Did Jesus Fulfil The Messianic Prophesises?

At the core of Christianity is the belief that Jesus is the Messiah who was prophesised would come and save the people of Israel and the world. Christian’s claim that Jesus fulfilled many prophesies in his life and proved in this way that he was the saviour. There are claimed to be hundreds of fulfilled prophesies proving Jesus was the Messiah, so how do these claims stand up?

The first prophecy that Jesus is claimed to have fulfilled was to be born in Bethlehem. This was supposedly prophesised in Micah 5:2. However this prophecy is flat out false as it refers to “Bethlehem Ephratah” which is a tribe, not a town. The verse does not mention a Messiah but merely a “great leader”. The speaker is saying that a leader will come from this tribe who “shall waste the land of Assyria with the sword” (Micah 5:6). I have yet to hear an explanation as to however the peaceful Jesus was supposed to have fulfilled this part of the “prophecy” which Christians exclude when they tell the story. There is also no evidence that Jesus was born in Bethlehem and that the story of his birth was forged so as to sound like the fulfilment of a misunderstanding of this prophecy.

It is furthermore claimed that Isaiah 7:14 is supposed to prophecies the virgin birth of Jesus, but in reality it refers to a “young woman” giving birth who will call her child “Immanuel” (which Jesus was never called). The boy would “will be eating curds and honey”. If you read the entire chapter, rather than just the one line, you will see that the prophecy was intended to happen very soon during the lifetime of the listeners, not hundreds of years in the future. This is not a prophecy about the Messiah but rather a sign that would come to the Israelites in their battles with the Assyrians.

It is claimed that Psalms 22 and 34:20 and Zachariah 12:10 refer to the crucifixion of Jesus and how none of his bones were broken and his side was pierced. But none of them are intended as prophecies or descriptions of the future. Instead this is an example of quote mining by Christians were any line that remotely resembles anything about Jesus is called a prophecy. This can be seen by reading Zachariah 12:10 “And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.” As the disciples never saw the body of Jesus after his was crucified, there is no way for them to know whether or not his bones were broken or if his side was pierced.

Most of the Messianic prophecies are not prophecies but vague statements that could be applied to anyone (the Messiah will be called king, the Messiah will like children, the Messiah will be despised by some etc). The writers of the New Testament were desperate that Jesus be accepted as the Messiah and so they used everything and anything as “proof”. So Hosea 11:1:“When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son” is claimed to be a prophecy predicting Jesus returning from Egypt when it is obviously no such thing. This can only be considered a prophecy by twisting the quote and deleting the first half leaving only “out of Egypt I called my son.” This is a sign of desperation and dishonesty rather than divine revelation. The most absurd has to be the “prophecy” that he will be “born of the seed of woman” which is how all people are born.

A large chunk of the Messianic prophecies come from Isaiah 53 which describes a suffering servant. At no point is it claimed that this servant is the Messiah or that this is a prophecy. Instead it speaks in the past tense and it could refer to the suffering of literally anyone and probably refers to Israel. This servant is so disfigured that he doesn’t even look human (which can’t be said of Jesus who did look human). The servant was pierced (or wounded) which Christians claim refer to Jesus being pierced after his crucifixion. But this could refer to any type of piercing or wound (even piercing his ears could fulfil the prophecy). It is claimed he is silent (which we all are sometimes) but Christians claim this refers to his trial. But the Gospel of John claims Jesus gave a passionate speech at his trial where he denounced his accusers. There is really little evidence to suggest that this is a prophecy about Jesus and is another example of quote mining.

Daniel 9:25-6 is supposed to refer to the death of the Messiah. This will occur after seven ‘sevens’ and then sixty two ‘sevens’. After his death ‘war will continue until the end’ and there will be a great flood. The first problem with this is that it is unclear what ‘sevens’ mean. Is it seven years, months, decades, weeks? Only those attempting to force the prophecy to fit history could seriously claim that it meant sixty two sets of seven years plus seven sets of seven years. If the prophecy meant 483 years, why not just say so? Why break the number in two and then use obscure language that is guaranteed to confuse people? In fact the King James Bible records it as sixty-two weeks, rather than sets of seven years. So this prophecy fails.

So desperate are some people for a prophecy that even things like Psalm 69:21 “They put gall in my food and gave me vinegar for my thirst” is somehow seen as a prophecy regarding Jesus crucifixion. If the writer of this Psalm really did know that Jesus would be crucified surely, they could have been clearer than this? As it is, anyone drinking vinegar could fulfil the prophecy (which there is no indication the writers meant it as a prophecy).

A major problem with claiming Jesus is the Messiah is that he didn’t do most of the things the Messiah was supposed to. The Messiah will be King of an independent Israel and all nations will look to it for guidance (Isaiah 2:4). Judaism will conquer all other religions and all people will return to full Torah observance. There will be no more hunger, illness or death (Isaiah 25:8). Even the dead will rise (Isaiah 26:19). All weapons will be destroyed (Ezekiel 39:9) and there will be world peace (Isaiah 2:4, Isaiah 11:6, Micah 4:3). The world will be perfected in the image of God. It is for this reason that Jews reject the idea of Jesus being the Messiah as he failed to fulfil any of the important prophecies (ending hunger and death is a slightly more important prophecy than simply drinking vinegar).

Not only did Jesus fail to fulfil the Messianic prophecies but he also made many prophecies about his second coming which failed to come true. It is clear that he and his disciples believed that he would return within their lifetimes. Matthew 10:23 quotes him as saying “I tell you the truth, you will not finish going through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes”. In Matthew 16:28 he says  “I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”  1 Thessalonians 4:15 says the second coming will occur before many “who are still alive”. Two thousand years later we are still waiting and many Christians still think this prophecy will be fulfilled. As everyone who was alive at the time is long since dead, it’s safe to say this prophecy has failed.

I remember growing up I was told that Jesus fulfilled ancient prophesies. At the time I accepted without question (as we all accept all parts of religion) without looking at any evidence. Had I done so, I would have realised much sooner that Jesus didn’t come close to fulfilling the prophesies and most of the claims of fulfilment are little more than wishful thinking. Christian claims are no more than quote mining and twisting ancient verses to give them a meaning that was never intended. Contrary to the crucial Christian claim, Jesus did not fulfil the Messianic prophesies.

23 thoughts on “Did Jesus Fulfil The Messianic Prophesises?”

  1. Am reading an excellent book that dispels the myths that orthodox christians have perpetuated for years called “Jesus Potter Harry Christ: The Fascinating Parallels Between Two of the World’s Most Popular Literary Characters” by Derek Murphy. I highly recommend it.

  2. Although, I do not mind attempts at saying the Jesus never fulfilled the promises in the Bible, I do mind when bad arguments are made. Whether for the fulfillment or against it. This post did not talk about Scripture or history correctly. I would have appreciated stronger argument against fulfillment of prophecies and a better use of Scripture, if your going to use it.

    1. He also doesn’t know how to spell very well. Proofread your stuff man! ! being, It’s Zechariah, not “Zachariah”. I could say more, but I think that says enough.

  3. This prompted me to search for “messiah” and I came up with a fascinating Wikipedia page: List of messiah claimants.

    It’s funny. I knew some of these because in college I had a close Jewish friend who used to talk about some of the messianic predictions. I think she was going through a period of trying to reconcile her religious beliefs the how she understood the world apart from her religion.

      1. Theology is the art of making the unbelievable sound believable. I wasted far too much time in college talking to friends about religion. The friend I mentioned, now a scientist, had a very difficult time reconciling the concept of monotheism with the idea that the god of Abraham was the only god and that the Jewish people were his chosen people. That might be an easy thing to believe if you’re a member of a desert tribe at war with your surrounding neighbors. It’s a much harder thing to believe when you’re a modern person living in the modern world.

        Although orthodox Christianity seemed obviously untrue to me, I spent a great deal of time looking at less orthodox forms and some alternative spiritual practices. My best friend at this time was going through a period of increasing belief and for a while he even wanted to be a priest. He had a similar problem to my Jewish friend. How do you account for all those other religions? I know, because we spent hours discussing it, that he believed that there was some sort of divine energy in the world and that is what humans understand as “God” and all these various religions are different ways of communing with this divine thing. He’s an atheist now. (Note to other commenters: That’s a poor summary of his thoughts from that time, but I’d have to write reams to cover all the things he said.)

        Back then, for some reason, I felt obligated to look into these things. Someone will always come along and say, “Ah, before you dismiss all religion, or all spiritual practices, you must look at this one.” But the list is nearly endless. When I think of all the time I wasted wondering about those things, I could have learned Esperanto in addition to French. 😉

        One more thing, because I’m a geek: My American dictionary has both prophecies and prophesies as correct. I think it’s just an oversight when they were compiling the data for the spell checker. Putting together a list like that is a big job and there’s bound to be errors. I’ve seen a few myself. I never bother about errors in blogs and comments because I just had to accept that the speed of online communication doesn’t allow for the same level of proofreading as the print world had. That doesn’t mean I don’t care, but I’d never get a post up. After all, my mother was an English teacher. She may not have believed in God, but she believed in the English language!

        1. I understand about the endless project if one were to look into all the various options of religion and spirituality. What is more significant about what process thought is about than other more specific options is that it is a broad “paradigm” or way of understanding reality. It enables the mutual respect of spiritual ways of seeing and knowing along with scientific ways. Both are seen a valuable and actively integrated. It is, in one sense, a scientifically, philosophically updated version of what has long been known as “perennial philosophy” and the great insights of the East. Some of the most brilliant of scientists, mathematicians, philosophers have participated in its development (not all jointly or in direct descent), such as Teilhard de Chardin, A. N. Whitehead, Charles Hartshorne, and some would include the earlier “father of American psychology”, William James.

  4. “I would have appreciated stronger argument against fulfillment of prophecies and a better use of Scripture,”,/i>

    Religious leaders, scholars and archeologist will tell you that scripture is your weakest evidence that Jesus was an historical figure, even if it is the main source by which we have come to know him. They are little more than fragments of information from people who claim to know people who claim to know Jesus or his apostles. Better to use what non-scriptural material is available but even that still won’t prove he was a real person.

  5. Many people say, as you say, that “The writers of the New Testament were desperate that Jesus be accepted as the Messiah and so they used everything and anything as ‘proof’.” Why would that be? Nobody asks that. If you have the Son of God on your hands, why is it important to convince people that he was the Jewish Messiah, a figure meant to fight against the Romans or other oppressors of the Jews. Many of the Gospels try mightily to blame the Jews for Jesus’ death, when his death was supposed to be a sacrifice, performed by the Romans. So, of what value is having Jesus be the Jewish Messiah? If Christianity were destined to become a Jewish cult, it could only split Christians off from Judaism. If Christianity were to be a religion of gentiles, why would they care whether or not he was the Messiah? Is puzzling.

    But another fine post, young man; you are “on a roll” as they say here in the United States of Guns.

  6. Interesting blog, Robert. Glad you decided to “think out loud” and stimulate discussion on important issues.

    I like that you made this post follow one on fulfillment of prophecy in general. Your criteria there are good ones and, at quick glance, seem to cover most of the territory. Christians so seldom really think this area through and quickly grasp onto both various prophecies and supposed “messianic” prophecies as validation of the Bible as revealed and Jesus as Messiah (which they also take way beyond the ancient Jewish vision, which never meant a divine being at all).

    You seem quite observant and do a good job for someone apparently not a long-time or in-depth student of the area called “biblical studies” (or similar terms). In this, you provide a good example that a sufficiently curious person who will do a little homework to check on common claims, does not have much difficulty in “seeing through” many illogical or unfounded points of traditional orthodox Christianity…. aspects created after Jesus was gone for the most part (and generally NOT created by his direct followers, none of whom apparently wrote anything that survived out of antiquity, if they wrote at all).

    However, since your “About” section says you are young and recently abandoning Christian faith, I’d encourage you to look some into the way of seeing and describing reality called “process”…. Process philosophy and its cousin, process theology (not necessarily Christian, though the most developed form is a very progressive form of Christianity)… the only Catholic close to seeing God and the universe this way that I know, at least as a scientific thinker, was Teilhard de Chardin. Though the original thinker was the mathematician/philosopher (British, having worked in the US also), A. N. Whitehead, most of Process theology developed in American Protestant circles. It is neither atheistic nor classically theistic, but “panentheistic”… a category that CAN be confusing, but not if one takes time to probe a little. To me, it answers many of the seeming conundrums between science and a spiritual perspective, as well as the troubling “philosophical” questions about the existence of evil and suffering, etc.

    1. Why not debate here? Your group seems to be primarily catered for Christians according to the description (as its closed, I can’t see anymore). I don’t find facebook that good for debates and use it mostly for personal stuff myself.

  7. It is hilarious when Christians show up and make one liner comments about how wrong you are when you actually nailed every point. In fact you left a lot out you could have said.

    They are under the delusion that there justifications, typologies, explanations, endless efforts to explain away all the made up nonsense, discrepancies, made up prophecies and old testament scriptures taken completely out of context… actually work.

    Jesus not only did not fulfill even one single actual messianic prophecy, but he did and said things that make it completely impossible for him to qualify as the real messiah.

    In fact if you were an enemy of Israel and wanted to make up a fake counterfeit messiah you could not make a better one than Jesus of Nazareth.

  8. Guys, I experienced the God of the heavens and the earth in a very dramatic way a couple of weeks ago. He is very very REAL. Don’t know how but I found myself in his presence while praying. I thought I believed in God before that but I was shocked at my reaction afterwards. I couldn’t even go to bed that day from the excitement. I’m still amazed. I mean what does it mean to be the God of the heavens and the earth??? I don’t even know…..But he is VERY VERY REAL.have never experienced anything like that before.

    Its not about being religious or having a religion. Is is about having a relationship with God and restoring mankind to God.

    The main word here is SIN. Sin seperates us from God. When God decided to create man, the devil got jealous and rebelled against him. He was God’s highest angel Lucifer 2nd in command. God gives everyone free will. So he threw him out of heaven. The devil is very jealous of mankind (because we are made in the image of God) so he tricked eve into eating the fruit so that she will be eternally damned to the same punishment as he is. She succumbed and here we are today!
    When eve ate the fruit she got kicked out of eden. So the devil rules this world.He is the author of sin and death. That is why BAD THINGS happen here. Gods laws are eternal, he is JUST and can’t have one punishment for one and a different one for another (the devil and man). The devil is going to be put in eternal death at some point for rebelling against God and this world will end then. He is going to try and take as much of mankind down with him as possible before the appointed time of his damnation and no one knows the time only God.

    God really loves mankind. Which is why he sent his only son JESUS to die for us. To make a way to reconcile mankind back to himself and give us eternal life to prevent us from eternal death brought about by sin.

    At the appointed time this world is going to end and God is going to take over rule then there will be NO DEATH, NO PAIN, NO SUFFERING. JUST LIFE AND LOTS OF IT. In a way we haven’t really started life. This is like a pre-life brought about by sin. CAN’T WAIT to move to heaven. God is so..oooooooo lovely. When I found myself in his presence I just didn’t want to move. I didn’t know that that level of love existed. It was like a magnetic field on intense intense intense love.Like instead of air filling the atmosphere. It was love that filled it. Aaaah ….. I have literally fallen in love with the God of heaven and earth!!!!

    People look for him if you haven’t found him. Don’t get played by that slippery snake the devil. God says if you search for me SINCERELY you will find me. The fight is not between men but between the race of mankind and the devil. Peace out !!!

  9. It is interesting to see your worldview played out. You criticize against insults, but write in a manner that unashamedly insults Christ and the faith of Christians, calling it ‘debate’.
    When, indeed, this is not a debate. What you have written is nothing more than the self-expression of a frustrated young man who clearly (a) operates from an antagonism presupposition while presuming to be objective and evidential, and (b) does not understand biblical studies, the history of interpretation (and arguments for and against your thoughts), and the most basic principles of hermeneutics.
    Every one of your ‘arguments’ are answered in just about any basic study Bible or Bible commentary, if you would care to look; and that without the insulting tone that you cast. Beyond this there are plenty of resources in print (and even online) that deal honestly and transparently with the difficulties found in the Bible. You might consider J. Barton Payne’s Encyclopedia of Biblical Prophecy, or O. Palmer Robertson’s The Christ of the Prophets, or Arnold Fruchtenbaum’s (a Jew) Messianic Christology, or Carson and Beale’s Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament, etc. [online: http://www.cmfnow.com/articles/PA100.htm; http://carm.org; http://www.reasons.org; http://aomin.org; http://www.albertmohler.com; http://www.theologicalstudies.org; http://www.biblebb.com; http://www.studylight.org/commentaries; http://needgod.com; If you are interested in a real debate, please consider: http://www.bellevuechristian.org/faculty/dribera/htdocs/PDFs/Apol_Bahnsen_Stein_Debate_Transcript.pdf%5D
    For the sake of intellectual honesty and as a courtesy to those you so quickly insult, you should at least attempt to study the subject you will write on before hand.
    We would all do well to remember that it is far easier to criticize than to think outside of our own complacency; to dismiss something we do not like or agree with when we set ourselves up as the arbiter of truth.

    1. The Virgin Birth prophecy ( described in the post) is probably the most notorious of the spurious attempts by the church to get their god-man into the history books, a more ridiculous and, more importantly, false claim. In other words, they lied. And still are, wouldn’t you know?

      You would do well to remember that it is far easier to cheat, lie, burn at the stake, embark on genocidal campaigns, mutilate the genitals of children, etc ad nauseum than it is to not acknowledge truth when it has been slapping you in the silly face for more than two thousand years.

    2. Still waiting for any of the apologists here to refute what was actually said in this article. Yes there are some typos! What SPECIFICALLY do you think is wrong about what he said?

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