Dr. Willis Newman, Esmeralda Newman, bible-teaching-about.com

Prophecy about Christ
and His Deth

QUESTION:

Who and all prophesied about the death of Jesus?

Martin from India

Answer:

Martin,

Thanks for contacting us. You ask a very good question. I think the best way to answer you is to cut and paste a section or two from my ebook, You Can Believe The Bible. The selections are as follows.

According to scholars, 27% of the Bible deals with predictive prophecy with over 1,800 predictions recorded.  Concerning predictions given up to the present day, no unconditional prophecies have gone unfilled. Hundreds of predictions have been fulfilled with some given hundreds of years in advance. Some predictions include the destruction of Edom (Obadiah chapter one), the curse on Babylon (Isaiah chapter 13), the devastation of Tyre and Nineveh (Ezekiel chapter 26; Nahum chapters 1-3), and the return of Israel to Palestine after their exile (Isaiah 11:11). 

I think it is fair to conclude that since the Bible accurately records predictions and their future fulfillment, then it must be of God. The Bible is of supernatural character. God predicted through His prophets. 

To develop more the record of fulfilled prophecy, consider the book of Daniel. It was completed about 530 B.C. by Daniel who was living in Babylon. The book contains amazing detailed predictions concerning the unfolding of world powers in history whose time was yet future to Daniel’s writing. The predictions of the breakup of Alexander’s empire (Daniel 11), for example, are accurate in minute details.

Fortunately, for the evangelical, the evidence is overwhelming that Daniel was completed about 530 B.C., and contains a great amount of prophetic material along with precise and accurate fulfillment.  God does work in history. He makes and controls history according to His plan. He can plan and predict events and make them come true in the future. God can and does perform miracles. God can and does perform miracles. 

From the examples  listed below, one can see that clear details predicted hundreds of years in advance came true with exact, pinpoint precision. Bible prophecy is not vague and rambling; Bible prophecy is true. The modern, liberal theologian, no matter how well meaning they may be, is simply wrong in their assumptions and conclusions. Now let me take you on an astonishing journey in the world of prophetic utterances.

Daniel’s prophecy of 70 weeks

The journey deals with the little book of Daniel – the cornerstone of Bible prophecy. Perhaps the most amazing prophecy in the Bible is Daniel’s prophecy of the 70 weeks (Daniel 9:24-27). As you recall, Daniel was a young Jewish nobleman who was taken captive to Babylon when Nebuchadnezzar overran Jerusalem in 605 B.C. This bright, godly youth grew into a powerful government leader under several administrations. He wrote this book from Babylon in about 537 B.C.

Daniel, in the prophecy, was told by an angel the future history of Jerusalem, Israel, the date of Messiah’s coming and crucifixion. He records the future destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70. Follow with me step by step as we unravel Daniel’s prophecy. The first step is to place the prophecy before us. Daniel wrote of what an angel told Daniel of future events.

“So you are to know and discern that from the issuing of a decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince there will be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; it will be built again, with plaza and moat, even in times of distress. Then after the sixty-two weeks the Messiah will be cut off and have nothing, and the people of the prince who is to come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. And its end will come with a flood; even to the end there will be war; desolations are determined” (Daniel 9:25, 26).

There are several views regarding the interpretation of this prophecy, which are concisely summarized by Feinberg.  The details of the analysis are beyond the scope of this work, and are impossible to summarize simply and shortly. The lengthy calculations and analysis I will shortly introduce have been done by others.  By taking, however, the most literal interpretation of this passage and other biblical data, scholars have arrived at the most remarkable conclusions. I summarize them for you below. I proceed.

First, the time of Messiah’s coming and Jerusalem’s A.D. 70 destruction is calculated by starting with the date of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem (Daniel 9:25). Prior to Daniel’s prophecy, Jerusalem had been destroyed when Judah was taken into captivity to Babylon in 586 B.C. The decree to rebuild was given by Artaxerxes Longimanus on March 14, 445 B.C. (Nehemiah 2:1, 5-9). Some scholars date the decree at 444 B.C.

Second, according to the context, the “week” (Daniel 9:25-27) refers to a week of years, or seven years. How do we know this? Well, the term “week” refers to a cluster involving seven of something with the context determining to what the something is being referred. 

In this case, the context indicates that Daniel had years in mind, “in the first year of his reign I, Daniel, observed in the books the number of the years which was revealed as the word of the Lord to Jeremiah the prophet for the completion of the desolations of Jerusalem, namely, seventy years” (Daniel 9:2).Daniel wrote there would be 69 weeks (of years) involved before the Messiah would be “cut off,” indicating a violent death. 

Third, multiplying the 69 weeks of years by seven the answer comes to 483 years. Now we have to decide how many days are in these years of which the angel was speaking. We need to make a decision, because different calendars have different numbers of days in the year. It makes sense to use the Bible for our calculations. 

There is something in the Bible called the “prophetic year” that consists of 360 days. Examples can be found in Genesis 7:11, 24; 8:24; Daniel 7:24, 25; 12:7; Revelation 11:2, 3; 12:6, 14; 13:5. Let us use this definition. Remember that we are trying to discover what is in the mind of God and the angel who talked to Daniel – not some invention by a culture in history. Now when we multiply 69 by 483 we get 173,880 days. Things begin to get exciting from this point.

Fourth, we can add the days to the starting date, making allowances for leap year. Get ready for a mind boggling surprise. What is the date we end up with? When we stop counting the days we arrive at the date of April 6, A.D., 32, or March 30, A.D. 33. This date depends on which starting date one uses: 445 B.C. or 444 B.C. Both, or either, of these dates could fall on Palm Sunday, the very day Christ rode into Jerusalem to offer Himself as Messiah! At least the date falls within the boundaries of the possible dates of Christ’s crucifixion! Amazing!

One week later, after the conclusion of the 69 weeks, He was crucified, or “cut off” as Daniel stated. Incredible as it is, scholars tell us that Christ’s crucifixion occurred at sometime between A.D. 29 and A.D. 34! The exact date is unknown.

Daniel stated that the city and sanctuary would be destroyed after the Messiah was cut off. On that fateful Palm Sunday, He offered Himself as Messiah (Luke 19:38-44). He wept over Jerusalem. Christ was aware of His coming rejection and death, and predicted the dreadful destruction of that city, “For the days shall come upon you when your enemies will throw up a bank before you, and surround you, and hem you in on every side, and will level you to the ground and your children within you, and they will not leave in you one stone upon another because you did not recognize the time of your visitation (Luke 19:43, 44).

Before the week was out, the crowds were calling, “crucify Him” (John 19:14, 15). They did. He was cut off. Just a few years later in A.D. 70 Jerusalem and the temple was destroyed by Titus and the Roman armies. Jesus, we then conclude, linked Himself to Daniel’s prophecy. Jesus was the Messiah who was cut off, and He further affirms Daniel’s prophecy of the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple. 

This greatest time prophecy in the Bible, given some 500 years in advance of its fulfillment, validates beyond question the literal predictive element in prophecy. One, at least in my mind, is forced to adopt the literal method of Bible interpretation in the areas of history, miracles, direct supernatural intervention in the world – and any future prophecies.

Event Prediction       OT Location            Fulfillment

The seed of the woman: Genesis 3:15     Galatians 4:4;Revelation 12:5

Messiah of human generation: Genesis 12:3; 18:18; 49:10; Isaiah 11:1 John 1:45; Acts 3:25; 13:23; Galatians 3:8

Time of His advent: Daniel 9:24, 25;  John 1:41; 4:25, 26

Born of a virgin: Isaiah 7:14; Micah 5:3 Matthew 1:23; Luke 1:26-35

Descendant of Shem: Genesis 9:27 Luke 3:3

Descendant of Abraham: Genesis 12:3; 18:18 Matthew 1:1, 2; Luke 3:34; Acts 3:25.

Descendant of Isaac: Genesis 17:19; 21:12 Matthew 1:2, 2; Luke 3:34; Acts 3:25

Descendant of Isaac: Genesis: 17:19; 21:12 Matthew 1:2; Luke 3:34; Romans 9:7

Descendant of Jacob: Genesis 28:14; Numbers 24:17 Matthew 1:2; Luke 3:34

Of the tribe of Judah: Genesis 49:10; Micah 5:2 Matthew 1:2; 2:6; Revelation 5:5

Of the house of David: Isaiah 9:7; Jeremiah 23:5 Matthew 1:1, 6; Luke 3:31; John 7:42<br>

Birthplace: Micah 5:2 Matthew 2:1-6; Luke 2:4; John 7:42

Son of God: Psalm 2:6, 7 Acts 13:33; Hebrews 1:5; 5:5

Massacre of innocents: Jeremiah 31:15 Matthew 2:17, 18

Flight into Egypt: Hosea 11:1 Matthew 2:15

Announcement of ministry: Isaiah 40:3 Matthew 3:1-3

Ministry in Galilee: Isaiah 9:1, 2 Matthew 4:15, 16

Christ a prophecy: Deuteronomy 18:15 John 1:45; 6:14; Acts 3:22; 7:37

Priest like Melchizedek: Psalm 110:4 Hebrews 5:6; 6:20; 7:17, 21

Purification of temple: Psalm 69:9 John 2:17

Rejected by Jews, Gentiles: Psalm 2:1 John 6:66; Acts 4:25, 26

Spiritual graces: Psalm 45:7; Isaiah 1:2 Luke 4:18

Entry into Jerusalem: Isaiah 62:11; Zechariah 9:9 Matthew 21:1-10; John 12:14-16

Betrayal by a friend: Psalm 41:9 Matthew 26:15; Mark 14:10, 21

Betrayal 30 silver pieces:  Zechariah 11:12, 13 Matthew 26:15; Mark 14:10, 21

HIS ATONEMENT

Silence against accusation: Psalm 38:13; Isaiah 53:7 Matthew 26:63; 27:12-14

Condemned: Isaiah 53:8 John 19:14-16

His innocence: Isaiah 53:9 1 Peter 2:22; John 18:38

Vicarious suffering: Isaiah 53:4-6, 12; Daniel 9:26 Matthew 8:17; Romans 4:25;1 Corinthians 15:3; Hebrews 9:28

Death with criminals: Isaiah 53:9-12 Matthew 27:38; Luke 23:40-43

Pierced hands and feet: Psalm 22:16; Zechariah 12:10; John 20:27

Insults, mocking: Psalm 109:25; 22:6, 7 Matthew 27:39; Mark 15:29

Offer gall, vinegar: Psalm 69:21 Matthew 27:34, 48; John 19:29

Lots cast for clothing: Psalm 22:18 Mark 15:24; John 19:24

Cry on the cross: Psalm 22:1 Matthew 27:46

Not a bone broken: Exodus 12:46; Psalm 34:20 John 19:36

His nakedness: Psalm 22:17, 18 Luke 23:34, 35

His thirst: Psalm 22:15; 69:21 John 9:28

Side pierced:  Zechariah: 12:10 John 19:34, 37

His sacrifice: Isaiah: 53:5-11 John 19:18, 33

Burial with the rich: Psalm 16:9; Isaiah 53:9 Matthew 27:57-60

No corruption: Psalm 16:10 Acts 13:35-37

Three days in grave: Jonah 1:17 Matthew 12:40; 16:21; 1 Corinthians 15:4

His resurrection: Psalm 16:10 Acts 2:31; 1 Corinthians 15:4; Matthew 28:6

Ascension to Heaven: Psalm 68:18; 110:1 Luke 24:51; Acts 1:9; Ephesians 4:8-10; Hebrews 1:3

Bible Prophecy is True

Someone may object and say these prophecies happened by chance. It may be true that perhaps one or two vague predictions and fulfillments could happen by chance. It is not, however, reasonable to believe that hundreds of precise, detailed predictions and fulfillments could come true by chance. The probability of only a handful coming true would be maybe one in a trillion, but in the case of the Bible, the probability of just the predictions mentioned above coming true by chance is virtually non-existent. 

It would be like a mulberry tree getting hit by lightning and turning into tapa cloth! Another example: it would be like a typewriter factory exploding and the pieces falling together to produce a brand new computer. Or maybe like turning a rat loose in a room with a typewriter and it typing out a Tongan dictionary! Impossible!

The sum of the matter is this: multitudes of Bible prophecies were given in clear, minute detail and they did actually come true with absolute precision. Only God could control the events of history to ensure the fulfillment of those predictions; thus, one is forced to accept the fact that the Bible is from God. Frankly, there is no other honest explanation of the facts.

Finally, by using miracles and fulfilled prophecy as a proof for the Bible, we follow the same method as the Apostles. Paul wrote, “For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried and He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures” – underlines mine (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4; cf. Romans 1:1, 2; 1 Peter 1:10-12; Acts 2:24-31; Matthew 1:22, 23).

But there is more evidence that indicates that the Bible is the Word of God. I present that in the next chapter.

Martin, I hope this helps to answer your question. You can purchase the whole ebook from this site – just go to ebooks 4 sale.

Dr. Newman

NOTES:

1. J. Barton Payne, Encyclopedia of Biblical Prophecy (New York: Harper & Row, Publishers, 1973), p. 681. Payne, who holds a Doctor of Theology degree, is an evangelical scholar who has taught at prestigious evangelical schools such as Wheaton College and Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He has contributed to many scholarly works. <br>

2. For a detailed analysis of 12 specific prophecies see Josh McDowell, Evidence that Demands a Verdict (Arrowhead Springs: Campus Crusade for Christ International, 1972), pp. 277-335.<br>

3. Archer, pp. 377-403. Other scholarly evangelical texts supporting Daniel are Leon Wood, A Commentary on Daniel (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1973); John Walvoord, Daniel The Key to Prophetic Revelation (Chicago: Moody Press, 1971); John C. Whitcomb, Daniel (Chicago: Moody Press, 1985); R.K. Harrison, Introduction to the Old Testament (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1969); Edward J Young, An Introduction to the Old Testament (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1964); Wood holds the Ph.D. degree from Michigan State University; Walvoord holds the Th.D. from Dallas Theological Seminary; Whitcomb holds the Th.D. from Grace Seminary. Whitcomb has written extensive scholarly works on the issues of Daniel. Harrison has a Ph.D. from the University of London and was for many years professor of Old Testament at Wycliffe College, University of Toronto. Young received his Ph.D. from Dropsie College and taught Old Testament for 32 years at Westminster Seminary. All hold evangelical views.

4. For a more detailed listing see McDowell, Evidence That Demands a Verdict; Henry Thiessen, Introductory Lectures in Systematic Theology; Payne, Encyclopedia of Bible Prophecy. For interpretations of Bible prophecy see Paul Lee Tan, The Interpretation of Prophecy (Rockville: Assurance Publishers, 1974); J. Dwight Pentecost, Things to Come (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1958). With the exception of McDowell all the men listed hold earned doctorates. <br>

5. Paul d. Feinberg, “An Exegetical and Theological Study of Daniel 9:24-27,” in John Feinberg and Paul D. Feinberg, eds., Traditions and Testament: Essays in Honour of Charles Lee Feinberg (Chicago: Moody Press, 1981), pp. 189-220. Feinberg holds a Th.D. from Dallas Theological Seminary and the Ph.D. from the University of Chicago.<br>

6. Sir Robert Anderson, The Coming Prince (London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1895); Alva J. McCain, Daniel’s Prophecy of the Seventy Weeks (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1940). For others see the bibliography and notes of John Whitcomb, Daniel (Chicago: Moody Press, 1985); John F. Walvoord, Daniel the Key to Prophetic Revelation (Chicago: Moody Press, 1971).

7. See McDowell, Evidence that Demands a Verdict, pp. 147ff.

8. See McDowell, Evidence that Demands a Verdict, p. 331.

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