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Answered 2016-04-16 08:11:27

Though the actual number of prophecies fulfilled by Christ can be argued and if any sources external to the Scripture make any indirect statements, the fact that the Scripture consistently proves they were fulfilled quite easily is there for the reader to discern as a source of historical perspective.

It is not uncommon for biblical prophecy to have one level of fulfillment in the immediate future, and a final fulfillment many years later in the person and work of the Savior, Jesus. This is sometimes referred to as duality of prophecy.

Many present Isaiah 7:14 and the term 'virgin' as an example of disproving the birth of Christ. Yet, why did the Greek writer of Matthew 1:23 use the word 'parthenos' for virgin? Just luck or a trick?? The pregnacy of Isaiah's new wife and the birth of her son in Isaiah 8:3 could have been a sign to King Ahaz. However, this would have been a fulfillment, not the fulfillment. Reading a bit further to get the full context, we can see how Christ completely fulfilled this prophecy in the coming of God's only Son to the earth. He is the only Child who can truly be called Wonderful, Counselor, and Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6).

Consider the unusual female genealogy given in Genesis 3:15 and spoken to in Galatians 4:4. And this from a patriarchal system. How about inheriting the Throne of David in 2 Samuel 7:12-13; Isaiah 9:6-7; Jeremiah 23:5 compared to its fulfillment in Matthew 1 and Luke 3 as well as, Romans 1. Or how God said He was Eternal in Micah 5:2; John 8:5; Ephesians 1:3-14; and Colossians 1:15-19.

Lastly, there are several verses in Scripture where Christ Himself, says let it be so that the Scripture be fulfilled. Considering the vast number of prophecies this one Man fulfilled, it would be mathematically improbable to think anyone but the God Family could do so.

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Answered 2016-04-16 08:09:34

No, there is no extrabiblical evidence that Jesus fulfilled any Old Testament prophecies, let alone more than 300 prophecies. In fact, even the New Testament itself struggles to show that Jesus fulfilled any, even though the New Testament authors had access to the Hebrew scriptures.

Let's have a look at the supposed prophecies of the virgin birth of Jesus:

  • The gospels rely on Isaiah 7:14 as a prophecy of the virgin birth of Jesus: "Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel." Indeed this does seem to be a prophecy of Jesus, although it does not actually mention him.

    Looking at the context in Isaiah, we see that the author tells us that Ahaz had just refused to ask the Lord for a sign (7:12), but that the Lord had then promised him a sign, unasked - that the child would be born. We then find (8:3) that the young woman really did have a child, just as verse 7:14 had said. This is hardly a prophecy of Jesus, so why did the author of Matthew present it as one?

    In most English translations, Isaiah 7:14 says that a virgin would bear a child, but this is based on the Septuagint, an early, flawed Greek translation of the Hebrew scriptures. The original Hebrew text does not say, "a virgin," it says, "the young woman." The young woman, or prophetess, of verse 8:3 was not a virgin, but she did have a child.
  • Later Christians have said that a second prophecy that of the virgin birth of Jesus is said to be in Genesis 3:15, so let's look at the text:

    Speaking to Adam after the original sin, God says: "And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. " Although this talks of enmity in a vaguely sexual context, there is absolutely no evidence of a prophecy of Jesus in this.
  • Another prophecy of the virgin birth of Jesus is said to be in Jeremiah 31:22, which actually says: "How long wilt thou go about, O thou backsliding daughter? for the LORD hath created a new thing in the earth, A woman shall compass a man." Hardly a prophecy of Jesus!

This example shows that there was never really a prophecy of Jesus in the Old Testament. If none of the 300 prophecies was real, then there can be no witness outside the New Testament that they were fulfilled. This proliferation of supposed prophecies is explained quite well by Burton L. Mack in Who Wrote the New Testament. He says there is a trick that seems to come naturally when studying The Bible. One can ask any question of the Bible and get some kind of answer. If the first answer does not appear to be helpful, one can look for another answer to the same question, until the right answer appears. It is a trick that Mack sees happen all the time, in the classrooms of the School of Theology at Claremont. At first the study of a text may not seem to support a traditional Christian conviction, or the answer one hopes to find in the Bible. But with a little ingenuity, one can set up the comparison again with other emphases and make the answer come out right.

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