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Theory Of Prophetic Averages


Guest r3alchild
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Guest r3alchild

One of the hardest things ex christians face about leaving christianity is the bible prophecies. However I may have a an explanation to why they are there and how they are accurate.

 

The people who trust the bible, claim that the prophets were uniquely inspired by the spirit of god, but what if this claim is due to something else. Lets look at this rationally, what if in those days like today there were hundreds maybe thousands of so called prophets. Now lets say that hundreds or thousands of these prophets claimed many diffrent things about god and the future, from there its all a matter of averages. It only makes sense to think that if enough people say enough things about any possible future a few would get it right. But its not that there right because of god, there right because they just got lucky.

 

From here you can see that the lucky few so called prophets had there books added into the bible we have today and the ones that were not so lucky got there books destroyed and were hunted down and killed.

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That is an interesting theory.  We know for a fact that, at least Christians, in the first few centuries of the common era destroyed competing gospel accounts that did not agree with the accepted ones.  One big example are the gnostic gospels and other such literature.  It was only by a major stroke of luck that in 1945, a priceless cache of gnostic codices were found in Nag Hammadi, Egypt.  Prior to that, we only knew about the gnostic beliefs because some people in the first several centuries wrote about some of them, quoting parts.  Of course, they were not trying to preserve historic treasures.  Rather, they were arguing that they were false, satanic, and otherwise foul writings.  They present a wholly different view of Jesus and YHWH.  Well worth the time to read at least some of them.

 

Your theory that it is possible that there were many written "guesses" about what might happen in the future and only the ones whose writers guessed right were preserved is plausible, particularly given the evidence we have about destructions of texts.  I think another plausible theory, and the one to which I subscribe, is that the "prophecies" are of several types and can be explained by considering the type they are.  One type consists of those which no one claims has yet been fulfilled.  I don't think they were meant to suggest actual fulfillment, but, rather, were written as a way to give people hope for a better future.  Here is an example:

 

 

This is what Isaiah son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem:

In the last days

the mountain of the Lord’s temple will be established
    as the highest of the mountains;
it will be exalted above the hills,
    and all nations will stream to it.

Many peoples will come and say,

“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
    to the temple of the God of Jacob.
He will teach us his ways,
    so that we may walk in his paths.”
The law will go out from Zion,
    the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
He will judge between the nations
    and will settle disputes for many peoples.
They will beat their swords into plowshares
    and their spears into pruning hooks.
Nation will not take up sword against nation,
    nor will they train for war anymore.

 

Isaiah 2:1-4

 

Another type is those "prophecies" which were never intended to be prophetic at all, but were taken out of context to try to make the point that Jesus was the Messiah.  Many examples of those are written into the Gospels.  Take the so-called prophecy that the Messiah would be born to a virgin.  Here is the version found in Matthew:

 

18 This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about[d]: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet[e] did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.

20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus,[f] because he will save his people from their sins.”

22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”[g] (which means “God with us”).

24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. 25 But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.

 

Matthew 1:18-24

 

The relevant "prophecy" is quoted in full below to put it into context:

 

13 Then Isaiah said, “Hear now, you house of David! Is it not enough to try the patience of humans? Will you try the patience of my God also? 14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you[c] a sign: The virgin[d] will conceive and give birth to a son, and[e] will call him Immanuel.[f] 15 He will be eating curds and honey when he knows enough to reject the wrong and choose the right, 16 for before the boy knows enough to reject the wrong and choose the right, the land of the two kings you dread will be laid waste. 17 The Lord will bring on you and on your people and on the house of your father a time unlike any since Ephraim broke away from Judah—he will bring the king of Assyria.”

 

Isiah 7:13-17

 

That "d" you see beside the word, "virgin" is a note in this NIV version which says, "Or young woman."  In other words, this "prophecy" in Isaiah was not emphasizing the mother's virginity because it never intended to convey that message.  What it really meant to convey is "Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign:  A young woman will conceive and give birth to a son....."  There is nothing unusual about a woman giving birth to a son, so that is not part of the prophecy at all.  Rather, the important part is what follows and that is what is supposed to be prophetical and it, of course, has nothing to do with Jesus.

 

In other words, the writer of Matthew took one line out of context and tried to turn that which was not intended to be prophetical into a fulfilled prophecy.  Nothing more than a literary slight of hand trick.

 

Then there are those "prophecies" which are written of and in the same writing they were supposedly fulfilled.  However, neither the "prophecy" was ever made nor did the event actuallly happen (at least not as written of in the Bible).  Here is an example of this type:

 

 

11 Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight and was full of violence. 12 God saw how corrupt the earth had become, for all the people on earth had corrupted their ways. 13 So God said to Noah, “I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth.

 

Genesis 6:11-13

 

Of course, the rest of the story is one quite familiar.  God caused it to rain and killed every living creature in the entire world except for Noah and his family and the animals he supposedly put on the ark he built in obedience to God's command.  This type of prophecy is one that was never actually made or fulfilled, but the story was written in such a way to make it appear that it had been both made and fulfilled.  It could have been based on a preceding story such as the Epic of Gilgamesh.  Here is a link to Tablet XI which tells a tale strinkingly similar to the Genesis account of the flood.

 

http://www.ancienttexts.org/library/mesopotamian/gilgamesh/tab11.htm

 

Another type of "prophecy" is those which tell of an actual event that occurred but is written in a way to make it look like the event was foretold.  In other words, the "prophecy" was written after the fact of the event to make it look like it was an actual prophecy.  For this one, I will turn to Jesus:

 

20 “When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, you will know that its desolation is near. 21 Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those in the city get out, and let those in the country not enter the city. 22 For this is the time of punishment in fulfillment of all that has been written. 23 How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! There will be great distress in the land and wrath against this people. 24 They will fall by the sword and will be taken as prisoners to all the nations. Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.

 

Luke 21:20-24

 

Christians love to say one of two things about this alleged "prophecy" of Jesus.  One is that it is a prophecy of end-times.  However, it was not that at all.  Rather, the subject matter dealt with the roman conquest of Jerusalem and the subsequent destruction of the temple.  And that leads to the second thing that some Christians who accept that this dealt with the Roman onslaught of Jerusalem.  They say that Jesus prophesied about the event forty years before it actually happened.

 

It is a historical fact that the Romans did sack Jerusalem and destroyed the temple in 70 CE.  However, the "prophecy" never happened because it was written after the fact and the character, Jesus, was used to "prophesy" about the event which is intended to give this character the god-like quality of being able to prophesy.

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