Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Prophecy in the Bible and in the Qur’an

My dear friend Adrian Ebens answered the questions “is the Bible all inspired by God? And what does that mean?” on my blog titled Is the Qur’an inspired by God? as following:

“For me personally, the proof of the Bible's inspired position comes through the prophecies of the Bible and specifically the prophecies about the coming of Christ. I lay out my evidence in These Charts

On one of these charts I mention only 49 prophecies out of around 300 concerning Christ. The probability of these all being fulfilled is less that the Big Bang, yet they all came true. This gives me powerful evidence for its divine origin. 

The prophecies provide independent evidence of its divine origin. It is hard to find this type of evidence in the Qur'an like the 70 week prophecy with very specific time prophecy. My understanding of the Qur'an has been like the Apocrypha. It contains several historical truths and good instruction, but lacks the divine stamp of authority in the Biblical sense…”

And few days ago another good friend of mine visited me and during our conversation he made almost the same comment about the Qur’an saying that the Qur’an does not contain prophecies as the Bible does. Indeed when we compare the Qur’an with the Bible, especially with the Old Testament, we will notice that the Qur’an is lacking prophecies!

What does prophecy in Scripture mean exactly? The specific meaning of prophecy as used in Old Testament times is actually means that the LORD God was speaking through certain people, prophets, and giving them special words to deliver that would "fore-tell" things that were going to happen in the future.

As brother Adrian said above it is these supernatural predictions that both strongly prove that the Bible is the Word of God, and also provides the framework for the things to come that believers must watch for.

The Purpose of Old Testament Prophecy

The books of prophecy stress the future messianic life. They proclaim the coming of Jesus Christ as the coming King (Zech 9;9), the "Anointed One" (Daniel 9:26) the "Prince of Peace" (Isa 9:6) and the "Son of Righteousness" (Mal 4:2.) They tell about Jesus Christ dying (Isa 53,) and reigning forever (Isa 9:7.) Old Testament Prophets announce Christ's birth by a virgin (Isa 7:14), in the city of Bethlehem (Mic 5:2), His Crucifixion (Zech 12:10), and His coming kingdom (Dan 2:44; 7:13-14)

The books of prophecy look forward to Jesus Christ as the coming Messiah. Old Testament prophecy accurately predicts the unfolding Will of the LORD God, because it is His words given to His chosen prophets to reveal. Jesus Christ is the center and the spirit of every prophecy spoken by the LORD God through His prophets. The anticipation of Jesus Christ in the Old Testament through prophecy became the realization of Christ in the New Testament through witness.

One red thread runs throughout the Torah and Gospel, the core of the Bible is the Salvation. As Adrian noted above there are around 300 prophecies concerning Christ. The books of prophecy look forward to Jesus Christ as the coming Messiah and it’s impossible to find this kind of prophesies in the Qur’an because the Qur’an revealed around 600 years after Jesus Christ. Thus, we do not find any prophesies “fore-tell” things that were going to happen in the future. But the Qur’an simply confirms the Old Testament and the fulfillment of those prophesies. For example there is a prophecy in Old Testament about Christ's birth by a virgin:

Isa 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

And we read the fulfillment of this prophecy in the New Testament:

Mat 1:18,23 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. 19Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily. 20But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. 21And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. 22Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, 23Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

And we read the confirmation of the fulfillment of this prophecy in the Qur’an:

Qur’an 3:45,47 Behold! the angels said: "O Mary! Allah giveth thee glad tidings of a Word from Him: his name will be Christ Jesus, the son of Mary, held in honour in this world and the Hereafter and of (the company of) those nearest to Allah; 46"He shall speak to the people in childhood and in maturity. And he shall be (of the company) of the righteous." 47She said: "O my Lord! How shall I have a son when no man hath touched me?" He said: "Even so: Allah createth what He willeth: When He hath decreed a plan, He but saith to it, 'Be,' and it is!

The prophecy is in the Old Testament, the fulfillment is in the New Testament and the confirmation is in the Qur’an.

And the following verse from Qur’an tells us that Islam is the same religion that Abraham Moses and Jesus were teaching:

Qur’an 42:13The same religion has He established for you as that which He enjoined on Noah - the which We have sent by inspiration to thee - and that which We enjoined on Abraham, Moses, and Jesus: Namely, that ye should remain steadfast in religion, and make no divisions therein: …”

Also we read in the Bible and in the Qur’an that Jesus is the Word of God, and He is The Messiah. The Qur’an so clearly states that it’s CONFIRMING the Torah and the Gospel. Thus it’s confirms those prophesies and the fulfillments in the Bible. Islam is not a new religion, Islam is the religion which was given to Adam, the first man and the first prophet of God, and it was the religion of all the prophets sent by God to mankind. God gave us the Qur’an in a time when the big majority of Christianity was in a very dark place, many teachings had been clouded by false doctrines; the Church had destroyed many vital truths with indulgence, trinity and other unbiblical doctrines. The Qur’an simply pointing back and confirming the scripture that prophesied and testified about Jesus. 

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