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Featured How To Make a Believable Prophecy

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by Left Coast, May 8, 2020.

  1. InvestigateTruth

    InvestigateTruth Well-Known Member

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    What if, the one who prophesied also had told us, what is the meaning of each symbols ahead of time? Then we just input the meaning of the symbols into his prophetically statements and interprete it accordingly. This way, the door to misinterpretations are closed, doent it? Suppose you say cows are symbols of prosperity in your book of prophecies. Then you say, there will be seven fat cows. Later, 7 years of prosperity appears. Can you say the prophecy was fulfilled?
     
  2. Left Coast

    Left Coast Circular File Complaint Analyst
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    If the would-be prophet gives us the interpretation of her own symbols, then for verification purposes we can just toss out the symbols and look at what she said would actually happen. "Prosperity" is vague and commonplace under many normal circumstances, so the prophecy would need to be more specific to be seriously believable.

    In the example you cited, not only the cows would need to be interpreted, but also the number 7. The prophet would need to tell us in advance that 7 cows mean 7 years, and not 7 days, months, decades, children, or millions of dollars.
     
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  3. InvestigateTruth

    InvestigateTruth Well-Known Member

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    Ok, then if the prophet tells us in advance a fat cow means a year of abundancy in terms of agriculture, food, rain. And a thin and skinny cow means a year of poverty in terms of food, rain, agriculture. Then she says, there will appear 7 fat cows, followed by 7 thin, skinny cows. And what happens is precisely, 7 years of abundance rain, food, followed by 7 years of poverty in terms of rain, food, agriculture, then will there be any excuses left to reject?
     
  4. Left Coast

    Left Coast Circular File Complaint Analyst
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    Which parts of agriculture? Which food? How much food? How much rain? And how likely would it be for someone to predict this without divine intervention? Remember, the more specific one is, the less likely that it could be guessed by chance.
     
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  5. TrueBeliever37

    TrueBeliever37 Well-Known Member

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    Looks like at least the part foretold in Isaiah 13:17-20 would meet your standards regarding the prophesy. (Maybe not as pertaining to Cyrus, but that Babylon would be destroyed.) And what about Jeremiah 50:35-46? and the next chapter.

    And what about the 70 years of captivity in Babylon that had been foretold in the scriptures?
     
  6. It Aint Necessarily So

    It Aint Necessarily So Well-Known Member
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    If the purpose of the prophecy is to convince others that the prophet has access to knowledge that could only have come from a deity, I ask you - would that convince you? It wouldn't convince me.

    Also, notice that we never get these specific explanations from the prophets explaining their symbols, and as has already been noted, why would anybody write in symbols if they knew what the symbols stood for and wanted to make the maximum impression with the prophecy? When people want to understood, as when writing out directions to get somewhere, or a will, or a recipe, they use clear and precise prose. Symbolic language is poetry, and is open to individual interpretation, which is fine for song lyrics, but not for an important message from beyond.

    As was noted, high quality prophecy needs to be specific and also to predict something that couldn't be guessed. Seven fat years followed by seven lean years isn't that different from what we are going through now - a mullti-year economic expansion followed by a multi-year contraction.
     
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  7. randix

    randix Member

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    Personally, I'm wary of "prophesies" that appear in text that might have been written much later than the "prophesied" events occurred.
    --
     
    #27 randix, May 9, 2020
    Last edited: May 9, 2020
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  8. Left Coast

    Left Coast Circular File Complaint Analyst
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    For the reasons mentioned earlier, it does not appear so. The place is not completely uninhabited, and the parts that are have been consciously kept that way by humans for science and tourism. Also, check out the rest of the prophecy, such as verse 21:

    "But wild beasts of the desert shall lie there; and their houses shall be full of doleful creatures; and owls shall dwell there, and satyrs shall dance there."

    I haven't seen many satyrs hanging out in Iraq. ;)

    Same issues as the Isaiah prophecy.

    Could you cite the relevant prophecies for us, please?
     
  9. Heyo

    Heyo Well-Known Member

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    I'm not as sceptical as the others. I say, when all other criteria are met, I'd say such a prophesy is fulfilled.
    Are you saying that in the years 2021 to 2027 there will be an abundance of food (measurable by cost for nutrition) in a specific region followed by a shortage of food in the years 2028 to 34 (measurable by constant rise of prizes for food)? I think that would be specific enough. Would you also refrain from investing in any food related industry? That would prevent you from making the prophesy true. Would you put your prediction of the specific region in a sealed envelope? That would be enough to prevent others pursue the fulfilment.
    Since we already know that scientists predict no such abundance, we have already dealt with "predictable by other methods".
     
    #29 Heyo, May 9, 2020
    Last edited: May 9, 2020
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  10. InvestigateTruth

    InvestigateTruth Well-Known Member

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    What if the Deity you are speaking of, does Not intend to convince? Let's consider the scenario as a Deity who has created us with free will. If this Deity brings signs on us in such a way that, we have no choice but to accept and believe, then that free will is taken from us. Moreover, let's consider if this Deity rather wants those who truly make an effort to find the signs, become successful, and as for those who do not want God, let them be busy with other things they want. In this case, this requirements are met if He has given signs in a symbolic language, with hidden signs and evidences, as with these symbols, He has gives the option to people to reject or accept...to find God in them for those who search, or ignore and reject them by those who do not want God.
     
    #30 InvestigateTruth, May 9, 2020
    Last edited: May 9, 2020
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  11. Deeje

    Deeje Avid Bible Student
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    That is a matter of opinion. There are assumptions made about Daniel’s writings too, but he accurately prophesied the march of world powers from Babylon, right down to the present day, all of which had dealings with Israel. (Described in the Bible as “the Gentile Times” or an historical period where the Jewish nation would have no king, and be ruled by Gentile nations.) When Jesus walked the earth, Rome was dominating the Jewish nation. (Daniel ch 2)

    “Though some have pointed to the book’s change of style from chapter 40 onward as indicating a different writer, or “Second Isaiah,” the change in subject matter should be sufficient to explain this. There is much evidence that Isaiah wrote the entire book that bears his name.”

    The Dead Sea Scrolls, included the prophecy of Isaiah.

    “This well-preserved pre-Masoretic Hebrew and is some 2,000 years old, from the end of the second century B.C.E. Its text is thus about a thousand years older than the oldest existing manuscript of the Masoretic text, on which modern translations of the Hebrew Scriptures are based. There are some minor variations of spelling and some differences in grammatical construction, but it does not vary doctrinally from the Masoretic text. . . . these ancient scrolls refute the critics’ claims of two “Isaiahs,” since chapter 40 begins on the last line of the column of writing containing chapter 39, the opening sentence being completed in the next column. Thus, the copyist was obviously unaware of any supposed change in writer or of any division in the book at this point.

    There is abundant proof of the authenticity of Isaiah’s book. Aside from Moses, no other prophet is more often quoted by the Christian Bible writers. There is likewise a wealth of historical and archaeological evidence that proves it genuine, such as the historical records of the Assyrian monarchs, including Sennacherib’s hexagonal prism on which he gives his own account of the siege of Jerusalem.*(Isa., chaps. 36, 37) The heap of ruins that was once Babylon still bears witness to the fulfillment of Isaiah 13:17-22.* There was a living testimony in each one of the thousands of Jews that marched back from Babylon, freed by a king whose name, Cyrus, had been penned by Isaiah nearly 200 years earlier. —Isa. 44:28; 45:1;Ezra 1:1-3.”

    Excerpts from Bible Book Number 23—Isaiah — Watchtower ONLINE LIBRARY
     
  12. danieldemol

    danieldemol Well-Known Member
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    No it does not verse 20 says, “
    20 She will never be inhabited,

    Nor will she be a place to reside in throughout all generations.
    +

    No Arab will pitch his tent there,

    And no shepherds will rest their flocks there.“

    Saddam Hussein built his palace there1 and after Saddam it was occupied by US troops1, so it has been resided in in the generations since.

    1 War-Zone Archaeologists Saving Babylon
     
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  13. Left Coast

    Left Coast Circular File Complaint Analyst
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    Earlier you mentioned that Cyrus conquered Babylon in October 539 B.C.E. But as you've just said here, the text you're citing as a prophecy of these events dates from the 2nd century BCE. So this "prophecy" was written 300 years after the events it purports to predict.

    Regarding the authorship of Isaiah, the reason it is widely accepted among Biblical scholars that it was written by more than one person over a period of time is not merely because of a change in subject. Wiki explains:

    Book of Isaiah - Wikipedia
     
  14. blü 2

    blü 2 Well-Known Member
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    Anyone can make a prophecy ─ anyone who bets on a particular horse, for example.

    For any particular prophecy to be be "real",
    ─ the time, date, place, prophet and the prophet's exact words in their entirety must be immediately and unequivocally recorded by a witness who was present and whose credibility is not open to doubt
    ─ there must be no possibility that the record was tampered with later
    ─ the prophecy must make clear, unambiguous, specific predictions ie it must not require interpretation or make vague or generalized claims or political slogans &c,
    ─ the matter prophesied must be unforeseeable, remote in time, and improbable
    ─ and the fulfillment of the prophecy must also be unequivocally recorded by an eyewitness whose credibility is not open to doubt, accord exactly with the original, and be shown not to be the result of deliberate staging or political maneuvering

    in such a manner as that the entirety is so perfectly attested, so improbable, the odds against it so unbelievable, that it raises the possibility of supernatural foreknowledge.

    Needless to say, not one single prophecy or alleged prophecy in the bible comes within a light year of that standard.
     
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  15. IndigoChild5559

    IndigoChild5559 Loving God and my neighbor as myself.

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    The easiest way to make a believable prophecy is simply to make it AFTER the event, and then have people pretend you made it before.
     
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  16. Deeje

    Deeje Avid Bible Student
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    Critics and scholars will always disagree.....but does it really matter? Faith is the prerequisite for all believers. We either have faith that the Bible is God's word, inspired by him....or we don't. Simple.

    If certain Bible critics in modern times have contended that the book of Isaiah was not all written by Isaiah....that is their opinion. I do not share it. Isaiah is not the only prophet. Daniel's prophesies take us into the 21st century and the current world powers.... is that explained away? Critics can dismantle that too....time will tell.

    According to Daniel, these current world rulers are the last ruling "kings" before God's Kingdom removes them from their seat of power, crushing them out of existence, to replace them as mankind's only government. I believe that we will see this take place in the not too distant future.....people are free to believe or disbelieve whatever they wish.

    'Concerning Isaiah's prophesy, we see other critics pare off additional portions of the book, theorizing that someone other than Isaiah must have written them. But the Bible itself does not agree with these contentions.'

    "Inspired writers of the Christian Greek Scriptures credited both the material now designated chapters 1 to 39 and chapters 40 to 66 to “Isaiah the prophet.” They never intimated that there were two persons who bore this name or that the name of the writer of part of the book was unknown. (For examples compare Mt 3:3 and 4:14-16 with Isa 40:3 and 9:1, 2; also Joh 12:38-41 with Isa 53:1 and 6:1, 10.) In addition to this, there are numerous other places where the Christian Greek Scripture writers specifically credit material quoted from the latter part of the book of Isaiah, not to an unidentified writer, but to “Isaiah the prophet.” (Compare Mt 12:17-21 with Isa 42:1-4; Ro 10:16 with Isa 53:1.) Jesus Christ himself, when he read from “the scroll of the prophet Isaiah” at the synagogue in Nazareth, was reading from Isaiah 61:1, 2.—Lu 4:17-19."

    Isaiah, Book of — Watchtower ONLINE LIBRARY

    If Jesus can quote a passage of prophesy from Isaiah 61 which was attributed to the prophet, and then apply it to himself, well, that is good enough for me....disbelievers are gonna disbelieve.....not my problem. :shrug: God forces no one to believe anything.
     
  17. Left Coast

    Left Coast Circular File Complaint Analyst
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    Not my problem either, to be honest. :shrug: I appreciate your explanation though, it helps me understand your mindset. Your belief in the Bible is fundamentally faith-based. Since I don't share that faith, there's not much common ground for us to discuss any of this. Thanks again for offering your perspective, though.
     
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  18. Deeje

    Deeje Avid Bible Student
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    Well, there's that....and the fact that Daniel could predict a dual world power in "the time of the end" which is identified as the Anglo American alliance in this time period.....and that was 500 years before Jesus was born.

    ....as it says in the Bible..."faith is not the possession of all people". God requires faith because if you can prove everything there is no basis for faith.

    No worries....:cool:
     
  19. Left Coast

    Left Coast Circular File Complaint Analyst
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    Where does Daniel identify the "Anglo-American alliance" at all? To be clear, I'm not asking for your or the Watchtower's interpretation of Daniel, I'm asking, where does Daniel identify it, by name as you have?
     
  20. Israel Khan

    Israel Khan Well-Known Member

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    A) The problem with a prophecy being specific is if it is specific then people will change those specific details to discredit the prophecy.

    Examples, because I doubt my explanation is clear:

    Lets say the prophecy is that John (name) on April 17 (date) at 11pm (time) at Times Square (location) executes an important religious figure (action)

    If the prophecy explains itself so specifically and the person who wants to commit the action can discredit it by doing the same action but changing the below:

    His name is John but he hires someone else, Harry to kill the religious figure.
    He does that on May 17 and at 20pm.
    He kills the person at Madison Square Garden instead.
    Thus the prophecy failed because it revealed too much and someone actively counteracted it.

    The same is true if a person wanted to fulfill a prophecy, they will do according to the details, thus making a self fulfilling prophecy.

    Prophecies have to be cryptic to maintain any sort of credibility in most cases.

    B) I agree with this otherwise it has no predictive capability.

    C) I agree. But I think the code of the cryptic prophecy has to be specific in the meaning of its symbols. A good example is the Book of Revelation. It uses symbols explained elsewhere in the bible to make its point, such as the lamb being the symbol of Christ or the beasts, which are nations as shown in Daniel.
     
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