Why is prophecy taken seriously?

29:10 Behold, therefore I am against thee, and against thy rivers, and I will make the land of Egypt utterly waste and desolate, from the tower of Syene even unto the border of Ethiopia.
29:11 No foot of man shall pass through it, nor foot of beast shall pass through it, neither shall it be inhabited forty years.

I never can figure how Christians put so much stock in prophecy.  You hear it all the time.  "Well, how do you atheists explain all the prophacy in the Bible that has happened?"


I’d venture to say that most of it is flat out misses.  This is a great example.


Egypt has never been uninhabited for a day, much less 40 years.  The Tower of Syene is not longer even identifiable so it pretty obviously can't be for the future.  I don't get it.


Go to any Jewish website you'll find dozens of things that Jesus didn't fulfill from the messianic prophecy.  Not the least of which is he wasn't a real king, he didn't bring world peace, and he didn't rebuild the Temple.  He was supposed to have Jews knowing the Torah with no study.  He was supposed to be a person that all leaders would turn to for guidance.  Instead what we have is a guy leading a cult that was so small no one who was alive at the time bothered to write about him.


I'm always stunned that they think this is a reasonable approach.



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Views: 42

Comment by Sharyn Lesher on July 2, 2011 at 3:37pm
especially the big one, the eschaton...the end times prophecy, in which Jesus speaks of the 2nd coming and says..."Truly, i say to you, this generation will not pass away till all these things take place" (Matt 24 & Mark 13) How can anyone who believes not read that and think, Huh? why are we still waiting?
Comment by Dustin on July 2, 2011 at 3:58pm

I love how a Pastor I listen to every Sunday morning attempts to take the Prophecies about the Messiah being a King and trying to relate it to Jesus by saying Jesus was the last person to be considered a King , but instead a King of the whole world , a King of salvation , a King of miracles , etc ... 'ohh , but it didn't mean King as in the traditional sense , you need to look at the bigger picture and realize God meant for this Prophecy to be fulfilled all along and he proves it through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ' 


So he talks babble nonsense then does a bait and switch from Prophecy to Jesus' death and resurrection and suffering at the cross.  It's that line that you can tell most Christians when they are confused or doubting that will always bring them back 'into the light' ... 


Plus Prophecies are so vague , they can be interpreted and fulfilled in such a number of ways to make them practically meaningless.  


If I wrote hundreds of pages of psychobabble predictions, I am quite sure people in the future could read my writings and relate it to their times ... but they will fail to calculate the 'misses' that don't become fulfilled.  


So yes , Prophecy is ridiculous and Christians like it because it's so mysterious and unclear , I think they feel special because they feel like they are somehow spiritually intelligent and can understand such vague and nonsensical things.  

Comment by Brandon on July 2, 2011 at 4:45pm

Christians make excuses for each of those things.  All of them are metaphors to them.  He is their king.  I don't know what they would say about the Jews knowing the Torah without study... but I know they believe that when everybody in the world believes in him, there will be world peace.  The temple is supposedly the church.... ummm... Bush did pray to him as did countless other leaders through history.  It's just the fact that people can interpret prophecy so many different ways that it's bound to be true in at least one form.

That being said, you are on to something. I do believe the prophecy was supposed to be literal and that it failed.  However, I'll let the believers have this one because it still doesn't mean much.  It would be one thing to predict that it rains, it would be another to predict Mount Everest to move to the Hawaiian islands.  I think prophecy should be held to the same standard as miracles (our standard that is).  The problem with that is that with the sheer number of people out there, one person could still predict something outlandish just by chance, but it should still be considered as long as that person is right about everything.  Although my belief would be that he/she is advanced in that capacity in his/her brain or extremely lucky.  It's still no reason to suspect divinity.

Comment by Patrick Scherr on July 2, 2011 at 4:57pm

I now a girl thats bent on Biblical Prophecies. She claims that the end is near and its all happening now.




Most prophecies are just being shoe-horned into current events my Christians, right now and through out history. They're pretty vague and many hav failed.

Comment by Gazoo on July 2, 2011 at 8:56pm
Well...if the end is near....it's going to have to wait 40 years while Egypt is uninhabited.
Comment by steven david yakel on July 3, 2011 at 1:43am

prophesy.  ugh.


we should pay those people that believe in this no mind.  unfortunately, they are too far gone.  and every breath we spend trying to understand, reach, or argue with them is a breath wasted.  there is nothing to understand, noone will reach back, and you might as well argue with a duck.

Comment by Eric Lawson on July 3, 2011 at 8:21am
^^^I've actually had better luck arguing with a duck!^^^
Comment by Brian Wood on July 3, 2011 at 12:20pm

Well, the things prophesied don't happen, but we humans would like to think we somehow control something, can figure out the future, that sort of stuff.  To recognize that we are at the mercy of enormous, apparently random (or, if determined, of a determination we haven't figured out) forces which take no never-mind of us, which grind us down, and eventually kill us is hard. 

    The Universe just doesn't give a rat's ass about us, individually or in sum.  To everything other than ourselves, we're no more important than viruses.

Comment by anti_supernaturalist on July 3, 2011 at 1:40pm

How to rupture the rapture

• prophecy is not prediction

The most empty gesture of xian fiction? -- its most ballyhooed, long anticipated “fulfillment” of scripture? Jesus in his featured role as Christ-Cosmic-Avenger® will return to Earth, raise the dead, judge all humanity past and present, and send each person to her or his ultimate, eternal state of being.

Ask fundies; they’ll tell you that this prophecy is 100% certain. “The Apocalypse” must happen; it is a core dogma of fundie bibliolatry. (Moreover, ancient credal statements still mouthed by xians of all stripes every day, reaffirm revenge as central xian motivation.) Millions of otherwise outwardly sane people in the US believe this dishonest, harmful nonsense, quite literally.

On what non-scriptural basis can their claim be justified? Not even an alleged “holy” text can justify its own statements.

• Prophesying is lying

Prophecy never predicts anything because prophecies lack falsifying conditions. Under what conditions -- specifiable in advance -- would a fundie say that a xian prophecy had failed?

“The Apocalypse” just never shows up. Attempts to fix a date for xian/jewish/zoroastrian apocolypses have proved wrong for the last 3,200 years. When is enough is enough? Never. The revelation of saint John the divine resonates as one core Big Lie of xian faith-based irrationality.

Just remember, though, that the “End Times” are always upon us because “signs” like earthquakes and total solar eclipses demonstrate the willed and wilful “acts of God” in nature.

Is the “Rapture” about to rid Earth of all fundies? Rescheduled to 21/9/11. Really? As they levitate away, can xians take their damned bibles with them?

There are altogether no supernatural phenomena, only supernatural interpretations of phenomena.

the anti_supernaturalist

Comment by Alice Browne on July 3, 2011 at 2:39pm

Jesus was supposedly a scholar of Jewish law, prophecy and tradition (see Luke 2:46-49) and made some pretty transparent attempts to fulfill prophecy. My favorite was when he had his disciples steal an ass for him to ride into Jerusalem, because that's what the Christ was supposed to do (no, seriously). I guess he was still pissed at his mother for naming him Jesus instead of Emmanuel.


I can sort of understand the enthusiasm behind the End Times mania. It provides a little anticipatory thrill to life, and it's the ultimate revenge fantasy. The Rapture Ready crowd, for example, love to crow about how they'll be lounging around in their beautiful Barbie Dream Houses in the sky while their enemies scream in torment forever. It seems to be what keeps some of them from killing themselves. (They obviously haven't read the description of Heaven in Revelation 4-5, which is bizarre, incoherent, and frankly a little bit scary.)


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