Did the old testament really prophesy about jesus?

Did the Old Testament really prophesy about Jesus? Matthew’s case.

Christianity is based on the belief that Jesus is the Son of God and the Messiah prophesied in the Old Testament.

Why do Christians believe this? Because according to the New Testament he said so, and also because he fulfilled the prophesies made in the Old Testament. That’s what they believe anyway. But is it true?

To find out I consulted multiple translations of the Bible through BibleGateway.com, and compared the passages cited in the New Testament and compared them to the passages in the old Testament. I then laid them out here. The red passages are New Testament, the green passages are Old Testament. I used mostly New International Version of the Bible, but if they used wording that I didn’t understand, I went to other translations for help. Also before I found out about BibleGateway.com I was using my own Bible, which is the Good News Bible. The only other thing I should mention is that I’m not Jewish- I was raised a Christian.
So let’s begin:

First, did Jesus ever say he was the Messiah?

Yes he did: Math 16:15-17 (Good News Bible GNB):

“What about you?” he asked them. “Who do you say I am?”
Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
“Good for you Simon son of John!” answered Jesus. “For this truth did not come to you from any human being, but it was given to you directly by my Father in heaven.”

That’s clear enough.

So what are the prophesies that predicted Jesus’ coming? I’m not going to quote prophesies that are highly symbolic because I don’t need to. The straight forward predictions should be enough.
OK- let’s go through them one by one as listed in the New Testament.
Let’s start with Matthew 1:21-23 GNB:

“She will have a son and you will name him Jesus– because he will save his people from their sins.”
Now this will happen in order to make true…….
“A virgin will become pregnant and have a son and he will be called Immanuel (which means God is with us).

OK- Without even referring to the Old Testament I’ve already got a problem with this. He was not named Immanuel. He was given the name of Jesus. The two names even mean different things. If he was the child meant in this prophesy he would have been named Immanuel. HE WASN’T! The prophesy does not match.

But let’s go to the Old Testament anyway and see what it actually says:

Isaiah 7:14 GNB:

“Well then, the Lord Himself will give you a sign. A young woman who is pregnant will have a son and will name him Immanuel. By the time he is old enough to make his own decisions people will be drinking milk and eating honey. Even before that time comes, the lands of the two kings who terrify you will be deserted.”

This was a sign to King Ahaz who was afraid of King Rezin and his Syrians and King Pekah. Even if it wasn’t, the prophesy doesn’t work for Jesus.

Also, the word used in the Old Testament was “maiden” not “virgin”. The Greeks mistranslated this word 500 years after Isaiah was written. It was this mistranslation that is quoted in the New Testament.

Okay fine. Let’s move on to another prophesy: Matth 2:3-6 GNB:

When King Herod heard of this he became very upset and asked

“Where will the Messiah be born?”
“In the town of Bethlehem in Judea,” they answered. “For this is what the prophets wrote:

“Bethlehem in the land of Judah,
You are by no means the least of the leading cities of Judah;
for from you will come a leader
who will guide my people Isreal.”

from the Old Testament: Micah 5:2-5 GNB:

Bethlehem Ephratha you are one of the smallest towns in Judah, but out of you I will bring a ruler for Isreal, whose family line goes back to ancient times.”
So the Lord will abandon his people to their enemies until the woman who is to give birth has her son. Then his fellow countrymen who are in exile will be reunited with their own people. When he comes he will rule his people with the strength that comes from the Lord and with the majesty of the Lord God himself. His people will live in safety because people all over the world will acknowledge his greatness, and he will bring peace.

Ok, so when he is born, those in exile will return home. He will by a ruler of Isreal. There will be peace.
This hasn’t happened yet. Even if you believe Jesus rose from the dead you acknowledge that he is not the leader of the Jewish people, and they certainly have not had peace in their long history.
So say Jesus was born in Bethlehem, and say he is descended from David, that still doesn’t mean he’s the one they’re talking about here. People do say that the Jewish people lost their right to be his people, but in that case the prophesy is false and definitely doesn’t apply to him.
Also, how could he be a descendant of David if Joseph wasn’t his biological father? Maybe through the mother, but no information on that is given.
Verdict: An unfulfilled prophesy. It doesn’t count until it comes true.

Matth 2:14-15 GNB:

Joseph got up, took the child and his mother, and left during the night for Egypt, where he stayed until Herod died. This was done to make come true what the Lord had said through the prophet, “I called my Son out of Egypt.”

From the Old Testament: Ho 11:1-2 GNB:

The Lord says,
“When Isreal was a child, I loved him and called him out of Egypt as my son. But the more I called to him the more he turned away from me.”

Do Christians really want to say that Jesus turned his back on God? Why say the first sentence of that paragraph applies to Jesus and the second doesn’t?
Verdict? not a prophesy at all. It’s talking about Moses taking his people out of Egypt and to the promised land.

Try another one: Matth 2:16-18 GNB:

When Herod realized that the visitors from the East had tricked him he was furious. He gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its neighborhood who were two years old and younger…
In that way what the prophet Jeremiah had said came true:
A sound is heard in Ramah
the sound of bitter weeping.
Rachel is crying for her children;
she refuses to be comforted, for they are all dead.

This is a blatant lie!
Look at the Old Testament passage it is quoting from: Jer 31:15 GNB:

The Lord says,
A sound is heard in Ramah,
the sound of bitter weeping.
Rachel is crying for her children;
They are gone and she refuses to be comforted.
Stop your crying
and wipe away your tears.
All that you have done for your children
will not go unrewarded;
They will return from the enemy’s land.
There is hope for your future;
your children will come back home.
I, the Lord have spoken.”

The kids aren’t dead, furthermore, the mothers will see them again.
Verdict: The New Testament passage lied. If the passage from Jeremiah was a prophesy then it was WRONG.

Next prophesy: Math 2:22-23 GNB:

He was given more instructions in a dream, so he went to the province of Galilee and made his home in a town called Nazareth. And so what the prophets had said came true: “He will be called a Nazerene.”

Maybe Matthew was quoting from some other source, but there’s nothing in the Old Testament that says this.
Verdict: Dodgy

Let’s try again: Math 3:1-3 GNB:

John was the man the prophet Isaiah was talking about when he said

Someone is shouting in the desert.
Prepare a road for the Lord:
make a straight path for him to travel!

Isa 40:3-5 GNB :

A voice cries out
“prepare in the wilderness a road for the Lord!
Clear the way in the desert for our God!
Fill every valley;
level every mountain
the hills will become plain
and the rough country made smooth.
Then the glory of the Lord will be revealed,
and all mankind will see it. The Lord himself has promised this.

That John was quoting this passage may be true, but that the passage refers to Jesus hasn’t been proven yet because it hasn’t happened yet.
Verdict: unfulfilled prophesy

It is believed that John is Elijah. Their proof? Matth 3:4 New International Version (NIV):

John’s clothes were made of camel’s hair, and he had a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey.

Meanwhile Elijah wore a cloak of animal skins tied with a leather belt. (Elij 1:8)
So they must be the same person right?………… Because they both wore a belt?

On to the next one. Matth 4:13-16 GNB:

He did not stay in Nazareth but went to live in Capernaum, a town by lake Galilee in the territory of Zebulun and Naphtali. This was done to make come true what the prophet Isaiah had said,

Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali
on the road to the sea, on the other side of the Jordan, Galilee, land of the Gentiles.
The people who live in darkness will see a great light.
On those who live in the dark land of death
the light will shine.

Guess what- this passage actually matches the one in the Old Testament! And it’s an important one because this is the chapter in which Isaiah introduces the idea of a born Savior. So let’s check it out. Isa 9:1-7 GNB:

The land of the tribes of Zebulun and Naphtali was once disgraced, but the future will bring honor to this region, from the Mediteranean eastward to the land on the other side of the Jordan, and even to Galilee itself, where the foreigners live.
The people who walked in darkness
have seen a great light.
They lived in a land of shadows,
but now the light is shining on them.
You have given them great joy, Lord.
They rejoice in what you have done,
as people rejoice when they harvest grain
or when they divide captures wealth.
For you have broken the yoke that burdened them
and the rod that beat their shoulders.
You have defeated the nation that oppressed and exploited your people
just as you defeated the army of Midian long ago.
The boots of the invading army
and all their bloodstained clothing
will be destroyed by fire.

A child is born to us!
A son is given to us!
And he will be our ruler.
He will be called “Wonderful”
“Mighty God”
“Eternal Father”
“Prince of Peace”
His royal power will continue to grow;
his kingdom will always be at peace.
He will rule as King David’s successor.

That last bit doesn’t even seem like it fits here, but that’s where it is.

OK- so
The Old Testament says this region is honored because this is where God defeats the enemy nations and sets his people free from the invading armies,and the New Testament says the region is blessed because Jesus taught there, and presumably defeated the forces of evil and set his people free from its influences. I’d be willing to accept that these are the same in a symbolical sense.
Either way you’ll know the prophesy came true because “his kingdom will always be at peace”.
Well, we’re still waiting on that, so again, this is an unfulfilled prophesy. It didn’t happen, so how do we know the prophesy wasn’t meant to be taken literally? Also, Jesus had complete control over where he taught, and would have known this region was significant in regards to the Messiah, so anyone- even you could do that and say that proves you’re the Messiah….
After all he did know the scriptures and he could read.
On the other hand he did bring light to the darkness of the area so in that sense that piece of the prophesy was true.

Onwards: Matth 9:13 GNB:

While Jesus was having a meal at Matthew’s house many tax collectors and other outcasts came and joined Jesus and his disciples at the table. Some Pharisees saw this and asked the disciples “Why does your teacher eat with such people?”
Jesus heard them and said: “People who are well do not need a doctor, but only those who are sick.
Go and find out what is meant by the scripture that says
“It is kindness that I want, not animal sacrifices.”
I have not come to call respectable people, but outcasts.

Jesus did end animal sacrifices, and he did associate with tax collectors and other undesirables, so this passage is important.

What’s so bad about tax collectors? According to Philo of Alexandria who lived at the same time as Jesus tax collectors would torture whole families to death (men, women, children, babies) to get their money, and wouldn’t stop even when they were dead- figuring that relatives and neighbors would pay money to stop the desecration of the dead bodies.
So no wonder the Pharisees were horrified to see Jesus associating with them.

What does the Old Testament scripture really say?

It says: Hos 6:4-10 GNB:

But the Lord says,

“Isreal and Judah, what am I going to do with you? Your love for me disappears as quickly as morning mist. It is like dew that vanishes early in the day. That is why I have sent my prophets to you with my message of judgment and destruction.
What I want from you is plain and clear. I want your constant love, not your animal sacrifices. I would rather my people know me than burn offerings to me.”
But as soon as they entered the land at Adam they broke the covenant I had made with them. Gilead is a city full of evil men and murderers. The priests are like a gang of robbers who wait in ambush for a man. Even on the road to the holy place at Shechem they commit murder. And they do all this evil deliberately!

Interesting…. in this passage God is condemning the very kind of people Jesus hung around with. God’s solution was judgment and destruction. Jesus’ solution was to try to heal these people and change them……

Either way the passage was misrepresented. In it God said He wanted people to love Him. It was not about them loving each other. Kindness was not mentioned here. Judgment was.

Moving right along…. Math 10:34-36 NIV:

“Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.
For I have come to turn
” ‘a man against his father,
a daughter against her mother,
a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law—
a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’

Contrast this with the Old Testament: Micah 5:5 NIV:

His people will live in safety because people all over the world will acknowledge his greatness, and he will bring peace.

Next: Matthew 11:4-6 NIV:

Jesus replied, “Go back and report to John what you hear and see: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor. Blessed is he who has no doubts about me.”

This relates to the following prophesy: Isaiah 35:4-8 NIV:

say to those with fearful hearts,
“Be strong, do not fear;
your God will come,
he will come with vengeance;
with divine retribution
he will come to save you.”

Then will the eyes of the blind be opened
and the ears of the deaf unstopped.

Then will the lame leap like a deer,
and the mute tongue shout for joy.
Water will gush forth in the wilderness
and streams in the desert.

The burning sand will become a pool,
the thirsty ground bubbling springs.
In the haunts where jackals once lay,
grass and reeds and papyrus will grow.

And a highway will be there;
it will be called the Way of Holiness.
The unclean will not journey on it;
it will be for those who walk in that Way;
wicked fools will not go about on it.

Ok, so part of that came true. All of four lines. But the rest didn’t. The Christian’s answer is that it will happen in the future. If so, it’s an unfulfilled prophesy, because there are many healers in this world, how do we know he was the one that was to be Saviour?

Let’s try another: Matth 11:7-15 NIV:

As John’s disciples were leaving, Jesus began to speak to the crowd about John: “What did you go out into the desert to see? A reed swayed by the wind? If not, what did you go out to see? A man dressed in fine clothes? No, those who wear fine clothes are in kings’ palaces. Then what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. 1This is the one about whom it is written:
” ‘I will send my messenger ahead of you,
who will prepare your way before you.’ I tell you the truth: Among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it. For all the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John. And if you are willing to accept it, he is the Elijah who was to come. He who has ears, let him hear.

Sounds impressive. What does the Old Testament prophesy? Malachi 3:1-2 NIV:

1 “See, I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come,” says the LORD Almighty.

2 But who can endure the day of his coming? Who can stand when he appears? For he will be like a refiner’s fire or a launderer’s soap. 3 He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; he will purify the Levites and refine them like gold and silver. Then the LORD will have men who will bring offerings in righteousness, 4 and the offerings of Judah and Jerusalem will be acceptable to the LORD, as in days gone by, as in former years.

So sacrifices will continue……… Malachi 4:5-6 NIV:

“See, I will send you the prophet Elijah before that great and dreadful day of the LORD comes. He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers; or else I will come and strike the land with a curse.”

Yet Jesus is there to turn father against son? Won’t that mean God will curse the land?

Let’s try this one: Matthew 12:15-21 NIV:

Many followed him, and he healed all their sick, warning them not to tell who he was. This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah:
“Here is my servant whom I have chosen,
the one I love, in whom I delight;
I will put my Spirit on him,
and he will proclaim justice to the nations.
He will not quarrel or cry out;
no one will hear his voice in the streets.
A bruised reed he will not break,
and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out,
till he leads justice to victory.
In his name the nations will put their hope.”

What does Isaiah 42:1-4 NIV say?

“Here is my servant, whom I uphold,
my chosen one in whom I delight;
I will put my Spirit on him
and he will bring justice to the nations.

He will not shout or cry out,
or raise his voice in the streets.

A bruised reed he will not break,
and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out.
In faithfulness he will bring forth justice;

he will not falter or be discouraged
till he establishes justice on earth.
In his law the islands will put their hope.”

The passages match. But justice has not been established on earth, so it’s another unfulfilled prophesy.
Matthew 12:40 NIV

For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

Does the Jonah analogy work?

Jonah 1:17-2:10 NIV:

But the LORD provided a great fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was inside the fish three days and three nights.
Jonah 2
Jonah’s Prayer
From inside the fish Jonah prayed to the LORD his God. He said:
“In my distress I called to the LORD,
and he answered me.
From the depths of the grave I called for help,
and you listened to my cry.

You hurled me into the deep,
into the very heart of the seas,
and the currents swirled about me;
all your waves and breakers
swept over me.

I said, ‘I have been banished
from your sight;
yet I will look again
toward your holy temple.’

The engulfing waters threatened me,
the deep surrounded me;
seaweed was wrapped around my head.

To the roots of the mountains I sank down;
the earth beneath barred me in forever.
But you brought my life up from the pit
O LORD my God.

“When my life was ebbing away,
I remembered you, LORD,
and my prayer rose to you,
to your holy temple.

“Those who cling to worthless idols
forfeit the grace that could be theirs.

But I, with a song of thanksgiving,
will sacrifice to you.
What I have vowed I will make good.
Salvation comes from the LORD.”

And the LORD commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land.

This is very much like what Christians say happened to Jesus after he had died. So I’ll accept that the analogy holds true. But Jesus wasn’t buried underground he was buried in a cave. Still, I won’t be picky.

Try another:

Matthew 13:13-15 NIV:

This is why I speak to them in parables:
“Though seeing, they do not see;
though hearing, they do not hear or understand. In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah:
” ‘You will be ever hearing but never understanding;
you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.
For this people’s heart has become calloused;
they hardly hear with their ears,
and they have closed their eyes.
Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
hear with their ears,
understand with their hearts
and turn, and I would heal them.’

Let’s go to Isaiah again then. Isaiah 6:8-12 NIV:

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”
And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

He said, “Go and tell this people:
” ‘Be ever hearing, but never understanding;
be ever seeing, but never perceiving.’

Make the heart of this people calloused;
make their ears dull
and close their eyes.
Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
hear with their ears,
understand with their hearts,
and turn and be healed.”

Then I said, “For how long, O Lord?”
And he answered:
Until the cities lie ruined
and without inhabitant,
until the houses are left deserted
and the fields ruined and ravaged,

until the LORD has sent everyone far away
and the land is utterly forsaken.

OK- so everyone is spiritually blind to this day. I’ll accept that…..
About parables again:
Matthew 13:34-35 NIV:

Jesus spoke all these things to the crowd in parables; he did not say anything to them without using a parable. So was fulfilled what was spoken through the prophet:
“I will open my mouth in parables,
I will utter things hidden since the creation of the world.”

Let’s check Psalms 78.1-4 NIV:

O my people, hear my teaching;
listen to the words of my mouth.

I will open my mouth in parables,
I will utter hidden things, things from of old-

what we have heard and known,
what our fathers have told us

We will not hide them from their children;
we will tell the next generation

the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD,
his power, and the wonders he has done.

Okay- so the previous passage was how Jesus used the parables to hide truths from people, and this one says the opposite. So which is it?

Matthew 15:17-20 NIV:

“Don’t you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body? But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man ‘unclean.’ For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. These are what make a man ‘unclean’; but eating with unwashed hands does not make him ‘unclean.’

Nowadays everyone knows why you have to wash your hands before you eat. The God of the Old Testament seems to have known about germs too. But Jesus didn’t. Jesus telling his followers not to bother washing their hands before they ate would have made them more likely to get sick. That’s not something he’d want to do. You’d think the Father would have told his Son the reason for this command, especially since the Father and the Son are one. But he didn’t.

Matthew 15:24-28 NIV is interesting. It’s about a woman who wanted the disciples to help her daughter:

Then Jesus replied, “I have been sent only to the lost sheep of the people of Isreal.
At this the woman came and fell at his feet. “Help me sir!” she said.
Jesus answered “It isn’t right to take the children’s food and give it to the dogs.”
“That’s true, sir,” she answered,”but even the dogs eat the leftovers that fall from the master’s table.”
So Jesus answered her, “You are a woman of great faith! What you want will be done for you.” And at that very moment her daughter was healed.

So the Jews are God’s children and the Gentiles are like dogs. Did Jesus ever mean to be the savior of these dogs? I don’t thinks so. All the prophesies said the Messiah would be the leader of the Jewish people. Well, Jesus isn’t, he’s the leader of the gentiles. True, it says the Saviour would be a light to the gentiles, but it doesn’t say it would be for the gentiles only, or even mainly.

Here’s a prophesy Jesus makes:

Matthew 16:27-28 NIV:

For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done. 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.”

This says that Jesus was to reign as King within the lifetime of at least one of his disciples. Yet 2000 years later we are still waiting for him to assume his kingship and rule over the earth and bring peace and justice to all. He failed in his prophesy, making him a false prophet, meaning that according to Old Testament laws he was to be sentenced to death. Which he was- but not for that reason.
Some people might argue that he is the king of the earth. But there is evil and injustice everywhere. Even Christians say that the devil rules the earth.
Some people say that one of the disciples might be alive still today. Then why doesn’t he speak up then?
Verdict? The prophesy is not only unfulfilled, it’s wrong.

So what do you write after something like this that casts doubts on Jesus as God’s son? You go straight to an account of: Matthew 17 1-13 NIV:

The Transfiguration
After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus.

Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters— one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.”

While he was still speaking, a bright cloud enveloped them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!”

When the disciples heard this, they fell face down to the ground, terrified. But Jesus came and touched them. “Get up,” he said. “Don’t be afraid.” When they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus.

As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus instructed them, “Don’t tell anyone what you have seen, until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.”

The disciples asked him, “Why then do the teachers of the law say that Elijah must come first?”

Jesus replied, “To be sure, Elijah comes and will restore all things. But I tell you, Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him, but have done to him everything they wished. In the same way the Son of Man is going to suffer at their hands.” Then the disciples understood that he was talking to them about John the Baptist.

So you have Moses, Elijah and God there to testify Jesus is the Son of God and the Messiah. The bible cites Psalms 2:7 as a prophesy of this. So let’s look at this in context by looking at Psalm 2:4-9 NIV:

The One enthroned in heaven laughs;
the Lord scoffs at them.

Then he rebukes them in his anger
and terrifies them in his wrath, saying,

“I have installed my King
on Zion, my holy hill.”

7 I will proclaim the decree of the LORD :
He said to me, “You are my Son
today I have become your Father.

Ask of me,
and I will make the nations your inheritance,
the ends of the earth your possession.

You will rule them with an iron scepter ;
you will dash them to pieces like pottery

Doesn’t really sound like Jesus does it?

The Bible also quotes Deut 18:15 as a prophesy of the transfiguration. So let’s check out what Deut 18:15-21 NIV has to say:

The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own brothers. You must listen to him. For this is what you asked of the LORD your God at Horeb on the day of the assembly when you said, “Let us not hear the voice of the LORD our God nor see this great fire anymore, or we will die.”

The LORD said to me: “What they say is good. 18 I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers; I will put my words in his mouth, and he will tell them everything I command him. If anyone does not listen to my words that the prophet speaks in my name, I myself will call him to account. But a prophet who presumes to speak in my name anything I have not commanded him to say, or a prophet who speaks in the name of other gods, must be put to death.”

You may say to yourselves, “How can we know when a message has not been spoken by the LORD ?” If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the LORD does not take place or come true, that is a message the LORD has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously. Do not be afraid of him.


OK, maybe the prophesy Jesus said didn’t come true, but what about John the Baptist? Everyone agreed he was a prophet.
Well, John the Baptist told a few of his disciples that Jesus was the lamb of God, but by the time he was in prison John wasn’t so sure. (He sent a message to Jesus asking if he was the Messiah remember). John had a huge following, yet only two of his disciples switched over to Jesus. If John the Baptist had actually claimed Jesus was the Messiah, then you’d expect him to hand over all his disciples. But he didn’t. If he had it certainly would have been mentioned in the New Testament. So if he didn’t believe Jesus was the Messiah, then he certainly wasn’t the reincarnation of Elijah. Myth busted. (as far as I’m concerned). I don’t believe the transformation took place- I think that was just a literary device to distract you from Jesus’ prophesy that never came true.

In Matthew 20:17-19 NIV we have another prophesy by Jesus, one that came true:

Jesus Again Predicts His Death
Now as Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he took the twelve disciples aside and said to them, “We are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and the teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will turn him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified. On the third day he will be raised to life!”

Wouldn’t you expect all the prophesies about the Messiah to be in one place rather than scattered in sentences all over the Old Testament?

Still, his prophesy did come true.

Here’s another event that was prophesied in the Old Testament. Matthew 21:4-9 NIV says:

This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet:
“Say to the Daughter of Zion,
‘See, your king comes to you,
gentle and riding on a donkey,
on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’ ”

The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. They brought the donkey and the colt, placed their cloaks on them, and Jesus sat on them. very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted,
“Hosanna to the Son of David!”
“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”
“Hosanna in the highest!”

They call this Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem. So what does the passage in the Old Testament say?

Zec 9:8-10 NIV:
But I will defend my house
against marauding forces.
Never again will an oppressor overrun my people,
for now I am keeping watch.

The Coming of Zion’s King
Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion!
Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem!
See, your king comes to you
righteous and having salvation,
gentle and riding on a donkey,
on a colt, the foal of a donkey.

I will take away the chariots from Ephraim
and the war-horses from Jerusalem,
and the battle bow will be broken.
He will proclaim peace to the nations.
His rule will extend from sea to sea
and from the River to the ends of the earth.

Never again will an oppressor overrun my people eh? I’d be willing to believe that the people believed Jesus was the Messiah and that’s why they gave him this reception. But did he live up to the promise? Not yet…….. Notice there’s nothing here about him being killed by hostile forces before he ascends the throne either…….

but maybe psalms 118:26-28 NIV fits better:

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD.
From the house of the LORD we bless you.

The LORD is God,
and he has made his light shine upon us.
With boughs in hand, join in the festal procession
up to the horns of the altar.

You are my God, and I will give you thanks;
you are my God, and I will exalt you.

I’ll buy that. If the altar is the cross where Jesus is sacrificed this could fit. Maybe there’s hope yet…..

Jesus says an extraordinary thing in Matthew 21:31-32 NIV:

Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you. For John came to you to show you the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes did. And even after you saw this, you did not repent and believe him.

I would have thought the Old Testament would condemn prostitutes, but it doesn’t really- true, a priest’s daughter who took up the profession was to be burnt alive, and God detested shrine prostitutes, and often compares Israel to a prostitute, there is nothing that says prostitutes cannot enter the kingdom of heaven. I do believe that’s what the Jewish people believe, but it’s not scriptural as far as I can ascertain.

Along the same lines, Matthew 21:42-45 NIV says:

Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures:
” ‘The stone the builders rejected
has become the capstone;
the Lord has done this,
and it is marvelous in our eyes’?
“Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit. He who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces, but he on whom it falls will be crushed.”

When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard Jesus’ parables, they knew he was talking about them.

It’s interesting that what Matthew is saying here is that Jesus’ followers at this time were prostitutes, tax collectors and other outcasts of society and not respectable Bible literate people like the Pharisees. Pharisees, who knew the Bible well didn’t believe him. Why not?

And was the Old Testament talking about the outcasts when they talked about the rejected stone?

Psalms 118:20-23 NIV says:

This is the gate of the LORD
through which the righteous may enter.

I will give you thanks, for you answered me;
you have become my salvation.

The stone the builders rejected
has become the capstone;

the LORD has done this,
and it is marvelous in our eyes.

Prostitutes and tax collectors are righteous? Hmmm……. Maybe after they’ve repented…….
Doesn’t sound like that’s what was meant really……

Matthew 22:29-32 (New Living Translation NLT):

Jesus replied, “Your problem is that you don’t know the Scriptures, and you don’t know the power of God. For when the dead rise, they won’t be married. They will be like the angels in heaven. But now, as to whether there will be a resurrection of the dead–haven’t you ever read about this in the Scriptures? Long after Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had died, God said, `I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ So he is the God of the living, not the dead.”

This confuses me. If Abraham and Isaac and Jacob were dead, and God is their God, then is he not the God of the dead as well? But I suppose Jesus is saying they were resurrected and were alive at the time of Moses. The transfiguration scene implies that Moses and Elijah were also resurrected. So what does the Old Testament say about resurrection?

Eccles 9:5-10 NIV:

For the living know that they will die,
but the dead know nothing;
they have no further reward,
and even the memory of them is forgotten.

Their love, their hate
and their jealousy have long since vanished;
never again will they have a part
in anything that happens under the sun.

Go, eat your food with gladness, and drink your wine with a joyful heart, for it is now that God favors what you do. Always be clothed in white, and always anoint your head with oil. Enjoy life with your wife, whom you love, all the days of this meaningless life that God has given you under the sun— all your meaningless days. For this is your lot in life and in your toilsome labor under the sun. Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the grave, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom.

Sounds like they didn’t believe in heaven or resurrection when this was written.

Let’s try
Isaiah 26:19-21 NIV:

But your dead will live;
their bodies will rise.
You who dwell in the dust,
wake up and shout for joy.
Your dew is like the dew of the morning;
the earth will give birth to her dead.

Go, my people, enter your rooms
and shut the doors behind you;
hide yourselves for a little while
until his wrath has passed by.

See, the LORD is coming out of his dwelling
to punish the people of the earth for their sins.
The earth will disclose the blood shed upon her;
she will conceal her slain no longer.

We’re talking physical bodies getting up from their graves. Not spiritual bodies, physical bodies. Psalm 49:15 NIV:

But God will redeem my life (soul?) from the grave;
he will surely take me to himself.

So here’s an idea of a soul….

Isaiah 14:3-9 NIV:

On the day the LORD gives you relief from suffering and turmoil and cruel bondage, you will take up this taunt against the king of Babylon:
How the oppressor has come to an end!
How his fury has ended!

The LORD has broken the rod of the wicked,
the scepter of the rulers,

which in anger struck down peoples
with unceasing blows,
and in fury subdued nations
with relentless aggression.

All the lands are at rest and at peace;
they break into singing.
Even the pine trees and the cedars of Lebanon
exult over you and say,
“Now that you have been laid low,
no woodsman comes to cut us down.”

The grave below is all astir
to meet you at your coming;
it rouses the spirits of the departed to greet you—
all those who were leaders in the world;
it makes them rise from their thrones—
all those who were kings over the nations.

So here the spirits of at least some people will rise when God comes to reign over the world.
Ezekiel 37:1-14 NIV:

The Valley of Dry Bones
The hand of the LORD was upon me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the LORD and set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. He led me back and forth among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry. He asked me, “Son of man, can these bones live?”
I said, “O Sovereign LORD, you alone know.”

Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the LORD! This is what the Sovereign LORD says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life. I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the LORD.’ ”

So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I was prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came together, bone to bone. I looked, and tendons and flesh appeared on them and skin covered them, but there was no breath in them.

Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to it, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe into these slain, that they may live.’ ” So I prophesied as he commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet — a vast army.

Then he said to me: “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They say, ‘Our bones are dried up and our hope is gone; we are cut off.’ Therefore prophesy and say to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: O my people, I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them; I will bring you back to the land of Israel. Then you, my people, will know that I am the LORD, when I open your graves and bring you up from them. I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I the LORD have spoken, and I have done it, declares the LORD.’ ”

Jackpot! This is what the Jews believed: that when the Lord comes the dead will be physically resurrected and live again in the land of Israel. But only once God comes to rule the world, not sooner. So there is a disagreement from Old to New Testament as to when the dead are raised to life.

Here’s an interesting exchange between Jesus and some Pharisees about the Old Testament prophesies about the Messiah:

Matthew 22:41-45 NIV:

Whose Son Is the Christ
While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, “What do you think about the Christ? Whose son is he?”
“The son of David,” they replied.

He said to them, “How is it then that David, speaking by the Spirit, calls him ‘Lord’? For he says,
” ‘The Lord said to my Lord:
“Sit at my right hand
until I put your enemies
under your feet.” ‘ If then David calls him ‘Lord,’ how can he be his son?

OK, so to me it sounds like Jesus is saying that the Messiah can’t be the son of David. Yet Jesus believed he was the Messiah, so is he saying Jesus is NOT a descendant of David? I guess that’s fair enough seeing as he doesn’t have any of his father’s genes…. still, he’s disagreeing with a major prophesy so let’s find it….

1 Chronicles 17:7-14 NIV:

“Now then, tell my servant David, ‘This is what the LORD Almighty says: I took you from the pasture and from following the flock, to be ruler over my people Israel. I have been with you wherever you have gone, and I have cut off all your enemies from before you. Now I will make your name like the names of the greatest men of the earth. And I will provide a place for my people Israel and will plant them so that they can have a home of their own and no longer be disturbed. Wicked people will not oppress them anymore, as they did at the beginning and have done ever since the time I appointed leaders over my people Israel. I will also subdue all your enemies.
” ‘I declare to you that the LORD will build a house for you: When your days are over and you go to be with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, one of your own sons, and I will establish his kingdom. He is the one who will build a house for me, and I will establish his throne forever. I will be his father, and he will be my son. I will never take my love away from him, as I took it away from your predecessor. I will set him over my house and my kingdom forever; his throne will be established forever.‘ ”

So this descendant of David will build a house for God. This descendant of David will be God’s son. Can’t get any clearer than that. But Jesus asked, how could David call his son Lord?
I don’t see a problem with a father calling a descendant Lord- after all this descendant will be greater than David, so why not? I don’t understand the rhetorical question. Or maybe the question was how could he call this person Lord when he hasn’t even been born yet? Well Jesus wasn’t born then either, so again I don’t see his point….. But in any case, he’s disagreeing with this Old Testament prophesy and saying it can’t be true?

Another prophesy made by Jesus:

Matthew 24:1,2 NIV:

Jesus left the temple and was walking away when his disciples came up to him to call his attention to its buildings. “Do you see all these things?” he asked. “I tell you the truth, not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.”

He was right in one way- the temple was destroyed in 70 AD. But one wall remains:the wailing wall. It stands to this day. I think Christians say that it wasn’t part of the buildings, it was part of the wall around the buildings so the prophesy did come true. Let’s see if that’s what Wikopedia says:
The First, or Solomon’s Temple was built in the 10th century BCE. It was destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 BCE, the Second Temple was destroyed by the Romans in 70 CE as a result of Great Jewish Revolt. Each Temple stood for a period of about 400 years.

According to legend, when legions of Titus destroyed the Temple, only a part of an outer court-yard ‘western wall’ remained standing. Legend has it that Titus left it as a bitter reminder to The Jews that Rome had vanquished Judea. The Jews however attributed it to a promise made by God that he would leave some part of the holy Temple standing as a sign of his unbroken bond with the Jewish people in spite of the catastrophe which had befallen them. Jews have prayed there for two thousand years, believing that that spot has greater holiness than any other accessible place on Earth, or the fourth holiest overall, after the Holy of Holies, the rest of the Temple area, and the Courtyard, and that God is nearby listening to their prayers. There are some customs, such as leaving written prayers addressed to God in the cracks of the wall. Included in the thrice daily Jewish prayers are fervent pleas that God return to the Land of Israel, in gather all the Jewish exiles, rebuild the (Third) Temple, and bring the messianic era with the arrival of Moshiach, the Jewish messiah.

The Western Wall is holy to the Jewish people because this wall is part of a wall that encompasses the Temple Mount along with the southern and eastern sections. This encompassing wall thought to be the only remnant of the Temple in Jerusalem and the closest site to the “Holy of Holies”, the most holy site in Judaism. Of the three wall sections, eastern, southern and western, the western is the traditional site of prayer.

OK- the Jews consider the wall a part of the temple. But is a wall a building? Not really, I guess. I’ll call this prophesy fulfilled.

But the next one is shocking in its failure.
Matthew 24:3-34 describes what it will be like in the end times. It then gives a time limit. If you don’t want to read all of the following quote, just skip to the last sentence. It’s deadly!

Matthew 24:3-34 NIV:
As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?”

Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains.

“Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

“So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel — let the reader understand— then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let no one on the roof of his house go down to take anything out of the house. Let no one in the field go back to get his cloak. How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath. For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now – and never to be equaled again. If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened. At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect — if that were possible. See, I have told you ahead of time.

“So if anyone tells you, ‘There he is, out in the desert,’ do not go out; or, ‘Here he is, in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. Wherever there is a carcass, there the vultures will gather.

“Immediately after the distress of those days
” ‘the sun will be darkened,
and the moon will not give its light;
the stars will fall from the sky,
and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.

At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.

“Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door. I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.

So skipping the colorful middle bits you get:

Matthew 24 NIV:

3 As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?”
34 I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.

The Good News Bible I have says

34 “Remember that all these things will happen before the people now living have all died.”

This prophesy was spectacularly wrong.

Jesus later talks about the judgment day in Matthew 25:41 NIV and what will happen to those who are not righteous:

“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.

Hell is a New Testament concept. It is not in the Old Testament. But the idea of a Day of Judgment is. Here’s what Daniel 12:1-3 says about it:

Daniel 12 NIV:

The End Times
“At that time Michael, the great prince who protects your people, will arise. There will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then. But at that time your people— everyone whose name is found written in the book — will be delivered. Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt. Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever.

There is no hell mentioned here. So what does Wikopedia say about hell?:
Hell, as it exists in the Western popular imagination, has its origins in hellenized Christianity. Judaism, at least initially, believed in Sheol, a shadowy existence to which all were sent indiscriminately. Sheol may have been little more than a poetic metaphor for death, not really an afterlife at all: see for example Sirach.

One problem with the Western Christian view of Hell is that it may be based in part on an error in translation. Jeff Priddy, writing in The Idle Babbler Illustrated (Volume 4, Issue 2) (http://www.godstruthfortoday.org/Library/priddy/ibi_4_2.htm), expresses the problem:

The religious and secular man’s nightmarish ideas of HELL (that is, of a Christ-managed hothouse where sinners get burned forever) come to them compliments of … careless translating … the practice of ignoring separate Greek words.

In 2 Pet. 2:4, God chose the Greek word “Tartaroo” (ταρταροω; English transliteration, “Tartarus”) to identify the temporary abode of sinning angels. Tartarus holds spirit beings, not humans. and there is not a flame on the premises. The KJV and NIV translators (neither of whose versions have any influence in the expression of Eastern Orthodox doctrine) gave this specific Greek word the English equivalent, “hell.”

In Matthew 5:22 (and in several other places), God chose a different Greek word, “Geenna,” (English transliteration: “Gehenna”) to name a valley on the southwest corner of Jerusalem where the corpses of criminals will be disposed of during the thousand-year kingdom. There are flames here, yes, but the flames cremate the dead (Is. 66:24), they don’t torture the living. Most of humanity is not even alive to see Gehenna (Rev. 20:5), let alone be tormented there. The KJV and NIV translators gave this specific Greek word the English equivalent, “hell.”

In Luke 16:23 (and in other places), God chose the Greek word, “hades,” to describe the state of invisibility; in Greek, the word means “unseen.” God uses this word often to describe a person’s nonexistence in death: unless spoken of figuratively, a dead person doesn’t see anything, hear anything, feel anything, know anything, do anything: hades. Flames, screams, pointy tails and pitchforks are conspicuously absent. All the dead “go” here, not just the wicked. The KJV and NIV translators gave this specific Greek word the English equivalent, “hell.”

Priddy goes on to point out that if a (Western) Christian says that someone is in “Hell”, that “is a terrible lack of information”, because many versions of the Bible indiscriminately use the word “Hell” to describe three different places. If you press the point, and the Christian says that person is in Gehenna, then you could take a plane to Jerusalem and look for the person there. If the claim is that the person is in Tartarus, you can point out that they were never a stubborn, sinning angel who surrendered their sovereignty during the days of Noah (1 Pet. 3:19-20. 2 Pet. 2:4, Jude 6). And if in Hades, you could rejoice that, like Christ (Acts 2:3 l), David (Ps. 16: 10), and Jacob (Gn. 37:35) before him, the person has ceased from their troubles and sufferings (Jb. 3:11-19), and now rests, as if asleep (Jn. 11:11,14).

However, the theory of translation error for the term, “Hell”, fails to explain Biblical descriptions of such a place:

Mathew 13:49 So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, Mathew 13:50 And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.

Revelation 14:9 “…If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, Revelation 14:10 The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God… and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: Revelation 14:11 And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night…”

Hellenized Christianity. Jesus quotes often from the Septuagint which is a Greek translation of the scriptures. You know he was quoting it because it mistranslates a lot of passages and it is these mistranslations that he quotes. Would the real son of God not know what the scriptures really said?

Wikopedia explains that:

The Early Christian Church, however, continued to use the LXX (Septuagint), since most of its earliest members were Greek-speaking and because the Messianic passages most clearly pointed to Jesus as the Christ in the Septuagint translation.

It also says

Several factors finally led Jews to abandon the LXX, including the fact that Greek scribes were not subject to the same rigid rules imposed on Hebrew scribes; that Christians favored the LXX; and the gradual decline of the Greek language among Jews.

So Jesus could speak and presumably read Greek. He studied the Greek version of the Bible rather than the original Hebrew versions. Interesting……

So Jesus introduced the idea of hell to the Jews and this idea came from Hellenistic ideas, ie pagan beliefs. Even Philo, an Alexandrian who lived at the same time as Jesus did not describe hell as a burning pit of fire- rather as living a sinful life. Interesting….

Then comes the account of Jesus betrayal. The fact that Judas was paid 30 pieces of silver is considered prophetic because 30 pieces of silver were mentioned in Zech 11:7-14 NIV:

So I cared for the flock intended for slaughter–the flock that was oppressed. Then I took two shepherd’s staffs and named one Favor and the other Union. I got rid of their three evil shepherds in a single month. But I became impatient with these sheep–this nation–and they hated me, too. So I told them, “I won’t be your shepherd any longer. If you die, you die. If you are killed, you are killed. And those who remain will devour each other!”

Then I took my staff called Favor and snapped it in two, showing that I had revoked the covenant I had made with all the nations. That was the end of my covenant with them. Those who bought and sold sheep were watching me, and they knew that the LORD was speaking to them through my actions. And I said to them, “If you like, give me my wages, whatever I am worth; but only if you want to.” So they counted out for my wages thirty pieces of silver.

And the LORD said to me, “Throw it to the potters”–this magnificent sum at which they valued me! So I took the thirty coins and threw them to the potters in the Temple of the LORD. Then I broke my other staff, Union, to show that the bond of unity between Judah and Israel was broken.

So this is a man who was a sheperd and who decided to quit. He asked for final payment of his wages and got 30 pieces of silver. He threw it to the temple potters in disgust. He was acting out a metaphor where God was the sheperd who had given up on all nations and was contemptuous of how little they valued him. He rejected their offerings and threw it back in their faces. (I’m guessing).
But Jesus was the sheperd- he should have been given the 30 pieces for the analogy to work… .On the other hand I guess the Pharisees only valued him at thirty pieces of silver so then the analogy does work. Also significant is that when Judas committed suicide the money was spent on a potter’s field (a cemetery for foreigners). I can see why it would be considered prophetic. It does work.

Now we come to the most important passages in the life of Jesus- where he is crucified. Because it’s so important it must have been prophesied in the Old Testament. There’s no way it could have been left out if Jesus is really the Messiah they prophesied about.

Normally I wouldn’t even mention some of the following passages because they are so trivial, but this section is so important I’ll cover all of them.

So let’s start with Matt 26:23-25 NIV. This is Jesus talking to the disciples at the last supper:

Jesus replied, “The one who has dipped his hand into the bowl with me will betray me. The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him. But woe to that man who betrays the Son of Man! It would be better for him if he had not been born.”

Then Judas, the one who would betray him, said, “Surely not I, Rabbi?”
Jesus answered, “Yes, it is you.”

The Old Testament passage that predicted this is said to be Psalm 41:9 NLT:

Even my best friend, the one I trusted completely,
the one who shared my food,
has turned against me.

First point, Judas was never Jesus’ best friend. We know nothing about him until he betrays Jesus.
Second point. Who hasn’t, sometime in their life, had a friend turn against them? And doesn’t everyone eat with their best friends at some time or another?
This is in no way a prophesy. It applies to everyone who has ever lived.
Let’s go to Matthew 26:27-28 NIV

Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.

Interesting. So what’s relevant to this passage in the Old Testament?

Ex 24:3-8 NIV:

When Moses went and told the people all the LORD’s words and laws, they responded with one voice, “Everything the LORD has said we will do.” Moses then wrote down everything the LORD had said.
He got up early the next morning and built an altar at the foot of the mountain and set up twelve stone pillars representing the twelve tribes of Israel. Then he sent young Israelite men, and they offered burnt offerings and sacrificed young bulls as fellowship offerings to the LORD. Moses took half of the blood and put it in bowls, and the other half he sprinkled on the altar. Then he took the Book of the Covenant and read it to the people. They responded, “We will do everything the LORD has said; we will obey.”

Moses then took the blood, sprinkled it on the people and said, “This is the blood of the covenant that the LORD has made with you in accordance with all these words.”

Jesus asked his disciples to drink the wine that symbolized his blood. Moses sprinkled blood on the people, and sprinkled blood on the altar, but no one drank the blood- that was a big taboo!

Look at Leviticus 3:12-17 NIV:

” ‘If his offering is a goat, he is to present it before the LORD. He is to lay his hand on its head and slaughter it in front of the Tent of Meeting. Then Aaron’s sons shall sprinkle its blood against the altar on all sides. From what he offers he is to make this offering to the LORD by fire: all the fat that covers the inner parts or is connected to them, both kidneys with the fat on them near the loins, and the covering of the liver, which he will remove with the kidneys. The priest shall burn them on the altar as food, an offering made by fire, a pleasing aroma. All the fat is the LORD’s.

17 ” ‘This is a lasting ordinance for the generations to come, wherever you live: You must not eat any fat or any blood.’

The passage said ANY.

Let’s find out what God says about the New Covenant in Jer 31:31-34 NIV

“The time is coming,” declares the LORD,
“when I will make a new covenant
with the house of Israel
and with the house of Judah.

It will not be like the covenant
I made with their forefathers
when I took them by the hand
to lead them out of Egypt,
because they broke my covenant,
though I was a husband to them, ”
declares the LORD.

This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel
after that time,” declares the LORD.
“I will put my law in their minds
and write it on their hearts.
I will be their God,
and they will be my people.

No longer will a man teach his neighbor,
or a man his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’
because they will all know me,
from the least of them to the greatest,
declares the LORD.
“For I will forgive their wickedness
and will remember their sins no more.

OK- so with the new covenant everyone will know God and evangelism and conversion is unnecessary because everyone (at least in the house of Israel) will know God. Thus there will be no division either, because everyone knows the same truth, and no one needs anything explained to them because everyone understands. Is it fair to say this has not happened? Thus the New Covenant has not happened? Ouch!

Moving right along….

Matthew 26:31 NIV:
Then Jesus told them, “This very night you will all fall away on account of me, for it is written:
” ‘I will strike the shepherd,
and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’

He’s referring to Zech 13:7. But what if we include the next verse too?

Zech 13:7-8 NIV:

“Awake, O sword, against my shepherd,
against the man who is close to me!”
declares the LORD Almighty.
“Strike the shepherd,
and the sheep will be scattered,
and I will turn my hand against the little ones.

In the whole land,” declares the LORD,
“two-thirds will be struck down and perish;
yet one-third will be left in it.

That didn’t happen either. The very verses he quotes condemn him.

Here’s another prophesy he makes. It’s Matthew 26:32 NIV:

“But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee.”

Does he?
Matthew 28:16-17 NIV says

Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted.

I’ll go along with that. He did go to Galilee, but why did some doubt?

His next prophesy was about Peter:

Matthew 26:33-35 Contemporary English Version (CEV):

Peter spoke up, “Even if all the others reject you, I never will!”

Jesus replied, “I promise you that before a rooster crows tonight, you will say three times that you don’t know me.” But Peter said, “Even if I have to die with you, I will never say I don’t know you.”

All the others said the same thing.

And was his prophesy correct? Of course it was. Matthew 26:74-75 says so.

Matthew 26:74-75 NIV:

Then he began to call down curses on himself and he swore to them, “I don’t know the man!”

Immediately a rooster crowed. Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken: “Before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.” And he went outside and wept bitterly.

So that prophesy came true.

So now Jesus is before the council. Matthew 26:60-63 (NLT):

But even though they found many who agreed to give false witness, there was no testimony they could use. Finally, two men were found who declared, “This man said, `I am able to destroy the Temple of God and rebuild it in three days.’ ”

Then the high priest stood up and said to Jesus, “Well, aren’t you going to answer these charges? What do you have to say for yourself?” But Jesus remained silent.

The traditional explanation of this claim is that Jesus was saying his body was the temple, and it would be torn down (be dead) for 3 days then resurrected. Was it three days?

Jesus died at 3:00 on the Friday afternoon: Matthew 27:46-50
On the Sabbath (Saturday) the tomb was sealed. Matthew 27:62-66
On Sunday morning at sunrise the Marys were at the tomb but Jesus had already risen. Matthew 28:1-6
(I’m not copying this out because there is no dispute that it says this in Matthew.)

So he was dead for an afternoon, that night, a whole day and until sunup on Sunday. In total about 40 hours. That’s not even 2 whole days. An evening, a day, and a morning counts as three days? The Jewish day starts at sundown though, so dividing up that time it’s about 4 hours of Friday, 24 hours of Sat and 12 hours of Sunday. Still Dodgy.

Matthew 26:63-64 NLT:

Then the high priest said to him, “I demand in the name of the living God that you tell us whether you are the Messiah, the Son of God.”

Jesus replied, “Yes, it is as you say. And in the future you will see me, the Son of Man, sitting at God’s right hand in the place of power and coming back on the clouds of heaven.”

He’s referring to Daniel 7:13-14 NLT. So what does that say?

As my vision continued that night, I saw someone who looked like a man coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient One and was led into his presence. He was given authority, honor, and royal power over all the nations of the world, so that people of every race and nation and language would obey him. His rule is eternal–it will never end. His kingdom will never be destroyed.

You can see why the priests considered this blasphemy. All the nations of the world will obey him? That’s an unfulfilled prophesy.

But let’s look a little further down in Daniel, to Daniel 7:23-27 NLT:

Then he said to me, “This fourth beast is the fourth world power that will rule the earth. It will be different from all the others. It will devour the whole world, trampling everything in its path. Its ten horns are ten kings that will rule that empire. Then another king will arise, different from the other ten, who will subdue three of them. He will defy the Most High and wear down the holy people of the Most High. He will try to change their sacred festivals and laws, and they will be placed under his control for a time, times, and half a time.

“But then the court will pass judgment, and all his power will be taken away and completely destroyed. Then the sovereignty, power, and greatness of all the kingdoms under heaven will be given to the holy people of the Most High. They will rule forever, and all rulers will serve and obey them.”

A king that’s different from the other ten who’ll change their sacred festivals and laws? Yikes.

Notice there’s nothing here about the Messiah being put to death or humiliated.

Matthew 26:67-68 NIV says the priests:

Then they spit in his face and struck him with their fists. Others slapped him and said, “Prophesy to us, Christ. Who hit you?”

The Old Testament prophesy of this is supposed to be:

Isaiah 50:6-7 NIV:

I offered my back to those who beat me,
my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard;
I did not hide my face
from mocking and spitting.

Because the Sovereign LORD helps me,
I will not be disgraced.
Therefore have I set my face like flint,
and I know I will not be put to shame.

But he was. He was crucified naked. It’s an incredibly shameful way to die.

Now we get back to the thirty pieces of silver.
Here’s what Matthew quotes as happening to this money: Matthew 27:3-10 NIV:

When Judas, who had betrayed him, saw that Jesus was condemned, he was seized with remorse and returned the thirty silver coins to the chief priests and the elders. “I have sinned,” he said, “for I have betrayed innocent blood.”
“What is that to us?” they replied. “That’s your responsibility.”

So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself.

The chief priests picked up the coins and said, “It is against the law to put this into the treasury, since it is blood money.” So they decided to use the money to buy the potter’s field as a burial place for foreigners. That is why it has been called the Field of Blood to this day. Then what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled: “They took the thirty silver coins, the price set on him by the people of Israel, and they used them to buy the potter’s field, as the Lord commanded me.”

Zech 11:13 NIV:
And the LORD said to me, “Throw it to the potters”–this magnificent sum at which they valued me! So I took the thirty coins and threw them to the potters in the Temple of the LORD.

The potters who made pots for the temple, paid for by the temple treasury, right? Another misrepresentation of what the Old Testament said. Also, these words were spoken by Zechariah, not Jeremiah.
Does Jeremiah have anything in it that maybe Matthew was referring to?
There is this from Jer 32:8-15 NIV:

“I knew that this was the word of the LORD; so I bought the field at Anathoth from my cousin Hanamel and weighed out for him seventeen shekels of silver. I signed and sealed the deed, had it witnessed, and weighed out the silver on the scales. I took the deed of purchase— the sealed copy containing the terms and conditions, as well as the unsealed copy- and I gave this deed to Baruch son of Neriah, the son of Mahseiah, in the presence of my cousin Hanamel and of the witnesses who had signed the deed and of all the Jews sitting in the courtyard of the guard.

“In their presence I gave Baruch these instructions: ‘This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Take these documents, both the sealed and unsealed copies of the deed of purchase, and put them in a clay jar so they will last a long time. For this is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Houses, fields and vineyards will again be bought in this land.’

Wrong amount but it was about the symbolical purchase of a field. But not to be used as a cemetery!!!

Matthew 27:32-34 NIV says:

As they were going out, they met a man from Cyrene, named Simon, and they forced him to carry the cross. They came to a place called Golgotha (which means The Place of the Skull). There they offered Jesus wine to drink, mixed with gall; but after tasting it, he refused to drink it.

Something similar happens in Psalms 69: 21-24 NIV

They put gall in my food
and gave me vinegar for my thirst.

May the table set before them become a snare;
may it become retribution and a trap.

May their eyes be darkened so they cannot see,
and their backs be bent forever.

Pour out your wrath on them;
let your fierce anger overtake them.

That doesn’t sound like Jesus at all! He didn’t curse his tormentors, he asked God to forgive them…… This is a prophesy?
Then the guards crucified him and gambled for his clothes. (Matthew 27:35) The similar passage in the Old Testament is Psalms 22:18-19 NIV:

They divide my garments among them
and cast lots for my clothing.

But you, O LORD, be not far off;
O my Strength, come quickly to help me.

I’ll accept that one. In fact Psalms 22:1-21 NIV do sound like a prophesy of Jesus’ mistreatment:

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from saving me,
so far from the words of my groaning?

O my God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer,
by night, and am not silent.

Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One;
you are the praise of Israel.

In you our fathers put their trust;
they trusted and you delivered them.

They cried to you and were saved;
in you they trusted and were not disappointed.

But I am a worm and not a man,
scorned by men and despised by the people.

All who see me mock me;
they hurl insults, shaking their heads:

“He trusts in the LORD;
let the LORD rescue him.
Let him deliver him,
since he delights in him.”

Yet you brought me out of the womb;
you made me trust in you
even at my mother’s breast.

From birth I was cast upon you;
from my mother’s womb you have been my God.

Do not be far from me,
for trouble is near
and there is no one to help.

Many bulls surround me;
strong bulls of Bashan encircle me.

Roaring lions tearing their prey
open their mouths wide against me.
I am poured out like water,
and all my bones are out of joint.
My heart has turned to wax;
it has melted away within me.

My strength is dried up like a potsherd,
and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth;
you lay me in the dust of death.

Dogs have surrounded me;
a band of evil men has encircled me,
they have pierced my hands and my feet.

I can count all my bones;
people stare and gloat over me.

They divide my garments among them
and cast lots for my clothing.

But you, O LORD, be not far off;
O my Strength, come quickly to help me.

Deliver my life from the sword,
my precious life from the power of the dogs.

Rescue me from the mouth of the lions;
save me from the horns of the wild oxen.

They have pierced his hands and feet- that sounds right. He asks why God has abandoned him- that sounds right too (Matthew 27:45). Bones out of joint- yep. And the last two lines I’ll accept as prophetic too, on the grounds of the symbolism being relevant. So there is a prophesy that fits after all. It doesn’t say he dies but that may be somewhere else….

We go on…
Matthew 27:51-53 NIV says:

At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook and the rocks split. The tombs broke open and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. They came out of the tombs, and after Jesus’ resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many people.

I could say that I doubt such a thing really happened, but let’s say it did. What did the prophesy say?
Ezekial 37:11-14 NIV:

Then he said to me: “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They say, ‘Our bones are dried up and our hope is gone; we are cut off.’ Therefore prophesy and say to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: O my people, I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them; I will bring you back to the land of Israel. Then you, my people, will know that I am the LORD, when I open your graves and bring you up from them. I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I the LORD have spoken, and I have done it, declares the LORD.’ ”

This doesn’t fit because the Jewish people were already in Israel. So try Is 14:7-9 NIV:

All the lands are at rest and at peace;
they break into singing.

Even the pine trees and the cedars of Lebanon
exult over you and say,
“Now that you have been laid low,
no woodsman comes to cut us down.”

The grave below is all astir
to meet you at your coming;
it rouses the spirits of the departed to greet you—
all those who were leaders in the world;
it makes them rise from their thrones—
all those who were kings over the nations.

That doesn’t work either because Jesus did not bring peace to the nation. But I’m sure that’s why Matthew mentioned the dead walking- it’s one of the signs of the Messiah’s arrival.

Was Jesus’ resurrection from the dead foretold? Jesus said that Jonah was the prophesy. What did he say again?

Matthew 12:40 NIV

For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

Jesus was dead for two days and two nights. He was dead Friday after 3 pm and all day Saturday, but you can’t count Sunday because he was raised before sunrise. He was dead Friday night and Satuday night. That’s all. Two Days 2 Nights. So much for that prophesy.

But surely the fact that he rose from the dead is more important than mere detail of how long he was dead? Remember, false prophets have magical powers too, and besides, resurrection has happened to lots of people over thousands of years so it’s not all that unusual. I’ll deal with that at another post though, since this post is only about the prophesies regarding Jesus.

So, which prophesies did I accept?

Born in Bethlehem, father was descendant of David, he taught in Capernuam, taught in parables, healed the sick, resurrected people, predicted that he’d be betrayed by Judas, predicted the 30 pieces of silver that he’d be valued at, predicted he’d be flogged, mocked and crucified, predicted he’d be given gall and vinegar (cheap wine?) to drink, predicted Peter would deny him, predicted he’d come back to life and meet his disciples in Galilee. Also predicted the total destruction of the temple.

So which predictions are unfulfilled?

A ruler from Bethlehem would rule the people of Israel and bring them eternal peace. He’d bring justice to all nations and rule the whole world. He’ll build a house of God and reign forever and all nations will obey him. The dead will come to life and God’s people will be delivered. The Son of God will come down on clouds of heaven.
Notice that none of these prophesies involve the Messiah coming, leaving, then coming back again.
None involve him suffering or dying.

So which predictions were wrong?

Jesus was not given the name of Immanuel at birth so that prophesy does not apply to him.
The prophesy about Rachel crying for her children did not apply to Jesus because her kids were in exile, they weren’t dead.
The thirty pieces of silver were given to pay the potters of the temple, not to buy a Potter’s field for foreigners. One was acceptable money for giving to the temple, one wasn’t.
Jesus said he’d be in his grave for 3 days and 3 nights- but it was actually only 2 days and 2 nights.

So which predictions were damning?

Jesus said he was the Messiah. But his followers were mostly outcasts: tax collectors and prostitutes. The Pharisees didn’t believe he was the Messiah and John the Baptist also wasn’t sure if he was or he wasn’t.
He introduced ideas of heaven, hell, and a soul which lived on after death independent of the body. He didn’t know the purpose of the cleanliness rule about washing your hands before you eat. He said that as the Messiah, he came not to bring peace but a sword, even though all prophesies about the Messiah said he’d bring peace and justice to the world. He said that the Messiah couldn’t possibly be a descendant of David even though that’s what the prophesies said. That throws doubt on his own lineage. (Maybe the Pharisees were saying he couldn’t be the Messiah because he wasn’t the son of David and his reply was that it was impossible for the Messiah to be the son of David. ) He taught his disciples to ignore the rules of what to eat and what not to eat even though God set these rules to be forever and ever, he said he was only sent to the children of Israel yet he is not the leader of the Jewish people- he’s the leader of Gentiles. Yet the Messiah was to be a leader of the Jewish people. Jesus stopped the sacrifices, even though the Old Testament said that in the end times there would still be sacrifices, he taught his followers to symbolically drink his blood. Drinking blood is strictly forbidden in the Old Testament.
He said his death and resurrection brought about a new covenant with God, but the New Covenant the Old Testament prophesied about was one where everyone knew God and no one would ever have to be taught spiritual things because everyone would know the truths. This has not happened, therefore there is no new covenant yet. And finally, Jesus predicted that the end times would happen within the lifetime of his generation, and it didn’t. That makes him a false prophet. Maybe the prophet prophesied in Daniel?

Daniel 7:23-27 NLT:

Then he said to me, “This fourth beast is the fourth world power that will rule the earth. It will be different from all the others. It will devour the whole world, trampling everything in its path. Its ten horns are ten kings that will rule that empire. Then another king will arise, different from the other ten, who will subdue three of them. He will defy the Most High and wear down the holy people of the Most High. He will try to change their sacred festivals and laws, and they will be placed under his control for a time, times, and half a time.

Let’s hope not…..

So much for Matthew. Maybe Mark and Luke and John are better at selling the idea that Jesus is the Messiah. That will be my next post.

Posted by Carmen at 1:18 PM

Labels: religion


Gary Russell said…

You appear to be trying to be quite thorough. Was your omission of Isaiah 53 intentional? Who is this describing? Jesus was pierced with a sword and scourged with whips. He did not defend himself before his accusers. They cast lots for his cloak. He was to be buried in a public grave for peasants and criminals, but was buried in the tomb of the elite. He had committed no crime. He was perhaps the only person ever killed specifically for his identity- claiming to be God’s equal. In him was no deceit. Why did you die? For you. . ..

2For He grew up before Him like a tender shoot,
And like a root out of parched ground;
He has no stately form or majesty
That we should look upon Him,
Nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him.
3He was despised and forsaken of men,
A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief;
And like one from whom men hide their face
He was despised, and we did not )esteem Him.
4Surely our griefs He Himself bore,
And our sorrows He carried;
Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten of God, and afflicted.
5But He was pierced through for our transgressions,
He was crushed for our iniquities;
The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him,
And by )His scourging we are healed.
6All of us like sheep have gone astray,
Each of us has turned to his own way;
But the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all
To fall on Him.
7He was oppressed and He was afflicted,
Yet He did not open His mouth;
Like a lamb that is led to slaughter,
And like a sheep that is silent before its shearers,
So He did not open His mouth.
8By oppression and judgment He was taken away;
And as for His generation, who considered
That He was cut off out of the land of the living
For the transgression of my people, to whom the stroke was due?
9His grave was assigned with wicked men,
Yet He was with a rich man in His death,
Because He had done no violence,
Nor was there any deceit in His mouth.
10But the LORD was pleased
To crush Him, putting Him to grief;
If He would render Himself as a guilt offering,
He will see His offspring,
He will prolong His days,
And the good pleasure of the LORD will prosper in His hand.
11As a result of the anguish of His soul,
He will see it and be satisfied;
By His knowledge the Righteous One,
My Servant, will justify the many,
As He will (bear their iniquities.
12Therefore, I will allot Him a portion with the great,
And He will divide the booty with the strong;
Because He poured out Himself to death,
And was numbered with the transgressors;
Yet He Himself bore the sin of many,
And interceded for the transgressors.



2:53 PM

Carmen said…

Who is this describing?

Isaiah 52:14-15

The Suffering and Glory of the Servant
13 See, my servant will act wisely [b] ;
he will be raised and lifted up and highly exalted.

14 Just as there were many who were appalled at him [c]—
his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any man
and his form marred beyond human likeness—

15 so will he sprinkle many nations, [d]
and kings will shut their mouths because of him.
For what they were not told, they will see,
and what they have not heard, they will understand.

Doesn’t sound like Jesus. Maybe it helps to know that in certain kinds of Judaism, the death of a righteous man brings forgiveness of many.

7:01 PM

BillNye2 said…

Hi there,

I think a lot of your struggle with understanding prophesy is that you neglect to consider that this was “hidden” in the Old Testament (Matt. 13:35), and so the OT text is often talking about two different things-a present situation, and a prophetic one. So when you say “that doesn’t fit because other stuff was happening at the time” or whatever, you are falling for the trap originally laid-that it is not obvious to all who read; you have to look for it. And in the context of history, it is now obvious (revealed).

Also, you say often “that doesn’t sound like Jesus to me”-but who are you? Not an expert, exactly. Perhaps you should study under some Christians to find out what Jesus is like, or study God’s word itself in prayer. And the crux of the issue–you may not want to see what is there to be seen.


7:14 AM

Carmen said…

This didn’t sound like Jesus because unlike the person in this passage, Jesus’ face was not disfigured beyond human recognition. If it had been the Bible would have said so.

No, I’m not an expert, but I did study with an Anglican Bishop and he was really nice about trying to answer these questions. He conceded a lot of these points. So do you outrank a Bishop?

I find people don’t read what’s written in the Bible- what they do is see the beginning of a passage and then they remember what they were taught it meant instead of actually reading the words in front of them. They’ve been brainwashed. Not the Bishop of course, he knew the problems with Xtianity and he was honest enough to admit them. Maybe you just need to take more courses and you’ll be able to see them too.


One Response to “Did the old testament really prophesy about jesus?”

  1. Ray Williams Says:

    Well done Carmen.

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