceptance among the people? If Jesus did not rise from the dead, wouldn’t it have been fairly simple for unbelievers to produce the dead body and silence the annoying Christians who were claiming that He resurrected? And wouldn’t the Jews who did not believe Jesus was their Messiah have had strong motivation to silence such a claim?

More evidence and arguments for the resurrection here.

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