|By: Dr. John Ankerberg, Dr. John Weldon; ©2007|
|Many people today, even some Christians, think that the study of prophecy is of little or no relevance. Some further claim there are so many differing views on the subject that it’s difficult to know what to believe. Others argue biblical prophecy deals with general or obscure predictions that could mean anything to anyone. Thus, rather than consider prophecy of spiritual or apologetic value, such individuals consider it more of a nuisance.|
Most people do not realize the utter uniqueness of biblical prophecy from the perspective of comparative religion. John Weldon has a Ph.D. in comparative religion and has studied the religious writings and scriptures of some 80 religions. He can testify to the uniqueness of the Bible’s prophecies. Not once has he found the quality or detail of biblical prophecy in non-biblical literature.
Where are the prophecies of Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Taoism, Confucianism, Shinto, Mormonism, etc.? Accurate predictions are simply not part of these religious scriptures – indeed, of any scriptures outside the Bible. Even the most highly regarded alleged prophecy of The Book of Mormon (the “Civil War” prophecy in Doctrine and Covenants) was only a logical extension of the current trends and not true prophecy. In fact, the prophecy turned out to be false on several counts.
Further, the prophecies of well-known occultists such as Nostradamus, Jeane Dixon, and Edgar Cayce show them to be false prophets because (1) they give numerous false prophecies and (2) the prophecies are so vague and unclear that they have no “correct” interpretation, hence no proper fulfillment. Yet people continue to read into them all kinds of contradictory meanings. In conclusion, only the Bible contains fulfilled prophecy. As Dr. Henry Morris comments:
This assessment is confirmed by Bernard Ramm, Ph.D., who has made a detailed study of prophecy. He concluded:
Consider the words of R. S. Foster who has also made a detailed study of comparative religion and prophecy in the Bible. In his The Supernatural Book (p. 111), he comments:
Or, consider the comments of Cicero in his De Divinitate, xlvii:
Winston Churchill once quipped at a Cairo Press Conference, February 1, 1943, “I always avoid prophesying beforehand, because it is a much better policy to prophesy after the event has already taken place.” But in the Bible, prophecy after prophecy made beforehand has come true, and no one can logically explain this apart from genuine divine inspiration.
The Bible stands apart from all other literature, secular or religious. In the history of the world, there is no other book like this one. As Bernard Ramm argues:
As noted, Dr. Ramm points out that the prophecies deal with the remote future even to the extent of describing kingdoms that do not yet exist. Further, he observes that prophecy, although sometimes ambiguous, is often clear – and that occasionally it is the exact opposite of what human intelligence and wisdom would predict:
The late Dr. Arthur C. Custance was an extremely well read scholar. He was a member of several prestigious scientific associations and author of the seminal ten-volume series The Doorway Papers (Zondervan, 1976), The Seed of the Woman, and other works now, fortunately, on the Internet. In one of his volumes in this series, Custance provides examples of fulfilled prophecies “which leave no shadow of doubt as to their validity” and are “as nearly as unchallengeable as one could hope for.” Why? Because these prophecies were written 300-600 years in advance of their fulfillment and the fulfillment was “so specific that its correspondence with the original prophetic statement is unquestionable.” He cites two specific illustrations with multiple predictions concerning the cities of Tyre and Jerusalem which “establish beyond a shadow of doubt that God is able to make prophetic statements giving details which could not possibly have been foreseen by human beings apart from revelation.”
Why? Because “All these prophecies have about them elements of surprise in the way in which they have been fulfilled so that it is scarcely possible for even the most skeptical listener, after being informed of the details, to suggest that such prophetic statements could ever have resulted merely from keen insight with regard to the future history of the city, or a happy coincidence turning a wild guess into an established fact.”