Most people believe that there is no evidence for the existence of God. They believe He must be received by “faith” — meaning that our belief must be based on feelings or some other ethereal type of connection. But is this what the meaning of faith is? The author of Hebrews wrote that faith is substance and evidence!
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” — Hebrews 11:1
Even though God isn’t seen with our physical eyes, through the Old Testament scriptures there is absolute evidence for the existence of a supernatural Entity that has been communicating with humanity. This communication has been meticulous and patient, with an end in mind: proof that Jesus Christ is the Messiah, the Savior of the world.
Christopher Hitchens thought that because Jesus didn’t come immediately to redeem the world it was evidence of God’s injustice and passive disregard for the condition of humanity:
Famine, struggle, bitterness, war, suffering, misery, all of that for 98,000 years. Heaven watches this with complete indifference. And then 2000 years ago, thinks “That’s enough of that. It’s time to intervene.”Christopher Hitchens, “Christopher Hitchens On the Indifference of Heaven” published Feb. 4, 2016. Hitch Archive. YouTube. Accessed July 26, 2019. https://youtu.be/GGMo927DZmg.
But I look at this statement as evidence that God wants to reason with humanity. He wants to provide evidence for His existence! He has been intervening in human history by revealing, through the law and the prophets, the identity of the Savior. He doesn’t demand blind faith. He gives proof of His existence by revealing the Messiah in the Old Testament scriptures.
Jesus himself used “the law and the prophets” to explain how they spoke of Him. On the road to Emmaus, after listening to Cleopas and his friend talk about the events surrounding the crucifixion and resurrection, and seeing that they were downcast because Jesus wasn’t the hoped-for redeemer of Israel who would set them free from Roman occupation, Jesus responded with this explanation:
“And he said to them, ‘O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?’ And beginning with Moses [the Law] and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.” – Luke 24:25-27, ESV
It was only after he had a meal with them that their eyes were opened to his identity. Afterward, they shared these wonderful words describing their time with the resurrected Jesus:
“They said to each other, “Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the scriptures?” – Luke 24:32, ESV
The revelation of how Jesus fulfilled the law and the prophets made their hearts burn with awe and passion because it revealed that God had a plan and communicated it ahead of time to individuals who recorded it in writing, preserved it, and set it apart as sacred. The Hebrews took this responsibility so seriously that the Scribes (copiers) had to count the verses, words, and even the letters of each book in the Old Testament. Later, the Talmudists would follow very precise rules concerning the material the Scriptures were written on, the number and length of columns, and so on. They could not record any letter from memory, and besides this . . .
. . . the copyist must sit in full Jewish dress, wash his whole body, not begin to write the name of God with a pen newly dipped in ink, and should a king address him while writing that name he must take no notice of him.Samuel Davidson, Hebrew Text of the Old Testament, 2nd ed. (London: Samuel Bagster and Sons, 1859), 89.
The solemn responsibility of preserving the words of those who had a “message from God” could seem silly to modernists—but in hindsight we are grateful for their painstaking work. Their labors have given humanity proof of a celestial visitation to our planet. Something out there in the universe (that the devout have called “heaven”) worked through Abraham and his descendants to convey their message to humanity. The proclamation of this plan is important because if somebody (an alien visitor, for example) claimed he was the savior of the world (I will be referring to the alien as a “he” for the sake of expediency), how could we trust him? Would signs and wonders convince us that he was who he said he was? Would his words convince us? How would we know whether he was a liar? How would we know that this extraterrestrial visitor had our best interest at heart?
In the fictional book, Contact, by the agnostic astronomer Carl Sagan, the main character, Ellie, says this concern over alien intentions was a subject of discussion for those involved in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI):
There were passionate debates in the commissary or during the long and undemanding watches about the intentions of the putative extraterrestrials. We could not guess how different from us they might be. It was hard enough to guess the intentions of our elected representatives in Washington. What would the intentions be of fundamentally different kinds of beings on physically different worlds hundreds or thousands of light years away?Carl Sagan, Contact (New York: Pocket Books, 1986), 48.
In the 1980s TV series, V, aliens came to the earth claiming to be able to help humanity, but as the series progressed, we discovered they were actually here to harvest human beings and use them for food. In light of this concern over intentions, how would we be able to trust any visitor to our planet?
Could this be why the God of heaven (a realm outside of our earthly habitat) slowly revealed himself to humanity, meticulously using Hebrew history, through the ministry of the law and the prophets, as a road map to lead us to Jesus as a Savior we could trust?
Sagan pointed out in Contact that there has never been an intelligent signal from outer space:
In the scant few decades in which humans have pursued radio astronomy, there has never been a real signal from the depths of space, something manufactured, something artificial, something contrived by an alien mind [emphasis added].Carl Sagan, Contact (New York: Pocket Books, 1986), 41.
The Bible is sacred to humanity because it is evidence that something from an intelligent extraterrestrial being has contacted our planet, communicating with us, not through the use of relaying prime numbers through radio signals (as in the movies Contact or The Arrival), but through the use of the law and the prophets as conveyed through the history of Israel.
Consider these prophecies claiming the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2, Matt. 2:1), would die by being pierced (Psalm 22:16, Isaiah 53:5, Luke 32:33), would arrive on a certain date (Dan. 9:24-26),  that he would be buried in a rich man’s grave (Isa. 53:9, Matt. 27:59-60), that he would be a descendant of Jesse (Isaiah 11:1, Rom. 15:12), and on and on. In God’s wisdom, Jesus didn’t just drop out of the sky. His entrance into the world was foretold, over time, in an unearthly and supernatural way. 
These prophecies had to be supernatural (to have a source outside of the natural realm), because to have precise knowledge of a very detailed event hundreds or even thousands of years before the event occurred means that the authors (all of them) had to either have access to a time machine or they were helped by something that wasn’t bound by the restrictions of time.
Sagan’s character, Ellie, also reflected on the issue of extraterrestrial time:
What if an interstellar message were being received by Project Argus, but very slowly—one bit of information every hour, say, or every week, or every decade? What if there were very old, very patient murmurs of some transmitting civilization, which had no way of knowing that we get tired of pattern recognition after seconds or minutes? Suppose they lived for tens of thousands of years. And taaaaalked verrrry slooooowwwwly. Argus would never know. Could such long-lived creatures exist?Carl Sagan, Contact (New York: Pocket Books, 1986), 55.
God didn’t transmit a single message slowly (like sending one word per decade in order to create a sentence), but the way He revealed the identity of the Messiah over time would confirm the supernatural nature of the message. 
One or two prophecies could, by chance, be fulfilled in one person, but dozens of prophecies, written over more than a millennia by dozens of different people? These prophecies could not have been designed by any one man, yet in one man they were all meticulously fulfilled!
God’s patient plan also revealed that the Messiah was trustworthy. The Gospels show us that the person who fulfilled the Old Testament prophecies was kind. He healed the sick, cared for the poor, fed the hungry, opposed false and cruel religious leaders, cast out tormenting demons, and even died on our behalf! He would go like a lamb to the slaughter to pay for our sins, just as it was foretold by the prophet Isaiah:
“But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.” –Isaiah 53:5, ESV
When we see these prophecies fulfilled in Christ (as recorded by the eyewitness accounts of the disciples)  we know he was someone in whom we could put our trust. He was a brother and a friend. He had no designs to hurt us. He only wanted to bless us and lay down his life for us. Even though something supernatural and extraterrestrial was involved in revealing this person, the way he lived his life proved that his intentions were good. 
And when he returns, we will be able to recognize him as the true Messiah because the dead in Christ will rise first, and then we who are alive and remain will meet him in the air (1 Thes. 4:17). He was the firstfuits of the resurrection and he alone is the Resurrection and the Life. If an alien shows up and claims to be a savior—without raising the dead—could we believe his claims? How would we know we could trust him?
I hope this website reveals another aspect of the trustworthiness of Jesus: We’ve had nearly 2000 years of church history—which reveals the goodness and beauty of Jesus as his faithful followers lived out his Word.
 For an amazing teaching on how the Messiah would be revealed—down to the day—see Diana Lesperance, “Daniel’s Prophecy of the Seventy Weeks,” The Faithful Church. May 14, 2012. https://thefaithfulchurch.com/2012/05/14/daniels-prophecy-of-the-70-weeks/.
 To learn about how Jesus fulfilled dozens of Old Testament prophecies, see: “Fifty-Five Old Testament Prophecies About Jesus,” Jan. 4, 2018. Jesus Film Project. Accessed July 25, 2019. https://www.jesusfilm.org/blog-and-stories/old-testament-prophecies.html.
 Biblical prophecies don’t only tell of the coming Messiah, they also speak of Israel being regathered from the nations, signs of the last days, the temple being destroyed in AD 70, and many, many more prophecies that prove the Bible has an unnatural source.
 And whose existence was also confirmed by the extra-biblical writings of Josephus Flavius, Pliny the Younger, Tacitus, Seutonius, Lucian, Thallus, and Phlegon.
 The scriptures say that the Antichrist will come and claim to be the promised Messiah. He will come in peace (Dan. 8:25). He will perform miracles, signs and wonders (2 Thes. 2:9). He will declare that he is God (2 Thes. 2:4). He will appear to be resurrected from the dead (Rev. 13:3). He will even have his own “prophet” that, like Elijah, will call fire down from heaven (Rev. 13:13). If we didn’t know the scriptures, we might be deceived into receiving the Antichrist!
I confess I just skip-scanned this lengthy piece. Unfortunately, Diana, nothing of what I read counts as evidence.
If you had something specific to show me, perhaps we could discus it, examine the merits and see if it pans out?
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I know you’ve read about messianic prophecies before, but have you ever studied the ways Jesus fulfilled the Law? https://thefaithfulchurch.com/2021/06/11/the-old-testament-law-as-evidence-that-jesus-is-the-promised-messiah/
While I accept there may have been a 1sr century preacher called Yeshua, you do know, I hope that I consider the biblical character Jesus of Nazareth, the man god merely a narrative construct?
There really is no evidence for this character, Diana. None at all.
That’s why I show that he was part of a bullet proof revelation that couldn’t just be explained away by a rational person. How did the life of Jesus fulfill all of these aspects of the Law? On top of the prophecies?
But they weren’t. Consider Isaiah 7:14, a favourite of Christians everywhere. It is simply nonsense.
And once you identify one failure the rest are pretty simple to identify in a similar fashion, and have been unpacked by far cleverer people than me, some of whom are former believers!
Besides, as you only have the bible as a reference point how on earth does this count as evidence?
It’s the cumulative effect of all the prophecies. Hundreds of them. In case you haven’t kept up, archaeology has confirmed over and over that the history told in the Bible is true. But the fulfillment of the Law is an inexplicable thread that runs through the gospel message. Starting with the message of John the Baptist: “Behold the lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world!” and running through the Christmas story (Bethlehem and swaddling clothes) through the fulfillment of the tithe (first fruits) to the sabbath rest and on and on. How do you dispute the way Jesus fulfilled the Law? Oh yeah, you believe the “mystery writers” who are unknown created the narrative, rather than the narrative provided by the four gospels. Who were these writers? They’re invisible. History leaves no record of who they are. You have a lot of faith whether you know it or not!
First, I do generally ”keep up” , especially with archaeology where it relates to biblical claims.
Feel free to enlighten me on what you think I’ve missed.
Second. I reiterate, the character in the bible is a narrative construct.
There is NO EVIDENCE for him.
So before we test these prophecies evidence has to be presented that this Jesus of Nazareth character as depicted in the bible actually existed.
If you think you can do that then be my guest.
I appreciate your assertion—provided to me with no accompanying evidence.
Understand that, the positive claim – Jesus of Nazareth and all you claim him to be – originates with the believer.
I could hardly dispute such claims unless someone had made them in the first place!
So, I have no belief in such claims as no evidence has been put forward to support them.
Also, when one considers all the other blatantly false claims in the bible, old and new that evidence has refuted it does not give one much ….. and please excuse the term said tongue in cheek … faith in the the assertions you are making.
But I am open to reconsider. Simply present evidence to support your claims.
An extraterrestrial being has attempted to communicate with humanity in a way that provides great supernatural evidence, yet you just belittle and mock the way that the unfolding universal drama was communicated. Do you have any other argument rather than to merely ASSERT, mock, and dismiss? You truly need to look more seriously at the evidence. Be RATIONAL. Think deeply about it. (You know I can debate whether or not the Bible makes false claims. My entire website comes against those claims.) But truly, Ark, we’ve known each other for years…please look at the MARVEL that is Jesus Christ and have a tender heart towards him. He loves you so much that he sends little peons like me into your cyberworld to reach out to you with reasons to not reject him and to give you reasons to believe.
What evidence must I look at Diana? I am still waiting for you to present it.
Any evidence will do.
Or you could tell me the evidence that convinced you?
I find this is always a good start.
It’s unfortunate that at this point most Christian simply refuse to divulge details of the evidence that convinced them and simply rail against me.
Is it so far-fetched to believe that some kind of Entity exists in the universe which has been trying to communicate with humanity? The evidence in the links I’ve attached reveal just a little bit of the evidence in the biblical record. Think about how this could have happened! A mystery writer couldn’t have written the OT and then later the archaeology CONFIRMED a fictional narrative. Likewise, if Jesus was merely a figure that was woven together to fulfill the OT narrative, then how did they DO that? The gospels were written from four perspectives-telling a simple story of the life of Jesus-yet that simple story fulfills all of the OT symbolism of the law, and all of the historical evidence of the prophets. Do you have any idea how difficult that is? There have been attempts by authors like Henry James to create narrative symbols, but they were fictional (and weak) and not rooted in actual history. Yet, as Jesus taught on the road to Emmaus, the law and the prophets were all fulfilled in him. I don’t think you can appreciate how difficult/impossible this would be!
What specific archaeological evidence. Please provide some.
Let’s sort this out first.
Google it! It’s extremely easy to find. I mean, these are just the recent findings from 2019: https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2019/december/biblical-archaeologys-top-10-discoveries-of-2019.html
I fail to understand the point you are trying to make. Just because a particular building is mentioned and something that might correspond is discovered does what to demonstrate the veracity of your claims of jesus being god or prophecy.
Far more impressive from an archaeological perspective would be if evidence was discovered for the Exodus!
Or the tomb of Jesus.
Still…there’s lots of archaeological evidence supporting the biblical narrative. Meaning that its historical claims are true. The hundreds of fulfilled prophecies in the Bible are also evidence that there is truth in the biblical record. Here’s a prophecy that has been fulfilled in our times:
“And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea. And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.” -Isaiah 11:11-12
This happened exactly as prophesied in 1948. Isaiah lived hundreds of years before Christ. He mentions that it is a SECOND return. The first dispersal of the Jews out of their land would happen in 586BC and THAT hadn’t even happened yet when Isaiah wrote this, but Isaiah prophesied a second dispersal. That happened in 70AD. And in 1948 they were regathered just as the Bible prophesied in Isaiah 43:5-6, Jer. 16:15, 23:8, 29:14, 30:3, Ezekiel 39:25-29, and Amos 9:14-15.
These are specific prophecies written hundreds of years before they happened. That’s a supernatural event. Hundreds of prophecies like this are in the Bible. Maybe even thousands! The atheistic attempt to refute them is the equivalent of me swatting at a fly on my arm when it’s an early summer evening and there are hundreds of mosquitoes in the air!
This supposed prophecy had been explaned quite simply by far more clued up folk than I am, as I am sure you are aware.
And no evidence for the Exodus I note? Or Noah and his ark, two pivotal tales.
What about the evidence that convinced you about the character Jesus?
How would you dispute the prophecy. I’m ignorant about their arguments.
Off hand I don’t know, but if you remember Nate Owens, he did a whole series on biblical prophecy and refuted them. And of course there’s Google ad you yourself reminded me.
Evidence that convinced you? Yes or no?
And the Exodus and Noah?
He may have disputed SOME prophecies, but like I said, there are so many prophecies in the Bible that atheists can’t dispute them. I googled it and found no critique. Maybe you could find something.
Well, to be fair to Nate, one could hardly expect the bloke to refute every piece of nonsense in the bible. It was his blog, for goodness sake, not a book. Besides, as it was, the effort he made was highly commendable. That you still remember tells me all I need to know of the impression he made upon you and that he was right on point!
As far as the Exodus is concerned, what evidence would you like to see? Their petrified excrement? They were carrying their stuff through a sandy desert. They left nothing behind. 🤷🏻♀️
As far as the flood is concerned, more and more scientists are acknowledging that a worldwide flood occurred. Dinosaur graveyards and flood stories being found in all ancient cultures are just some of the evidence for an ancient flood. Most scientists point to asteroids being the cause.
And this is why nobody that I’ve ever encountered on the blogs has ever paid you any serious attention, Diana.
Sorry, my dear but YEC nonsense does not cut it in the real world.
Did you find any way to refute the prophecies in Isaiah 11:11-12?
Again …. others far more clued up have already done so. And if one prophecy is a failure why should I consider any others will likely be any different?
How about Isaiah 7:14?
The biggest piece of nonsensical rubbish that lays open the Virgin Birth tale.
So…no luck on finding a way to refute it?
You have no idea if Isaiah 7:14 is true or not. You just mock it with no real knowledge of what is going on in the universe.
How did Isaiah know that there would be a “second” dispersal of the Jews, who would then be gathered from the “nations” at a future time? This happened in 1948.
The prophet Amos added to this prophecy by describing the wines of Israel.
“and I will bring my people Israel back from exile. They will rebuild the ruined cities and live in them. They will plant vineyards and drink their wine; they will make gardens and eat their fruit.” Amos 9:14
I just looked up Israeli wine. Here is a website:
And Israeli fruit production can be found here:
You mock God and his Word, but for the sake of YOUR OWN SOUL you need to stop mocking and think deeply.
“If you are wise, your wisdom will reward you; if you are a mocker, you alone will suffer.” – Prov. 9:12
Others have, so why should I bother?
As Isaiah 7:14 is nonsense why should one beleive anything in the bible regarding so called prophecies?
What was the evidence that convinced you , Diana?
Can you send me a link? I’d like to know how they refuted it.
When you tell me what convinced you to become Christian
The two aren’t connected Ark. Nice try.
I didn’t say they were, connected. This isn’t meant to be a point scoring contest but rather trying to establish fact through evidence. You are convinced of the veracity of all these claims whereas I am not.
Isaiah 7:14 is the perfect example of what a failed prophecy looks like.
There are even Christian scholars who acknowledge this fact. Raymond Brown was one.
But as you are convinced then I am interested to know what evidence convinced you to become a Christian.
You are keen that I should investigate what the character Jesus is claimed to have said in the bible so tell me/present the evidence that convinced you.
Just saw your latest comment pop up.
If your testimony is based on evidence then feel free to share it.
What convinced me to become a Christian was the guilt from my sin. I got pregnant when I was 16. Instead of marrying the father of the baby, I married another man that I didn’t love-for selfish reasons. I was depressed and suicidal. One night I read a comic book about Jesus. When I understood that Jesus died in my place to give me forgiveness before God I accepted it. My heart was tender toward Jesus when I saw him on the cross. After that, I devoted myself to serving him and becoming a part of his kingdom. I studied the scriptures and my life changed. My depression and suicidal thoughts went away. I experienced a lot of trials through my life, but God was always faithful. I also earned degrees in religion, history, and communications. It wasn’t until 2003 that I began to learn more about defending the Christian faith. Many people have been “deconstructing” their faith, but my understanding of Christian history has kept me from going down that path. My faith is only strengthening over time. I’ve discovered that there are ALWAYS answers to difficult issues. I am amazed at fulfilled prophecies and the miraculous ways Jesus fulfilled the law. I’m also encouraged by the beautiful history of the church that remained faithful to the scriptures. My life is also evidence of the way Jesus can change a life. I’ve also seen the changes in countless Christians.
I’m not sure why some people are open to the Gospel and some aren’t. I watch movies about how the “Jesus” movie is taken into rural villages across the world and some people respond with tears and receive Jesus—others reject him—and even threaten those who bring the film to their town.
So I guess it wasn’t “evidence” (other than the guilt for my own sin) that convinced me to come to Christ, but it WAS evidence that kept me from leaving him.
That is an unfortunate story. To be loaded with guilt simply for falling pregnant and all the social stigma that follows is an indictment on our society in general.
Sin is a human, cultural invention, Diana imposed with the specific goal of controlling others and has no meaning outside of a religious context.
So you became a Christian in an attempt to rid yourself of something someone else decreed was a ”sin”.
Worse, those feelings were probably passed on to your kid, presuming you carried to term?
And if you didn’t there may be other forms of guilt lurking in the background.
It is all unnecessary baggage you are likely carrying around.
Not that I am qualified to be a shrink! 🙂
However, imagine if your pregnancy had been embraced and the father welcomed?
Imagine if you had not been judged, by yourself firstly, and by others?
So, yes, you are absolutely correct. No evidence led you to Christianity, but rather cultural coercion and from the sound of it you have lived with the guilt for quite some time.
That you believe you have remained Christian because of evidence is simply not true, I’m afraid and demonstrates the incredible holding power religion has and those areas of society that promote it, keeping you trapped in a vicious cycle where you believe your life is made whole only through a figure in a book and your teenage pregnancy is something to look back on with shame and guilt!
And of course there is the threat component – that you will go to hell if you as much as think of walking away! Or something along those lines.
You won’t see it this way, because this is what religion – and any form of indoctrination – does to people.
It’s like an addiction. Many believe they have control over it when in fact the opposite it true.
Go sit in on an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting!
I would recommend you read testimonies from former fundamental Christians and
really listen/read what they have to say.
A good place to start is The Clergy Project .com, where former professional pastors, theologians etc from many denominations have established an online community to counsel and help each other.
I’ve never really been religious and certainly not to the extent you are but some of the stories on the Clergy Project opened my eyes to how bad religion really is/can be.
Try to learn and understand how evidence really works and what, in fact it is.
Read up on the scientific method.
Study a bit more of the history of your religion from genuine historians who are not religiously inclined.
I also recommend you listen to Daniel Dennett, a philosopher who studies religion is all its facets.
Listening to him was also a real eye opener on the human condition and how we react to religion and why, especially why it can have such a powerful hold on some people..
If you are merely just a teeny bit curious and decide to dip your toe in some of these areas, I’d be interested to read what your thoughts are.
Meantime …. the best of luck to you.
Although I will be happy to share the story of my faith with you. ❤️
I really wish you would consider the evidence that Jesus himself gave for his claims: the Law and the prophets. Argue with Jesus! Take him on! He said the Bible was the evidence that a supernatural/extraterrestrial Entity exists. Crickets? 🦗🦗
The character in the bible is a work of narrative fiction.
And as you have no evidence to demonstrate otherwise all you can do is claim you have faith.
I did ask what was the evidence that convinced you.
Do you not want to tell me?
Thank you for your analysis of my life, Ark. ❤️
How did Isaiah know, hundreds of years before Christ, that there would be a second exile of the Jews (the Babylonian exile of 586 BC turned out to be the first exile) and even prophesy that the people would be gathered from the “nations” (not just Babylon)?
It is a very specific prophecy that is being fulfilled even now as Jews from across the world are still being regathered back to Israel. How did Isaiah know that? The Bible is a supernatural book. Somehow the prophets receive knowledge that comes from outside the constraints of time. Here is a chart/list of many of those fulfilled prophecies concerning Jesus:
There are also many more prophecies concerning the NATIONS (like the prophecy of Israel’s diaspora and regathering). Did you know that Ezekiel (Chap. 38) prophesied that there would be a great war at the end of the age? Many nations (which are specifically named) will gather against Israel, and there will be a great earthquake, and Israel will not be defeated. Perhaps you will see this war in your lifetime. It also prophesies that people will not be able to buy or sell without getting a special mark (Rev. 13). These are specific prophecies that haven’t been fulfilled. If you see these things happen in your lifetime, perhaps you will reconsider your view of the Bible and receive its message of the necessity of your sin being forgiven by God. (There is a justice system in the universe!) Perhaps you will see the beauty of the “lamb of God” as I did that night back in 1981 after reading that comic book. If you aren’t able to find a way to dispute Isaiah 11:11-12, perhaps you could reconsider your views on the Bible. I mean, it’s just ONE of hundreds of prophecies that would have to be explained away. (Maybe Dennett could be of help in explaining how that happened.) Blessings to you, Ark. Jesus loves you. ✝️
Yeshua, if he existed at all was a failed first century jewish rabbi who was crucified for sedition.
You are a sad, indoctrinated woman.
Think critically, Ark. Think deeply. You still have not been able to explain Isaiah 11:11-12 — and I’m the one who is indoctrinated? Please don’t shrug off this challenge or try to mock and belittle me as a response! Answer the challenge!
I haven’t bothered to try. 7:14 is a piece of nonsense so why should I bother with any others?
You belittle yourself Diana.
You are a Creationist.
Indoctrinated since you were small.
If you reject evolution and a science and history then dialogue of any sort is going to be well nigh impossible.
What is your argument against Isaiah 7:14?
What do you mean “My argument”?
It has been shown to be nonsense.. For years! Even Raymond Brown acknowledges this fact.
I thought you knew the bible?
Perhaps you need to reread it and educate yourself.
I mean, you must have adopted the view. What do you find to be nonsense about the verse?
That you even want to discuss it confirms you either don’t know the verse/ passage in question or you are being wilfully ignorant.
No…I’d just like to know if you are arguing against the term “virgin”—or what other approach makes you think the prophecy is “nonsense.”
Because the prophecy was directed at King Ahaz. Again, I thought you knew your bible? Shows I should not presume about people. Perhaps you would do well to take a bible study course? One run by a proper school with genuine historians.
Or, the Internet.
Have you ever heard of “dual fulfillment?”
Funds men alist apologetics don’t fly me with. The supposed prophecy is a fake. Again, you should take a course in bible study from a proper historical point of view to help you understand.
Would you be averse to learning or discussing this passage with someone who understands the correct interpretation?
I’m always open to learning. Ark, the problem with your debate style is that you don’t give any facts. You just assert your beliefs and mock your opposition. How do you expect to persuade anybody that way? I guess the only way to resolve our differences is to wait and see what the future holds.
Well, yes, in fact I just did. The supposed prophecy was directed at King Ahaz. That ois a fact. It is right there in the bible.
The dual fulfilment claim is a church construct developed when the silliness of what the author of gMatthew wrote was pointed out.
We are not having a debate. You just want to point score and have no real interest in understanding why you hold the religious views you do. This is what indoctrination does to people.
As I wrote previously, your upbringing was unfortunate in that your pregnancy was deemed a ‘sin’ a revolting notion in itself.
You were likely told or believed you would probably go to hell if you did not repent. and because of the cultural paradigm you were in you either sought out or were introduced to those who claimed they knew the way to alleviate your hell bound position.
If you are serious that you may be doubtful of what you believe rather just continuing to comment for the sake of smugness then, sure, I’ll direct you to at least one person who has plenty of info that shows why Isaiah 7:14 is nonsense. Or you can Google Rabbi Tovia Singer and look over his read it yourself?
My mom got pregnant with me out of wedlock. My dad was an alcoholic child molester. I was not raised in a Christian home. Nobody talked to me about “sin.” I really wish you wouldn’t make assumptions about my life. But whatever…
Rabbi Singer talks about context, but then he doesn’t look at the bigger context as found in Isaiah chapters 7-11. There are prophesies that will be fulfilled immediately and some that are for afar off.
In Isaiah 7:14, it’s prophesied that a sign would be given. This sign would be a child born to a “virgin” (or maiden) whose name is Immanuel. Since there is no revelation of who or what the sign was in the day of Ahaz, I believe it can be argued that this is a description that was given in a moment of prophetic inspiration to describe the coming Messiah. In chapter 9 we see the same kind of prophetic inspiration:
For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7 Of the greatness of his government and peace
there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
with justice and righteousness
from that time on and forever.
Could this be the same child that was prophesied in Isaiah 7:14?
In Isaiah 11, the Messiah is described as the Branch that would grow out from the stump of Jesse. (Jesse was the father of King David.) The entire Old Testament speaks of this promised chosen one from the lineage of David…a promise that was given to David himself 300 years earlier (2 Sam. 7:14).
(Isaiah 11:11-12 also prophesies that Israel will be regathered for a second time, only this time from the nations. Something that still cannot be disputed.)
The Old and New Testament both also prophesy that a blindness will remain on Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come into the church (Romans 11:25). According to Zech. 12:10, Rabbi Singer and his fellow Jews will “look upon me, the one they have pierced” (Zech. 12:10) and mourn. God is speaking here, so it says Israel will look upon God, the one they have pierced, and mourn.
Rabbi Singer is actually fulfilling a prophesy himself when he rejects Jesus as the Messiah. But this rejection won’t last forever.
The disciples couldn’t understand why Jesus needed to die because they wanted a conquering Messiah to rescue them from Roman occupation, but the Old Testament prophesies for many different eras. Jesus came the first time as the “suffering servant” (Isaiah 53). He will come again as the conquering king (Isaiah 9) and reign in peace (Isaiah 11:6). All of these prophecies are in Isaiah, but they speak of different time periods. Many have been fulfilled, but many more will be fulfilled.
The Bible truly is a supernatural book. Perhaps a person could swat away a few little prophesies, but there are so many that to ignore them (and to ignore the conclusion that would have to be made as a consequence) is pure obstinance. Again, I’m going to ask you, for your own sake, not mine, to think deeply about the meaning for humanity and for each individual personally, what it means that Jesus fulfilled the law and the prophets. How could that happen without something outside of our extraterrestrial world somehow inspiring or leading the prophets, Israel, and the writer of the law (Moses)? How could so many of these things happen just as they said?
What assumptions did I make about your upbringing?
I said it was unfortunate, based your own description up-thread.
If you are referring to this paragraph, however ….
….then I apologise if some of the details are not accurate.
If you are saying the circumstances of your pregnancy is not regarded as a sin and that if you did not repent from sin (this or other) you would/are not going to hell / eternal separation from God or however you interpret it then I will be interested in how and why you came to be a Christian?
There is no ”bigger context” on what certain Christian apologists and fundamentalists have co-opted for their own egregious ends.
That the virgin birth does not feature in all the gospels should be red flag to anyone genuinely seeking the truth of the tale.
Even the late Catholic scholar Raymond Brown acknowledges it was an interpolation and should not be read in any literal sense.
And I am sure if I put my mind to it I could dredge through Google and find plenty more who acknowledge this was simply an attempt of the anonymous writer of gMatthew to establish credence and acceptability among his target audience.
And of course virgin births are a dime a dozen among ancient god belief.
re: interpolation: That is not the correct word, It should have been make-believe or myth.
My point is that Isaiah 9 is also pointing to a child that would be born. Rabbi Singer doesn’t adequately explain how any child fulfilled Isaiah 7:14 or Isaiah 9:6-7.
Was Immanuel ever born to King Ahaz? To Isaiah? Not that I can see. If it was a “sign,” where is the sign explained during the life of Isaiah or Ahaz?
You still haven’t explained why you considered falling pregnant was a sin?
What do my feelings of guilt have to do with Jesus fulfilling the “law and the prophets?” I came to Jesus because I was grateful that he died to forgive me of my sins. Don’t you feel guilt? Aren’t you grateful for what Jesus did? If the prophecies have an extraterrestrial/supernatural source, then maybe you should be concerned about your sin too. What if there is a universal system of justice?
It’s quite straightforward.
One only begins to consider there is any veracity to such supposed prophecy, after one has been thoroughly inculcated into an ideology such as Christianity.
Francis Collins was a typical example of one who grew up in an environment that was ambivalent to religion but there was an underpinning of Christianity present.
It was while he was caring for terminally ill patients that he began to question his position and after chatting with one old girl went on a bender to discover the ”truth”.
But in reality the seeds of doubt were always there, he grew up in a Christian country, after all, and he acknowledges he was worried about what happened after death.
This is a classic case of death anxiety and is a recognised psychological condition.
He eventually did what you did,
became worried for his ”soul” , then confessed and ”accepted Jesus”.
Nothing new, nothing original. Pretty much standard conversion material.
And one of the features of such conversions is the total absence of evidence. Everything is based on ‘feelings’, and people sincerely believe these feelings.
And yet, similar scenarios are played out with those who become Muslim, or Orthodox Jews.
You should spend some time on this site and read the testimonies of former professional Christians, some of whom attended seminary.
I listened to Rabbi Singer’s explanation for Isaiah 9:6-7…
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever.”
He tries to say this is referring to King Hezekiah by saying that the verbs are past tense rather than future tense. But “yalad” (is born) isn’t translated in the future tense in Isaiah 9:6–or any other scripture. He misrepresents the Christian translation. Also, he misrepresented the interpretation of the name Hezekiah. He said it means “Mighty God,” but it actually means “God is my strength.”
Root Word (Etymology): From חָזַק (H2388) and יָהּ (H3050)
Outline of Biblical Usage:
Hezekiah or Hizkiah or Hizkijah = “Jehovah is my strength” (from the Hebrew Interlinear)
In his case, Hezekiah is being called “Mighty God,”but in the true interpretation the name “Hezekiah” means that he’s turning to God for strength.”
He also doesn’t explain how Hezekiah would be named the “Everlasting Father” or how his kingdom would last “forever.” This is a prophecy concerning a child that is born and becomes the promised Messiah of Israel.
I’ve searched, but I can’t find any Rabbi Singer teachings on how Isaiah 11:11-12 has been disputed. Probably because he believes it was fulfilled, since Jesus is not part of the prophecy. So Rabbi Singer doesn’t dispute fulfilled prophecy, only prophecies that could point to Jesus as the Jewish Messiah.
Here is the video: