Watchtower Bible and Tract Society. 1985. Life--How Did It Get Here? Brooklyn, NY, pp. 216-223.
"The Bible contains many prophecies that have accurately been fulfilled, proving it is a divine source."
There are several mundane ways in which a prediction of the future can be fulfilled:
- Retrodiction. The "prophecy" can be written or modified after the events fulfilling it have already occurred.
- Vagueness. The prophecy can be worded in such a way that people can interpret any outcome as a fulfillment. Nostradomus's prophecies are all of this type. Vagueness works particularly well when people are religiously motivated to believe the prophecies.
- Inevitability. The prophecy can predict something that is almost sure to happen, such as the collapse of a city. Since nothing lasts forever, the city is sure to fall someday. If it has not, it can be said that according to prophecy, it will.
- Denial. One can claim that the fulfilling events occurred even if they have not. Or, more commonly, one can forget that the prophecy was ever made.
- Self-fulfillment. A person can act deliberately to satisfy a known prophecy.
There are no prophecies in the Bible that cannot easily fit into one or more of those categories. In biblical times, prophecies were not simply predictions. They were warnings of what could or would happen if things did not change. They were meant to influence people's behavior. If the people heeded the prophecy, the events would not come to pass; Jonah 3 gives an example. A fulfilled prophecy was a failed prophecy, because it meant people did not heed the warning. Other religions claim many fulfilled prophecies, too.
Other people would also argue that divinity is not shown by miracles. The Bible itself says true prophecies may come elsewhere than from God (Deut. 13:1-3), as may other miracles (Exod. 7:22, Matt. 4:8). Some people say that to focus on proofs is to miss the whole point of faith (John 20:29).
The Bible also contains failed prophecies, in the sense that things God said would happen did not (Skeptic's Annotated Bible n.d.). For example:
- Joshua said that God would, without fail, drive out the Jebusites and Canaanites, among others (Josh. 3:9-10). But those tribes were not driven out (Josh. 15:63, 17:12-13).
- Ezekiel said Egypt would be made an uninhabited wasteland for forty years (29:10-14), and Nebuchadrezzar would plunder it (29:19-20). Neither happened.
I would like to know if anyone else knows of any other proficies in the bible that have not come true (expecially internal bible proficies), also what are some proficies that have multiple fullfilments through out history (as Daniel's proficies clearly do). I would be sincerely interested in your replies as I am planning on writing a book on the subject (actually the subject is evolution, but will contain parts about the bible and creationism).