No prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.
—2 Peter 1:21
One of the strongest arguments for the Bible is the hundreds of fulfilled prophecies. Detailed predictions about people, nations, and events were foretold centuries before they occurred, and their fulfillments have been historically verified.
In about 700 BC Isaiah prophesied that Babylon would conquer Judah (Isaiah 39:5-6). Isaiah’s prediction came true 100 years later. Isaiah also predicted that Babylon would be conquered by another nation (Isaiah 21:9). This prophecy was fulfilled in 539 BC. Then Isaiah had an even more amazing prediction. The prophet identified by name the king who would allow Judah to rebuild Jerusalem (Isaiah 44:28). Cyrus, king of Persia, did conquer Babylon and decreed that the Israelites could return to their homeland. Isaiah predicted this 150 years earlier!
At least 61 prophecies concerning the Messiah were fulfilled by Jesus. A skeptic might argue, “Jesus purposefully fulfilled those predictions to appear to be the Messiah.” Yet many prophecies about the Messiah were outside Jesus’ control: the place of His birth (Micah 5:2), the time of His birth (Daniel 9:25), the manner of His birth (Isaiah 7:14), the manner of His death (Psalm 22:16), and His burial in a rich man’s tomb (Isaiah 53:9). The chances of one man fulfilling just eight of those specific prophecies is 1 in 1017.
Another evidence for Scripture is the unity of the Bible. Contrast the Bible with other religious books. Muslims believe Allah sent the angel Gabriel to Muhammad to reveal the Qur’an. Yet none of the Qu’ran’s 114 chapters, or suras, focuses on a single theme. And according to Joseph Smith, the angel Moroni gave him golden plates that became the Book of Mormon. Yet despite its claim to be divine revelation, the Book of Mormon does not contain one historically verifiable fact, much less any fulfilled prophecies.
Unlike the Qur’an and the Book of Mormon, the Bible was written by around 40 authors over 1,500 years. Those who recorded God’s message were very diverse. David was a shepherd, Solomon was a monarch, Amos was a herdsman, Luke was a doctor, Paul was a rabbi, and Peter was a fisherman. Yet, despite its varying authors and settings, the Bible has a common theme. Genesis begins with mankind’s fall and need for redemption—a redemption that is accomplished in the Gospels and fully realized in Revelation.
The only explanation for such unity in a book that was composed under such diverse circumstances is that there was a Divine Author who oversaw the final product.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “How Can I Know the Bible Is True?” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2012.
Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.